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NMSU engineering student named Epicenter University Innovation Fellow

The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation, known as Epicenter, named industrial engineering student Mauricio Garcia the first-ever University Innovation Fellow from New Mexico State University. Garcia recently visited Silicon Valley to learn more about innovation and entrepreneurship and will become the newest member of a growing team of individuals who are creating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across campus.

This is Mauricio Garcia wearing Google Glass.
Industrial engineering student Mauricio Garcia sports Google Glass at a visit to Silicon Valley after being named the first-ever University Innovation Fellow from NMSU by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation, known as Epicenter. (Courtesy photo)

Garcia, a junior, attended the University Innovation Fellows Meetup March 20-22, where he visited Google and Stanford University with other University Innovation Fellows from across the country.

“Being chosen as the first NMSU University Innovation Fellow has been an honor and a very gratifying experience,” Garcia said.

While at Stanford and Google, Garcia was exposed to concepts such as design, innovation spaces, the ability to learn and relearn, how to engage people and resources by using physical spaces, understanding consumer needs, and building a strong foundation on campus for students to get involved. He attended a panel discussion featuring speakers from the White House, Google, Design for America, 3 Day Startup and Google X.

“Traveling to Google and Stanford was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. I was able to get advice from panelists, speakers and UI Fellows,” Garcia said. “The program has opened my mind to ways students can increase innovation and entrepreneurship at NMSU.”

UI Fellows are part of a national movement to ensure that students gain the necessary attitudes, skills and knowledge required for them to compete in the economy of the future. Students from universities around the country work with their peers to spark innovation on their campuses.

“Mauricio has taken on this challenge with infectious enthusiasm. He will be an excellent colleague for the other University Innovation Fellows,” said Edward Pines, industrial engineering department head.

UI Fellows also take part in a six-week online training program where they identify ways to contribute to their own campuses. The Fellows will examine current innovation and entrepreneurial resources on campus and get students involved in innovation and entrepreneurship with the collaboration of the Fellows at other universities.

The University Innovation Fellows program is run by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation and funded by the National Science Foundation. It is directed by Epicenter at Stanford University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.