From February 17 to 19, students from all over the nation came to Western to work together, create an idea and present it to faculty of the Borick School of Business. This is the third year that the business school has hosted this event.
“This year we had a total of 17 students attend this scholarship event. This is the largest group we have had since starting. The question that they are working to answer is ‘How might we reimagine the classroom experience to improve learning outcomes?’” said Annie Westbury, a Program Coordinator at Western who was working the event.
Students started their weekend by learning some key ideas from professor Chris Greene during his Innovation Design Bootcamp Workshop. Students learned theories and skills that helped them accomplish the task at hand and use their time to the best of their advantage.
“Steve Borick and Pete Sherman wanted to create a scholarship for the School of Business. We pitched to them the idea of the innovation weekend,” Greene said. “We wanted to create something fun for students that was more than us just lecturing to them.”
Students are broken into random groups of four. They then spend a full night working with their team to create a prototype. The next day, these creators present their ideas and then move on to preparing for individual interviews.
These students also have a chance to talk and work with the previous year’s event winners . Current business and Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Mountaineers help students enhance their projects.
“During the last hour the group had to work, that is when our project finally came together. It was a pretty stressful project but it was fun,” said Ashley Stewart, a Business Administration major with an ICE emphasis who attended the event–and won a scholarship–last year.
The students recruited for the Borick Scholars Weekend must have a high school GPA of 3.0, received a 22 or higher on their ACT and been accepted into Western.
If these students receive either first, second or third place on their group presentations, they will each receive a certain amount of scholarship money, the amount of which differs for each place on their group presentations and individual interviews.
After the two days of hard work, the students were given the chance to explore the valley by skiing at Crested Butte Mountain Resort or cross country skiing with Wilderness Pursuits.
Last winter 80 percent of students who attended this event joined Western as Mountaineers in the fall. This year 14 out of the 17 students stated that they were set to attend Western in the fall semester of 2017.
Story and photos by Grace Flynn.