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Collaboration Accelerator

Nine University of Dayton students are working this summer to find creative solutions to real-world challenges focused on education innovation.

Centerville City Schools, High AIMS network of public school districts, and the University of Dayton First-Year Coordinating Team posed the challenges through the University’s Collaboration Accelerator, an eight-week paid internship experience that brings together undergraduates from a variety of academic backgrounds.

The students, from mechanical engineering, marketing, musical therapy, psychology and English, are responding to questions such as “how can we redefine student success through failure and perseverance?” from Centerville schools. The question allows them to focus on ways they can help Centerville transform the educational climate for today's needs.

“This is not about creating a product. The goal is to find a new approach that our partners can take back to put into practice,” said Brian LaDuca, executive director of Institute of Applied Creativity for Transformation (IACT). “It’s about building the confidence to rethink traditional models.”

Students also are working with the University’s transdisciplinary proof-of-concept space, the GEMnasium, where students are working across disciplines on issues surrounding addiction and workforce development.

Senior psychology major Lauren DeClark said the experience has allowed her to think in ways she never before considered.

“Our ideas are becoming reality right before our eyes,” she said. “Everything we are working on hits very close to home, whether in downtown Dayton or Centerville school district. We have spent a great portion of time discussing our ‘who.’ Who is going to be affected by this? Who is this going to help? Who is going to use this? Why do they need this? The people are always at the forefront of our mind.”

The students will present their work during a daylong event Wednesday, July 25, on the University of Dayton campus. Participants are asked to pre-register. More information is available online.


News and Communications Staff