Six Elon students join Stanford’s University Innovation Fellows program

Joshua Mason ’24, Emmet Owen ’24, Ashley Josey ’25, Eddie Keefe ’25, Nathaniel Lerman ’25 and TJ Mathis ’25 will work to increase Elon campus engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and design thinking.

Joshua Mason ’24, a finance major; Emmet Owen ’24, a finance major; Ashley Josey ’25, a communication design major; Eddie Keefe ’25, a marketing major; Nathaniel Lerman ’25, a finance and business analytics double major; and TJ Mathis ’25, a strategic communications major; have been named University Innovation Fellows by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (

Compilation of headshots of Joshua Mason, Emmet Owen, Ashley Josey, Eddie Keefe, Nathaniel Lerman and TJ Mathis.
Joshua Mason ’24, Emmet Owen ’24, Ashley Josey ’25, Eddie Keefe ’25, Nathaniel Lerman ’25 and TJ Mathis ’25 join the University Innovation Fellows program.

They are among 242 students from 63 higher education institutions in 16 countries to join the University Innovation Fellows program managed by Stanford’s

At Elon, the program is supported and sponsored by the Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This year’s Elon cohort joins cohorts from the previous two years in advancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus.

University Innovation Fellows strive to create opportunities to help their peers build the creative confidence, agency and entrepreneurial mindset needed to address global challenges. They serve as advocates for lasting institutional change with academic leaders, lending the much-needed student voice to the conversations about the future of higher education.

“The new Fellows are designing experiences that help all students learn skills and mindsets necessary to navigate these uncertain times and to shape the future they want to see,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “They are giving back to their school communities, and at the same time, they’re learning strategies that will help them serve as leaders in their careers after graduation.”

Following acceptance into the program, students participated in a six-week online training in which they analyzed their campus ecosystems; identified opportunities for change related to innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity; worked to understand the needs of peers across disciplines and the perspectives of faculty and administrators; and applied this new knowledge and perspective to design new educational opportunities for their peers. They will now work to implement the projects they crafted and continue to serve as change agents and leaders at their schools and beyond.

“It’s been gratifying to see how dedicated our new fellows have been throughout their UIF training,” said Alyssa Martina, director of the Doherty Center and Elon’s faculty champion for the University Innovation Fellows program. “I can’t wait to see what will emanate from their research and efforts.”