Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Announces 2021 Fellows

The Graduate Entrepreneurial Fellowship supports promising graduate students from all disciplines to pursue intensive entrepreneurial training. (From clockwise) Julia Loshelder, Dylan Saettele, Solomon Isu, Stephanie Gannon, Luis Rodriguez, Mahsa Haseli, Braden Bateman, Landon Burcham, Brandi Taylor.
Photo by Cari Humphry

The Graduate Entrepreneurial Fellowship supports promising graduate students from all disciplines to pursue intensive entrepreneurial training. (From clockwise) Julia Loshelder, Dylan Saettele, Solomon Isu, Stephanie Gannon, Luis Rodriguez, Mahsa Haseli, Braden Bateman, Landon Burcham, Brandi Taylor.

Nine U of A students have been named recipients of the Graduate Entrepreneurial Fellowship through the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. These students will embark on an intensive entrepreneurial journey this fall, uniting several colleges and multiple disciplines, developing business ideas in a real-world context.

The Graduate Entrepreneurial Fellowship, launched with support from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, will provide students with opportunities for intensive mentoring, seed funding and business plan coaching.

The U of A's Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation will oversee the fellowship, which will conclude with an event featuring investors and industry executives.

“Taking this step is out of the comfort zone of many students and requires a major investment of their time, but it can have a lifelong impact for them,” said Sarah Goforth, executive director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Julia Loshelder, a doctoral fellow from the College of Engineering, sees this opportunity as a way to bridge the gap between technology and industry. 

“Any successful business has people with a wide range of talents. By collaborating with fellows from different disciplines and backgrounds, we will be able to successfully develop an idea that can be ready to be taken to market,” Loshelder said.

The fellows, listed below, will devote at least 20 hours per week to their entrepreneurial pursuits:

  • Braden Bateman
    • Degree program: Bumpers College; Master of Science
    • Discipline: agricultural economics
    • Faculty adviser: Lanier Nalley
    • Entrepreneurial focus: Creating a nonprofit to feed kids outside of school while providing them with tutoring services and physical activities
  • Landon Burcham
    • Degree program: College of Engineering; Master of Science
    • Discipline: biomedical engineering
    • Faculty adviser: Christopher Nelson
    • Entrepreneurial focus: Harnessing muscle-specific gene editing applications to improve therapeutics for musculoskeletal diseases
  • Mahsa Haseli
    • Degree program: College of Engineering; Doctorate
    • Discipline: chemical engineering
    • Faculty adviser: Jorge Almodovar
    • Entrepreneurial focus: Replacing pills and injections with novel electronic patches that heal wounds in humans and animals while monitoring drug output to the patient
  • Solomon Isu
    • Degree program: College of Engineering; Doctorate
    • Discipline: chemical engineering
    • Faculty adviser: Ranil Wickramasinghe
    • Entrepreneurial focus: Acquiring and correlating the critical quality attributes from monoclonal antibody molecules to nano-filterability for intractable illnesses
  • Stephanie Gannon
    • Degree program: Sam M. Walton College of Business; Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship
    • Discipline: entrepreneurship 
    • Faculty adviser: Sarah Goforth
    • Entrepreneurial focus: Providing data literacy and analytics training programs for non-degree seeking individuals that also increases representation and diversity in the Northwest Arkansas technology industry
  • Julia Loshelder
    • Degree program: College of Engineering; Honors College; Doctorate
    • Discipline: civil engineering
    • Faculty adviser: Richard Coffman
    • Entrepreneurial focus: Developing remote sensing technology to accurately detect soil moisture, thereby decreasing water waste and other negative environmental impacts associated with large construction projects and agricultural activities
  • Luis Rodriguez
    • Degree program: College of Engineering; Master of Science
    • Discipline: electrical engineering
    • Faculty adviser: Robert Saunders
    • Entrepreneurial focus: Continuing development of a heated pulse oximeter, which can improve blood oxygen readings by generating blood flow and will help providers take more accurate measurements on premature infants, the elderly and those in harsh environments
  • Dylan Saettele
    • Degree program: Walton College; Master of Science
    • Discipline: finance
    • Faculty adviser: Cash Acrey
    • Entrepreneurial focus: Serial entrepreneurship that helps other creative “doers” navigate the venture world 
  • Brandi Taylor
    • Degree program: Walton College; Master of Finance
    • Discipline: finance
    • Faculty adviser: Cash Acrey
    • Entrepreneurial focus: Cross collaboration on a startup that improves financial literacy and access to healthcare and education opportunities for underrepresented communities

The master’s students in the program received the Graduate Entrepreneurial Fellowship, while three doctoral students received the Kaneaster and Ruth Lindley Hodges Entrepreneurial Fellowship.

The Graduate Entrepreneurial Fellowship program provides a graduate assistantship, if needed, and a $10,000 stipend for master’s students or a $12,000 stipend for doctoral students. The Hodges Fellowship is awarded yearly to three exceptional doctoral students, boosting their stipend to $22,000.

“The Graduate Entrepreneurial Fellows program and Kaneaster and Ruth Lindley Hodges Entrepreneurial Fellowship provide the support and space for this exceptional group of students to invest themselves fully in this endeavor and take full advantage of the mentoring and support that comes with the program,” Goforth said.

Applications were reviewed by an 11-member faculty committee, including representatives from the Sam M. Walton College of Business, College of Engineering, Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, and the Division of Research and Innovation.

The Graduate Entrepreneurial Fellowship supports promising graduate students from all disciplines to pursue intensive entrepreneurial training.

Eligible students must be pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship; an M.B.A. with entrepreneurship track, an M.S. in finance with an entrepreneurship focus, an M.S. in biomedical engineering with healthcare entrepreneurship concentration or an M.S. in electrical engineering with entrepreneurship concentration.

All fellows take the New Venture Development I and II courses offered by the Walton College, during which they will engage their business ideas in interdisciplinary teams.

About the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation: The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation creates and curates innovation and entrepreneurship experiences for students across all disciplines. Through the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, McMillon Innovation Studio and Startup Village, OEI provides free workshops and programs — including social and corporate innovation design teams, venture internships, competitions and startup coaching. A unit of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and Division of Economic Development, OEI also offers on-demand support for students who will be innovators within existing organizations and entrepreneurs who start something new.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.

Contacts

Sarah Goforth, executive director
Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
479-225-7185, goforth@uark.edu

Headlines

Army Grants to Bolster Unique New Semiconductor Fabrication Facility

Grants totaling $5.4 million will pay for cutting-edge equipment, fill a void for semiconductor production and train the next generation of researchers and engineers.

Journalism's Larry Foley Wins Directing Emmy for 'Indians, Outlaws, Marshals and the Hangin' Judge'

Larry Foley, chair of the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, has received an Emmy Award for directing from the Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Department of Theatre Presents: The Wolves

The Department of Theatre opens the Pulitzer Prize finalist play The Wolves by playwright Sarah DeLappe, Friday, Oct. 29, in the Global Campus Black Box Theatre on the historic Fayetteville Square.

Homecoming King and Queen Crowned Oct. 16

ASG and the Arkansas Alumni Association announced Jack Berg and Grace Crain as the 2021 Homecoming King and Queen and crowned them at the 2021 Homecoming football game.

Pohl Recipient of Distinguished Award in Operations Research

Ed Pohl, professor and department head of industrial engineering, has received the 2021 J. Steinhardt Prize from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

News Daily