Student Fellows Discuss Hands-on Learning Experience at DIG

Onawa Gardiner, Marketing Specialist

For over a year the Digital Innovation Greenhouse (DIG) within the Office of Academic Innovation (AI) has facilitated partnerships with students from a diverse range of disciplines on campus as part of the DIG Student Fellows Program.

To provide a comprehensive perspective for potential program applicants, we sat down with many of our Student Fellows who shared their experiences as a part of the program.

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This immersive program aims to provide U-M students with hands-on experience in areas such as user experience design, software development and innovation advocacy.

“There are so many different kinds of disciplines that work regularly with each other and I think it helps everyone here understand the bigger picture.” – Naomi Hernandez, Data Analysis Fellow

DIG Student Fellows assist in fostering educational software innovations and working with user communities in order to grow tools arising out of faculty-led research groups to maturity. In doing so, Student Fellows gain a first-hand perspective on the practices and processes that are used in professional settings.

Students and staff working at standing desks

“This environment gives you that feel of working in a start-up, of working in an actual industry but you’re not overwhelmed by it. It helps you learn more.” – Akshay Potnis, User Experience Design Fellow

Each Student Fellow is paired with a formal mentor within DIG who provides guidance, facilitates connections between Fellows and the larger student community within DIG and oversees the Fellow’s overall experience. Through this mentorship and hands-on practice, DIG Fellows are able to have an individualized, interactive learning experience, which enriches their overall education and time at U-M.

“DIG is a program that understands and appreciates the ways that learning happens…It’s been really interesting that the work I’ve done here at DIG is bridging some of the work I’m doing in the School of Education.” – Lena Carew, Innovation Advocacy Fellow

Lena Carew

In addition to hands-on learning and individual mentorship, DIG Fellows have the opportunity to see their work incorporated into active projects and used to shape the future of teaching and learning within U-M and beyond.

“There are a lot of opportunities here to do work that has a social impact. The ECoach project and DIG, in general, are all working on projects that help students, advisors or faculty in some way. We are testing them in real time so you get to have this tangible measurable impact right away, which is something I don’t think a lot of people get to do.”  – Jessamine Bartley-Matthews, User Experience Fellow

Students writing on whiteboard

We are currently looking for Student Fellows to work in software development, graphic design, user experience design, data analysis and innovation advocacy. For more details on DIG Fellowships and to apply, visit our student opportunities page.

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