Les Sztandera, professor of computer information systems, presented at the University of Oxford earlier this week, highlighting the many industry-inspired and -sponsored projects students have participated in his courses at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University).
In his lecture, “Rethinking Pedagogies for Academia-Industry Collaborations in the Development of Product Opportunities,” he discussed the recent Under Armour project where over 100 School of Business Administration undergraduate and graduate students in his courses joined forces with over 50 undergraduate School of Design and Engineering students to research, conceptualize and develop a product opportunity focused on the Under Armour consumer. The project was made possible through an industry grant to Sztandera from Under Armour’s materials innovation division headed by innovation MBA alumnus Mark Cumiskey ’16.
“This is what we do at Jefferson,” Sztandera said. “Our students learn by designing and constructing actual solutions to real-life problems. Researching across subject boundaries, managing different parts of the projects, critiquing each other’s work and creating professional-quality product opportunities help develop real-world problem-solving skills. In addition, motivating students to manage their own time and efforts, as well as present and defend their work, equips them with valuable skills for their future workplace.”