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UMES senior named national 'Innovation Fellow'

  • Wednesday, May 7, 2014

    UMES senior Jade OvertonPRINCESS ANNE, MD - (May 7, 2014) - Jade Overton, a senior from Baltimore majoring in hospitality and tourism management, was one of 66 students from 45 institutions of higher education who earlier this spring participated in a training session at Stanford University in California as a University Innovation Fellow.

    The National Science Foundation-funded program is run by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation, or Epicenter. Its aim is to "expose more engineering students and their peers (in other fields of study like Overton) to innovation and entrepreneurship learning opportunities, towards a tipping point where STEM graduates have a leading role in the prosperity of our nation."  

    "I was thrilled to have been selected … for the University Innovation Fellows program," Overton said. "Not only was I excited to go to California - an item on my bucket list - I was proud to represent (UMES) in this fashion."

    Fellows are charged with examining the current entrepreneurial environment at their institutions and work its students, faculty, administrators and external advisory boards to increase "student creativity, design thinking and venture creation."

    "Jade has distinguished herself in the department as a self-starter and an effective communicator; often serving as the leader in her class projects," said Karl Binns, an assistant professor in the Hospitality and Tourism Management department who teaches a capstone course each semester in entrepreneurship.

    "She also coordinated projects involving numerous people and her ability to work collaboratively while guiding HTM food production events speaks to her entrepreneurial potential," Binns said.

    Overton was a member of a winning team of students in a national culinary arts competition two years in a row; this year serving as captain.  She is also active in a student-run entrepreneurial group and catering club, The Pineapple Express.

    "I want to inspire other students who have great ideas and don't know where to start," Overton said.  She dreams of opening "the world's largest restaurant." 

    Gail Stephens, assistant director, Office of Public Relations, (410) 651-7580