The start of the Fall Semester means new classes, new books and a new opportunity to be part of First Step! This innovative program gives undergraduate students a chance to make a difference and commit to creating a healthier world. 

Student teams will be tasked with coming up with unique solutions to some important societal challenges. Among the challenge areas where problems – and potential solutions! – can be found: the environment, education, food, society and health care.

Teams are formed based on student interest areas. All teams will be given funding to help define the problem they’re trying to solve. Those teams that win the Fall Problem Pitch will receive additional funding to create their concept. Teams also will be able to work out of the Innovation Space located in The Tower at STAR. 

“It’s meant to be inspired by students,” said Martha Hall, Director of Innovation for the College of Health Sciences. “I want them to be able to get out of the building and go where the action is. I want them to be able to explore.”  

Along the way, students also are given access to faculty mentors with expertise in health-related problems as well as entrepreneurship and innovation. It’s truly a chance to stretch your mind and think big! 

Learn more about this great program during two information sessions this month. The first will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 10 in the Horn Entrepreneurship Venture Development Center. A second session will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 13 on the STAR Campus. In both cases, lunch will be provided. Find out more at

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