University Innovation Fellowship

The University Innovation Fellowship at ASU is designed to engage early- and mid-career policy-makers, analysts, technologists, engineers, researchers, communicators, writers, designers and leaders in generating and advancing big ideas that can transform higher education institutions and the communities they serve.

As part of the Office of Applied Innovation, Fellows work entrepreneurially across ASU to advance projects in service of our office mission and the ASU charter.

What Fellows Do

Over 13 months, fellows will develop their own diverse project portfolio, leveraging a collaborative mindset and comprehensive skill set that helps them identify and apply emerging scientific, technological, policy and design innovations to expand access to educational and economic opportunity.


Advance bold projects

Advance bold projects

Fellows design, build and launch new initiatives at one of the largest comprehensive public research universities in the U.S., ranked No. 1 in innovation by U.S. News & World Report for five straight years.

Connect with a powerful network

Connect with a powerful network

Fellows collaborate with influential changemakers in higher education and the community, including a growing base of University Innovation Fellow alumni.

Collaborate across disciplines

Collaborate across disciplines

Fellows form an interdisciplinary team that contributes to high-level projects, collaborates with university leaders, and supports institutional innovation.

Transform ideas into action

Transform ideas into action

Fellows establish and advance relationships with potential partners to create actionable, successful initiatives that serve as demonstration projects to advance ASU's charter and the goal of universal learning.

Influence decisions through calculated research

Influence decisions through calculated research

Fellows enhance their writing skills through the development of research and industry-backed proposals and grant applications.

Discover high impact career pathways

Discover high impact career pathways

Fellows are supported personally and professionally as they launch careers based on transformative thinking about higher education, innovation, and economic opportunity.

Become a Fellow

Where You’ll Work

Fellows work within a distinct entrepreneurial and collaborative office culture; they spend time gaining a better understanding of the role of higher education institutions in serving their communities, as well as developing and advancing innovative new ideas at a rapid pace. In addition, fellows consistently meet and collaborate with ASU students, faculty, staff, and community members to learn more about needs and opportunities within the university and community.


The fellowship is a full-time position (40+ hours per week) with a competitive salary of $55,000-$70,000. Additional university benefits include health insurance, generous vacation and sick leave, paid holidays and reduced tuition. View additional benefits here.

Eligibility and Qualifications

Applications for the University Innovation Fellowship are invited from those who:

  • Are authorized to work in the United States (Applicants must be either a citizen of the United States or be able to maintain work authorization throughout the fellowship. Arizona State University does not offer visa sponsorship to candidates for the fellowship program.)
  • Are able to commit for the entire duration of the program from July 13, 2020 - August 6, 2021.

Successful Candidates

We seek candidates with a passion for innovating in higher education and who wish to utilize their unique talents to advance Arizona State University and its goals of expanding access to educational and economic opportunity. Successful candidates will exhibit the following qualities:

  • Ability to quickly establish working relationships, making connections between people, groups, ideas and organizations
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Possess self-motivation, teamwork-orientation and entrepreneurial spirit
  • Experience identifying problems and designing and launching related initiatives
  • Creative problem-solving skills, learning agility and ability to adapt to change
  • Comfort working with emerging technologies and their economic/social implications
  • Experience in making adjustments to project strategy and implementation
  • Capacity to perform in a fast-paced environment
  • Superior academic achievement

Desired Qualifications

  • Completed any graduate program within the last 7 years or graduating in Spring 2020.

How to Apply


Step 1

For complete instructions, please refer to thePDF icon application Applicants must create a single Adobe Acrobat (.PDF) document that includes the following components in this order:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. Three professional references
  4. Essay response
  5. Writing sample

Application materials should clearly exhibit the qualifications listed in the “Eligibility and Qualifications” section of the application PDF document.

Arizona State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. ASU conducts pre-employment screening which includes a criminal background check, verification of work history, academic credentials, licenses and certifications.

Step 2

Complete the required Fellowship in University Innovation survey. This survey is required to complete your Fellowship application. You will receive an email with the survey link upon completing Step 1.


Applications are now closed for the 2020-2021 University Innovation Fellowship. Please return in January 2021 for information about the 2021-2022 Fellowship. 


Throughout the year, fellows participate in a myriad of projects that vary greatly in purpose and outcome. Through these varied experiences, fellows develop a diverse portfolio, a collaborative mindset and a comprehensive skill set that heightens their career opportunities. Many fellows leverage this experience to create new positions that fill a gap at ASU or another institution.

Alumni of the program held roles following the Fellowship such as:

  • Human Factors Specialist, IDEO, A Design and Innovation Consulting Firm
  • Director, Center for Science and the Imagination, ASU
  • Assistant Chief of Staff, ASU Foundation for a New American University
  • Entrepreneurship Catalyst, Office of University Initiatives, ASU
  • Manager, Sustainability Initiatives and Programs, Global Institute of Sustainability, ASU
  • Manager of Public Partnerships, Teach for America, Phoenix

Caroline Dunn-Rankin

MEd in Higher Education, Harvard University
BA in English; Religion, Vassar College


Pauline Nalumansi

MA in Global Affairs and Management, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University
BA in Accountancy, Arizona State University

Christina Ngo

Christina Ngo

MBA, Arizona State University
MEd in Secondary Education, Arizona State University
BA in Sociology, University of Texas in Austin

Michelle Sullivan Govani

Michelle Sullivan Govani

Ph.D. Biology, Science Policy, Arizona State University
MSc in Biology, Arizona State University
BS in Biology, University of Iowa

Jed Greenberg

Jed Greenberg

MPA, Brown University
BA, Oberlin College & University of Massachusetts

Michelle Villegas Gold

Michelle Villegas-Gold

PhD, Global Health, Arizona State University
MPH, New York University
Master in Counseling, Arizona State University
BA in Psychology, University of Arizona

Lukas Wenrick

Lukas Wenrick

EdM in Higher Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
BA in Social Science Education, Wright State University

Andrew Nelson

Andrew Nelson

EdD, Leadership and Innovation, Arizona State University
MEd in Secondary Education and Teaching, Arizona State University

Post Fellowship: Program Manager, Strategic Network Advancement, Office of University Initiatives

Aya Waller Bey

Aya Waller-Bey

MPhil, Education, University of Cambridge
BA in Sociology, Georgetown University

Post Fellowship: Doctoral Student in Sociology, University of Michigan

Joanna Zimmerman

Joanna Zimmerman

EdM in Technology & Innovation in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
BA in Social Anthropology, Harvard University
BA in Economics, Harvard University

Post Fellowship: Assistant Director, Education for Humanity, EdPlus, ASU

Tunga Lodato

Tunga Lodato

MA, Journalism
BA, Political Science

Post Fellowship: Assistant Director, Office of University Initiatives, ASU

Tamara Webb

Tamara Webb

EdD, International Education Development and Policy Studies
MPA (no concentration)
MA, Anthropology and Education
BA, Interdisciplinary Studies

Post Fellowship: Assistant Director of Global Freshman Academy, EdPlus, ASU

Lindsey Beagley

Lindsey Beagley

MPA, Nonprofit Management
BS, Psychology
BA, Spanish

Post Fellowship: Director of Social Embeddedness, Office of University Initiatives, ASU

Ted Cross

Ted Cross

EdD, Organizational Leadership
MsEd, Urban Education
MA, English
BA, English

Post Fellowship: Deputy Chief of Staff, EdPlus, ASU

Brittney Paulk

Brittney Paulk

MPA, Nonprofit Management
BS, Public Health, Health Care Administration

Post Fellowship: Fellow, University Innovation Alliance, ASU

Madison Sandy

Madison Sandy

PhD, Sociology
MA, Sociology
BA, Sociology

Post Fellowship: Postdoctoral Research Associate, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, ASU

Ray Andrada

Ray Andrada

MA, Political Science
BA, Political Science

Post Fellowship: Special Assistant to the Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, ASU

Michael Meaney

Michael Meaney

MEd, Secondary Education
BS, International Politics

Post Fellowship: Project Manager, Educationa nd Workforce Innovation, Office of University Initatives, ASU

Bethany Weigele

Bethany Weigele

PhD, Molecular Microbiology
BS, Chemistry

Post Fellowship: Director, Lifelong Learning Initiatives, Office of University Initiatives, ASU

Trevor Eagle

MS, Educational Organization and Leadership
BA, Psychology

Post Fellowship: Program Manager, Financial Aid and Scholarship Services, ASU

Jessica Eldridge

MEd, Education
BS, Economics and Marketing

Post Fellowship: Manager of Public Service Initiatives, College of
Public Programs and Office of University Initiatives

Terah Crews

MEd, Higher Education
MA, History
BA, Psychology and History

Post Fellowship: Assistant Chief of Staff, ASU Foundation for A New American University

Melanie Reilly

MEd, Education
BA, Literature

Post Fellowship: Fellow, Education Outreach and Student Services, ASU

Hayfa Aboukier

MEd, Elementary Education
BS, Recreation, Sport and Tourism Management 

Post Fellowship: Manager, Sustainability Initiatives and Programs,
Global Institute of Sustainability, ASU

Ed Finn

PhD, English and American Literature
BA, Comparative Literature

Post Fellowship: Director, Center for Science and the Imagination, ASU

Daniil Gunitskiy

MEd, Secondary Education
BA, Political Science and History

Post Fellowship: Manager of Public Partnerships, Teach For America, Phoenix

Alicia Fremling

MS, Education
BA, Political Science and Spanish

Post Fellowship: Fellow, Washington, D.C., Office of the President, ASU

Nikki Gusz

MEd, Secondary Education
BA, American Studies

Post Fellowship: Innovation Developer, Office of University Initiatives, ASU

“The University Innovation Fellowship provides an ecosystem where you can consider the biggest challenges
in education--and actually do something about them! When you're at a dynamic place like Arizona State University,
you develop the ability to take risks and make a difference. You learn how to change the world around you.”

Audrey Iffert

MA, Communication
BA, Communication 

Post Fellowship: Entrepreneur Catalyst, Office of University Initiatives, ASU

Maggie McGannon

MEd, Education
BA, Political Science and Philosophy 

Post Fellowship: Law student, University of North Carolina School of Law

Chris Meierling

MSD, Design Research
BSD, Industrial Design

Post Fellowship: Human Factors Specialist, IDEO

Samantha Miller

MA, Interdisciplinary Studies
BA, English

Post Fellowship: High School English Teacher, Kelley Educational Services

Jacqueline Smith

Doctor of Law (JD)
BA, Mathematics and Economics 

Post Fellowship: Director of Social Embeddedness, Office of University Initiatives, ASU