Working Together

My Curriculum Development work at Furman has led me to explore L&D/OD (Learning & Development/Organizational Development) recently, since I believe this is an overarching solution where my current efforts fit in as a modest part.

Sukh Pabial is an occupational psychologist and 13-year veteran of L&D who has worked in retail broadcasting, digital marketing, and other positions in the United Kingdom. The blog I’m sharing here is one from his own L&D company—it’s a great place to find posts about unconscious bias, ways to approach the narrative surrounding digital learning tools’ usefulness, and more.

A thorough and engaging blog in L&D/OD that I would suggest YOU read!

Challenging Frontiers

I mean it’s all fine having a website that informs people about what your business is about, but unless people are finding the site, then you may as well put a poster on a lamppost and hope for the best.

So I’ve decided I’m going to just write a post which outlines what work you might like to get me involved with. There’s wide ranging stuff here, so let’s get to it.

L&D / OD Strategy

Unsurprisingly a main tenet of the work I want to be involved with is in the development of L&D / OD strategy for companies. There is a lot of debate and talk about various aspects of learning, development, technology, systems, engagement strategies, and all that comes with those debates. I can help bring insight to those discussions and facilitate sessions on the same.

My experience in L&D informs me that there are a few…

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My Idea After The Retreat Looks Like… (Part 1)

I have spent 1 year and a half exploring what entrepreneurship is. Now I’m glad to announce that I finally have an entrepreneurial plan for my home campus.

For people who know me well, hands-on learning is my true passion. Short experiential workshops boost my confidence and serve as a good mentality break from academics for me, while I can still learn necessary soft skills and interaction with people.

After the Southeastern Regional Meetup in downtown Greenville last year, I have counted on the positive effects that experiential education has on students and attempted to propose an “action/actionable” class (based on the model of the IPRO program in Illinois Tech) into our curriculum. I talked to a good number of faculty members including the President, recorded and studied their feedbacks, and sought potential stakeholders for the idea.

Mr. Mike Winiski, our curriculum developer, was caught by the idea and has committed to it until now. We share the same vision to tackle the passive learning, risk-averse culture we are seeing on the curriculum. Very good news right here: his efforts were paid off by the presidential approval of the first “action” class – Design for Social Change II in May Experience Program 2016. I am now aiming to prototype trial models of the course, ideally some pop-up classes, next Spring 2016.

“Given the flexibility that pop-ups offer in terms of format, pedagogy and topics, you can create ones that tap into students’ particular passions and needs, be that learning how to use soldering equipment or 3D printers. But let’s not stop with the students! Instructors often get jazzed about sharing their own personal passions and learning alongside students by serving as a facilitator. For some instructors, that’s compensation enough.”

– Professor Joseph Tranquillo from Bucknell University.

I brought that vision to this Sullivan Social Entrepreneurship Fall Retreat with hope to gain more design thinking tools and networking strategies. After three workshops today, I totally redefined my MVP, customers, values, channels etc.

(To be continued).


Sullivan Fall Retreat – Networking Day

Amazing, amazing stories that I had the chance to hear from my peers and my speakers today! 100 people were swarming all over Gooch Main – Camp Kanuga in some fun warm-ups. I’m existed to share the profiles of our facilitators – all of them in the creative field:

Photo: Our facilitators in super rainbowy costumes #IgniteRetreat

My favorite part: our trial of pitching business ideas, seeking business partners and support from experts. Our group pitched an idea about a free business consultation firm with a cohort of mentors. Easy as it was to come up with ideas, we struggled to draw supporters in. That would be when the community building skill comes into play in one of the workshops. All in all, I think the facilitators effectively prepared us a curious mindset before the workshops tomorrow. More excitingly, I have found a model for our entrepreneurial efforts at Furman – Berea College. The college is among those that successfully integrate entrepreneurship studies and creative solutions into the credit-based curriculum: the Entrepreneurship for the Public Good (EPG) department. I room with some students who are actively involved in advocating innovation and entrepreneurship in the school. Minashsha Zareel Lamisa and Ishwar Agarwal, two members of the EPG, share with me different projects that they work on that foster professional idea exchange. Two of the projects are:

  • Provide a stage for students to pitch ideas and get consultations from local business experts, and
  • Assist local businesses in Appalachia in summer programs.

Overall, their projects are precisely what I vision for the DIN at Furman in the near future. My following posts, therefore, will discuss these EPG students’ insights on entrepreneurship and innovation efforts in their school (besides the Sullivan workshops). I can see how a case study of this department would provide actionable steps that UI Fellows at Furman can take in the near future. Anyway, don’t miss out the fun – follow us #igniteretreat on Twitter!

Photo of Furman fellows by Ben Riddle: While from worlds apart, we find ourselves together in pursuit of truth. // #haiku #igniteretreat #uifellows #furman #onefurman #socent #kanuga.

Founded in 1934, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation has been dedicated to the cause of helping people in trouble and opening up idea exchange, closing-the-gap opportunities. The Ignite Fall Retreat is a 3-day event with exciting workshops, activities and opportunities to connect with a tribe of like-minded, entrepreneurial individuals.

Back to Social Entrepreneurship!

It has been half a year – where have we all been?

For me, I well spent the last few months for traveling, meeting people, observing SEs in my hometown Hanoi, Vietnam. I interned as a market researcher for a startup called Slide Factory – the first Presentation Design agency in Vietnam to provide training, consultation, and service in Persuasive Presentation & Design Thinking.

8 countries in Europe was my destination; I love how art history and architecture in different countries distinguish but interlink! I love the European vibe: richly cultural and traditional.


Berlin, Germany – German wine is exceptionally good, especially in Munich


Oops, a little dark because it was cloudy, but here is my spirit at Amsterdam Holland!


Amsterdam – very charming with canal houses and gabled facades

Coming back to Furman, I have been proceeding with my personal goal to integrate credited project-based classes related to Public Engagement into the school curriculum. With Mr. Mike Winiski, my effort paid off – a new version of the course “Design for Social Change” MXP-160 approved by our President! Check out for more information and sign up NOW if you’re interested!

I’m pleased to announce that I’m going to the Sullivan Social Entrepreneurship in Hendersonville, NC this weekend with two UI Fellows – Kudakwashe Chinyama and Benjamin James Riddle (mentioned a lot in my previous posts).

The weekend is split into 3 tracks that are designed to meet the needs of different participants:

Personal Development Track: Designed for first-time participants who want to better understand their skills and passions, build self-confidence, and explore the mindset of a social entrepreneur.

Skills Training Track: Designed for returning participants and those who want to gain some concrete skills and tools to use on their ideas, including how to map the needs of a community and how to take the first steps towards launching a project or venture.

Open Garage Track: This track is an open space for participants to suggest new topics and workshops that they would like to explore more deeply. Facilitators will be on call to work with these participants and co-lead, but the time is designed to allow participants to take ownership over specific outcomes they would like to get from the retreat. During this time, facilitators will also be available to coach students and teams who have a specific project, venture or campus initiative that they would like to advance.

With my current project at Furman, I will be most likely to attend the 1st and 3rd sessions, but we will see!

Follow us HERE to get updated about the conference and our experience! And please connect with me through my LinkedIn and Twitter, thank you!

Change Agents Activated

Dream. Design. Deliver.

Students take the lead in the evolution of higher education at the University Innovation Fellows 2015 Annual Meetup. Originally posted via Epicenter

by Laurie Moore

At 8:00 pm on Saturday, February 21, the second day of the University Innovation Fellows 2015 Annual Meetup was drawing to a close. Nearly 160 Fellows from across the U.S. had just participated in a 12-hour day of activities at Stanford University, including a one-hour movement workshop, a self-guided tour of campus to discover innovation spaces, and a four-hour, five-session circuit of experiential activities.

They should have been tired.

Instead, they sang karaoke together. They danced. They played basketball outside in the warm (to the East Coasters) evening air. They made s’mores around a fire pit and told their favorite stories from the day. They took selfies and gathered in small groups to learn more about one another and their schools. When the buses…

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123 U.S. Students Named University Innovation Fellows by NSF-Funded Epicenter

Dream. Design. Deliver.

For Immediate Release
February 24, 2015

Media contact:
Laurie Moore
Communications Manager, Epicenter
(650) 561-6113

123 U.S. Students Named University Innovation Fellows by NSF-Funded Epicenter

(February 24, 2015) — 123 students from 51 U.S. higher education institutions have been named University Innovation Fellows by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter).

The University Innovation Fellows program empowers students to become agents of change at their schools. The Fellows are a national community of students in engineering and related fields who work to ensure that their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to compete in the economy of the future. To accomplish this, the Fellows advocate for lasting institutional change and create opportunities for students to engage with entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, design thinking and venture creation at their schools.

This new cohort of Fellows brings the total number to 291 Fellows from 114 schools. The program…

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[UIF Annual Meetup 2015] Blog Post by a Late Fellow!

After 6 weeks of training, I am proudly announcing that I am now an official fellow of the University Innovation Fellows organization, sister org of Epicenter and!

During the 6 weeks, we have been accustomed to two new approaches of Design Thinking and Lean Startup, which serve as a tool to bolster critical thinking and implementational motivation for education. We have been given assignment that involves a comprehensive survey of our campus resources, interviews with potential stakeholders of your own project, and a business canvas. All is based on our desire to change one or some facets of teaching and learning that leads to changes in the campus ecosystem.

Trust me when I say the learning experience is totally personal. I could make track of my own progress and, nice thing, received assistance from current fellows on campus, Ben Riddle and Tyler Higgins.

Now that we finished our training and became official, new fellows have a chance to merge up with current fellows and the UIF, Epicenter organizers for a directly experimental designing experience (By design, we mean a plan or protocol for carrying out or accomplishing a task, which may or may not contain aesthetic).



First day #uifellows spirit – Photos by Ben Riddle

It’s 3 AM now in San Jose, and guess what, we will be heading to the Google Garage in 6 hours! I’m truly excited for mind-blowing experience ahead in this trip.

Keep posted with our journey at #uifellows on Facebook/Twitter!

First day #uifellows spirit – Photo by Bradley Dice, current UI Fellow

A Trip to Georgia Tech

Dream. Design. Deliver.

Amin Mojtahedi,  UW Milwaukee Amin Mojtahedi, UW Milwaukee

This article was written by Amin Mojtahedi, a University Innovation Fellow Candidate at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Amin is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Architecture and was visiting the Georgia Tech campus for one week at the end of January. See his full bio here

As part of an architectural study for Georgia Tech (GT), I had the chance to spend the entire last week on the GT campus exploring places related to the landscape of innovation and entrepreneurship

Georgia Tech Invention Studio Georgia Tech Invention Studio

(I&E). One of my most memorable visits was to the Invention Studio at the Manufacturing Related Disciplines Complex where Alexis, a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering, gave me a comprehensive tour of the facility. The Invention Studio was a student-run maker space where the opportunity for students to design, prototype and share was provided through workshops, experienced…

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10-4 Good City: “Make Westview apartments hub for Arts and Entrepreneurship.”

Last night on January 26, Open Works downtown Greenville has hosted an event by 10-4 Good City about housing redevelopment in the West Greenville (where Scott Towers imploded one year ago). The 90 minute event was planned and facilitated by Ben Riddle of Furman University, Harlan Lovestone of Art Haus Greenville, and Cindi Herrera of the Housing Authority, Greenville local government.

10-4 Good City is a hub for social entrepreneurs in Greenville, SC. It holds monthly talks on topics that concern the Greenville community and brings up opportunities for social entrepreneurs and local artists to tackle.

10-4 Good City – a hub for social entrepreneurs in Greenville, SC

The Open Works space invoked the feeling of newness, innovation, and creativity with bright walls and contrasts with low key paintings on the walls. I had the chance to interview one woman named Caroline Harnish who had some of her paintings hung on Open Works, and she was open to share the art of wall murals as well as her experience in painting in churches from Europe to here in Greenville.

The event came out as friendly, communal atmosphere with casual conversations among local people. There were a diversity of individuals attending from local entrepreneurs like Phillip McCreight and Anthony Miller in Beer & Napkins, to artists like Caroline or Julie Hughes Shabkie.

At 7 PM, the talk began with Ben grabbing people’s attention, and introducing the topic and the speakers, Harlan Lovestone and Cindi Hererra. Ben kicked off the conversation with thought-provoking questions: “What if public housing was the talk of the town, for all the right reasons? How might we make the Westview apartments a place where people are empowered through art and entrepreneurship?”

Ben Riddle introducing the event and the speakers

Harlan Lovestone is one of Art Haus‘s founders. He is a visual artist and multi-media artist who has exhibited regionally in various parts of the United States. He is leading the Green Haus Project in Greenville with the belief that art is an important aspect of humanity for its ability to be used to educate, as therapy, and for community improvement.

Cindi Hererra, an interim director of the Greenville Housing Authority (GHA), is the consultant of the Brookhaven and Westview redevelopment. According to Cindi, the site would be redeveloped into homes for families and affordable housing units for seniors.


Harlan discussing the topic with his group.


Cindi presenting the redevelopment plan.

Most importantly, people gather in the event to help brainstorm ways to make the project a model for creative community transformation. That way, a community art space will be cultivated and tied with non-artist residents.

There were some questions raised during the Q&A session:

  • Can they make space available for non-residents?
  • Will this lead to the loosening of the definition of “artist”?
  • Do people need to have a portfolio to be able to join?

Taken inspiration from where she lived, Chicago, Cindi brought up the idea of wall murals for this rebuilt site. She said, this new community will be available for mixed-income people, not only for low-income people. The space will also welcome people from different races or ethnicities.

Photos from the event

It remains unknown, however, that this newly-assembled studio whether serves as a space for local reputed artists to do artworks or as a stimulant for emerging artists to join in. Further discussions will be updated in 104good.

Here are some other photos of the event:

First time hosting Merit Badge University

Yesterday on January 24, Alpha Eta Nu chapter has partnered with Clemson University to host the first Merit Badge University. We were also honored to receive instruction and consultancy from Mr. Lower, a representative of the national chapter.

We started contacting local boy scouts one month before the event, set up the room and went through teaching materials. At 8, brothers of our chapter gathered at Furman Hall to get ready for students to come in.

There were 4 classes: 2 Communications classes, Citizenship and the Nation and Personal Fitness. There were roughly 15-20 scouts per class.




Among our brothers who teach the classes, brother Sophie Gay was the most important co-ordinator by working with Russell Buchanan, advisor from Clemson University to handle paperwork. A few other brothers were in charge of monitoring.

Most of the brothers, however, took the fun task of teaching. Here are some photos during the lectures.





The course Personal Fitness was very amusing. The scouts were taken to the labs in the PAC. They really enjoyed it!

During lunch break, we got pizza while the scouts ate their lunches brought from home. Some people even gave up a few guest swipes at the Dining Hall for scouts who forgot to bring their food.

Overall, it was such a rewarding experience for brothers of Alpha Eta Nu chapter and for the boy scouts!