Happy Holidays! As the semester is culminating and our students are finishing up their fall exams, it is nice to look back and give thanks to all of those from across Vanderbilt’s campus and the Nashville community who helped make the our first year in operation such a success.
From all of Vanderbilt’s Schools and their respective Centers on campus including Turner Family Center, Owen Entrepreneur Center, Office of Active Citizenship and Service, Center for Technology Transfer & Collaboration, and VU Career Services just to name a few, we are grateful to have collaborated throughout the last year in further creating an environment on campus that has enabled innovation, entrepreneurship, invention, and creativity to flourish. Your help and teamwork were essential as we launched the Wond’ry and translated an idea into a reality.
I would like to thank the Wond’ry Staff, Mentors, and Student Ambassadors for their incredible effort, dedication, and passion. They make coming to work a joy and their tireless commitment to the Wond’ry has helped our programs thrive. I had a vision when we launched the Wond’ry over a year ago to create an epicenter where all academic disciplines converge to explore, create, make, and partner to develop solutions that improve the way we live. With 26,000+ visitors having now come through our space since our Grand Opening, I feel that we are well on our way to achieving this goal.
Yet we are far from satisfied. The spring semester will be ripe with new programs, events, and activities that further foster this innovation culture. Look to our upcoming newsletters and the Wond’ry website for updates about how you can get involved. We will continue to catalyze our community and look forward to working with you to achieve your goals.
We wish you a safe and restful holiday season full of joy and happiness.
Evans Family Executive Director of the Wond’ry
the Wond’ry Team:
Ambassadors Olivia Steinmetz and Alexa Levitt Win KPMG Pitch Contest
The KPMG International Case Competition (KICC) came to Vanderbilt on Friday, November 10th, to give students the opportunity to showcase agile thinking and prove that they are ready to embark on a successful career in consulting. Wond’ry Ambassadors, Olivia Steinmetz and Alexa Levitt, along with their two other teammates, Amanda Youman and Lara Goldstein, formed team Women In Consulting (WIC), and were presented by KPMG with a complex business challenge to solve and present to their hypothetical international client within a 48-hour time span. WIC took first place in the Vanderbilt competition and are heading to the semifinal round in Dallas this coming January! There, they will be competing with talented students from across the region, gaining valuable insight into what it’s like to work with clients. If they progress to the top of their national case competition in New York, they will be on their way to an all-expenses-paid trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the 2018 international final.
I-Corps Program Interest Form Available
Have a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) idea? Developed a technology in the lab that you think has commercial potential? Looking for funding and mentorship?
If so, visit our webpage to learn more. The Vanderbilt I-Corps site program provides up to $2300 in funding and an opportunity to apply for the National I-Corps program, which provides $50K in funding and increased success rates for those applying for SBIR/STTR grants.
the Wond’ry Spotlight:
Meet Phyllis Johnson- Hastac Scholar
Hi, everyone! I’m Phyllis Johnson, and I am a PhD Student in the Anthropology Department at Vanderbilt. I am really excited to be the new HASTAC Scholar with the Wond’ry! I have experience with digital archaeological methodologies, and I am especially excited to expand my digital expertise both within and outside archaeology and to contribute to projects with the Wond’ry team.
I am an Ohio native, but I have strong roots in Tennessee, and still yet, I consider Louisville, Kentucky my home. After receiving my MA in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, I took a job in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, working as an Archaeologist and Project Manager for a Cultural Resource Management firm. During my 5 years as a Project Manager, I was primarily responsible for designing and managing archaeological projects in Kentucky and Tennessee. I was also involved in several volunteer archaeological organizations, such as Living Archaeology Weekend, where I educated elementary students on how archaeologists study stone tools that were made and used by Native Americans. At Vanderbilt, I have also taught archaeology courses for the Program for Talented Youth.
When I am not working on my research, I enjoy spending time with my husband, three children, and our Chihuahua. I especially enjoy reading books, attending concerts, and watching movies with my family.
In the News:
Highlights from Recent Events:
THATCamp: the unconference
In partnership with the Center for Teaching, Curb Center, Robert Penn Warren Center, Institute for Digital Learning, and Center for Digital Humanities, the Wond’ry hosted this year’s THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp). Over 30 participants, attended this 2-day event where the schedule was decided by the participants following the opening lecture and based solely around the interest areas of those in the room. It was a very unique and innovative event, a true ‘un-Conference’, that we were fortunate to be a part of and help lead in conjunction with our partners.
Creative Writing Workshop One Object, Many Stories
The Wond’ry hosted a Creative Writing seminar on Nov. 16th as part of the Ingram Commons’ Immersion Pathways program. Andrew Maraniss, Visiting Innovator at the Wond’ry and Visiting Author at the Commons, hosted the session along with Dr. Kate Brooks, executive director of the Vanderbilt Career Center. Students used an artifact (a hat worn to VU basketball games that was included in Strong Inside) as inspiration to craft a poem, short story, or other creative writing endeavor. These first year students crafted some incredible works of fiction, which will be turned into an e-book. Andrew and Kate are looking forward to hosting another creative writing workshop in the spring.
DIVE Boot Camp at the Wond’ry
The Wond’ry hosted the final DIVE Boot Camp for the fall semester on Nov. 12. It was themed around assistive technologies. Signal Centers (Chattanooga, TN), a non-profit assistive technology company, sponsored a disability simulation lab that served as a platform to engage participants in the empathy phase of design thinking. To make the boot camp meaningful to the participants and Signal Centers, the representative from Signal Centers presented two challenges from current clients for participants to brainstorm solutions and prototype. In all we had 25 participants (students, staff and faculty) from all corners of campus.
Wond’ry Hosts Wikimedian-in-Residence Alice White
On November 11th, the Wond’ry in partnership with the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries hosted a Wikipedia edit-a-thon focusing on increasing public awareness and coverage of outstanding women scientists. Participants heard an engaging lecture from Wikimedian-in-residence, Alice White of the Wellcome Library in London and then put their new Wikimedia knowledge to work updating articles, improving citations, and creating new pages for notable women scientists.
Wond’ry Buzzing With Game Creation
The Global Game Jam® (GGJ) is the world’s largest game jam event (game creation) taking place around the world at physical locations. Think of it as a hackathon focused on game development. The Wond’ry will host this amazing weekend, again this year. The weekend will stir a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It will all be condensed into a 48 hour development cycle. The GGJ encourages people with all kinds of backgrounds to participate and contribute to this global spread of game development and creativity. Register now to join the fun– January 26-28, 2018 at the Wond’ry.
Wond’ry Hosts Hampton Roads Chamber
The Wond’ry hosted board members of the Hampton Roads (Virginia) Chamber of Commerce for a tour of the facility.The Chamber team visited Nashville to learn about best practices in developing a city into a thriving metropolis. The tour followed panel discussions and an idea generation session at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, where Robert Grajewski, Evans Family Executive Director of the Wond’ry, was a panel member.
Our Pillar Programs:
In the Innovation Garage, an array of corporate and non-profit sponsors partner with Vanderbilt student and faculty teams on cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary projects. The goal of this program is to identify disruptive and innovative solutions that improve industry all while providing unique opportunities for students to build their skills via real-world problem solving.
For aspiring Vanderbilt entrepreneurs, the Wond’ry offers a 10-week PreFlight program that provides the foundational knowledge needed to successfully identify and assess ideas for a quality for profit or non-profit venture. This program is now a part of Vanderbilt’s I-Corps Site program for STEM entrepreneurs that provides micro-grant funding from the NSF and access to the National I-Corps program. PostFlight is a 9-week program aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs that have already completed customer discovery and market validation and are ready to learn the steps needed to launch a venture.
The Social Entrepreneurship Program is assisting students with opportunities to develop for-profit social enterprises that tackle important societal problems like food deserts, lack of healthy food options, food waste, and the eradication of poverty through entrepreneurship, which if successful can be adopted into full scale programs and potential partnerships with nonprofit and government organizations
From artist/music exhibits and speaker series to hackathons and business plan competitions, the Wond’ry hosts workshops, speakers and events that cater to an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.
Past Versions of News from the Wond’ry:
To view past versions of News from the Wond’ry, please visit our website: