Innovate-Wellness logo

Student Health and Wellness, in partnership with the UConn Wellness Coalition and OPIM Innovate, brings together students, staff, and faculty from across campus to work towards one vision: UConn as a thriving, connected campus community that supports the full potential of every student.

Innovate Wellness is a space for students to come together to and, through the design thinking process, develop innovative solutions for health and wellness concerns they see on campus. Students are able to join this process in 3 different ways, submit an idea, join or create teams to work on ideas, or provide feedback for on-going projects. Students are provided mentorship by UConn faculty and staff to develop their skills, build out their ideas, and prototype their innovations on campus during the process.

Light bulbWhat is the Challenge?

The Innovate Wellness Challenge is a case competition that encourages students from diverse backgrounds, majors, and interests to come together to solve some of the most pertinent health and wellness issues on campus through the Design Thinking Process.


GroupWho Can Participate?

Undergraduate Storrs-Main Campus UConn students can join the challenge by registering as a team of 3 or by registering as an individual who will be placed on a team with two other students. Students who do not wish to compete can support the challenge by attending the poster session and voting on student ideas.


Magnify glassHow Does The Challenge Work?

With support from staff and faculty, teams will create, prototype, and pitch their unique ideas to address a specific student health issue.

 


When Does The Challenge Occur?Calendar

The Innovate Wellness Challenge takes place once per academic year.

 


ThinkWhy Should I Compete?

Students are the experts of their experiences and are in the best position to create and develop the interventions that will work best to support the health and wellbeing of UConn students. Each team will have the opportunity to build their skills, resumé, work with students, staff, and faculty, and have the chance to implement solutions.


MoneyIs there a prize?

Yes! The winning team will receive scholarships money along with a chance to secure funding to pilot their idea!

Innovate Wellness Challenge FAQ

What is the Innovate Wellness Challenge? 

Student Health and Wellness, in partnership with the UConn Wellness Coalition and OPIM Innovate, brings together students, staff, and faculty from across campus to work towards one vision: UConn as a thriving, connected campus community that supports the full potential of every student. The Innovate Wellness Challenge is a case competition that encourages students from diverse backgrounds, majors, and interests to come together to solve some of the most pertinent health and wellness issues on campus through the Design Thinking Process. 

What is the Design Thinking Process? 

Design Thinking is a human-centered approach to solving challenges. One of the most common methodologies to design thinking is the 5-phase model. Empathize. Define. Ideate. Prototype. Test. This model will be used to facilitate idea development throughout the Innovate Wellness Challenge.  

Who Can Participate:  

Undergraduate Storrs-Main Campus UConn students can join the challenge by registering as a team of 3 or by registering as an individual who will be placed on a team with two other students. Students who do not wish to compete can support the challenge by attending the poster session and voting on student ideas. All students are welcome to participate in the Innovate Wellness Challenge Workshops.  

When Does the Challenge Occur?  

The Innovate Wellness Challenge takes place once per academic year. Please see the detailed schedule of events outlined below for more information and specific dates.

How Does the Challenge Work:  

With support from staff and faculty, teams will create, prototype, and pitch their unique ideas to address a specific student health issue. There are two competition rounds, workshops, and mentoring sessions.  

What Happens in the Competition Rounds? 

Round 1 is a poster presentation. Teams will create a poster using a template provided. These posters will be displayed and presented. Each team will also present a 5-minute pitch of their idea to a panel of student judges. Students and judges will vote on each pitch, and the top teams will move on to the finals. The top teams will select which idea from the poster presentations that they want to focus on and then work with staff and faculty to create a prototype. The teams will work with staff and faculty to create a plan for testing their prototype. Depending on feasibility and quality of idea, the top team or more than one team may have the opportunity to work with staff to implement their idea. 

What Will be Covered in the Workshops and Mentoring Sessions?  

There are a series of workshops that are open to all students who are interested in learning more about various components of innovation from budgeting to presentation skills. Innovate Wellness Challenge Teams should attend these workshops. After the workshop, Innovate Wellness Challenge Teams will work with faculty, staff, and peers on developing and refining their ideas.  

What is the Targeted Health Issue? 

The specific health issue will be announced closer to the challenge registration deadline.

Why Should I Compete?  

Students are the experts of their experiences and are in the best position to create and develop the interventions that will work best to support the health and wellbeing for themselves and their peers. Each team will have the opportunity to build their skills, resumé, work with students, staff, and faculty, and have the chance to implement solutions. 

Is there a Prize? 

Yes! The winning team will receive $1500 in scholarships along with a chance to secure funding to pilot your idea! 

What are Examples of Previous Innovate Wellness Challenge Winners? 

Previous winners include: The Holistic Huskies podcast & Wellness Points.  

 

Innovate Wellness Challenge 2022 Topic

As a UConn community, we are all responsible for each other’s health and wellbeing to be a thriving, connected campus community, which supports the full potential of every student. Health and wellbeing should always be a focal and foundational pillar, and we are all tasked with recognizing and tackling this charge. Everyone can do their part to ensure that each student succeeds and thrives during their time at UConn and beyond.     

Health is more than just the absence of illness and disease; health and wellness are multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment. Both our individual and collective community health is unique, dynamic, and complex, which requires unique, dynamic, and complex approaches.  

The reason a program like the Innovate Wellness Challenge was started on this campus was to create a culture in which students' voices and ideas were not just heard but developed and implemented. Students themselves can provide a fresh and innovative approach on how to tackle these multifaceted problems.   

This year’s Innovate Wellness Challenge asks students to think and develop how we can come together and holistically address the following question:   

How can UConn as a whole, improve accessibility and delivery of its services to address the wellbeing of the campus community? 

Innovate Wellness Challenge Spring 2022 Schedule of Events

REGISTRATION
What: All Innovate Wellness Challenge Team participants are registered and confirmed.  
When: Monday, February 21- Monday, March 7, 2022.  
Where: Register Here 

KICK-OFF EVENT & WORKSHOP #1
What: Innovate Wellness Kick-Off Event & Workshop #1 
When: Tuesday, March 8th, 2022, from 5:00-7:00 pm.  
Where: Wilson Hall 126 

WORKSHOP #2
What: Innovate Wellness Challenge Workshop #2 
When: Tuesday, March 22, 2022, from 5:00-7:00 pm 
Where: Wilson Hall 126 

POSTER PRESENTATION
What: Innovate Challenge Poster Presentation 
When: Thursday, March 31, 2022, from 5:00-7:00 pm 
Where: Wilson Hall 126, 112, & 113 

WORKSHOP #3
What: Innovate Wellness Challenge Workshop #3 
When: Tuesday, April 5, 2022, from 5:00-7:00 pm 
Where: Wilson Hall 126 

CHALLENGE FINALS! 
What: Innovate Wellness Challenge Finals 
When: Tuesday, April 12, 2022. Teams will be scheduled for their presentations.  
Where: Wilson Hall 126 

Meet the Innovate Wellness Team

Suzanne Onorato, Ph.D., Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness  

Karen McComb, M.S., Director of Health Promotion & Community Impact  

Jonathan Moore, MBA, Academic Director of Management Information Systems  

Kenna Grant, M.S., Health Promotion Manager  

Paula Kalksma McDowell, M.S., Health Promotion Project Coordinator 

Thomas Isleib, Innovate Wellness Intern  

Amanda Kilyk, Innovate Wellness Intern 

Richmond Le, Innovate Wellness Intern 

Lauren Solla, Innovate Wellness Intern 

Design Thinking Process

Design Thinking is a human-centered approach to solving challenges. One of the most common methodologies to design thinking is the 5 phase model. Empathize. Define. Ideate. Prototype. Test. This model will be used to facilitate idea development throughout the Innovate Wellness Challenge. More information to come at the Challenge Kick-Off.

empathize

target logo

Ideate

Prototype logo

test logo

Empathize

Gain an understanding of the problem.

Define

Analyze to determine the problem.

Ideate

Challenge assumptions and create ideas.

Prototype

Start to create and develop solutions.

Test

Try and evaluate your solutions.

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