Student Spotlight

Brandman Ed.D candidates win Innovation Tournament

January 23, 2017 by Brandman University
Tournament winners

2017 Innovation Tournament winners from Riverside.

From our childhood, most of us can look at a cardboard box and can see so much more than just a vessel to ship items: it can be a fort, a rocket or a boat.

Put it in the hands of a Brandman Doctorate of Education in organizational leadership (Ed.D.) candidate, and it becomes an education tool.

Or a bed.

Or a pair of shoes.

Or a child’s companion.

These are among the life-changing creations brought to life by more than 100 Ed.D. students at Brandman University’s 2017 Innovation Tournament.

In the fall, these students are provided an ordinary object and a mission:  “Change the world by creating the most value possible.”

The common object this year: a cardboard box from Amazon. This year’s winners transformed them into a water conservation tool, the “Amazon Lilly Pad.” Manuel J. Armendarez, Hayley Ashby, Patricia G. Avila, Tonya K. Davis, Jennifer A. Thomasian and Kristina Zaragoza all from Riverside, California, beat out 21 other student-led teams.

“In today’s world with everything going on, you have to think big. You have to think differently. You have to be innovative if you want to be successful,” Zaragoza said. “That’s what Brandman’s all about. Teaching people how to be successful and bringing people along the way with you.”

The tournament is part of Brandman University’s Taste of Immersion program, and is adapted from Stanford’s Global Innovation Tournament and You Innovate! hosted nationally by the Canadian Business Foundation. The Doctorate of Education in organizational leadership program is transformational for education, business, health care and government leaders and gives them the opportunity to practice entrepreneurship, build teamwork, leadership and creativity skills, and engage in friendly competition.

Amazon, which donated the boxes for this year’s competition, enjoyed seeing how Brandman’s Ed.D. candidates transformed the boxes.

“At Amazon we love innovative ideas! The projects produced by the students at Brandman University were very impressive with both their creativity and their applicability. Everything from providing a place to study for disadvantaged kids to creating shoes for those in need has inspired us to explore more ideas of how the Amazon box can improve the lives of people in our own communities and beyond,” said Trent Huntington, Amazon’s project manager for Sustainability-Waste Minimization.

To see what other groups created out of their cardboard boxes, check out this video.

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