A conversation with:
Holly Golecki, Jenny Amos

The Impact of Coulter College

Welcome to the med+Design podcast! In this insightful episode, we delve deep into the heart of medical innovation and education, focusing on Coulter College. Coulter College, hosted annually by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and the Biomedical Engineering Society, has become a cornerstone for budding medical innovators. It guides young academic researchers through the multifaceted journey of translating their learnings into innovations and real-world solutions. Today, we are honored to have with us two distinguished guests from the University of Illinois, Professor Jenny Amos and Professor Holly Golecki, who have played pivotal roles in shaping Coulter College and the field of biomedical engineering.

Exploring the Essence of Coulter College

Coulter College is a unique and transformative event that equips both faculty and students with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to become successful medical innovators. By fostering a culture of innovation, the program empowers participants to think beyond traditional boundaries and embrace a human-centered design approach. Coulter College stands out for its just-in-time learning experience, where senior undergraduate students attend the event right before starting their capstone projects. This timing allows them to apply their learnings immediately and have a more effective and exciting senior year.

The Faculty Perspective: Shaping the Future

For faculty members like Professors Jenny Amos and Holly Golecki, Coulter College offers an opportunity to network, gain insights into the latest trends and teaching methodologies, and develop innovative approaches to capstone projects. The program encourages faculty to explore interdisciplinary collaborations, engage external stakeholders, and share their educational innovations with peers from other universities. The faculty sessions at Coulter College facilitate the exchange of ideas and inspire instructors to enhance the learning experience for their students back at their home institutions.

The Role of the Biomedical Engineering Society 

BMES plays a pivotal role in supporting Coulter College and the field of biomedical engineering as a whole. As the home society for bioengineers, BMES brings together industry professionals, academics, and medical school representatives to share cutting-edge research, discuss future workforce education, and foster collaboration. 

Coulter College has become a platform for bioengineering communities to unite, irrespective of their academic or professional backgrounds. Their annual meeting and Coulter College itself allow participants to broaden their perspectives, enhance their educational approaches, and stay updated with the latest trends in the industry.

The Impact of Coulter College: Stories of Success

Coulter College has left a lasting impact on the participants, creating confident and innovative leaders in the biomedical engineering field. Alumni of Coulter College have gone on to implement their ideas, transform healthcare practices, and pursue advanced degrees or medical careers. The program has instilled in them a mindset of innovation, collaboration, and patient-centered design thinking. Through their continued efforts to share their experiences with their peers and implement the lessons learned, they contribute to the legacy of Coulter College.

The Future of Coulter College

As we stand at a pivotal moment for Coulter College, the possibilities for its future are exciting. While the original grant from the Coulter Foundation has ended, discussions and planning are underway to ensure the program's continuation. With the feedback and input from academics, partners, and funders, Coulter College aims to evolve and adapt. The future may involve rotating host locations, program modifications, and renewed collaborations to meet the evolving needs of the medical innovation landscape.

The Bottom Line

Coulter College remains a beacon for medical innovation and education, shaping the future of biomedical engineering through its transformative experiences for faculty and students. By emphasizing human-centered design, interdisciplinary collaborations, and real-world applications, the program equips participants with the skills and mindset needed to navigate the complexities of the medical landscape. As we look ahead, the legacy of Coulter College continues to inspire and cultivate the next generation of medical innovators who will redefine the boundaries of healthcare.

If you're passionate about medical innovation and eager to share your ideas, Coulter College could be the ideal platform for you. Stay tuned for updates on the program and be prepared to embark on a transformative journey that will shape your future in medical engineering.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Jared: Hello, and welcome to another insightful episode of the med+Design podcast. As always, our mission is to bridge the gap between you and the groundbreaking stories, ideas, and personalities that are redefining the medical landscape. Today, we're diving deep into the heart of medical innovation and education, focusing on an event that has become a cornerstone for budding medical innovators, Coulter College.

This annual event hosted by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and the Biomedical Engineering Society is a beacon for young academic researchers guiding them through the multi faceted journey of translating their learnings into innovations and real world solutions. To shed light on this transformative event, we're honored to have with us two distinguished guests from the University of Illinois, both of whom have played a pivotal role in shaping Coulter College and the broader field of biomedical engineering, Professor Jenny Amos and Professor Holly Golecki.

Together we'll explore the essence of Coulter College, the challenges and triumphs faced by its participants, and the broader implications for the future of medical innovation. We'll also delve into their personal journeys, their visions, and the invaluable lessons they've learned along the way. So let's get started.

Welcome, Jenny and Holly. Happy to have you with us.

[00:01:08] Jenny: Thank you. Thank you.

[00:01:10] Jared: And we'll just get started with Jenny. So if you could talk to us about the programs you're running at the University of Illinois and in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Biomedical Translational Sciences.

[00:01:21] Jenny: Sure. Absolutely. So I've been with the University of Illinois and the Department of Bioengineering for about 15 years now. And when I first started, I was really focused on undergraduate education and taught our senior design which now Holly will talk about because she teaches that. And I recently, about three years ago, became the director of our Master of Engineering and Bioengineering program.

And it's a really unique program that brings in students from all different backgrounds. So some bioengineering, some other engineering degrees, and some non engineering degrees, and puts them through a one year intensive program where they get to work on capstone projects with our undergraduates, but as the project manager.

So really helping to organize and lead in medical innovation and they also take business courses at the same time. So really kind of bolstering their career and moving them up the ladder. And then in the biomedical translational sciences, that's one of the units in Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

And for that unit, what I do is actually work more with the faculty and help them to develop their careers as professionals. So a little less with the students, a little bit more on the faculty facing side.

[00:02:34] Jared: Got it. Wonderful. And then Holly, if you could talk to us about some of the programs you're involved in at the University of Illinois.

[00:02:40] Holly: Yes, absolutely. So I am a material scientist by training who then became interested in applying materials inside the body. And so that's how I got into the biomedical engineering space. And now I'm teaching faculty at the University of Illinois in bioengineering, primarily focusing on capstone for the undergraduates.

And so I've worked with Jenny and other colleagues in our department over the past number of years to adapt that program to really bring in external stakeholders, collaborate with other programs, like Jenny mentioned, the M Eng program and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine capstone to really provide an authentic experience for our students to do biomedical design.

[00:03:25] Jared: Wonderful. And so now one of the backers of culture college is the biomedical engineering society. And so for the folks that are listening in that they're not really as familiar with BMES, what is it and, how does it really contribute to the field of biomedical engineering as a whole?

[00:03:40] Jenny: Sure, so I can take that one. So the Biomedical Engineering Society is our home society as bioengineers, and so it brings together industry as well as people in academics, so universities and medical schools to share breaking research trends, to talk about educating future workforce, anything that really is about the field of bioengineering happens through BMES.

And a lot of that activity happens at the annual meeting, which happens every October, but we also have events throughout the year, including webinars. And then of course the Coulter College, which is one of the events that BMES has been involved in putting on for almost 10 years now.

[00:04:23] Jared: Wonderful. Yeah. We just spoke to John Falcioni and I didn't realize that meeting is 4500 people.

This is not a small meeting whatsoever. This is the biggest minds from all over the place.

[00:04:36] Jenny: I agree. And I think it's great because bioengineering as its core is so multidisciplinary that some people are not in a bioengineering department. They may be in electrical or materials like Holly or and other units.

And so it's great that everyone comes together because the application is in bioengineering, not just because they're in a bioengineering department or have a bioengineering degree. So it's really bringing people together as a community.

[00:05:02] Jared: Yeah, absolutely. And how is your involvement in, BMES influencing your approach to education and innovation generally as well.

[00:05:10] Holly: Yeah, so I can take that one. So I first attended BMES as a graduate student presenting my technical research. And I would echo that sentiment that there's so many different types of people at that event bringing their expertise from all over. And it was really a great community to be a part of.

And now, as a teaching faculty member, I'm more involved in the education sessions and find that there are many opportunities to share educational innovations with other faculty from other universities and many programs to support students in their innovative efforts. And so I found that it's been a really great place for me to grow as an instructor and an educator as well.

[00:05:51] Jared: I'm curious. When did BMES get involved in culture college? I know that in the beginning it was. It's more so just the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, and then later on, BMES has gotten involved as well.

[00:06:04] Jenny: So I think it was the year that both Ty and I got brought in actually, in 2015. I think that was the first year that BMES really led the development of Coulter College and was the year that BMES started promoting it to the BME programs a little more broadly.

I believe it was 2015.

[00:06:22] Ty: And the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation has been, I think a lot of the vision investment from Wallace Coulter has been to create the discipline of biomedical engineering. And fund it to set up endowments with a lot of different universities.

And I think the Coulter College, was envisioned as a way of, with the idea of train the trainer, teaching the faculty as well as the students who participate in that. And I think that just having a close partnership with BMES is just a natural fit there. And it's been neat to see that gradually more and more of the BMES has been taking a leadership role and continuing that vision through Coulter College.

[00:06:58] Jared: Now that we've slightly touched on Coulter College a bit, a lot of folks here have not necessarily heard about Coulter College. So if we could get a overview of, what really is it and, what is its significance in the field of medical innovation, biomedical innovation as a whole.

[00:07:14] Jenny: Yeah, so I'll start and then I'll pass to Holly for some of the specifics, but at its core, like Ty said, Coulter College is workforce development, so it's developing both the faculty and the students. And I think one thing that's really unique about Coulter College is the timing of it. For the cohort that comes in, they are juniors about to be seniors about to embark on their capstone experience.

So it's this kind of critical just in time learning. They're about to start capstone and we get them one or two weeks before their fall semester starts and bring them into this experience so that they can have an even more effective and exciting senior year working on capstone. So I think that's one thing that's really unique about the program is that it is a just in time learning experience.

And then for the faculty, it is a time for them to, one, network, and then also hear from others. What are some new trends? What are different ways we can teach capstone to make it more... realistic and more impactful. And I think those are some of the things that at a high level that are really unique and interesting about the Coulter College experience.

[00:08:21] Jared: Holly if you could delve into more of the specifics around the topics that are covered and why it's really crucial for academic researchers to go through this process early on in their career.

[00:08:31] Holly: Yeah. So I would say Jenny and Ty have mentioned that it was originally started as a faculty focused program.

And I think traditional thinking is that if you're an innovator, it's something innate in you and, you have to bootstrap it on your own. Just translate your ideas. But I think, this program really emphasizes the idea that creative thinking can be trained and is something that we should foster in our students.

And so I think it's a really great program that brings that to an earlier time point in someone's career. So they can start thinking about all of the ideas that they have, maybe through a different lens. Every year, there's a variety of different clinical challenges that are presented to the students and that changes from year to year based on, emerging topics and topics of interest and relevance in, our society. And I think it's a great opportunity for students, although not everyone at an institution gets to experience it, but they get to learn something like Jenny mentioned this just in time training where they can bring that knowledge back to their greater population of peers in their program so that it can spread and have even more impact.

[00:09:39] Jared: Got it. And I heard from Ty also that you're both working on a paper about Coulter College. I was curious if you wanted to dig into that today as well. Yeah,

[00:09:47] Holly: sure. I can talk about that a bit and then Jenny can maybe follow up with some of the ideas that we have for that. Like Jenny mentioned, it's a great opportunity for faculty to network and learn from each other.

And so we hosted a half day workshop for the faculty who were joining their student teams and we had, 2 objectives. 1 was to share out how we all operationalize capstone at our own institutions to learn from 1 another. And so part of the paper, we'll talk about, the different ways in which capstone is run at different institutions and the things that we can learn from each other. And then the 2nd was to start thinking about what's the future of these types of programs and how can we better support students in these innovative and, exploratory design thinking efforts.

[00:10:35] Jenny: If I can just add to that one thing that I thought was really interesting that came from the faculty session was the idea of resources that maybe people hadn't thought to bring into capstone.

So at Coulter College, there is a heavy emphasis on design through physical representation of designs right through sketching. And a lot of faculty had never considered integrating that into the capstone program, but we're able to see just how impactful it is to help the students communicate their ideas.

So that's something that I think was really unique to hear from the faculty that was an angle they hadn't considered and now maybe something they want to do on their own campus moving forward.

[00:11:16] Ty: I was just cool to hear and see that because I think there is an impulse where you've got all these great tools with additive manufacturing 3D CAD that you're eager to play with.

And sometimes those tools can limit your exploration. Just because it's the learning curve to use those tools versus the level of resolution you're at. So just demonstrating you can make forward progress without having to have all those tools. They're great. And they have their place in the process.

But we move so fast through that curriculum if you're opening up a CAD station to try to contribute over a weekend, it's almost like it's you're using a chambers of lice water.

[00:11:51] Holly: I think a faculty member from IUPI actually had a TA from design that they were going to have included in their class this upcoming semester. So it was great to hear and get that idea for ourselves, even that was something that we would want to implement. So there was just a lot of crosstalk and sharing out of ideas, which is, always a really great environment to be in.

[00:12:12] Ty: Oh, that's so cool to hear, that's fantastic. Yeah, absolutely. Talking also a bit more about both of your experiences at Coulter College. We'll start with Jenny. If you could talk about your first experience with Coulter College and how it's evolved over the years. And your involvement evolving over the years as well.

[00:12:29] Jenny: Sure. Like I mentioned earlier, I participated in Coulter in 2015. There was an open call that I saw from the Biomedical Engineering Society asking for applications from faculty and student teams. I applied and was very happy to be accepted. At the time, the structure was a little different. So we had to bring a physician with us so that we had someone we could constantly talk to about clinical need.

And so at the time, I brought Dr. John Vozenelik with me as someone I still collaborate with to this day, but we were pretty new as colleagues at the time. So I was excited that he came and his background was really helpful for our project. Another thing that was different in 2015 was the exploration of ideas.

So this year, and Holly will talk about her year as well, we limited to a few different categories. And a lot of those categories were guided by our host Medtronic, where they would pick areas where they felt they could provide expertise. But back in 2015, it was open. You did observations, you engaged stakeholders and could come up with any idea, which led to a lot of interesting ideas. And the team I was working with decided to talk about cables and tubes and tangling as a big issue. So on every observation they went to, we did hospital, ICU, and a few just inpatient settings. They noticed that there were many tubes and wires, maybe there's ECG leads and then an IV, and getting those mixed up causes, tangling where you're trying to transport a patient, maybe to go to imaging. And also it can cause a really dangerous situation where you could disconnect and then connect it back into the wrong port.

So putting maybe a feeding tube in an IV could really be treacherous. It could cause death of a patient. And so we decided to focus on that. And what the team decided to do was to create Almost a little organizer, a cable organizer like you can now buy online, but specific for medical tubing that would attach to the patient, the tubes would all run through it.

They were all clearly labeled so that when you needed to take the patient disconnect and reconnect, you knew exactly which line was which. It was on the patient, which made it easy to transport. And they ended up winning 2015 University of Illinois got the best design and best pitch. So we were really excited about that.

And the team decided to continue that project through their capstone experience. We also engaged them in sharing their experiences with their other classmates like Holly mentioned earlier. So that was a great experience for me as an earlier design instructor and framed the way that I started teaching design with a lot of focus on clinical need and stakeholder engagement.

Which we continue to this day, and then my personal involvement. So I participated in 2019. I actually had applied to participate again in 2019, and I ended up passing that on to Holly because that's the year we hired Holly. So I sent her in my place with the team that I had recruited and she'll tell her story.

But since then, actually in January this year, the BMES executive Director and president approached me and asked if I would host as the academic liaison the Coulter College. And so I agreed and spent quite a busy year getting everything ready for the event. We do a lot of behind the scenes work, working with Medtronic, BMES, Coulter, and getting everyone set up to come on campus.

There's homework ahead of time the students have to do, and we have to grade that, so a lot of work. And I would say it's definitely all worth it. And I was really delighted to have my whole team with me, so I brought the Illinois Capstone team with me to help host. Because we really work fluidly as a team.

And so I couldn't imagine doing anything without them there. So that was my experience and how it changed through the years.

[00:16:33] Ty: You put on an incredible event this year.

[00:16:36] Jared: That is wonderful. And Holly, how about yourself? How about, your experience in the beginning and evolution as well of your involvement?

[00:16:45] Holly: Yeah, absolutely. So like Jenny mentioned she had signed up to bring a team and was accepted. And so the team was all set to go. And then I took over. And so actually my first day on the job at Illinois, I went to Medtronic to Coulter College. So for me, it was a really important experience because it was my first experience at Illinois.

And I worked with a team of students who their clinical challenge was structural heart. So they looked at congenital heart defects. And a way to develop a valve replacement that could potentially grow with a pediatric patient. And so it was a great experience to get to 1st network with other capstone faculty because I was new to that role and to get to know a group of students really well. I could ask a lot of naive questions because I was brand new to the project. And hopefully I was helpful in getting them to think about their project in a new way. They were also successful and won the Coulter College that year.

So I was very proud. And 1 of the prizes actually is to present your pitch at the BMES society meeting. And so then I was able to attend BMES with them later on that fall where they got to give their pitch again in a health disparities session. So it was really a great opportunity for the students to watch them grow.

I actually just met up with one of the students over zoom a few weeks ago. He's considering going to graduate school now. And so we were reminiscing about Coulter College since I had just been there again. But it was really great to see their transformation and then their leadership in the capstone course, once they moved into, Illinois's program in the fall.

And the Coulter College hadn't happened for a few years because of the pandemic. And this year, I was super excited when Jenny asked us to assist her in her efforts to host. She did an amazing job and it was really great to see it from a different perspective coming on to be a mentor and help to run the program.

So it was, yeah, just a really great experience that I had at the beginning of my career at Illinois that has shaped a lot of the ways that I think about biomedical design as I teach it every year to students.

[00:18:51] Jared: And how does Coulter College itself. Compliment your roles in academia as well. It seems like obviously obvious synergy there.

[00:19:00] Holly: Yeah that the structure that gets compressed into 2.5, 3 days for the students on site at Medtronic is what we try to teach and really embody for an entire academic year and capstone. And a lot of the emphasis on seeking input from experts and thinking beyond just an engineering design, I think is something that's critically important for our students to learn.

And so that training, definitely is really present throughout the capstone experience that I teach. So I would say, I learned a lot from culture college and I think just the structure and the emphasis on the design process. Yeah, it's critical to everything that we do.

[00:19:46] Ty: Yeah, it seems like coming out of Coulter College, there's like a refreshment and a renewal. There seems like a lot of just knowledge sharing and just the rate of innovation across the different programs seems to accelerate where there's some themes of new ideas that were emergent there and start to see that start to perpetuate throughout the other academic centers.

[00:20:04] Jared: And so that's neat to see that.

Yeah yeah. And going into something that I've seen come up a little bit as well as. Yeah. The focus of human centered design, can you talk to us a little bit about the importance of human centered design in biomedical engineering and why it's so important to learn it at this early stage of your career for a lot of the participants as well.

If you look across engineering disciplines, maybe human centered design is something that needs to be more explicitly addressed and in some engineering majors, but for biomedical engineers, we're primarily working with patients and thinking about solutions for humans.

[00:20:42] Holly: And so it's really central to what we do and also human centered design puts a big emphasis on understanding the need before going into the design process. That the process of the summer that the students engage in before they come to Coulter College of conducting interviews and looking at for background information, I think is really critical.

It sometimes people want to dive into a solution 1st, but human centered design really pushes us as engineers and students to think about the user and the need before diving into an engineering solution. Yeah, it's critical to the work that we do as biomedical engineers.

[00:21:21] Jenny: I think I'll also just add, a lot of us are typically designing devices, right? But processes also benefit from a human centered approach. And I remember I was in a meeting just a few days ago with a clinician who said that they were able to transform some aspects of their practice by saying, what does our practice look like from the patient perspective?

So just constantly trying to flip the script and saying, Oh, now I'm a patient looking at this process versus I want a highly efficient process because I'm a clinician. Instead, say, what does it look like? So just that constant reminder and push to come back to clinical need to come back to patient perspective is something we really hope that stays with our students as they move forward.

[00:22:03] Ty: And just to follow up on that Jenny, you work with a lot of clinicians. You both do. And I think you mentioned earlier, I just wanted to dig in where you mentioned a collaboration with the School of Medicine, right? And I think that crossover between, engineering and medicine at an educational level, that's just a frontier I'm fascinated by.

Do you mind elaborating on that a bit?

[00:22:22] Jenny: Sure. So we formed Carle Illinois College of Medicine here at Illinois, which I think embodies a lot of what you just mentioned, Ty. So it's a first of its kind engineering innovation infused medical school. And in this model, we have students always thinking of ways they can innovate as they're moving through their medical curriculum.

So in year three, when students are typically out on their rotations, high times in clinic, we have them journal and keep notes about what inefficiencies have you experienced, what types of complaints have you heard, maybe from nurses or from patients, or what have you experienced, just a tool that was hard to use, just journal, log it all down.

And then the students come back constantly and have lots of conversations about these different need areas or challenges. And then we asked them to form up into groups and actually pick one. And then these ideas get pitched to engineering capstone courses. So many of the times that comes to bioengineering as like a home of medical innovation, but also they work with our mechanical engineers, our electrical engineers, computer scientists, to really bring these needs to a device or a process that they can bring back to the clinic.

And we're not necessarily creating engineers who are also doctors who are going to do everything, but I think what we're creating is someone with a real innovation mindset of, while I'm in my practice, while I'm practicing medicine, how can I also feed back to the engineering community? These ideas I have and maybe work with them alongside them to create the new devices and processes that are going to improve my practice.

And so we like to call them physician innovators. And so we're really happy to have a few graduates now out there in the world from Carle Illinois, who are doing this on a daily basis. And we've seen a lot of other medical schools interested in integrating more innovation and entrepreneurial mindset and all of these other approaches into their medical schools as well.

That's such a cool visionary radical. Contrast to the tradition of medical school where you want everybody learning the same thing versus opening that up. Maybe just a follow on question there is like you clearly don't want, say your surgeon innovating on you when they're operating on you.

[00:24:42] Ty: So making the distinction between when it's appropriate to innovate and when you should follow best practices and protocol, just, I don't know if you have guidance for there. Cause I think that's an important concept to get right in a context like this.

[00:24:56] Jenny: Actually, I think it gets to the physician who I brought with me to Coulter, Dr. Vozenelik. Dr. John Vozenelik runs our simulation center and simulation is an area where all of those things come together, right? You have a surgeon who says this tool is hard to use. What do I do? If you want to have a safe observation of that, you can just go to the sim center and you can watch him use the tool

on a task simulator or on a simulated patient and really get to see it in real time and have those conversations. Or if you develop a new iteration and you want to go test it, the simulation center can do that too. So I think it's the perfect middle ground or meeting place where tech and health care providers can meet and really provide innovations and care.

So we have sim centers at all of our locations, so we have one in our building in bioengineering where people can come to us and we can meet them down there and explore. The students use it for testing of anything they create. And then we have a very large simulation center at Dr. Vozenelik's home in Peoria, as well as access to cadavers and other testing methods.

So for us, this is where it happens is in the simulation space where we're able to bring everything together and not test on real patients with real diseases, but test in a safe environment and get the feedback that we're looking for.

[00:26:14] Ty: That's so cool.

[00:26:15] Jared: Okay. Oh, it must be an incredible facility as well.

And so talking about Coulter College again, what do you really see as the future of, Coulter College for the next years to come?

[00:26:25] Jenny: So we're at a little bit of a pivot point with Coulter College. So the original grant from the Coulter Foundation actually ended this year.

And that kind of framed out how we were offering Coulter College for the past, five years was the grant period. And what we're doing now is getting input and advice, like Holly said, from the academics. So we had the session with them from the different advisors who came from Ty and his group, as well as from BMES to figure out what that future looks like.

And we're not quite sure yet, but we're talking to lots of different people about would it be rotating host locations? What kind of what parts of the programming we want to keep what parts we might want to change and then coming back and looking for partners and funders to keep this great program going.

I think we don't know exactly what the future of the program is going to look like, but we know that there is an opportunity. There is, desire for this type of a program. And I think it's not if it comes back. It's what it looks like when it does come back. And we're already, like I said, in talks of trying to find a location for next year.

So stay tuned. Hopefully we'll have that announcement sometime soon.

[00:27:37] Jared: It's very exciting. And, with all of your minds together, I know it's going in the right direction for sure. Switching over to Holly, how do you think events like Coulter College can better prepare the next generation of, medical innovators as you have been doing for quite some time now?

[00:27:51] Holly: Yeah I think there's, a number of things that it does for students. I think there's

really a transformation that students go through over that short, very intense period of time where I think they gain a lot of confidence. I listened to the podcast that you did with the Purdue and IUPI team and I could hear in their voices, their confidence in pitching their solution and the experience that they had.

And it was so impressive, a few weeks later to hear how they really had internalized that experience and they're going forward as, very confident bioengineers. Yeah, I think it gives a unique, people have said this and I think, increased confidence that, anyone can innovate.

You don't have to wait until you are a clinician or a Ph. D. engineer, right? Anyone can innovate. It's just asking a lot of great questions and seeking advice from experts to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Yeah, I'd say those are the key things that I think about when I think about Coulter College.

[00:28:50] Jared: I also loved hearing about how they had to learn almost in real time about managing stakeholders, like the various people that they're going to interact with throughout their careers, and I think that going as a student during that time, like you didn't know about the needs of a venture capitalist and like what they're interested in, then it's comparing that to like the clinical side and now you have these people from different sides tugging at you about direction of your innovation and you have to trust your own North Star and go back to the sort of who is this actually for at the end of the day? And I think that was something that they also came out of it with, which was really wonderful to hear about.

[00:29:27] Holly: Yeah, it was awesome to hear them talking about that conflict that they were feeling and then coming into their own to say, hey, we have the agency to make a decision about what we think is best. Yeah, very cool.

[00:29:38] Jenny: I think one of the cool things about the shortened time frame is that it does force you into this kind of more open mindset of receiving advice and feedback.

And I was thinking about it in two different ways. One is like the quality perspective of you don't have to be bad to get better, right? Your idea may be good. But could it be better and having that mindset going into the stakeholder meetings and also an improv class of yes and right, this idea is great, but what if, or, and also, and I think, having this like really quick iterative feedback cycles allowed them to get into that mindset where I feel like with Holly and I sometimes you're like pushing students and they're like no, we got it. We have the right idea. And it's like just forcing them into multiple iterations is one of the hardest things we do in our training, on site in our academic set situations, but I think because they were on site at Coulter College, because it was forcing them into the iterations, they were able to get that mindset.

I think that's really unique.

[00:30:37] Ty: From a design perspective, going through the course, like the students, we have our 1st meeting with them and we build them up a little bit like, oh, hey, here's your idea. Here's how to think about it. And they go off and they talk to their clinical and business advisors, and they just get beaten down on, like, all the ways their idea is not going to work or different directions to go in.

And we see them again. They're dejected and we try to build them back up. Okay. Maybe there's another path you can go down and like that rapid fire back and forth. It almost happens with each of the teams some of them get turned around further than others, but I think the net result of the difference between like day one presentations and the final presentation.

They just have so much more confidence like you were saying, Holly, and it's neat to see that as a just a transformative experience for the students.

[00:31:21] Jared: And as we're getting towards the end of this here, what advice would you give, to the future students that want to participate in Coulter College, how can they be successful like so many others that they'll be following in the footsteps of?

[00:31:32] Jenny: I guess I would say, taking the advice, like adopting that mindset is something we really hope that students will take with them. And then just spreading it, right? Spread that knowledge and that skill set to others. So especially for students who participate in Coulter, going back to their home institutions and sharing the Coulter experience, sharing some of the tips that they got sharing the idea that you can reach out to a stakeholder and they're going to give you feedback.

So I think, taking it all in and then helping to spread the message would be my advice.

[00:32:06] Jared: Absolutely. And then, in your eyes, what is the actual legacy of Coulter College up to this point? And for those that have all participated?

[00:32:13] Holly: Yeah, so I guess I can give a bit and then others can comment.

I think it's those trainees that are now out in the workforce. And they are, now these confident leaders and the legacy is the engineering workforce that, Coulter College has created that think about user needs, think about collecting a lot of information from a lot of different sources.

And just this different mindset. So I'd say these individuals who are out in the world with this new mindset that I'm sure stays with them. And probably creeps up in their minds at different points throughout their career when they think, oh, yeah, maybe it could, take this approach or seek this feedback.

Yeah, I think it's just a mindset shift.

[00:32:53] Jenny: I think I'll say from the perspectives of faculty. So since Holly covered students that it provides a non academic way of teaching. And so that's great because we don't want students to always be in a theoretical mindset, which sometimes you get drilled into by your fourth year of your undergraduate degree, but it really is providing this realistic experience for them of what it's like to innovate and how to innovate.

And so for the faculty who benefit from Coulter, I think the legacy is that the courses are improved so that future generations of students can benefit from the training. And because the faculty now have new tools and skills and a new perspective of what design can be.

[00:33:36] Jared: Absolutely. Ty, did you want to take a stab at it as well?

[00:33:39] Ty: I was also thinking about one of the things we've adapted the curriculum is to push the students to network with each other. And interact with each other. There's our be the cross pollinator exercise where we're like, forcing the students to go out and interact with the other students and not worry so much about being protected about your idea, but rather to have that free and open exchange of ideas with your colleagues and hopefully some of those relationships built up through this event kinda continue because this as a peer group, everybody's going to rely on each other over the years.

I'm able to make those connections, which is one of the other great experiences of this students, faculty, support team and all of that. That's just, there's special bonds that are built as a result of the the Coulter College.

[00:34:25] Jared: Wonderful. And on that note, we just really like to thank Jenny Amos and Holly Golecki for your time. We know you're very busy and what everything that you got going on and we're excited for the future of Coulter College and we know that it's in absolutely wonderful hands. So we're excited for all the innovation that's to come from it.