Introducing: The Innovation in Action Fellowship

In April 2023, Innovation in Action celebrated its tenth year of supporting innovative teams as they overcame and showcased the challenges they faced on the path toward realizing their unique vision. Ten years later after its first cohort of teams, Innovation in Action is expanding into the summer with the very first Innovation in Action Fellowship.

Story by Malin Andersson

The paid fellows, who have all previously participated in Innovation in Action, will meet regularly with both the other cohort members and with IiA mentors throughout the summer to develop, plan and implement an innovative pilot for the challenge they outlined in Innovation in Action.

With the additional resources and support of the Fellowship, the Innovation in Action fellows will dive deeper into their chosen topics in the coming months, learning and innovating along the way. 

Meet the teams

Let us introduce you to the teams that comprise Innovation in Action’s Summer 2023 Fellowship! 


Summer Fellows: Zoe Drasner, Joe Huang, Adam Zhang

Project: AudioOdyssey is building a platform designed to prevent drowsy driving accidents among truck drivers through engaging and interactive audio entertainment. Our mission is to stop accidents on the road and save lives.

Goals for the summer: To build out an app with a user-centered UI/UX design including all key features. 



Summer Fellow: Faizan Darsot

Project: Eatclusive aims to implement NASA technology to grow cultural produce that is inexpensive, portable, and requires low maintenance for food pantries who can provide and comm

unicate with local community members through an app.

Goals for the summer: To create the technology, build, test, and code PCB boards to interact with the different sensors in the project, using Faizan’s own backyard as a testing bed. 




Summer Fellows: Tirth Patel, Sania Srivastava, and Medha Kapoor

Project: ImmiHealth is a non-profit platform that focuses on easing the struggles of immigrants and uninsured populations in healthcare by offering a health-technology platform that connects these populations to health resources at affordable rates, simultaneously offering a community network and health-related education.

Goals for the summer: To convert the user interface and 10% of educational content into Spanish and Hindi in addition to continuing to establish connections with non-profits and clinics. 


Musica Pa’ la Gente 

Summer Fellows: Paulo Zepeda and Giancarlo Medrano

Project: Musica Pa’ la Gente wants to implement musical resources in low-income Latino communities to increase access to instruments, recording equipment, and mentorship.

Goals for the summer: To execute a weekend boot camp/pilot program to test engagement or possibly bus interested individuals to the University of Michigan’s music studios.




Summer Fellow: Anna Lam

Project: UnfoldKit is a comprehensive toolkit for developers and architects to build affordable housing with community voice and input. We address the need for effective public engagement in the design of low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) housing. 

Goals for the summer: To receive feedback on toolkit drafts from developers, architects, and contacted organizations; continue education on facilitation skills; build out a physical toolkit; create a website; and start a conversation with a podcast. 


Urban Oasis 

Summer Fellows: Kaanan Datt, Andrew Yang, and Hyeri Lee

Project: Urban Oasis is an initiative with the goal of developing resources and communities for students in Urban Areas to get involved with indoor gardening to benefit their mental health and environmental consciousness.

Goals for the summer: To develop a design and prototype for a website; expand this project into a student organization; and launch the student organization with an event during orientation week.



Summer Fellow: Sarah Waldman 

Project: ÚtilPlastik aims to establish a sustainable recycling program where community members can recycle their own plastic into new useful products they can use or sell in the community of Pancho Mateo, located in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The core belief of our project is that community engagement, with the addition of the right technology and training, can lead to effective recycling.

Goals for the summer: To travel to the Dominican Republic for further research and collaborate with influential community members and stakeholders. Once a foundation of expanded research and literature review is established, the iteration of prototypes will continue. 

Follow the fellows 

This summer, we’ll be showcasing the participating teams participating through a series of “Summer Snapshots” where we’ll check in with each fellow as they navigate this new stage of their project.

Looking for mentors 

Does your expertise align with the projects of our summer fellows? Are you interested in becoming a mentor to these innovative teams? Get in touch to learn more at

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