Mayo Innovation Scholars Elizabeth Schmidt, Matthew Smaron, Courtney Lynch, and Wyatt Coghill.

Mayo Innovation Scholars Elizabeth Schmidt, Matthew Smaron, Courtney Lynch, and Wyatt Coghill.

Four students have completed the Mayo Innovation Scholars Program, a partnership between business and education which provides real-world opportunities for students to potentially uncover innovations with a positive impact on both healthcare and the Minnesota economy. Each year teams of biology and business students from Saint Mary’s and other members of the Minnesota Private College Council spend several months researching and analyzing the scientific and economic potential of projects submitted by Mayo Clinic professionals. The program began in October and the final documents and oral presentations were delivered March 10 to Mayo Clinic Ventures, the arm of Mayo that deals with inventions.

Now in its 10th year, the Mayo Innovation Scholars Program continues to be an innovative model for student experiential learning. The student selection is competitive and the program expectations are high and professional. Students must be able to do extensive literature searches, often into areas they have no experience with; be able to “translate” their searches into terms that the team and their prospective audience will understand; and they must write and present well. This year our multidisciplinary team included biology students Wyatt Coghill and Courtney Lynch, and business students Elizabeth Schmidt and Matthew Smaron.