Innovation Labs for 2018-19 Academic Year

Innovation Lab topics change from year to year; the labs below will be offered in 2018–2019. 

Because Innovation Labs are dynamic, problem-solving projects rather than typical content-driven classes, we offer here descriptions of the issues and work undertaken by the instructors — their obsessions, really — rather than conventional course descriptions. Students and instructors will work together to define the courses and chart a path for the academic year. 

All Innovation Labs are two-semester sequences; students must complete both semesters (IL1 and IL2) to receive credit.


UHON 2850 (47274) – Innovation Lab I
M 2:00–4:30

Dr. Steven Olson

Steve Olson is Distinguished Lecturer of Marketing and Entrepreneurship and Assistant Director of Executive Education in the College of Business. An insatiable learner and activator of learning, Steve’s lifelong passion is to help every person exceed his or her imagined potential. Steve’s has taught at Emory University’s Business School, Medical School, and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, New York University’s Stern School of Business, University of Oxford (UK), Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University and Wichita State University. He has trained over two thousand managers and senior executives on leadership, innovation and ethics, both in the U.S. and abroad. For his efforts, Steve has been recognized as the top teacher, outstanding professor, best lecturer, or most influential professor nine times. 

Steve believes that students learn best when teachers learn with them. Steve’s own learning currently focuses on applying the science of learning to digital and blended course designs.  For the past two years he has been pioneering the micro-learning movement in executive education.

When he’s not deep at work in his study, you will find Steve serving and learning with organizations trying solve the world’s toughest problems—homelessness, poverty, educational disparity, war, and healing & homecoming for our veterans and their families. Steve gets re-energized by swimming, surfing, sailing, whitewater canoeing, hunting and hiking. Steve loves spending quality time with friends and his wife and two children.


UHON 2850 (47275) – Innovation Lab I
R 2:00–4:30

Dr. Andrew Bailey

Drew Bailey is UC Foundation Assistant Professor of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism and has been at UTC since 2012. He has worked in the field of adventure/environmental education for over 20 years, with more than a dozen organizations. He’s excited to now live in one of the best outdoor towns in the country and truly believes that the natural resources surrounding the Chattanooga area can and should benefit everyone. Drew has conducted research into the economic impacts of outdoor-based tourism to Chattanooga (e.g. Ironman), priorities for park and green-space development in the county, and the physical and psycho-social benefits associated with time spent outdoors. He views the poor state of physical and mental health in the region as one of the most pressing issues. A perfect storm of sedentary lifestyles, systemic barriers (e.g. car-dependent culture, lack of physical education in schools), and unequal access to resources have contributed to rampant chronic illness. It is perplexing that “America’s best outdoor town” (Outside Magazine, 2015) should also be one of the least healthy. To remedy this, Dr. Bailey would like to explore the idea of equal access to outdoor activities, increasing diversity in outdoor environments, and lay the foundation for replacing prescription medications with outdoor prescriptions (c.f. Outdoors.org).

Drew’s priorities will likely lead to collaboration with established partners in the City and County government, family health providers, and a variety of outdoor organizations (e.g. Rock Creek, Roots Rated, Wild Trails, etc.).


UHON 2850 (50232) – Innovation Lab I

T 2:00–4:30

Dr. Cecelia Wigal

Cecelia Wigal is a Professor of Engineering with degrees in electrical and industrial engineering and has held many roles in the UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science. Cecelia comes from an industry background where she helped design electric power systems for aircraft. Her academic focus is on anything that involves systems thinking. She teaches engineering design courses, project-based instruction courses, information systems courses, and systems modeling courses. Cecelia’s primary areas of research include complex system analysis and quality process analysis with respect to nontraditional applications such as service systems. Cecelia is particularly interested in improving the lives of those with physical and mental disabilities so they can be independent and personally engaged members of society. Cecelia is constantly moving, experiencing life, enjoying the environment, and trying new experiences. She is known as an endurance athlete. She completes one new experience every year, such as swim 10 miles in the Tennessee River. She believes there is nothing we can not do if we have the desire. Cecelia also believes there is no stopping our learning – the world is there for us and all should have the opportunity to learn from it and experience it to its fullest!