Program Overview

The Student Industry Fellows Program (SIFP) is a signature Innovation District initiative housed within the Office of University Experiential Learning. The Program seeks to identify top undergraduate and graduate talent at the University of Georgia and prepare them for leadership roles in industry, government and community entities.

Grounded in the practice of human-centered design, SIFP is an Executive Development Program built upon three primary pillars:

  • Multi-Disciplinary Project-Based Learning
    • Fellows complete two real-world projects each semester on multi-disciplinary teams of top talent
    • Projects are sourced from industry, government, and community agencies.
  • Formal & Personalized Executive Development
    • Fellows engage in a personalized Executive Development Plan developed in industry and aligned to formal assessments like DiSC
    • Fellows participated in personalized and formal Performance Evaluations each semester that emphasize development in Leadership, Interpersonal Skills and Management Style
  • Career Advancement Opportunities
    • Fellows receive access to Innovation District events, thought leaders, and opportunities
    • Fellows receive partial or fully funded access to external trainings, conferences, internships, and innovation programs 

The Program consists of two immersive and experiential courses including:

  • IDEA 4000/6000: Innovation Catalyst and Design -This course exposes students of any background, interest, and passion to the practice of innovation, grounded in human-centered design. Drawing from interdisciplinary methods and tools from fields like design, engineering, the arts, social sciences, and business, this course is designed to immerse students into the concepts of cross-disciplinary, team-based project work as well as enhance core skills required to implement innovation and problem-solving. The course places a heavy emphasis on consultative approaches and experiential learning through site visits, case studies, or practitioner interactions.
  • IDEA 4020/6020: Industry Student Fellows Projects - This course places students into interdisciplinary teams to collaborate with faculty on real-world, client projects serviced through the Student Industry Fellows Program. Students will conduct and provide research, build a product prototype, engage in early state development, be responsive in communication, and ultimately present the project to the client.

Program Leadership

Andrew Potter

Andrew H. Potter, Director of University Experiential Learning and Program Instructor

Andrew is the Director of the Office of University Experiential Learning at the University of Georgia. He is responsible for identifying and developing innovative ways to advance experiential learning, which includes further integrating experiential learning within the academic curriculum, fostering collaboration between academic units in various schools and colleges, and developing new work-linked experiential learning opportunities for students with community and industry partners .  A former product/program development and innovation executive with a track record of value creation at all stages of an organization’s lifespan, he brings experience supporting private equity mergers, turn-arounds, and exits to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and business development/strategy.


Madeline OliffMadeline Oliff, SIFP Program and Business Development Coordinator

Madeline is the Graduate Assistant for Program & Business Development while pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree through UGA SPIA. She graduated from Tufts University in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, American Studies, and Urban Studies.

After graduation, Madeline made her way to Birmingham through the Venture for America fellowship, a selective program for aspiring entrepreneurs to impact mid-sized innovation ecosystems. There, she served as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and, most recently, the Social Enterprise Program Manager at Workshops Empowerment Inc., a workforce development nonprofit serving people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

As a Chicago native, Madeline enjoys traveling via public transportation, especially trains. While that was quite a challenge in Alabama, she did make it to all 67 counties in her three years there. In Athens, you can find her enjoying the music scene and searching for the best desserts in town.

2023 Visiting Instructors and Faculty


Donald Chambers

Dr. Donald Chambers, Lecturer and Associate Director, Entrepreneurship Program and SIFP Co-Instructor 

Don serves as the Associate Director of Entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia where he teaches classes on entrepreneurship and design thinking while supporting and coaching student’s innovation ideas.  A former industry executive with CFO and COO roles in several firms, he brings thirty years of broad accounting, finance and operations experience to the Student Industry Fellows Program including significant exposure to at least a dozen industries including startups and small to medium enterprises . During his career, Don has been responsible for client collaboration with major international and domestic firms such as Invacare, Caterpillar, Sprint PCS, United Rentals and Cummins Power Group and recently was part of a working group designing a renewable energy project with a large MNC.  Don earned his Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University with his dissertation covering cultural impacts on entrepreneurial orientation.  He also has a MBA from the University of Georgia and BBA in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.


Supported by The Delta Air Lines Foundation