Innovation Center Brings New Opportunities to Flagler

June 26, 2023
When the Brown Innovation Center opened this past spring at Flagler, it wasn’t just a chance to show off the lab’s fancy 3D printers and laser cutter, but also to foster multidisciplinary collaboration across campus to find solutions for pressing challenges.
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That’s been the goal of the center since it was first proposed by its director, Allison Roberts, who also serves as Enactus Faculty Mentor and Peter and Sue Freytag Associate Professor of Economics.

“About 5 years ago, we were working on a strategic plan for the College and one of the points of emphasis was to have more multidisciplinary opportunities for students to work together and collaborate,” said Roberts. “The idea for the Innovation Center came to me at that time while trying to figure out ways to get students from different disciplines to work together and solve problems.” Roberts runs the center with Jason Schwab, the technology director and an assistant professor of Visual Art.

The center has been busy in its first couple of months welcoming classes of all different disciplines, hosting events like Design Week and Business Week, and serving as the home of ENACTUS, which stands for Entrepreneurial Action for Others Creates a Better World for Us All.

“Really it's a space for us to live up to our core values,” Roberts said. “All of the things that we want to be as a college, as a college community, we can make happen in this space.”

The center is located on the first floor of the Ringhaver Student Center where the campus bookstore used to be. It is named for Bradley J. and Mandy Crupi Brown, two Flagler alumni who have continued to give back to the College over the years, including Bradley’s current service on the Board of Trustees. The couple made a major gift to the College to make the center a reality. In addition to meeting space for collaboration amongst faculty, students, staff and the community, the center also includes 3D printers, a laser cutter, a 3D scanner, sewing machines and a Cricut machine.