Skip to main content

Innovation demands daring: Meet the 2023 Presidential Award for Innovation winners

Boise State encourages and celebrates a culture of innovation. The Presidential Innovation Awards recognize contributions of students, faculty and staff across campus who have demonstrated outstanding innovative thinking and problem-solving skills.

“This innovation mindset, what we call ‘blue turf thinking,’ is evident in the everyday innovations you see all over campus–creative efforts that lead to the success and well-being of our campus community and beyond,” President Dr. Marlene Tromp said. “The nominees and winners of the Presidential Innovation Awards exemplify that culture in ways both large and small, and they inspire all of us to proudly innovate into the future.”

The 2023 winners are Kathleen Araújo, Griff Allen, and Mustafa Hakeem.

Faculty: Kathleen Araújo

Headshot of Dr. Kathleen Araújo, Director of the Energy Policy Institute in the School of Public Service at Boise State University.

Kathleen Araújo, the director of the Energy Policy Institute in the School of Public Service, developed a unique Graduate Certificate Program in Nuclear Safeguards and Security.

This cross-institutional program is the first of its kind, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of nuclear safeguards and security, as well as the policy and regulatory frameworks that govern these areas. Araújo’s innovative thinking has helped prepare students for careers in an important field, while also contributing to the university’s research and outreach efforts.

Read Dr. Araújo’s Story of Innovation

Staff: Griff Allen

Headshot of Griff Allen, the Engineering Innovation Studio (EIS) Manager.

Griff Allen, the Engineering Innovation Studio manager, has created an environment for experiential learning among students. The studio was initially designed for mechanical engineering students, but it has since expanded to include civil engineering and engineering+. Allen’s innovative thinking has led to the development of a welcoming, inclusive and dynamic space where students can collaborate and design intentionally.

Read Allen’s Story of Innovation

Student: Mustafa Hakeem

Headshot of Mustafa Hakeem, an honors student in Business at Boise State University.

Mustafa Hakeem, an honors student in business, revived the Business Professionals of America club after it had been inactive since 2019 due to a lack of leadership. Through his leadership skills and dedication, Hakeem was able to recruit passionate members and secure funding for the club’s activities, ultimately leading to its success. Hakeem’s innovative thinking and determination have helped create an opportunity for students to develop their professional skills and network with other business students.

Read Hakeem’s Story of Innovation

The 2023 Presidential Innovation Awards received 119 nominations, and 15 individuals or groups were named finalists by the Innovation Network Steering Committee.

Meet All Finalists