UAB students selected for state innovation project, partnership with Stanford University

Eight UAB students have been selected as fellows in Stanford’s Hoover Institution and will participate in projects aimed at advancing specific state initiatives.
Written by: Karen Templeton
Media contact: Yvonne Taunton

Amanda Summers


Andrew Bartholomew


Karthik Reddy


Lauren White


Hannah Rodgers


Mathew Banker

Eight University of Alabama at Birmingham students have been selected as Hoover Fellows, an initiative enabling students to be a part of advancing education, economic development, technology, business and innovation in the state.

The Alabama Innovation Commission, established by Gov. Kay Ivey in July of 2020, is the Alabama’s first statewide commission focused on entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. The commission has partnered with the Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank affiliated with Stanford University to bring leading scholars together to collaborate on topics of technology innovation, education and economic development to work on the advancement of the state’s innovation ecosystem.

hoover.fellows.7Zahrah AbdulraufUAB students were selected to work with the AIC scholars on these projects:

  • Business Incentives and Prosperity: Andrew Bartholomew, in the Collat School of Business, and Zahrah Abdulrauf, in the College of Arts and Sciences. Both students are members of the Honors College. This project will evaluate Alabama’s existing incentives for attracting businesses and make recommendations based on the successes and failures of recent incentive programs around the country.
  • Deploying Broadband-Based Education: Karthik Reddy in the College of Arts and Sciences and Honors College, and Hannah Rodgers in the School of Education. The work of the Stanford-Alabama team will look at the current opportunities and potential for deploying broadband-based education throughout the state to augment the current capacities of K-12 educators — to deliver high-quality instruction, especially in the priority areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which ties in closely to economic development plans for the state.
  • Fostering the Role of Universities: Annisha Borah in the School of Engineering and Honors College, and Mathew Banker in the Collat School of Business. This project will aim to make specific, concrete recommendations for state government policy to build on the strength of Alabama’s universities, to grow Alabama’s technology and innovation economy.
  • The Outdoor Recreation Lab: Amanda Summers in the School of Engineering and Lauren White in the School of Health Professions. This project will assess the hypothesis that the Cumberland Plateau is an underdeveloped resource for the State of Alabama. Specifically, the lab will assess its natural endowments as compared to its physical and business infrastructure.

hoover.fellows.8Annisha Borah “It is exciting to have our students involved in projects that are deemed priorities by our state government,” said UAB Provost Pam Benoit. “UAB and Stanford students and faculty will have the opportunity to develop close working relationships and share ideas and best practices for tackling these projects. I expect our students will be key in developing strategies for understanding and resolving issues.”

Stanford’s Hoover Institution is led by former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and she extended the invitation for UAB students to apply for the institution’s initiatives with AIC.

“It is an honor to have received the invitation to partner with the Hoover Institution,” said UAB President Ray Watts. “UAB students and faculty have gained a reputation for being critical thinkers immersed in solving community problems, and I see this opportunity as a way to build on that, benefiting our state and our learning opportunities.”

For more information on student fellowship opportunities, visit