Accessibility Tools (CTRL+U)
Hide the tools

After hiding the tool, if you would like to re-enable it, just press CTRL+U to open this window. Or, move your cursor near the tool to display it.

May 2021 Graduates

Congratulations to our seven Innovation Studies graduates!

Posted by:
May 22, 2021

By Michael Halvorson, Director of Innovation Studies.

We are delighted to announce the graduation of seven Innovation Studies minors this May, and we wish them well in all future endeavors.

This year’s graduates include Sage Allen, Anastasia Bidne, Megan Goninan, Robert Helle, Benjamin Leschensky, Michelle Mendoza, and Blaise Osborne. Each student completed the INOV 350 course (Innovation Seminar), in addition to supporting coursework in design thinking, ethics, business principles, and the history of technology. Now in its third year, Innovation Studies currently has 45 students enrolled in the program.

Congratulations to all 2021 graduates!

Sage Allen

Sage Allen majored in Strategic Communication with two supporting minors in Innovation Studies and Specialized Marketing. His next step is commissioning as an officer into the Army Reserves and pursuing a career in logistics and administrative support.

“Joining the Innovation Studies program has given me a keen insight into the different approaches I can apply to my work in the military and any marketing project I might tackle in the future. I have a brand new perspective on problem solving, and enjoyed being in classes that challenged my creativity.”

Anastasia Bidne

Anastasia Bidne double majored in Computer Science and French, with a supporting minor in Innovation Studies.

“The Innovation program gave me tools to use to understand the compassion and empathy that should be behind every project. I am looking forward to utilizing these skills in future endeavors, especially in tech design projects.”


Megan Goninan has earned a B.F.A in Studio Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design, along with a supporting minor in Innovation Studies.

Megan was part of the original cohort of Innovation Studies students, and designed several beautiful posters for the Innovation Studies program. (Thanks, Megan!)


Robert Helle majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management.

Robert also earned an Innovation Studies minor, completing his INOV 350 course this Spring with a project designed to teach life schools to high-school graduates.

Benjamin Leschensky

Benjamin Leschensky majored in Communication with a double emphasis in Strategic Communication and Film & Media Studies. He also minored in Innovation Studies, and was one of this year’s winners of the Luminary Award.

“I appreciated how Innovation Studies drew from so many disciplines. By combining programs like communication, business, and philosophy, I feel like the minor helped accentuate my liberal arts experience at PLU. This paired with hands-on designing experience will be invaluable for me in my future.”

Michelle Mendoza

Michelle Mendoza majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She also minored in Hispanic Studies and Innovation Studies. Michelle was also one of this year’s winners of the Luminary award.

“Innovation studies minor was a perfect addition to my business major because the human centered design approach keeps the end customer in mind, resulting in superior solutions that will serve customers in the long run. It’s a mindset for success, which will be helpful in my future marketing career, especially since we have to understand the customer experience.”

Blaise Osborne

Blaise Osborne majored in Philosophy and minored in Innovation Studies, with significant interests in photography. Blaise is also one of the original Innovation Studies cohort.

“Studying all aspects of innovation has helped me become a critical-thinker. It has helped me see how small my scope truly is, which allows me to be more understanding of differing views and opinions before presenting solutions and conclusions of my own. Overall, Innovation Studies has given me life-skills that I can utilize to make my life more efficient, and in turn make the world a better place.”

Congratulations to all graduates!