Iona University’s Dr. Christoph Winkler Accepted as Faculty Innovation Fellows Candidate at Stanford University’s


New Rochelle, N.Y. – Iona University’s Dr. Christoph Winkler, endowed professor and founding program director of the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, has been selected as one of 18 educators from around the world as a candidate in the Faculty Innovation Fellows Program at Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design ( 

In this two-year experience, faculty and staff work to design unique projects that enhance the innovation ecosystems at their schools and help students gain vital real-world skills and mindsets. Winkler will present and share updates about his project during a summit this month at Stanford University.

For his project, Winkler is building on the initial success of student partnerships with the Business Council of Westchester, the City of Mount Vernon, the City of Yonkers and other community partners. He plans to expand that work on community engagement and partnerships by developing a novel approach to experiential learning at Iona.

By engaging students and faculty in creative problem-solving, this work will positively impact local communities and businesses, particularly through the Hynes Institute’s community incubator space, GaelVentures.

“I am excited to have been selected into this program and look forward to collaborating with some of the top educators around the world as we work to expand opportunities for students to design and create innovative solutions to real-world challenges,” Winkler said. “My project aims to create a positive impact for Iona students and faculty as well as our community partners, which is an important element in our mission and vision of Iona and the Hynes Institute.”

Candidates met regularly in small groups to share the opportunities for change they have identified as well as ideas for projects that can have the most impact for students at their schools. Candidates collaborate to learn new change strategies, develop projects, gather feedback on ideas and share resources.

Each program member will have the opportunity to publish an article in the University Innovation Fellows journal, Change Forward, detailing their project and progress. Those who complete the program will be launched as Faculty Innovation Fellows in March 2024.

“Educators in the Faculty Innovation Fellows program are doing this work because they see opportunities to improve their schools and because they believe in the power of change from the bottom up,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “In the last two years since the start of the program, Faculty Innovation Fellows have made great progress on their projects with mentorship and support from their peers. We can’t wait to see what this new cohort of change makers can accomplish!”

Participants in the Faculty Innovation Fellows are the mentors (called Faculty Champions) of students taking part in the University Innovation Fellows program, which empowers students and faculty leaders to increase campus engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and design thinking. Iona students have successfully participated in this program since 2018.

Christoph Winkler works with students on the business models canvas.
Rob and a student work with the 3D printer.
Members of the Hynes Institute staff sit at a table with a student and have a brainstorming session.
Two students sit on the couch with Christoph Winkler. One students has on VR goggles and is reaching his arms out.

Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona University also recently launched a new, fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona University and NewYork-Presbyterian announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, to be principally located on the University’s new campus in Bronxville, N.Y. Supported by a $20 million gift from NewYork-Presbyterian, the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences offers a new vision for collaborative health care education, modern workforce development, and community care. On July 1, 2022, Iona officially changed its status from College to University, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.