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Each year, the Carlson School of Management offers Entrepreneurship in Action, a year-long course in which students create and launch new businesses.

This year, some of the student entrepreneurs in the class saw a common problem and came up with a simple solution. The problem: People do not like to touch public restroom door handles and will use paper towels, their elbows, or anything else in to avoid receiving germs. The solution: a device that allows people to open the door with their foot.

The product, known as the Toepener, is becoming a hit at bars and restaurants in the Twin Cities. I don't think it will be long until this simply genius device pops up in establishments across the nation!

Check out this video from WCCO to hear the story of the Toepener and see how it works:


Are you a kid at heart? Would you like to tinker with toys...for a living? Students pursuing a product design minor at the University can get a glimpse into the life of a toy maker in course called Toy Product Design. In this course, students learn the ins and outs of toy design.

Students are put into teams and will design their own toy prototypes. They will also learn about the design process and the necessary steps of creating products while considering customer wants and needs. Students work closely with children to see how they interact with the toy and make adjustments to the product that will improve the user's experience.

At the end of the semester, students present their work to children, toy designers, engineers, and even some toy stores, including Twin Cities-based company Creative Kidstuff. The professor of the class, Barry Kudrowitz, has had plenty of experience in the toy-making industry. He designed a Nerf Atom Blaster!

Learn more about this interesting, challenging, and undoubtedly fun class on the course website.

Activities that students can become involved in at the University of Minnesota allow them to practice and gain many skills that will benefit them upon graduation. One of the most important of these skills is leadership! 

Currently, the University YMCA is accepting volunteers to build their leadership skills through the Y-Immersion program. This program gives students a chance to lead a trip of young students (with the assistance of the YMCA) to Zion National Park in Utah. This type of prgram would be perfect for students in Youth Studies; Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies; and students pursuing a minor in Leadership.

I invite you to learn more by clicking the link above!

One of the highlights of being a student at the University of Minnesota is having the opportunity to study just about anywhere in the world through the U of M Learning Abroad Center, one the nation's largest study abroad programs! 

The Learning Abroad Center has put together a wonderful website to help students research and plan their study abroad experiences. If you ask me, the most helpful page is on the site is the Major Advising Page. This page assists students in planning their experience so that the classes they take abroad will be able to count toward their major. The Learning Abroad Center's advisers also work very closely with students to ensure their study abroad plans fit into their 4-year academic plan.

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Another interesting part of the website is the Global Crossroads Blog. This blog is authored by students who are currently studying abroad. It is wonderful to be able to read about the different experiences that these students are having on their trips across the world. My favorite blog post so far was posted by Amanda. She tells us the story of her first motorcycle experience on the streets of India. You can read all about her high-speed adventure right here.

I hope you'll check out the Learning Abroad Center to see for yourself the amazing number of global opportunities available to you as a student at the University of Minnesota!

In this video, senior Nate Mueting shares why he chose the U of M!

Thanks for watching!


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