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Scholarly Knowledge, Innovation, and Leadership Development SKILD at WSU


SKILD at WSU integrates interdisciplinary excellence with business know-how. Open to seniors, graduate, and post-doctoral students across the University, the program provides students with opportunities to develop their leadership skills through entrepreneurial thinking and project planning. SKILD at WSU provides a platform for preparing the next generation of local and global leaders.


SKILD at WSU empowers the next generation of local and global leaders 
to develop the critical skills necessary to integrate innovation and application.

SKILD (Scholarly Knowledge, Innovation, and Leadership Development) fellows and interns work with WSU faculty to develop and apply their scholarly knowledge to provide innovative products and/or services that manifest the impact embedded in their research. Students gain real-world experience working within an interdisciplinary setting and in the protocols and practices of technology-focused business. Participants are provided the freedom to develop and demonstrate their disciplinary critical-thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills within a business setting.

Limitations of Current Educational Structures

Leadership requires more than the simple prescription of known solutions to defined problems, it requires the ability to understand the landscape surrounding a problem then collaborate effectively to define and adapt a solution. While the application of these skills is commonplace within the academic environment, their use is often limited to a contextual prescription within a given technical or academic discipline. This systemically constrains the ability to train leaders that have the skills necessary to compete within an increasingly interdisciplinary world.

Bridging the Gaps

In pursuit of scholarly understanding, scientists and engineers embrace the tangible while humanists and artists embrace the intangible. Businesspeople, in turn, leverage both the tangible and intangible to translate and propagate knowledge into products and services that apply these scholarly innovations to our world. Thus, there is a symbiotic value to structures that integrate innovation and application. Business focuses on application and, like any other academic discipline, contains specializations, common protocols and practices that require training. In many respects business is highly interdisciplinary, a fact that is reflected in the broad range of artistic and technical graduates that ultimately find employment within a business setting. Despite this reality, there are few opportunities for students who have significantly advanced within their discipline to receive training in “business basics.”


SKILD at WSU offers a solution to the systemic constraints of the traditional academic model by introducing a route for broad cross-disciplinary collaboration focused on the application of academic innovation.