SET A GOAL, TAKE RISKS, LEARN FROM THE PROCESS, WIN BIG
The ECenter's Maurice Prize for Innovation offers undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue their idea for the chance to win $5,000. Success and failure are equally valid outcomes - all that matters is what is learned in the process.
Top Reasons to Participate:
Maurice Prize for Innovation
- Explore your idea without worrying about the outcome
- Gain valuable lessons from the discovery process
- Be judged on the journey, not "success" or "failure"
I really learned the value of diving in headfirst and getting started. By iterating fast, learning from our failings on the fly, reflecting, and keeping progress moving forward within the deadlines of the competition, we were able to go from an idea to a real business with a launched software product and revenue by the time of our final presentation.
Jack Potvin '22 (PAUL), Winner of the 2021-2022 Maurice Prize for Project Happy
About the Maurice Prize
The J. Dolores and Alfred P. Maurice Prize for Innovation (Maurice Prize), an endowed prize established at the ECenter, was first awarded in the spring of 2018. The purpose of the Maurice Prize is to encourage and foster innovation, creativity, originality, ingenuity, and resourcefulness in undergraduate students enrolled at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).
The goal of the Maurice Prize is to encourage students to be daring and not to fear failure. Students should know that not achieving everything they set out to achieve is not a failure, but an invaluable learning experience. A team of judges comprised of faculty, staff, and students will select a winner and award an individual undergraduate student or a team of undergraduate students $5,000 based upon a set of evaluation criteria.
Past Winners of the Maurice Prize for Innovation
A New Dream (2021)
Ely Marciano '21 from the College of Liberal Arts won the $5,000 Maurice Prize in 2021 for his learnings while exploring his idea, A New Dream. A New Dream is a content channel “created by seekers, for seekers” to explore a variety of subjects ranging from wildlife ecology to philosophy, with an emphasis on learning how to learn. Ely, a Philosophy major, impressed the judges with the caliber of his idea, the growth that occured during the compeittion window, and the thoughtfulness of his presentation. During the comeptition window of November 2020 - March 2021, he delved into the data behind his channel, grew his paid supporters on Patreon, and further developed the content on his channel. Ely is the first COLA student to win the Maurice Prize!
Hannah Ziegele '20 from the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture won the $5,000 Maurice Prize in 2020 for her learnings while exploring her idea, AnimalTemp. AnimalTemp is an animal temperature monitoring project that uses RFID tags on collars to take consistent, reliable, and non-invasive temperature readings on animals of all sizes. The goal of AnimalTemp is to improve animal health by automating the temperature monitoring process, save time for vets and farmers, and leverage technology to the benefit of both animals and caretakers by sending alerts when problems are detected.
NH Toy Library Network (2019)
Marisa Rafal '19 from the College of Health and Human Services won the $5,000 Maurice Prize in 2019 for her learnings while exploring her idea, NH Toy Library Network. The New Hampshire Toy Library Network is an initiative to support children and families across the state of New Hampshire by providing educational, enriching toys and games at no cost to families. This in turn reduces waste (since toys do not get thrown out as often), improves parent-child attachment and quality of dialogue, and increases equity and accessibility.
Joel Nkounkou '18 from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences won the $5,000 Maurice Prize in 2018 for his learnings while exploring his idea, ecoText. ecoText is an electronic main-stream distribution platform service revolutionizing how college students obtain, manage and interact with their textbooks. ecoText acts as a bridge between universities, publishers and students. ecoText combats the rising costs of textbooks, alleviates environmental destruction, encourages publishers to produce high quality textbooks and keeps professors connected to their students.
About J. Delores and Alfred P. Maurice
Alfred P. Maurice was born on March 11, 1921 in Nashua, NH. His multi-faceted career including 36 years as an educator/administrator in colleges and universities ended in 1984 with his retirement from the University of Illinois at Chicago after 24 years with the title of Professor Emeritus. His career as an artist/author continues. In 1990 the Maurice’s moved from Chicago to Vancouver, WA. He attended the University of New Hampshire as part of the Class of 1944.
His wife of 61 years, J. Dolores Maurice (née Robson), was born in Detroit, MI on June 8, 1924. She died on November 27, 2007. Her career was as a librarian and helpmate to her husband in all his work.
With the death of his wife and having no children or other immediate family, Professor Maurice decided to dedicate his estate to the enhancement and enrichment of the education of undergraduate college. He developed the concept embodied in the Maurice Prize for the University of Illinois and Western Oregon University.
In 2016, Alfred Maurice worked with Susan McDonough of the University of New Hampshire’s Advancement Office and Ian Grant, Director of UNH’s Entrepreneurship Center, to create a $150,000 endowed fund that offers an annual $5,000 prize patterned after the Maurice Prize at the University of Illinois and Western Oregon University.
Alfred Maurice passed on February 25, 2019 at the age of 97. We are greatly saddened by his passing, but comforted in the legacy that he left behind. Thanks to the Maurice Prize, the University of New Hampshire will be able to support the devleopment of innovative risk-takers for years to come.
The purpose of this Fund is to encourage and foster innovation, creativity, originality, ingenuity, and resourcefulness in undergraduate students enrolled at the University. The Fund establishes the Maurice Challenge and provides for the J. Dolores and Alfred P. Maurice Prize for Innovation. I am excited to see the outcomes from UNH students and excited to have the ECenter be the home of this prize also named for my wife, Dolores.
Alfred Maurice, May 2017
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