Connecting the College Classroom to Industry and Nonprofit – WLEI Podcast

In this episode of the WLEI podcast, they discuss how universities are connecting students with for-profit and nonprofit organizations to practice and apply hands-on lean learning experiences.

Dennis Wade from Oakland University and Lisa Eshbach from Ferris State University (both schools in Michigan) go into details about their background in industry, how each of their programs were created and how they operate, including whether the projects are course-based or part of a paid internship.

They discuss examples of projects undertaken by students, such as a kanban system for an eye clinic supply room and creating a food pickup process for a university food pantry. In addition, they discuss the impact of these programs on students’ development of lean skills and tools, including skills like collaboration and problem-solving. 

They are also presenting some of their work at the Lean Summit on March 19-20, 2024 in Carlsbad, CA.

They also discuss the James P. Womack Scholarship, which funds student internships at Oakland University. You can also read case studies from past student projects funded by the scholarship.

You can listen to the entire podcast below, or visit

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