Student Leadership Guide

[Updated: 7-11-23]

Welcome Student Leaders

We are excited to have you join our team as a student leader with the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. Each year Lassonde student-led programs evolve to meet the needs of our student community and entrepreneurs. We will work together to create impactful programming and experiences at Lassonde.

The Lassonde student leadership team is essential to the strategy and operation of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. Our goal is to create programs for students, by students. We are grateful for the time and energy you bring to your role. We know that student leaders are key to our success and truly bring our programs to life. We believe that being a student leader can be a transformative experiential learning opportunity for students from all backgrounds. Creating a positive and inclusive culture at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is essential to student development; we look forward to creating this culture together.

We are eager to learn about you, your dreams, and your aspirations throughout the year. We welcome you into a community that learns by doing and works to gain a transformative experience while supporting and guiding others. We hope these skills help you get a few steps closer to meeting your goals and realizing your dreams. Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and start making great things happen!

— Anne Bastien, Lassonde Program Director

Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute Mission

To provide students transformative experiences through entrepreneurship.

Lassonde Values

  • Student-focused & student-led
  • Entrepreneurship is a mindset
  • See one, do one, teach one
  • Meet students where they are at
  • Entrepreneurs need a community of support
  • Try, learn, repeat
  • #Anyone can be an entrepreneur

Student Leadership Vision

The Lassonde Student Leadership Program is a community of student leaders from across campus that manage entrepreneurial programs. Student leaders learn by doing and gain a transformative experience by guiding others

Student Leadership Purpose

Help students develop leadership capacity by exercising the necessary and transferable skills to deliver excellent entrepreneurial programming.

Student Leadership Learning Outcomes

  • Event planning
  • Budgeting
  • Team building/interviewing
  • Project management

Teams will work together to create and implement the documents and strategies below:

  • Program Management
    • Program description
    • Website copy
    • Online forms and software applications
    • Print materials, contracts and documents
    • What else is needed to run your program?
  • Team Management
    • Task manager
    • Org chart
    • Role descriptions
    • Meeting schedule
    • Communication strategy
  • Event Coordination
    • Calendar of events and deadlines
    • Individual event plans
    • List of participants, RSVP
    • Day of event task checklist
  • Marketing
    • Marketing plan
    • Outreach plan
    • Website updates
    • Program article
  • Budget
    • Annual budget spreadsheet

Student leadership timeline (dates are approximate and subject to change):

  • Oct. 1 — Online application opens (apply here)
  • Dec. 15 — Student Chair roles selected by Lassonde Staff
  • Jan. 15 — Priority application deadline for all student leadership roles
  • Feb. 1 — Interview/no interview notification from Lassonde staff
  • March 1 — Interviews for Director and Associate positions
  • March 15 — Position notifications
  • April — New student meetings and shadowing programs
  • May-July – Students notified in CIS to accept scholarship and complete post-acceptance process (photo and thank you letter)

Student leader selection process (dates are approximate and subject to change):

  • Jan. 15-30 – Staff reviews online applications
  • Jan. 30 – Select applications are reviewed by the student leadership team
  • March 1 – Interviews and team member selection approved by Lassonde Staff
  • March 1-15 – Student leaders offer roles and confirm availability and meeting schedule
  • March 15-30 – Staff offers scholarship to students and students confirm commitment

  • Accept you scholarship through financial aid services on CIS
  • Write a thank-you note for the scholarship to send to your scholarship sponsor
  • Follow the Lassonde Institute on social media
  • Schedule and attend weekly team meetings
  • Review marketing plan, budget and event schedule
  • Confirm UCard access to the student leader office at Lassonde Studios
  • Confirm access to Lassonde Student Leader uBox
  • Obtain access to your program email (1 per team)
  • Review and propose edits to Anne Bastien about your program-specific website
  • Meet with your predecessors to discuss your program. Learn what worked well and where areas for improvement are
  • Review the website and program documents

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach, and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background.

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute defines entrepreneurship as a mindset. It is not simply about starting a company. Entrepreneurship is about using your imagination, learning by doing, working in interdisciplinary teams, creating your own path, and adding value to anything you do.

An entrepreneurial mindset is a differentiating 21st-century skill and our aim is that you are able to develop and practice these skills as a Lassonde student leader. Opportunities include peer-to-peer and staff coaching, managing teams and programs, networking and event access, and being part of an enthusiastic, hardworking student community.

Troy D’AmbrosioExecutive Director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

Troy D’Ambrosio is the executive director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, assistant dean at the David Eccles School of Business and holds a presidential chair in entrepreneurship at the University of Utah. Troy is the co-founder, officer, and director of multiple startup companies that have attracted over $500 million in capital. He has served as the VP of investor relations and corporate communication for American Stores Company, the director of mutual fund operations for Wasatch Advisors, and deputy chief of staff to the mayor of Salt Lake City. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1982 and was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000, a v100 Technology Leader in 2008, Best in State Educational Administrator in 2009, and received the 2014 Governor’s Medal for Excellence in Science and Technology.

Kathy Hajeb, Director

Kathy Hajeb is an assistant professor (lecturer) at the David Eccles School of Business, where she teaches courses in innovation and entrepreneurship. She is a director at the University of Utah’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, where she manages the operations and is responsible for a variety of student innovation and entrepreneurship programs challenging students of all ages. Kathy received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Utah and worked in the natural resource industry prior to joining the university in 2003.

Anne Bastien, Director of Programs

Anne Bastien is the director of programs at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. Anne creates and implements statewide programming to teach students 21st-century learning skills through entrepreneurial leadership and innovation experiences. Anne has over 12 years of program, employee, and student development experience with multiple education and cultural organizations around the state. She earned both her BS in economics and her MBA from the University of Utah.

Thad Kelling, Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Thad Kelling is the director of marketing and public relations at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. Thad is a communications do-it-all with a master’s degree and diverse experience in marketing, journalism, graphic design, branding, new media, web development, social media, advertising, and project management. He also has a special interest in emerging trends and technologies.

Alicia Vess, Administrative Officer

Alicia Vess is the administrative officer at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. She is the point person for any purchase needed by Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute student entrepreneurs and is the go-to expert for student scholarships, prizes and awards, and finances. Alicia has over 20 years of experience in operations and came to the University of Utah in 2015 after working in the transportation and logistics industry. Alicia worked with an entrepreneur at a small start-up company until 2012 and came to the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to return to the culture of entrepreneurship.

Patrick Jones, Associate Director

Patrick Jones is a program manager at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. He recruits and oversees the occupancy at Lassonde Studios along with collecting and managing the data collected from all the Lassonde programs. He has over 10 years of work experience at the University of Utah through various roles in the Office of Admissions and now the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. Patrick graduated from the University of Utah with his BA in history teaching.

Mikel BrownieLassonde Studios Make Space Shop Steward and Director, Technical & Trades for the David Eccles School of Business

Mikel brings 37 years of experience in the facilities management, shop management, and project management fields to the Lassonde Studios and the David Eccles School of Business. He utilizes that expertise at Lassonde Studios in overseeing and managing the Make space, tool room, and prototyping room. He built a large part of his expertise working for 20 years with Hewlett Packard at their Inkjet Division in Vancouver, Washington managing their office, manufacturing, and R&D space, in that same capacity. Mikel is also a former staff sergeant in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard, providing avionics support to HH3 Jolly Green Giant Helicopters, HH-60 Pavehawk Helicopters, and C-130 Hercules aircraft assigned to the 129th Aerospace Rescue.

Student Chairs

Student chairs are the executive leadership roles in our student-led programs. Together, the chair roles oversee the management and operations of multiple student-run programs, operations and events. Chairs work with their student directors, associates and tool mentors to develop strategic planning, budget and management skills. Chairs implement project plans with the help of their team of directors and associates and learn all the leadership skills it takes to get that done. There is a fair amount of ensuring that staff program goals and student hopes collide in both fun and impactful programming. Lassonde student chairs get the opportunity to learn how to manage up, down, and sideways to make programs successful, and to make sure their student directors and associates have a positive and transformative experience.

Student Director

Student directors are where the rubber meets the road for Lassonde programs. Directors work on one program for the academic year, managing everything from brainstorming and planning a year’s worth of program content to putting the trash cans back after the event. Directors onboard a team of associates and learn the management, accountability, and delegation skills necessary to make the program successful. Student directors are really project ninjas in disguise and their team meetings are what makes the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute programming come to life.

Student Associate

Student associates are the ones that make the magic happen and often are the “face” of Lassonde. Associates report to student directors and contribute to every program effort, from planning events to hitting the pavement and inviting students to participate. Associates bring the energy to all Lassonde programs and have the opportunity to learn what it takes to be a high-performance team member all while having the most fun of any role.

Tool Mentor

Tool Mentors bring the Lassonde Studios Make Space to life. Tool mentors host the space and help students safely use the equipment and tools. Tool mentors have scheduled hours, help provide safety training, and facilitate early-stage prototyping activities in the space.

Lassonde New Venture Development Associate

Students can join the Lassonde New Venture Development Center as associates, allowing them to participate in this unique program. Associates are graduate students at the University of Utah who work on interdisciplinary teams and side-by-side with faculty inventors to help commercialize their inventions. Associates learn about entrepreneurship and innovation by doing, while also helping grow a product or service from the ground up.

  • Initial acceptance (for your own scholarship):
    • You will receive an email from the student leadership team extending your student leadership role for the next semester and confirming your commitment.
  • Once you have accepted, Lassonde staff will offer you a scholarship.
  • Formal post-acceptance:
    • Once all internal processing is complete, an email will be sent from Alicia Vess with a link to academic works. Use your CIS credentials to log in and formally accept your scholarship within the university scholarship system.
    • You will be instructed to create a “thank you letter” to your scholarship donor, as well as attach a professional photo to the letter.
    • Please note: The formal post-acceptance needs to be completed for each donor that offers you a scholarship.
    • Contact Alicia Vess with questions at

  • The Neeleman Hangar at Lassonde Studios
  • Student office at Lassonde Studios
  • Tabling kit, banners, marketing materials, supplies
  • Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute staff – marketing, program advisors, purchasing, reservations, etc.
  • Software:

Contact Anne Bastien at for the following administrative requests:

  • Space reservation
    • To reserve space in Lassonde Studios or the Lassonde House, please email Anne Bastien. Please send these ASAP. The spaces fill up fast! Please also send cancellations in a timely manner, so your existing reservation can be released.
  • Event registration
    • Email Anne Bastien to request Acuity event registration. Be sure to indicate all necessary fields: name, Unid, etc.
  • Audio Visual supplies or support
    • For smaller events, there is an AV cart and portable microphone available at Lassonde front desk. The equipment is first-come, first-served.
    • For larger events, contact Anne Bastien to request Taylor Audio at least four weeks prior to event.
  • Catering and event meals
    • Contact Anne Bastien to request 14 business days in advance.
    • Please review vendor catering policies before final selection. *Be mindful of minimum fees, delivering costs, weekend delivery options, delivery hours, automatic gratuity, etc.
  • Budget and purchasing resources
  • Purchasing supplies and materials
    • Purchases need to be pre-approved by program student leaders and staff advisor.
    • Contact Anne Bastien with requests.
    • If supplies are needed on short notice, a student leader is responsible to purchase them independently and then turn in receipts to Alicia Vess for reimbursement.  Please note that reimbursements can take up to 6 weeks for processing and the tax portion will not be reimbursed. This is due to the University of Utah’s tax exemption status.
  • Budgeting
    • Student leaders are responsible for the annual program budget
    • Students should and do keep track of estimated expenses and reconcile with actuals monthly.
    • Program budget actuals are sent via email by the 15th of the following month.  Keep in mind that purchases may not hit accounting deadlines so they may not be visible for up to 90 days.
    • Contact Anne Bastien with questions.

There are safety and wellness resources available for all students. There are resources and opportunities to report incidents. Please take advantage of them and reach out to us if you have any questions.

  • SafeU — — This website is a hub for safety resources at the University of Utah.
  • Campus Police 801-585-2677

  • Anne Bastien, Director of Programs (Staff)
    • Oversees all student leadership roles and programs for Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.
    • 801-585-3198

  • Student leaders are required to complete all necessary requirements to process their scholarship. Failing to complete required scholarship tasks may result in the termination of your scholarship and leadership role.
  • Student leaders are required to communicate in a timely manner and attend team meetings and events as determined by the team and leadership. Failure to communicate in a timely manner or attend team meetings and events may result in the termination of your scholarship and leadership role.
  • Student leadership questions and concerns about performance, behavior, or professionalism should be immediately escalated to Lassonde Staff ( Lassonde staff determines student eligibility to participate in student leadership roles and scholarships.

  • Have weekly meetings with your team and staff advisor.
  • Plan far in advance and watch deadlines.
  • Update your uBox weekly (i.e., task managers, team schedules).
  • Reply to email in a timely manner. Use CC and BCC properly.
  • Have direct conversations.
  • Pick up the phone.
  • Go Big! Don’t be afraid to fail.
  • When in doubt, ask!