Innovation. Design. Purpose.

Creating community college student leaders, doers and changemakers

RISE supports students as innovators. Interested in inventing? Bring your idea into the IDEA Lab for mentoring. Want to work on a real world project that will make a difference in the world? Do an internship with RISE.

The RISE experience is unscripted, at times messy and chaotic, but always exciting. Since problems and their possible solutions cross over multiple disciplines, RISE invites participation from students of all majors, from STEM to the arts, to collaborate, innovate, and become catalysts for creating constructive and sustainable change.

What does a RISE experience look like?

Project Uplift is developing an irrigation system for Agile International, a non-profit in Mali to support agriculture and women’s empowerment. Project Uplift began with 5 engineering students and grew to include multimedia and graphic design, water quality, and business students. See us on facebook, or contact us at Project Uplift.

Innovation and Design Thinking

RISE offers a course (HUM 116 Innovation and Design Thinking) to introduce students to human-centered design thinking as a methodology for problem-solving. Learn the iterative process of developing empathy, defining a problem, brainstorming, and testing possible solutions while applying it towards a real world problem. Contact RISE Director Liz Cox for more information.

RISE Summer Internship

The RISE Summer Internship supports students to work on projects that they’re passionate about, or curious about exploring further. Examples of past projects include Project Uplift, building an aquaponics system for the RRCC greenhouse, printing a 3-D water filter for the developing world, and designing a mobile medical kit for disaster recovery. As an intern, students will develop skills that employers across industries are looking for: teamwork and collaboration, creative problem-solving, communication and project management. RISE Internships are unpaid. Learn more about the Summer Internship Program.

Current Openings:

  • Social Media Intern (HUM 280 Innovation and Design)
  • Multimedia Graphic Design Intern (graphic design, journalism, or video shoot/edit) (MGD 280 Industry Experience)
  • Sustainability (HUM 280 Innovation and Design)
  • IDEA Lab (HUM 280 Innovation and Design). If you are applying to the IDEA Lab Internship, complete this online application.


RISE launched the IDEA Lab as a collaboration space for students to work on real world problems. Part makerspace, part design center, the IDEA Lab houses 3-D printing, Raspberry Pis to build small computers, soldering irons to create circuits and plenty of whiteboards for collaboration. Come visit the IDEA Lab in the library!  The IDEA Lab supports RISE students who want to work on team-based projects that promote innovation and sustainable change, or projects as part of a STEM course, as well as entrepreneurially-minded students and anyone else who wants to experience hands-on learning.

EGT 140 Introduction to Design and Engineering Applications (IDEA)

RISE launched IDEA as a project-based course that introduces students to engineering and different engineering disciplines through real world projects. Students develop a design for a real client, produce a graphical representation of the design, communicate their design, and advance a prototype. This course transfers to Colorado School of Mines for EPICS I (EPICS 151).