Karinne Bredberg’s dedication to creating innovative programs and nurturing partnerships is leading to life-changing experiences for many NIU students.
As assistant director for Commercialization and Innovation for NIU’s Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships, Bredberg has spent years developing collaborations with businesses that result in once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for NIU students, and likely will lead to hundreds more over the next several years.
She is one of four of NIU’s Supportive Professional Staff members recognized with Presidential Awards for Excellence in 2019.
"This recognition is very special to me because it validates the work I am doing for the university,” said Bredberg. “It drives me to continue putting my best efforts into providing innovative, hands-on learning opportunities that will further our students’ talents in preparing them for their careers."
Bredberg also has helped initiate a partnership with IDEAL Industries to create the IDEAL Intrepreneurship program. Students from a variety of majors work in interdisciplinary teams to research markets, craft business plans and develop and commercialize products for ideas proposed by IDEAL.
It not only gives the students hands-on experience at problem solving and real-word scenarios, but it also gives them a chance for jobs with IDEAL after graduation.
Over a two-year period, she also led an initiative to bring Discover Financial Services to campus for a 10-year partnership with NIU.
Bredberg coordinated all of the necessary groups to make the move into the 6,000-square-foot location in the Founders Memorial Library happen. Discover now hires students at interns to work with the financial business creating software applications at the code_orange space.
“The partnerships she has nurtured and built have resulted in transformative experiences for our students now, and in the future,” Dr. Gerald Blazey, vice president of the Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships.