Launch into IA is our convocation for the new Innovation Academy students. The event kicks off the academic year by bringing all of the incoming IA students together and welcoming them to the University of Florida. This event is required for all incoming first-year IA students. Family members are invited to attend as well.



Save the Date!

Join Innovation Academy on Saturday, January 7th, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom to Launch into IA.


Presentation of Colors Billy Mitchell Drill Team 
National Anthem Ms. Alexis Ault
Opening Remarks Dr. Jeff Citty 
Welcome Address Dr. Kent Fuchs
Student Affairs Welcome Dr. Heather White 
Student Government Welcome Ms. Lauren Lemasters
Honor Code Mr. Joshua Zalkan 
IA Sophomore Student Address Mr. Jaden Nosse 
Keynote Address Dr. Farouk Dey 
Alma Mater Accent A Capella
Closing Remarks Dr. Jeff Citty 

Limited parking is available at the Reitz Union Welcome Center. However, permit requirements are lifted in most University of Florida parking lots on weekends. Refer to UF Transportation and Parking Services for more information.

Photos & Recording of Previous Launch into IA

Launch into IA 2023 Keynote Speaker: Farouk Dey

Vice Provost for Integrative Learning and Life Design

Dr. Farouk Dey is a higher education and workforce development executive with two decades of experience leading and transforming university organizations using innovations in technology, experiential learning, design thinking, community engagement, and resource development. As the founding Vice Provost for Integrative Learning and Life Design at Johns Hopkins University, he leads a division of 15 departments and centers that orchestrate programs and services to bridge curricular and experiential learning with personal ambitions and mentoring for all undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and alumni across the university’s nine schools. Using principles of integrative learning and life design, he has worked with university partners to launch equitable access to life aspirations and economic opportunity for all students regardless of background or social capital.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Dey served in several executive leadership and board roles at Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Florida, the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE), the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), and various startups and non-profits. Throughout his career, he has worked with education and industry leaders to close the gaps between the haves and have-nots by integrating technology in high-impact learning practices, tracking outcomes for students and alumni of underrepresented communities, and growing resources to increase opportunities for disadvantaged students, especially those who identify as first-generation and/or limited income. 

Dr. Dey holds a PhD and EdS in Educational Leadership, MBA and MEd in Counseling Psychology, and BBA in Finance. A native of Algeria, he has been involved in education since a young age and has developed a passion for helping people and organizations achieve their ultimate potential regardless of their contextual limitations. Fluent in Arabic and French with a broad perspective in international and multicultural issues, he has consulted for many organizations and universities, served as guest faculty at several institutes, taught courses in life design and leading change, and delivered keynote addresses at dozens of conferences in the US and around the world. Most notably, he led a four-year USAID initiative to build career education centers at universities throughout the Philippines, taught transformative leadership courses for the Ministry of Education in Singapore, and hosted several international delegations from around the world.

Named one of LinkedIn’s Top Ten Voices in Education and recipient of several national and university awards, Dr. Dey is recognized for his thought-provoking writings, engaging talks, and transformational leadership in career and life design, workforce development, future of work, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. As illustrated in his TEDx Talk titled "Life Purpose Reconsidered" and unscripted Vision Chats with thought leaders from various industry sectors, the central theme of his work is equity of access to education and economic opportunity for all learners regardless of background or social capital. 

For scheduling purposes please contact Danielle Simms and for more timely responses please CC: Danielle Simms, 



Abhi Lokesh (2013)

CEO & Co-Founder of Fracture 

Josh Greenberg (2014)

Co-Founder of Grooveshark

Kristen Hadeed (2015)

Founder/CEO of Student Maid and Author

Kai Kight (2016)

Keynote Speaker and Violinist

Julia Landauer (2017)

NASCAR Driver and Keynote Speaker

John Spence (2018)

Top 100 business thought leaders, International Business Speaker and Author

Josh Linkner (2019)

Five-Time tech entrepreneur, two-time NY Times bestselling author, venture capitalist and keynote speaker

Gigi Butler (2020)

Branding Powerhouse, Motivational Speaker & Founder of Gigi's Cupcakes 

Kai Kight (2021)

Keynote Speaker and Violinist


Kim Kaupe (2022)

 Buisnesswomen, keynote speaker, and one-of-a-kind teacher.