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Florida State University, Student Priorities

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Overview

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Flordia State University, Panama City is a neophyte in the I&E landscape.  It has made its first steps towards creating an impact within innovation through the creation of the Business Innovations Center, and more recently, the establishment of the Florida State University IdeaSpace.  However, there are many things that Florida State University, Panama City lacks in providing students - particularly in the realm of motivation towards achieving and pursuing innovative entrepreneurial activities.

So, in order to foster this environment, we must attack the source that propagates these activites: the students.  The strategies laid within will be focused on establishing an environment where students can develop the skills needed to be an innovator and/or entrepreneur.  While most universities have these foundational blocks, Florida State University, Panama City, unfortunately, does not. 

Strategies:

  1. Freshmen I&E
  2. Interdisciplinary Course - Advanced Elective
  3. IdeaSpace
  4. Bring Research onto Campus
  5. Foster a Greater Union with Local Businesses

YouTube Pitch

Freshmen I&E

Florida State University, Panama City was opened to freshmen in the Fall of 2013.  This influx of highly-motivated students was a great benefit to campus life, with student activities being created and led by the newly-accepted Seminoles.  All of this energy could have been, ans still be, directed into innovation, but there were, and are currently, no relevant classes that Freshmen could/can take, and no makerspaces to foster the belief that one could actually make anything at all.  Thus, we must now create an environment for freshmen to participate in innovation and entrepreneurship, in order to hone the skills that they will use as upperclassmen.  

Work with Business Innovation Center

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Utilize the BIC to create competitions targeting freshmen and sophmore-level students.  These can be business plan competitions, or even more relaxed ideastorm sessions, allowing students to think about the feasability and marketability of their ideas.

Establish More Workshops On Campus

Implore Registered Student Organizations to create workshops open to all students, so that students have the opportunity to learn skills (for free) that they normally would not have the opportunity to.  Particularly important organizations to target would be: the Entrepreneur Club, CEO Club, and ACM, as these clubs have relevant skills that they can offer to the student body.  These workshops will also be part of helping freshmen to obtain skills that will later help them in fostering FSU-PC's I&E landscape.

Interdisciplinary Innovation Course

Florida State University, Panama City does not offer any sort of interdiscplinary course that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship.  This summer, a minor in entrepreneurship is opening up to students, but this is not enough to create a truly progressive environment that nurtures innovation.  Thus, a project-based course should be established that combines all majors (targeting STEM students) to work together and solve a problem.  This course could be offered as an Advanced Elective over the summer, as its project-based approach would deeply utilize every students' respective skills from their major.  This course would probably be offered for upperclassmen, as these are students who simply have the skills necessary to bring their prototypes to completion.  This course has the potential to make a university, or even city-wide, impact as the problems given to students can be related to these areas, in order to create solutions.

Gain University Support

Steps have already been taken to establish such a course, and the faculty seems to think it is a great idea.  Currently, we are searching for a professor that can juggle the wide variety of majors, and synthesize the abstract nature of the class into one that can actually be created. 

IdeaSpace

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The IdeaSpace is a newly-created room on the Florida State University, Panama City campus.  It was created to inspire students to communicate ideas to one another - with a theme of "No idea is too crazy!" This location has been marginally succesful, with a few team projects having grown out of the problems the Problem Board (a white board where students can write problems that they have found) has attracted. However, as the IdeaSpace is ultimately a university asset, further development aided by the university must be requested and used to enlarge the space.  This space attacks the most fundamental part of innovation and entrepreneurship: the willpower to try.

Advertise!

More advertising materials must be made in order to get students' attention and show them how the space is useful to them.  It is a naturally fun environment, and really only requires walking in to realize how beneficial it is - whether for stress relief or creativity.

Activities

A schedule of activities needs to be made.  This in itself requires a couple of assets from the university.  If given domain space, then an IdeaSpace website could hold all of this information.  Funds donated to the space could be utilized to create workshops like the ideas proposed above.  These improvements will create a better environment for student creativity, especially considering that the next five years at Florida State University are supposed to support nourishing critical thinking skills in its students.

Research

While Florida State University is a research university, there is no research occuring at its Panama City campus.  The impact that research has on a campus is substantial, as student interns gain experience in innovation through discovering new insights into their field.  Furthermore, research strengthens major-related skills, which are important in many students' entrepreneurial businesses.  This is a feature I believe is incredibly important in establishing a student's confidence within himself or herself, which will translate into the courage to pursue and create a business.

Establish Research on Campus

The Florida State University, Panama City may find a professor who might wish to pursue research on campus.  This research opportunity should be open to undergraduate students, which would give them relevant experience in their field, as well as the willpower to innovate. 

Offer Distance Research

Certain majors, particularly Computer Science, could participate in research over a long distance.  Other majors could perhaps accomplish distance research, utilizing internet communications and repositories to share information and discoveries.  This is not the ideal option, but either option will fulfill the establishment of such an important resource on our campus.

Fostering Ties with Local Businesses

There are many local businesses that could offer experience to prospective students at Florida State University, Panama City.  These locations could provide workshops and other experiences to students in their respective fields, strengthening a student's skillset and enabling a student to bring their personal projects to completion.  Florida State University, Panama City has not yet made any steps toward pursuing a co-educational relationship with these businesses, which is a great underutilization of local resources.

iSirona/NantHealth

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iSirona/NantHealth is a medical application business that could target Computer Science students at Florida State University, Panama City.  As they deal directly with the creation of Android and iPhone programming, they could offer workshops to students in order to foster these skills.  Furthermore, NantHealth could provide expert resources to the BIC, and offer advice for the technology start-ups that occur there.

Panama City Beach Navy Base

There is a very large Navy Research Base located in Panama City Beach - literally 5 minutes away from campus.  This is an incredible resource; full to the brim with engineers and scientists.  These people would be an incredible resource to Florida State University, Panama City students, either as expert advisors as noted above, or as teachers in voluntary workshops to strengthen students' skills.

Related Links

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FSU, Panama City