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LaRissa Lawrie

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Serving as a UIF Since: Fall 2016
School: Wichita State University
What she does now: freelance journalist, strategic branding consultant, and public speaking instructor
What that means: She helps people craft the best narratives possible. 

Contact her about:Teaching Design Thinking classes, navigating higher education systems, starting university innovation and entrepreneurship clubs, unconferences, hosting design competitions, I&E curriculum, and communication-related items like social media marketing.

Phone: 316.734.9212

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LaRissaLawrie earned a B.A. in Strategic Communication from Wichita State University in 2017. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Communication from Wichita State and is set to graduate in 2019.

She was born and raised in Wichita Kansas. Her background is in technical communications and working with engineers to create technical white papers. She is currently working as a freelance journalist, strategic branding consultant, and public speaking instructor.

LaRissa is a past President of Lambda Pi Eta at Wichita State University - a national communications honor society. She also was awarded a writing fellowship with Salon. She is active in the entrepreneurship and communications communities in Wichita, she is also a member of the Wichita Professional Communicators and the National Federation of Press Women.

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Some highlights of her UIF work include: 

  • Helping found Shocker Startup (Wichita State’s first innovation and entrepreneurship student organization) and in the past served as Vice President. Shocker Startup has organized multiple large speaking events at Wichita State, hosted pitch competitions, created an alumni network of mentors to support student entrepreneurs, and given away grant money to interdisciplinary student teams to fund prototypes. 

  • Giving pop-up classes and guest lectures on design-thinking, rapid prototyping, and creative confidence skills. This has served as a way to involve non-technical students in the innovation ecosystem and get them involved. LaRissa has helped facilitate design thinking activities at the November Silicon Valley Meetup in 2017 and several academic conferences. LaRissa has taught over 1,500 people design thinking. 
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  • LaRissa and Hannah Hund participated in an Aggies Invent design competition at Texas A&M during the summer of 2016. Their team took third place. Both LaRissa and Hannah decided to work to bring that style of design competition to Wichita State. In 2017, They helped organize “Mars or Bust” - a 24 design competition around space sustainability at Wichita State. In 2018, they helped bring “Invent for the Planet” to Wichita State, a global design competition in coordination with Texas A&M. 

Throughout her college career, she has been interested in the positive effects of bringing together diverse groups of students. LaRissa learned about University Innovation Fellows when she co-founded Shocker Startup with Wesley Alexis and Hannah Hund. UIF has given her the opportunity to explore how innovation and entrepreneurship can empower students. LaRissa’s passion is at the intersection of communication and technology. That passion is one of the primary drivers of her work to introduce interdisciplinary studies to Wichita State.

Video Links

LaRissa Lawrie uiguide

UIF Silicon Valley Meetup on November 16-20, 2017

Related Links

Wichita State University

Wichita State University Student Priorites

University Innovation Fellows

Spring 2016:

Jocelyn Galicia

Jesus Gomez

LaRissa Lawrie

Michael Schlesinger

Caylin Wiley

Fall 2015:

Wesley Alexis

Austin Crane

Hannah Hund

Kevin Kraus

Saad Syed