LaRissa Lawrie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication in 2017 and a Master of Arts in Communication from Wichita State University 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. In graduate school, she worked 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 communication honor society. She also was awarded a writing fellowship with Salon Media Group. She is a past member of the Wichita Professional Communicators and the National Federation of Press Women. She is active in the entrepreneurship and communications communities.
She currently lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio. Her Cleveland activities include: 2019 Venture for America Fellowship, Marketing position with a Hemp Startup, and volunteering as a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum.
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.
- 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.
University Innovation Fellows