Priorities:Johnson C. Smith University Student Priorities

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Student Priorites

UIF 2022 Cohort

Project 1:  The Smith Hackathon

We realize the need for students to participate in hackathons so that they can develop the skills they need to succeed in the I&E space. We will engage with local companies to sponsor these events and provide case study questions to challenge students to think creatively. We also want to encourage unconventional ways to participate in hackathons by randomizing the teams so that STEM and non-STEM majors can work together and collaborate.

Key Tactics

  • Design an enticing project for the hackathon​
  • Make the case studies questions inclusive by collaborating with various stakeholders like the Student Disabilities Center, Mecklenburg County, etc.
  • Reach out to the appropriate faculty
  • Source out sponsors from campus and external partnerships

Project 2: Smith Tech Innovation Center

The Smith Tech Innovation Lab is currently inaccessible to students on campus because there is no one to monitor the space. We plan on reopening the space for all students so that they can have a place to collaborate, learn, and innovate.

Key Tactics

  • Reopen the Innovation Center for faculty and students
  • Engage with appropriate faculty for support and assistance(STEM Department, Entrepreneurial Studies, Esports, and Game Development Faculty)
  • Reach out to students to invite them to check out and join the innovation center.
  • Reinvigorate the innovation center by providing innovation and entrepreneurship talks with local businesses

Project 3: The Golden Student Business Fair

Some students on campus own businesses but have little knowledge of how to take their businesses to the next level or make them sustainable. The business fair will be held in conjunction with various businesses of all sizes so that students can showcase their products, network, and learn more about entrepreneurship. These events will be held on the block, the most visible place on campus. This is done to influence other students to get interested and excited about the business. The business department will also encourage students to register for at least one business class or the entrepreneurial studies minor.

Key Tactics

  • Design an event for students to showcase their businesses on campus and share their journey toward starting their businesses.​
  • Have the school offer some funding for students with great business ideas​
  • Provide entrepreneurship classes for students to learn more about entrepreneurship​
  • Encourage students to take at least one entrepreneurial class as an elective

Project 4: Bull Innovation Fairs

The bull innovation fair will be to introduce students to innovation. At the fair, we will provide more information about the available funding for startups. We will also collaborate with the maker space so that students learn about 3D modeling, printing, virtual reality, and augmented reality.

Key Tactics

  • Reach out to appropriate professional personnel in the innovation space
  • Design marketing strategies to encourage students to attend the event

UIF 2020 Cohort


Johnson C. Smith University offers students the opportunity to be unique entrepreneurs. Events are hosted throughout the year through different organizations and departments. All of which, allows these individuals to expand their knowledge and brands. Having more opportunities presented to the university will allow a greater amount of exposure and position students to be aligned with greatness.  

Pop-Up Shop

As University Fellows, we would like to bring forth Pop-Up Shop learning session opportunities with guests speakers. Our guests will be individuals whom are established entrepreneurs thats are more than willing to offer knowledge to students on how to navigate Pop-Up Shops successfully. It is a goal of ours to host this event at least once a month. Thus, allowing students to attend one of the forums. The most important life lesson entrepreneurs can teach you that failure isn't always necessarily a bad thing, but with these experienced guests could give student entrepreneurs an outline of how to overcome such obstacles because they've experienced it themselves. 

Social Media 101

Social Media 101 would also be an entrepreneurial opportunity we would like to bring forth to students. Being social media savvy will be beneficial to students. Being socially savvy helps you increase your brand awareness and your messaging. Social media is a chance you to showcase what you stand for in the public eye so people understand not only what your goal  is as an entrepreneur, but what they stand for. If people don't know your business, they can't become your customers. So in order to become socially involved with your customers, young entrepreneurs must know how important social media has become over time.

Career Speaker Series

Another entrepreneurial opportunity that we would like to propose to the university is to allow professionals to speak in classroom settings. We’re taught by highly educated individuals who’s studied a subject matter but may have never been workers of the field other than teaching. It would be relatable for students to have someone face to face with them who does what they desire to do in the near future. This gives a realistic approach to how the work world will look for us.


Lastly, we would like to add more internship opportunities in other fields outside of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It was once said that experience is the best teacher. Having some form of experience will then qualify if this is what our peers really want for themselves. Not only can our colleagues benefit from these opportunities but we can as well.

Related Links

Campus Overview

Student Priorities

Canvas Link Landscape Canvas & Conclusions

University Innovation Fellows

Fall 2019 Fellows

Ahnazha Muhammad

Germany Bell

Fall 2018 Fellows

Anthony Edwards

Tymier Farrar

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