Priorities:Johnson C. Smith University Student Priorities

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Student Priorites

UIF 2023 Cohort

Project 1: The My Friend Project

The idea is to develop an application that encourages students to step out of their comfort zones and connect with others. It utilizes AI to suggest potential connections. Initially, the concept will be tested through a survey instead of fully developing the app. Essentially, it's like a dating app but for making new friends among students. We realized that students felt very disconnected and isolated on campus and by doing this, we plan to develop communities within the campus to increase connectedness.

Key Tactics

  • Creating the space for students to interact much easier
  • Gathering data on the student population, conducting interviews to further understanding and surveying student population
  • Bringing out the concepts in various beta versions and testing it with small sample sizes leading to a full project rollout

Project 2: Community and Culture Restoration Project

Currently students at JCSU are not accustom to the tools or skills of community building. The institution has giving the student ever resource and tool to recover from COVID-19 except for how to interact with others, build relationships, and build communities.

Key Tactics

  • Integrate interactive structure to class rooms and curriculum.
  • Include community and relationship building education to Smith Seminar class.
  • Include hands on and speech projects in class.
  • Have a circular seating arrangement in classrooms.

Project 3: Soulful Harbor

This concept utilizes data analytics to provide insights into students' current connections and potential relationships for community building as well as enhance emotional intelligence through educational workshops and resources. By doing this, we can strengthen social and emotional well-being through community-building efforts and increase participation results in improved overall well-being.

Key Tactics

  • Have good programming, Easy UI, Focusing on how do we keep students engaged
  • Know our demographic, what do they need, best way to contact, how can we enhance their personal experience?
  • Release application in beta and continue to different phases

Project 4: JCSU Art Extravaganza

Our plan in this project is to bring a variety of different art focused events and concepts to Johnson C. Smith University to leverage as a means to connect to the student population. We know that students at Johnson C. Smith University have a creative itch and no means to express themselves so by doing this, we will effectively connect students and give them a channel to to create/express themselves.

Key Tactics

  • An outdoor event that allows student to connect through art and share there are with each other through a gala/ art show style event.
  • We will have different vendors to showcase their art and create a community mural
  • Throwing together a series of art events will spur student interest to perpetuate and eventual rebuilding of the JCSU Arts Program attracting much more students

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

Related links