Priorities:New Mexico State University Student Priorities

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- Overview -

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Founded in 1888 as a Land Grant institution New Mexico State University (NMSU) has a long history of entrepenurship and business development in the community.  As the second largest university in the state NMSU has a student population of nearly 18,000 students. Through the university discovery mission started by Dr. Carruthers, the Colleges of Business and Engineering have begun an initiative to integrate mulitdisciplinary learning across campus. This collaboration has encouraged students to take ownership of their learning, and has led to the creation of several dedicated innovation and design centers: The Aggie Innovation Space, Studio G, and Arrowhead Center.

- Strategies for Innovation & Entrepreneurship -

== Strategy #1: Integration of Baja SAE into a marketable and multidisciplinary capstone(2015)

Capstone projects are one of the most important parts of an engineer’s education. Recognizing that capstone can be used to learn, use and refine skills related to I&E, it must be made better. Baja SAE is a design challenge that is put on by Society of Automotive Engineers and to compete in this series takes a great amount of engineering, marketing, and teamwork. Most importantly this design challenge is created out of the idea of each college being considered a startup firm that is to design and market their vehicle. This creates a great deal of I&E thinking. My hope is that integration of Baja SAE into a capstone project will raise the level of I&E in capstone while also providing students with useful engineering project/start up experience.

Leader: Karl Johannes


  • Talk to admins about proposal and any problems
  • Introduce Baja for a single group (both ME and Business students)
  • Fix any problems that arise from first semester of integration
  • Introduce Baja in a greater manner the next semester
  • Full integrate Baja SAE as a capstone project
  • Based on successful integration other similar projects will be introduced to other departments capstone projects

== Strategy #2: Innovator's Inc. ("Incorporating" students in I&E, igniting student engagement)

At New Mexico State University, we are fortunate enough to have a solid foundation rooted in innovation and entrepreneurship. The gaps in our ecosystem do not lie so much in the implementation of programs in as much as the lack of student awareness and engagement. Students simply do not know what their institution has to offer. We have an existing maker/innovation space, we have an idea incubator where students can develop business ideas and get them to market. Lucky for us, the infrustructure already exists, and for this reason, our task is to get the word out, and spark interest. Therefore, I propose to initiate a student led organization that promotes creative and design thinking under the umbrella of innovation and entrepreneurship. An organization like this is quick to get up off it's feet, can affect immediate change at the student level, does not take months or years to create traction, and could serve as a test pilot for future I&E endeavors to be integrated into the curriculum and culture of the institution. This organization would foster the creation of INNOVATORS, not just innovation, and with meetings, activities, and events geared toward passion, true learning, and fast iterative cheap failure, it would build students up to believe in impossible dreams and ideas. I believe it could be the perfect link to funnel students to capitalize on the resources we already have.  

Leader: Jaymie Velasquez


  • Find a handful of interested students motivated and ready to tackle this project
  • Apply for a charter through ASNMSU, student government
  • File all necessary documentation to receive funding
  • Hold elections for officers, students that will cultivate critical and design thinking, and catalyze the excitement and foster the spirit of innovation that will lead to more engagement
  • Find a staff or faculty advisor to mentor the organization
  • Participate in community service events and use them as networking opportunities

Studio G Satelite Office

Studio G, the student incubator located in the Arrowhead Research park, has been looking for ways to engage students in a more proactive manner. With the recent completion of renovations to the Corbett Student Union, there is the potential for available space to be occupied for entrepreneurship and innovation. This space would allow university student mentors and Innovation Fellows the ability to meet with students in a central location directly on campus. Services to be provided would include a continuation of current operations underway at the Arrowhead Entrepreneurship Institute and Aggie Innovation Space: business model development, rapid prototyping, concept design, manufacturing assistance, and team develpment training. 

Multidisciplinary Senior Design Classes (Capstone)

Recognizing the global impact of education, it is essential for students to work on mulitdisciplinary projects throughout their student tenure. Through the Aggie Innovation Space, engineering students have begun collaborating and working in a more open and supportive environment where experiences have allowed for mentors to emerge. Over the past year, these mentors, from different majors, have worked together to guide a number of student projects through the design phase. Having seen the early success of this initiative, we are hoping to implement a university wide senior design course that will enable students from every college to work together to solve industry-based problems.

Pop-up Classes

Building on early mentorship initiatives, it was determined that many students sought to learn in a non-traditional manner that would allow them to gain familiarity with new concepts quickly. These courses are desinged to help all university students learn the value behind innovation, and to provide them the essential tools for their project needs.  These courses have been very well recieved by university faculty memebers who regularly attend and often teach these new pop-up courses.  

Industry Reverse Sabbatical

The newest concept being developed within the College of Engineering is an Industry sabbatical that will allow for people in industry to get back on campus to teach a full course.  The idea behind the initative is for students to gain familiarity with the practial applications of knowedge in industry.  Course topics will range from circuit design to additive manufacturing, enabling interested students to get an early understanding of an industry that they may seek to join in the future. 

Technology Transfer, Commercialization, and Business Model Canvas

Students, who work on Capstone project to complete their degrees, always dedicate their time to design and develop an idea or a concept to a prototype, demonstrating its working at the end of the semester; however, these students hardly get any chance to assess if there is any Intellectual property associated with their project and also if it is a viable technology to license, commercialize, or start-up a business around it. So, it is very important to teach these students how to do a preliminary technology evaluation, explore potential licensees, and build a business model canvas, exposing them to a great learning technology transfer/entrepreneurial tool. After learning these concepts, students will be asked to assess their project in a step-by-step process and present not only the technical part but also the business prospects of their work and thus earning an extra credit as an incentive.


Related Links

New Mexico State University

Mauricio Garcia

Brendan Sullivan

Ember Krech

Karl Johannes

Jaymie Velasquez

Shanta Thoutam