Priorities:Texas Tech University Student Priorities Page

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Project Pitch Video

2017 Spring

2016 Spring

2015 Spring

Student Strategies

Strategy # 1: Resource Consolidation on Website

Leadership Circle Representative: Valente Rodriguez

Tactic #1: Organize each resource by category

  • Description: Create a user-friendly interface for students/faculty/staff to easily access I&E related resources
    • Milestones:
      1. Meet with OVPR administration
      2. Meet with point of contact for each resource
      3. Develop draft for web layout
      4. Relay information to director of communication for web development

​Update: This project is no longer run by a UI Fellow at TTU, instead the OVPR has taken ownership of it and is currently working on a page. UIF is contributing by making the landscape canvas and working on display tools, like a Google Map.

Strategy # 2: OTC opportunities and collaboration between colleges

Leadership Circle Representative: Frank Atore

Tactic #1: Have interdisciplinary classes that are taught by at least two professors from different departments or colleges

  • Description: Train and provide hands on learning on how to design around a problem from conceptual to finished product in a one semester course.  
  • Milestones:
    • Reach out to current departments and colleges to facilitate cross talk and find volunteers: 2/14
    • Either create an institute for design in the research park or retro fit existing department: 3/15
    • Obtain funding for the program at $500 per student group and funding for travel to need areas (market) : 4/15
    • Promote program to undergraduate seniors and graduate students 7/15

Tactic #2: Internship opportunities in the Office of Technology Commercialization for students

  • Description: Gain hands on learning on how to market technology and form a business around a technology
  • Milestones
    • Reach out to the office of the VPR on openness to do program: 2/15
    • Find funding sources for the program and the IP backlog in the OTC: 3/15
    • Send out student survey for program: 4/15
    • Promote program to undergraduate and graduate students: 5/15

Tactic #3: Departmental “Champions” or points of contact for entrepreneurial design and studies

  • Description: Be a point of reference for faculty to communicate their current research endeavors and a reference for the OTC to relay market or industry interests to faculty.
  • Milestones:
    • Find experienced and enthusiastic innovators: 3/15
    • Create a database or knowledge base for faculty to vote on each others ideas or suggestions (before posting, they rank others ideas, but not theirs): 4/15
    • Discuss funding availability with the OVPR 5/15
    • Discuss with OTC about employing subject matter experts in the OTC to be counterparts to the departmental champions.9/15

Update: This project is discontinued, but we like the vision of it and will try to get around to it (or similar goals) in the future.

Strategy # 3: Transportation improvement

Leadership Circle Representative: Frank Atore

Tactic #1: Rental Bikes on Campus

  • Description: Have bikes stationed on areas around parking lots and campus perimeter
  • Milestones:
    • Liability and restrictions
    • Funding availability in current transportation budget
    • Establish payment system (use student ID)
    • Security cameras at bike stations

Strategy #4: Reduce Shortage of Software Developers for I&E

Leadership Circle Representative: Isaac Griswold-Steiner

Problem Statement: Tech has many students with ideas, but most of these ideas require software developers (and talented ones) to some degree. Our Computer Science department is mostly theory focused and most students don't do side projects, which causes many students studying CS to not feel comfortable working on industry level projects as undergrads.

Solution Overview: Solving this issue is going to require several overall strategies. These involve working with the department to have more software engineering projects (and ones with more rigor), working with student organizations to develop more of a "try, fail, try again till you succeed" culture. It's entirely possible to learn everything you need to know on your own, and as a full-time engineer you'll be required to do this. Finally, the last part involves creating coding courses for non-CS majors that help them gain the confidence to go out and learn on their own.

Tactic #1: Implementing Web-CAT Autograder in CS Department

  • Description: Have the Computer Science department use an auto-grader for labs and develop better programming assignments.
  • Milestones:
    • December 2015:
      • Get the chair and associate chair of the department onboard with the project.
      • Secure funding for a server to run the system.
    • January 2016:
      • Get a working Web-CAT server up and running (and capable of grading Python, Java, or C++ assignments)
    • February 2016:
      • Find professors willing to test the autograder
      • Finish getting Python, Java, and C++ working on Web-CAT
    • March 2016:
      • Finish documenting how to setup and use Web-CAT (hopefully make some videos for that as well).
      • Create additional demo projects to show how to use Web-CAT
      • Trial run the system with students and TAs/Faculty and get feedback.
    • April 2016:
      • Secure a way for students to get elective credit if they develop good programming assignments for courses (or plugins for the system).
    • May-August 2016:
      • Test run the system with TAs, Students, and Professors. Take additional feedback and try to solve issues.
    • Fall 2016:
      • Run a course or courses using this system.
    • 2017 and after:
      • Expand the system to other departments at TTU.
      • Maintain and build a support structure for the system in the CS department.
      • Reach out to other schools and try to help them do the same.

Tactic #2: Programming Courses for Non-CS Majors

  • Description: Have a course in the concepts of programming (run by students or the department) for non-CS majors.
  • Milestones:
    • May-August 2016:
      • Use CS For All (from Harvey Mudd) to create a trial run of a course for Non-CS majors (2-6 motivated individuals).
      • Use the feedback to develop a larger course that can be run by students each semester.
    • Fall 2016 and Spring 2017:
      • Run a trial course for non-CS majors, larger this time (10-20 students).
      • Take feedback and improve
    • Stretch Goals for 2017+ (or, if I can find the support):
      • Build enough interest to get the CS department to have an official course based off of CS For All.
      • Use the CS For All course as a way to improve CS education within the department as a whole (more implementation in addition to the theory).

Tactic #3: Software Development Club Community Integration

  • Description: Currently the Software Development Club is somewhat small and casual. The goal is to make it larger and more driven, integrating it more with the I&E community on campus (and hopefully the country).
  • Milestones:
    • Summer 2016:
      • Build a framework for integrating new officers and motivating them to overachieve. Possibly build a points system for the entire club. Rewards would include getting money to go to conferences.
      • Take select individuals and ensure they have (and continue) projects through the summer to act as inspiration for the rest of the team.
      • Train officers to relate on a personal level with members.
    • Fall 2016:
      • Get the members more self-motivated and in smaller teams (3-5 per team).
      • Change the culture and encourage members to work on projects for at least 5 hours per week instead of the 2 we do now.
      • Change weekly meetings to be more team-building, planning, getting help, and less about sitting quietly and coding.
    • 2017 and after:
      • Work with other student organizations to find out what software they need. Teach design thinking to the CS majors during the process of doing these projects.
      • Get the Software Development Club traveling more, visiting conferences and hackathons.

Strategy #5: Encourage growth of I&E through incentivizing students through a competitively based hackaton & research project competition (HackConf)

Description: Implement a hackathon + research presentation competition for high school students as well as Texas Tech University students to teach an important skill set for those interested in STEM fields. 


  • February 2016:
    • Have core member board meeting. Establish date, involvement, and events to include. 
  • March 2016:
    • Secure location, solicit additional funding, create website/social media profiles, and create agenda for event.
  • April 2016:
    • Perform classroom visits, post ads, and raise awareness. 
  • May 2016:
    • Host event. Have debriefing session with members to see what went well, what participants did/did not like, and how to improve for next years HackConf.
  • June-September 2016:
    • Create new core member board group. Establish responsibilities, roles, and outcomes.
  • October-December 2016:
    • Speak with professors/teachers to gain additional support through extra credit points, assigned work, or any other means to drive higher participation for next HackConf.
  • January-February 2017:
    • Begin classroom visits and pursue outreach channels.
  • March-April 2017:
    • Contact local news for press release, solicit additional sponsorship/funding, finalize event details.
  • May 2017:
    • Host event. Have debriefing session with members to see what went well, what participants did/did not like, and how to improve for next years HackConf.
  • June-September 2017:
    • Recruit more members to establish responsibilities, roles, and outcomes. 
  • October-December 2017:
    • Re-establish relationships with professors, faculty, and teachers showing the impact/results of past events. Look to expand to other geographical areas (high schools) nearby.
  • January-February 2018:
    • Do classroom visits, and pursue outreach channels.
  • March-April 2018:
    • Contact local news channels/newspapers for press release. Solicit funding from local businesses in similar fields (TimeForge, SmoothFusion, etc.) and give prospects for interns/employment opportunities.
  • May 2018:
    • Host event. Determine outcomes and how to improve for next year. 

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Strategy #6: Help develop the university´s future innovation ecosystem 

Leadership Circle Representative: Alfonso Alarcon

Problem Statement: Texas Tech University has great resources to support students in the business startup process. It has been really challenging to engage college students in Texas Tech´s innovation ecosystem and help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset. More students need to experience that launching a company is a viable career path. There is also a need to develop the future talent that will lead initiatives at the university to support entrepreneurial students.  

Solution Overview: The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce will launch the Young Entrepreneurs Academy in Lubbock, Texas in October. They want to involve Texas Tech students that have experienced the startup process in the program as mentors to the high school students. The fellows will integrate the program with TTIME (Texas Tech Innovation Mentorship & Entrepreneurship), the entrepreneurship student organization at Tech, to start the mentorship program and to involve high school students in the entrepreneurship events at Tech. 

Background: The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), is a program that guides students through the process of starting their own company. Throughout the school year, students attend weekly sessions where they conduct market research, validate their business ideas, develop a business plan, pitch to a panel of community leaders, and some of them start companies. 

Tactic #1: Desig a new high-impact community service project for Texas Tech students

Description: Undergraduate and graduate students will have the opportunity to mentor the students participating in the program. 


  • May 2016: Get the Fall 2016 class schedule from the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce to identify relevant information about the learning sessions.
  • June 2016: Draft a description of the program.
  • July 2016: Determine the number of student mentors needed per session.
  • August 2016: Come up with a list of potential mentors that belong to the entrepreneurship student organizations on campus and invite them to apply to the program. Extend invitations to student entrepreneurs to get involved as mentors as well. 
  • September 2016: Conduct interviews to select a small number of mentors.  

Tactic #2: Operating the program throughout the school year

Description: The program will run the whole school year; the academy starts in October and ends in April. The sessions will be scheduled every Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Texas Tech Innovation Hub at the Research Park. 


  • October 2016: Define the schedule for each mentor and send calendar invites.
  • October 2016 to April 2017: Participate in the program and recruit a team to support the program logistics.  

Strategy #7: Further Cultivate the I&E Culture at Texas Tech by Hosting our First UIF Regional Meet-up

Leadership Circle Representative: Alyx Horace

Problem Statement: Texas Tech University has a vast amount of resources for students to learn about and engage in entrepreneurship and innovation; but most often these resources go unnoticed. A way to interest the student body, faculty, and surrounding lubbock community in innovation and entrepreneurship is crucial in fostering the innovation and entrepreneurial culture that Texas Tech is striving to achieve. 

Solution Overview: Hosting a UIF Regional Meet-Up is a great way to attract attention from students, fellows, and the community, all while showcasing the initiatives that Tech is working towards in I&E. Additionally, having a themed regional meetup is a great way to spark ideas and solutions to some of the problems we are facing in todays society. Bringing together a group of bright minds with similar interests in drive will undoubtedly yield noteworthy results.

Tactic #1: Expanding Upon our Theme

Description: Having an intriguing, creative, and fun theme is of notable importance in every area of a meet-up. Themes not only help attract attendees, or gain sponsorships and partnerships, they most importantly guide the creative, idea-generating process. While TTU is still in the beginning stages of planning, the chosen theme is “Regional Problems and Ingenious Solutions.” We live in a unique climate and culture of which many standard solutions to community problems aren’t applicable. Not only would Tech gain from a weekend of solution generation, but our community, and attending UIF’s from nearby areas would take home tangible pieces of knowledge and experience.


February 2016

  • Meet with Faculty Sponsor to run by theme ideas.
  • Reach out to Lubbock Economic Development Association (LEDA), who work tirelessly looking for solutions to community problems.
    • Gauge their interest in the event and possible outcomes.
    • Seek partnership with LEDA.

Tactic #2: Planning--Events, Invites, & Budgets

Description: The second phase of the meet-up is essentially extensive research. From this research we can begin to outline an event plan that will include invitees, each event within the weekend meet-up, and budgets to cover accommodation, meals, and entertainment.


<span style="font-size:small;"</span>February 2016

  • Meet with TTU Administration to discuss I&E funding.
  • Obtain available dates from UIF Leadership to attend/host workshops at meet-ups.
  • Choose date.
  • Begin communication with other schools to find any necessary university held events that TTU should plan around.

March 2016

  • Calculate approximate number of attendees.
    • Find accompanying accommodation and create budget for meals.
  • Speak with LEDA about sponsorship.

May 2016

  • Send Invitations to surrounding schools.
  • Secure funding from various sources.

Video Presentation:

Strategy #8: Bring Student Awareness to Current I & E Resources

Spring 2017 Cohort

Tactic 1: Advertise I&E resources through I&E student organizations

  • Tech CEO
  • Student Government Association
  • MEIG

​Tactic 2: Bring Awareness through I&E Events

  • Red Raider Startup
  • Idea Competition
  • iLaunch
  • WCOE STEM Challenge
  • 1 Million Cups
  • TTU Accelerator
  • Design Challenge
  • Appathon
  • Geocashing
  • BBQ

Tactic 3: Publicly Acknowledge other I&E Success from Any Student on Campus

  • Football game Jumbotron
  • Basketball Game
  • Baseball Games
  • Tech Announce
  • The Daily Toreador
  • TTU Office of Communications - TTU Today
  • Student Orgs. Weekly (Center for Campus Life & Dean of Students)
  • SGA Newsletters and Emails

Related Links

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University Student Priorities Page

Spring 2017:

Alvin Kim

Braxton Manley

Crystal Blankenship

Saba Nafees

Spring 2016:

Alyx Horace

Alfonso Alarcon

Berto Garcia

Isaac Griswold-Steiner

Jared Steele

Spring 2015:

Francis Atore

Benjamin Simmons

Valente Rodriguez

Victoria Young

Taylor Person

South Plains Connection

Spring 2016:

Tad Davis

Spring 2015:

Marshal Head