Priorities:University of Oklahoma Student Priorities

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The University of Oklahoma has momentum and a lot of potential when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship on campus. Through mapping all the resources on campus, it has been determined that there are a few key areas where University Innovation Fellows and faculty can come together to further advance entrepreneurship on our campus.

2016 Strategies

Strategy #1: Improve Inter-Major Collaboration

OU's college are still very much seperated. There is no formal way for someone from the college of business to meet someone from the college of engineering. It is entirely possible someone could have a great idea, but have no idea how to build it, or for someone to build something great and have no idea how to market it. By creating a system for these students to find assistance from others, these ideas can improve there chances of having a real impact.

Team Lead: Brad Morrow


March 2016-Begin test case for program viability

April 2016-Set up small physical space to determine interest

May 2016-Set up digital infrastructure to improve numbers

December 2016-Check projects for success

Strategy #2: Create interdisciplinary ambassador team for Innovation Hub

The Innovation Hub is set to launch this semester, but even with it being new and exciting, many students still ask "What is that?" or "What does that have to do with me?"  A student team should be implemented in order to increase visibility on the campus and engage the students effectively.  This would be an interdisciplinary team selected by application and interview with a potential semesterly stipend offered depending on funding availability.  This team could collaborate with their departments to do classroom takeovers, host Innovation Hub field trips, host startup weekends and hackathons, and implement other unique ideas as the Innovation Hub grows and develops.

Team Lead: Holly Crawford

March 2016 - Consult with Innovation Hub leaders to determine needs, funding, and implementation timeline.

April 2016 - Create loose job description of student ambassadors. Name, brand, and begin to market this team. Open applications and interview students.

Summer 2016 - Online collaborative meetups for ambassadors.

August 2016 - Kickoff boot camp

2015 Strategies

Strategy #1: Foster a Sense of Community

  • Tactic #1: Create Meaningful Connections

  • Description - The University of Oklahoma has a ton of resources available for its students, but they aren't necessarily used as widely as they should be. The problem is, there is no sense of community on campus, especially between different colleges. Our goal is to unite students across the College of Arts and Science, College of Engineering, Business College, and Petroleum and Geological Engineering College through fostering a STEM community. By breaking down barriers, OU can put a spotlight on the vast array of opporunities already available, and pave the way for more students to discover their passion for innovation and entrepreneuriship.
  • Team Lead: Alexandra Hamon
  • Milestones -
    • Organize a STEM Newsletter
    • Recruit delegates from different STEM majors
      • Student delegates
      • Faculty delegates
    • Create a STEM Community Council

Strategy #2: Promote more Student/Professor Collaboration

  • Tactic #1: Student Project Form
  • Description - With a form for students to fill put and present their ideas to faculty, the hope is that students can work with and get feedback from professors who have experience in a field that could be beneficial to the students success in whatever startup/project they are pursuing. Currently if a student is interested in working on research they can search the OU website for professors and see what they are researching. If the student is also interested they can reach out to the Professor and ask to help with their research. Taking this concept, but refining and reversing it, I want to create a way for students to present a startup/project by filling out a form and getting a list of faculty that could be beneficial to their ideas and means to contact them. In addition, a step further would be to notify faculty when an idea has been presented by a student that falls under their experience. If the professor is interested or has knowledge to offer to the student they can choose to contact the student back.
  • Team Lead: Ashley Findley
  • Milestones -
    • Develop a form for Students to fill out that match the student’s project/idea with Faculty in that area of interest
      • Generate interest among students to work with faculty on projects outside of academics.
      • Generate interest with Faculty to get involved with Students whose forms match their expertise.

Strategy #3: Improve Mental Health of Students and Increase Disability Resource and Awareness

  • Tactic #1: Organize Current Resources and Create Network
  • Description - As a student at the University of Oklahoma, I have had the privelege to meet, and even become friends with, amazingly brilliant and talented students. They dream, they aspire, they are creative and motivated. Unfortunately, I have seen many suffer from serious problems such as depression and anxiety. This can inhibit the creative process along with the motivation and desire to accomplish even greater things. The idea is to establish greater opportunities for mental health improvement on campus. Furthermore, the awareness of the limited disability resources causes many unique students to struggle. It is becoming more widely known that diversity drives innovation and students with disabilities can be factored into this array of diversity. Greater resources and awareness will allow students with disabilities to contribute even more on campus.
  • Team Lead: Laura Davis
  • Milestones -
    • Create an easy to find resource page on the OU website of all resources currently available to students
    • Have seperate counselors trained on the specific stressers by college or major
    • Have time management and positive coping seminars for students
    • Monitored semi-anonymous student forum as a student support group
    • Use communication campaigns to lessen stigma that prevents students from seeking help
    • Become a JedSealed school through the Jed Foundation

Strategy #4: Encourage Students to Find Their Personal Passions

  • Tactic #1: Create a Resource for Students to Discover Interest Areas

  • Description - I am a first generation college student. People might see this phrase on programs or scholarship eligibility requirements and understand that it is an under-represented minority. Though, for me, it means I did not grow up with the same influences that students with parents who have graduated from college do. Fortunately for me, I was able to find a passion in Architectural Engineering. Many students like me, or even students with far different backgrounds, don't know what their passion is. Maybe they have not had a hands-on experience with creating something, working in depth on accounting for a start up, sculpting something to express themselves, or making a program on a computer. A student is unlikely to thrive, innovate and create if they are not passionate enough to stick with a goal and it is difficult to know what you enjoy if you haven't done it yet. My project will be based around helping students find their passions based on their personality and preferences and then be matched to the plethora of resources that can inspire them here at the University of Oklahoma.
  • Team Lead: Candace J Alsenay
  • Milestones -
    • Create a resource for students, similar to an aptitude test, that will find student interests. Unlike an aptitude test, it will provide a list of resources (such as mentors, student organizations, campus resources, competitions, centers, etc.) for students to go to on campus to have hands-on experience with extra-ciriculars related to their interests.

Previous Strategies

Strategy #1: I&E Spaces                                           

  • Tactic #1: Innovative/Creative Space
  • Description - We are hoping that the creative space will be our Design Space, "Makery," Maker Space, etc., where students can come and design their new ideas. We want this to be our Google Garage, if you will. This fabrication lab will have a 3D printer, all the office supplies imaginable, tinkering spaces, and tools. 
  • Milestones - Maker space acquired in the University Research Park.
  • Collaboration space developed in university library
  • Set to launch in Spring 2016
  • Director being hired 
  • Tactic #2: IBM Design                                         ==

  • Description - IBM Design is a new and quickly-growing 4th major division of IBM. The division currently has about 80 designers and front-end developers, but is hiring over 2,000 new graduates over the next 5 years. The head manager of this new division is an OU alumni and has been extremely interested in a partnership. We believe a partnership with this new division could help in 3 different ways. First, IBM Design could sponsor monthly speakers and/or design workshops to get not just designers focused more on design but get people from all majors integrating design thinking into their projects. Second, the big name of IBM will get more students interested in the programs. This will help spread innovation and design thinking across campus. Finally, this would create an easy path for students from OU to be hired by a major company that is beginning to focus on design and has been known for innovation.
  • Team Leaders - Ryan Phillips (Computer Science), Sridhar Radhikrishnan (Dean of Computer Science)
  • Milestones -
    • First workshop - August 2014
    • First OU hire by IBM Design - December 2014
  • Tactic #3: Design for America
  • Description - We are hoping to bring Design for America to our campus to increase innovation and entrepreneurship in the design sphere. We are hoping that this will encourage more students in the design and arts and sciences sphere to engage in entrepreneurship. Design for America will open their applications to more campuses this Fall and OU will apply.
  • Team Leaders: Lauren Abston
  • Milestones -
    • Apply for DFA - Fall 2014
    • Start plans on campus - Spring 2015

Strategy #2: How to Train Thinkers

  • Tactic #1: Creativity Course
  • Description - In our time spent at Stanford, many of the professors described the classes they taught as creativity courses where crazy brainstorming and rapid prototyping is a key portion of the class. At OU, we have very little of this. Almost all classes, even in the Visual Communications department, are focused on traditional lecture classes. One of our main goals is to promote this creative thinking through working with professors to offer a creative thinking course similar to the one Tina Seelig teaches. This can initially be something that is offered to just a few students and once the benefits are seen, and it is shown that students enjoy using their hands to prototype with PlayDoh and other materials during class, we will look into expanding to offer more classes.
  • Team Leaders - Ryan Phillips
  • Milestones -
    • First class offered - Fall 2014
    • First Creativity major offered - Fall 2014
    • Other majors required to take course in creative thinking - Fall 2016
  • Tactic #2: Learning By Doing Across Majors
  • Description - There are few ideas that span every major at a major university, but one that is absolutely true for each is the fact that a student learns more by doing rather than listening. Universities like Stanford have begun to implement this with the being open to all majors, but OU is slow in this area. If we want students to be as well-prepared as possible when graduating, we need to get the students doing projects that have real-world impacts and allow the students to get hands-on experience. To do this, we can partner with local businesses and work directly with them to develop projects that a small team of students can work on.
  • Team Leaders - Ryan Phillips
  • Milestones -
    • First agreement with company for students to work on project - Fall 2014
    • Integrate into class - Spring 2015
  • Tactic #3: Presidential Dream Creativity Course

  • Description - There are Presidential Dream Courses taught at OU that bring together professors and speakers from all different disciplines. They are a series of lectures taught by accredited and renowned leaders in their fields. The Dream Courses range from science to the existence of God, from music to ancient Roman history. We are hoping to host a Presidential Dream Course on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. We are hoping this will have three main effects. First, this will bring important leaders in creativity (like Tina Seelig) to the OU campus and they will see the infrastructure we already have in place. Second, this course will be open to all students and will bring in some that may have not thought they had an interest in entrepreneurship. Third, it will prove to the university and the University President that there is a demand for entrepreneurship and creativity on our campus. This is my top priority, something that will cause lasting change on campus, and is unique to our campus landscape. 
  • Team Leads: Lauren Abston, Ryan Phillips
  • Milestones -
    • Have course - Spring 2014

Random Strategy: Start-Up Career Fair

  • We only have normal career fairs with big energy companies. It would be awesome to spur interest for entrepreneurship by bringing in start-up companies that are looking to hire recent college grads. We haven't looked into this as much, but even having a few start-up companies at our normal career fair would help a lot. 

Related Links

University of Oklahoma

University of Oklahoma Student Priorities

University Innovation Fellows

Spring 2016:

Holly Crawford

Brad Morrow

Spring 2015:

Candace Alsenay

Laura Davis

Ashley Findley

Alexandra Hamon

Spring 2014:

Lauren Abston

Ryan Phillips