Priorities:Virginia State University Student Priorities

From University Innovation Fellows
Jump to navigation Jump to search


The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Office for Access and Success (OAS) announced the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative (IEC). The HBCU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative will be a cohort of 15 HBCUs (both private and public) that are committed to participating in a multi-year collaboration that will foster innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship on their respective campuses. This collaborative will build upon the momentum that was established by the UNCF lead 2013 HBCU Innovation Summit that was held at Stanford University, and has continued through 2021.

Virginia State University (VSU) is one of the selected universities that will have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative community seeking to increase innovation and entrepreneurship across disciplines (i.e., Agriculture, Business, Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology, etc.) in order to build an innovation ecosystem among institutions, administrators, faculty and students, the federal government and private industry. This cohort of HBCUs will be able to access current and future funding opportunities that will be available only to those universities that commit to participate in this unique collaborative.

Strategy #1: Promoting Innovation on Virginia State University's Campus

Tactic #1: Innovation Project Program


-Students with the same course, upon joining the program, will meet with an Innovation Project Ambassador (usually an undergraduate or graduate who has already taken the course)

-The Ambassador will arrange an hour-long meeting (either virtually or in-person) to brainstorm on the project they would like to do for the assignment under guidelines that the instructor decides to set. (Brainstorming under a time constraint leads to better ideas)

-The instructor of the course can choose to either let the students in the team work outside of class on their own time or during the normal class meeting period.

-When the project is finished, the instructor will grade the project and all students in the group will receive the same score.

-At the end, students will be able to complete a form detailing how the process could be made better, along with any questions and comments.

-Ambassadors for the Innovation Project Program would be undergraduates who have already taken the course they would like to assist with and must have at least a 3.0 GPA. Because of the role, being an IP-Ambassador is a great leadership opportunity.

Strategy #2: Adapting Students Into the New Educational Structure

Tactic #1: Student Class Preference Evaluation Survey

Description: This tactic involves the creation and implementation of a campus-wide survey that provides the university with data on what their preferred method of learning is. This includes:

-Learning preference (in-person, virtual, etc.)

-Resources the student has (reliable internet, usable device, quiet work environment)

This would assist greatly with informing students on what devices, materials and/or preparations they need well ahead of time before their classes start.

A second survey would be given closer towards the end of the semester that gives advisors (for freshmen) a good idea of whether the student performs better in-person, virtual, or asynchronous, and can register the student based on their preferred method of success.

Strategy #3: Educating Computer Science Undergraduates with Job-Ready Essentials

Tactic#1: Career Incubator Program/Club

Description: A program or club that will assist undergraduates with applying what they learn in typical computer science courses with real-world applications to careers that can be during or after education at Virginia State University.

Strategy# 4: Changing the Potential Value on Virginia State University's Campus

Tactic #1

Description: 3 Day Startup’s mission is to kick-start new student-run companies and build entrepreneurial capabilities in students and their university communities. We rent work space for 3 full days, recruit 45 student participants from a wide range of backgrounds, cater food and drinks, and bring in top-notch entrepreneurs and investors. The participants pick the best ideas for startups during the Day 1 brainstorming session and deliver prototypes and investor pitches on the final night. 3DS Springboard is an interactive workshop focused on the beginning steps of launching a company or a project through on-campus innovation. During four 90-minute sessions over  one week, you will learn-by-doing with the 3DS team, Epicenter University Innovation Fellows leaders on your campus, and other students in your community who are passionate about starting something!

What can I start with 3DS Springboard?

A company, a project; a movement–3DS Springboard teaches entrepreneurship skills such as ideation, customer discovery, and pitching in the context of making real-world progress on anything you want to start.

Who is eligible to participate? 

20-40 current students at each of the participating schools.

What is the cost to participate?

This workshop is free but you must complete all modules to get your pitch in front of the global audience of influencers, investors, and innovators.

Tactic #2 : Student-led Innovation and Entrepreneurship Club

This will:    

  • This will connect the students.
  • This will highlight the importance of entrepreneurs in society.
  • This will promote ideation amongst the students.
  • This will get students motivated to translate classroom principle and theories into global solutions.
  • This will also provide an extracurricular platform for an Innovative and Entrepreneurial environment.

Tactic #3: Create/Establish an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Space on Campus

This will:

  • Engender and foster idea-generation and creativity among students; across disciplines.
  • Enhance sustainability of the I & E culture on campus.
  • Promote venture creation/commercialization.

Strategy #5: Executing  Effectiveness in the Reframing Value at VSU

Tactic #1: Infuse Entrepreneurship and Innovation into Introductory and Core Curricula

Description: Faculty will work on the NCIIA grant that is due in May to develop a course/program/curricula to infuse Innovation & Entrepreneurship into VSU's culture.

This will:

  • Inculcate the Innovation and Entrepreneurship culture and thinking in students.
  • Encourage the Innovation and Entrepreneurship culture and thinking in faculty.

Identification of College Course(s): Contemporary Global Studies

Reginald F. Lewis College of Business

1. MGMT 444 – Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management  

2. FINC 446 - Entrepreneurial Finance

College of Agriculture

1. AGEC 140 - Introduction to Agribusiness Entrepreneurship

2. AGEC 340 - Agribusiness Entrepreneurship

College of Engineering, Technology, and Science

1. INLT 443 - Engineering and Technology Entrepreneurship

Tactic #2 : Capacity-Building of VSU's Research Foundation

Description: This will promote and attract industry-identified projects/problems/issues for students to work on (with faculty guidance). VSU will plan to become a member of NCIIA (VentureWell) to enhance partnerships both in the industry and with such government and regulatory agencies as: Veterans Affairs, USPTO, Small Business Admin, other HBCU partners etc.

Encouragement of the following:

  • Developing and encouraging academia-industry partnership in a mutually beneficial way.
  • Whetting the creativity and problem-solving appetite of students and faculty.
  • Showcasing and promoting intellectual capital within VSU.
  • Promoting venture creation/commercialization.

Tactic #3: Establish Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge Competitions

This will:

  • Encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration and robust problem solving skills across campus
  • Build, sustain and promote Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
  • Enhance VSU visibility.

Strategy #6: Campus Scooter Program on Virginia State University's Campus

Benefits to VSU:

  • Campus Tours and Visitor Experience: Utilize scooters for guided campus tours, offering an engaging and eco-friendly way for prospective students and visitors to explore our university.
  • Boosting Local Economy: Promote local businesses through the scooter program, fostering economic growth and partnerships within the community.
  • Community Engagement: The scooter program can be a focal point for community engagement events, bringing together students, faculty, staff, and local residents. Organize community rides, charity events, or fundraisers using scooters, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie.
  • Reduced Demand for Parking: By providing an alternative mode of transportation, the scooter program can reduce the demand for parking spaces on campus. This can alleviate the strain on existing parking facilities and reduce the need for costly expansions.
  • Reduced Traffic Congestion: By offering an alternative mode of transportation, we can significantly reduce traffic congestion on campus roads, making commuting more efficient for everyone.
  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: By encouraging the use of electric scooters, VSU can significantly reduce its carbon footprint. This aligns with sustainability goals and demonstrates the university's commitment to environmental stewardship.
  • Student Employment Opportunities: Beyond charging and maintenance programs, the scooter company can offer part-time job opportunities for students in areas like marketing, event planning, or customer support, providing valuable work experience and income.

Related Links

Virginia State University

Ulysses Knight

Reginald Burroughs

Fellow:Taniyah Epps

Fellow:Christian Mills

Fellow:Mihiretu Jackson

Fellow:Brian Chukwuisiocha

Fellow:Katura McDaniel

Related links