Honors students share ideas influenced by South by Southwest


    Honors students in the South by Southwest Interactive TCU colloquium challenged the student body to think outside the box when presenting their innovative ideas Monday afternoon.

    Twelve students traveled to Austin for five days to explore the contemporary ideas presented at SXSW. They highlighted particular tech innovations of their choice and their theories on how these new ideas can shape the world.

    The topics varied from food to fashion to health care and beyond. The students’ topics were chosen for them based off a list of their ranked preferences.

    “The Future of Technology and You,” was the title for this year’s presentation. Students focused on how individuals can become active participants in the technological world.

    Senior combined science major Austin Green spoke about innovations in health care. He focused on the importance of community involvement in order to develop health care advances.

    “I am asking you to innovate, educate, and advocate,” said Green who mentioned multiple inventions to improve patient recovery.

    Dr. Beata Jones, who teaches a number of the honors colloquia courses, said the event was a place where honors students could share their entrepreneurial ideas and technological passions to help spark ideas.

    “We hope that the audience learned how they can use some of the recent technology innovations in their day-to-day lives, and perhaps be inspired by some of our students’ calls to action,” said Jones.

    The Brown-Lupton University Union auditorium was filled with a significant number of parents, students, faculty, and alumni.

    Junior political science major Jacob Greenstein has a passion for cooking and discussed “how food can change the world.” He focused on food and experimental dining at SXSW and sustainable strategies to expand local farming into the mass market.

    “Think different,” said Greenstein when offering advice on how to immerse the public with innovation.

    Sophomore marketing major Laura Simard said this course was challenging but rewarding.

    “My biggest realization after all of us in the class gave our presentations was that we have the power to really convey something great back to campus and advocate for what we learned, no matter where that learning experience takes place,” said Simard who focused innovations that incorporated social and privacy aspects.

    Senior journalism and English double major Samantha Ehlinger said that journalism is not a dying field like people think; it is just changing.

    “We need to learn to interact,” said Ehlinger when explaining that technology has transformed journalism from a one-way information dump to a two-way conversation.

    Jones said they plan to offer the course in the Spring of 2016 to honors and non-honors students.

    “Anyone interested in interdisciplinary inquiry, and immersive learning, centered on technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, able to travel, and willing to step out of their comfort zone, will be welcomed in our class,” said Jones.

    Other presenters included:

    • Sarah Wunderlick- junior strategic communications major

    • Chad Hummel- sophomore business information systems and supply and value chain management major

    • Katelyn Jennings- sophomore marketing major

    • Adam Beasley- sophomore entrepreneurial management major

    • Danielle Mondragon- junior Film, television, digital media and psychology major

    • Gracia Sohr- junior Electrical engineering major

    • Katie Drees- junior Marketing and supply and value chain management major

    • Conner Lunsford- junior business information systems and supply and value chain management major