CoSearch Weekend is a two-day intensive retreat where multi-disciplinary teams of researchers and artists will collaborate to develop research plans that will be supported by C3 and carried out over the upcoming academic year. The goal is to break down academic silos and bridge research and creative activity to produce cutting-edge and possible grant-funded projects that unite researchers and artists from the University. Collaboration expert and social entrepreneur Greg Tehven, from Fargo, ND, is back to serve as the facilitator. CoSearch Weekend is for researchers and artists who are ready for a challenge and excited to collaborate.
Second Annual Cross-disciplinary Prize Provides Kickstart to Novel Research Proposal
Thirty faculty members representing every college at Texas State University spent 24 hours forming into four teams to conceive, develop and pitch unique research proposals aimed at solving critical social problems. Teams then presented their research proposals to a panel of ten judges on topics including student hunger on college campuses, empathy training and the effects classroom design can have on student productivity. The winning pitch called “The Living Room,” proposed the development of a mobile app to match under-utilized spaces in homes, churches, company conference rooms, community centers and public places with performance artists and groups in need of rehearsal venues.
Neil Patrick Stewart, a professor in the department of theatre and dance who led the winning team’s presentation said, “Our aim is to turn dead space into living rooms. Like Airbnb has done for travelers, our app will support artists, performers and groups who need rehearsal space. Space providers get the benefit of having art come to life right in their own homes or workplaces.” “The Living Room” project members include: Denise Gobert (Physical Therapy), Joey Martin (Music), Ron Ulen (Music), Jason Kwak (Music), Prisca Ngondo (Public Relations), Cheri DeVol (Theatre), Omar Lopez (Occupational Workforce & Leadership), Tom Dugdale (Theatre), and Dan Tamir (Computer Science).
The team plans to leverage its CoSearch prize to draw on additional funding sources and estimates an app development timeline of 18 months. The group plans to activate the app by engaging the more than 1,100 Texas State University Fine Arts students as word of mouth marketers.
College of Fine Arts dean, John Fleming reflected on The Living Room’s win by saying, “This is what the CoSearch process does. In just 24 hours, an incredible new idea has been conceived and now has seed funding. This is research with relevance that can scale to every college campus and community in the country.”
The 2nd place team focused on “Student food insecurity on campus.” An estimated 7,500 students at Texas State that deal with food insecurity every school year. The goal is to partner with student affairs, retention office, to assess hunger on campus and, partnering with local food distributors, develop a student-led, on-campus, food pantry that evolves into a non-profit grocery store.
CoSearch 2016 was facilitated by Greg Tehven, a curator with TEDx, and nationally sought-after workshop leader. San Marcos Mayor and Texas State graduate, Daniel Guerrero, served as the event’s keynote speaker. 126 supporters attended the final presentations and celebration in the Performing Arts Center.