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News Office of Engaged Learning Student Academic Engagement & Success

National Mentoring Month 2024

Did you know January is National Mentoring Month? Mentoring plays a significant role in the university experience, providing students with the support, guidance, and resources they need to succeed. As a new semester begins, now is the perfect time for us to reflect on the impact these positive relationships have within our academic community.

Here are some of the benefits of mentoring, to name a few: 

  • Improved academic performance
  • Positive impact on mental health and well-being
  • Boosted confidence and sense of belonging
  • Connections on campus and beyond
  • Preparation for life after college

Peer mentoring is equally as important to student success and offers the unique benefit of the shared experience!

Starting this spring, the Office of Engaged Learning will re-launch SMU Mustang Mentors in partnership with the Mentor Collective, a peer mentoring platform to promote student engagement and tailor mentorship to fit all students’ needs.

Join us in celebrating National Mentoring Month and stay tuned for more on SMU Mustang Mentors!  

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News Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship Student Academic Engagement & Success

SMU student entrepreneur Trevor Gicheru in the news

Trevor Gicheru, a computer science junior at SMU, is making headlines with his software Nurovant AI, which uses AI technology to create quizzes, flashcards, and study tools from audio recordings of lectures. While preparing for a class at SMU, he saw an opportunity for the app, and fellow students are already using it to improve their learning experience. Nurovant AI is growing popularity among students and investors alike, and recently featured in the Dallas Morning News.

In 2024, Trevor and his team have ambitious goals for Nurovant AI.

“We are currently in the midst of raising a pre-seed round of 250k. We’ve already secured about half of our funding target and aim to complete this round by the end or middle of January,”  Trevor said. “Additionally, we’ve garnered venture interest from VCs across the country. Our objective is to finalize a deal with one of these firms by mid-year. Another key goal is to achieve 10,000 downloads of our app by April, a milestone that would significantly demonstrate our product’s traction and market fit. We’re also aiming to pilot our school-facing version of the software in at least five schools, broadening our impact and reach.”

As a two-time winner of the Big iDeas Pitch Competition, Trevor has great advice for students aspiring to build a startup:

“My advice is straightforward: take action,” he says. “Don’t wait for others to believe in your dreams. It’s essential to be proactive and pursue your vision with determination and resilience. Building a startup is a journey filled with challenges, but with a strong belief in your ideas and a willingness to work hard, you can create something truly impactful.”

For SMU students looking to take the next step in building their startup, The Office of Engaged Learning will be holding the Big iDeas Business Plan Competition on February 9 from 9am -1pm. Encourage students to apply today to pitch to win $5000.

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News Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research

2023 Fall Research Symposium

On November 1, 2023, the Office of Engaged Learning held the annual Fall Research Symposium, where 23 undergraduate and graduate students from select research and service programs presented on issues affecting communities locally and globally. The event was a wonderful celebration of the scope of research taking place across campus. Thank you to the scholars and everyone who attended! To see more photos from the event, check out @smuengagedlearning on Instagram.

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News Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research Student Academic Engagement & Success

The Office of Engaged Learning welcomes new ELFs

The Office of Engaged Learning is happy to introduce the new Engaged Learning Fellows for 2023! Engaged Learning Fellowships award up to $2500 for student pursuing capstone projects in research, service, and creative activities.

Tyler Chapman ‘24
Fight the New Drug
Mentor: Mark Allen (Temerlin Advertising Institute)

Isis Kazadi ‘24
Am I My Brother’s Keeper: A Rational Dissection into the Family Unit’s Political Response to Incarceration
Mentor: Kara Sutton (Sociology)

Kevin Nguyen ‘24
The Synthesis of HEMI and Biodegradable Polymers
Mentor: David Son (Chemistry)

Theodore Morris ‘24
SMU Guildhall Capstone Recording Sessions: Year Two
Mentor: Robert Frank (Music Composition)

Anika Saiprabhu ‘26
Prisoner of the Strings: The Dystopia of Book Bans and Censorship in Schools
Mentor: Lane Harder (Music Composition)

Anna Su ‘24
Early Interventions in STEM Education: Examining Spectrums of Youth Interest in Engineering
Mentor: Richard Duschl (Caruth Institute for Engineering Education)

Yvonne Yang ‘24
Speculo
Mentor: Rebecca Flores (Film and Media)