FAQ

General questions

What is your mission and purpose?

The Harvey Najim Center for Business Innovation and Social Responsibility works with students, faculty, and businesses to provide opportunities for collaboration on real world projects.  We create interdisciplinary and cross-functional opportunities for learning in the areas of business innovation and social responsibility by identifying projects with global, local, and non-profit organizations.  We  match St. Mary’s students working towards degrees in business, law, and/or engineering with these projects, faculty supervisors, and other experts.

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How does the center benefit sponsoring businesses and partners?

Through these teams, we create low cost, high quality consulting opportunities for businesses and unique learning opportunities for our students.

How are projects selected?

Projects may include topics such as sustainable product development, waste reduction, energy efficiency, market entry strategy, entrepreneurship and start ups, micro-business, double bottom line strategy, and more.  Project teams may work with traditional project management methods or collaborate with new models such as participatory design.

Projects should be approximately 12 weeks in length and require two of the following disciplines: business, legal, and engineering.

Who can I contact to sponsor a project?

For more information or to learn about how to apply for a project as a business, please contact Suz Burroughs at sburroughs@stmarytx.edu.

Is there a fee for projects?

Projects require an internal sponsor at your company and a fee to cover the cost of faculty supervisors, travel, equipment, etc.  Project costs vary.

Through our Get One, Give One program, businesses receive a low cost, high quality consulting project lasting up to 12 weeks and also sponsor an equivalent project for a non-profit. Businesses may choose to sponsor projects that align with their corporate giving priorities.

How does the center benefit students?

Students learn through real projects on interdisciplinary teams.  This builds collaboration skills, cross-functional leadership, and professional capacity.

How do students apply for a project, and how are students selected for projects?

For more information or to learn about how to apply for a project as a student, please contact Suz Burroughs at sburroughs@stmarytx.edu.

How are faculty involved in projects?

Faculty supervise student projects as a part of capstone, senior design, or independent study courses.

What schools and fields does the center primarily work with?

We work with faculty from business, legal, and engineering disciplines.  Student teams may have secondary supervisors for interdisciplinary projects.