Skip to Content

Big Ideas

Big Ideas collage

A Message from the Provost

Dr. Gene Bourgeois Photo

Today, I am pleased to announce the first round of Big Ideas selected to help launch our next comprehensive fundraising campaign. The five selected projects are listed below.  These represent transformative initiatives designed to strengthen areas of strategic importance to Texas State.

I want to thank everyone who participated in this process. Your ideas and feedback helped identify projects that will spotlight the university’s strengths in research and discovery.  We anticipate additional opportunities to submit/resubmit Big Ideas on a regular basis during the campaign.

Over the next couple of months, University Advancement will partner with project sponsors to develop proposal material to support fundraising outreach to begin this fall.  Each Big Idea selected included possible involvement of faculty from across the university if funded.  If you have questions about a project, or believe you could contribute to the proposed project, please contact: 

Dan Perry, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President

University Advancement
Phone: 512.245.4055



Gene Bourgeois
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

The Five Big Ideas

Training with Augmented/Virtual Reality in Law Enforcement Areas

Project Lead: Dr. J. Pete Blair, Criminal Justice/ALERRT

Augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) technology-based training has demonstrated the ability to lower costs and drive results in the learning and training arena through interactive, 3D experiences. Because many scenarios can be made virtual, new training models can be applied to improve law enforcement, nursing, engineering, aerospace, sports science, and more.
Click here to download more information about this Big Idea.

Police training with augmented/virtual reality technology.

Translational Health

Project Lead: Dr. Melinda Villagran, Communication Studies/Translational Health Research Initiative, Dr. Rodney E. Rohde, Clinical Laboratory Science Program 

Researchers at Texas State are working to put academic research into practice to improve the health and wellness of people. The translational health research initiative builds on our existing strengths in cancer research, nutrition, health communication, aging and dementia studies, and addiction.
Click here to download more information about this Big Idea.


Two nursing students examining a patient in a hospital bed.

Materials with Intelligence

Project Lead: Dr. Edwin L. Piner, Physics Department

Our faculty researchers are focused on finding practical ways to advance sensor technology, to create new materials that can reconfigure themselves to react to environmental conditions, and to improve the lifecycle management of infrastructure through sensor systems and predictive modeling.
Click here to download more information about this Big Idea.


Hands of researcher holdinga round disc of metal material with intelligence.

Harnessing Big Data

Project Lead: Dr. Alessandro De Nadai, Psychology

Big Data is changing Texas and the world. Texas State faculty are leading data scientists who have partnered with the National Institutes of Health and Fortune 500 companies. The Harnessing Big Data initiative synergizes ongoing efforts and positions Texas State as an international leader in data science. 
Click here to download more information about this Big Idea.


Graphic image of mix of data science solutions.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Project Lead: Dr. Shannon Weigum, Biology, MSEC

Today’s innovation driven economy requires a new class of graduates - skilled in both the discipline of their academic major, and equipped with entrepreneurial training to launch new ideas into the world. Texas State faculty are preparing graduates with an entrepreneurial mindset who are self-motivated innovators and creators. We are developing new ways to engage students in the theory and practice of creating value from ideas and opportunities.
Click here to download more information about this Big Idea. 


The two winners of the Texas State innovation lab SXSW 2019 pitch contest, Resurrection Bread.