Mar. 11, 2015

Every March, South by Southwest® Music, Film & Interactive Conferences & Festivals (SXSW®) takes Austin by storm. The 10-day event is the largest of its kind in the world.

Many St. Edward’s University students on spring break sit in on panels, catch more than a few live shows and might even see Bill Murray strolling around town. Additionally, students, alumni and faculty are involved in the festival itself. Here are just some of the ways the St. Edward’s community is making the most of SXSW 2015:

Faculty Speakers at SXSWedu:

This year’s SXSWedu® Conference and Festival featured three St. Edward’s University faculty members speaking on panels about higher education. Shannon Butler, PhD, and Corinne Weisgerber, PhD, associate professors of Communication, both spoke on a panel titled Disrupting the Disruption in Higher Education

The panel aimed to shed light on the faculty perspective of the current climate of higher education and the role that outside corporations play in the changing landscape of corporate involvement.

Faculty speaking at panel.

David Altounian, PhD, assistant professor of Entrepreneurship, spoke on the Entrepreneurship Education—Common Myths Debunked panel. Altounian’s expertise lies in new venture creation as well as entrepreneurship. He is a partner at Capital Factory, an Austin-based technology incubator.

Altounian’s panel fostered conversation around the differing opinions on how students can be taught to start a business or “think like an entrepreneur” in the classroom.  

Topper Radio is nominated for an mtvU Woodie Award

Topper Radio

Each year mtvU hosts the Woodie Awards during SXSW and dishes out music honors in an assortment of categories. This year’s event is hosted by Bleachers frontman, Jack Antonoff and will feature acts from Big Sean to Fall Out Boy.

In addition to awards for musicians, mtvU presents a Woodie Award for the best college or university radio station in the nation. With over 4,000 colleges and universities across the U.S., thousands of stations were in the running, Topper Radio, the student-led station at St.

Edward’s, was one of just 11 stations nominated for the award.

“The fact that a recently-launched Internet based radio station at a small private university can be nominated for such a big national award shows how our staff are working hard to produce, curate, and create content that matters to them and the college radio scene as a whole," said Jesse Plaza, executive director of Topper Radio.

Scott Christopherson’s Documentary, Peace Officer, Debuts

Peace Officer, a collaboration between two associate professors in documentary film, Scott Christopherson at St. Edward's University and Brad Barber at Brigham Young University, explores the drivers behind the 15,000% increase in SWAT raids since the late 1970s. The film follows the story of Dub Lawrence, a former sheriff who founded the first SWAT team in Utah  in 1974.

“It’s about giving a voice to both sides and to people who previously didn’t get a chance to speak. It’s a compassionate way of looking at this story,” said Christopherson.

Joel Carter’s Internship Gives Him the Inside “Skoop”

Headshot of Scott Christopherson.
Joel Carter with other interns.

Joel Carter, a junior at St. Edward’s University, is an intern at an Austin based start-up called Embazaar Inc. SXSW Interactive Festival is prime time for companies like Embazaar Inc. to garner some attention from the bigger players in the industry. Carter’s internship has landed him right in the thick of things as he helps to market and plan promotional events during the festival for Embazaar's new app called Skoop.

“Being involved with SXSW gives me insider access to new applications and to cool parties to share new knowledge and technology in my field,” said Carter. “This internship gives me a competitive edge in the tech and marketing world … as well as finding the coolest events during SXSW.”

SXSW Music Festival features Multiple Alumni Acts

Brother Muller would be proud of how many alumni and current students are making a name for themselves in the music scene! Check out these groups’ sites to take a listen and see when they’re performing during the week: