WT’s Peeples to judge startup competition at SXSW EDU

Local News

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Dr. Shanna Peeples of West Texas A&M University will serve as a judge for SXSW EDU’s Launch competition, said the University.

SXSW EDU is set to host a virtual conference March 9 to 11 to shine a light on a passionate community dedicated to teaching and learning, according to a news release.

Peeples joined WT in September as its Dr. John G. O’Brien Distinguished Chair in Education. She was named the National Teacher of the Year in 2015 while working as an English teacher at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo.

The Launch competition debuted in 2012 and has been a pillar of SXSW EDU ever since. Launch is a catalyst for innovative startups at the intersection of education, technology, and entrepreneurialism, according to a news release.

Five finalists selected from across the country will pitch their startup at SXSW EDU Online:

  • Composer (New Orleans)
  • Everydae (Los Angeles)
  • FabuLingua (Austin)
  • Inspirit (Atlanta)
  • PolyUp (Saratoga, Calif.)

Joining Peeples on the judging panel are Nasir Qadree, founder and managing partner at Zeal Capital Partners; and Andrew Grauer, cofounder and CEO of Course Hero. The Launch Competition will be emceed by Tony Wan, cofounder and managing editor at EdSurge.

The University said that the interactive virtual conference features exclusive talks, conversations, and events selected with the help of community voting via PanelPicker®, a crowd-sourcing platform. Attendees will have an immersive opportunity to examine matters from “Equity & Justice” to “Work Reimagined” and hear from prominent voices spanning across fields such as director, producer and actor Bryce Dallas Howard; Brittany Hogan, director of educational equity & diversity for the Rockwood School District; and Dr. Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College.

Innovation in academic excellence is claimed by the University as a key component of WT’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.


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