Technology students get ready to roll out the Red Carpet

Taking a radical departure from the typical end of term assignment in technology curriculum, teams of students from five different Information and Logistics Technology (ILT) Department classes collaborated on a project designed to enhance their understanding of a real-world planning and production environment. The collaborating ILT Department teams include students in Production and Service Operations, Quality Improvement Methods, Team Leadership, and Current Issues in Digital Media. A partnering team from the Jack J. Valenti School of Communications provided strategic marketing support.

Information and Logistics Technology Department professors Dr. Xin "David" Ding, Dr. Sharon Lund O'Neil, Dr. Jamison V. Kovach, Gretchen McAuliffe (lecturer), and Dr. Jerry Waite conceived the project, named The Red Carpet Event. Catherine Burch-Graham, Instructional Assistant Professor in the Valenti School of Communication assisted this semester.

"Our overall premise is to expand our students' knowledge by simulating real-world experience, dealing with real production and service operations issues", said Dr. Ding.

Funding was secured through the University of Houston Faculty Development Initiative Program (FDIP), which provides grants for projects that enhance student's education through the innovative use of technology. All 12 of the UH academic colleges and more than 200 departments, apply for the $300,000 in awarded grants. From all of the submitted proposals, 20 projects are selected for funding. This year, in partnership with the Jack J.Valenti School of Communication, the College received a $25,000 grant. The Red Carpet Event has generated more than $110,000 in awarded grants since inception.

"This five-class, six-team collaboration has become very communication intensive – and it is entirely student-driven, developed, coordinated, and delivered," said Dr. O'Neil. Last year Dr. Ding, Dr. Kovach, Susan Miertschin, Dr. O'Neil, and Dr. Waite received the first UH Group Teaching Award, which carried a $30,000 award.

"Our collaborative efforts included the Red Carpet Event. So, a partnership that began with just two of us has grown over the years to highly coordinated, collaborative real-world simulations and projects, expanding to the five-class (6-7 instructors) endeavor of today," said Dr. O'Neil.

The culminating semester-end Red Carpet event is the final viewing of each team's videos about contemporary technology issues including project scheduling, inventory optimization, operations problem solving, improving efficiency, and lean production.

Alumni and friends are invited to watch the students walk The Red Carpet during an impressive entertaining evening, Wednesday May 2, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Rockwell Pavilion, 2nd floor, M.D. Anderson Library, University of Houston. For more information, visit: