Curriculum // Sponsored Courses

KS WELI Sponsored Courses

Learn more about our sponsored courses that offer interdisciplinary opportunities in leadership, management, design, and entrepreneurship.

Fall 2022

FA355 // Women in Entrepreneurship

College of Fine Arts
FA355 // Unique #20595

Tuesdays 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm | @ Kendra Scott Headquarters

// Registration closed.

This class, co-taught by entrepreneurs / UT faculty members Jan Ryan and Kendra Scott, will immerse students in the core tenets of creating a new business from the point of view of the female founder.

The course is designed to provide hands-on, tangible tools to equip and empower female entrepreneurs.  Using a “live” case study of Kendra Scott, LLC, and with a blend of lectures, experiential exercises and guest speakers, the class will expose obstacles that women face in contemporary society, with strategies to overcome. Targeted students are those who are interested in the female founder’s unique perspective, are curious about starting their own company, or who simply want to pursue an understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset.

The goal of this class is to confront common gender biases and conditioning, and in the context of the entrepreneurial journey provide actionable advice to empower students to see larger possibilities for their career. Applications are required, and seating is limited. 

Classes will be held at the headquarters for Kendra Scott, LLC. 

Watch our Fearless Female Faculty, Professor Kendra Scott & Professor Jan Ryan, talk about the FA2020 Women in Entrepreneurship course during the 2020 Women’s Summit

Professor: Jan Ryan

TXA341E/MAN337 // Accessory Design, Development and Merchandising

College of Natural Sciences
TXA341E/MAN337 // Unique #54335

Wednesdays 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm | GEA 100 & On-Location

Independent Inquiry Flag

// Registration closed.

Learn more about past TXA365 classes – including the virtual student exhibition.

From beyond the walls of the classroom and into a real-life creative studio, this hands-on experiential course will walk students through the steps of designing a jewelry collection through the Kendra Scott lens. The project-based course will encourage collaboration by building team-centered student groups from various disciplines. Students will gain experience by working directly in designated groups, with faculty from the Division of Textiles and Apparel and leaders from the Kendra Scott team. A series of student projects will focus on research, design, product development, product launch and merchandising for a jewelry collection suitable for the Kendra Scott target market.

The semester-long course will provide insight into designing a jewelry collection while working with development and merchandising to create a line plan. Courses will take place at both the UT campus and Kendra Scott design studio as students work through the various stages of design to 3D prototype development. The semester will end with a virtual student exhibition in partnership with the Kendra Scott team where one piece may be chosen for distribution in selected Kendra Scott stores. This experiential course is open to all majors at the junior and senior level and will meet once a week for three hours. 

The intent of featuring student designs is solely for the purpose of showcasing student work and celebrating Kendra Scott’s partnership with UT.  20% of the proceeds from this product are donated back into the WEL Institute. Kendra Scott does not make a profit from this product.

Professor: Jessica Ciarla

FA371/MAN377 // Entrepreneurial LeadHERship

College of Fine Arts
FA371/MAN377 // Unique #20159

Tuesdays & Thursdays 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm | WIN 2.112

// Registration closed.

The Entrepreneurial LeadHERship Experience will guide student leaders on a journey during which they will discover their personal values, strengths and authentic leadership style through a gender-informed perspective.

The experience will leverage a variety of methods (data, frameworks, case studies, reflection opportunities) to equip our leaders with the skills they need to thrive as a leader and entrepreneur through a gender-informed perspective. Applications are required, and seating is limited. 

Professor: Lesley Robinson
Director, KS WELI

MAN 347P // Entrepreneurship Practicum: Passion Industries

McCombs School of Business
MAN374P // Unique #05970

Thursdays 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm | RRH 3.402

// Registration closed.

Many new ventures are born out of the personal passions of an entrepreneur, often in high-wattage industries like sports and entertainment. This class offers a broad exploration of the pursuit of passion with an entrepreneurial mindset, identifying opportunities within your chosen passion industry, and embracing the potential of a non-linear career path. Designed to enable students to develop the critical thinking and skills required to create value in any organization or professional situation, whether focused on new business development within existing companies (corporate entrepreneurship) or as stand-alone ventures (entrepreneurship). Class will feature guest speakers from the sports and entertainment industries and require individual and group assignments.

Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Offered on a letter-grade basis only. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Professor: Rebecca Feferman

Past Sponsored Courses Archive

Women in Entrepreneurship

College of Fine Arts
ITD350 / FA371 / FA355

Fall 2022 | Spring 2022 | Fall 2021 | Fall 2020

Co-taught by founder and designer Kendra Scott and serial entrepreneur Jan Ryan, this course is designed to provide hands-on, tangible tools to equip and empower female entrepreneurs. With a blend of lectures, experiential exercises and guest speakers, the class will immerse students in the core tenets of creating a new business, exposing the obstacles women face in contemporary society, and understanding the value of networking and mentorship, with an emphasis on team-based collaboration. Targeted students are those who are interested in the female founder’s unique perspective, are curious about starting their own company, or who simply want to pursue an understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset. The goal of this class is to confront common gender biases and conditioning, and in the context of the entrepreneurial journey provide actionable advice to empower students to see larger possibilities for their career.

Faculty Contact: Jan Ryan

Consumer Products Entrepreneurship Practicum

McCombs School of Business
MAN347P 

Fall 2021 | Fall 2020 | Spring 2020

This practicum course provides an opportunity for students to develop and apply knowledge on establishing and growing a business in consumer product industries. The course uses a variety of pedagogical approaches and involves extensive teamwork and project work. Student projects will focus on developing strategies and plans for such a business and will apply key concepts related to developing product ideas, understanding customers, and establishing product-market fit.

The course will feature several executive speakers from consumer products companies, who will discuss their industry and entrepreneurship experiences, and will challenge students with “live case” situations that they have faced in the past (e.g., an unexpectedly large order comes in early in the company’s life); students will develop responses to the situations and will be able to learn from what the company actually did, and from relevant research findings.

During the semester, students will be provided with guidance from executives from consumer products companies, as well as from others within the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem of The University of Texas at Austin. At the culmination of the semester, teams will share their projects in a Demo Day presentation.

Faculty contact: Dr. Melissa Murphy

Entrepreneurial LeadHERship

College of Fine Arts

FA 310 / FA 371

FA2022 | SP2022

The Entrepreneurial LeadHERship Experience will guide student leaders on a journey during which they will discover their personal values, strengths and authentic leadership style through a gender-informed perspective.  

The experience will leverage a variety of methods (data, frameworks, case studies, reflection opportunities) to equip our leaders with the skills they need to thrive as a leader and entrepreneur through a gender-informed perspective. 

Contact: Lesley Robinson
Director, KSWELI

Accessory Design, Development and Merchandising

College of Natural Sciences
TXA341E / TXA365

Fall 2022 | Spring 2022 | Fall 2021 | Spring 2021 | Fall 2020 | Spring 2020

Learn more about past TXA365 classes

From beyond the walls of the classroom and into a real-life creative studio, this hands-on experiential course will walk students through the steps of designing a jewelry collection through the Kendra Scott lens. The project-based course will encourage collaboration by building team-centered student groups from various disciplines. Students will gain experience by working directly in designated groups and with faculty from the Division of Textiles and Apparel and leaders from the Kendra Scott team. A series of student projects will focus on research, design, product development, product launch and merchandising for a jewelry collection suitable for the Kendra Scott target market. 

The semester-long course will provide insight into designing a jewelry collection while working with development and merchandising to create a line plan. Courses will take place at both the UT campus and Kendra Scott design studio or online as students work through the various stages of design to 3D prototype development. The semester will end with a virtual student exhibition in partnership with the Kendra Scott team where one piece may be chosen for distribution in selected Kendra Scott stores. This experiential course is open to all majors at the junior and senior level and will meet once a week for three hours. 

The intent of featuring student designs is solely for the purpose of showcasing student work and celebrating Kendra Scott’s partnership with UT.  20% of the proceeds from this product are donated back into the WEL Institute. Kendra Scott does not make a profit from this product.

Faculty Contact: Jessica Ciarla

STEM Innovation and Technology Commercialization

Cockrell School of Engineering
ES377 Undergraduate & ES397 Graduate 

SP2021 

This course is designed to provide practical tools and know-how when thinking about STEM-focused innovation and technology commercialization. This class will introduce concepts of Needs Driven Innovation (derived from Stanford’s Biodesign), address the role of intellectual property protection and its link to the knowledge economy, look at the creation of a pitch deck for STEM technologies, explore technology commercialization in STEM sectors like energy, medical devices, software security, materials, and others, examine the anatomy of SAFE and convertible notes, and discuss other relevant topics to empower and inform a developing entrepreneur. Students will participate in lectures and discussions with specialized guest speakers.

Faculty Contact: Dr. Van N. Truskett

Campus Partners

Meet the KS WELI Professors

Jan Ryan joined the University of Texas in 2017 as Executive Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the College of Fine Arts.  As an early leader in women’s empowerment, Jan helped to architect the Kendra Scott WEL Institute, with a passion for equipping students in majors not usually considered “entrepreneurial” with the tools they need to become true leaders in their field.

Jan Ryan

Meet the KS WELI Professors

Dr. Melissa Murphy is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and one of the Kendra Scott WEL Institute’s founding fellows. She launched and teaches the first-ever consumer products practicum in the Kendra Scott WEL Institute where students learn to launch their own consumer products alongside Austin-famous entrepreneurs and mentors. Dr.Murphy is dedicated to helping women succeed professionally.

Melissa Murphy

Meet the KS WELI Professors

Jessica Ciarla is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Textiles and Apparel at The University of Texas at Austin. As a fashion designer and consultant, Prof. Ciarla enjoys mentoring students and continues to develop partnerships with industry leaders for collaborative learning experiences. She empowers women by creating course structures that include student led activities and problem-solving focused briefs.

Jessica Ciarla

Meet the KS WELI Professors

Lesley Robinson is the founding Director of the Kendra Scott Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute and is a Lecturer in the College of Fine Arts at UT. She teaches the foundational Entrepreneurial LeadHERship course that guides student leaders on a journey during which they will discover their personal values, strengths and authentic leadership style through a gender-informed perspective. Lesley is passionate about empowering students - especially women - to find the best path to their own destination and absolutely believes in ‘taking the world by the horns.

Lesley Robinson