Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State colleges of business, technology partner on Tech Express Cafe

April 28, 2014

Indiana State University's Scott College of Business and College of Technology have partnered to start a mobile café cart in the John T. Myers Technology Center.

The Tech Express Café project brought together the Business 401 class and the Technology Student Leadership Council, which meet on opposite sides of Cherry Street in downtown Terre Haute, to make the idea come to life.

The Tech Express Café successfully opened on April 15 with limited hours from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Myers Technology Center. It included packaged food, healthy snacks, coffee, tea and cold drinks and accepted credit cards. The grand opening for the Tech Express Café will take place early in the fall 2014 semester.

"I think this is a great benefit, to start collaboration with the colleges of technology and business, that we haven't had before. There are several crossover majors and minors that can help build collaboration and strong ties," said Chelsea Abanathie, senior operations supply chain management major from St. Charles, Mo.

The collaboration began through a consulting project carried out by the Scott College's Sycamore Student Venture organization. Members of the organization did a feasibility study for a café in the College of Technology. As a result, the Business 401 seniors who run the Executive Express Café in the Scott College will assist in managing the supply of food and drinks sold from the College of Technology café cart.

The College of Technology applied for a grant to develop the Tech Express Café. They received $5,000 from the ISU Center for Community Engagement and the Lilly Foundation to help with startup costs. The grant project supported experiential learning endeavors and the café project focused on co-curricular activities using problem-based learning strategies.

Student members of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Females in Technology and Society for Human Resource Management participated in pre-promotions that included bake sales and other marketing strategies. The Interior Designers Embrace Amplification organization created the cart design and the construction club purchased material to build the cart. Students from the Simulated Manufacturing Company class made a sign while those in Fashion Merchandising Association made aprons and Student Marketing Company created a logo.

"There are students in my committee meetings that have never seen inside Federal Hall," said Clarissa Jones of Seymour, a senior human resource development and operation supply chain management major and student director, technology student organizations. "Better awareness of programs offered in business and technology could really compliment a major. It amazes me because we are on the same campus yet we tend to stay in our own safe zone, in our own area and don't venture out and see what else is out there."

"By pulling all the groups together on this project, students can learn some valuable skills such as communication, team work, problem solving and project management. The Tech Express Café is intended to be a learning laboratory - a place students can learn important professional and entrepreneurial skills," said Bev Bitzegaio, director of outreach and student career support with the College of Technology.

"The café in the Scott College of Business was started to give students hands-on experience with common business strategy and operating issues," said David Robinson, associate professor of management and co-director of Sycamore Student Ventures.

"We want the students to make some mistakes and learn from them so they will know what to do in the future," said Robinson.


Contact: Bev Bitzegaio, director of outreach and student career support, College of Technology,  ; David Robinson, associate professor of management and co-director of Sycamore Student Ventures, Scott College of Business,  

Writer: Beth Pickerill, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or