Visionary Student Panel & Projects Initiative

Visionary Student Panel & Projects Initiative

What is the Visionary Student Panel?

As part of the Grand Challenges programming, Mercer has established a Visionary Student Panel event each fall semester in which students, student groups, and members of student campus organizations can participate and present ideas for exploring local, national, or global issues/problems.

Application for Funding

(Only students who participated as panelists at the event were eligible to apply for funding, and funding has now been allocated.)

What was the result?

8 teams of students earned a total of over $7,000 to support their Research that Reaches Out projects, focused on real-world problems. We are proud of our  visionary Mercerians! Funded areas of research and service include:

  • Identifying Hispanic health needs in the Middle Georgia area and providing  access to information, interventions, and treatment
  • Harnessing energy from rainfall to use as an energy source
  • Prosthetics - including prototype creation of upper arm and pediatric prosthetics as well as the manufacturing of below-knee and above-knee prosthetics
  • Fundraising, programming, and advocacy for the local children's hospital
  • Presenting information regarding sexual assault to the community through the use of digital media projects


Printable flyer for 2016

Download here

Visionary Student Panel for Academic Year 2016-2017

Word cloudThe Grand Challenge theme for this academic year was Economic Freedom.  The Visionary Student Panel was held on October 11 and 12, 2016.  Students presented passion projects, ideas, or calls to action on any subtopic related to Economic Freedom or other local, national, or global issues/problems.

What should I do if I want to be part of the Panel in the future?

Applications were due by September 23, 2016.  Interested students can view the application to start thinking about the 2017 Visionary Student Panel, which will follow the Grand Challenge theme of Personal Well-being. Any students interested in early planning or advice on this initiative can contact Judy Wilbanks (

What makes my idea "Visionary"?

The University often uses the line that Mercer students major in changing the world, and we mean it!  Primarily, you are visionary because you care and want others to know about or take action on an issue that matters to you.

The Visionary Student Panel and Projects Initiative is a chance to share that passion with others at Mercer.  The judges will be present at the panel to help guide and shape your thinking in case you feel compelled to move your idea from the panel into action via a project.

The categories the judges will be looking at are:
  • Explains the issue
  • Gives background information
  • Proposes solution
  • Has a plan to implement the solution
  • Potential to impact others
If you care about any of the above, they you are a visionary student, and you should attend the event and keep submitting your ideas!