With the unveiling of the PSA campaign, the Big 12 also introduced the new microsite Big12MakingaDifference.com further recognizing member university scholarly performance. The site will serve as an online library of information, videos and PSAs providing up-to-the-minute stories about important academic successes and notable research efforts undertaken by Big 12 faculty, students and universities.
In addition, next summer in conjunction with Big 12 Football Media Days, the Conference will host the first in a series of scholastic conferences featuring distinguished faculty, students, graduates and researchers from across the Big 12. The event is designed to further enrich the educational and research programs at the universities by continuing to foster an open, collaborative culture of scholarly exchange throughout the Conference.
"When considered collectively, Big 12 universities educate more than 293,000 students annually, giving them the skills and knowledge to contribute to a better workforce, build stronger communities and tackle local and global challenges," said Burns Hargis, president of Oklahoma State University and chairman of the Big 12 Conference Board of Directors. "This campaign is our opportunity to celebrate the significance of that mission while showcasing the vibrancy of our conference-wide academics – as evidenced by the unique accomplishments of each school."
"The strength of the Big 12 Conference combined with the preeminence of our member universities provides the perfect context to launch this initiative," said Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "We have a lot to be proud of in the Big 12, and we are eager to spread the word about our collective accomplishments and demonstrate how Big 12 member institutions are making a difference."
Some of the programs and achievements featured in the campaign include:
Developing pioneering techniques to measure pollutants using the earwax of the 100-ton bowhead whale to track historical levels of pesticides, PCBs and other contaminants seeping into the world's oceans;
Iowa State University
Advancing the use of bio renewable resources for a more sustainable world using its BioCentury Research Farm, the nation's first full-scale research and demonstration site for biomass production and processing;
Kansas State University
Discovering new technologies to balance water and soil resources with the world's need for food and energy to one day feed a world of 9 billion by 2050;
Oklahoma State University
Shaping the world through developments in unmanned aerial systems, advanced wheat development, smart garments and countless other initiatives;
Texas Christian University
Using bright lights to help diagnose cancer which may someday illuminate tumors to help doctors make earlier, and more meaningful, detections of cancer;
Texas Tech University
Making warzones safer for American soldiers by using its Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics to research how to disable improvised explosive devices before our troops are harmed;
University of Kansas
Making discoveries that change the world, including in its School of Pharmacy, which is ranked second in the nation for drug discovery research and is home to studies into treatments for everything from diabetes to cancer;
University of Oklahoma
Supporting more state funding for higher education to ensure public higher education remains an affordable option in the future;
The University of Texas
Testing drugs on worms, that are genetically similar to people but have a much faster life cycle, to close in on new therapies to slow the advance of Alzheimer's disease;
West Virginia University
Working with the world's largest movable radio telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia, creating an environment where anything is possible and inspiring tomorrow's scientists.