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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Bringing big ideas to the forefront

Photo by Savannah Mehrtens

Carrie Byington, dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine, moderated the panel “Plugging into Rural Healthcare Solutions” featuring Gregory Winfree.

From Sunday to Tuesday, A&M turned Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in downtown Austin into its home base for South by Southwest.
On its third and final day, the [Power] House hosted a session on building a brand and a panel on technology in rural healthcare. The day ended with a concert from country singer and current A&M marketing senior Mark Daniel.
A&M’s morning session on Tuesday featured a talk from Nicole Portwood, vice president of marketing for Mountain Dew, Energy & Flavors. The back room of the house was packed with entrepreneurs and marketing professionals ready to hear how Portwood helped build the brands of Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Mountain Dew.
Portwood’s central idea was to build a brand based on love. She emphasized giving back to fans who already loved the brand and using that existing love to draw in new fans.
“What I’m talking about is the kind of love that drives brand choice and affinity,” Portwood said. “The kind of love that sometimes defies logic. The kind of love that drives real evangelism and loyalty in our fans. That is the kind of love that really should be at the heart of every brand that is made for and by people, and when you think about it, that is every brand.”
Rob Bar, Class of 1999, attended the talk with the hopes of using some of Portwood’s knowledge to help him with his own startup venture, a ready-to-drink hard coffee.
“I’m trying to launch my own product so I came here specifically to kind of hear [Portwood] out,” Bar said.
In the afternoon, the house hosted a panel discussion titled “Plugging into Rural Healthcare Solutions.” Dean of A&M’s College of Medicine Carrie Byington acted as a moderator for Vivian Lee, president of Health Platforms at Verily, Dan McCoy, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, and Gregory Winfree, director of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.
The panel focused on the ability of technology to change the face of healthcare in rural areas. All across America, rural areas are losing hospitals, and none faster than those in Texas. The panel members believe the advancement of technology such as artificial intelligence can improve healthcare in areas where people may not have access to specialists — or doctors at all.
“Today we’re really looking at the new ideas and new industries that can be brought to bear on solving the rural healthcare problems in Texas,” Byington said.

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