August 28, 2020
Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University business alumnus Isaac Roybal launched a new mobile app for higher education that connects students with their professors via short video exchanges, expanding face-to-face interaction during the coronavirus pandemic when many courses are delivered online.
Some universities piloting Roybal’s new smart phone technology tool, ProMinute, include Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Texas at Austin and Highlands University.
“ProMinute focuses on humanizing the question and answer process through one-on-one short video exchanges, making it as efficient as possible to access professors,” Roybal said. “ProMinute is a platform that leverages short-form video to modernize the way students and professors engage with one another in ways similar to social media platforms like Snapchat.”
Roybal said the mobile app employs video messages to capture the non-verbal elements of question and answer sessions that traditional technology tools, like email, cannot. Professors can reply when it works best for their schedule. Students can save the short videos and refer to them later when studying for tests.
“Students expect a means of connection on their smart phones. ProMinute is focused on meeting their expectations as a convenient educational communication tool,” Roybal said.
Roybal graduated from Highlands in 2001 with a business administration degree with emphasis in management information systems. For more than 20 years, he has worked in key positions at major technology companies such as Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems. His experience includes roles in product development, business management and marketing.
Roybal lives in Seattle and is currently the vice president of marketing for aG, a sports technology start-up. He said he took time off work in 2018 to establish his own company, ProMinute, and build the mobile app.
Roybal, a 42-year-old New Mexico native, said the quality education, mentorship and opportunities he gained at Highlands created a solid foundation for his career success.
“At Highlands, the knowledge and wisdom I received from mentors like Max Baca, who was the Information Technology interim director and network manager at the time, motivated me to build a mentorship platform to help others benefit in the same way. ProMinute is a personal passion project for me designed to give back to the next generation of leaders.”
Baca is now the vice president of finance, administration and government relations at Highlands.
“Even as a student and work study employee for the university, Isaac always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” Baca said. “Isaac’s ability to lead and collaborate with his colleagues always produced excellent results in any information technology projects he worked with. He was part of an outstanding cohort of Microsoft services engineers I trained.”
Baca said Roybal is just one example of a Highlands alumnus who is changing the world.
Denise Montoya, a Highlands adjunct business faculty member, is using the ProMinute app in her Organizational Theory graduate class this semester.
“ProMinute places a face with the participants of the student-professor communication and captures emotions of the conversation,” said Montoya, who is also an associate vice president of finance, administration and government relations at Highlands. “The app provides an imprint of the student and helps remind me of each student’s uniqueness.”