Libraries to host fifth annual Human Library event on April 11

The Syracuse University Libraries will host its fifth annual Human Library event on Wednesday, April 11, from noon to 5 p.m. in Bird Library, in partnership with the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University, the Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS), Hendricks Chapel, the Office of Learning Communities, the Library and Information Science Student Association (LISSA) at the School of Information Studies, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, Renee Crown University Honors Program, and the Slutzker Center for International Services.

During this event, “human books” representing a wide range of cultural backgrounds and life experiences will share their stories in conversation with individual “readers.” The event is intended to create a positive space for dialogues on challenging topics, to break down stereotypes and to celebrate diversity within our community.

Human books—SU faculty, staff, and students from a variety of campus departments and programs as well as others from the local community—will engage in one-on-one or small group conversations for 20 minutes at a time. Human books will share their experiences on a wide variety of topics, including immigration, homelessness, asexuality and queer identity, mental illness, life in law enforcement, reconciling faith and reason, and social justice.

The event is open to the campus community and no preregistration is required. However, participants can reserve a book in advance for a specific time, if desired, by completing the form on this page: (If you have difficulties using this form or wish to sign up via email, please contact or

SU’s Human Library event is one of several similar events taking place during National Library Week (April 8-14), supported by the Central NY Library Resources Council. The first Human Library program was held in 2000 in Copenhagen, Denmark (see Since then, similar events have been organized in libraries, schools and other institutions around the world.

For more information, see


2018 RvD iPrize winners announced

40 student teams were selected to pitch at the iPrize event held in Bird Library on March 23.

Winners have been announced for the 2018 RvD iPrize competition, held March 23 at Syracuse University. The event, sponsored by the School of Information Studies (iSchool), was coordinated by the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University and hosted at Syracuse University Libraries. Judges included alumni, successful entrepreneurs, technologists, attorneys, and area business and civic leaders.

More than 55 teams applied to compete in this year’s event, with 40 selected to pitch at the event, which offered $40,000 in prizes through the Raymond von Dran (RvD) Fund for Student Entrepreneurship at the iSchool. This year, an additional $10,000 was also awarded in inaugural Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards through an additional gift to the iSchool by a private family foundation.

The RvD iPrize also served as the regional qualifier for the 2018 New York State Business Plan Competition, and 12 student teams were selected to advance to that prestigious event in Albany on April 27.

The RvD Fund was established to honor the memory of the former iSchool dean, who helped students bring their ideas to life through the spirit of entrepreneurship. Gisela von Dran, his widow, helped award iPrizes with iSchool Dean Liz Liddy at this year’s event.

“We are grateful to Gisela von Dran for her continued support of the entrepreneurial spirit at Syracuse University through the RvD fund,” said iSchool Dean Liz Liddy. “I was delighted to watch our students compete at the event, and the RvD iPrize funds will help ensure that they can keep their ventures moving forward.”

“It is wonderful to see so many innovative student teams from across our schools and colleges and from ESF coming together in a thriving entrepreneurship community in the SU Libraries, and benefiting from the services of the Blackstone LaunchPad,” said Dean of Libraries David Seaman. “I know these prizes will make a significant difference to these young innovators and inventors, and I was impressed with the creativity, professionalism, and collegiality they displayed in this competition.”

Winners included:

Sustainable and social entrepreneurship

Drop Top, founded by Jason Kuperberg ’18, College of Arts and Sciences, Serena DeSeta ’18, Whitman School of Management and Matthew Goodman ’19, College of Visual and Performing Arts; an ingenious design, made entirely of REVLAR that increases agricultural output while conserving water through drip irrigation; won $3,000.

FibreFree, founded by Serena Omo-Lamai ’19 and Charles Keppler ’19, both College of Engineering a Computer Science; a laundry ball that traps microfibers, preventing them from entering aquifers and the atmosphere; won $3,000.

Farm to Flame, founded by Lee Mendes McKnight ’18, Maxwell School, with team members Kwaku Jyamfi ’18, College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Sayje Lasenberry ’19, SUNY ESF; a smokeless, odorless biomass generator system that leverages locally grown crops to harness the power of energy and build more sustainable rural economies; won $3,000.

Rematriation Magazine, founded Michelle Schenandoah G‘18, Newhouse School, with operations manager Janet Flores ’18, Maxwell School; a digital storytelling platform powered by a sisterhood of Haudenosaunee women, where indigenous women gather for collective healing from historical and current traumas; won $500.

Food for Community, founded by Samantha Guillaume ’18 and Patrick Carleton ’18, both SUNY ESF; a not-for-profit that transports unused food from local schools to local pantries; won $500.


Starfruit, founded by Nathan Elequin G 18, School of Education; a consulting service that offers workshops, online content, and support services for schools and districts in Austin, Texas that want to integrate Google Classroom in their instruction; won $6,000.

Fresh U, founded by Kate Beckman, G18, Newhouse School; a national online publication for college students with a focus on the freshman year, with 100,000 unique monthly visitors and 400 nationally distributed content creators; won $4,000.


In-Spire, founded by Kayla Simon’19 and Elizabeth Tarangelo ’19, both College of Engineering and Computer Science; a wearable Albuterol inhaler for asthma patients who suffer from asthma attacks while on the go; won $6,000..

Anything But Beer, co-founded by Logan Bonney G’17, Whitman and Brittany Berry ’18, College of Visual and Performing Arts; brews alcohol beverages to meet the needs of niche consumer markets that are not served by the craft brewery business, including those who are gluten-free; won $3,500.

Bonfire in a Bin, co-founded by Will DeVito ’20, Newhouse and Nick Gold ’18, Falk; an all-in-one bonfire starter kit that is collapsible for easy storage and transport; won $500.


Weather Optics, founded by Scott Pecoriello ’20, Arts and Sciences; a disruptive weather and data analytics company; won $5,000.

Ravle, founded by Tay Lotte ’19, Creative Leadership, University College, and Kevin Rieck ’19, Knowledge Management, University College; platform that allows travelers to customize and book full trips through travel videos created by the world’s top travel filmmakers; won $3,000.

ModoScript, founded by David Zuleta ’18, College of Arts and Sciences; a pill-safe system that is a device and software platform for physicians, health insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare facilities, government agencies, and law enforcement organizations aimed at combating and reducing costs associated with prescription drug abuse and patient non-adherence; won $2,000.

Stories containing additional information can be found online as follows:

Libraries commemorate Women’s History Month

The month of March marks the national celebration of Women’s History Month. In commemoration, the SU Libraries are hosting a number of exhibits in our spaces. In addition to a book display on the first floor of Bird Library by and about women who persisted, other exhibits include:

  • Women’s suffrage exhibit: This exhibit, which commemorates the centennial of women’s suffrage in New York State, can be found on the first floor of Bird Library. Currently on loan from the Central New York Library Resources Council (CLRC), the exhibit will be rotating to other public and academic libraries in our region throughout the year.
  • “Forces of Nature” exhibit: These pop art style posters from the Perimeter Institute, commemorating pioneering women of science, can be found in the Carnegie Library. From two-time Noble Prize-winner Marie Curie to “The First Lady of Physics,” Chieng-Shiung Wu, these women have changed the world of science through their ground-breaking contributions and persistence.

For more information, contact outreach librarian Tarida Anantachai at

Book talk and signing with Carl Schramm, University Professor and author of “Burn the Business Plan” on April 4

The Syracuse University Libraries, the Blackstone LaunchPad, and the School of Information Studies are hosting an author’s talk and book signing with Carl Schramm, author of Burn the Business Plan, University Professor at Syracuse University, and former president of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The event will be Wednesday, April 4, from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 114 Bird Library. A networking reception follows at 4 p.m. in the Blackstone LaunchPad. The event is open to the community.

Published in early 2018 by Simon & Schuster, Schramm’s book turns conventional wisdom on its head. He dispels the “myth of the software kid genius,” noting that the average entrepreneur is 39 years old and has worked in corporate America for at least a decade. He discusses the perils of creating a business plan for an entrepreneurial venture, noting that Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Google launched without one. Based on stories of successful entrepreneurs in a variety of fields, he suggests that knowledge, passion, determination, and a willingness to experiment and innovate are vastly more important than financial skill. Along the way, he also offers great practical tips, such as how to “Build Your Company as Your Life.”

The book has received positive acclaim, and was named to Inc. Magazine’s “Need to Read” list for 2018.  It received five-star reviews on Amazon, and praise from Publishers Weekly, Google Books, and Goodreads, as well as from many successful founders and entrepreneurs.

“New businesses are about great ideas, not great plans. Schramm tells it as it really happens,” says Mitch Lowe, co-founder of Netflix and CEO of MoviePass.

“While encouraging aspirants toward launch, the book is mercifully free of Silicon Valley fairy tales,” writes Leigh Buchanan, editor-at-large of Inc. Magazine. “Schramm is interested in real people starting real companies. Readers will find most of his cases gratifyingly unfamiliar and generally relatable. Burn is a solid roundup of the current best thinking on startups, guiding new entrepreneurs in both introspection and execution.”

Once dubbed the “evangelist of entrepreneurship” by The Economist, Schramm was appointed Syracuse University Professor at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) in 2012 after serving for nearly a decade as president of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world’s premier organization dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurship and understanding the role innovation and new firm formation play in economic growth. A $2 billion endowment, Kauffman is the world’s largest philanthropy dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship.

At Syracuse, Schramm has taught courses in entrepreneurship and innovation, and the decline and future of U.S. cities. His research work focuses on entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth. He has advised major corporations as well as city, state, and national governments around the world on accelerating innovation, expanding entrepreneurial activity and achieving economic growth.

One of the co-founders of Global Entrepreneurship Week, now observed in 170 countries, he is recognized internationally as a leading authority on innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. His academic career began at Johns Hopkins, where he founded the nation’s first research center on healthcare finance. He has founded or co-founded five companies, including HCIA and Greenspring Advisors, a merchant bank. Schramm also has served in major corporate roles including EVP of Fortis (now Assurant) and CEO of Fortis Healthcare. He has advised major corporations including Ford, Johnson & Johnson, and Apple. He chaired the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Measuring Innovation in the 21st Century Economy Advisory Committee during the Bush Administration and was a member of President Obama’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

He has authored, coauthored, or edited several books including Better Capitalism; Good Capitalism/Bad Capitalism; Inside Real Innovation; The Entrepreneurial Imperative, and Controlling Healthcare Costs.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be available. If you need an accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please contact Linda Dickerson Hartsock at

Graduate Research Roundtable #2: Data Tools & Publishing Support

Join ASEE & SU Libraries for the second event in the Research Roundtable series on Thursday, March 22 from 6 -7:30 p.m. at the Inn Complete. SU librarians will discuss tools to help collect and process research data, along with tips for selecting appropriate journals to publish in. Geared towards graduate students who are in the middle to end of their programs.

Food & one free drink ticket provided! Registration is limited to 30 participants, register today: