Luz Perez is spring 2018 Blackstone LaunchPad Engagement Scholar

Luz Perez (’20), a triple major in Entrepreneurship, Accounting, and Citizenship and Civic Engagement, is this spring’s Blackstone Launchpad engagement scholar at Syracuse University. The engagement scholar position was created as a part of LaunchPad’s goal to increase social enterprise ventures across the campus.

Throughout her time at Syracuse, Perez has become interested in merging the campus community with the Syracuse city community in order to create impact and sustainability through social entrepreneurial efforts. Her involvement with a variety of departments and organizations both on and off campus has inspired her to focus on assessing community needs and finding solutions through interdisciplinary thinking (or interconnectivity of different groups).

As this semester’s Blackstone LaunchPad Engagement Scholar, Perez will assist professional staff in programming with a focus on social entrepreneurship and civic ventures. The goal is to encourage more students to think about and get engaged in civic entrepreneurship. She will be helping increase the participation and communication between students engaged in entrepreneurship across the campus, and organize and implement programs to include guest speakers, panels, workshops, and idea competitions.

“StoryCorps” to feature SU alumna Dr. Sharon Brangman

Triple Triumph cover

Physician and prominent Syracuse University alumna Dr. Sharon Brangman ’77 and her daughter Dr. Jenna Lester are the subject of a StoryCorps interview, to be broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition on Friday, January 26 at 6:20 a.m. and 8:20 a.m. EST.

This interview is a result of Triple Triumph: Three Women in Medicine, an open access book conceived and edited by Syracuse University professors Cathryn Newton and Samuel Gorovitz. The book includes profiles of Dr. Brangman, Dr. Patricia Numann, and Dr. Ruth Weinstock, pioneering women doctors at SUNY Upstate Medical University, written by Danielle Roth ’16, with photographs by Drew Osumi ’16, both Newhouse grads. Following her work on Triple Triumph, Danielle Roth interned with StoryCorps  where she pitched and produced the story on Brangman and Lester.

“We are proud that Dr. Brangman’s scientific and medical career began at Syracuse when she was an undergraduate—and are especially proud to have collaborated with her on Triple Triumph. Her daughter Dr. Jenna Lester is a highly accomplished scientist and physician, as well. We hope all friends of Syracuse University tune in to hear their story tomorrow,” says Newton.

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate the lives of everyday Americans by capturing their stories. StoryCorps interviews are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.

The piece will be available on NPR’s website and on the StoryCorps site. Find your local NPR station in this directory.

Triple Triumph was published in September 2017 by Syracuse Unbound, a joint imprint of Syracuse University Press and Syracuse University Libraries. To date, it has been downloaded 2,755 times from 25 countries.

Student venture Ravle advances to semi-final round of Student Startup Madness

Kevin Rieck (left) and Tay Lotte

Student startup Ravle, founded by Syracuse University students Tay Lotte ’19 (Creative Leadership, University College) and Kevin Rieck ’19 (Knowledge Management, University College), has been selected to advance to the semi-final round of the 2017-2018 Student Startup Madness Tournament, held at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas in March. They will compete against 31 other digital media, product, and service startups from 29 colleges across the nation for a spot in the tournament’s final round.

Ravle is a digital travel platform and filmmaking collective that engages travel filmmakers to turn beautifully filmed travelogues into mapped itineraries and personal travel guides to such destinations as the Australian Outback, Vancouver Island, Iceland, and unique places like Ladakh, India, Bangkok, and Nara, Japan.

Lotte and Rieck launched their venture in February 2017 and went on to win second prize in the Whitman School’s 2017 Panasci Business Plan Competition, securing $7,500 in funding to kick-start their venture. Since then, they have assembled a team of developers and launched the Ravle website in September 2017.

“Our goal is not just to inspire others to get out and explore, but to give travelers the tools they need to plan an adventure that will change the way they experience the world,” says Lotte, who is also Ravle’s head designer. “Our filmmakers share a common drive to travel to new destinations or seek out hidden gems. They have a sixth sense for finding cool places that others do not often see.”

“We were so excited to make it to the semi-final round because this is a prominent national competition with a massive pool of applicants. We are working on getting brand sponsorships for upcoming trips by our filmmakers, and are hopeful that our growth will help us be selected for the final round,” said Rieck.

The Ravle team developed their venture with the support from the Blackstone LaunchPad at Bird Library.  They received mentorship to refine their business strategy, establish themselves as a legal entity, and connect to other student entrepreneurs with the skills they need to grow their team.

Student Startup Madness (SSM) is the only nationwide collegiate tournament focused on digital media startups. Sean Branagan, founder of the Student Startup Madness Tournament, and director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the Newhouse School, believes that Ravle is among a highly competitive selection of teams that “are the best college digital media startups in the country.”

Libraries’ study room bookings move online

Syracuse University and ESF-affiliated students can now book study rooms in Bird and Carnegie libraries through an online reservation system, available on the web 24/7 at

The new self-service system shows real-time room availability and can be used for immediate bookings or for future dates and times. Room bookings are confirmed via email.

Those with confirmed bookings and a current SU or ESF I.D. can sign out room keys from the first floor Check Out Desk in Bird Library and the second floor Information Desk in Carnegie.

For more information on Student Study Rooms in the Libraries, visit

Venture for America is looking for student entrepreneurs

Venture for America (VFA) is accepting applications from students who expect to graduate in May 2018 for its upcoming fellowship program. VFA is a two-year fellowship program for recent grads who want to work at a startup and create jobs in American cities. The deadline to apply for the upcoming program is January 29, 2018.

VFA Fellows learn important startup skills at a five-week summer training camp, apply for jobs within the VFA-vetted company network, and then work for two years as full-time, salaried employees in one of 18 cities. When Fellows are ready to start a company, whether two years after college or ten, VFA has the resources to help make that dream a reality, from connections to seed funding to crowdfunding competitions.

This year, VFA announced their intent to become an onramp to entrepreneurship for historically underrepresented groups, and to grow the equity and inclusion resources provided to Fellows. VFA is partnering with the 20 campuses that are part of the Blackstone LaunchPad global network to help spread the word about this special emphasis on equity and inclusion.

Former SU Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneur Dylan Kim ’16, founder of Brevite, participated in the fellowship program and successfully launched his company, which is now operating out of New York City.

VFA CEO, Amy Nelson, and members of VFA Rise, its identity-based resource group, will discuss VFA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and answer general questions about the Fellowship on January 22 at 7:30 p.m. To register, visit

An overview of the application process, as well as VFA program stats, can be found at VFA by the numbers. Learn more, and apply by January 29, 2018 at