LaunchPad Student Teams Sweep Award Competitions, Winning Nearly $80,000 in Fall 2019

Numerous student startup teams from the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars in Bird Library (LaunchPad) have won business competitions and prizes totaling $79,500 this past fall 2019. The LaunchPad is Syracuse University’s innovation hub, connecting the entire University’s resource-rich ecosystem with a global net­work that provides support for aspiring innovators, entrepreneurs, inventors, and creators. “The LaunchPad remains a library service supporting all aspects of entrepreneurship, innovation, and invention, but it has also evolved into a community of innovators who have found their campus home in the SU Libraries,” said David Seaman, Dean of Libraries, University Librarian, and interim Dean of the School of Information Studies (iSchool).  “It has been a delight to watch teams of students learn a range of skills as they develop business ideas and support each other in their endeavors, even when they are competing.”

A recap of the fall 2019 competitions and top winners included:

  • Techstars LaunchPad Startup Weekend (sponsored by the LaunchPad and SU Libraries in September):
    • Qingkun Zhu G’20 (iSchool) and Gokul Beed ’21 (VPA) from HAUS won 1st place ($750) for their Internet of Things smart humidifier de­vice;
    • Justin Diaz ’23 (Engineering and Computer Science) from EcoBamboo Living won 2nd place ($250) for their energy-efficient, sustainable bamboo buildings.
  • ’Cuse Tank (sponsored by the LaunchPad and SU Libraries in October):
    • Brianna Howard ’20 (Falk College) and Nikita Chatterjee ’20 (Arts & Sciences) from PAANI won 1st place ($7,000), for their clean water filtration system;
    • Justin Diaz ’23 (Engineering and Computer Science) from EcoBamboo Living won 2nd place ($3,000) for their energy-efficient, sustainable bamboo buildings;
    • Patrick Prioletti ’21 (iSchool) of Thinc-Hub, a platform to connect startup ventures with innovations ecosystems, and Clinton Garrahan ’21 (Engineering and Computer Science)  and Davis Mutware (Engineering and Computer Science – Science and Technology Entrance Program STEP) from FreeSwing Power Source, a portable device to produce electricity, each won $500 in a wild card round.
  • Orange Tank (sponsored by Whitman School of Manage­ment in November):
    • Kelsey Davis ’19 (Newhouse) G’20 (Whitman) and Brendan O’Keeffe ’21 (iSchool) from CLLCTVE won the grand prize ($25,000) for their digital platform connect­ing college creatives and brands;
    • Other top cash prizes went to Matt Shumer ’22 (Whitman) from Visos, 1st place ($4,000) for their enterprise virtual reality system;
    • Nicholas Barba ’20 (Whitman) and David Fox ’22 (College of Law) from Modern Systems won 2nd place ($2,500) for their smart home network. 
    • Top alumni cash prizes went to LaunchPad alumni Jose Javier Garcia Rovira ’19 (Whitman) and Quentin Rosso ’18 (Whitman), who won 1st prize ($4,000) for Gamercraft, their performance training ecosystem for collegiate and professional eSports;
    • Alumni Daniel Fridliand ’18 (Whitman) and Dylan Sen from Awning won 2nd place ($2,500) for their app that uses biometric data to administer stress relief through the form of guided meditation and breathing exercises.
  • Regional Qualifier for Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (held in Buffalo, NY in November):
    • Quinn King ’20 (VPA) from MedUX won 1st place ($7,500) with their innovative medical products through user-centered design. Quinn King will be advancing to the national competition for Global Student Entrepreneur Awards in the Silicon Valley February 10-12, 2020.
    • Nikita Chatterjee ’20 (Arts & Sciences) from PAANI won 2nd place ($2,000) for their clean water filtration systems.
  • Impact Prize Pitch Competition (sponsored by Syracuse University Libraries in November):
    • Brianna Howard ’20 (Falk College) and Nikita Chatterjee ’20 (Arts & Sciences), co-founders of PAANI, won 1st place ($5,000) for their clean water filtration system;
    • Caleb Obiagwu ’20 (Engineering and Computer Science) and Zachariah Reid ’21 (Engineering and Computer Science) from AttendPro, a device that improves maintenance work-flow, won 2nd place ($2,500);
    • Daniel Green ’21(Information Studies) from DreamConnect, a platform that optimizes the college experience for underrepresented students of color by facilitating culture, collaboration, and connectivity for student organizations across campuses; and Clinton Garrahan ’21 (Engineering and Computer Science)   and Davis Mutware (Engineering and Computer Science – Science and Technology Entrance Program STEP) from FreeSwing Power Source, a portable device to produce electricity, tied for 3rd place, each winning $1,250.
  • Hult Prize (sponsored by the LaunchPad and Syracuse University Libraries in November): 
    • Justin Diaz ’23 (Engineering and Computer Science) from EcoBamboo Living won 1st place and a trip to the global regionals for their energy-efficient, sustainable bamboo buildings;
    • Clinton Garrahan ’21 (Engineering and Computer Science) and Davis Mutware (Engineering and Computer Science – Science and Technology Entrance Program STEP) from FreeSwing Power Source won 2nd place and an alternate trip to the global regionals for their portable device to produce electricity.
  • Blackstone LaunchPad Techstars PROPEL (global competition held in New York City in November):
    • Kelsey Davis ’19 (Newhouse) G’20 (Whitman) and Brendan O’Keeffe ’21 (iSchool) from CLLCTVE won 2nd place ($10,000) for their digital platform connect­ing college creatives and brands.
Caucasian male in shirt and jacket and African male in embroidered shirt next to sign that reads "Hult Prize"
Clinton Garrahan and Davis Mutware of FreeSwing Power Source, 2nd place winners
Latinx male student in shirt and jacket next to sign that reads "Hult Prize"
Justin Diaz of EcoBamboo Living, 1st place winner
three students wearing white t-shirts with word PAANI next to Dean Seaman, standing in front of sandwich board sign that says "The Impact Prize"
PAANI team members Nikita Chatterjee, Jacob Sardino (SUNY ESF), and Brianna Howard with David Seaman, Dean of the SU Libraries
Caucasian male and Indian female students both holding giant checks
Quinn King of MedUX and Nikita Chatterjee of PAANI, winners of the Regional Qualifier for Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards held in Buffalo, NY
African American female and Caucasian male students both wearing navy blue t-shirts with word CLLCTVE in orange letter. Students are holding giant check for $10,000
Kelsey Davis and Brendan O’Keefe of CLLCTVE at Blackstone LaunchPad Techstars PROPEL global competition in New York City

Graduate Student Event Series Spring 2020

Syracuse University Libraries, with funding from the Graduate Student Organization, is hosting a series of events for graduate students in the spring 2020 semester at Bird Library. Registration is required for each workshop.

  • Speed Dating the Research Experts: Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Room 550

Meet with SU librarians and campus research experts who can help you navigate your graduate program, while mingling with fellow graduate students over free food and drinks. Come chat and network with a variety of research experts within the libraries and on campus, who specialize in library resources, research funding, copyright and author’s rights, data services, and more. Limited to the first 60 registrants. Register at: https://syr.libwizard.com/f/speeddate.

  • Finding Funding & Grant Opportunities: Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Room 004

Need money for your research? Grab dinner and join Christina Leigh Docteur (Director of Proposal Support Services in SU’s Office of Research), Simona Rosu (Associate Director, STEM Graduate Careers), and Emily Hart (Librarian for Science and Technology) to learn about SU’s resources for identifying funding opportunities. Bring your laptops and keywords in mind to describe your project needs (the who, what, why and how), and leave with navigation tips and potential opportunities. Limited to the first 40 registrants. Free food will be provided. Register at: https://syr.libwizard.com/f/graduateroundtable4.

  • Ready, Set, Publish!: Monday, April 6, 2020, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Room 114

Thinking about publishing your research? Join SU Librarians for a workshop to discuss topics including selecting high quality journals and identifying predatory journals, author rights, and copyright. Learn tips for responsible research conduct and maximizing your research impact. Limited to the first 40 registrants. Free food will be provided. Register at: https://syr.libwizard.com/f/readysetpublish


Donate Food to Reduce Your Libraries Fines

In the spirit of the holidays, Syracuse University Libraries will participate in “Food for Fines” between Monday, December 2 and Friday, December 13. Patrons with overdue circulation fines can reduce their fines by $1 for each healthy, nonperishable food item donated. Donations will be accepted at the circulation desks of participating libraries: Bird, Carnegie, Law, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and King + King Architecture. Contributions from people without current fines will also be accepted. All food items will be donated to the Hendricks Chapel Food Pantry. Fine reductions exclude Inter Library Loan and lost book fees. For more information about “Food for Fines,” please contact Laura Benjamin at lmnemitz@syr.edu.


Libraries to Host BREATHE De-stress Event December 3 and 4

Syracuse University Libraries is again hosting an end-of-semester BREATHE De-Stress event on Tuesday, December 3 and Wednesday, December 4 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in Peter Graham Scholarly Commons Room 114 in Bird Library. Sponsored in partnership with the Barnes Center at The Arch Health Promotion, BREATHE activities help students relax and unwind as they prepare for finals week. Activities will include:

  • Build puzzles and Lego creations
  • Recharge with free snacks and refreshments
  • Ease your mind and body with kits from The Barnes Center
  • Art making with coloring books and crafts
  • Therapy dog petting
  • Healthy connections and giveaways from The Barnes Center
  • Exhale with guided meditation on December 4 from 2:30 to 3 p.m. in Room 004, led by JoAnn Cooke, Buddhist Chaplain from Hendricks Chapel

King+King Architecture Library to Close During Winter Break

Syracuse University Libraries’ King+King Architecture Library, located on the 3rd floor of Slocum Hall, will be closing from December 14 through January 7 for the installation of new carpeting. New carpet will be installed throughout the Library, including the Scholarly Reading Room 304, the Reference/Reserve and Checkout Room 302, and the Seminar Room 301. The King+King Architecture Library serves the needs of the School of Architecture, the faculty, and its students and provides quick access to course reserves, current periodical titles, and reference works. Bird Library and Carnegie Library will be open Intersession Hours during that time.


A Message from Syracuse University Libraries

Syracuse University continues to experience incidents of racism, vandalism, and hate speech targeting Black, Asian, and Jewish communities. All of the Libraries staff are united in a shared sense of disgust, disappointment, distress and anger regarding these actions and comments. We strive to make our Libraries safe and welcoming places on campus every day, and we are committed to working with all members of the University community to ensure that we are the diverse, vibrant, and equitable community we aspire to be.

We are committed to listening and supporting our students, faculty, and staff. We stand solidly with demands to combat all forms of bigotry, racism and harassment on campus, and we commit to the necessary planning and actions to reach that goal.

In response to recent events, the Libraries has received increased security from the Department of Public Safety. We continue to provide services and resources to our students, faculty and staff. Librarians are available via phone at 315.443.4083, email or online chat.

Stopping hateful actions from happening in the future relies on people speaking out. We are committed to doing so and ask that you also report any hateful actions you witness to Department of Public Service, either directly or anonymously. The Stop Bias website also has resources to help address and push back against bias and hate in our community.


New Biblio Gallery Exhibit: Newhouse, iSchool Partner on Data-Driven Art Exhibit “Democracy in the Digital Age”

Syracuse University Libraries’ new Biblio Gallery Exhibit on the 4th Floor of Bird Library  was created by students from S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the School of Information Studies and is titled “Democracy in the Digital Age: Does It Exist?” It is a data-driven art exhibit funded by a CUSE Grant. The exhibit, which is on display from now through January, provides insight into university students’ consumption of news and social media, specifically analyzing how both of those elements intersect to construct a political identity.

This exhibit is a continuation of last year’s three-part symposium series “Social Media and Democracy,” spearheaded by Professor Regina Luttrell, Professor Jon Glass and Professor Lu Xiao. This year, students in Luttrell’s Public Relations Campaign Planning and Execution course surveyed more than 200 students across U.S. college campuses to understand what democracy means in a social media-driven society. Newhouse and iSchool students then visually interpreted the survey results to create the exhibit, which encourages students to have a conversation about the important issue surrounding the influence of digital media.

Students Sophie Estep, Holly Jones, Jessica Zuk, Daniela Curi, and Lillee Bellia coordinated the project. Students Renée Deemer, Yiran Duan, Galen Hogan, Aaron Kassman and Isabel Munoz are the featured artists.

For more information about the Biblio Gallery, contact S. Ann Skiold, MFA, MLIS, librarian for Decorative & Applied Arts, Design, Art History, Film, Photography, and Spanish & Italian at Syracuse University Libraries or apply to submit an exhibit via Biblio Gallery website. 


SU Libraries’ Fine Forgiveness for Veterans and Military Members

In honor of Veteran’s Month, Syracuse University Libraries will forgive all veteran and active military service member Libraries’ fines up to $25 for the month of November. To participate, veterans and current members of the U.S. military must present their valid military identification to receive a one-time waiver of library fines.

Additional Veteran’s Month activities at the Libraries include:

  • A collection of Service Newspapers of World War II available for campus use, including papers from the British Library. Imperial War Museums, US Army Heritage and Education Center, US Army War College, Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, and Berlin State Library Prussian Cultural Heritage.
  • A feature display of military and veteran-related books in the Diana entryway display case of Carnegie Library.
  • Letter/card writing to a United State military service member from November 11 through 15. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to stop by the first floor of Bird Library. The Library will supply materials and collect notes to send to service people and veterans via Operation Gratitude.

Professor Sumathi Ramaswamy to Lecture on Mahatma Gandhi as an Artist of Non-Violence

Dr. Sumathi Ramaswamy, an internationally recognized historian who chairs the history department and teaches at Duke University, is currently working on a book about Mahatma Gandhi. She will be utilizing the primary research materials on Gandhi available through Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). While at Syracuse University, she will provide a public lecture in Bird Library’s Peter Graham Scholarly Commons at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13. She is also offering a mini-seminar to a select group on November 15. Syracuse University Libraries’ SCRC is uniquely positioned for this seminar as it houses the acclaimed Margaret Bourke-White archives, which include Bourke-White’s famous photographs of Gandhi for Life Magazine as well as her India journals.

Mohandas K. Gandhi has been described as “an artist of non-violence,” crafting a set of practices of the self and politics that earned him the mantle of Mahātma, “the great soul.” There is an enormous body of scholarship that has explored and critiqued Gandhi’s philosophy and praxis of satyāgraha, non-violent civil disobedience. Yet what does it mean to think of satyāgraha as an aesthetic regime, and its principal exponent as the paradigmatic artist of disobedience? Ramaswamy, who is currently president of the American Institute of Indian Studies, will discuss some modern artists in India who were inspired by Mahatma Ghandi’s non-violent civil dissent. She will sets out to answer these questions with the help of India’s modern artists who have turned to the Mahātma as their muse over the past century, but especially in recent decades. This talk will engage students and faculty from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences; specifically, from Art History, History, Photography, Political Science, African American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Dr. Sumathi Ramaswamy, an internationally recognized historian who chairs the history department and teaches at Duke University, is currently working on a book about Mahatma Gandhi. She will be utilizing the primary research materials on Ghandhi available through Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). While at Syracuse University, she will provide a public lecture in Bird Library’s Peter Graham Scholarly Commons at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13. She is also offering a mini-seminar to a select group on November 15. Syracuse University Libraries’ SCRC is uniquely positioned for this seminar as it houses the acclaimed Margaret Bourke-White archives, which include Bourke-White’s famous photographs of Gandhi for Life Magazine as well as her India journals.


News E-Resource Feedback Requested

As part of its regular assessment of collections, Syracuse University Libraries invites feedback on a group of current news e-resources selected from the 600+ databases currently in our collections. Feedback is requested throughout the month of November.

Visit the resource feedback guide to explore news e-resources we are highlighting in November and provide feedback via the form located in the guide. Insight around how well the resource works, information contained within it, and how the resource is currently used is helpful in the Libraries’ evaluation.

Syracuse University Libraries develops the Libraries’ collections in a broad, interdisciplinary, and systematic way to maximize the Libraries’ holdings. The Libraries implement a three-pronged approach to collection development: 1) transformative collections that support “One University”  and provide faculty and students with competitive and comparable resources available at other Doctoral Universities with Very High Research Activity (R1); 2) responsive collections based on specific and direct requests from faculty and students to support teaching and learning; and 3) anticipatory collection development through the liaison librarian relationships and professional acumen, where librarians anticipate the teaching and research needs of the university and select resources to match. This three pronged approach allows the Libraries to build and prioritize collections that meet individual needs while improving the overall collection.

For more questions on SU Libraries collections, or to request additional resources, please contact our collection development team at colls@syr.edu