Orange Central Return to Jabberwocky Panelist Discussion

As part of Syracuse University’s Orange Central alumni weekend, Syracuse University Libraries, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and WAER will be hosting an event titled “Return to Jabberwocky” on Saturday, October 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the lower level of Bird Library. The Jab, as it was fondly referred to, was a student-run musical venue that operated in the Kimmel Hall basement from 1969-85. The event on October 30 will feature live music performed by Gary W. Frenay ’07 (Newhouse School) and Arty Lenin, local musicians who performed at the original Jab. It will also include a panel discussion from people involved in operations of the Jab, including:

  • Edward F. Levine ’78 (Newhouse School), former program director at WAER
  • Butch Charles ’81 (College of Arts and Sciences and Newhouse School), former program director at WAER
  • Mitchel Resnick ’76 (College of Visual and Performing Arts), artist who painted original murals which will be on display during the event.
  • David Rezak, former College of Visual and Performing Arts faculty member and founding director of the Bandier Program, as well as key booking agent for Jabberwocky

“The Jab” was a beloved student-run musical campus and community venue, which showcased emerging and well-known local, regional and national musicians, such as Charles Mingus, The Talking Heads, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Bonnie Raitt and Cyndi Lauper.  During the same time period, WAER was completely student-operated with a focus on local programming. Many of the Jab shows were broadcast live on WAER.

“The Jabberwocky was clearly an iconic institution that defined a significant part of the student experience of the time,” said David Seaman, Dean of Syracuse University Libraries and University Librarian. “In collaboration with our campus partners, we are pleased to host this event, which  I’m sure will bring back fond memories  for alumni of the 70s and 80s.”

LaunchPad Announces 2021 ’Cuse Tank Winners

Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad (LaunchPad) hosted  its annual ’Cuse Tank entrepreneurial competition on Friday, October 8 at Bird Library. Twenty-four student teams from various schools and colleges across campus competed in a “Shark-Tank” style business pitch in front of a panel of judges consisting of Syracuse University parents and successful entrepreneurs. Families were invited to attend this event as part of Family Weekend to experience the entrepreneurial spirit of University innovators. This year’s winning teams were:

  • 1st Place winner, $15,000: Ambassadoor Technologies, led  by Bruno Gonzalez Hauger G’22 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management). The  company connects small brick-and-mortar businesses to nano-influencers, enabling anyone on Instagram with engagement to be a paid influencer, while automating the influencer search, compensation, and management processes.
  • 2nd Place winner, $10,000: Munch Jerky, led by Selim Dangoor ’23 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management). The company provides a gluten-free, artisanal flank steak jerky using all- natural ingredients
  • 3rd Place winners, each receiving $2,500:  BusPoint, led by Justin Gluska ’23 (College of Engineering and Computer Science) and Sice-Me, led by Alexander Peter Rolinski ’24 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management). BusPoint is a web-based application allowing students to monitor where their designated school bus is at all times, provide parents with real time monitoring and alerts, and provide teachers and administrators with real time data. Sice-Me is a mobile application which creates insular marketplaces for college and high school students, enabling users to create an account with their student email address in order to  buy or sell products to students at their school.
  • Wild Card Winners, each receiving $1,250: Holy Egg! Shakshuka Truck, led by Natasha Brao ’22 (College of Visual and Performing Arts) and Shop All Yours, led by Julia Gomez ’25 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management).

“After more than a year of virtual competitions, the energy and creativity that the student teams brought to ’CuseTank this year was so welcome,” said David Seaman, Dean of Syracuse University Libraries and University Librarian. “Parents and guests were equally excited to witness first-hand the creativity, business acumen and professionalism of the student teams. We started the day with $22,500 for the judges to award as they saw fit, raised from generous SU Libraries supporters; however, the judges were so impressed with our student entrepreneurs that they added an additional $10,000 to the prize money during their deliberations!  We are so grateful for their investment in our students.”

Other venture teams, led by idea champions, who presented during the competition included:

  • Sweatration, led by Paul Franco ’22 (College of Arts and Sciences), Zach Stahl ’23 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), and Anthony Mazzacane ’24 (College of Engineering and Computer Science and College of Arts and Sciences)
  • Fundwurx, led by Ben Ford ’23 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management)
  • Phantom Tea, led by Christine Wu ’22 (College of Arts and Sciences)     
  • Fitted, led by Damaris Koi Munyua G’22 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management)
  • LunaX, led by Diego Luna ’22 (College of Arts and Sciences)                       
  • SENSE-A, led by Gabriela Angel G’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), Simran Lakhani ’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science) and Hong Yan Chen ’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science)
  • YOKA, led by Isabella Perkins ’25 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), Daren Wang ’23 (College of Visual and Performing Arts) and Matthew Swanson ’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science)
  • Out2Win Sports, led by Jack Adler ’23 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management) and Sam Holland ’23 (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Martin J. Whitman School of Management))
  • Patchwork, led by Jackson Ensley ’22 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management) and Paul Hultgren, LaunchPad Innovator in Residence
  • Civilian Medical Response, Jared Anderson ’23 (College of Engineering and Computer Science)
  • Glisten, led by Justin Monaco G’22 (College of Arts and Sciences), Bianca Andrada ’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), and Anh Dao ’23 (College of Visual and Performing Arts)                                 
  • Wo-manly, Kelly Davis ’23 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management)
  • Candid, led by Mia Hinz ’23 (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications)
  • Urban Coders, led by Mohammed Ali ’22 (School of Information Studies)
  • TEAGO, led by Noah Mechnig-Giordano G’22 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management)
  • Athletify, led by Season Chowdhury ’23 (College of Engineering and Computer Science) and Raul Chakraborty ’23 (School of Information Studies)
  • Lateral Assist, led by Xinyao Zhao ’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), Andrea Merloiu ’22 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), and Cheyenne Kersavage ’21 (College of Engineering and Computer Science)

This year’s judges included the following Syracuse University parents and alumni:

  • David Martirano
  • Jeffrey Gates
  • Burt Podbere
  • Kristina Campos
  • Andrew Neuberger
  • Douglas Canfield
  • Corey Lieblein ’93
  • Andrew Schwartz
  • Carter Holland
  • Marlowe Sidney Bamberger
  • Linda Schwartz
  • Jim Armstrong
  • Matt Shumer
  • Steve Shumer
  • Phil McKnight
  • Patrick Prioletti ’21
man in business suit at podium while woman in business suit stands to side waiting
Dean David Seaman announcing ‘Cuse Tank prize winners, including Wild Card winner Julia Gomez, founder of Shop All Yours

Special Collections Research Center’s Newest Exhibition: “Explore and Connect”

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center’s (SCRC) newest exhibition, “Explore and Connect: Selections from the Special Collections Research Center,” spotlights a curated selection of rare and archival materials which offer a small window into the possibilities that abound within the world of archival research. The primary sources represented in this exhibit span over 4,000 years of the human experience from the 21st century BCE to the 21st century CE and embody the diverse breadth of individual expression throughout time. Subject areas represented include broadcasting and journalism, activism and publishing, New York state history and reform, Syracuse University history and the Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster, early written and printed material, art, architecture and design, and music and recorded sound.

Engaging with SCRC’s rare and archival collections allows students, faculty, and researchers to explore and question historical evidence and testimonies while connecting with the innovative and enduring ways people have communicated, documented their experiences, and recorded personal memories throughout history. “Explore and Connect” is on display on the 6th floor of Bird Library in the main gallery and the Robert Ortwine Gallery until January 2022.

SCRC is a vibrant research and learning environment for Syracuse University students, faculty, staff, and the local and world-wide communities, providing access to Syracuse University’s world-renowned rare and archival collections and expert guidance in their use to facilitate personal discovery and the creation of new knowledge. For more information about SCRC, including open hours, collections, and services, please visit

Carnegie Library Stacks Remain Closed, New Periodicals Available at Bird Library

The book stacks at Carnegie Library, located on the Shaw Quadrangle, remain  closed due to unexpected repair work needed. Therefore, all new print periodicals that would normally be shelved at Carnegie will be available at Bird Library. This includes 44 print titles.

Out of caution for the safety of Libraries’ employees and users, all access to books and periodicals located in the Carnegie stacks remain unavailable until further notice. Users requiring books or periodicals housed in Carnegie Library are asked to request these items through Interlibrary Loan. If searching for an item from Summon or the Catalog, users should click the “Request this item” link to submit a prepopulated Interlibrary Loan form. Please note that books and periodicals borrowed from other libraries typically take several days to a week to obtain.

Carnegie Library primarily houses Q-Z print books and a small number of Q-Z print journal current issues. These cover biology, chemistry, engineering and computer science, library science, mathematics, military and naval science, nutrition science and dietetics, photography, public health, physics and astronomy, information science, and technical arts and crafts.

Rachel Fox Von Swearingen Assumes Role of Collection Development and Analysis Librarian

Rachel Fox Von Swearingen has recently assumed the role of Collection Development and Analysis Librarian in the Department of Research and Scholarship at Syracuse University Libraries. Fox Von Swearingen has been with Syracuse University Libraries since 2011, when she was appointed Librarian for Music, Dance and Musical Theater. As a subject librarian, she was responsible for collection development, instruction, outreach and research services for her assigned subjects as well as participating in library-wide collections projects. In 2016, Fox Von Swearingen led a team of librarians in a year-long collections analysis to develop criteria for deselection, data-driven de-selection and data-driven storage for the 200,000-volume science and technology collection. Over the course of her tenure at the Libraries, she has contributed significantly to collection development and analysis work. Her new role will allow her to focus on collections analysis.

Fox Von Swearingen received her BM in Music Theory from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and her MLIS from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Appointed to the rank of full librarian by the University in 2020, she has received two Dean’s Commendations from the Libraries and held several national service positions. These have included the HathiTrust User Support Working Group 2013-2014, Member-At-Large for the Music Library Association in 2018-2020 and HathiTrust Shared Print Advisory Committee for 2021-2024. Prior to joining Syracuse, Fox Von Swearingen worked as a public services librarian at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Special Collections Research Center Contributes to University of Toronto Art Museum Exhibition on Plastics

Multiple artifacts from Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center’s (SCRC) Plastics Artifact Collection are currently on display in the University of Toronto Art Museum exhibition titled, “Plastic Heart: Surface All the Way Through.” This exhibition, open from September 8 through November 20, 2021,draws on the existing work of the Synthetic Collective, an interdisciplinary collaboration of visual artists, cultural workers, and scientists based in Canada. The exhibition features data visualizations, artworks created by the Synthetic Collective in response to their research, as well as new commissions by contemporary artists from the Great Lakes Region. Also included in the exhibition are historical installations, including the artifacts on loan from SCRC, and objects that used early plastics that are now degrading, evoking questions of conservation and preservation in museum culture. This exhibition spotlights the connections between scientific and artistic methodologies and challenges the viewer to explore how arts-based approaches to thinking and working can make viable contributions to environmental science and activism.

SCRC’s Curator of Plastics and Historical Artifacts, Courtney Asztalos, will be participating in the “Plastic Heart” exhibition public programming as a member of the panel discussion “Dialogue # 3: The Plastic Conservation Conundrum: Preserving Plastics in Museum Collections and Plastics’ Durability in the Environment” on Wednesday, October 13, 6pm–7:30pm EDT. Asztalos says, “The Synthetic Collective’s groundbreaking work in their experimental exhibition “Plastic Heart: Surface All the Way Through” brings necessary awareness to the plastics lifecycle in exhibition-making, art and collections while proposing exciting alternative models and methods forward for change. I am thrilled to participate in a conversation on how plastic cultural artifacts within the context of special collections pose unique challenges and opportunities, emphasizing how SCRC’s plastics collections are rich resources for researchers and artists to investigate for activism, and unearth for the creation of new scholarship and artmaking. As a special collections curator, I am committed to bringing greater awareness to the broader public about how our collections can support innovation, change and agency within our current global plastics pollution crisis.”

“The Plastics Collection”, initially conceptualized as an umbrella term for the plastics-related collections at SCRC, serves as a research and programming resource to advance the study and understanding of plastics in modern society. These collections include manuscripts, photographs, time-based media, books, periodicals and over 5,000 plastic objects produced from the late 19th century to the present day. To learn more about the SCRC’s collections in this subject area, please visit

More information regarding the Plastic Heart exhibition, public programming and registration information can be found at

Image of Courtney Asztalos, curator of Plastics and Historical Artifacts, superimposed on Plastic Heart exhibition. Image credit: Synthetic Collective

Libraries Award Grants for 2022-2023 Faculty Fellows

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) has awarded two Faculty Fellows grants for the 2022-2023 academic year. Sarah Fuchs, Assistant Professor of Music History and Cultures in the Department of Art & Music Histories (College of Arts and Sciences), and Doug Dubois, Associate Professor in the Department of Transmedia (College of Visual and Performing Arts), have each committed to a four-week summer residency in 2022 at SCRC that includes workshops and training sessions on handling special collections materials, teaching students how to search for materials, and the logistics of designing successful assignments with rare and fragile materials. The Fellows, who applied and were selected by a committee, will use their learnings and materials from SCRC to teach new courses the following year.

Each Faculty Fellow will receive a $5,000 stipend, made possible by a generous gift from  George Bain G’06, a member of the Library Associates. “Supporting SCRC Faculty Fellows advances both faculty teaching and student scholarship and integrates Special Collections into the curriculum, a wonderful way to introduce today’s students to the riches of special collections,” said George Bain. The original funding for the SCRC Faculty Fellows Program was made possible through the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, which promotes the advancement and perpetuation of humanistic inquiry and artistic creativity by encouraging excellence in scholarship and in the performing arts, and by supporting research libraries and other institutions that transmit our cultural heritage.

Sarah Fuchs plans to further develop a regularized course by exploring and directly incorporating SCRC’s various historic sound recordings and playback machines within the teaching framework of the history of recorded sound. Doug Dubois will revise and expand a special topics course utilizing several of SCRC’s photographic collections to build a critical framework for the study and practice of portraiture.

Syracuse University Libraries’ SCRC Faculty Fellows program aims to support innovative curriculum development and foster new ideas about how to transform the role of special collections in University instruction. Each fellow receives instruction on how to provide students with a unique opportunity to handle, analyze and interpret SCRC’s primary source materials in their class, as well as ongoing course support. For more information about how to support a Faculty Fellow for the 2023-2024 year and beyond, contact Ron Thiele at or 315-560-9419.

LaunchPad Accepting Applications for 2021-2022 Competitions

Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad is now accepting online applications for 2021-2022 school year competitions. The universal application for the competitions, with nearly $100,000 in prizes, are for innovative or creative solutions to address problems or opportunities. Competitions are open to all undergraduate and graduate students from any academic program at Syracuse University as well as  SUNY-ESF student taking innovation and entrepreneurship courses at Syracuse University. In addition to the online application, registrants must provide a one-page business statement. All applications close ten days prior to the competition date.

This year’s LaunchPad competitions are:

  • ‘Cuse Tank:  Scheduled to take place on October 8.
  • Founder’s Cup: Scheduled to take place on October 29.
  • Impact Prize: Scheduled to take place on November 12.
  • ACC InVenture Prize: Scheduled to take place on February 11.
  • RvD iPrize and Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards – Scheduled to take place on March 25.

Over the past five years, Syracuse University students have won $3.65 million in campus, state, and national competitions and raised more than $54 million in equity funding for their ventures. Out of nearly 1,000 ideas, SU students have incorporated more than 140 businesses and have used their experience to build skills and their resumes and find their dream jobs at top innovation companies around the world.

“The Art of Recovering Black History”; A Discussion with P. Gabrielle Foreman, 2021 Watson Professor

P. Gabrielle Foreman, the 2021 Jeannette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities, will participate in a virtual discussion with Petrina Jackson, Director of Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center, on Friday, October 22 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on the topic “Go Back and Get It: The Art of Recovering Black History.” Those interested in attending can register in advance

The conversation will be organized around relevant images of Black activism and women in the 19th century from objects in Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center. Approaching these historical materials from both sides of the desk–as an archivist and a researcher– Foreman and Jackson will examine archival silences and possibilities for uncovering and documenting Black activism over time.   

This discussion is one in a series of Syracuse University Humanities Center planned public activities for Fall 2021. Other events featuring P. Gabrielle Foreman this fall include:

Foreman has a long-standing commitment to the intersection of Black digital humanities, race, and public history. She  is co-director of the Center for Black Digital Research/#DigBlk, professor of English, African American Studies and History, and Paterno Family Chair of Liberal Arts at Pennsylvania State University. She is also founding director of The Colored Conventions Project and senior Library Fellow and affiliate faculty at The University of Delaware.

The Jeannette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities was established by the Watson family to support on-campus residencies of prominent humanities scholars, writers and artists.

This year’s residency is hosted by Dorri Beam, Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of English; Joan Bryant, Associate Professor of African American Studies; Petrina Jackson, Director of the Special Collections Research Center; and Patricia Roylance, Associate Professor of English. It is supported by the Jeannette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities initiative of the Syracuse University Humanities Center.

Job Opportunities at the Libraries

Syracuse University Libraries is filling multiple key positions this fall, now that the University has resumed in-person instruction and its full array of on-campus services. Some of these positions are newly created and directly tied to strategic initiatives and others are openings resulting from retirement or normal attrition, but all of these roles are important to the success of the Libraries and the users we serve.

If you are passionate about advancing academic excellence in a university welcoming to all, we hope that you will apply for one of the open positions posted on the Syracuse University job board.