Fast Forward Winners Give Voice to Inspired Ideas

They have an idea to make it better and the passion to make it work.

Thirteen entrants—both individuals and teams—have been selected as winners in the Fast Forward competition, in which the University will fund student projects that demonstrate how Syracuse University and its students can have a positive impact on the world.

Tiny Homes is one of the winners in the Fast Forward competition.

Tiny Homes, Big Hearts is one of the winners in the Fast Forward competition. The project involves building a tiny home for someone transitioning from homelessness.

The competition is part of the celebration for Chancellor Kent Syverud’s inauguration day. The Chancellor and the inauguration committee wanted the events of the day to have a strong student voice and engage students.

Their ideas include creating a modular seating system on the campus for more spaces to work and think; building small homes on vacant lots in the city for those transitioning from homelessness; refurbishing and painting a mural on the Mount Olympus stairway; and providing donations to food pantries in the Syracuse community through unused meals on dining hall plans.

The winners will be presenting their ideas for the Chancellor, Board of Trustee members and fellow students from 2-3 p.m. on inauguration day at Hergenhan Auditorium, Newhouse 3. The student projects will be awarded grants of as much as $1,500 to fund the completion of their projects.

All members of the campus community are invited to the event and hear the students as they highlight their winning proposals.

The winning entrants are the following:

  • Yan Mei Jiang ’14—Community Ambassadors Bench Project: The student Community Ambassadors’ program through the Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services seeks support for a permanent installation and community beautification project to provide seating for commuters on Euclid Avenue.
  • Andrew Lunetta G’14—Tiny Homes, Big Hearts: The proposal involves building a viable “tiny home,” designed by School of Architecture students, on one of Syracuse’s vacant city lots to provide a home to an individual transitioning from homelessness and kick off even more projects.
  • Ryan Pierson ’15 and Sally Zheng ’15—Park Bar: The two industrial and interaction design students propose modular designed seats on the Quad to provide more working, thinking and relaxing spaces.
  • Madelyn Minicozzi ’18—Mural on the Mount: Minicozzi wants to “reinvent the Mount steps” by refurbishing the stairway and allowing a group of students to create a mural that stretches the length of the stairway.
  • Timi Komonibo G’15—Style Lottery: Style Lottery promotes sustainable fashion and fashion philanthropy by providing clothing swaps and donating leftover garments to women in the community. With extra funds, the organization will purchase racks and other materials to be able to hold closet swaps more efficiently.
  • Ruo Piao Chen ’17—Westminster Church Ramp: Architecture students involved in Freedom by Design, which designs construction solutions to people with disabilities, propose building a ramp to help the historic Westminster Church. The design would provide shelter from ice and community seating.
  • Brian Cheung ’15—Swipes for Syracuse: Cheung proposes that students who have a meal plan have the option of donating one meal on their dining plan to the local community in some form, which would provide food pantries with supplies.
  • Jerry Gomez ’17 and Sierra Pizzola ’17—P.I.N. (Power in Numbers): Power in Numbers seeks to educate people on homelessness and hunger in the Syracuse Community through volunteering and events. In their proposal, students seek funding for transportation for volunteers and assistance with events to educate others on issues of homelessness, hunger and poverty.
  • Alexandra Curtis ’14 and Adrianna Kam ’15—Elect Her: Curtis and Kam want to empower young women on campus and in the community to run for elected offices on campus and off after graduation. The funding will help with creating opportunities, such as workshops and speakers, to educate and train women in preparation for political office.
  • Nicholas Ferreiro ’15—Cuse Comedy Collective: Ferreiro proposes the Cuse Comedy Collective, a website that would channel all the content from the various comedy groups on campus. The website would help build a stronger sense of community among groups, increase viewership and allow for scheduled programming.
  • Melissa Anne Bassett ’14 and Lisa Kranz ’16—Update the Live Stream Technology in Setnor Auditorium: The School of Music students seek funding to update the streaming technology in the auditorium that would help attract students, make for a better viewing for family and friends, keep alumni connected and invite in worldwide audiences.
  • Jacquie Greco ’13, G’14 and Rachel Samples ’14—TOCK: The students propose an anti-social mobile application that promotes talking face to face, instead of face to phone. “Tockers” invite others to put down their phone and earn points, possibly worth coupons or some other value, on their profile if they don’t swipe their phones.
  • Arland Whitfield ’16—The Skyworks Project: The Skyworks Project is an initiative to bring students and faculty together to explore what is possible, technically and socially, with drones. The grant would help enrich learning on drones and enhance R&D projects.

Before they present at Fast Forward event on inauguration day, winners are being provided with pitch training by three School of Information Studies faculty members: John Liddy, Marcene Sonneborn and Mike D’Eredita, who are all in the entrepreneurship program.

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