Sydney Grosso

Alexandra Santangelo ’22 on industrial and industrial design innovation

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Alexandra Santangelo ’22 is determined to excel in design. The VPA major studying Industrial design and a double minor in Information and technology and art history, would never turn down the opportunity to display her skills. Technology, history, and design are more than just degrees to Alex.  They represent a way of life and an opportunity to shine.

Originally from New Jersey, Alex wanted to find a school that could embrace her full potential and provide her with an unlimited number of opportunities. Syracuse University struck her because of its large campus population, but more importantly, the diversity it upholds for its students. She knew her ideas would flourish in a diverse background and incorporate her passion into this environment.

Alex has many talents academically but also athletically. For the past three years she has been a member of the Syracuse University Women’s Soccer Team, playing hard and cheering on her teammates. Not only is she able to exercise her leadership on campus, but she also displays it on the field with her friendly and outgoing personality, which led her to become team captain last year.

One of Alex’s greatest traits is her eagerness and determination to assist others in need. Because of her talent in design and graphics, she has been able to work with a variety of people. She enjoys assisting students who need support with graphic design, logos, and presentations. She goes above and beyond by teaching them how to brand and express themselves, and helps bring their concepts to life with 3D-models. .

Furthermore, she is actively participating in a digital fabrication workshop, helping students with projects. As a result of her knowledge and experience, she was chosen by professors to sit on the search committee for new VPA School of Design faculty.

As a student representative on the search committee she learned about the LaunchPad. After a few conversations, she was excited to join the LaunchPad team as a Launch Star. Without hesitation, Alex dove right into her position headfirst, working with a group of students to prepare them for Cuse Tank. They are collaboratively creating logos and designs to enhance their digital storytelling.  Alex says, “I absolutely love it, working with a team and creating graphics is what I enjoy doing.”

This is not her first time working in an environment similar to what she’s doing now. This past summer, Alex spent countless hours working in the IT department, enhancing her technological skills. She was assigned to a task using interactional design and interface at UI UX.

After exploring and engaging into her passions, she has concluded what she loves most. Her passion for hands-on work has motivated her to be an empathic designer. Every day she strives to be a better designer for herself, her teammates, and the people that surround her. Her never-ending drive to continuously improve her creativity makes her an exceptional candidate for any future endeavor.

Her goal is to work in the public sector, where she can exercise her passion for the greater good and help people in any way she can. Hopefully she can work for the government to “solve problems every day and make a long-lasting impact.”

She believes she can utilize her characteristics of being driven to spark new conversations within LaunchPad. She hopes to contribute to the culture and dynamic because she says, “It’s such a unique place on campus.” Alex is ready to be a part of the “powerhouse of entrepreneurship” to bring her own experience and learn about others. Nonetheless, the best part of LaunchPad is that, “Students are coming from all over, bringing their experiences and contributing with so much potential.”

Overall, there is nothing Alex can’t do and isn’t willing to accomplish. She gives more than just her ideas, she gives her heart and herself to everyone around her.

Story by Sydney Grosso ‘23

Sydney Grosso ’23 on new beginnings

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In the ever-changing environment that makes up Syracuse University, an active junior has great ambitions to get involved. Sydney Grosso ‘23, a double major in Public Health in Falk College and Policy Studies in Maxwell, is determined to use her degree to build a foundation for a meaningful career as a trailblazer.

Sydney, from the Syracuse area, decided to attend SU because of her interest in a biomedical degree. However, she soon discovered her passion for public health and policy studies. Creating new policies that will benefit the public for the greater good was her new commitment. Helping others gives her purpose to what she does, “I am building my skills and knowledge now so that one day I can give back to those who gave to me and many more,” Sydney stated.

Throughout Sydney’s three years at Syracuse, she has used her leadership skills and creative ideas to support residence halls through Resident Hall Association (RHA). She continued building on those skills by becoming an RA in Marion hall and involving herself to become more immersed in the Syracuse community.

She has also given back countless hours to local community members by volunteering to write to the elderly during the heart of the pandemic and tutoring kids in need.

Sydney is actively applying her studies by working with the NYS Grange, a non-profit organization, to relocate their meeting facilities and creating districts within the state to assist with current changes in the organization. She can showcase her leadership and communication skills by using pre-existing surveys and information to ameliorate discomfort in members as well as minimize the decrease in membership. While learning new business strategies and using creativity, Sydney has begun applying these new skills to work towards her upcoming business idea.

As a result of her new idea, she sparked interest in surrounding herself with people who are reliable, intelligent, and more than willing to assist with her aspirations. Sydney said, “Once you become a part of LaunchPad, you become more inspired every day to be the best version of yourself and exceed more than what you ever thought you could accomplish.”

Sydney is currently working with the LaunchPad’s writing team to meet new individuals and display their stories and the value they contribute to the LaunchPad team.  She is also a Zaccai Foundation working with the Intelligence ++ program, an inclusive entrepreneurship program that is a partnership between the LaunchPad and SU Libraries, InclusiveU and VPA’s School of Design.

At the LaunchPad, she aspires to advance her concept for a sustainable product. Furthermore, she aims to continue building connections with previous, current, and upcoming LaunchPad members to hopefully establish business and personal relationships.

“If there is one thing I could change, it would be joining LaunchPad freshman year, so I could have developed more confidence in myself while being surrounded by like-minded people.” Sydney knew she had aspirations outside receiving good grades, she just didn’t know that with the right code, she could unlock more of herself and her ideas.

As Sydney continues her RA role, she has a desire to inspire people to propel out of their comfort zone and to create new ideas. Sydney is continually working towards regaining her social skills with her residents similar to pre-covid times. As many others would agree, “The social strain Covid-19 left on the community has made it difficult to retreat to what it used to look like,” Sydney said.

She is continuously looking for ways to reconnect with her residents, so she can motivate them to reach their full potential.

One struggle Sydney faces is balancing work life and creating time for herself to take a break. “Working thirty-two hours a week, taking eighteen credits, and being involved in extracurricular activities makes it hard to find time for myself,”she said. Learning how to balance all her activities has been one of her greatest challenges thus far.

Making time and prioritizing herself has been a work in progress. But with her new understanding, she has implemented community events to help other students learn how to multitask and create time for themselves.

Sydney is eager to learn more about LaunchPad and establish new relationships within its network. With her drive for success, commitment to helping those who surround her, dedication to seeing others succeed, and contributing to the process, Sydney will find more than just co-workers, she will find a home in LaunchPad.

Story by Blackstone Global Fellow Sydney Grosso ‘23