College of Professional Studies V.I.P. Gala 2019

May 15, 2019

On May 2nd, the College of Professional Studies hosted an inaugural celebration of the growing Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at St. John’s University. The V.I.P. (Vincentian Innovators and Professionals) Gala was an event designed to recognize students who have excelled in the areas of Innovation and Entrepreneurship throughout the 2018-2019 academic year.

More than 80 faculty and students were in attendance at the event that took place on the 2nd floor of St. Augustine Hall on St. John’s University’s Queens Campus. The evening began with a walk-around poster session where students were able to showcase their work and had the opportunity to promote their startup ideas and network with other students, faculty, and alumni. Following a welcome address by Dean Passerini during the sit-down dinner, there were presentations by Dr. Luca Iandoli about teaching innovation and Design Factory concept, as well as by Max Hergenrother, Director of Technology Operations, who spoke about the various CPS Labs. The labs that are openly available to students who are granted access to accelerate their personal and academic projects are the Homeland Security Lab, The Sanford Family Cyber Security Lab, The Computer Science Lab, The I.D.E.A. (Innovation and Design Enhancing the Arts Lab) Lab, the Farella Innovation Lab, and the C.C.C. (Communication and Collaboration Commons) Lab.  Other labs include the Television, Film and Radio center, the MAD (Media Art and Design) Lab and the Technology commons.

During dinner, Assistant Dean Kevin James presented awards to students who have excelled in their program throughout the year, including the winner of the 2019 Shah Scholarship, Simone Kunlipe, the top three posters that were judged during the poster session, and the 2018 Pitch Johnny winners Alexandria Ligon and Magdalene Barjolo who also attended the Big East Competition. We would like to thank all of the faculty who attended and supported the students, as well as Chairman Steve Farella, and CPS Industry Advisory Board members Cristin Burtis, Larry Dunn, and Rick Jefferson. And a special thank you to the Graduate Assistants and Student Workers who organized and made the event possible.    

Overall, the event was very successful in showcasing the present and future of CPS and its developing programs. The program of Innovation and Entrepreneurship has grown globally and academically, as this year, more study-abroad programs centralizing around Entrepreneurship were released through CPS. Additionally, CPS has collaborated with the Peter J. Tobin School of Business to release a new master’s program at St. John’s University—titled as the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MS-EI), which is now offered to graduate students, on top of the Minor in Entrepreneurship that is currently offered for undergraduate students through CPS. The V.I.P. Gala will hopefully become a traditional end-of-year event for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship program in the College of Professional Studies. Follow us for more news and events about Innovation and Entrepreneurship on CPS Social Media (Instagram and Twitter).