The Shoemaker Scholars program brings together 10 Indiana University Bloomington students from a variety of academic disciplines. They encourage other students to explore their own entrepreneurial and innovative interests, and they oversee the StartupIU website that connects students with university-based startups. John and Donna Shoemaker funded the program, which awards annual scholarships to its members. Travis J. Brown launched and directs the program.
Jenny Ye, a senior from Allentown, Pennsylvania, majors in computer science in the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. This will be her first semester as a Shoemaker scholar. Jenny was kind enough to answer questions for the Crimson Catalyst.
Crimson Catalyst: How did you learn about the Shoemaker Scholars program?
Jenny Ye: I initially learned about Shoemaker scholars from being a part of the Shoemaker Innovation Center. I was able to interact with last year’s group and hear their stories and learn about the impact the program had on students.
CC: What impact do Shoemaker scholars have?
JY: The Shoemaker Scholars program provides students with resources relating to entrepreneurship and innovation. It allows students to have peers to go to for questions, insights and advice. Above all else, the program provides a community for students to discover and dive deeper into entrepreneurship and innovation, and open their eyes to new opportunities and experiences.
CC: What is a common misperception students have about entrepreneurship and innovation?
JY: Oftentimes people think that entrepreneurship and innovation are innately in you — you either have them or you don’t. In reality, entrepreneurship and innovation can be taught, and they are a mindset that can be applied anywhere. They are ways to approach problems with a different perspective.
CC: How do you share insights with others, as an ambassador?
JY: Insights can be shared on the StartupIU site, as well as through word of mouth. The best way to share insights is through a positive experience. When those who participate in Shoemaker scholar events have a great experience, they themselves become ambassadors to not only the program, but entrepreneurship and innovation.
CC: What are your own entrepreneurial endeavors?
JY: I don’t have a startup, but am currently working on different projects that are geared toward accessibility and security. In terms of mentorship, I’m a panelist and mentor for Girls Who Code, as well as to members of the Product Management Club.
CC: What do you enjoy most about being a Shoemaker scholar?
JY: It’s an incredibly impactful experience, where I’m able to help leverage resources to provide students with what they need. I also hear their feedback about current entrepreneurship and innovation events and resources to better their overall experience. I love being in places where people are just as passionate as I am about providing a great experience and resource for entrepreneurship and innovation.
More information about the Shoemaker Scholars program is available at the following websites: