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.
Sneha Dave, a senior from Greenwood, Indiana, majors in journalism in The Media School in the College of Arts and Sciences as well as in chronic illness advocacy, an individualized major. This will be her first semester as a Shoemaker Scholar. Sneha was kind enough to answer questions for the Crimson Catalyst.
Crimson Catalyst: How did you learn about the Shoemaker Scholars program?
Sneha Dave: Through Sierra Reed, a previous Scholar.
CC: What impact do Shoemaker Scholars have?
SD: The biggest impact the Shoemaker Scholars program has on campus is offering a place for students who are interested in specialized fields to have the support and resources to make systems better.
CC: What is a common misperception students have about entrepreneurship and innovation?
SD: That a venture must be profitable to be successful. Also, you do not have to be a certain type. There is no “type” of person; anyone can be an innovator.
CC: How do you share insights with others, as an ambassador?
SD: I talk about opportunities to get involved in the Shoemaker Innovation Center.
CC: What are your own entrepreneurial endeavors?
SD: I am the executive director of Health Advocacy Summit, an advocacy event for young adults with chronic and rare diseases. It is one of the first advocacy interventions addressing the critical period of adolescence and early adulthood while having invisible conditions. Within a year of being established, we have expanded to three additional states. HAS has been awarded a national grant by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, been invited to present at Stanford MedX, and will be featured by University of Oxford Patient and Public Involvement. We have also added another program to Health Advocacy Summit, which is Crohn’s and Colitis Young Adults Network, which facilitates an international fellowship program for young adults with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. HAS has been recognized by the Rural Health Information Hub for our work in rural health.
I also created the Ninth District Disability Caucus for the Indiana Democratic Party. I am in the process of working with the DNC to create the first statewide Indiana Disability Caucus to ensure that people with disabilities are included in the democratic process.
CC: What do you enjoy most about being a Shoemaker Scholar?
SD: Being surrounded by some really incredible people who have such varied interests.
More information about the Shoemaker Scholars program is available at the following websites: