Tag: Undergraduate

The Center for Experiential Learning has dozens of practicums and projects each semester that provide students with hands-on experience in all kinds of businesses. The below post highlights one of the CEL’s Taylor Community Consulting Projects with the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective

The best way to introduce you to Story Stitchers is sharing the organization’s compelling story in the words of its president, Susan Colangelo:

“Once upon a time, there was a stitcher who liked to embroider stories from the newspaper. One day, she was stitching a story about two sisters who were shot while sitting on their porch in University City–one of whom died.

The stitcher reflected on the power of stitching throughout history; of the NAMES Project, also known as the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and quilts used to signal safe passage to escaping slaves on the Underground Railroad. Determined to create change, she gathered eight artists in Old North St. Louis and founded the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective. The artists wrote the mission that night: to document St. Louis through art and word, to promote understanding, civic pride, inter-generational relationships, and literacy.

Today, Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to professional artists and minority youth ages 15-24, working together to create social change, focusing on gun violence prevention.”

Story Stitchers has worked with the CEL on four marketing initiatives. Recently, the organization collaborated with students Gary Wang, Aviva Mann, and Taylor Ohman on marketing the nonprofit’s summer program, Pick the City UP.

The Pick the City UP tour aimed to spark community activity among area youth by providing free hip hop performances and presentations on public health issues affecting St. Louis, including gun violence and food insecurity.

The student team went to work defining and creating the deliverables, including project branding with a logo, creating media lists, research on public service announcements for radio, recommendations and oversight for landing page design on the Story Stitchers website, and a social media plan.

What Susan found most remarkable about the Olin CEL team was how much they felt a part of the collective. Taylor sat down with the Story Stitchers youth for extended periods, sketching out potential logos, so that the group could feel a sense of ownership. I visited the storefront recently, and they proudly wore this logo on t-shirts and sweatshirts, showing the community that a simple logo can help create unity and help others to feel involved.

With the fifth team in place for this semester’s Taylor Community Consulting Program, we are excited to help Story Stitchers continue spreading the word about gun violence prevention and creating unique connections in our local community.

This is one in a series of blog posts highlighting partnerships with local nonprofits through the Center for Experiential Learning (CEL).

Guest Blogger: Allison Halpern, BSBA ’18

A successful business depends on the community of contributors that carry out its mission. Since arriving at Olin last fall, I have found a strong community in Bear Studios, a student-run strategy firm providing a variety of client-based services under the umbrella of consulting, tech, design, and accounting.

Bear Studios has formed several key strategic partnerships with WashU and St. Louis-area organizations, with a focus on organizations that share a similar mission and that have a strong sense of community. In 2015, Bear Studios found that community in TechArtista, a collaborative startup space located in the Central West End.

WashU alumni Eric Hamblett (BA’13, International Studies) and Chris Holt (BS’13, Chemical Engineering) started TechArtista in 2014 to provide local entrepreneurs with an innovative working space and community. The company, now home to more than 120 local organizations and entrepreneurs, provides meeting and work spaces, design rooms, digital and filming equipment, and a variety of other amenities and resources to its members.

Bear Studios and TechArtista both seek to provide assistance and support to the local start-up community through different approaches and operations. The partnership provides TechArtista members with undergraduate talent and resources to aid in their operational development, while Bear Studios fellows gain real-world working experience and expertise from entrepreneurs on the ground.

To further the relationship between the two organizations, Bear Studios and TechArtista recently hosted a joint Happy Hour at TechArtista, where members of each organization could network, converse, and learn. TechArtista and Bear Studios plan to continue the tradition of Happy Hours, while building on the value that is created during those events. The Happy Hour setting provides ample opportunities to discuss particular trends in the start-up space and educate attendees about relevant topics through the perspective of both a student and a working professional.

Building the Bear Studios and TechArtista community will require more than an official partnership or even regular events. A community requires a faithful contribution from each of its members—something that is of abundance in both Bear Studios and TechArtista alike.

Photos courtesy of techartista.org.

Guest Blogger: Lexi Jackson, BSBA’20, is majoring in Leadership & Strategic Management, Political Science; she is a Strategy Fellow at Bear Studios LLC.

The campus-wide bicentennial celebration of Mary Shelley’s classic, Frankenstein, provides the perfect backdrop for Halloween this year. This weekend the WashU Symphony Orchestra debuts student compositions inspired by Shelley’s book on Oct. 29. See below for details.

For a peek at Frankenstein-inspired illustrations and comic books, click on the video above. Thanks to popular horror films from Universal Studios and others, Frankenstein and his monster have had a pervasive influence on popular culture. The video features works belonging to WashU’s Modern Graphic Library collection. Link to related blog post.

Music for Frankenstein

At 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, the Washington University Symphony Orchestra will present three world-premiere student compositions inspired by Shelley’s book in the 560 Music Center’s E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall.

“North,” by Andrew Savino, is structured as a series of fragments, reflecting the disjointed memories that pass through the minds of both doctor and monster as they make their final Arctic journey.

Listen to the composers discuss their creations on the Arts & Sciences’ podcast Hold That Thought.

“The dissonant effect in the strings at the beginning creates a wind-like mood, establishing the setting of being in a cold environment,” writes Savino, a junior studying computer science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, in his composer’s statement. “From here, the main theme is heard, and warped through the rest of the piece.”

“Dialogue,” by Ethan Evans, a junior majoring in music and in international and area studies in Arts & Sciences, captures the interaction “between the piano and orchestra, between dark and light themes [and] between the colliding worlds of classical music and film scoring.”

“The Frankenstein Suite,” by sophomore Cole Reyes, who is majoring in music composition and in math in Arts & Sciences, consists of two movements. “The Creator” evokes “a tormented scientist deep inside his own thoughts,” while “The Monster” juxtaposes sweeping and aggressive harmonies to capture “the torment of intention versus reality.”

Rounding out the program will be “Tragic Overture” (1880) by Johannes Brahms; “Danse Macabre” (1874) by Camille Saint-Saëns; and Leopold Stokowski’s 1927 transcription of “Toccata and Fugue” (1703-07) in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach.

The performance is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences, in conjunction with the campuswide Frankenstein Project and the First Year Center’s Common Reading Program.

The 560 Music Center is located at 560 Trinity Ave. in University City. For more information, call 314-935-5566 or email daniels@wustl.edu.

The 6th annual Real Elevator Pitch Competition is open for submissions. Sponsored by Saint Louis University, this contest is open to all college students. Two cash prizes will be awarded to the best business plan pitches.

The Real Elevator Pitch competition takes place on real elevators in the second tallest building in Missouri: One Met Square in downtown St. Louis. Real students deliver real startup pitches to real investors while riding up 40 stories on the building’s elevators.

Submissions are due by Nov. 7, 2017 at 11:59 CST

Saint Louis University staged the first Real Elevator Pitch six years ago and it has been a successful competition ever since.

Startup business pitches can be submitted in two categories: for profit ideas and nonprofit ideas.

To enter the competition, you must submit a 30 second pitch:

1.) Record your video and upload it to YouTube.

2.) Fill out the SUBMISSION FORM

A blue-ribbon panel of judges will select the top 18 that will move on to the Final Round.

The 18 Finalists will be invited to One Met Square building in downtown St. Louis  to pitch to 30+ wealthy judges while riding up and down on 12 elevators.

See the ‘Real’ Elevator Pitch FAQs to help answer any questions you might have or email ecenter@slu.edu for more information.

She grew up playing the accordion, but Xing Huang transferred her keyboard skills to the piano when she moved the US to study finance. Prof. Huang was pleased to find WashU’s Music Department practice rooms located directly across the street from Olin’s Simon Hall.

Listen to Olin’s newest member of the finance faculty practice her piano skills in the video above.

Prof. Huang was an assistant professor of finance at Michigan State University before joining Olin. Her research into behavioral finance, asset pricing, and investor behavior are all topics in her class this semester where student teams are given a million dollars to invest. Don’t worry – it’s virtual money that they use in a  simulation trading game that puts students in the driver’s seat of a brokerage account to experience the ups and downs of stock trades and the gyrations of the market.

Professor Huang’s bio:

PhD 2013, University of California, Berkeley
MA 2007, Peking University, Guanghua School of Management
BA 2005, Peking University, Guanghua School of Management

Selected Publications:

  • “Rushing into American Dream? House Prices, Timing of Homeownership, and Adjustment of Consumer Credit”, Review of Finance, Issue 20, 2183-2218, with S. Agarwal, L. Hu, 2016
  • “Which Factors Matter to Investors? Evidence from Mutual Fund Flows”, Review of Financial Studies, Issue 29, 2643-2676, with B. Barber, T. Odean, 2016
  • “Thinking Outside the Borders: Investors’ Underreaction to Foreign Operations”, Review of Financial Studies, Issue 28, 3109-3152, 2015


  • Best Paper Award, CICF XY Investments, 2016
  • Broad College’s Summer Research Grant Award, 2016
  • Stuart I. Greenbaum Best Finance Ph.D. Dissertation Award, Finalist, 2012
  • Graduate Division Travel Grant, University of California, Berkeley, 2011
  • Student Travel Grant Award, American Finance Association, 2011
  • Dean’s Normative Time Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 2010
  • Shapiro Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 2007


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