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Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship Announces 2015 Meyer Innovation and Creative Excellence Award Winners

VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE Center) at the Villanova School of Business (VSB) has announced the winners of the annual Meyer Innovation and Creative Excellence (ICE) Awards. Five students were selected to receive this honor: Joanna Schaff ’15 COE, Alyssa Nazar ’15 CLAS, Stephanie Rozalski ’15 VLS, Teresa Yang ’15 CON, and Sergio Rizzuto-Flancbaum ’15 VSB. Hezekiah Lewis, III, M.F.A, assistant professor of film studies, earned the faculty ICE Award.

The ICE Awards were created and endowed by Patrick Meyer '74 VSB in honor of the Meyer family (Patrick '74, Edward '86, and C. Paul '30) to recognize a spirit of innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship that enhances Villanova University. Meyer ICE Award winners receive a trophy and a cash award ($2,500 for faculty recipients; $1,000 for student recipients.)

“It gives me great pride to award Professor Lewis and the five outstanding students with the Meyer Innovation and Creative Excellence Award,” says II Luscri, director of the Center for Innovation, Creativity, & Entrepreneurship. “These Villanovans saw opportunities to advance the educational experience and developed innovative and creative solutions. Their accomplishments have already made a tremendous impact and will be appreciated by our students for years to come.”

Faculty award-winner Lewis is acknowledged for applying his passion for film to inspire students to become agents of change. Lewis seeks new ways to expose students to the filmmaking and entertainment industry, and was one of the creators of the Villanova On the Set program which connects students to industry experts. His social justice documentary program encourages students to ignite positive social change through the visual arts and inspires the next generation of great film makers.

Schaff earned the Meyer ICE Award for her entrepreneurial mindset and contributions to Villanova. She served as chair of American Society of Mechanical Engineers for three years and cites her work with youth as her biggest achievement. Schaff mentored and encouraged minority high school students to pursue engineering, actively participates in Villanova’s Girls in Mechanical Engineering Day and runs Villanova’s MATE Underwater ROV competition. Consequently, her senior design project is sponsored by the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network because of its ground-breaking design of auxiliary systems for a remotely-operated underwater vehichle. Schaff also led a team to win first-place at the 24 Hour Imagination Quest for creating an app that provides Villanova students and administration with an interactive platform.

Nazar was awarded for her many talents such as teaching Villanova students how to build and maintain web applications and encouraging girls to pursue careers in technology by volunteering with TechGirlz. She helped modernize the Honors community with the development of Honorable Mention, an  app that is responsive to user preferences, served as an executive board member for Villanova Honors Fraternity Phi Sigma Pi and participated in Villanova ICE CaPs program. She is dedicated to bridging the gap among different groups of people so that everyone has access to technogoloy regardless of race or gender. After graduation, Nazar plans to represent the mission of Villanova by seeking improvements in technology to create a positive impact on society.

Yang received the award for her trailblazing work in nursing research which focused on how technology can help nursing become more innovative in the delivery of health promotion services. Her study about violence and college woman was funded by the Davis Family Undergraduate Research Fund and her findings have significant implications for healthcare policy. She was selected by the College of Nursing to represent the undergraduate nursing program at the Eastern Nurses Research Society’s 27th annual scientific conference in April. Additionally, Yang has worked with the VU student health wellness center to incorporate smartphone technology into student outreach and health maintenance programs for undergraduates. 

An accomplished track and field athlete, Rozalski earned recognition when she developed a sports apparel business, Sychofit, with her sister. With the skills she has learned at Villanova Law School, she was able to create an innovative business with growth potential and was inspired to pursue this entrepreneurial opportunity full-time. Her experience illustrates how a Villanova education assists in making a creative vision a reality.

Rizzuto-Flancbaum won the Meyer ICE award for his exceptional work in creating Fit Society, LLC, a social-networking business with nearly two million followers that brings in $20,000 per month in revenue. Always eager to share his creativity and success with others, he is currently creating a start-up with two other Villanova students and hopes to create a mobile fitness app.