Press Release – 2014 DifferenceMaker™ Kick-off Events


DifferenceMaker held its two spring kick-off events from 6-7:30pm on Monday, January 27th, in the Saab, ETIC Atrium on North Campus and on Tuesday, January 28th, in the O’Leary Library Mezzanine on South Campus. Over 30 students attended each event to meet real-life DifferenceMaker students, be introduced to DifferenceMaker faculty and staff, and to learn more about the program, applying to it and the Idea Challenge which is taking place this spring on April 15th.

IDEA_SOUT_KICKOFFSteven Tello, Associate Vice Chancellor of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, began each kick-off by introducing the program. Professor Deb Finch from the Manning School of Business and Professor John Brown from the Graduate School of Education then presented the upcoming Idea Challenge at the north and south kick-off events, respectively. Holly Butler, Program Manager then interviewed multiple real-life DifferenceMaker students that went through the process last year and won. At the north campus kick-off event these students included, Jonathan DeAlderete and Erin Keaney from NONSPEC and Santiago Paredes and Rohit Krishnan from HIVE. At the south campus kick-off event these students included Kevin Doherty from @That, Vanessa Colomba from Bright Future Generation, and Andrew Webb from Grab a Bite. These real-life DifferenceMaker students were asked a series of questions regarding their projects, their process through DifferenceMaker, and their success at the 2013 Idea Challenge.  This panel engaged the student audience as they asked additional questions and spoke to the various teams.


The events both ended with an engaging team building exercise where students were able to network with their peers from various majors. They were then asked to share their ideas with everyone and won a prize for doing so.


For more information regarding the DifferenceMaker program, please visit or email


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