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Grad: Entrepreneurial Spirit Not Limited to Business
Grad: Entrepreneurial Spirit Not Limited to Business

November 02, 2016

Upon accepting a position with the University Innovation Fellows Program at Stanford University, Laurie (Hartzell) Moore '06, jokingly said she barely knew how to spell entrepreneur, let alone considered herself one.

But after four years with the program, which empowers students to become agents of change at their universities, Moore now understands that the entrepreneurial spirit extends well beyond owning one's own business.

"An entrepreneur can tolerate risk. They can recognize opportunity and seize it," Moore said. "An entrepreneur can solve open-ended problems, communicate effectively and is OK with failure."

Moore introduced Susquehanna to Stanford's program, which led to four students being named University Innovation Fellows in 2015, and three were just recently announced. They will join other students from around the country to learn about such topics as movement building, innovation spaces, design of learning experiences, and new models for change in higher education.

Upon graduating from Susquehanna University with a degree in creative writing, Moore set off for Pasadena, Calif., with her now-husband who was in graduate school at the California Institute of Technology.

Moore envisioned herself as the editor of a prestigious magazine, such as Bon Appétit or Smithsonian. She found herself, however, as an editor for gayot.com, a food and lifestyle website. The change in direction turned out to be a good thing.

"In 2008, the economy started to decline and most of my friends working in print found themselves without jobs," she said. "So working online saved me."

So, too, did Moore's decision to take a few graphic design classes before graduation.

"I was the type to immerse myself in writing, I was in the world of words," Moore said. "So taking those classes that were outside of my discipline helped me enormously in landing a job."

Since Moore graduated, her skillset has grown much wider than words. She now serves as communications director for the University Innovation Fellows Program.

Her message to current students is to think like an entrepreneur, whether or not you want to be one.

"Don't be afraid to take a class, even if you're not sure you'll do well," she said. "Get out of your comfort zone, take risks. You'll be so happy you did."

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