History of NEXIS


Founding of NEXIS



In 2013, the iSchool created two Certificates of Advanced Studies (CAS): CAS in Social Media and a CAS in Data Science. The combination of these degrees and a emerging technologies selected topics course led to the creation of NEXIS, an emerging technology research lab where students could explore topics they are passionate about outside of the classroom.

Focus on Social Media



In the early days of NEXIS, students focused on one of the exciting emerging technologies at the time: Social Media. Although this technology is know a common consumer tool, the possibilities of social media in 2013 were largely unknown. In NEXIS, students explored several projects including:

  • Exploring the possibilities of social media to impact political elections. The NEXIS team created tools through social media to raise awareness about candidates in the current election.
  • Social media consulting to organizations such as Destiny Mall where NEXIS students analyzed, implemented, and optimized their use of different social networks.

NEXIS Receives Grant From Microsoft FUSE Labs



NEXIS received its first grant from Microsoft FUSE Labs for $24,000 to help fund students’ research projects and enable them to explore new technologies by purchasing hardware.

NEXIS Expands Into More Domains



With the grant from Microsoft Fuse Labs, NEXIS students were able take on larger products that required the purchase of hardware under masters student Director Brandon Croy. These projects included virtual reality, networking, and drones.

Specifically, NEXIS students began collaborating with Lockheed Martin on the Skyworks Project which was a project utilizing drones to perform innovative aerial photography. The project would later continue after the students graduated from Syracuse and become a company.

Student-Led NEXIS-X Events



NEXIS students led a series of public workshops on emerging technologies that aren’t covered in the classroom such as ReatJS and 3D Printing. These events were a big hit in the iSchool and drew a large crowd of knowledge-hungry students.

Students Pitch Projects at NEXIS Pitchouts



Under Director Kyle Rand, NEXIS students begin pitching their projects to iSchool faculty, staff, and students at NEXIS Pitchouts. Each student pitches their project in 5 minutes with only 1 slide, based on GE’s presentation style. This challenges students to go outside their comfort zones by relying on their ability to speak and design their slide rather than utilize the traditional presentation style.

NEXIS Transformation and Expansion



Under Director Josh Konowitz and Vice Director Chris Sekerak, NEXIS transformed from a small student group with only 13 members to a formalized research lab with over 50 members. This growth was based on the idea that NEXIS’s educational impact shouldn’t be limited to small group of students.

This involved developing a new mission, organizational structure, a 3-year strategic plan, creation of the NEXIS Advisory Board, and the EID Project Model created in collaboration with IDEO CoLabs.

NEXIS Launch Phase: iConference Presentations



The addition of the launch phase to the EID Project Model enabled projects such as Tyler Youngman’s THÉÂTROPHONICS and Shawn Gaetano’s Solace Vision to present at the international iConference in Sweden.

Past Directors

Braden Croy

2014 – 2015

Billy Ceskavich


Jay Getman

2015 – 2016

Kyle Rand

2016 – 2018

Josh Konowitz

2018 – 2020

Shawn Gaetano

2020 – 2021

Growth in Membership

  • Membership