University welcomes area businesses to the Mount Carmel Campus

September 13, 2023

The School of Business showcasing local businesses to students on the Mount Carmel Campus

A variety of businesses and organizations set up shop on the Mount Carmel Campus Quad to greet students during Quinnipiac’s first local business showcase.

The outdoor event drew 28 local enterprises on September 12 to offer students access to information, goods and services and opportunities for volunteering.

Associate Vice President for University Events and Community Partnerships Karla Natale said the inaugural showcase was developed to help local businesses connect with the Quinnipiac community.

“One of the most common questions we hear from our local businesses is, ‘How do I let Quinnipiac students know my business is here?’ We’re very community-oriented, and we want the businesses to thrive and succeed,” said Natale. “Our thought was to put out an invitation to our local businesses to come on to the campus where they can meet with students, give out samples or information and talk with them about what they offer.”

Quinnipiac worked with local Chambers of Commerce to reach out to the local businesses and organizations and also invited Quinnipiac partners M&T Bank and Hartford HealthCare to join in on the event.

M&T Bank Regional Retail Manager David Conner said his organization values every opportunity to discuss the services, added value and benefits the bank offers.

“We’re just so thankful for our partnership with Quinnipiac and we’re happy to be involved in any way that we can to add value for the students and faculty,” said Conner.

Seated with information on display at one of two Hartford HealthCare tables, Hartford HealthCare Community Outreach Representative Linda Ivey said she welcomed the opportunity to join the showcase and connect with students.

“My job is promoting cancer awareness, so I will take every opportunity I get, especially with young people,” said Ivey. “It’s just great to be able to share information. We want to let them know what they can do to stay healthy.”

Amber Unger '27, spotted Ivey’s Hartford HealthCare display from the window of her biology classroom and came down to the Quad to learn more after class ended.

“I’m in the biology 3+1 program and oncology is actually the field I’m trying to go into,” said Unger. “I took all the literature they had and then I learned they have volunteer opportunities. I’m now checking to see if they have internship opportunities, as well.”

Non-profit Literacy Volunteers Executive Director Lou Perno said his organization was very interested in joining the showcase, as a major outreach effort is underway to strengthen the program’s volunteer corps following the pandemic.

“We’d like to attract more college students and we haven’t been at an event like this here at Quinnipiac, so, we were anxious to try it out,” said Perno.

Literacy Volunteer Office Manager Symone O’Hara said a number of students signed up to receive more information about tutoring or volunteering to provide free services to adult learners. Basic Literacy Program Manager Sarah Elanaya said she was hopeful the day would result in generating student volunteers who could give an hour a week for a year, with flexible options such as meeting on Zoom.

Members of the Hamden Fire Department were also seeking to connect with Quinnipiac students at the event, for several reasons, said Captain Julio Lopes, the department’s training officer.

“We’re a resource that’s available to them,” said Lopes. “We’re here to give them a great perspective on our fire services, to let them know that we’re accessible to them and to allow them to ask questions. We also want them to know about our Tuesday Night Training, also known as TNT. One Tuesday night of every month, we put a program together to offer free training to the community. It’s basically a way to give back to the community and offer them access to us and education.”

Across the way, Jeremiah Bruscianelli ’25, MS ’26, a 3+1 molecular and cellular biology student, was visiting with Liberty Bank representatives. He said he was glad he stopped by the business showcase.

“I am looking for a new bank,” said Bruscianelli. “I didn’t know this was here. My friend and I were in the library when we saw this and we wanted to come check it out. I think this is a great idea.”

Cecilia Shay, a universal banker with Liberty Bank, helped Bruscianelli with some questions he had about the bank’s services.

“Our bank thrives on community kindness and the reason we’re here is to offer our services to students and show them what Liberty Bank can do for them,” said Shay.

A few tables away, game design and development and computer science major Aleena Graveline, ’26, and psychology major Sam Fournier, ’26, were happy to come across a local shop they loved, called “This Toy Life.” They said they’d first found the business while using the Quinnipiac shuttle line.

“We were waiting for the bus, and we saw the store, so we went in there,” said Graveline. “I guess I qualify as a nerd, so I like games and movies, a lot of Banjo stuff and action figures.”

Fournier also described her fascination with the shop’s table and her love for small businesses.

“I’m also a huge nerd,” said Fournier. “I like Marvel stuff, and I prefer buying from smaller businesses when I get stuff like this.”

This Toy Life Owner Robert Torres said he took up the invitation to come to campus as a way to introduce his business to new students. Torres said he also offers special events such as B-Movie Bingo nights.

“I figured there were probably going to be some students that don’t know that we’re here,” said Torres. “We’re right around the corner.”

Several other types of businesses catering to a variety of interests, from indoor golf entertainment facilities to spa services, were also represented at the showcase.

Seeing students strolling the Quad and interacting with the local businesses and organizations was a goal of this new event, said Natale.

“We wanted to put it on the Quad and to model it after the Engagement Fair, where our students can walk around and learn more about local businesses,” said Natale. “I think we’ll definitely have a second annual showcase and reach out to more businesses to build it into an even bigger event.”


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