Foundations is a six-week workshop series that introduces Syracuse University students to essential life-skills. Workshop topics include: community involvement, leadership, career development, financial wellness, healthy relationships and self-care, and physical health and nutrition. Students who attend all six sessions can enter to win a $1,000 Foundations Scholarship! See below for the upcoming series schedule and scholarship eligibility criteria.

Fall 2017 Series Schedule

Community Involvement
Monday, September 11, 7 PM – 8 PM, HBC Kittredge Auditorium with Syeisha Byrd, Office of Engagement Programs, Hendricks Chapel
Description: What drives a person to get involved? Through this workshop, we will examine how one person can make a difference in the world.

Monday, September 18, 7 PM – 8 PM, HBC Kittredge Auditorium with Mark H. Trumbo, Student-Athlete Engagement and S-Project Coordinator, Athletics
Description: Purpose mapping is a fast, intense exercise that can reinforce you are on the right path or point you in the right direction to blaze a new one. Dreams are yours, but your purpose is more. Your mission is where passion and massive amounts of action meet. Who are the lives you want to effect? What exactly do you want to do? Lastly, what is the outcome? (Re)Discover you.

Career Development
Monday, September 25, 7 PM – 8 PM, 114 Hall of Languages with Tracy Tillapaugh, Assistant Director, Counseling, Career Services
Description: What’s important to me? We’ll discuss this essential question, and try to figure out some of the elements of the answer, related to your future career development and job search.

Financial Wellness
Monday, October 2, 7 PM – 8 PM, HBC Kittredge Auditorium with Derek Brainard, Financial Literacy Coordinator, Office of Financial Literacy
Description: Building purpose-driven financial goals and learning how we relate with money are the focuses of this session as we dive into the world of personal finance.

Healthy Relationships and Self-Care
Monday, October 9, 7 PM – 8 PM, HBC Kittredge Auditorium with the Office of Health Promotion
Description: Reflect on and build your social and emotional communication skills that are the foundation of healthy relationships and practicing effective self-care.

Physical Health and Nutrition
Monday, October 16, 7 PM – 8 PM, HBC Kittredge Auditorium with Veronica Tearney, Director of Strength & Conditioning (Olympic Sports), Athletics
Description: Despite all of the readily available access to fitness and nutrition information, many people, on average, still don’t get the recommended physical activity or meet their daily nutrient requirements. This interactive session will give participants a general overview of what they need to do (and eat!) for a healthier future. This will get students moving and motivated to be active every day.

Awards Ceremony
Monday, October 23, 7 PM – 8 PM, HBC Kittredge Auditorium
Join us in celebrating your development throughout the past six weeks in a session geared toward understanding your new knowledge and announcing the scholarship winner(s)!

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

In order to be considered for a $1,000 scholarship you must be an undergraduate student, attend ALL six sessions, and submit ONE of the following by Thursday, 10/19 at 4:59 p.m. to Tracy Tillapaugh at

  • A double-spaced essay about what you learned from at least two topical areas and how you will apply what you learned to your life (750 words maximum, in Microsoft Word or PDF format)
  • A video/vlog of 3-5 minutes discussing what you learned from at least two topical areas and how you will apply what you learned to your life (you can submit a link to a video)
  • A digital portfolio of photos and/or other creative media showing what you learned from at least two topical areas and how you will apply what you learned to your life (this option is open to your own interpretation; please let us know if you have any questions)

A selection committee will select winner(s) and notify winner(s) during the awards session on Monday, October 23, 7 p.m.. You do not have to be present to win.

About Foundations

Foundations is a collaborative effort between many Syracuse University departments and schools, including Career Services, The Office of Financial Literacy, Athletics, The Office of Health Promotion, and The Office of Engagement Programs – with more partnerships to come.

If you are interested in participating or presenting as a Foundations partner, please email Derek Brainard,, with a description of your topic and session, along with at least three desired outcomes from your presentation. All participants will be reviewed and determined via committee.

To provide holistic education across key areas to prepare students for life.

A collaboration of Syracuse University campus offices to provide engaging educational opportunities for students in key life areas.

Participant Outcomes and Evaluation
1)      To improve self-efficacy.
2)      To gain baseline knowledge and resources.
3)      To increase self-awareness.
4)      To engage in and learn about being socially responsible.