Updated: Apr 5, 2019
The Baker Institute would like to say “Thank you and good luck!” to Shannon Varcoe ‘15 ‘16G, our current Innovations Program Manager, who will be leaving Lehigh to pursue her own entrepreneurial endeavors, including the startup company she founded, ZYX Sticks, among other plans. Shannon’s last day is April 5, 2019.
Shannon has been a valued member of the Baker Institute team since November 2016, serving in her current role since January 2018. Shannon’s impact cannot be understated, including the integral role she played in launching last year’s Hatchery, Baker’s summer student idea accelerator. One of Shannon's proudest moments during the Hatchery was the 48-hour Hack-A-Thon that she designed and produced. Held in partnership with Factory, LLC, it was was featured in a PBS39 television special. Emma Kwasnoski '20 said of Shannon "I can’t imagine my Lehigh experience without Shannon- she really made me feel at home here. I was lucky to do both the Hatchery and an independent study with Shannon, and those experiences have inspired me to keep tackling a difficult entrepreneurial idea as well as to teach design thinking to others. Shannon is exceptionally smart and creative but also has this humbleness and humor that make her such a great teacher and go-to person for advice. She will be missed and I can’t wait to see what she does next!"
She spread entrepreneurship beyond our student programs by providing Lehigh faculty and staff with Design Thinking workshops. She also served as advisor to the New Ventures club - where she provided guidance and support to the group's Make-A-Thon in October of 2018. Shannon also serves Lehigh as a member of the Young Alumni Council.
From the time she was an undergraduate student entrepreneur, Shannon played a leading role in creating a community of entrepreneurship and innovation here at Lehigh. The Baker Institute was fortunate to have her as part of our team in both part time and full time roles, working with students to find their entrepreneurial way. We wish her the best and look forward to collaborating with her as a Lehigh alumna and entrepreneur.