Mayor, Ithaca, New York
FENN AWARD RECIPIENT
Svante Myrick became Ithaca’s youngest mayor in 2011, at the age of 24. Since his election, he has championed innovative partnerships and development to spur economic growth and entrepreneurship in Ithaca.
Under his leadership, Ithaca has enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate in the state of New York. Myrick also revised zoning policies aimed at increasing downtown Ithaca’s density and livability, and encouraged the adoption of a living wage for city workers.
Myrick, whose childhood included periods of homelessness and poverty, began his political career while he was an undergraduate at Cornell University, when he sought and won a seat on the Ithaca Common Council.
Founder and CEO, Seeding Labs
During a Fulbright fellowship in Africa, Nina Dudnik worked with highly skilled scientists who lacked access to the basic tools of scientific research. As a molecular biologist in the US, she saw opportunity in the fact that basic research tools were often discarded while they were still useful. She founded Seeding Labs to provide scientists in the developing world with tools and resources to enable vital research.
Today Seeding Labs is a growing social enterprise that has provided $2.5 million in equipment to labs in 22 countries, along with training and fellowship programs. Dudnik’s work is supporting students and researchers developing treatments for tuberculosis and malaria, expanding access to clean drinking water, improving crops, and more. Seeding Labs aims to triple its impact over the next three years.