Category Archives: Profile

Watch video of Deepti Sharma Kapur ’08 CEO & Founder www.FoodtoEat.com

Deepti_sharma_kapur

FoodtoEat.com is redefining the way you order food.  The newly created online hub is the first of its kind, enabling customers to pre-order from restaurants, food trucks and street carts in one place.  

So where did the idea of FoodtoEat.com come from?  

“I got the idea while studying for the LSATS.  I would be waiting on line for food trucks and it would be 20 to 30 minutes long,” said Deepti Sharma Kapur, FoodtoEat.com founder and CEO.  “I thought it was pretty ridiculous and there would be a better way to access food trucks.  The idea of FoodtoEat.com came about from that.  How to make food trucks more accessible.”  

And making food trucks more accessible is turning into a booming business.  But as appetizing as the idea is, it did not become profitable overnight.  

“Initially I started the business by taking a trip out to India where I was trying to look up a tech team.  I didn’t have any funding at the time so it was all what I had saved,” said Kapur.  “Once I found a tech team that understood my idea and my business, I started raising money.  I raised a half a million dollars from friends and family.”…

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Friday Five: Catching up with Alumni- Jacob Stebel ’11

FRIDAY FIVE: CATCHING UP WITH ALUMNI- JACOB STEBEL

Jacob Stebel at the 2012 Mohawk Valley Cup.

Jacob Stebel at the 2012 Mohawk Valley Cup.

“Friday Five” is a weekly short interview feature composed of five questions answered by students, alumni, and faculty. This week, we talked to alumnus Jacob Stebel from the class of 2011.

Since graduating from Stony Brook Jacob has travelled cross-country, written two feature-length screenplays, written and performed audio sketches for the PB&J Comedy Podcast, and is in the planning stages of producing a children’s TV show. He currently attends Teachers College at Columbia University and is finishing up his final student-teaching placement at The Cinema School in the Bronx, where he teaches 11th graders Film Production, Screenwriting, and Literary/Film Theory.  

Tell me about a skill you learned as an English major that has helped you out in the “real world.”

The most important skill I learned from being an English major is how to find, develop and maintain my own voice while writing for a specific audience. This is an invaluable ability to have in your personal and professional lives. As you enter or advance in the workforce, you will likely need to learn how to harness all of your communication skills, creativity and other strengths in order to both complete tasks and work well with others.  We’ve all had the experience as English majors of learning that some of our professors react to our writing styles differently than others.  By learning to adapt, while staying true to who we are as individuals, we become versatile, dexterous assets to any organization lucky enough to have us.

Which text was your favorite to read as an undergraduate? In which class did you read it?

It’s a toss-up between The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (read in Emily Churilla’s EGL 373 – Non-Western Literature) and Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward, which I read in Bente Videbaek’s not-to-be missed Literature of Science Fiction class (EGL 394)! The latter novel is one that I doubt I’d have come across on my own, and it’s a wonderfully dense and well-written exploration of an alien culture’s development. It’s “world-building” at its finest.

If you could give one piece of advice to current undergraduates, what would it be?

If you aren’t already doing so, treat your classes like they’re a job you need to prepare and be on time for.  You, via your family/loans/life savings, are paying for an opportunity to interact with the brilliant students and faculty that Stony Brook has in abundance. Get to know these people as well as you know your assigned readings; the networking opportunities and friendships with professors and peers alike are invaluable.

Which text do you suggest all undergraduates read before they graduate?

Oh, jeez… that’s a tough one! I guess that if I had to pick one, I’d recommend a deep reading of James Joyce’s Dubliners.   I often come back to several of the stories in that book and remain awed by how Joyce implicitly speaks to his fellow countrymen in an attempt to rally them away from despair and passive romanticism in favor of active, enthusiastic participation in the world as free people. So many of the themes in Dubliners are reflective of the experience of young adulthood in today’s America, and I think all undergraduates can learn much from this wonderful text.

English majors are known for writing a lot of papers. Tell me about the most memorable paper you wrote for an English course.

Joaquin Martinez Pizarro’s “Epic Literature of Antiquity” course (EGL 390) was among the most rigorous courses I’ve taken. After a brief period of being wildly intimidated by both the rigor of the class and Dr. Pizzaro’s expertize, I found myself relishing the constant quizzing and pressure to contribute to class discussion.  The most memorable paper I wrote during my undergraduate career is the one I wrote for his midterm assessment, in which I compared the evolution of the warrior-ruler between the Ancient Babylonian Epic of Bilgames/Gilgamesh and King David in Samuel I & II. The title is “From Warrior-Heroes to Rulers: A Comparative Study of The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh and the Old Testament Story of King David” and I’m still very proud of it!

Source: Stony Brook University, English Department

Friday Five: Catching up with Alumni- Jacob Stebel.

Friday Five: Catching up with Alumni – Kristin VanBenschoten

FRIDAY FIVE: CATCHING UP WITH ALUMNI – KRISTIN VANBENSCHOTEN

Alumna Kristin VanBenschoten.

Alumna Kristin VanBenschoten.

Which text do you suggest all undergraduates read before they graduate?

Benito Cereno by Herman Melville. It’s an incredibly versatile text and provides many opportunities to practice close reading.

During your time at Stony Brook, who was your favorite professor and why? 

Professor Scheckel was my favorite English professor. I enrolled in every one of her classes that I could take. She always made class enjoyable with her bubbly personality and her genuine love of the topics she taught. I credit her essay assignments with helping me to develop better analytical and writing skills.

Which text was your favorite to read as an undergraduate? In which class did you read it?

Anything by Edgar Allan Poe. In Spring 2012, I took EGL 375: Literature in English in Relation to Other Disciplines with Professor Scheckel when the topic was the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Our class spent the whole semester reading through Poe’s short stories and looking at the different ways Poe’s stories have been depicted, such as graphic novels and movies. I had the time of my life in that class.

Tell me about a skill you learned as an English major that has helped you out in the “real world.” 

I learned how to approach different life experiences by thinking outside of the box. As a volunteer First Responder for the Huntington Community First Aid Squad in Huntington, NY, I apply the skills I gained as an English major to my volunteer work. I’m currently seeking out my EMT-B certification, and have found that my time as an English major trained me to quickly learn and analyze large quantities of information that could be applied in any situation.

If you could give one piece of advice to current undergraduates, what would it be? 

Take advantage of help when it is offered to you. Visit the Writing Center, attend office hours, and talk to your classmates. It was my experience that professors are excited to help and eager to answer whatever questions you may have. My best essays were ones that I discussed with my professors and my classmates.

Source: Stony Brook University, English Department

Friday Five: Catching up with Alumni – Kristin VanBenschoten.

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