The PSUNYC Women's Leadership Network  - Entrepreneurship - Virtual Q3 2020 Session


Register for the Virtual Q3 2020 Session by Tuesday, July 7th

Be inspired by your fellow Penn State Alumnae! Make new connections, meet new friends, support our PSUNYC chapter. The Q3 event will highlight entrepreneurs, with a guided panel followed by a Q&A. Hear about how they took the leap, and why you may want to as well! You can learn more about our fantastic panelists below. We hope that PSUNYC WLN will be a close community with honest conversations and meaningful connections - please join us! 


Event Details

Who: Penn State alumni and friends

What: Networking event

When: 6:30PM on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Where: WE ARE...going virtual for the Q3 WLN event! Register now and we will send the link once details are finalized and only if you have registered!



6:30-6:45PM  PSUNYC Introduction

6:45-7:30PM Panel on Entrepreneurship (speakers will be announced closer to the event date)


We are excited to host the following women entrepreneurs as our Q3 WLN panelists:


Name: Nia Grant
Title: CEO, President
Business Name: YUP, Inc
PSU Graduation Year: 2014
Major/Minor: Communications, Italian
Brief Bio: Nia Grant attended PSU for 3.5 years between from 2011-2014 on a volleyball scholarship. During this time, Nia was a part of TWO National Championships in 2013 & 2014. Following her successful volleyball career at PSU, Nia decided to professionally play volleyball overseas – she is currently residing in Filotranno, Italy playing for Lardini Filottrano. In addition to her active volleyball career, Nia is now venturing outside of athletics into services that positively impact the community. Her latest endeavor, YUP Inc, is an investment group geared towards increasing the financial knowledge within minority communities. While navigating the stock market and other investment avenues, YUP is focused on gaining financial independence for its members and teaching the value of financial literacy.
Name: Elizabeth Shirley 
Title: CMO, Co-Founder 
Business Name: KYLE CAVAN
PSU Graduation Year: 2007
Major/Minor: Advertising, Art History 
Brief Bio: Elizabeth is the co-founder of a women-owned college jewelry start-up called KYLE CAVAN, based in NYC. KYLE CAVAN's mission is to bring stylish, high-quality jewelry to the collegiate market - pieces that women can wear during and well after college. Elizabeth found inspiration to start the company after admiring how other women her age were disrupting old-school industries with better designed, quality products and communities – like Emily Weiss of Glossier, Jen Rubio of Away, etc. After speaking with hundreds of young women who no longer related to the class ring, the company was born. 
Name: Jo Varshney
Title: Founder, CEO
Business Name: VeriSIM Life
PSU Graduation Year: 2012
Major/Minor: MS Pathobiology, PhD - 2016 Comparative Oncology & Genomics
Brief Bio: Dr. Jo Varshney is a DVM/PhD in Comparative Oncology and Genomics. Dr. Varshney earned her MS in Pathobiology from Penn State in 2012 before going on to obtain her PHD in Comparative Oncology & Genomics from University of Minnesota in 2015. Dr. Varshney is currently the inventor, Founder and CEO of VeriSIM Life, a company that is disrupting drug development by providing AI enabled computational platform to reduce drug attrition rates in pharma. The business provides unprecedented value for the drug development industry – pharma companies will be able to focus their development efforts on the drug compounds that are more likely to deliver on the anticipated value for treatment/cure. Additionally, Dr. Varshney serves as a technical and strategic advisor in other biotech companies. 
Full Name: Karen Zuckerman
Full Position Title: Founder, CEO, and Chief Creative Officer
Full Organization Name: HZDG
Grad Year: 1985
Major/Minor: Graphic Design
Brief Bio: Karen Zuckerman graduated from Penn State in 1985 with a degree in Graphic Design. As President and Chief Creative Officer, Karen leads both the creative and corporate vision of HZDG (HZ), the award-winning agency she launched from her basement in the late 1980s. More than 30 years later, she stays true to her mantra, “Just make it cool,” and has grown HZ into one of the largest, integrated creative agencies in the country. At HZ, Karen combines large agency experience with the personalized attention of a boutique firm, focusing on the big idea and obsessing about the small details. With her very first client still on the roster, Karen’s emphasis on building relationships and providing personalized service has attracted such high-profile clients as Volkswagen of America, Hilton Worldwide, NVR/Ryan Homes, Cuisine Solutions, Rockefeller Center, King Arthur Flour, The Washington Redskins, Penn State Football and Organic Valley.
Become a PSUNYC Member

Althought the WLN events are members only, we are making an exception with the July 8th event. But, we encourage you to join the Chapter! Dues are only $25 a year and your donation goes toward our operational expenses (such as event, website, and advertising/marketing costs). Sign up today!




Guest speakers are needed! Please email if you would like to get more involved.

  • Can non-Penn State alumni join?

    • Yes, friends of Penn State are welcome. 

  • Can men attend?

    • Yes, learn more about the experiences of women in the workforce and join our discussions.

  • Who can I contact with questions?