Loyola University Maryland

Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Student Innovators

We are excited to have students share their stories of innovative projects and entrepreneurial endeavors! If you'd like to contribute a story for our Spotlight, email innovation@loyola.edu.

Aeliana Lomax '19

Aeliana Lomax

Aeliana Lomax '19 is an International Business major and Spanish minor, as well as founder of LOMAX Talent Acquisition Co. LOMAX, a professional development and talent acquisition consultation firm that launched in January 2019, aims to deliver innovative yet pragmatic strategies for those on both sides of the recruitment process. In this interview, Aeliana discusses her Loyola experience and her passion for entrepreneurship.

How did you get your idea or concept for LOMAX Talent Acquisition Co.?

When beginning my own career search, I identified pain points that I saw as opportunities to improve on the existing market solutions. Some of the career platforms we use today, like LinkedIn, Handshake, and  Indeed, are simple to navigate, but lack the personal link and individualization that would help professionals get the most benefit from them. My goal is to maximize the output from these platforms to launch individuals to the next level of success, whether starting a new career, or changing paths. 

What is your mission for LOMAX?

Lomax will lower (LO) search times and maximize (MAX) results for job seekers by staying up to speed on a recruitment process that is changing by the day. On the employer side, our value add will be to scout and place uniquely skilled candidates to improve retention of employees, and diversity and inclusion in the workplace, leading to more innovation and success for any employer.

How has Loyola been able to become a chapter in your entrepreneurial venture?

I became an entrepreneur at an early age, when I started a music theory business at age 10 and taught neighborhood kids my craft of music. Fast- forwarding to university, I found that I could apply my passion for entrepreneurship to make a difference for those around me. As an International Business major and Spanish minor, much of my coursework is rooted in cross-cultural collaboration and global strategy, and I enjoy working collaboratively to problem-solve.

Loyola has provided me with the tenacity to sit at the table to advocate for positive and innovative change in our community. I’ve developed my leadership skills and networking know-how as Co-Vice president of the SGA, writer for The Greyhound, and member of the International Business Club.Some of my most supportive professors and role models include Dr. Irem Demirkan, Professor Lynne Elkes, and Dr. JP Krahel. I have been blessed to be able to learn from and be supported by the remarkable professionals here at Loyola.

What is your motto?

"Passion paired with grit transforms a vision into reality."

Visit the LOMAX website or email Aeliana at ahlomax@loyola.edu.

Brittani Borden ’19

Brittani Borden

Brittani Borden ’19 is a psychology major and owner of photography business Borden Media. Brittani also works as a photographer for MarcommPound, the student marketing and communications team at Loyola. In this interview, Brittani describes her experiences as an innovator through photography.

How did you get your idea or concept for Borden Media?

As I entered college in 2015, I created my Instagram page to share the world as I was seeing it, but I have been taking photographs since childhood. I began with only a $10 battery powered flash ring, a standard Nikon, and a white sheet for the backdrop of the small studio I built in my dorm for headshots.  Now I’m happy to say I have upgraded my equipment to a larger studio (still in my dorm), professional lighting equipment, a Canon 6D full frame, and three industry standard lenses - all with my own earnings from the venture.

What are your future aspirations for Borden Media?

I’d like to continue to promote my business to those looking for a photographer with affordable pricing, a flexible schedule, and a positive outlook throughout the shoot. In the future, I hope to expand Borden Media so that I can mobilize whenever I want from state to state, bringing my creative services to a larger network. 

How has Loyola been able to provide you opportunities in your business venture?

Through Borden Media, I have been able to work closely with non-profit organizations and local businesses to help create crisp and fresh media for their professional outlets.  I’ve also been lucky to do photography for Loyola’s SGA, CCSJ, the Fine Arts Department, athletics, as well as a Capella groups the Belles and the GreySounds.

For the coming graduation season, I am excited to be offering my services for graduation & event photography, professional headshots,  Landscapes/ Urban Photography, Professional and even Fashion Photography, year-round and in NY, NJ, and MD, and manage marketing for some other local businesses.

Visit the Borden Media website or email Brittani at baborden@loyola.edu.

Gabriella Montesino '21

Gabriella MontesinoGabriella Montesino '21 is a business management major with a minor in Spanish, and the founder of Good Eats with Gab. From her platform on Instagram (@goodeatswithgab), she accepts custom orders for cakes, cookies, and other baked goods for local businesses, events, parties, and holidays. In this interview, Gabby discusses her Loyola experience and her passion for innovation.

How did you get your idea or concept for Good Eats with Gab?

I have always enjoyed both food and photography, so I started my Instagram account in October of 2016 as a place to showcase the food and baked goods I was making. I also post food from restaurants I visit, and because of this my followers have shared that they get ideas for places they want to dine in the future.

As a business owner, what are your future aspirations for Good Eats with Gab?

This business has made me realize my love and passion for experimenting with food and different cuisines, and I therefore decided to go to culinary school after completing my Bachelor of Business Administration here at Loyola. My ultimate goal is to own my own restaurant.

What have you learned about entrepreneurship and innovation through Good Eats with Gab?

I have to be entrepreneurial to get the word out about custom cake orders. I utilize my Instagram account as a form of advertisement, but I also post on various town Facebook pages in order to reach as many people as possible. I would say I'm innovative in a creative sense because I like to stay up to date with current trends and am always looking for new ways to improve my baking and decorating.

How has Loyola been able to provide opportunities in your business venture?

Loyola has provided me with the courses I need in order to understand the power of networking and social media. These two things are the reason I am where I am with the business, which is being able to do something I love while also having a part-time, paying job on my own schedule. The business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, that I rushed at Loyola has helped me throughout this journey as well. The fraternity has helped me to step out of my comfort zone and explore business in a new way. Alpha Kappa Psi puts a lot of emphasis on networking, and I used those skills this summer, which led me to a job at a bakery. I was their main cake and cupcake decorator, and I was able to practice and master an abundance of new, advanced skills because of that opportunity. Back at Loyola this semester, I am continuing to explore business through my studies, and how it can help me as a baker.

Rachel Jarman '21

Rachel Jarman '21 is an engineering major with concentrations in mechanical and materials engineering, and co-founder of Robot Roadtrip. Rachel, along with co-founder Angela Cottini, creates volunteer-based programs centered around encouraging young Baltimore students to explore STEM careers, as well as teaching important life skills. In this interview, Rachel describes how she chose to use her passions for STEM to make an impact in Baltimore and embrace Loyola's Jesuit values.

How did you get your concept for Robot Roadtrip?

At the end of freshman year, I was giving a robotics club demonstration/presentation to the department chairs and deans when Dean Smith from the School of Education asked, "What do you do when you are not using the space [in the library] or materials?" I was not prepared for that question, but I started thinking over that summer what could the robotics club do to make an impact, to embrace our Jesuit values? I brainstormed all summer and by mid-July I had written a proposal for an after school program that teaches young students from Baltimore. From that point on, I started working on Robot Roadtrip. The goal of Robot Roadtrip is to encourage kids to explore STEM careers, teach them basic life skills that can be implemented in any field they choose, and generally show support for the kids.

How has Loyola been able to provide opportunities in your social venture?

Over the past year or so a lot of changes have occurred in Robot Roadtrip. The first main change actually became due to Loyola's Career Accelerator program. It was at the program where I met Angela Cottini! We hit it off and I convinced her to join the robotics club and eventually help co-found Robot Roadtrip. Together we were able to get the program implemented in local schools such as Tunbridge Elementary. We renewed our partnership with Tunbridge this year and we are looking forward to going back again! Together we also competed in the Loyola Building a Better World Through Business pitch competition last spring. We placed 2nd and are planning on competing again this spring. Loyola has given Angela and me a huge platform to promote Robot Roadtrip and has truly given every tool possible for us to succeed. Without the pre-fall programs where we can meet like-minded people, or hone our skills; without the opportunities like the pitch competition or connections we have made through Loyola, our program would not have grown to what it is, or what we plan on doing with it.

What role does partnership play in your venture?

Angela and I have very different majors but we both have the same drive and passion to make a difference in our community. Due to that burning desire to make an impact we decided that helping just one school is not enough, unfortunately we both have highly demanding majors which cuts into our time. In order to combat that problem, we came up with the idea of starting a camp. We are in the process of finalizing the proposal and schedule for the day camp and we are working towards expanding our teaching material to include basic business concepts along with the team building, time management, and of course, engineering skills we already cover.

We look forward to this upcoming year with Robot Roadtrip and we are always looking for volunteers to help attend the weekly trips, and for camp counselors. If interested in helping or joining our causes, please contact me or Angela:

Thank you so much.

Sean Louhisdon ’19

Sean Louhisdon

Sean Louhisdon ’19 is a Marketing major and founder of Divine Cartel and Automate.AI. In this interview, Sean discusses his passion for entrepreneurship and his plans for the future.

How did you get started as an entrepreneur?

Ever since I was a child, I’ve had a desire to make money by my own means doing something I enjoy. In 2015, while I was still in high school, I started a clothing brand and creative collective known as Divine Cartel. This brand was established to express individualism through style and creativity through music, photography, and clothing. I’m proud to have markets in Baltimore, New York, Los Angeles, and Dubai.

What other ventures have you been involved with?

During my sophomore and junior years at Loyola, I worked with local businesses to provide them with marketing services that I had learned through my coursework. These included SEO/SEM, Google AdWords, Facebook Ad Campaigning and Email Marketing/Marketing Automation. Through this business venture, I consulted with ten clients in Baltimore and New Jersey including restaurants & pubs, chiropractors, and beauty brands. This business expanded my knowledge about digital marketing and what it means to have a strong and sustainable online presence.

What is your current entrepreneurial focus?

I am currently involved in a start-up known as Automate.AI. A friend and I started this endeavor to build conversational interfaces or 'chatbots' to improve the customer experience in small businesses around Baltimore. Our goal is to help business owners save on customer service costs, make customer interaction more efficient, and aggregate customer-specific data. We recently competed in a Community College of Baltimore County business competition and won $7500 in seed money for this idea.

How has your Loyola education influenced your entrepreneurial outlook?

There are two very important lessons about running a business that I would put on a list of essentials, both of which I have learned at Loyola. The first is that goal setting is integral in making progress in any venture. Without having concrete goals in any group-oriented project or venture, work becomes erratic and often counterproductive. The second is that communication and collaboration are foremost in building a successful business. Building a team with a diverse set of skills is more effective than having a team with similar skills – at the end of the day, our strengths lie in our differences, not in our similarities.

Visit the Divine Cartel website, or email Sean at sclouhisdon@loyola.edu.

Students sitting along a wall chatting in front of ideas taped to the wall
Course Snapshot

Creativity that leads to change

Design thinking course helps student entrepreneurs bring ideas to life.