Newhouse School alumnus Jim Weiss ’87, chairman, founder and CEO of global health innovation company Real Chemistry, and his wife, Audra Weiss ’89, visited campus Oct. 15 to dedicate the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab (EIL) at the Newhouse School.
Established by a gift from Real Chemistry, EIL is a state-of-the-art social media command center that serves as a central hub for the interfacing of digital media monitored and studied by students and faculty. As part of an active classroom, a bank of several large interactive monitors track the convergence of paid, earned, shared and owned media in one place, enabling users to assess in real time the impact of media on specific brands or campaigns. Associate dean Regina Luttrell is director.
At the dedication ceremony, Luttrell noted that the EIL is used by students in nearly every program at Newhouse. “The breadth and depth and reach is so impactful,” she said.
An additional gift from Jim and Audra Weiss established the Weiss Center for Social Commerce at the Newhouse School in 2012. The center supports a wide range of educational programs and activities with a focus on acclimating graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and working professionals to today’s up-to-the-minute digital reality. It was established to ensure that students and faculty are trained in social commerce, social media, technology and analytics, and the influence each plays in society and industry, providing them with cutting-edge skills and expertise that will enable them to compete and lead in new and evolving communications industries.
“We thank Jim and Audra for their ongoing commitment to and support of the Newhouse School,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “Their generosity has allowed us to create incredible opportunities for students and faculty, which help us to stay on the cutting-edge of the industry.”
Also during his visit, Weiss met with students to share his career story and offer advice. The event, part of the center’s annual Social Commerce Days, was moderated by center co-director and associate professor of advertising Beth Egan.
Weiss is an alumnus of the public relations program. He founded Real Chemistry in 2001.