Venture Forward videos

Mitch Henderson, Autumn Womack and Andrew Houck celebrate the Venture Forward campaign

Making Audacious Bets

The Venture Forward video series features Princeton faculty and alumni who are daring to ask the questions that have the potential to change the future. Watch the new video and learn how Princeton is making audacious bets on human potential.

“We are making a big bet by attempting something that seems impossible. I’m confident we’ll be successful in not only building quantum technology but also in impacting countless other fields in ways that we don’t even know about yet.”

Andrew Houck ’00, the Anthony H.P. Lee ’79 P11 P14 Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Andrew Houck, dressed in blazer and tie

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Andrew Houck contemplates the universe while clones of Andrew work in the lab
Andrew Houck ’00 is making quantum leaps to unlock a multiverse of possibilities

Andrew Houck ’00, the Anthony H.P. Lee ’79 P11 P14 Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and co-director of the Princeton Quantum Initiative, is researching how quantum science and engineering open a multiverse of possibilities.

“At its best, literature can change how you see the world, providing language that oftentimes you didn’t know you needed.”

Autumn Womack, associate professor of English and African American studies

Autumn Woman, dressed in black, posing for camera

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Autumn Womack at the Toni Morrison exhibit
Autumn Womack’s journey from grade-school history camp to Toni Morrison’s archives

English and African American studies professor Autumn Womack has honed her deep and longstanding interest in archival research to open up a world of deeper understanding: “It’s not just about what’s on the page, but what’s behind it.”

“I define success as a coach now as: Did they grow both as a player and as a person when they were at Princeton? Standing for something larger than winning — giving and caring and loving — means a lot to me. This is the charge I think of as more important.”

Mitch Henderson ’98, the Franklin C. Cappon-Edward C. Green ’40 Head Coach of Men’s Basketball

Mitch Henderson meets the media after his team's victory in the 2023 NCAA Tournament

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Mitch Henderson and members of the men's basketball team participate in media day at the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
Mitch Henderson ’98 went back to class to connect with his basketball players

As the Franklin C. Cappon-Edward C. Green ’40 Head Coach of Men’s Basketball, Mitch Henderson ’98 defines his role and measures success far beyond his team’s performance on the court. “More so than ever, my role is to be crystal clear on the standards, hold them to account, and then just care, care, care,” he said.

“What if we weren’t limited by what we already know?”

Andrew Houck ’00, co-director of the Princeton Quantum Initiative and professor of electrical and computer engineering

Mitch Henderson, Autumn Womack and Andrew Houck celebrate the Venture Forward campaign

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A female undergraduate looks at Nassau Hall, with her back to the camera.
New Venture Forward video series features Princetonians who are creating new paths

In the third year since the public launch of Princeton University’s Venture Forward campaign, a new “Making Audacious Bets” video series focuses on faculty and alumni who blaze their own trails to move us from the present to the possible.

“Thinking about tech on its own is not so interesting, but what is interesting is how all of these huge spaces that mean so much to us are mediated by different forms of technology, whether we like it or not.”

Mimi Onuoha ’11, media artist and researcher
Mimi Onuoha speaks to an audience

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Mimi Onuoha smiling, sitting in front of some of her art projects.
Making audacious bets on the future of technology: Media artist Mimi Onuoha ’11 shines a light into the invisible margins of data

As a media artist and researcher whose work examines the effects of technology on culture and behavior, Mimi Onuoha ’11 is fascinated by the constant conversion of lives and lived experiences into data sets and how that information is represented — or misrepresented.

“We’re building a community of artists across Trenton and Princeton University that supplements what’s already being done in Trenton, not supplants it. TAP grew so fast because we had seeded the ground with these relationships of mutual trust and respect.”

Lou Chen ’19, program manager for Trenton Arts at Princeton and director of the Trenton Youth Orchestra
Joseph Pucciatti and Lou Chen '19 in the Trenton Central High School music room

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Trenton students sing together around a piano at the Lewis Arts complex.
Trenton plays, Lou Chen ’19 stays

What began with Lou Chen ’19 and fellow undergraduates giving violin lessons to Trenton high school musicians has evolved into a comprehensive music and arts program that has united the Princeton and Trenton arts communities.

“There are driven, smart, intelligent people everywhere, and it shouldn’t be about where you’re born. This notion is close to my heart and hopefully we can make a small impact and give all students the same opportunities for success.”

David MacMillan, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry
Childhood photos of David MacMillan, Nobel Prize winner

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David MacMillan
Making audacious bets on opportunity: David MacMillan becomes a catalyst for change

Princeton chemistry professor David MacMillan grew up in Scottish steel town where the opportunity for a college education was extremely rare. Now, after winning the Nobel Prize, he’s providing opportunities for students from all backgrounds because he knows “there are driven, smart, intelligent people everywhere.”

“How does technology shape what it means to be human?”

Mimi Onuoha ’11, media artist and researcher
Making Audacious Bets video series

WATCH: ‘Making Audacious Bets’

Lou Chen conducts the Trenton Youth Orchestra
New Venture Forward video series focuses on Princeton ‘making audacious bets’ on talent and potential

In the second year since the public launch of Princeton University’s Venture Forward campaign, a new video series, “Making Audacious Bets,” focuses on faculty and alumni who are asking big “what if?” questions and bringing the unknown within reach through imagination and collaboration.

“I get a visceral enjoyment from knowing that I’m being useful, that what I’m doing is helping someone else.”

Morgan Smith ’21
Morgan Smith

WATCH: Morgan Smith ’21

Morgan Smith with her grandfather, David King
From Princeton to Chicago legal aid, Morgan Smith ’21 leads through service

At Princeton, Morgan Smith developed a sense of self through helping others. Today, she works for Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, a pro bono legal aid organization that represents the interests of children.

“We’re on the cusp of a revolution in our ability to gain a mechanistic understanding of how species coexist, how ecosystems work, and how to patch them up when they get damaged.”

Rob Pringle, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology
Rob Pringle

WATCH: Professor Rob Pringle

Rob Pringle
With DNA toolkit, Rob Pringle is learning how to rebuild broken ecosystems

In Kenya and Mozambique, Professor Rob Pringle and his team are using a revolutionary technique called DNA metabarcoding to analyze animal diets so they can better understand complex ecosystems and how to help sustain them.

“Technology is allowing us to get down to the single cell level, giving us a better understanding of how human cells — and humans as a whole — work.”

Mona Singh, professor of computer science and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics
Mona Singh

WATCH: Professor Mona Singh

Mona Singh
Mona Singh is tailoring tools to crack the cancer code

Mona Singh is a professor of computer science and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. Her groundbreaking research into how proteins interact could have enormous ramifications for the study of diseases, in particular cancer. ​

“Princeton is a place where people want to see you do well. I think that’s a reason I decided to go back to Chambersburg, because I want to bring that same positive mindset back home: If you want to do something amazing, let’s figure out how to get you there.”

Kelton Chastulik ’21
Kelton Chastulik '21

WATCH: Kelton Chastulik ’21

Kelton Chastulik '21
First-gen alumnus Kelton Chastulik ’21 paves path for others

After thriving as a first-generation student at Princeton, Kelton Chastulik ’21 is back in his hometown — Chambersburg, Pennsylvania — guiding high school students towards their own dreams.

“The Venture Forward campaign aims to engage our alumni and friends, encourage a spirit of service to the University and to humanity, and help us expand the frontiers of knowledge.”

President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83
Venture Forward Nassau Hall

WATCH: ‘Dare to Venture’

Dare to Venture video
‘Dare to Venture’ video kicks off Venture Forward campaign

With Venture Forward, Princeton University is embarking on a new engagement and fundraising campaign dedicated to sharing Princeton’s defining principles and their impact on the world.