Zack Seward


WXXI/Finger Lakes reporter for the Innovation Trail.

Zack Seward had only a few weeks to catch his breath between graduating from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and becoming the first reporter hired for the project.

Prior to his graduate studies, Seward was a production assistant at the PBS NewsHour, where he researched and developed breaking news stories as well as features for both the Health and Arts & Culture units. He also served at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver with the NewsHour, and wrote for the NewsHour's Art Beat blog. 

Seward got his start in public media when he was an anthropology student at the University of Chicago, as a production intern for WTTW's Chicago Tonight. He has also conducted internships in regional transportation planning and neighborhood revitalization. He's originally from San Francisco.



Fri May 25, 2012
Company Town

JK Consulting: Spreading the "virtues of optics"

Jennifer Kruschwitz, president of JK Consulting.
Zack Seward WXXI

Jennifer Kruschwitz - Digital Rochester’s 2012 Technology Woman of the Year - is like a chef.

“Let’s just say I make desserts.”

She’s actually an optical engineer. But this is how she explains her job to people like me - and her mother.

“I could have a customer say, ‘I have this type of oven, I have these ingredients in my pantry and I would like to be able to make your soufflé,’ ” explains Kruschwitz.

So she whips up a test recipe and sends it off to that customer.

They give it a try - seeing if the “soufflé” has the right consistency, if it’s tasty, if it springs back just so.

Then the customer sends Kruschwitz some feedback. She makes the appropriate tweaks and then sends the customer the real recipe.

“So that they could make chocolate soufflé in their own ovens and they could call it by whatever name they needed to call it,” says Kruschwitz. “And that’s what I do in coatings.”

Optical coatings - for things like surgical lights, cell phone cameras and movie projectors.

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Tue May 22, 2012

"Innovation expert" headlining 2012 Eyes on the Future summit

Wednesday is the fifth annual Eyes on the Future Economic Summit at Saint John Fisher College.

The free event is expected to draw over a thousand people.

Members of the Rochester area business community will be in for a new format at this year’s event.

Instead of a panel discussion, organizers are going with a keynote from Tom Kelley - an innovation expert at IDEO, a global design consultancy.

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Tue May 22, 2012

Deputy Labor Secretary talks food processing at RIT

U.S. Labor Deputy Secretary Seth Harris toured RIT's Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies before meeting with local business leaders.
Zack Seward WXXI

Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris was in Rochester Monday checking in on a federally-funded program designed to boost the region's food processing industry.

Harris spoke at RIT to a body of local leaders about how government can team up with both higher ed and industry to create better business outcomes.

Harris says investing in Rochester's food manufacturers is all about creating jobs in a growing sector.

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Fri May 18, 2012

IBM taps U of R for ideas on putting Watson to work

The winning team. IBM's Dan Pelino, right, joins MBA students Muhammad Munir, Christian Beck, Jaimee Saxton and Enric Coll.
ibmphoto24 via Flickr

IBM's Watson already has Jeopardy! under its belt.

Now Big Blue is turning to the University of Rochester's Simon School of Business for ideas on what to do next.

Manoj Saxena, the general manager of IBM's Watson Solutions unit, says the goal is finding ideas that will "take Watson from a Jeopardy-playing machine to a business-grade decision support system."

Twenty-five Simon MBA students were the first in the nation to partner with IBM on tackling that charge.

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Tue May 8, 2012