She has done her research. She knows we all have a lot to learn – especially from each other. But, the way she sees it, that just means we all have a lot to teach each other, too.
“People coming together and listening to what each other has to say is essential to improving the human condition,” says Shateara Hall ’12, the founder and CEO of Empiriclee, a space where researchers and the public can interact, providing engaging, authentic, personalized social science data in real time. “Empiriclee is a human-centric platform that weds research and human opinion in a way that hasn’t been done before. It takes public opinion and research and turns it into something that is more fluid. Instead of just being about research, it’s more about being human and having people come in and find solutions to improve
the human experience.”
Improving the human experience has been Hall’s focus for as long as she can remember. The Honors College graduate majored in education, which created the foundation for her journey, both as a human being and as a businesswoman. And, as Hall grew as an individual at the College, so too did her interests.
“The rigor of the Honors courses just elevated my interests,” she says, noting that living in the residence hall with other Honors College students made a huge impact on her as well. “That contributed to my appreciation for teamwork, collaboration and also inclusion. You can make college the experience just about you and your goals, or you can include everyone else, and it feels so much better when you include everyone else. It doesn’t feel like work – it feels like you’re part of a team.”
Of course, every team needs a leader – another thing Hall learned at the College in the Leadership CofC program, which she considers the most influential part of her College experience because it gave her a renewed sense of purpose and made her realize that leadership is a lot like teaching: It’s something you do your entire life through various avenues. Avenues like entrepreneurship.
“I call myself a ‘nanny-neur,’” laughs Hall, who works as a high-end nanny on the side, even landing in the top 1 percent of nannies on Care.com. “Because I’m an entrepreneur and I have an education background, I’m a unicorn in this field. I still have education flowing through my blood. I still love working with kids. I still love contributing to their growth as human beings, and so I get to use that to fuel my passion to start a company.”
Also fueling that passion: the lack of research data she found as a Ph.D. student.
“There just wasn’t a lot of data out there. I wanted to solve that issue,” she says, explaining that Empiriclee – which launches in 2019 – uses a voice model (think Siri or Alexa) to survey the public, collecting their thoughts and opinions in one centralized database for researchers in higher education as well as the government. “The idea is to to let your voice be heard – share your insight – so we all can learn from it.”