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Student Entrepreneur of the Year Named

Publish Date: 12/16/2010

December 16, 2010

MANSFIELD, PA— The Mansfield University Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (MCEL) has named TomTom Thornton Thornton as the 2010 MU Student Entrepreneur of the Year.

The junior Political Science major from Athens, PA was selected by a panel after a campus-wide nominating process. Students who have a part-time business, operate a summer business, or have created a functioning social enterprise were eligible.

Thornton started his business, TT Audio Designs, in the summer of 2009 and has seen it steadily growing, almost doubling every quarter since its inception. TT Audio Designs specializes in custom auto and home audio systems, and installs automobile remote starters. Thornton anticipates his business being his full-time occupation once he graduates.

“Of all the nominees, Tom has the most entrepreneurial mindset,” Jackie Thompson, a junior Business Management major who served as a judge, said. “He is building on his previous experience in the business, has developed a great website, keeps up with the latest technology and business trends by participating in exclusive industry forums online, and tracks the financial performance of his business closely.”

In addition to his business and full-time studies, Thornton is also a senator in the MU Student Government Association, serving on the Administration Committee, and is president of the Political Science Club.

Amanda TrimpeyAmanda Trimpey, a sophomore Music Education major from Pittsfield, PA, received honorable mention honors in the social entrepreneurship category for her work on “The Strings Project.”

Starting with an idea from one of her professors, Trimpey organized a public meeting to kick start the program in which MU music students offer weekly string instrument lessons to the community.

In its first year, 12 new violin students are getting individual or group lessons and six Music Education majors are honing their teaching skills. The goal of the project is to teach 20 students. Any string instrument will be taught.

“The Strings Project is a win – win deal,” MCEL Director Ed Foote said. “Both the aspiring violin players and MU students get benefits. And though the idea had been floating around for a while, it was Amanda’s action that made it happen. Successful entrepreneurs have a bias towards action.”

Trimpey is president of the Future String Teachers of America Club at MU and is a drum major in “The Spirit & Pride of Pennsylvania” MU Marching Band.

For more information on MCEL, check online at

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