A closer look at YSU student-run businesses

Photo courtesy of Gavin Esposito

By Samantha Smith

Youngstown State University has a multitude of students who, outside of classes, run their very own businesses. 

Gavin Esposito, a freshman history major, explained what his business is.

“My business is selling on-demand prints of my photographs,” he said. “I’m a photographer. I do mainly landscapes and natural scenes.”

Along with photographing landscapes, Esposito also mentioned that he photographs old cemeteries and buildings, wildlife, country scenes and more.

Esposito said he originally became interested in photography at the age of 13 when he started taking photos of trains.

“I would probably say when I was about 13, and it first started with trains,” Esposito said. “When I was younger, I used to love trains and started taking pictures of trains. But then I started taking pictures of other things too. Then, after a while, I found out I’m kind of good at this and I got an actual camera.”

To view his work, visit his webpage www.gavinesposito.com or his Instagram @gavinespositophtography.

Andrew Dao, a sophomore biology pre-med major, is an artist on campus who had begun to take commissions for their work. 

Dao explains more of what their art style is and what type of artist they are.

“I consider myself a digital art hobbyist, so I mostly draw sketches and small illustrations when I get the chance to,” they said. “I developed my style over the course of around four years with inspirations from indie games and modern cartoons that I watched when I was younger.”

For Dao, they have always had an interest in art, but it was not until a few years ago that they became more serious with it.

“I’ve always been interested in art, animation and cartoons as a kid, having watched tons of animated series with my siblings,” Dao said. “I would say I really started getting into drawing and digital art around four years ago. I’m not entirely sure what enticed me to do it, but I’d like to think it was to try something new, maybe to vent my frustration at the time. It has stuck with me for sure though.”

Dao recently began to open their commissions in September 2021 for the first time.

“I only opened my commissions recently, in September, after building up the courage to do so for a little while,” they said. “I was extremely nervous about it at first but I decided to give it a shot, and the reception was good, which gave me a good confidence boost.”

Dao shares their art on Twitter, @kurokaiyo, and on the YSU app. For commissions, visit their website kurusa.carrd.co

Photo courtesy of Andrew Dao

Matthew Morrison, a senior sports broadcasting major, co-hosts a sports podcast with his friends, Alek Koberna, a junior sports broadcasting major, and Michael Wolfgang, a senior journalism major. 

Morrison explained how he met Koberna and Wolfgang and started the podcast.

“I had class with Mike, and then I had another class with Alek, and I’d just go in there and we talked about sports,” he said. “Then, I had the idea of creating my own show and I’m like, ‘Well, I need people on my show.’ I talk sports all the time with this guy, and sports all the time with this guy, so I just kind of brought them together.”

Their podcast, Casual Sports Podcast, airs daily from 2-3 p.m. on YSNlive.com, Facebook, Twitch and YouTube. They have been broadcasting for two years and have no plans of stopping.