Lina Colucci is a recent Duke graduate who studied mechanical engineering and has a special interest in music and dance.
By the age of 10, Colucci had moved nine times between Brazil, Canada and the United States, traveling from Manhattan's Fifth Avenue to the flavelas of Rio. She promised herself that one day she would help eliminate the disparities she saw in the world.
During her time at Duke, Colucci pursued that promise with efforts that ranged from organizing a successful food drive to gathering and donating ballet tights to young ballerinas from poorer families in Rio.
Colucci’s most interesting project combined two of her passions: ballet and engineering. She redesigned pointe shoes to be more comfortable than conventional ballet shoes. The shoes she developed were featured in a cover story in the peer-reviewed journal Ergonomics in Design, and also won first place at both MIT's Massachusetts State Science Fair and Boston University's Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Her DANZA shoe design won the women-led category in Duke’s 2010 Start-Up Challenge competition for aspiring entrepreneurs. Later in 2011, Colucci improved her shoe design through an independent study course with professor Neal Simmons, and she interned the following summer in Nike's Sports Research Lab.
Dancer. Engineer. Entrepreneur. Global citizen. Colucci continues to combine all of those identities as she now plans to start her own business with the shoes.