Storytelling in New Dimensions

Sonny Cirasuolo

When Sonny Cirasuolo ’21 discovered the course Virtual Reality Storytelling at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, it was if he’d struck gold. At the time, Cirasuolo was just looking for a fun course. Little did he know it would lead him to the forefront of developing immersive media in the metaverse, the simulated digital world of extended reality (XR) that blends the real and virtual. After first taking readers on interactive journeys for Yahoo Sports, Cirasuolo signed on as a creative technologist and XR engineer for the startup Nowhere, which provides a robust platform for multitudes of people to gather in the metaverse. “I really enjoyed the Virtual Reality Storytelling class,” he says. “Everything I’ve been doing is based off that one class. It ended up being what shaped my career, which is pretty cool.”

The course introduced Cirasuolo to Professor Dan Pacheco, a leading expert on journalistic storytelling that uses emerging media platforms and the metaverse. “Sonny threw himself fully into projects, often inspiring others to join him. I saw an opportunity to help harness and focus his energy on something creative,” says Pacheco, the Peter A. Horvitz Endowed Chair in Journalism Innovation and professor of practice in the magazine, news and digital journalism department. “It has been exciting to see his career flourish as he continues to inspire others with his work in the industry.”