SLS Spring Student Showcase Recap

June 11, 2018

Supporting GT’s already strong tradition of providing students with opportunities to present and discuss their research with their peers, SLS’s Student  Showcase gathers students from across all six colleges. Students passionate about building sustainable communities present their research, which engages with the Sustainable Development Goals in their own unique way. The excellence of student research and the diverse set of approaches to sustainability made it very challenging to select winners.

In third place, the student team of Veronica Thompson and Emily Register presented their project, “Designing Artificial Nests to Support Native Pollinators.” Collecting and analyzing big-data on local pollinators’ habitats, Veronica and Emily offered innovative ways of building and designing artificial nests for local pollinators in our community. Working with Dr. Jennifer Leavey on the Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) Bee-Snap, their work furthered Tech’s commitment to sustainability both in our community and beyond. In second place, the student team of Madhumita Baskaran, Nicole Zaubi, Sarah Lanning, and Ella Torch presented their project, “Proliferating Basic CPR in Underserved Communities.” Exploring the impact of the social inequalities concerning basic CPR, the team’s project approached sustainability with a focus on equity, social justice, and economics. Commenting on the value of the project, Madhu remarked, “Seeing the impact that we made on the students at Mays High School was so motivational and inspirational. I definitely took it as the first step to making a difference in the world.” The team’s project came out of Dr. Jennifer Singh’s, HTS 3086: “Sociology of Medicine and Health."

The winning team comprised of Anna Benkeser and Tony Chen presented their project, “Creating the Next, One Ride at a Time,” which offered innovative solutions on how to create sustainable transportation on campus through a more energy efficient bus fleet. Their project grew out of their course work in Dr. Beril Totkay, Dr. Kim Cobb, and Dr. Matthew Realff’s course, “Foundations of Sustainable Systems.” Team memberTony Chen believed that, “the extensive meetings with stakeholders and experts gave us ] the comprehensive understanding required to paint a decently complete picture of what the project would mean for the community.” He also believed that what helped lead to their success was that his, “group members and our advisor were very experienced in asking effective questions that either got at the root of what we wanted to know or helped us figure out what we still needed to learn.”

Because part of what helps animate the passion of GT’s students' work on sustainability is amazing faculty (and we have many at GT), SLS also awards an Outstanding Instructor Students' Choice Award. This year Kevin Lanza took home the award. His students described his course as a “really enthusiastic environment” and an “enjoyable and informative class” that made students “excited to create ‘sustainable communities’.” Students described Kevin as a “kind, knowledgeable, and open-hearted professor who constantly goes the extra mile.” Congratulations to all of our winners and please join us this fall for our Fall Showcase. Keep an eye out for submission details in our newsletter and on our website.