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Student Expo to feature new marketing and sustainability session, award at April 14 event

From staff reports | Mar 30, 2016

A new session and award at the April 14 Ohio University Student Research and Creative Activity Expo will recognize students who have used marketing principles to solve campus sustainability issues.

Colin Gabler, an assistant professor of marketing and Freeman Fellow in the College of Business, and Annie Laurie Cadmus, director of the Office of Sustainability, have offered students in their respective classes a chance to collaborate on tackling topics such as reducing food waste, promoting energy-efficient campus housing, reusing textiles and developing zero-waste athletics events. 

“So far, the projects we’ve had students work on have been pretty diverse, and so are the ways in which students have tackled the projects,” Cadmus said.

Cadmus and Gabler approached the Student Expo about establishing a new poster session and award at the event to raise the profile of the research partnership and offer their students a chance to hone their presentation skills for professional judges. Gabler’s class received a grant from the Research Division and matching support from the dean’s office in the College of Business to print posters for the 2016 event.

Both instructors hope that the student research projects leave a lasting legacy on campus sustainability.

“Each group is creating something that will either remain intact on campus or serve as a template or prototype for future use,” Gabler said. “For instance, I have a group working to map Bird Arena for optimization of recycling bins. Their R&D can be applied to every other sports facility on campus.”

Cadmus would like more departments, offices and administrators to use the marketing and sustainability students as a “think tank” to address their sustainability issues, which, in turn, will offer more practical learning experiences for the students. Gabler hopes the event sparks interest in social and environmental issues among more marketing students while creating collaborative opportunities between the Office of Sustainability and the College of Business.

This year the Ohio University Student Expo will make awards in 72 discipline-specific sessions and 23 special award categories for undergraduate, graduate and medical student work in disciplines ranging from theater to engineering. More than 800 students exhibit their work, and many choose to have their projects judged by a panel of faculty and staff members for the opportunity to win up to $200 in awards.

The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14 at the Convocation Center. Free pizza and beverages will be provided until 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/studentexpo.

Editor’s note: The marketing and sustainability students will make an encore presentation of their posters from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20 as part of the Earth Day celebration at the Walter Hall Rotunda.