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Voinovich School students win awards in 2021 Student Expo

2021 Student Expo

Several students from Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs won awards for their work at the 2021 Virtual Student Expo.

Olivia Wolff, Master of Science in Environmental Studies candidate, won first prize for the Sustainability Award and the Community Engagement Award for her presentation “Diverting Ohio University’s Construction and Demolition Debris from Landfills.” Her presentation focused on diverting Ohio University construction and demolition debris from Ohio landfills through material donations to ReStore. ReStore, part of Habitat for Humanity, is a second-hand home improvement store that accepts material donations and sells them at a lower cost. The goal of Wolff’s project is to raise awareness of ReStore, explore incentives to promote donations from project and contract managers at Ohio University and create a pilot program to organize regular donations across the Athens campus.

Paola Sofia Munoz Gamboa and Daniel Bell-Morgan, both MSES students, won first prize for Social and Behavioral Sciences Videos and second prize for the Sustainability Award for their presentation “Sustainable Trawling in COVID-19 times: Food Security or International Threat? Lessons from Costa Rica.” Trawling, a fishing technique that targets bottom dwelling species using weighted nets, poses a significant threat to Costa Rica’s local fishermen and the environment. The presentation is a case study on recent developments in Costa Rica’s trawling legislature and the delicate balance between environmental issues and food security. Gamboa also won the Community Engagement award and Most Creative Caption award.

MSES candidate Annika Gurrola received the second place Library Graduate Award for her presentation “An Analysis of Stream Restoration Through the Floodplain Reconnection Method.” The presentation discusses the impact of floodplain reconnection on nutrient cycling in the sediment, surface water and pore water of restored streams in Southwest Pennsylvania. Floodplain reconnection, a method used to establish a connection between stream channel and the surrounding terrestrial environment, helps create a connected ecosystem that is resilient to flooding, reduces erosion and increases water and nutrition storage.

Other winners included:

  • Rachael Beardsley, Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholar – First place, Arts & Humanities video, Experiential Learning award, and Most Creative Caption award
  • Eleanor Bishop, Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholar – Most Creative Caption award
  • Anna Crabtree, HTC Environmental Studies – First place, Environmental Studies video, Best Creative Video award, and Best Bobcat Spirit Award
  • Melissa Damico, HTC Environmental Studies and Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholar – Community Engagement award
  • Sean Hollowell, HTC Environmental Studies, First place, Public Affairs & Geography award
  • Alli Mancz, HTC Environmental Studies – Second place, Environmental Studies video, Community Engagement award, and Best Use of Social Media Feature award.
  • Jordan Pazol, HTC Environmental Studies – Most Creative Caption award
  • Sam Smith, Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholar – Second place, Public Affairs & Geography video, Community Engagement award

The 2021 Student Expo took place virtually on April 8 and featured multiple ways for students to showcase their research and creativity. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were able to either post their projects on social media or upload a short video. Find more information on the 2021 Student Expo and winners here