Kent State Team Captures "People's Choice" Vote in International Competition

On Monday, November 13, 2017, the Kent State College of Arts and Sciences and Office of Global Education hosted the MISSION: LIFE VI international innovation competition, focused on bringing together interdisciplinary teams to address major world problems. The Kent State team, whose idea focused on diverting food waste from the landfill stream and converting it into electricity, won the “People’s Choice” award, after over 300 people visited the three exhibits and voted for their favorite.

This year’s teams concentrated on Global Sustainable Development in the 21 st Century. The event, which was held in the new Integrated Sciences building, featured presentations from teams from Kent State, Texas, and Brazil. Judges from in and around Kent State watched the teams’ 10-minute presentations and voted on the juried awards. The team from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica Do Parana (PUCPR) in Brazil, who developed and tested a Role-Playing Game focused on teaching the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals for middle and high-school students, won the juried First Place prize.

The team from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, took second place in both the People’s Choice and juried awards, with their software app designed to connect students and non-profits, making the tracking of volunteer hours more efficient for both parties. Judges for the event were Roy Messing, director, Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State; Melanie Knowles, Manager of Sustainability for Kent State University; and Jason Miller, Echogen Power Systems.

The student teams competed at the local level to advance to the international competition, which was introduced to Kent State via Associate Professor and Director of the Biotechnology Program, Edgar Kooijman, who has been instrumental in the development of the strategic partnership with the Pontificia Universidade Catolica Do Parana (PUCPR), an acclaimed not-for-profit private Catholic university located in Curitiba in southern Brazil, where Mission: Life originated. Previously, the school of life sciences at PUCPR has hosted the competition.

"As an international scholar myself – I am originally from the Netherlands – I am so excited to have the opportunity to mentor and lead students in international activities at Kent State University. Hosting the MISSION: LIFE VI competition provides a wonderful occasion for students to experience some of the international activities the university is engaged in," explains Professor Kooijman.

The Kent State team consists of: Michelle Park (senior, Fashion Design), Andrew Hughes (freshman, Biotechnology), Michael Mandac (senior, Hospitality Management), Quaid Kloha (senior, Accounting), Edward Chiyaka (graduate, Public Health), and Paramanand Deginal (sophomore, Aeronautics).


Dr. ing Edgar Eduard Kooijman
Director Biotechnology Program
Associate Professor Biological Sciences
Kent State University

Julie Messing
Executive Director, Entrepreneurship
LaunchNET Kent State

POSTED: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:56pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:56pm
Jim Maxwell