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UC honors students with the 2020 Neil Armstrong UC Forward Innovation Award

Each spring, the University of Cincinnati's Division of Experience-Based Learning and Career Education honors students in experience-based learning programs.

One such program is UC Forward, which attracts students from different disciplines to tackle real-world problems together with a corporate or nonprofit partner. Students work on the problems in academic courses whose topics change each semester. Students learn the creative process of research, innovation, and cross-disciplinary teamwork while addressing complex, real-world problems.

The 2020 Neil Armstrong UC Forward Innovation Award goes to:

  • Seth Reichenbach, senior, Architectural Engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Ahmed Ashraf, junior, Medical Sciences, College of Medicine
  • Abbigail Wells, sophomore, Medical Sciences, College of Medicine

This interdisciplinary team of students designed the “Bearcat Food Recovery Network” to redirect food that would otherwise be wasted to serve food-insecure students at UC. They created the proposal as part of a UC Forward Inquiry to Innovation course titled Zero Hunger/Zero Waste, which was developed by UC Forward director Frank Russell and UC faculty in partnership with grocery giant Kroger.

Each member of the team continues to work as a Service Learning Co-op to implement the proposal.

Of his experience, team member Seth Reichenbach says, “It has been rewarding to work with Abbi and Ahmed on this interdisciplinary team and see how our varied experiences bring innovative solutions that can serve our Bearcat community.”

Their story helps to illustrate why the University of Cincinnati is the top public university for co-ops and internships.

Faculty and staff in Experience-Based Learning and Career Education facilitate real-world work experiences for students, teach students to prepare for their professional lives, and provide career services to students and alumni. At the same time, we connect employers and external partners with the talent they seek in a variety of arrangements both inside and outside the classroom.

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