Neil Armstrong UC Forward Innovation Award 2021 winners announced

Team of three from diverse disciplines excel in innovation course

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 draws students from different disciplines together to tackle real-world problems with a corporate or nonprofit partner. Students practice the creative processes of research, innovation and cross-disciplinary teamwork while addressing complex problems.

The 2021 Neil Armstrong UC Forward Innovation Award goes to:

  • Deborah Park, senior, architecture, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning
  • Aravind Murali, senior, electrical engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Jacquelyn Chapman, senior, biomedical engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Science

As a part of a class sponsored by the Kroger Co.’s Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Foundation, this interdisciplinary team focused on using marketing, psychological and social strategies to help reduce food insecurity and the stigma of food insecurity on campus.

“Understanding the stigma is such an important topic when trying to reach and educate others,” says team member Deborah Park. “I was constantly needing to re-educate myself on issues such as food insecurity and food waste throughout our research."

Teammate Aravind Murali was challenged intellectually, too. “I enjoyed learning the different methods on how to creatively brainstorm ideas for tackling the issue of hunger and food waste,” he says.

Team member Jacquelyn Chapman was struck by the usefulness of the course, observing that “throughout the course I felt as though I was learning essential information that I will translate into my everyday life and creating a substantial positive impact in my community.”

Their story helps to illustrate why the University of Cincinnati is a top five university for co-ops and internships, according to U.S. News Best Colleges rankings.

Feature image at top: 2021 Neil Armstrong UC Forward Innovation Award team (L-R): Jacquelyn Chapman, Aravind Murali, Deborah Park. Photo/Provided

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