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2020 Student Conference on Global Challenges: Waste


Date: February 27, 2020

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Venue: Behrakis Grand Hall, Creese Student Center, 3210 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104


The Office of Global Engagement and Education Abroad is pleased to announce the 13th Annual Student Conference on Global Challenges. Focusing this year on Waste, the conference provides students a place to share their research and engage in critical reflection and dialogue on how creative and innovative solutions shape our global context.

Some of the biggest global challenges that we face today, such as climate change, security, migration, access to healthy food and clean water, education, infrastructure, healthcare and community engagement are being approached with sustainable solutions and creative technologies to reduce waste. With increasing global interdependence we need to tackle these challenges both locally and globally and from a variety of different perspectives – scientific, economic, political, social, and cultural. 

With this is mind, Drexel University's Office of Global Engagement’s 13h Annual Student Conference on Global Challenges will have the theme of WASTE. The conference offers undergraduate and graduate students opportunities to share their work, discuss, and reflect on how creativity and innovation shape our society today from all disciplines.

The student conference is free, open to the public, and will include breakfast, lunch, and a networking reception. If you have any questions about applying to present or attending the event, please contact the Office of Global Engagement and Education Abroad at

  • Apply to present their research on one of six student panels, open to undergraduate and graduate students
  • Submit an abstract to present a poster or showcase their innovative solutions during our networking reception
  • Join Us as attendees for all or part of the conference activities

The deadline to apply is now February 5th by 5 pm. For help with answers to frequently asked questions pertaining to the conference, click here.

We are looking for enthusiastic faculty moderators for our six panels. If you have questions, are interested in moderating, or if you would like us to come speak to your class about conference opportunities, please contact Adam Zahn at


Below is a general and detailed schedule for the day of the conference:


8:30 am

 Registration and Breakfast

9:15 am

 Welcome from Vice Provost Janice Marini

9:30-10:30 am

Keynote 1

Tony West, Filmmaker

10:45-11:45 am

Concurrent Panel 1

Global Health - Room A

Global Science, Environment, and Society - Room C

12:00-1:00 pm

Concurrent Panel 2

Global Media, Culture, and Arts - Room A

Global Justice and Human Rights - Room C

1:00-1:30 pm


1:30-2:30 pm

Keynote 2

Nic Esposito, Director of Zero Waste Philly

2:45-3:45 pm

Concurrent Panel 3

Global-Local Community Solutions and Innovations - Room A

Global Business and Economic Development - Room C

4:00-5:00 pm

 â€‹Poster Presentation and Awards Reception




10:45 - 11:45 A.M.

Global Health (Room A)
Moderator: Ebony White, PhD

Christiana Obeng | College of Medicine
                Sustainability of WASH Infrastructure in Lesotho: Observations of Attitudes of the Basotho and their Impact on Project Longevity

Maxine Davis | Dornsife School of Public Health 
                WASH Conditions Assessment in Healthcare Facilities in Rural Zambia

Briana Giollroy | Dornsife School of Public Health
                A Multi-level Analysis of Early Childhood Nutrition and WASH Practices in Lesotho

Katherine Boyd | College of Medicine
                A Barrier Analysis Evaluating the Obstacles and Perceptions Regarding Handwashing at Critical Times in Chongwe, Zambia


Global Science, Tech, Environment, and Society (Room C)
Moderator: David Velinsky, PhD

Tais Idi-Infante | College of Arts and Sciences
                Biochar: Gateway to Water Sovereignty

Joel Jesudason | LeBow College of Business
           Ghana and Blockchain: Incentivizing and Managing the Reduction of Waste

Aashvi Patel | LeBow College of Business
                Sustainable Aviation Fuel: An Effective Solution

Olivia Spratt | Pennoni Honors College
                Defining Upcycled Food Products



12:00 - 1:00 P.M.

Global Media, Culture, and Arts (Room A)
Moderator: Al Tedesco

Christopher Silva | Westphal College of Media Arts & Design 
                USA Coverage of Global Waste Issues

Theano Karavangelas | Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
                Greece Coverage of Global Waste Issues

Sanjana Babu | Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
                Indian Coverage of Global Waste Issues

Alexis VanDeventer | Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
                Social Media Creating Demand/Reducing Waste

Matthew Barnosky | Westphal College of Media Arts & Design 
                Electronic Recycling and Recycling Myths

Global Justice and Human Rights (Room C)
Moderator: Steve Dolph, PhD

Mary Grace Cornell-Combs | LeBow College of Business
                Sustaining Community: The Fair Trade Solution

Shraddha Damaraju | College of Medicine
                Community-Driven Solutions to Global Challenges: Naloxone Distribution in Philadelphia Communities

Reva Swiedler | College of Arts and Sciences
                NGOs and International Development Projects: An Overview of the 'Waste' Involved

Jerusalem Tamire | LeBow College of Business
                Focusing in on Child Abandonment in eSwatini : The GUAVA Project

2:45 – 3:45 P.M.

Global-Local Community Solutions and Innovations (Room A)
Moderator: Jennifer Ayres, PhD

Tim Hanlon | Pennoni Honors College 
                USGA Sustainability Committee

Julianna Rudnick | College of Arts and Sciences
                Revaluing Trash: A Case Study on the Power of Recycled Artist in Residency Programs

Rachel Sasson | Westphal College of Media Arts & Design 
                Race to Zero Waste: Philadlephia

Marie Mastrobattista | Westphal College of Media Arts & Design 
                Convening Sustainable Learning: Examining the Community School Framework as a Mode of Creating Sustainable Learning Environments

Lucia Yanik & Lauran Beich | Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
                Six Feet Under: Rethinking Death and Waste

Global Business and Economic Development (Room C)
Moderator: Mark Stehr, PhD

Krystyna Salyuk | Pennoni Honors College 
                Sustainable Solutions to Food Packaging Waste

Lev Boonin | Pennoni Honors College 
                Waste Not: Rot Not

Lyndsay Debo | LeBow College of Business
                How can Companies Decrease Food Waste Due to Confusion About Food Product Dating?

Satchel Manchester | LeBow College of Business
                How Job Retraining Programs Can Help Minimize Workforce Waste in the Automotive Industry