Students Present on Global Challenges at the 9th Annual Student Conference on Global Challenges - Sustainability
By Adam Zahn, Program Manager and Sandra Petri, Project Assistant
On Thursday, February 25, 2016 the Office of International Programs held its 9th Annual Student Conference on Global Challenges focusing on the theme of Sustainability. The conference, the only one of its kind on Drexel’s campus, was attended by over 400 students, faculty, and community members. The conference offered students opportunities to share their research and engage in critical reflection and dialogue on how sustainability is shaping the global conversation across such disciplines as public health, engineering, chemistry, biology, medicine, law, media, economics, politics, and history.
Executive Vice President and Provost M. Brian Blake opened the day with remarks on the importance of student research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels as a means for addressing global challenges. He highlighted the importance of the forum in giving students an opportunity to share their research and academic expertise with others in a conference format.
During the six panels, students presented addressed challenges, posed questions, and offered solutions to a wide array of concerns including: sustainable farming in Belize; energy solutions in Iceland; clean water projects in El Salvador; issues of environmental justice and questions of sovereignty with regard to sustainability; climate change and development in Bangladesh; and the green movement in television and film production. There were sixty student submissions for a limited number of spots on the six concurrent panels and students demonstrated an impressive range of interests and knowledge.
In addition to the lively student panels, the conference featured keynote speaker, Dr. Paul Anastas, Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment, from the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale University. Provost Blake presented Dr. Anastas (pictured left), known as the founder of Green Chemistry, with an award recognizing the 25th anniversary of Green Chemistry. Dr. Anastas challenged students to think “outside the box,” to use creativity and innovation in addressing problems related to sustainability from a wide range of interdisciplinary platforms. The conference concluded with a lively reception, networking, and raffle.
The Office of International Programs would like to extend congratulations to all of the student panelists and participants who contributed to the success of this event and huge thanks to our faculty moderators for their time and dedication.