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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

South Florida Student and Reclaim Team Awarded First Place

USF College of Public Health global health student, Mr. Ryan Graydon, and the USF Reclaim team were awarded first place in the 2016-2017 Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Student Video Competition. The prize came with a $1,000 check presented at the National Press Club Ballroom in Washington, DC on April 13.

COPH graduate student, Mr. Ryan Graydon (Photo courtesy of Graydon).

USF Reclaim is a global network of researchers and practitioners dedicated to understanding and developing context-specific, geographically appropriate and culturally relevant systems to manage resources at the nutrient, energy and water nexus.

They promote innovative, culturally-relevant resource recovery solutions by communicating research through social media and cultivating interdisciplinary collaboration and discussions.

The theme of the competition was “What can individuals do to help reduce climate change?” and intended to motivate individuals to change daily habits that cause carbon emission that may contribute to climate change.

“We had several meetings where we discussed climate change and our own habits to change it. We all agreed we wanted to make a video that would show habits that would work for anyone, regardless of race, language spoken and educational or financial status,” Mr. Graydon said. “After this decision one of our members came up with the idea of doing a challenge to motivate more people to join in!”

Using informational clips and a challenge, the video seeks to inspire and challenge watchers to change their habits and post their own videos to reach an even larger audience.

Initially they planned on renting a camera and recording but they wanted to make the challenge easily accessible and decided to record with their own cellphones so that it would be easier for anyone who would like to join the challenge.

Mr. Graydon and the USF Reclaim team said that what they liked most about the experience were the conversations that it inspired.

Part of the USF Reclaim Team at the awards ceremony in Washington, DC. From left to right, back row: Mr. Phillip Dixon, Dr. James Mihelcic, Mr. Kevin Orner. Front row: Dr. Meng Wang, Ms. Emma Lopez-Ponnada, Ms. Laura Rodriguez-Gonzalez, and Ms. Charlotte Haberstroh. Not pictured: Mr. Jorge Calabria, Mr. Ryan Graydon, Ms. Christy Prouty, and Dr. Colleen Naughton. (Photo courtesy of Ms. Lopez-Ponnada).

“It was great to hear what other people are doing in their personal lives to change climate change and how simple some of these changes can be,” he said. “We want people to know that we as individuals can have significant impact on climate change and that small changes in our daily lives can reduce our impact. Just one person making a change can educate/inspire others to do the same and we can all #changeclimatechange!”