The event kicked off with an overview about the DifferenceMaker program, presented by Holly Butler, Entrepreneurial Initiatives Program Director. Fred Martin, Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Undergraduate Studies and Professor in the Kennedy College of Sciences, along with Tom Wilkes, Professor in the Kennedy College of Sciences and DifferenceMaker Faculty Fellow, said opening remarks to the virtual crowd.
Noureddine Melikechi, Dean of the Kennedy College of Sciences, welcomed the participants and spoke about the event in more detail.
Then, there were informative presentations given by expert researchers in the Kennedy College of Sciences. Michael Graves, Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Biology, provided a presentation about the issues with viruses, specifically focusing on Coronaviruses. The next presentation was given by Emo Sajo, Professor, Director, Medical Physics, where he spoke about how viruses spread. Susanna Remold, Professor and Department Chair of Biological Science, spoke about the process of research and problem solving, by providing an example about the late 1960’s when the compound Triclosan (antibacterial component) was developed.
After learning about the problems related to Covid-19 and viruses, Tom Wilkes introduced the Ideation Activity. This activity allowed students and faculty to network in breakout rooms, while being able to think of their own problems and solutions related to the pandemic. Some of the ideas proposed were about how there is no treatment for this disease, how people are not following the CDC guidelines, how the spread has spikes in cases, and how it disrupted the processes of the economy and many industries.
After the problems were brainstormed, each group discussed possible solutions to the problems, as well as appropriate hypothesis for them. Once all the teams had a chance to discuss, the groups were brought back into the main event room.
Fred Martin facilitated the activity debrief, and each group got the chance to present their proposed solution to their defined COVID-19 problem. Each team shared creative ideas, such as using scorpion venom as a treatment and developed educational platforms about COVID-19.
Once every team had a chance to present, Dean Melikechi and Holly Butler provided a Q&A and closing remarks. Holly mentioned a “Call to Action” for all student participants – attending the upcoming final college competition events (the DCU Manning Innovation Contest Finals and the Francis College of Engineering Prototyping Finals), and how to apply to the 2021 DifferenceMaker $50,000 Idea Challenge which opens on Dec. 1.
Thank you to everyone who attended this event! And, a special thank you for the Kennedy College of Sciences and all Ideation Activity Room Facilitators:
Victor Alcantara, Senior, Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, DifferenceMaker Intern
Adam Basma, Junior, Manning School of Business, DifferenceMaker Intern
Iman Chahine, College of Education
Mazen El Ghaziri, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences
Michael Graves, Professor, Associate Chair, Department of Biology, Kennedy College of Sciences
Yeaharne Hout, Junior, Manning School of Business, DifferenceMaker Intern
Mark Hsu, College of Education
Carter Keough, Francis College of Engineering
Cathy Levey, College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Fred Martin, Professor, Computer Science, Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Undergraduate Studies, Kennedy College of Sciences
Foozieh Mirderikvand, Coordinator, Undergraduate Programs, Kennedy College of Sciences
Noureddine Melikechi, Dean, Kennedy College of Sciences
Susanna Remold, Professor, Department Chair, Biological Science, Kennedy College of Sciences
Erno Sajo, Professor, Director, Medical Physics, Kennedy College of Sciences
Brent Shell, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences
Neil Shortland, College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Tom Wilkes, Kennedy College of Sciences
Kelilah Wolkowicz, Francis College of Engineering
Susan Young, Kennedy College of Sciences
We look forward to seeing you again in future DifferenceMaker activities like the 2021 $50,000 DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge!
Questions? Send us an email at DifferenceMaker@uml.edu!