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2023 Sustainability Institute Student Grants Awarded

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October 25, 2023

The Sustainability Institute (SI) is excited to announce the winners of the annual SI Student Grants for 2023. Eleven PhD, master’s and undergraduate students will receive up to $5,000 each for their own innovative research projects in the sustainability field. From agricultural communications to chemical engineering, each project has the potential to lead to groundbreaking advances in environment, energy, natural resources, economy and community resilience areas.  

  • ACEL PhD student Sherifat Alabi is researching the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in agriculture, specifically in farming. 
  • Laura Castellanos-Suarez is a PhD student studying food science and technology. Her research focuses on an innovative process to produce bioactive peptides from both poultry and dairy processing waste. 
  • Josephine Duffy, a master’s student in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, is studying the use of diverse native prairies in the recovery of degraded soils. 
  • Grace Gutierrez is an undergraduate student studying forest ecosystem science, evolution and ecology. Her research focuses on mycorrhizal fungi’s response to nurse plant dynamics, as well as climate warming in the Subarctic Alpine Tundra.
  • An undergraduate student studying molecular genetics, Zoltan Hartmus’ research revolves around sustainable biohydrogen production in engineered micro-algae.
  • Meen Wook Jung is a PhD student studying city and regional planning, with research focusing on thermal equity. Specifically, Jung’s research compares the relationship between municipal greening efforts and the deterioration of urban climate justice. 
  • PhD student Khyati Malik studies agricultural, environmental and development economics. Malik’s research is geared toward carbon sequestration through land use changes in the Great Lakes region.
  • Brittany Multer, a PhD student studying environment and natural resources, is researching carbon sequestration via concrete carbonation in the soil.
  • Wanderson Novais is a PhD student studying horticulture and crop science. Novais is researching elucidating water temperature and nitrogen sources on nitrate leaching, as well as corn growth after flooding. 
  • A PhD student studying food, agriculture and biological engineering, Jaden Tatum is investigating renewably powered small-scale agricultural electrification for sustainable development on local and global scales. 
  • Samantha Turner is an undergraduate student studying mechanical engineering. Turner’s research is focused on solar array replacement. 

A team of reviewers from SI, campus sustainability offices and SI core faculty worked together to select the funded projects.

We are excited to fund a wide variety of creative student sustainability projects through this year’s grant program. It is our privilege to have the opportunity to partner with these students as they pursue sustainability solutions on our campuses and in our communities,” Gina Jaquet, director of sustainability education and learning for the Sustainability Institute said.

The 2024 Sustainability Institute student grant process will open at the start of spring semester 2024. All students attending Ohio State, regardless of academic year or campus, are encouraged to apply. For more information, contact Gina Jaquet.

Story by Reily Jacobs Bell, student communications intern

Story image used under license from terra.incognita,