Highlights of the 2022 Sustainability & Energy Expo
Each year, the Sustainability & Energy Expo brings together students from across the University of Minnesota system to present about their interesting and important work on various sustainability projects, research, artwork, and other ideas. The 2022 Expo was no exception, featuring topics ranging from food sovereignty to a plastic circular economy.
Although each of the presentations provided valuable information and perspectives on sustainability topics, several presentations were selected by judges to win the top prizes across the lightning talk, creative works, and poster categories. The lightning talk winners were Srna Zafirovska with her presentation “SDG 4: Rethinking Relevance in Education,” Nicole Witt with her presentation on her capstone project to create a framework for reuse or recycling of materials from deconstruction of buildings in Minnesota, Ranjani Hariharan and Carly Dorion with their presentation on campus food insecurity, and Isaac Mastalski with his presentation “Promoting a plastic circular economy through pyrolysis.” In the creative works category, Ella Rodewald received the top award for her digital photomontage, “The Providence of Profit.” The winner of the poster category was a group presentation about investigating food sovereignty at the White Earth Reservation, presented by Rawan Algahtani, Diego Juarez, Anjali Muppidi, Ella Rodewald, and Mia Schwartz.
Following student presentations, we were joined by threel local experts in sustainability, energy, and environmental justice for the closing panel, a Sustainability & Energy Expo tradition. This year’s panelists included Amy Fredregill, senior director of sustainability at WSB; Bula Wayessa, African American and African Studies faculty at the College of Liberal Arts, UMTC; and Zam Zam Musse, project manager for the Advanced Grid Initiative at Xcel Energy. The panelists encouraged students to find ways to fit sustainability and environmental justice into their work, no matter what fields or positions they find themselves in.
“The Providence of Profit,” photomontage by Ella Rodewald.
The Sustainability & Energy Expo is co-hosted each year by the UMN Energy Club and Sustainability Education at the Institute on the Environment. It is the Energy Club’s involvement that makes the Expo a truly student-driven experience. This year, the event was co-sponsored by the College of Biological Sciences, the College of Design, the University of Minnesota Rochester, the Office of Sustainability at the University of Duluth, the College of Science and Engineering, and the Institute for Advanced Study.
Thank you to all who presented, attended, judged, and helped promote the 2022 Sustainability & Energy Expo! We hope you’ll consider joining us again next year.