President’s Prizes Unveiled

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Twelve graduating seniors were awarded the 2022 President’s Engagement, Innovation, and Sustainability Prizes, which provide $100,000 in funding for projects designed to make a positive, lasting difference in the world. Each team member also receives a $50,000 living stipend and mentorship from a Penn faculty member. Here are this year’s winning projects:


PRESIDENT’S ENGAGEMENT PRIZES

Cosmic Writers | Rowana Miller C’22 and Manoj Simha W’22 will provide free creative writing education and develop literacy and communication skills for K–12 students across the US, regardless of their socioeconomic background. Mentor: Al Filreis, the Kelly Family Professor of English in the School of Arts & Sciences.

College Green Ventures | Seungkwon Son C’22 W’22, Max Strickberger C’22, and Sam Strickberger C’22 are building an organization that aims to be a centralized hub for supporting student social entrepreneurs—and creating more of them. Mentor: Tyler Wry, associate professor of management at Wharton.


PRESIDENT’S INNOVATION PRIZE

Grapevine | William Kohler Danon C’22 and Lukas Achilles Yancopoulos C’22 EAS’22 will offer a software solution and networking platform to connect small-to-medium-sized businesses across the healthcare supply chain. The two friends previously ran a venture that delivered $20 million of healthcare supplies to frontline workers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mentor: David F. Meaney, the Solomon R. Pollack Professor of Bioengineering and senior associate dean of Penn Engineering.


INAUGURAL PRESIDENT’S SUSTAINABILITY PRIZES

Shinkei Systems | Saif Khawaja W’21 will continue to grow his startup, which builds robots to minimize fish waste and maximize their shelf life, ensuring that every fish caught makes it to a plate. Mentor: Jacqueline Kirtley, assistant professor of management at Wharton.

EcoSPIN | Sarah Beth Gleeson EE’22, Shoshana Weintraub EAS’22, and Julia Yan EAS’22 GEng’22 created an innovative device that captures microfibers from synthetic clothes during a typical laundry cycle, protecting oceans and waterways from pollution. Mentor: Karen I. Winey, the Harold Pender Professor of Engineering and Applied Science.

The Community Grocer | Eli Moraru C’21 aims to promote health equity and fight food insecurity in Philadelphia by reimagining the local corner store as a nonprofit community market and education center with EBT-accessible meal solutions. Mentor: Akira Drake Rodriguez, assistant professor in the Stuart Weitzman School of Design’s Department of City and Regional Planning.

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