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BUCKEYE LEADERSHIP FELLOWS CAPSTONE PROJECTS BLF 2021 cohort

Noor Alshafie & Ishan Patel - Coronavirus and Philanthropy: How the Pandemic Has Shaped the Landscape of Giving

Noor and Ishan looked into and presented on how COVID-19 is shaping donor attitudes for giving and how nonprofits are responding to the pandemic. They found that 79% of individuals are increasing or maintaining a donation amount to a nonprofit during this time. Reflective of national trends, Columbus nonprofit organizations such as BuckeyeThon, The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, and The Columbus Foundation have seen success, both financially and socially, in reaching out to those in need during this time.

Antaraa Anandan & Max Clowdus - Engineering and Tech for Underserved Communities

This project promotes tech education (basic computer skills and coding) in underserved Columbus communities through career exploration and guest speakers, after school programs, and partnering with organizations such as After School All-Stars and Boys and Girls Club. This project was influenced by the room for improvement in the area of diversity within major tech companies.

Kritagya Arora: Conscious by Panda

Project Panda by Conscious is a yet-to-be-named app that seeks to alleviate the pain points associated with accessing ethic grocery items: these include lack of availability at local stores, difficulty accessing ethnic stores, and the scarcity of online delivery options. The Ethnic Supermarket Industry brings in $44.3B but has yet to capture the full benefits of utilizing electronic commerce. While supporting local businesses, students, foodies, and immigrants, the app would follow B2B and B2C financial models through app setup and maintenance fees, fixed delivery rates, a subscription model, and mark-up on items.

Emily Bethhauser & Joanne Cheng - Faci: Company Overview and Next Steps

Founded in 2018, Faci Beauty is a Columbus-based social enterprise that upcycles coffee into exfoliating espresso soap bars. With funding from local organizations and the community, Faci Beauty’s founders hope to divert a portion of the 960,000 pounds of coffee grounds that make it into landfills each day. Despite the effects of the pandemic, the founders are hopeful and optimistic about the direction that Faci Beauty is heading.

Anna Czulno - Adaptive Healthcare Environments

Because of long wait times, high-traffic, and other unpredictable variables such as extensive paperwork, this project emphasizes the different ways that healthcare facilities can adapt in order to make individuals with autism more comfortable while in the waiting room. The solution—sensory waiting rooms—could incorporate color, brightness, child-friendly considerations, interactive exhibits, nontraditional seating, area to move around, reduced flow of traffic, etc.

Fatima Dahir - Refugee Resettlement Through Storytelling

Inspired by her mother’s life and story, Fatima is in the process of compiling an anthology of poems, short stories, essays, and other pieces—all written by the immigrant community members in Columbus. Her project has already received support and entries from a local mosque, Project USA, a Columbus Buddhist center, and she hopes to collect student submissions over these next few months. Knowing that immigrant voices need to be heard now more than ever, Fatima has plans to publish this collection of writings in August of 2021.

Chuck Downing - Study Design of Optimal College Class Characteristics

Chuck’s main objective is to identify classroom factors that are most associated with high student ratings, as existing research includes methodology gaps, old data, the absence of several classroom factors, and a lack of substantive analytical procedures. Chuck’s ideal data set would include student evaluation data at the university or college level, seven predictors (% of grade assigned to exams, mandatory attendance, cold calling, % of grade assigned to participation, presentations, assigned seating, and group work), numerical ratings as response variables, a set of controls, and a large data set, across multiple years.

Maddie Fogarty - Bringing Brené Brown to OSU

Maddie would like Brené Brown—a renowned researcher, professor, and storyteller—to spend two weeks at Ohio State interacting with those in the University and the Columbus community. Some ideas for programming include interviewing top leadership at Ohio State around what it means to lead with vulnerability and courage, teaching to social work or leadership studies students, and hosting a book club with the Columbus community and/or Ohio State Alumni Association.

Sydney Green - Black Woman Series

Sydney’s personal experience with Lupus created a desire to document her journey and struggles with the chronic illness. She points out that although the illness is most common in Black women, she has not come into contact with many of them. With an awareness that everyone has unique experiences, Sydney wants to provide a platform for Black woman to connect and feel represented, as well as, supported.

Peter Hayden - Youth Sports Program x Sherwood Wiffle Ball World Series

Through the already established Sherwood Wiffle Ball World Series, Peter hopes to create a free community sports program that “provides a variety of safe and inexpensive sports experiences and equipment to children who don’t have the opportunity to play youth sports, valuing participation and experience over competition”. This project will acquire funding through local organizations, national initiatives, and existing community ties.

Luke Isler - Building Bridges Across the Welfare/Self-Sufficiency Gap

The goal of Luke’s program is to build bridges to financial self-sufficiency for those who are in a cycle of poverty. The approach would include job training and a comprehensive loan for food, rent, clothes, and daycare. What makes this model unique is the low monthly premiums, the lack of interest rates, renegotiable terms, and that every dollar paid back goes to new clients.

Duncan MacKenzie - Brutus Alumni Book

Inspired by the history of Brutus Buckeye, Duncan has the hope to create a Brutus Alumni Book. This book would consist of a collection of stories from alumni and the book’s proceeds would go towards scholarships.

Connor Rash - Solo Manufacturing

Connor’s solution to local and national issues with recycling plastics is to create a classroom/office furniture manufacturing business for universities that produces furniture out of post-consumer plastic waste such as recycled and refined water bottles. This creates ability to upcycle--transforming previous waste from single use plastics into new and effective products through 3D printing and other traditional manufacturing methods.

Anand Shah - SmileChild

“SmileChild is a Columbus-based organization that fights infant mortality by supporting infants and families with information and resources. Our iOS learning platform is composed of incentive driven learning modules on infant care topics”. This app was created to combat the high and steady number of preventable infant deaths that occur in the Columbus area.

Akilah Smith - Technowlogy: A Combat to Recidivism

Akilah’s program is designed for incarcerated people serving non violent sentences greater than 10 years and deals with recidivism—a person’s tendency to relapse into undesirable behavior, specifically after serving time in the criminal justice system. Participants will learn about and interact with the latest technology systems to get comfortable with new technology uses before reentering society. After this, participants who are apart of the program leading up to their release date will be recommended for hire at Best Buy, a company that hires felons, with references.

Denasan Spalla - OSU Pre-Veterinary Internship Program

Denasan’s idea is to create an on-campus rotational internship program for veterinary students at Ohio State. This internship experience would eliminate the need for further transportation, allow students to interact with and meet possible future instructors, and provide students the opportunity to explore the #4 ranked Veterinary Medicine Program in the United States. In addition to these benefits, internships increase job offers by 16%, salaries by 9-12%, increase the likelihood of acceptance into graduate programs, and provide career insight.

Michael Tsou - Lotus : Asian American Mentorship

Lotus stands for love, overcome, trust, unite, and success, and is a mentorship program for Asian American students. This program emphasizes identity, the power of connection, success through guidance, and empowering young students to make informed decisions.

Jayson Velasquez - Reconstruye Q

Jayson’s project goals are to decrease the levels of anxiety and depression that disproportionately impact LGBTQ+ older adults, increase food sustainability and food access among these adults in Puerto Rico, and to gather wide-scale support for Waves Ahead and the LGBTQ+ older adults community. These goals will be accomplished through the upscaling of a pre-existing Dirt Therapy Program, the construction of two rooftop gardens, and community education and expansive marketing.

Ansley Watkins - Environmental Education Kits for Columbus City Schools

Early exposure to nature provides chances for positive relationships with nature and future solutions to current problems, allows for physical benefits, and fosters problem-solving skills, social skills, self-regulation skills, and creativity. Many students at Columbus City Schools lack exposure to natural, physical environments and Ansley’s project aims to relieve some of that disparity through elementary environmental education. This solution would include a visit to the School of Environment and Natural Resources with a focus area of the students’ choice, a pre-packaged kit to use during their visit and afterwards at school.

Jordan Williams - Pain Relief: Pharmacological vs. Nonpharmacological Interventions

Jordan shared information regarding opioid use disorders and deaths, encouraging a shift to nonpharmacological interventions (visual, audial, and tactile distraction, hot or cold therapy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, etc.) to address pain. This would reduce the average length of stay and decreased recurrence of hospitalizations, provide a more pleasant and less painful experience for the patient, decrease contribution to opioid crisis and substance dependence, and increase patient compliance.