Meet the 2019 Fowler GSIC USD Showcase Finalists (Part One)

Meet the 2019 Fowler GSIC USD Showcase Finalists (Part One)

Eleven University of San Diego semifinalist teams are getting ready to compete for two USD spots in the $50,000 Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge that takes place in mid-June. To secure this opportunity, each team will give a 90-second pitch of their idea during the May 3 USD Student Showcase in the Kroc School's Institute for Peace and Justice Theatre. Teams are vying for up to $10,000 in seed funding and to be eligible to compete against college student teams from more than 25 universities worldwide.

April24-Fowler GSIC USD Teams

Each entrant in the Fowler GSIC, which is run by USD's Center for Peace and Commerce, has to align their idea to one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In most cases, the USD entrants’ ideas tend to connect to more than one goal.

To learn about the USD semifinalists, the USD News Center is running a capsule look at the 11 USD teams in a two-part series. The first six teams are spotlighted below and the remaining five will be showcased on May 1. The photo slideshow above goes in order of how the teams are presented below.

Team 1: Kite

Team Members/Major or Program: Julia Stewart, graduate student in the Master of Arts in Social Innovation (MASI), Kroc School; and Nisreen Al Sabie, graduate student in the MASI program.

UN Sustainability Development Goal/Objective: This team’s objective is to create more empathy for justice-involved individuals. One way to help those released from the justice system and reincorporated into society is to create a magazine that empowers people inside and outside of prison to see each other differently. Goal numbers 3, 5, 10. 

Team 2: LifeBox

Team Members/Major or Program: Charles Bullard, undergraduate in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering; Mikhail Mabourakh, Finance, School of Business; Kyle Duffy, International Business, School of Business; and Matteo Hernandez, Mechanical Engineering.

UN Sustainability Development Goal/Objective: This completely undergraduate student team wants to address the need for temporary emergency housing after a natural disaster occurs. Their ideal concept wants to lower the cost, enhance safety standards and by doing this project, foster a sense of community through service. Furthermore, Bullard will be presenting the LifeBox concept at the 2019 USD Venture Vetting (V2) Pitch Competition as a finalist on the night of April 25 in the IPJ Theatre. Goal numbers 3, 9. 

Team 3: Stride

Team Members/Major or Program: Grace O’Brien, undergraduate in International Business, School of Business; Tyler Schiller, undergraduate in Business Administration; and Camille Morales in Biology, College of Arts and Sciences.

UN Sustainability Development Goal/Objective: These three undergraduate students want to reduce high-level waste in the running shoe industry through a recycling effort. Learn more about their idea at the USD Student Showcase on May 3. Goal numbers 9, 12. 

Team 4: Pyggy

Team Members/Major or Program: Ana Dominguez, graduate student in the Master of Arts in Social Innovation (MASI), Kroc School.

UN Sustainability Development Goal/Objective: Dominguez wants to develop a better financial literacy education model to help international youth in countries such as Colombia, Brazil and Mexico. Goal number 4. 

Team 5: Re:Fresh Smoothies

Team Members/Major or Program: Austin Hirsh, undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering.

UN Sustainability Development Goal/Objective: Food rescue to reduce food waste. Hirsh, a 2018 Venture Vetting (V2) Pitch Competition finalist with a different project, wants to reduce food waste by using dehydrated fruit and water to create food packets that can be turned into fruit smoothies. Goal numbers 2, 9, 12.

Team 6: Athlete Initiative

Team Members/Major or Program: Amy Kame, '14 USD undergraduate, graduate student in the Master of Arts in Leadership Studies, School of Leadership and Education Sciences and Robbie Beyer, graduate student in the new Master’s in Business Analytics, School of Business.

UN Sustainability Development Goal/Objective: This team is addressing the mishandling of sexual assault cases at the university level, especially those involving student-athletes. Their objective is to develop specially tailored programs for athletic departments to help educate their athletes. Kame is a former USD women’s basketball player and a graduate assistant coach for the program. Goal numbers 3, 5.

— Ryan T. Blystone

Photos provided by USD's Center for Peace and Commerce

The remaining five USD Student Showcase teams — Taiya, Lyme Light Monologues, Brothers Reborn, One Digital World and QuakeSafe — will be spotlighted May 1. 

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