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Creating connections all year
A look back at SU Showcase 2011  

2011 Showcase Fellows announced

April 19, 2011

An eclectic field of SU Showcase Fellows will present their original research and projects relating to sustainability at SU Showcase 2011, “Sustainability for a Livable Future,” in the Schine Student Center on May 2.

The works of 16 fellows will be featured at this year’s event. These Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry students/groups were chosen to share their projects because of their timely and relevant topics. The academic works range from food and green buildings to the media’s influence on creating sustainable behaviors, as well as a host of other imaginative topics in between.

Thirty five undergraduate and graduate students in 16 different departments, representing seven schools and colleges at SU and SUNY-ESF, applied for the limited number of Showcase Fellows spots.

Both the campus community and the general public are invited to visit the Schine Student Center on May 2 to explore the SU Showcase attractions, as well as learn about the Showcase Fellows’ projects and celebrate their good works.

This year’s selected fellows, including brief descriptions of their projects, are listed below according to several underlying Showcase themes:

SUSTENANCE (food, water, health)

    • Food and sustainability on campus: “Eating green on the Orange campus”
      By Lorenz Chiu, Samantha Birsen and Anna Wu
      Measuring and influencing student perceptions of sustainability and meat consumption.
    • Health for all: Development of an infrastructure-appropriate system for sterilizing medical consumables in rural equatorial regions
      By Thomas Law
      Developing a prototype solar-powered steam sterilizer with an integrated vacuum drying system for medical use in remote areas of the developing world.
    • Aquaponics
      By Kevin Phu, Dorian Kessler and Michael Amadori
      Developing a pilot-scale aquaponics unit that combines aquaculture with hydroponics.

STUFF (recycling, reuse, rethinking materials)

    • Reimagining trash
      By Elisabeth Terrio
      Connecting objects with reuse potential with people who will reuse the objects for repurposed products for small businesses.
    • Multifunctional portable thermos mug
      By Bochao Wang, Li Han
      Designing a prototype solar-powered portable mug that can be stretched and folded easily.
    • Low-impact art: Costuming an opera
      By Timothy Westbrook
      Creating costumes by using as much post-consumer material as possible.

LIFESTYLES (sustainable behaviors, attitudes, policies)

    • Can green TV make us greener? The appeal and effectiveness of environmental TV programs at promoting pro-environmental behaviors among individuals with different attitudes
      By Katelyn Kirnan
      Determining the effects of environmental TV programming on attitudes and beliefs.
    • The underrepresented student’s access to sustainability in the post-secondary education experience
      By Andrea M. Webster
      Understanding the relationship between race and socioeconomic status and access to sustainability education.
    • Sustainable tourism: Oxymoron or just an incredible challenge?
      By Roman Yavich
      Researching the sustainability of tourism development from the various viewpoints of the stakeholders of this industry.

INFRASTRUCTURE (urban and built environment)

    • Myco-tecture
      By Scott D. Bascom
      Investigating the potential of using Mycelium from fungus as a sustainable building material.
    • Green roofs: How they affect water quality
      By George Segré
      Studying the green roof on the Syracuse Center of Excellence building in order to quantify the effects of a green roof on water quality.


    • Energy-harvesting door
      By Byron Golub
      Developing a mechanical attachment that can harvest the energy that people use when they open normal swing doors.

THE ANTHROPOCENE ERA (human impacts on natural ecosystems)

    • Respiration in soil microbial communities
      By Peter Chuckran
      Investigating the factors that could affect CO2 respiration rates of soil microbes, which can shed light on feedback loops affecting climate change.
    • Permafrost in a changing world
      By Rachel Valletta, Emily Romano and Corey Lefebvre
      Researching the effects that melting permafrost can have on both a global and regional scale, including those that extend beyond mere scientific research and have major societal and economic impacts.
    • The DS (Disaster Solutions) Project: Onondaga Lake
      By Misha Rabinovich, Caitlin Foley, Maximilian Bauer and Jennifer Chan
      The Disaster Solutions (DS) Institute aims to provide the Syracuse community with artistic projects and presentations that illuminate critical local environmental issues. The group's first project focuses on Onondaga Lake. Through sculpture, poster exhibitions, lectures and video, the DS Institute provides a variety of information and interpretations of the history, current dynamic and planned future of the lake's ecosystem.

ART FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE (an art exhibit in Menschel Gallery)

    • Das meer
      By Elin Sandberg
      Creating artwork that combines plastic with clay, paper pulp, weaving, basket coiling and wood to produce a hand netted, recycled cloth oceanic algorithm.

Click here for more detailed descriptions of the Showcase Fellows and their projects. In addition to being featured at SU Showcase, the fellows will have their work published on the Showcase website as part of an online anthology of student research on sustainability.

SU Showcase 2011 will kick off with a morning “teach-in” on climate change. Dave Eichorn, meteorologist and current SUNY-ESF environmental studies graduate student, will conduct the teach-in breakfast presentation on the changing climate of Central New York. An expo of student work by the Showcase Fellows and student-produced exhibits on the “Anthropocene Era” and “Visions for a Sustainable Future” will highlight the daylong Showcase activities. Experts on creative, visual approaches to understanding global warming will present the evening program. For the complete detailed SU Showcase 2011 schedule visit

There are still a limited number of opportunities to participate in SU Showcase, and more event volunteers are needed to help set up and run the day’s activities. For more information visit

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