By Craig Lawson, International Programs
PULLMAN, Wash. – University partnerships, education and practical application for dealing with plastic waste in Manaus, Brazil were addressed by the winning team in the fifth Washington State University Global Case Competition April 10.
“This experience shows how WSU cares about enriching other people’s lives,” said Sara Dumit, a native of Brazil and member of the winning six-student team, Team Verde. Other team members are Washington natives.
Team Verde members will have the opportunity to travel to Brazil for further study. Along with the top prize, the teams that place first, second and third each receive scholarship money to be divided among members.
Five finalist teams were selected from 120 participants to compete before a panel of judges with global case solutions.
The winning solution was a three-phase process. Key components included partnering WSU with universities in Brazil to offer training and education in a new system for catadores (waste pickers) and the general population of Manaus.
Advanced phases proposed the idea of a “Green Week” in schools, a neighborhood pick-up program and classrooms built using plastic bottles.
“We were challenged to be out of our comfort zone with people on our team having different majors and backgrounds,” Dumit said.
Team Verde consists of: Dumit, pharmacy graduate student, WSU Spokane; Emma Henselbecker health policy administration graduate student, Spokane; Brandon Hernandez-Cantu, pre-med undergrad, Pullman; Emelia Stephan, international business undergrad, Pullman; Kimberly Rogers, zoology undergrad, Pullman; and Ivan Valdovinos, foreign languages and cultures undergrad, Pullman. The faculty advisor is M. Grant Norton of the Honors College.