Seven College Students Among Class of 2022 President’s Prizes Winners

Penn Arts & Sciences

Penn Interim President Wendell Pritchett has announced the recipients of the 2022 President’s Engagement, Innovation, and Sustainability Prizes, including seven students from the College of Arts & Sciences. Awarded annually, the Prizes empower Penn students to design and undertake post-graduation projects that make a positive, lasting difference in the world. Each winning project will receive $100,000, as well as a $50,000 living stipend per team member.

Four College seniors were recipients of the 2022 President’s Engagement Prize. They are Rowana Miller, C’22, for Cosmic Writers; and Seungkwon Son, C’22, W’22; Max Strickberger, C’22; and Sam Strickberger, C’22, for College Green Ventures. Two seniors received the President’s Innovation Prize: William Kohler Danon, C’22, and Lukas Achilles Yancopoulos, C’22, EAS’22, for Grapevine. The inaugural President’s Sustainability Prize has been awarded to five students, including Eli Moraru, C’21, for his project, the Community Grocer.

“This year’s Prize recipients have selflessly dedicated themselves to improving environmental, health, and educational outcomes for others,” said Pritchett. “From empowering young people through free creative writing education to building robotics that minimize fish waste to reducing microfiber pollution in the ocean, these outstanding and inspiring projects exemplify the vision and passion of our Penn students, who are deeply committed to making a positive difference in the world.”

The 2022 prize recipients—selected from an applicant pool of 71 people—will spend the next year implementing the following projects:

Cosmic Writers - Rowana Miller, C’22, and Manoj Simha, W’22
Miller, a sociology major from New York City, and Simha, an economics major from Seattle, will provide equitable opportunities for free creative writing education to K-12 students across the United States, available regardless of socioeconomic background. Their nonprofit, Cosmic Writers, is a transformative tool for developing literacy, communication skills, and a passion for words.

College Green Ventures - Seungkwon Son, W’22, C’22, Max Strickberger, C’22, and Sam Strickberger, C’22
Son, a double major in business analytics in the Wharton School and psychology in the College, from Allentown, Pennsylvania, along with English major Max Strickberger and Sam Strickberger, an intellectual history major, both from Chevy Chase, Maryland, will build out College Green Ventures, an organization that aims to be a centralized hub for supporting student social entrepreneurs and creating more of them.

Grapevine - William Kohler Danon, C’22, and Lukas Achilles Yancopoulos, C’22, EAS’22
Danon, a history major from Miami, and Yancopoulos, an environmental studies major in the College and a bioengineering major in Penn Engineering from Yorktown Heights, New York, will work to increase resilience across the health care supply chain, with a particular focus on small-to-medium businesses. Grapevine builds upon Danon and Yancopoulos’s inspiring work with Pandemic Relief Supply, a venture that delivered $20 million of health care supplies to frontline workers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Community Grocer - Eli Moraru, C’21
Moraru, a December 2021 graduate of the College from Washington, D.C., will continue to work on The Community Grocer, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization reimagining nutritional assistance to promote health equity and fight food insecurity.

To read the full announcement, click here.


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