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Invitation to Award Ceremony 2023

Posted by Quinn Connolly on November 26, 2023

Dear Friend of the Reimagine our Future sustainability competition,


Thank you for your fantastic support for the 2023 Reimagine our Future competition as a participant, specialist advisor, judge, sponsor, media representative, or interested person. This year we had a record number of 243 participants and 44 submissions from 10 higher education institutions.

The roughly 100 initial judges have reviewed the submissions, provided comments which will be sent to the teams, and selected 12 finalists. (The list of finalists is available below this message.) These teams or individuals will briefly present their projects during an award ceremony on Saturday Dec. 2, 2023, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (US Central Time). The winners of nine awards totaling US$7,000 will be announced after the presentations.  

Professor Kelvin Droegemeier will be the guest speaker at this event. UIUC’s Student Sustainability Committee will conduct the ceremonies.

You are cordially invited to join us in-person if you are in the vicinity of the UIUC. The ceremony will take place in Room 4031 of UIUC’s Campus Instructional Facility. We will serve refreshments from 10:45 a.m. and a light lunch after the ceremony.

If you cannot join us in-person, you are invited to join the award ceremony via Zoom:

Please be so kind to respond to this invitation by completing the following poll before Thursday Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. (US Central Time).

Thank you again for your support. We look forward to thanking you on Dec. 2 and are confident that you will be impressed by the students’ outstanding projects.


Yours sincerely,

Leon Liebenberg (Teaching Professor, Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, UIUC) 

Warren Lavey (Adjunct Professor, College of Law, School of Earth, Society & Environment, and College of Medicine, UIUC) 

Robert McKim (Emeritus Professor, Department of Religion, UIUC) 
Codie Sterner (Coordinator, Student Sustainability Committee, UIUC) 


(Reimagine Our Future co-founders and coordinating committee)



(In alphabetical order of the team leaders’ last names)

Arshia Ajmera, Keerthana Nallamotu (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Accessible screening for preeclampsia

Muskaan Alimchandani (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Vrddhi Sthan – A brighter future for Dharavi

Brandon Baron, Whitney Fowler, Shito Ito, Ada Moy, Gwynne McGrady (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Parking lot permaculture

Karmyn Flesch, Nadia Wilson, Emily Rhodes, Gabriella Sanchez (University of Illinois, Springfield) – Zero food waste

Amy Jurkowski, Matthew Nowlan, Liesl Schrag, Aiden Sup (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Renewable energy-supported housing and opportunities for immigrants

Iryna Maistrenko (International Humanitarian University, Ukraine) – Organization of organic farming during the war in Ukraine

Margot O'Malley, Tom George, Jasper Nord (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Grounds for nutrition

Manan Sanghavi (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Optimizing resource efficiency by digitizing receipt processes

Jamie Scimeca, Xiang Fei Heah (University of Birmingham) – Light-water small modular reactor

Advay Sudarshan, Patrick Harsono, Jesse Wei, Hugo Ji (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Polyester upcycling and fiber composite furniture

Hlib Vakumenko (Vienna University of Economics and Business) – Transform food waste into improved dietary nutrition

Charles Wheeler, Lucas Baronello, Saharra Murphy, Caila Riggs, Michelle Check (University of Illinois, Springfield) – Farm to School: a shared investment for a healthier future