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Kent State Team Awarded $15,000 for Sustainability Design Competition

A team of Kent State University students and faculty has been awarded a $15,000 grant as part of a
sustainability design competition funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Last year, a group of faculty representing three disciplines — biology, geology and
architecture/environmental design — submitted an application for the EPA’s People, Prosperity and the
Planet (P3) grant competition. The P3 competition encourages college students to design innovative
projects outside of the classroom in order to support the sustainability of the planet.
The Kent State P3 team will present its sustainability plan to a panel of qualified judges in Washington, D.C.,
in April. If the Kent State team is chosen as the winner of the competition, it will be awarded up to an
additional $75,000 to implement its program.
“I think this type of grant exemplifies everything we’re meant to do as faculty at a research institution,”
says Anne Jefferson, assistant professor of geology in Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences. “It really
mixes teaching and research. We’re not teaching in a formal classroom setting, but working with a group of
students and doing innovative scholarship at the same time.”
There is at least one undergraduate student and one graduate student representing the majors of biology,
geology and architecture/environmental design. Chris Blackwood, an associate professor in Kent State’s
Department of Biological Sciences, says that the students volunteered their time to make the team what it is
“We anticipated eight students and wound up with about 20,” says Reid Coffman, associate professor from
the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. “I think a lot of people were really interested in the
project and became excited about it.”
Students have been working and researching since the beginning of the fall semester. Faculty meet with
students weekly to discuss ideas and attempt to combine, edit and eventually finalize the plan, which will be
representative of the students’ diversified fields and levels of knowledge.
“I wanted to get a taste of working with people who understand things other than architecture,” says Max
Wagner, an architecture and urban design graduate student in the College of Architecture and
Environmental Design. “It gives me the chance to get a handle on things that I wouldn’t otherwise know
For more information about Kent State’s submission,
For more information about the EPA’s P3 competition, visit
Posted Oct. 27, 2014 | Samantha Tuly