ASPPH Awards Student Innovation Lab Winners

ASPPH 2024 Innovation Lab Winners

Last week, undergraduate and graduate students from the Washington, DC-Baltimore area participated in a week-long design sprint to develop solutions to a public health challenge. The Public Health Innovation Lab culminated in a pitch competition at the 2024 ASPPH Annual Meeting for Academic Public Health, awarding $1,500 cash prize to the winning team, Healthy Eagles, for their innovative app, AU Eatz.

Guided by Sarah Axelson, Design Consultant, seven student teams from American University, the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GW), and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (Johns Hopkins) were introduced to human-centered design principles and processes. Teams of three worked through mapping the problem, sketching and selecting solutions, building a prototype, conducting user testing, and developing compelling storytelling about the solution.

On March 22, 2024, the teams pitched their innovations to the panel of judges that included:

  • Dr. Hilary Godwin, Professor and Dean, University of Washington School of Public Health
  • Dr. Perry Halkitis, Dean, Hunterdon Professor of Public Health & Health Equity, and Distinguished Professor, Rutgers School of Public Health
  • Dr. Ashish Joshi, Dean and Distinguished University Professor, University of Memphis School of Public Health
  • Dr. Laura Magana, President and CEO, ASPPH

The winning team, Healthy Eagles, consisting of three undergraduate students from American University – Tejasvi Hariharan, Shelton Fantroy, and Naila-Mareen Morris – addressed food insecurity and food waste on campus.

Two teams tied for the audience choice award:

  1. Team “The Masters,” consisting of undergraduate students from GW – Bria Rowe, Kate Mckown, and Sarah Shectman – developed “DocTalk,” an app designed to make healthcare accessible for college students.
  2. Team “Healgorithm,” comprised of graduate students from Johns Hopkins – Katya Saksena, Sharmini Rathakrishnan, and Yaseer Khanani – introduced “Scroll Troll”, an intervention to address social media addiction.

Additional innovation teams included:

  • Hassan Salih, Mazin Ali, and Maan Nazer (John Hopkins)
  • Fonthip Watcharaporn, Ellen Peprah, and Gleni-Kay Falloon (John Hopkins)
  • Anna Duncan, Goodness Adekoya, and Kerrie Barker, (John Hopkins)
  • Sana Murtaza Dayo, Farheen Zafar, and Joy Acha (John Hopkins)

Congratulations to all the teams who worked incredibly hard to develop their innovations throughout the week.