FAU Announces Winners of ‘COVID-19 Change Challenge’

COVID-19 Challenge

By brittany sylvestri | 5/5/2020

Florida Atlantic University has announced the winners of the COVID-19 Change Challenge organized by the Division of Research. Students were asked to submit their ideas of how to meet the demands of COVID-19 related issues for an opportunity to earn up to $2,000 to help implement that idea. 

“We know that it’s through an all-hands-on-deck effort with good science, innovation and hard work that we will beat back this pandemic,” said Daniel C. Flynn, Ph.D., vice president for research at FAU. “Great research ideas for tackling COVID-19 don’t come exclusively from high-level researchers with years of experience. These student winners show that they can contribute to the solutions.”

Sean Paz, a doctoral student from the Department of Biology in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, won for his project on optimizing the COVID-19 testing process to improve the methodology.

Elena McLaughlin, a doctoral student from the College of Education, was selected for her project on supporting fine motor skills development of young children with Autism spectrum disorder. 

Students Christy LaFlamme, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College; Alexia Betances, College for Design and Social Inquiry; Michelle Cunningham, College of Education; and Toluleke Famuyiwa, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, won for their project, “Keep Moving.” The idea is an online platform that engages the community and students with at home challenges, virtual volunteer hours, motivational segments, and mental health check-ins to stay connected during this pandemic.

Steven Shiba, first-year medical student from the Schmidt College of Medicine, won for his idea to build an individualized COVID-19 early detection and symptoms monitoring system.

For more information about the FAU’s Division of Research, click here.