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December 13, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Winners named in inaugural Commodore Cup challenge

The first-ever design thinking initiative focused on proposed sustainability improvements for Vanderbilt University’s campus. 

The Wond’ry, Vanderbilt’s Center for Innovation, has announced the winning teams in its two-track Commodore Cup, a first-ever design thinking challenge that was funded through one of Vanderbilt’s Sesquicentennial Grants. The focus was on proposed sustainability improvements for Vanderbilt’s campus.

Track one involved transportation, and asked how Vanderbilt might re-think and re-design the recruitment and onboarding process to encourage the use of sustainable transportation modes and make daily parking the easiest choice for new employees. Team EZ, composed of second-year students Elizabeth Tucker and Emma Williams, took first place with their proposal to ‘Change the Infrastructure Before the Options’, which would consist of a mandatory Vanderbilt staff/faculty education module to be completed at onboarding and flexible arrival and departure times for the transportation arrangements.

The second track explored the creation of an interactive dashboard to encourage Vanderbilt’s many stakeholders to engage with the university’s commitment to climate action. Team Motivation to Direct Action, made up of third-year student Emily Qian, second-year student Layne Foeder, and second-year master’s student Manda Li, captured first place for their interactive and colorful sustainability dashboard, which allows for clear breakdowns in any area the user might want to click and explore.

Both teams won a $2,500 cash prize.

Click here to learn more about the program.


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