Three teams of Appalachian State University students were selected during the October 25 Boone Discovery Forum to attend a Leadership Symposium in Raleigh in March 2017.
The students were selected by audience vote from a field of ten, pre-selected teams that were given five minutes to pitch an idea or venture to make Boone a better place.
A record 190 attendees participated in the event, and the winning students were:
- Sustainable technology master's students Emil De Jong and Kevin Burgess for their idea, The Absurdity of Pooping in Potable Water
Concept: In a world where safe drinking water is scarce we are pooping in ours. Using water has become so routine that most of us don't think twice before flushing our toilets. Our goal is to interrupt the flow by implementing fully tested, low-cost, water reuse systems starting within the local community.
- Senior marketing major Matt Zothner for his idea, Roots
Concept: Roots is a platform that allows students to voice their opinions on local campus issues and allows them to create solutions for these issues; it allows open communication between the university and its student body because it is run by the university
- Hospitality and tourism management senior Sage Buccafurri, MBA student Ethan Downs, and Scholars with Diverse Abilities Program student Mieszko Kwiatkowski won for their idea Creative Unbound
Concept: Working with Scholars with Diverse Abilities on campus to repurpose artwork into merchandise to be sold online, Creative Unbound will provide young adults with intellectual disabilities a way to integrate with their community, put their natural talents to work, and earn income as they graduate from available support programs.
Next March, the students will travel to Raleigh to participate in networking, training, and skills development from North Carolina's leaders in innovation, and the chance to win a mini grant of $10,000.
The 2016 Boone Discovery Forum is hosted by the BB&T Student Leadership Center, the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship and the Institute of Emerging Issues at NC State.
The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) and BB&T partnered to create the initial Discovery Forum in Raleigh during the fall of 2011. The mission of the Discovery Forum is to develop the leadership potential of young adults in North Carolina. In 2015, IEI and BB&T expanded the reach of the Discovery Forum program by organizing Discovery Forums in six cities across North Carolina, including Boone.
About the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is a crucial tool for economic development, especially in Western North Carolina, where many traditional industries have declined in recent years. The future economic development of Western North Carolina is critically related to the region's ability to grow from within. As a reflection, student interest in entrepreneurship is growing at Appalachian, and the Walker College of Business is committed to fostering students' entrepreneurial energy and ambition. With support from the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial-minded students create and launch businesses through an accelerator program in Peacock Hall and receive hands-on advice and experience through co-curricular and outreach programs.
About the BB&T Student Leadership Center
The BB&T Student Leadership Center provides opportunities for business students to build career skills through professional and leadership development training. The center provides career services with personalized coaching and support to business students as they prepare for a career beyond Appalachian. The center serves as a link between students and employment recruiters and alumni, and it provides programs and services to assist students as they develop professionally inside and outside of the classroom. Services offered include mentoring, leadership case competitions, career counseling, resume development, internship placement assistance, job search strategies, mock interviewing and salary negotiation training. Through services provided by the center, 92 percent of 2014-15 Walker College of Business graduates successfully reached their first professional destination.