Student Stories

Bringing UTI Conversations to Boynton: An Antibiotic Stewardship

UTI Education Group
[December 2018] Reem Elbasher, Rachel Grushan, Chetana Guthikonda, and Victoria Skolnick are working to prevent antibiotic resistance by increasing awareness about UTIs and how to treat them. Their first stop: Boynton Health.

Cup Deposit Project

Lauren Anderson thinks up a reusable cup system to combat single-use coffee cup waste at the U of M.

Cut the Crap!

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"Our project is the creation of a website that includes sustainability tips, DIYs, personal journey stories and ways to get involved from home during this pandemic. This website is a way to engage all people and ages in the sustainability movement and to inspire us all to change our actions." - Bella Bekos and Zoe Noel Pettit, May 2020

Downsizing Classrooms: The Future of Early Childhood Education

Michael Dahl Hallway
[January 2019] Michael Dahl shares his experience in GCC 3018 "What American Dream? Children of the Social Class Divide," his research into how classroom size impacts students, and the steps people are already taking to improve the future of childhood education.

EduCOWtion: Decreasing malnutrition and increasing school attendance through live cattle

abby knoble & maria soroka
[September 2018] Grand Challenge Curriculum interviewed Maria Soroka and Abby Knoble about Educowtion, their experiences piloting the program in Uganda, and the future of bringing live cattle into schools.

Fast Fashion: The Negative Impacts on Society and the Environment

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[May 2019] Fast fashion is the second-most polluting industry in the world after oil drilling. Gillian Innes, Cristina Toapanta, and Sabrina Southwick are working to bring transparency to fashion supply chains and spread awareness to consumers about their impact on the environment.

GCC 3001/5001 Artwork at Classroom to Community Workshop

GCC 30015001 Artwork
Students enrolled in GCC 3001/5001 had the opportunity to create artwork relating to their course topic: "Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It?" The interviews below are a small selection of projects featured at the Fall 2017 Classroom to Community Workshop.

Indigenous Solidarity in Mni Sota Makoce

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An exploration of what indigenous solidarity looks like and what it means to be a non-Dakota Indigenous person living on Dakota land.

Language Learning: Career enhancement or act of resistance to colonialism?

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Learning languages can be a valuable career move. But is there something more valuable in learning languages that are at risk of extinction?

Malaria Mortality Prevention in the East African Highlands

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To help mitigate the expanding global impact of malaria as result of climate change, with its associated increasing drug resistance, implementation of prompt and accurate diagnosis is needed to reduce mortality. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have been recognized as an ideal method for diagnosing malaria in east African Highlands the project is aimed at reducing malaria mortality through the use RDTs especially among pregnant women and children under the age of 5.

Mnisota Makhoche

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In this project, we explore what Mni Sota Makoche means to different people. With these perspectives, we then ask what it would mean to restore land back to the Dakota people.

Mukono Aging Community Health Initiative

Allison Berry, Allie Trask, and Anna Solfest are creating the Mukono Aging Community Health (MACH) Initiative in order to decrease social isolation and increase general well-being and quality of life for the aging population in Uganda.

Powering the University of Minnesota with 100% Renewable Energy

Andrea Veloira
[May 2019] Andrea Veloira and her teammates from GCC 3031/5031 are setting an example for Minnesota lawmakers by working toward 100% carbon-neutrality on University Of Minnesota campuses. 

Providing Prenatal Care and Nursery Programs to Incarcerated Mothers

Claire Anderson Widescreen
[February 2019] Claire Anderson and Maeve Sheridan from GCC 3018 work to raise awareness of the benefits of implementing nursery programs in prisons.

Representation and Resources for Science Fair Students

Amanda Polanski
[February 2019] Amanda Polanski shares her journey of helping three middle schoolers gear up for the science fair! Learn more about her experience in GCC 3026 as she addresses the lack of support and diversity in STEM.


Morgan Photo
Meet the creator of ShaqoSearch, a tailor-made job connection platform that matches young adults with applicable skills to employers with open positions in Kismayo, Somalia.

Side-Stepping White Fragility with Dignity

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Clips from conversations with a retired AP US History teacher about the treatment of Indigenous narratives in history, and our job as white people to not let these stories get buried. 

Single-Use Plastics in the R&D Laboratory Space

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We propose solutions to combat the stigma of sustainability being too much of a hassle, by focusing in on the plastics seen to be the least recyclable. 

Student Spotlight: Felicia Wolf

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Felicia Wolf explains how GCC 3003/5003 reaffirmed her belief that undergraduate students can make a difference.

Student Spotlight: Isabella Armour

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We sat down with Isabella Armour and learned what it's like to work with students from different majors.

Student Spotlight: Jesse Abelson

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We interviewed Jesse Abelson about his experience in GCC 3003/5003 and how he found inspiration in the classroom.

Student Spotlight: Nina Domingo

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Nina Domingo describes how Grand Challenge Curriculum changed her perspective on sustainability, and what we as humans can do to change the world.

Student Spotlight: Rebecca Leighton

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Public Health student Rebecca Leighton shares her experience in GCC 3001/5001: "Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It?" and discusses the power of collaboration in this exlusive interview.

University of Minnesota Truth Telling Tour

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Join two students on a Truth Telling Tour of the University of Minnesota. Together we will take a look into the history and present day events of the university, and take action as we work towards a brighter future.

Vetiver Solutions: A company striving to decrease malnutrition and poverty in Haiti using one little plant

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Grand Challenge Curriculum sat down with Becca Desens, Elizabeth Alonzi, Dalton Schutte, and Jesse Abelson for an interview in November 2017, where they shared their journey developing Vetiver Solutions and their recent experience attending the Clinton Global Initiative University conference. (Leeore Levinstein, the fifth member of Vetiver Solutions, was regretably unable to join the interview.)

Wild Bison: Conservation of the American West

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The American bison population has rebounded from near-extinction and outgrown the resources of Yellowstone National Park.  Our proposal from this project is a three-pillared plan (engage, protect, and sustain) to address conflicts regarding bison populations between conservationists, cattle ranchers and landowners in the Greater Yellowstone Area.