UW News

December 8, 2011

Undergraduates asked to compete in "Be the Change" contest for global health

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Contest info and application forms

Follow the contest through Facebook.

Contact info@globalhealthnexus.org.

UW students are asked to step up and compete in a contest  to help solve some of the worlds most pressing health challenges in a contest called “Be the Change.”

The contest is part of the preparation for the 50th anniversary of the World’s Fair and winners will be announced at a special event next summer.Applications have been extended to midnight Jan. 13.

The contest for undergraduates, community college students and high school students around the state is  sponsored by Global Health Nexus, an initiative of the Washington Global Health Alliance to bring awareness of global health to all parts of the community.

Students are invited to propose solutions for the world's health challenge.

“The initial interest in the contest has been very enthusiastic,” said Peter Blomquist, principal of Blomquist International consulting services and the co-leader of the contest effort. “Were expecting the awards ceremony next summer to be one of the hottest tickets in town, and it will be very cool to see the creativity and passion that these students are bringing to global health unveiled in a big way.”

Nexus is encouraging teams of students to devise a solution to a global health problem – such as lowering measles infections or increasing access to clean water. Students also can design innovative ways to raise awareness of these challenges, such as mapping data to better understand global patterns of disease.

UW staff have been instrumental in creating the contest, including staff members from IHME, the Center for Commercialization, and the Foster School of Business. Fosters annual Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC) was one of the key inspirations for the contest.

“After five years of increasing interest in GSEC, weve been able to take some of the lessons learned and give this contest a bit of a jumpstart,” said Wren McNally, assistant director for faculty & community programs at Fosters Global Business Center.

Students have a chance to compete for a range of prizes and recognition opportunities, including:

      * Cash awards, Kinects for Xbox and other prizes.
      * Letters of commendation from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
      * Participation in a VIP awards ceremony at Seattle Center as part of the Next Fifty Celebration in honor of the Centers 50th birthday in 2012.

    William Heisel is the assistant director for external relations at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the UW and serves on the committee that designed the contest.