By Marisa Goolcharan, Staff Writer
The entire student body and faculty traveled to Kent Place School in Summit, NJ on April 15 to support eight students who ended their year-long design fellowship projects by presenting their ideas at the Ethics in Action Summit. The Ethics in Action program, which was launched last spring as a collaboration between the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School and the Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, encourages students to create solutions to real-world issues by using ethical decision making and design thinking methods.
As the theme for this year’s Ethics in Action Summit was food, the participating students from Trinity Hall and Kent Place worked in teams (two from each school) since June 2015 to design solutions to food-related issues.
Juniors Pallavi Kawatra and Grace Modderman teamed up with sophomores CC Jakub and Emily Knepple to design “F.A.T.thletes,” a campaign aiming to raise awareness for the Female Athlete Triad syndrome, a three-pronged medical condition that often affects female athletes, predominantly high schoolers.
“We tried to find [an issue] that would be personal for us. [Since] all of us [are] athletes, the Female Athlete Triad was something we weren’t aware of, and we felt like bringing awareness to it was a great idea,” Knepple said. The team created brochures, business cards and hair ties, as well as a Twitter handle, to spread awareness about the issue.
Juniors Lily Scott and Kaitlyn Vogel joined sophomores Jacqueline Fletcher and Courtney Vadon to create “Foodel.” “[Our mission was] to develop a solution for the redistribution of perishable food from local eateries, and connecting that food to local food banks to help solve the hunger problems in Monmouth County,” Fletcher said.
During the trial run of the program over spring break, Foodel partnered with Brennan’s Delicatessen in Rumson who donated food that they brought to a few local service organizations. The team also created a website (www.foodelmc.com) where information about participation can be found.
During the months leading up to the Summit, the students actively developed their campaigns through weekly on-campus meetings and two weekend programs. “At first we started with an idea, but we constantly had to change it,” Jakub said. “Once we made a final decision for our idea, we had to research it further and focus on the most important aspect of the idea. Then we had to present our idea in a way that would appeal to our target market.”
When the day of the Summit finally arrived, the students felt both prepared and nervous to be pitching their projects in front of students and faculty from both schools as well as a panel of judges from Georgetown University and experts in marketing and food-related industries.
“It was very exciting to share our hard work with everyone,” Vadon said. “I was a little nervous for the judges’ critiques, but I knew we were well prepared.” After their presentations, the students were given thought-provoking critiques, which brought to light potential problems in their campaigns and also provided solutions.
“Our girls delivered their presentations with confidence and left a panel of ethics, design and branding professionals very impressed,” said Assistant Head of School James Palmieri, who served as faculty advisor for the program along with Director of Development Kristy Geoghan.
Encouraged by the positive feedback, the participating students hope to continue working on further implementing their projects, and Trinity Hall plans to participate in future Ethics in Action programs as well.