Three FAMU students to receive sustainability awards

Dow Chemical Company has funded awards up to $2,500 to three FAMU students in order to fund new or advance existing campus-based sustainability projects.

Engineering students Mikela Pryor, Zion Hayes and Furé Muhammad have created sustainability initiatives that can help better FAMU’s campus and environment.

“The thing that we should take away from this project is to keep leveling up. We should always look for advancements in this world we share. Challenge the status quo and move toward the future,” Hayes, a second-year chemical engineering major from Orlando, said.

“I created this recycling project to revamp the waste disposal system to kick off our move to a more sustainable campus. We need to start from the bottom, from a systematic level and keep moving forward,” Hayes added.

Zion Hayes, engineering student
Photo courtesy of the Sustainability Institute

Pryor, a fourth-year biological systems engineering major from Dallas, plans to reduce single-use plastic and incentivize reusable takeout containers.

Mikela Pryor, engineering student
Photo courtesy of Sustainability Institute

Furé Muhammad, a fourth-year biological systems engineering major from Atlanta, is looking to turn garbage into gold by tackling the issue of food waste through a campus-wide composting operation and micro-enterprise that utilizes bike carts to sustainably transport organic matter to be recycled at the campus SEED garden and produce a soil conditioner that could be sold or donated to nearby gardeners and urban farmers.

“The greatest takeaway when drafting my sustainability proposal was learning about all the issues that we as college students can influence and facilitate change for the betterment of the planet,” Muhammad said. “Often, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of what is college life, and we fail to realize how our habits impact our environment. I believe we can alter these habits and form habits that will help Earth flourish.”

Furé Muhammad, engineering student
Photo courtesy of the Sustainability Institute

“With the launch of the 2019 Sustainability Fellows Program, we are advancing President Dr. Larry Robinson’s ‘FAMU Rising’ strategic goals to improve efficiency, implement campus-wide resource conservation, and provide exceptional student experiences,” Kathryn Ziewitz, executive director of the FAMU Sustainability Institute, said.

The purpose of the Sustainability Fellows Program is to incentivize and support innovative projects from FAMU students that focus on campus resource stewardship and the application of sustainability science and education.  

The inaugural Student Sustainability Fellows will be officially announced on Monday.

The Sustainability Fellows program was first introduced in spring of 2016.  New to the 2019 program is a fellowship for FAMU students with support from The Dow Chemical Company. Representatives from Dow will visit FAMU, including Neil C. Hawkins, chief sustainability officer and corporate vice president.  

For more information contact Bruce Strouble at (850) 412-7571; or Kathryn Ziewitz at (850) 412-5413;