Students showcase creative solutions to global problems

Two teams of Penn State students will present their innovative solutions to global problems at a presentation titled, "We Milked the Rhino!" from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 22, in Foster Auditorium at 102 Paterno Library on the University Park campus. Their projects were among the winning entries from the "Milking the Rhino: Innovative Solutions Showcase 2011" competition, which aims to foster critical thinking about sustainable development, by challenging students to create innovative designs to solve problems that affect communities in developing nations. This presentation is free and open to the public and can also be viewed live online from

One team will present their plan to use garlic as an insect repellent for cattle belonging to the Masai people of Kenya. This simple and cost effective solution will help prevent livestock loss from diseases spread by the Tsetse fly. The team -- Elise Brown, Alex Gren and Nicole O’Block -- won the "Best use of indigenous knowledge" award for their proposal which can be seen at

Another team -- Amanda Perez, Katelyn Holmes and Eric Seo -- will present their plan to produce low-cost, point-of-use ceramic filters that can provide clean drinking water in rural East Africa. They won "Best Overall Pitch" and their proposal can be seen at

The Milking the Rhino: Innovative Solutions Showcase competition is hosted by the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program at Penn State and was initiated by HESE Director Khanjan Mehta three years ago. In 2011, the competition received more than 60 entries from eight universities, colleges and high schools. A total of $4,500 in awards was presented by Penn State and external sponsors including the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA); the Interinstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge (ICIK); the Marjorie Grant Whiting Center for Humanity, Arts and the Environment; the Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship; the Office of Student Activities, Center for Global Studies, School of International Affairs and the Dickinson School of Law and Johnson and Johnson.

This presentation is part of an ongoing seminar series on indigenous knowledge, organized by ICIK and the Social Sciences Library. To view past seminars in this series, see For questions about the physical access provided, contact Helen Sheehy, 814-863-1347 in advance of your participation.

Last Updated January 09, 2015