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Ohio State awards 2021 President’s Prize to two outstanding scholars

Graduating seniors’ projects focus on improving health and sustainability outcomes for the Columbus community

The Ohio State University has selected two graduating seniors as recipients of the 2021 President’s Prize for their projects dedicated to helping underserved patients and community partners through the power of education and sustainable practices.

Christina Allen, of Fairfax, Virginia, and Dominique Hadad, who is from Dublin, Ohio, each will receive a $50,000 living stipend and up to $50,000 in startup funding through the President’s Prize, the highest university recognition bestowed on exceptional students committed to social change. They will tap into Ohio State’s global community of alumni, supporters and partners while working with faculty mentors and other experts to launch their projects.

“Christina and Dominique represent the best of our Buckeye family,” said Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson. “They are brilliant, hard-working young women who have chosen to selflessly dedicate themselves to improving health and environmental outcomes in our community. I am excited to see all they will accomplish.”

Allen and Hadad were selected from among a group of applicants who submitted ideas for projects with the potential to make a meaningful impact on society, and that furthered the university’s mission of addressing some of the world’s most important and pressing challenges.

Allen will create Food Leads, an initiative that makes nutrition a central part of treatment for type 2 diabetes patients through partnerships with doctors and dietitians. Hadad will launch Green Scope Consulting, a sustainability-focused consultation program for food-related businesses in the Columbus area.

Allen will earn a bachelor’s degree in international development from the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as a degree in human nutrition from the College of Education and Human Ecology. Food Leads will support Black and low-income Columbus residents by making food an integral part of doctors’ visits. The program also will provide recipes, nutrition education and check-ins to help patients stay accountable.

“Food Leads helps patients craft an eating plan that works for them and delivers food to their door,” Allen said. “From doctors to dietitians to patients, Food Leads will bring together those from all walks of life within the Columbus community to better the health of Columbus residents. During my time at Ohio State, I have learned the power of community and connection, so multiple stakeholders are involved with this project because collaboration amplifies impact.”

Hadad, who will graduate with a degree in industrial and systems engineering from the College of Engineering, said Green Scope Consulting will use predictive analytics to help prevent unnecessary waste, leverage community resources to rescue waste, and implement innovative strategies to compost necessary waste – all in an effort to cut costs for the business and propel the goals of the community.

“Food waste is a prevalent issue in the Columbus area and wasted food directly translates to wasted money, wasted time and wasted resources,” Hadad said. “With the support of Ohio State through the President’s Prize, I want Green Scope Consulting to help local business leaders in their efforts use more sustainable practices and fight climate change, which will aid their professional success and benefit our Columbus community.”

Now in its fifth year, the President’s Prize honors Ohio State’s founding purpose of offering an excellent education while elevating society through research – a reflection of the university motto, “Education for Citizenship.” Awarded annually, the prize is funded solely through donor contributions.

For more information on the prize, see https://presidentsprize.osu.edu/.

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