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Appalachian Students Take Second Place in International Food Solutions Challenge, Apr. 19-21

BOONE, N.C.—What has 18 wheels and runs on corn chips? Thanks to a food solution from two Appalachian State University students, a chip producer’s transportation fleet well could.

Senior chemistry major and sustainable business minor Kelsey Simon and senior management major and nutrition and sustainable business minor Ali Moxley placed second in the international Food Solutions Challenge, held during the Global Food Solutions Conference April 19-21 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Their food solution converts used frying oil from corn chip production to biodiesel to fuel a chip company’s transportation fleet. The Food Solutions Challenge is designed to raise awareness and holistic thinking around issues stemming from food production and distribution with a goal of making the food supply chain more carbon neutral.

Appalachian was one of six finalists in the competition, which began as a field of 50. The other finalists were McGill University in Quebec, Canada, University of California Berkeley, California College of the Arts, Texas State University and the DC Net Impact professionals chapter.

During the event, the students presented the winning solution originally submitted during the local challenge event March 8 in Peacock Hall on the Appalachian campus. The six winning submissions from the local events earned the finalists an all-expense-paid trip to the Wisconsin conference.

“We were excited to travel, compete and represent the Walker College of Business in the international event,” said Kernersville native Simon, who is president of Appalachian’s chapter of Net Impact, a professional network that supports and promotes sustainable business practices. “Presenting our food solution was a great experience.”

Simon credited Moxley, from Marietta, Georgia, with the food solution idea. For their work, the students earned a $1,000 prize for Appalachian’s Net Impact Club.

Appalachian State University students Kelsey Simon, left, and Ali Moxley took second place in the Food Solutions Challenge in April.