CBS Undergraduates Named as 2021 Acara Challenge Finalists

May 03, 2021

Six CBS undergraduates are among the finalists for this year's Acara Challenge competition, held annually to support students looking to solve social or environmental issues. The group that wins the competition can receive up to $5,000 to pay for expenses related to help develop their solutions or serve in an internship position in the area they're focusing on. The undergraduates and the projects they're working on include:


There has been a drastic increase in chronic diseases such as Type II Diabetes as well as unhealthy behaviors such as binge drinking in Uganda in the last 50 years. We plan to partner with a company that assists young entrepreneurs to develop a curriculum focused on decreasing excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking to promote long-term health.

  • Hannah Fleming graduated Fall 2020 - Neuroscience Major, Ethan Robertson graduating Spring 2022 - Genetics, Cell Biology, & Development Major 


We seek to address the ongoing problem of severe plastic pollution by attaching more value to common waste materials. Through the construction of synthetic microbial bioreactors with select chemical pathways, popular plastics like PET and PLA can be degraded and upcycled into virgin materials and other target compounds.

  • Azion White, graduating Spring 2021 - Biochemistry Major

Heart to Heart

We plan to utilize a community-based and patient empowerment-focused approach to educate young adults in Uganda about hypertension and promote routine screening for hypertension. We will partner with existing Village Health Teams to provide information and ways to encourage community members to do blood pressure checks more frequently.

  • Saksi Aul, graduating Spring 2022 - Neuroscience; Genetics, Cell Biology, & Development double Major and Lidia Hadera graduating Spring 2023 - Biochemistry Major


This mobile application will provide the education, resources, and motivation that students might need to adopt composting as a regular habit. We hope that this will aid in reducing food waste that contributes to overflowing landfills and greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Eesha Bharti, graduating Spring 2022 - Neuroscience Major