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Seven Spring '14 Semester at Sea Students Named Resolution Project Fellows


The Spring 2014 voyage of Semester at Sea commemorated the program’s 50th anniversary, and, in the spirit of inspiring future global citizens and change-makers, launched a partnership with The Resolution Project. A nonprofit organization that aims to develop socially-responsible young leaders around the world, The Resolution Project empowers students to make a positive impact on the global community.

Students on the Spring 2014 voyage had the opportunity to partake in the Resolution Social Venture Challenge (SVC), a unique competition in which students can develop and launch their own social ventures. Throughout the voyage, students formed teams to design concepts for their own social ventures. 54 students representing 25 ventures participated in the SVC. Of these, 15 teams presented in the SVC Forum at the end of the voyage, and 6 teams presented in the SVC Finals. Students involved in Semester at Sea’s new Social EntrepreneurSHIP program led by Christine Mahoney, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Politics at the University of Virginia, participated in the program.


At the end of the voyage, The Resolution Project selected groups of students to receive up to $3,000 in seed funding as well as access to a network of global resources to implement their ideas. Three teams of 2 – 3 students were selected as SVC Winners by The Resolution Project.

The student team of Kyle “Ky” Davis and Joe McVeen, developed a venture called “Aviponics”, a closed-loop hydroponic farm system that centers around a bird feeder. Birds eat the feed from the feeder and their byproducts fall in water that fertilizes plants including sunflowers (which provide a replenishment to the bird feed) and fruits and vegetables. The team has a working prototype already yielding food in Hawaii, the first stop on the spring voyage, and also built one from scratch on the MV Explorer. The system can be constructed entirely from biodegradable and recycled components, and construction and maintenance are simple. Ky and Joe will be training economically-disadvantaged families in urban food desert settings to build and operate these systems, generating some diversity in their food supply through this sustainable and innovative technology.

In addition, the student team of Dawn Musil, Hayley Gocha, and Nora Benson designed venture “Bee the Change” in an effort to bring beekeeping skills and supplies to economically-disadvantaged people in the United States and beyond. Dawn, an experienced beekeeper, and the team will bring standardized apiary designs that can be built from simple wood and mesh to communities in need of job creation and economic empowerment. Five beehives, with associated equipment and suits, cost $1,000, and will yield several jobs and honey supplies to be sold at market. This venture uses the science of beekeeping at a local level to have a positive impact on nutrition, job creation, economic opportunity, agriculture, and the environment.

Lastly, the student team of Hallie Liu and Angelique “Lulu” Ward designed venture “Cuppa Ca Phe”, a coffee shop that serves locally-grown robusta coffee blends in the Vietnamese style the two students came to love on their voyage. Partnering with one of several charities in Cape Town that serve the homeless population, Cuppa Ca Phe will hire the majority of their coffee shop employees from the homeless community, generating a direct, positive impact on the homeless population.

Check out an album of photos featuring the Resolution Social Venture Challenge on the Spring 2014 Semester at Sea voyage.

For more information about The Resolution Project please visit:

  • Business
  • Sustainability

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