Thursday, December 19, 2013

K-12 Clean Water Poster Contest

A talented group of young artists were showcased at the 2013 OU International WaTER Conference by participating in the K-12 Clean Water Poster Contest. The contest, in its second year, is part of the WaTER Center K-12 outreach program that reflects an aspect of the WaTER Center’s goal by using innovative teaching and leadership activities to promote peace and raise public awareness of the global water crisis.

Contest entries displayed at the WaTER Conference
All Norman K-12 students (public, private and home schooled) were invited to participate in the contest.  Prizes were given for first, second, and third place winners in each of four categories (Kindergarten-Second grade, Third-Fifth grade, Sixth-Eighth grade, and Ninth-12th grade). Honorable mentions were awarded in each category, as well as the teacher in each category with the greatest number of posters submitted. The winning submissions were chosen from 72 poster entries and were displayed during the WaTER Conference, held Sept. 23-25.  The winning artists, and their families, were invited to attend the closing ceremonies of the conference, where the recipient of the OU International Water Prize, Ada Oko-Williams, awarded their prizes.
The K-12 Clean Water Poster Contest had 72 entries
This year’s winners in the K-2 category were Jonathon Viewing (first place) and James Merryman (second place), the 3-5 category Jennifer Waggoner (first place), Eleanor Totten (second place) and Tuqua Al-Ibadi (third place), the 6-8 category Karen Wren (first place), Emily Rockers (second place) and Zack Thompson (third place), and the 9-12 category Gustav Ruiz (first place), Siarra Williams (second place) and Da’Londa Gordon (third place).  The winning teachers included Mrs. Pantalone (K-2 & 9-12 categories) from Dimensions Academy, Mrs. Morris (3-5 category) from All Saints Catholic School, and Ms. Theresa Bragg (6-8 category) also from All Saints.  Honorable mentions were Wyatt Willis, Dustin McCabon (3-5), Sofia Ramirez Evans, Ali Gilstrap (6-8) and Tayler Lamascus (9-12).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dr. Feleke Zewge Receives Honor

Dr. Feleke Zewge, a long-time collaborator and friend of the WaTER Center, received the 2013 Ethiopian National Outstanding Achievement Award in Applied Research. He received the Award - which included a trophy, medal, and a small financial incentive - from the Prime Minister of Ethiopia on October 27.

Dr. Feleke Zewge (center) confers with colleagues during the 2013 WaTER Conference.

Dr. Zewge is the National Fluorosis Mitigation Project Coordinator for the Ministry of Water Resources in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is also an Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry/Engineering in the Department of Chemistry at Addis Ababa University. Dr. Zewge received his BS in Chemistry from Addis Ababa University and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering from Gunma University (Japan). He also spent one year as a Visiting Scientist at  Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Applied Science, Department of Chemical Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.
Dr. Feleke (far left) served as one of the International Water Prize jurors in 2010, along with (left to right) Diana Maritza Betancourt, James Mihelcic, Jean McCluskey, and Robert Adamski.

In addition to his research on the movement and reactivity of toxic organic and inorganic pollutants, Dr. Feleke has been working on the field implementation of water defluoridation technologies in rural villages in Ethiopia. He is currently conducting field studies in remote Ethiopian villages using bone char, aluminum oxide, and chemical precipitation methods for fluoride removal. This experience will result in more economical and sustainable methods of fluorosis mitigation through removal of drinking water sources. Dr. Feleke was an invited keynote speaker at our 2013 International WaTER Conference. The topic of his talk was: "Fluoride Mitigation Options: Challenges and Opportunities".

Congratulations, Dr. Feleke!