Photo, L to R: Isabelly Verissimo (Sophomore, Behavioral Neuroscience and Pre-Med), Jerry Murcia, CEO Montachem International Inc., Eve Fatout (Junior, Education). J.C. Avila, COO Montachem International Inc., Valeska Ribeiro Antunes (Sophomore, Political Science).
Halmos College of Arts and Sciences at NSU Partners with Montachem International to Explore Global Plastics
This past fall semester, the Department of Humanities and Politics in the Halmos College of Arts and Sciences, NSU, partnered with Montachem International Inc. on a case competition exercise titled “Global Issues, Student Solutions.” Montachem is a leader in the distribution of thermoplastics and plastic resins to producers around the world and the initiative provided an opportunity for undergraduate students at Nova Southeastern University to gain insight and expertise from the Montachem team while exploring the role of plastics in the modern world. “Global Issues, Student Solutions” ran as a case competition in a section of INST 1500, Global Issues, the introductory survey course in the B.A. in International Studies program. Under the direction of course instructor Dr. Ransford Edwards, students engaged in research projects addressing the challenges posed by the completing costs and benefits of global plastic usage. Based on a review of their work by a faculty panel and feedback from the Montachem team, three students were recognized as standouts and received a cash award funded by a gift from Montachem International.
J.C. Avila, COO of Montachem International, noted “We are very proud of our association with NSU on the “Global Issues, Global Solutions” plastics challenge. Waste in general, and plastics’ waste in particular, are serious issues that seem to require a philosophical change. Humans need to think differently about the waste we generate every day and how we deal with it. The work submitted by the students is very encouraging. They presented interesting solutions and ideas, but most importantly, they demonstrated the need to bring up this subject for discussion at all levels of society to create awareness and to start finding solutions.” Montachem CEO Jerry Murcia added “Plastic waste mismanagement has created a global ecological crisis that needs to be addressed by adopting environmentally minded and balanced solutions. Montachem is proud to support this project which has raised awareness of this ongoing problem. The creative solutions presented by NSU students move us towards a circular economy where intentional business decisions marry the importance of social justice and positive environmental impact.” Both Montachem and the Department of Humanities and Politics look forward to continuing their partnership, engaging students in addressing this important challenge.
According to competition winner Eve Fatout, a junior Education major, “My biggest take-away from my research is that there are many ways in which we can help alleviate our climate crisis; we just need to agree on a plan.” Joint runner up Valeska Antunes, a sophomore political science major, noted “I dedicated myself to this project because I saw it as an opportunity to do something meaningful while in college.” The other runner up, Isabelly Verissimo, a sophomore behavioral neuroscience major, who recently represented her home country of Brazil at the Global Peace Summit in Turkey, commented that part of the reason she took the Global Issues class was to explore issues that fall at the intersection of science and public policy.
Montachem will continue to work with NSU to further education related to plastic waste management issues. Montachem views education as a key pillar of a successful global sustainability strategy.