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Severino Center Announces Fall 2021 Change the World Challenge Winners

Severino Center Announces Fall 2021 Change the World Challenge Winners

By Jeanne Hedden Gallagher

November 29, 2021

Anirban Banerjee, MBA ’22, Brelyn Hatfield ’23, architecture, and Aida Ayuk ’22, architecture, were each selected as winners of the Paul J. and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship’s Change the World Challenge competition.

In a change from past competitions, student competitors this semester were asked to explain their process of how they went about validating a problem in the market through customer interviews rather than simply presenting their idea. 

Honorable mentions were awarded to Bryce Meizen ’24, information technology and web science, and management doctoral student Vitor Ferreira.

Established in 2005 by Rensselaer alumnus and entrepreneur Sean O’Sullivan ’85, the Change the World Challenge competition supports innovative entrepreneurship education through awards, cash prizes, and other opportunities to encourage Rensselaer students to apply their talents in ways that will positively impact the world.

An exemplar of the New Polytechnic, the dynamic learning paradigm at Rensselaer, the Change the World Challenge is open to Rensselaer students across all disciplines who are interested in advancing their skills in entrepreneurship and testing a market need before building a solution.


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Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,600 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.