(Posted May 3, 2024)

HUNTINGDON, Pa.—A group of Juniata College students recently participated in the Social Innovation Challenge 2024 hosted by the Entrepreneurial Leadership Council (ELC), with one student taking part in the event’s winning project.  

John Lash, assistant professor of accounting, business, and economics, accompanied Alison Ciani ’25 of Charlton, Mass., Samuel Bunker ’24 of Chambersburg, Pa., Prash Khadka ’26 of Lalitpur, Nepal, Sadie Maldonado ’27 of Pottstown, Pa., Arman Barraghi Zadeh ’24 of Randallstown Md., and Abigail Kilgore ’24 of Huntingdon, Pa., to the event held in Cannonsburg, Pa. 

“Providing opportunities where Juniata students can meaningfully engage on important issues through the lens of social entrepreneurship enables our students to bridge the gap between profit and purpose, consider how to influence decisions in their own community, and inspire positive societal change,” said John Lash, assistant professor of accounting, business, and economics. 

Competitors teamed up with like-minded peers from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to strategize solutions to social challenges, which were then presented to a panel of judges.  

Cianci was a member of the winning team, presenting meaningful ways to address food insecurities on college campuses and surrounding areas to better accessibility and student performance. The team presented ideas, strategies, and tactics for addressing food insecurity by combatting the stigma associated with being food insecure – including awareness, education, and empowerment. 

Juniata is a member organization within the ELC, a center of excellence comprised of top institutions’ entrepreneurial and innovation programs. The centers aim to bridge the gap between entrepreneurial dreams and tangible success. Each group offers a supportive environment, they empower emerging companies to focus on what truly matters: refining their ideas, building viable business models, and scaling their ventures. 

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.