MDC Students Win First Place at Prestigious IREX Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge

Miami, Jan. 5, 2024 – For the second time, a group of Miami Dade College (MDC) students, led by professor Emily Andrea Sendin, have won first place in the IREX Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge, an initiative that connects college students in Iraq, Jordan and the U.S. to collaborate virtually on a sustainable solution to local challenges in relation to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.

Last December, five binational teams presented in-person at the Global Solutions Virtual Business Expo, an event hosted by global development and education nonprofit IREX. Participants showcased their innovative business concepts to a panel of judges, students and representatives from various institutions across the globe for the chance to receive a grant to further develop their prototypes.

Team Infinity, composed of 21 students from MDC and Al Balqa Applied University in Jordan, designed a subscription-based smart compost service, uniquely tailored to the needs of both regions, which facilitates collecting and transforming food waste into high-quality compost or fertilizers.

 The MDC students on the winning team were:

Catherine Cardoso 

Aliana Canizares 

Aliane Castillo-Diaz

Melissa Castro 

Pablo Fernández

Naylen Gamboa

Amanda Marrero

Mayra Marrero

Geraldine O’hallorans

Priscilla Pereira 

Navid Rafie

Sarahí Rodríguez 

Valeria Zimmermann 

The Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge is supported by the Stevens Initiative, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government, and is administered by the Aspen Institute. The Stevens Initiative is also supported by the Bezos Family Foundation and the governments of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. IREX, an awardee of the Stevens Initiative virtual exchange grant, launched Global Solutions fall of 2017, reaching 315 youth through an initial pilot. IREX scaled the Global Solutions program through a second Stevens Initiative grant to reach nearly 2,000 additional youth from fall 2019 to Spring 2021. For more information visit