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2023 FAU Wave Competition Awards Announced

Group shot of all the participants in the 2023 FAU Wave Competition

Florida Atlantic University has announced the 2023 winners of the eighth annual FAU Wave Competition.

Florida Atlantic University has announced the 2023 winners of the eighth annual FAU Wave Competition, an undergraduate and graduate applied research and entrepreneurial competition organized by FAU’s Division of Research. The goal of the program is to challenge students to submit and develop innovative ideas targeting societal problems.

Each year’s overall winner is awarded the Dr. Eric H. Shaw FAU Wave Excellence in Innovation Award and a cash prize of $2,000. There is also a track for the outstanding community engagement project sponsored by FAU’s Office of Community Engagement. Additionally, 2023 marked the competition’s inaugural collaboration with Palm Beach State College students, in which the school announced its student project winner, who also earned a cash prize.

“The student innovations never fail to impress us and motivate us to pursue excellence in everything we do,” said Regina Thompson, assistant director of strategic and economic initiatives in FAU’s Division of Research. “We look forward to supporting their development and strengthening that entrepreneurial mindset.”

The winners of the 2023 FAU Wave Competition are as follows:

  • Rachel Kavalakatt, a junior majoring in behavioral neuroscience in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, received the Dr. Eric H. Shaw FAU Wave Excellence in Innovation Award and a $2,000 cash prize for the innovation Carpal Tech 2.0, a carpal tunnel preventative biotech wearable that pairs with an app to help those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Krystyna Medina, a senior majoring in public administration in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, received the $1,000 Community Engagement Award, sponsored by FAU’s Office of Community Engagement, for the social enterprise and nonprofit Nourished from Nature, a school-based food network within Palm Beach County that teaches K-12 students about agriculture, how to grow their own food, and incorporates sustainable farming techniques.
  • Androff Cesar, pursuing an associate in arts degree in psychology at Palm Beach State College, was awarded a cash prize on behalf of PBSC for his nonprofit that engages high school students in the subjects of mental health and life skills to help increase their confidence and ability to become successful adults.

“Congratulations to the winners and participants in the FAU Wave Competition,” said Shaw, emeritus professor in FAU’s College of Business, alumnus, and namesake of the Wave Excellence in Innovation Award. “Excellence is a goal worth pursuing. My recommended strategy to achieve excellence is to think of yourself as a self-improvement project – a lifelong student learning lessons from your mistakes but preferably those you observe in others.”

The Wave Competition is open to any FAU undergraduate or graduate student with ideas to solve real-world issues, however, only a select number of projects are accepted. During the program cycle (fall to spring), entrants must meet certain deliverables including monthly mentor meetings; a written abstract; the creation of a business thesis; a research poster; and a prerecorded video addressing key elements. The videos are judged on project feasibility, market potential, research efforts, creativity and innovation, and progress.

“I want to thank FAU for their collaboration and partnership during the 2022-23 FAU Wave competition which also supported Palm Beach State College students,” said Natacha Nettles, PBSC assistant dean of student services. “Congratulations to all the student innovators and I look forward to the continued success of the Wave program.”

For more information on the Wave Competition, click here or email


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