hands next to wires and laptop computer

Make It Matter Awards for Fall 2020 Respond to COVID-19

December 8, 2020

The annual Make It Matter Award champions the development of innovative solutions that address the world’s most challenging problems. Awards totaling up to $5,000 will be distributed annually to the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) and Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz) students, postdoctoral fellows, or community members for the successful design and development of working product prototypes that have high potential to move toward commercialization.

The Lewis Family Awards exist to honor the memory of brother and sister, Drew and Nancy, by encouraging others to be who they are, enjoy everything they do, and make a difference within their community. The Lewis family legacy to make others’ lives easier through volunteerism and philanthropy lives on through the Lewis Family Awards. 

The awards committee and the Lewis Family have identified the following winners for the fall 2020 semester:

Make It Matter Award 1st Place Winner: Make4Covid

Make4Covid, Andrew Henderson, Lauren Hebert, Dan Griner, Kelsie Faulds, and Kate Goodman. A social innovation, a crowd-sourced organization to design, develop, and deliver Personal Protection Equipment to Colorado during the pandemic.

Milestone Award 1st Place Winner: Domain of Discourse

Domain of Discourse, Ishea Lee and Keeley Elliott. A virtual game where participants use healthy communication to discuss contentious topics. Support team: Keith Contois, Afu Vue, Davis-Jay Harris, Gus Williams, Tammy Dinh, and Ayesha Akhtar.

Milestone Award 2nd Place Winner: Active Portals

Active Portals, Michael Sperandeo, and Ryan Buxton. Avirtual distribution portal for individuals to connect with each other and access digital content.

Milestone Award 3rd Place Winner: Community Gym

Community Gym, Afu Vue. Building community resilience after COVID-19 using Design Innovation principles. Support team: Keeley Elliott, Chilli Kellaway.

This year’s winners will be announced at the College of Engineering, Design and Computing Capstone Expo presentation announcement on Friday, December 4, 2020 and posted on the Lewis Family Award page. Each winner will be featured in CU Denver campus publications and will receive a significant cash award. Faculty and staff at CU Denver | Anschutz Inworks, the Comcast Media & Technology Center (CMTC), worked to promote the Lewis Awards and encourage participation.

COMCAST Media and Technology Center
The COMCAST Media and Technology Center, located in the historic Tivoli building on CU Denver’s campus, is a catalyst to inspire transdisciplinary innovation, creativity, and research (photo of meeting taken before social distancing).

On behalf of the College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we are grateful to the Lewis Family for their support in creating the Lewis Family Award program for recognizing our outstanding students. This semester’s award opportunity was a high-value developmental experience for the applicants. Here are some comments we received:

  • “This is a wonderful opportunity that shows our university’s interest in the professional development of its students. Thank you!”
  • “Thank you for the amazing opportunity to allow us to showcase the different projects that are happening throughout our Denver campus!”
woman using 3D printer
Inworks, a design and creativity collaboration between CU Denver and CU Anschutz, includes two state-of-the-art prototyping labs.

Preparations are already underway to offer CU Denver | Anschutz students this fantastic opportunity in the spring semester. Submissions are in progress through programs such as the College of Engineering, Design and Computing Capstone Design course, Design Horizons Labs Entrepreneurial Fellows Program, Comcast Media and Technology Center design innovation projects, and more. Keep up to date on how to participate by visiting the Lewis Family Award webpage.