Students from Georgetown, Hazard win coal mine reclamation award

MOREHEAD, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Students from Morehead State’s Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics and their faculty coaches from the School of Business Administration earned second-place overall at the Entrepreneurial Coal Land Redevelopment Program Regional Challenge.

ECLRP engages high school students to identify either an abandoned or reclaimed mine site and, through investigation and research, propose a new use and business model to develop the site.

The proposed business would provide employment opportunities through a business enterprise and add value to the quality of life for the area’s residents. This is the third year students from the Academy have participated in the competition.

“We are extremely proud of our student’s hard work, dedication, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit as participants in the Entrepreneurial Coal Land’s Redevelopment Project,” said Rachel Rogers, instructor and QEP director for the Academy.

Coached by Dr. Ahmad Hassan, associate professor of management, and Dr. Fatma Mohamed, associate professor of management, the students earned second place for the overall regional challenge for their presentation, “Reclamation of Unused Coal Fields through Bluegrass Aquaponics.”

Hassan and Mohamed placed second place for the Coaches Award.

“We are honored to receive a second-place business plan award and second place coach award, and we are so incredibly proud of our Craft Academy team,” Hassan said.

Craft Academy students involved in the challenge were Rachel Poston, a senior from Georgetown, and Haley Turner, a senior from Hazard.

“ECLRP has helped grow my understanding of not only business but also the economy and culture of Eastern Kentucky. The collapse of the coal industry is a very pressing issue within our region, and it was very neat working to overcome that,” said Poston.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with ECRLP both years I participated,” said Turner, “ECRLP has inspired me to improve my community through entrepreneurship.”

The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics is a dual-credit academy for academically exceptional Kentucky students. Craft Academy provides students with a postsecondary residential experience to complete their junior and senior years of high school by enrolling in college courses.

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