Students win $10,000 in Kohler fixtures for Innovation Center

October 20, 2010

What began as a student project turned into thousands of dollars worth of new, efficient water fixtures for the Innovation Center at Whitewater University Technology Park.

Members of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s student chapter of the American Marketing Association took home the top prize in a national competition to promote water conservation.

“We thought it was an interesting challenge,” said Troy Fredrick ’10, one of four students who worked on the project. “We were all conscious of the environmental benefit and thought if we could help, why not?”

The event, sponsored by Wisconsin-based Kohler Co., challenged student AMA chapters across the country to create a marketing campaign to educate consumers about water conservation.

Kohler provided money and supplies to help students execute their plans, including promotional materials like high-efficiency toilets and low-flow showerheads and faucets.

UW-Whitewater students held their event in the Timothy J. Hyland Hall atrium on April 22, Earth Day.

Fredrick said they were able to coordinate volunteers, cultivate sponsorships from local water conservation groups, engage attendees through social media and promote the event with the support of both the city and university.

When the students learned they won first place, they suggested the 38,000-square-foot Innovation Center, currently under construction, as the perfect place to house the $10,000 worth of “green” water fixtures.

“It means a lot to the community and campus in general. It means a lot for our group and chapter to leave our mark on the Innovation Center,” Fredrick said.

City of Whitewater Manager Kevin Brunner said the fixtures, which will be installed in four restrooms over the next few weeks, will aid the city’s application for LEED certification for the building.

“We really wanted the Innovation Center to promote green technologies,” he said. “It’s great that the enterprising efforts of students are benefiting this place. We’re looking forward to getting these state-of-the-art, efficient Kohler products installed.”

The 125-acre Whitewater University Technology Park is a joint effort of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the city of Whitewater and the Whitewater Community Development Authority.


Sara Kuhl