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Seattle University


Grants Gone Global

Written by Mike Thee
June 3, 2011

Seven dynamic projects have received funding through the 2011 Global Grants program, Victoria Jones, associate provost for global engagement announced today. Two projects are in Africa, three in Latin America, one in Asia, and one working with immigrants to the US living in Seattle.  

“The seven Global Grants mark a key milestone in Seattle University’s engagement of the world,” Jones wrote. “Not only will the funding make a direct and significant impact in communities throughout the world, but these projects also enhance our capabilities for delivering an education that is truly global.” 

The Global Grants program supports new initiatives that deepen the university’s global mission. Funds were made available by an anonymous donor. This program is coordinated by the Office of Global Engagement and the Global Advisory Team, a committee of representatives from each college: Mara Rempe, Science and Engineering; Serena Cosgrove, Matteo Ricci College; Jian Yang, Education; Kathleen La Voy, Arts and Sciences; David Reid, Business and Economics; Leticia Guardiola-Saenz, Theology and Ministry; Jennifer Fricas, Nursing; Janet Dickson, Law; Jim Hembree, University Advancement/alumnus; Ryan Green, International Student Center; Frank Case, S.J., Mission and Ministry; and Elizabeth Super, graduate student. 

Selected from 32 proposals, the seven funded projects will receive a total of $50,000 and support the following activities over the summer. 

Africa Start-Up, Albers School of Business and Economics, Sarah Bee  

Sarah Bee, accounting faculty in Albers (second from left, top row), alumna Christina Davis (front row, right) and graduate accounting student John Hirsh (back row, third from right) are pictured here with the first graduating class of the Africa Start-Up training in Malawi. 

Applied education is a building block of economic development, but largely absent for more than two billion people trying to escape extreme poverty. There are many tenacious business owners in Africa with the drive to prosper by their own efforts, but lack the basic know-how to operate even the smallest of businesses. Africa Start-Up is a new non-profit initiative to give business owners a first chance to learn and apply principals of budgeting, saving, planning and building collaborative trust in the marketplace. Starting in Malawi, Africa with the Malawi College of Accountancy, college school students will teach small business owners these basic skills, connect them with the larger community, and empower them to increase prosperity.  

Development of an Experiential Humanitarian Engineering Pilot Program, College of Science and Engineering, Henry Louie 

This pilot program seeks to create a structured experiential humanitarian engineering project in Zambia. The focus of the project is energy poverty. Students will learn about wind power as a means to supplying electricity in under-served communities. They will practice constructing a wind turbine on campus before traveling to the Jesuit mission in Chikuni, Zambia to build one there. With this new global perspective, students will gain confidence in their technical ability and feel empowered to make the world a better place. If the pilot is successful, a larger program will be developed. 

Global Water Brigade Service Trip to Honduras, Janet Dickson (advising) 

Sixteen students will be working with an indigenous community to build a water system and provide them with access to clean water. The students will be working through the global student-led organization Global Brigades to organize and participate in this program. Participating students are looking to grow in their understanding of global issues as well as provide a service for developing communities in need. 

Nursing Midwifery Partnership - Ecuador, College of Nursing, Terri Clark 

The College of Nursing’s innovative midwifery MSN program will deepen its global health focus by sponsoring a faculty scholar from the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil (UCSG) and Hospital Sotomayor in Guayaquil, the largest maternity hospital in South America. The scholar, Dr. Peter Chedraui, specializes in obstetrics and gynecology and public health. He will present his research on the impact of poverty on maternal-newborn outcomes in Ecuador. 

Picturing Ourselves: A photographic and textual exploration by Somali youth in Seattle, Arts and Sciences, Saheed Adejumobi & Claire Garoutte 

This project aims to engage first generation Somali youth in an exploration of identity and citizenship through photography and writing. Working with Seattle University student mentors from the departments of English, sociology, African studies, and photography, high school students from the Somali community will engage in a week-long workshop. The intention is to give voice to the culturally derived (and sometimes conflicting) sense of self and community experienced by first generation Somali youth in Seattle. With faculty and SU student mentorship, Somali participants will engage in photographic and written reflective activities to create documentary works. This workshop allows Seattle University students to mentor within their disciplines, to participate in cross-cultural dialog, and to reflect upon the global implications of migration, cultural adaptation and the diversity of expressive voice. This workshop intersects with an interdisciplinary research project currently underway at Seattle University concerning the Somali community and early childhood development. 

Student Service-Learning Research Opportunity: Payments for Forest Conservation in Peasant, Communities in the Ecuadorian Andes, College of Arts and Sciences, Tanya Hayes 

This project provides a service learning research opportunity in which two SU students will work with Ecuadorian communities, academics, local non-profit organizations, and the faculty advisor to understand the social, economic and ecological impacts of a payment for forest conservation program. The project will include four weeks of summer fieldwork in a small rural community in Ecuador. At the end of the project, students will produce a written report of their findings that will be shared with the Ecuadorian community, non-profits and academic institutions, in addition to forums at Seattle University and the broader academic community. The project aims to develop a model by which students can thoughtfully engage with faculty and local communities to address applied policy and research questions in an international setting. 

Thailand Rainwater Catchment Project, College of Science and Engineering, Phillip Thompson  

Pictured here demonstrating on a water treatment system in Thailand in 2008, Phil Thompson of civil and environmental engineering is the recipient of one of seven new Global Grants.

Faculty and students will build a rainwater catchment system for a dormitory in Mae Nam Khun, Thailand. The funding request is for a team of six engineering students to participate in a summer experience. The students will work with the local community and students from the Chiang Mai University civil engineering program to acquire materials and construct the system. The catchment system will provide an additional source of water for the dormitory residents and make them less reliant on their current, intermittently available water source.