Shining Hope for Communities, a student-founded non-profit organization, is the winner of the 2010 Dell Social Innovation Competition. The award is based on a world-wide competition among college students who have projects that can “make the world a better place.” Shining Hope for Communities founded The Kibera School for Girls in 2009 in the Kenyan slum of Kibera, and is creating the Johanna Justin Jinich Memorial Clinic and a community center this year at the same site. Initial funding for the Kibera School for Girls was provided by the Davis 100 Projects for Peace program. The Dell award includes $50,000.
The group has also received a $50,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation and a $1,000 award from the MTV People’s Choice Awards this year.
Shining Hope for Communities includes Executive Director and Kibera native Kennedy Odede ‘12, Managing Director Jessica Posner ‘09 and current Wesleyan students Leah Lucid ‘10, Ari Tolman ‘10, and Inslee Coddington ‘10.
In an OpEd for The Hartford Courant, Corey Guilmette ’13 argues that Pre-K funding distribution in Connecticut is inefficient and not even being pursued properly. Guilmette believes that the state needs to reevaluate its methods and the way it pursues possible Federal outlets for funds.
Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education was featured in stories appearing in The Boston Globe, The Associated Press and on WNPR recently. The grant-funded pilot program, founded by current Center Fellow Russell Perkins ’09 and Molly Birnbaum ’09, provides for-credit “high caliber liberal arts education” to a small group of selected inmates at the Cheshire Correctional Institute. Perkins is also a 2010 Rhodes Scholarship winner.
Andrew C. Murphy ’10 was featured in a report on NPR’s “Morning Edition” that examined the work of his mother, pediatric neurologist, Frances Jensen. Jensen, who is on the staff at Children’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard University, began to investigate teen aged behavior when her son, Andrew seemed to become a completely different person as he entered his teen years. Her findings have contributed to the new understanding about the function and formation of teen brains.
In an opinion piece for Business Week, Elizabeth Trammell ’10, laments the recent decision by the Russian Government to allow a the resumption of operations at a paper mill on the banks of Lake Baikal, the deepest, and one of the largest fresh water lakes in the word. Permission for the mill to operate is a reversal of a policy enacted just four years ago aimed at stemming pollution in the lake and a serious setback for environmentalists. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed the order allowing the resumption of activities at the mill. Trammell’s piece originally appeared in TOL Online.
In an opinion piece forInside Higher Ed, Laura Stark, assistant professor of sociology, assistant professor of science in society, discusses how recent and pending college graduates are deeply affected by the current machinations over health care in Congress, but have been curiously silent as a group, especially compared with their overwhelming involvement in the election last year. Stark’s students Suzanna Hirsch ’10, Samantha Hodges ’11, Gianna Palmer ’10, and Kim Segall ’10, contributed to the piece.
A grant-funded prison education program created by two Wesleyan graduate students, Molly Birnbaum ’09 and Russell Perkins ’09, while they were undergraduates, was profiled in The New York Times. Administered in Connecticut’s Cheshire Correctional Facility, the program provides Wesleyan-level courses for selected members of the prison’s population. The inmate-participants must meet rigorous entrance requirements.
Angus McCullough ’10, is one of seven finalists in a design competition that re-imagines the Grand Concourse in Bronx, N.Y. The competition, sponsored by the Bronx Museum of Arts and the Design Trust for Public Space, asked participants to envision a revitalization to the Concourse, which is more than 100 years old. McCullough’s design was noted in The New York Times as a concept that “touches on a critical urban subject: the intensifying battle between transparency and privacy in the public realm.” The finalists will be on exhibit in the Bronx Museum of the Arts until Jan. 3. A more extensive feature in the Wesleyan Connection on McCullough’s design can be found here.
WNPR News featured a story on Jessica Posner ’09, Wesleyan Writing Fellow, and Kennedy Odede ’11 and the school for girls they built over the summer in Kibera, Kenya. The school, which the two students built using a Projects for Peace Grant, is up and running.
Wesleyan students involved in The Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) project have teamed with students from other institutions to create disaster management software for several volunteer agencies, including The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities USA. The free software provides a virtual emergency response center that these organizations can use immediately after a disaster to help manage aid and logistics. The Wesleyan HFOSS group, along with analogous groups from Trinity College and Connecticut College, also received part of an $1.3 million grant to create more software of this type. Wesleyan’s HFOSS group is supervised by Norman Danner, associate professor of computer science, and Daniel Krizanc, professor of computer science.
The Wesleyan Sukkah, a structure created by the 15 students enrolled in Architecture II and working in the Wesleyan research-design-build studio, has won a 2009 “Faith and Form Award” from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The students are supervised by Elijah Huge, assistant professor of art.