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Sustainable Solutions

Jun 21, 2017 Robin DeRieux
Blum Center student fellows address poverty in developing nations

The Blum Center hosted a seminar with newly appointed fellows during spring quarter to prepare them for their work abroad. Fellows heard from past grant recipients and experts about the challenges and highlights of working in a developing country.
Six College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) undergraduates were part of a group of 26 students recently selected to be 2017 summer fellows sponsored by the UC Davis Blum Center for Developing Economies. The newest cohort of Poverty Alleviation through Action Summer Fellows will tackle issues in poverty and inequality in 14 countries, including the United States.

The summer fellows receive up to $2,000 travel funding each for the research and service projects they will implement over the summer. Fellows partner with a non-profit organization based in their destination community.

Students from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will work on a variety of projects:

Maria Allan Bala, majoring in global disease biology, will go to Nicaragua to develop a community resource database containing information about local medical resources available to patients, which will aid residents in managing their health.

Stephanie Lew, an environmental science and management major, will work in Botswana on a project to address problems associated with ploughing fields. She will help with on-farm trials to test the viability of a precision planter tool that minimizes soil disruption.

Austin Dalmasso, majoring in global disease biology, will work in Uganda to increase the distribution of low-cost gasifier cookstoves. Traditional stoves fed by firewood expose women and children to toxic emissions and also require families to gather wood, which diminishes time that can be spent on income-generating activities.

Catherine Rivas, a global disease biology major, will help promote breast cancer prevention in the Yolo County agrarian community of Knight’s Landing by increasing access to breast cancer screening services and other outreach efforts.

Nyny (Phuong) Vu, who is double majoring in environmental science and management and Spanish, will go to Ecuador to work on preservation and rehabilitation of tropical habitat. The goal is to conserve local plants and animals and facilitate sustainable management of land.

Pratika Madhur, a managerial economics major, will work in a disadvantaged community of New Delhi, India, to empower marginalized young women and teach them about the importance of education as a way to alleviate poverty.

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