Along with our career-building internships in New York, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C., the Tisch Summer Fellows program supports independent projects that address pressing social needs around the world:

Namibia 2016

Melissa Zahralban-Steel,e MPH17, and Francesca Kimelman, MPH18

This project involves a 1-year pilot study assessing the feasibility and acceptability of implementing an electronic screening and brief intervention (eSBI) at Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinics in Namibia with two aims: 1) develop and adapt an alcohol-related eSBI for ART clinics, and 2) pilot test the eSBI at two ART clinics. Fieldwork will involve the development of an eSBI script and Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interview (ACASI), focus group discussion (FGD) and interview data analysis, adapting the eSBI script to ensure relevancy, testing the eSBI within the target population, and pilot testing feasibility and acceptability questionnaires. If proven effective, use of the alcohol eSBI has the potential to decrease at-risk alcohol consumption among ART patients, ultimately improving ART outcomes and HIV prevention efforts.

Water Preferences in Eastern Region, Ghana

Jhanel Chew, A17, and Alexandra Kulinkina, G17

Prior research shows that in the eastern region of Ghana, people collect water from unimproved surface water sources despite having access to improved drinking water sources such as boreholes or piped water systems. Use of surface water can lead to the spread of infectious water-borne diseases such as diarrhea and schistosomiasis. Studies have shown that improved water sources have much lower levels of microbiological contamination than unimproved water, the use of which reduces the risk of contracting these diseases. This project hopes to gain an understanding of why people in rural, resource-poor settings use unimproved water sources when improved water sources are theoretically available. Insights gained from the research may help to mitigate the spread of water-related diseases in low-resource rural communities.

Education Youth Outreach Programs with the Mamelodi Initiative

Y-Binh Nguyen, A18, and Anna Kimura, A18

This project will partner with the Mamelodi Initiative (MI), a community organization based in Mamelodi, South Africa, on their largest educational youth outreach program: The Winter Holiday Program. Nguyen and Kimura will work with peers from universities in Gauteng Province to improve the curriculum to intrinsically motivate students’ academic engagement. While implementing this curriculum, they will be co-teaching 8th-12th graders, facilitating afternoon workshops to engage with students beyond academics, and partaking in mentorship in sustainable ways.

Teach for Ghana Partnership

Anissa Waterhouse, A17, and Jessica Howard, A17

Anissa and Jessica will use the Tisch Summer Fellows program as an opportunity to impact educational equity in Ghana. They will be working with Teach For Ghana out of the country’s capital, Accra, to develop and document the organization’s first-ever Training Institute, which will prepare participants to work in underserved schools in the Volta region of Ghana. During the first half of the summer Jessica and Anissa will be assisting the TFG team in planning and preparing for the Training Institute; for the second half, they will be recording and documenting the progression of the Institute itself. The first part will focus more on how to develop effective educational strategies, as well as learning about access to education in Ghana. The latter half will be about creating videos to advertise and inform people about the Teach For Ghana mission.

BUILD India: Building a Sense of Ur: An Initiative to Foster Communal Investment in Rural India

Palak Khanna, A18, and Siddharth Divakaruni, A19

As part of the Institute of Global Leadership at Tufts University, BUILD: India is an interdisciplinary student-led program that immerses students in the theory and practice of sustainable development through a partnership with their affiliate, the NGO Payir in Thottiyapatti, Tamil Nadu, India. BUILD members study and implement projects for human, social, and economic development. In conjunction with Payir, who oversees the ground operations and daily workings of villages in its scope, the group has worked with Thottiyapatti since 2010. They promote three core areas of development: education, income generation, and health and sanitation. Past projects include a Learning Center, which provides academic and emotional support to school-age children after regular school hours, and a biodegradable ECOSAN toilet complex, which encourages good health practices.

Documenting Feminist HERstories in Malaysia

Amanda Ng Yann Chwen, A18

Amanda will be working with All Women’s Action Society Malaysia (AWAM), an independent feminist organization in Malaysia for 9 weeks, to drive public education and storytelling initiatives. Her project comes in three parts. First, the AWAM HERstory video series captures the HERstories of the organization, based on interviews with both current members and veteran activists who founded AWAM 31 years ago. Amanda will be interviewing, filming, editing and producing videos to document AWAM’s grounded, determined feminist work. Reflecting on past HERstories will hopefully help current Malaysian feminists move forward. Additionally, Amanda will be illustrating a timeline on the politicization of ethnicity and religion (PER) in Malaysia, and designing a multilingual patriarchy handbook.