Public Service Fellowships

The Americas

Anupong Tangpeerachaikul (‘12 undeclared) spent four weeks in January at Oglala Lakota College (OLC), on the Oglala Sioux reservation in South Dakota, helping the laboratory staff to obtain state certification for environmental testing.

Fatima Hussain (‘11 Course 1) and Kendra Johnson (‘09 Course 1) continued work they started three years ago on developing and supporting drinking water systems for the village of Santa Ana and surrounding communities.

Lisa Rayle (G Course 11) held a set of community planning workshops in Mandeville, Jamaica, to improve the public space in the town center.


Alex Goldenberg (G Course 11) worked with the London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP) on grassroots community organizing around issues of affordable housing and welfare rights for poor and working class residents of London.


Christina Hsieh (G HST) developed primary school curriculum, especially 1st grade mathematics and science, for a Cambodian orphans home and school run by a recent MIT alum. Tanguy Chau (G Course 10) implemented a water filter system for the home and investigated other longterm water access and cleaning options. Read their blog here.

Amy Qian (‘11 Course 2) worked with her SolSource Tibet team members to field test their solar cooker design in western China and investigated appropriate local materials for manufacturing the cooker.

Raqeebul I Ketan (‘11 Course 16) supplemented the existing high school physics curriculum in Bangladesh by creating interactive media that will help students who do not have access to laboratories or the materials needed for hands-on experiments to understand the text book material and enjoy learning physics.

Somani Patnaik (‘11 Course 6) piloted a three-week leadership and education camp for high school students in Orissa, India. The camp increases awareness of how physics applies to the real world, demonstrates available opportunities in the field of science, and builds leadership qualities for the students. Somani developed the program with her team mate, Sabina Khan.


Forrest Funnell (‘09 Course 8) traveled to Kenya and Tanzania to develop the business plan and local infrastructure for Worldwide Mobility, a non-profit he co-founded with other MIT students and alums which will connect US donors with wheelchair workshops and wheelchair riders in developing countries.

Tish Scolnik (‘10 Course 2) has designed and distributed five "small-business wheelchairs" to entrepreneurs in Tanzania. She collected feedback on the mechanical design of the wheelchair, assessed the success of the businesses, and worked with local microfinance institutions to enable other disabled entrepreneurs to buy the wheelchairs.

Sameer Alkarim Hirji (‘11 Course 15) continued a project he began during the summer of 2008 to bring improved educational technology and volunteer resources to the Uhuru Blind School in Tanzania. Sameer will focused on increasing the sustainability of the project.

George Gathuru Waithaka (‘10 Course 18) installed hard disks containing MIT OpenCourseWare materials in computers at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. He also raised awareness of OCW on the campus and strengthened connections between the university and MIT OCW.

John Hilliard (‘09 Course 6) helped the Kabulasoke Teachers College in Uganda to transform their under-used computer lab into a resource that will ensure that future teachers graduate with basic computer skills. Read John's blog here.

Katherine Clopeck (G ESD) followed up on a project she began during the summer of 2008 to bring safe drinking water to rural villages in Ghana. She and her team assessed the success of their pilot project and test the feasibility of expansion into new villages.

Sara Ziff (G Course 1) assessed the viability of using a newly developed water filter to clean the very turbid water that is available to households in northern Ghana. She also determined whether the siphon filter would make a sensible addition to Pure Home Water's product line.

Mangwe Christabel Sabtala (‘11 Course 9) worked with the Fobang Foundation in Yaounde, Cameroon, to develop radio programming with a public-health focus.

For more information on these Fellows, contact Alison Hynd, Fellowships and Internships Coordinator.

Posted on December 30, 2008