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UT Austin students to tackle global challenges on 3 continents




AUSTIN, Texas Five teams of students and faculty members are helping to make an impact worldwide by addressing conservation efforts in India, preventing skin cancer in Singapore, water conservation practices in Jordan, early STEM education in Jamaica, and study the effect of social networking for students in Mexico. Teams are the winners of 2020-2021 Presidents Award for Global Learning.

Finalist teams were selected through a competitive process to pursue interdisciplinary projects that directly affect communities in key regions of the world. The winning projects, representing nine colleges and schools, were selected from 33 proposals submitted by 128 students representing 10 colleges and 82 faculty members representing 15 colleges. Award winners will receive up to $ 15,000 in project implementation costs as well as additional travel and academic financial support.

Working together, students and faculty design, develop, and execute projects that set our motto What Starts Here Changes the World in Action and Deepens UT Austins Global’s influence, said UT President Jay Hartzell. The Presidents Award for Global Learning is an unparalleled opportunity to address the most pressing challenges facing our world today.

A signature programInternational Board of Advisors, The Presidents Award for Global Learning promotes the global commitment of universities and enhances the learning of students with international experience to create leaders and innovators with strong intercultural knowledge. Initiative-supported research aims to address issues in global communities and place those solutions toward similar challenges in Texas.

This year marks the third round of projects funded by the Presidents Award for Global Learning. As of 2018, 12 Presidents Award Teams have addressed global issues in 10 countries around the world, exploring possible solutions to lower Texas native mortality by examining successful methods in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, creating a mobile app to address health inequalities for LGBTQ + South Indians and exploring the effects of colorism in Ghana and Texas.

These exemplary projects illustrate the strong pedagogical and research expertise of the UT faculty, ”said Sonia Feigenbaum, Senior Vice-Provider for Global Engagement and Leading International Official. “Together with motivated students, they will undoubtedly contribute to the search for tangible solutions to real-world challenges. Each team of students, faculty leaders and mentors will collaborate with partners within the country and thus expand the wider global network of universities.

The 2020-2021 teams will begin their research in collaboration with partners within the country in the next semester, after which they will travel abroad during the summer of 2021.

2020-2021 Presidents Award for Winning Global Learning Teams

Asia and Oceania

Conservation Conversations: A Community-Based Research Study to Understand Public Engagement in Conservation Initiatives in India

Implement a community-based research model on local mangrove conservation efforts to emphasize the importance of collaborative approaches to climate change

Student team members: Emily Samson, Yukta Sunkara, Gauree Srinivasan, Sanjna Bhatia
Faculty team members: Jason Cons, Erin Lentz, Deepak Chetty
Graduate student team member: Sachin Dheeraj Mudigonda

Singapore Skin Cancer: Using Augmented Reality to Promote Skin Cancer Prevention Efforts

Explore an updated approach to traditional public health initiatives through innovative communication technologies to deliver an interactive and experiential skin cancer prevention campaign to young adults

Student team members: Neha Momin, Sahar Ali, Daniel Killough, Arman Farsad
Faculty team members: Erin Reilly, Lucy Atkinson, Thus, Herath
Graduate student team member: Sajani Patel

Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Promoting Green Venture: A Comparison of Water Conservation Practices and Behaviors in Jordan and Texas

Compare on-campus water conservation efforts and general water conservation technology and practice in Texas and Jordan

Student team members: Kisara Dang, Sumaya Daghestani, Abby Partridge, Tanya Raghu
Faculty team members: David Eaton, Lucy Atkinson, Jayme Walenta

Latin America and the Caribbean

Young Innovators: Bringing Inductive Learning to STEM Early Education in Jamaica

Catalyze the shift toward inductive STEM learning in Jamaica elementary students

Student team members: Pearlyn Ang, Christopher Calizzi, Anthony Tang, Catherine Tang
Faculty team members: Melissa Kemp, Hal Alper, Brent Iverson
Graduate student team member: Bernard David

Relationship case: Understanding the effect of social media on student academic stress in Austin, Texas and Mexico City

Explore the role of social networking in perceived levels of academic stress of Mexican and Texan students

Student team members: Thomas Dang, Melanie Milligan, Grace Ozor, Mariana Rendon Flores
Faculty team members: Deborah Parra-Medina, Carmen Valdez, Keri Stephens
Graduate student team member: Alfonso Rojas Alvarez

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