Wellesley STORIES: Art App-reciation at the Davis

What do the American Museum of Natural History, MoMa, and Wellesley College's Davis Museum have in common? Besides great art, they all have iPhone apps. With the aid of fellow students in the Wellesley College Human Computer Interaction Lab, media arts and sciences major MaCherie Edwards '11 created ArteMUSE, an iPhone app helping visitors interact with art in the Davis Museum.

Notre Dame - Fighting for Displaced People

From The University of Notre Dame

There are 60 million displaced people in the world and every day an estimated 40,000 people flee their homes in search of safety elsewhere. For many, a temporary stop in a refugee camp becomes a lifetime of dependency and desolation. 

Notre Dame anthropology professor Rahul Oka believes there is a better way to provide aid to these residents. For several years, with colleagues in the Department of Anthropology, iCeNSA and the Ford Family Program he has studied the evolution of trade and commerce, focusing on the formal and informal economies that develop within these camps. Working with the United Nations and the World Bank, his analysis suggests when refugees can be self-reliant may have significantly better long-term outcomes. Much of professor Oka's research is done in Kenya at Kakuma refugee camp, one of the largest in the world.

Majak Anyieth, currently a junior at Notre Dame, grew up at Kakuma. He knows firsthand the difficulties of relying on aid packages that contain barely enough provisions to last a month and how hunger can jeopardize opportunities for education. He's now started a non-profit, Education Bridge, to foster peace and entrepreneurship in youth. They are currently building their first school in South Sudan.

Undergraduate Research at Carnegie-Mellon University

Corrine Vassallo, a Physics and Music Performance major, talks about her contributions to Carnegie Mellon University entry for the Google Lunar X Prize, an optical orbit determination system that will guide the lander to the surface of the moon. Professor Red Whitaker, her faculty research mentor and CEO of CMU spin-off Astrobotics, discusses how it is important for students like Corrine to have concentrated research time in the summer to grow as practitioners in their discipline.

Pushing the Boundaries: Adaptive Design at the University of Oregon

Athletes who play wheelchair rugby usually create their own makeshift gear for the sport, such as duct taping garden gloves to their hands. Product design students at the University of Oregon in Portland were challenged to come up with innovative solutions for the sport during the Adaptive Design studio course. The students worked with the Portland Pounders team and Seth McBride, a UO graduate, who will head to his third Paralympics this summer in Rio to compete with Team USA Wheelchair Rugby.

UC Davis student Kiko Barr

From The University of California at Davis -

“This is a little bit dorky, but in high school I was really into this video game called Harvest Moon. You play a farmer who inherits his great uncle’s land. You can grow crops like tomatoes, and pet the cows and milk them. Growing up in the suburbs, I had no idea what an actual farm looked like. The game created this image in my mind that farming was the coolest thing ever. It led me to check out the Student Farm and apply for an internship, which I received. Six months later, I changed my major to sustainable ag and food systems. It's funny to look back and think it all started with farming on a screen.”

Georgia Tech Graduate: Pranaya Chilukuri

From The Georgia Institute of Technology - Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Pranaya Chilukuri fell in love with Georgia Tech as a child coming to science fairs and math competitions. Now she's getting redy to graduate with a degree in biomedical engineering. Along the way, she found a way to give back to the community and reinvigorate a love for Indian dance. "It's been a heckuva ride," she says.