Ariel Helms: Searching for a diabetes discovery

From Vanderbilt University -

For Ariel Helms, a genealogy search when she was young revealed a long-kept secret: Her ancestors were Cherokee Native Americans. “My great-grandparents had taken this knowledge to the grave,” she said. “My dad grew up thinking he was of German heritage. It was, at the time, a difficult thing to be Native American, so it was kept very secret.” Having a Native American background began to make sense—it could be why so many family members suffered from diabetes. These bits of information motivated Helms to seek out scientific research and Vanderbilt. She has worked in the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center’s lab the past two years. “My ultimate dream is to contribute to the alleviation of the burden of disease in a way that benefits my Native American community and the nation as a whole,” she said. “I want to help people struggling with diabetes.”

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.