Lang Center
for Civic & Social Responsibility

Lang Scholar Profiles

Nancy Awad '20 In collaboration with the Hands Along the Nile Organization, Nancy's Lang Project will address the lack of educational opportunities that orphaned and Coptic young women have access to in rural Upper Egypt. Agents of Resilience will be a digital literacy mentoring and certificate initiative for the young women at the Lillian Trasher Orphanage in Assuit, Egypt. Participants will train one other person or their mentee, thus insuring that the project is sustained by the local community. 

Faith Becker ’21 Educational inequality plays a significant role in the lives of students in the American public school system, especially within the St. Louis area. Low income students are often left unprepared after high school for the venture to college and therefore, typically opt to go straight into the workforce, a process which often pushes these students back into a cycle of poverty. Through her Lang Project, Strive St. Louis, Faith plans to combat educational inequality by providing college access programs and resources to underprivileged students.

Ferial Berjawi '19 The BetterFly Camp, Ferial's Lang Project, is a comprehensive 6-week program that aims to empower underprivileged adolescent refugee girls in Lebanon. In partnership with SMART Center, a local non-profit civic company that aims to improve human and institutional capacities to attain excellence, the project is being implemented in Beirut. Ferial writes, "Our vision is to inspire a generation of adolescent girls to become empowered leaders of social change in their communities. We will build their resilience with vital knowledge and a strong emotional support network, in the aim of limiting child and forced marriage, and reducing the risks and consequences of gender-based violence."

Aayushi Dangol '20 Aayushi’s Lang Project, नव ज्योति [Nawa Jyoti, translated to “New Light”], will be a collaboration with an NGO in Kathmandu to shift from the paradigm of rescue, repatriation, and rehabilitation of those who have been trafficked to an approach that protects and promotes trafficking victims’ human rights. A component of Nawa Jyoti will be a web-based learning platform where the trafficking victims gain vocational and life skills training. It is hoped that through this training, Nawa Jyoti will empower the trafficking survivors and put an end to the uncertainty and passivity which the victims have to encounter. Dangol's mantra: “Passion, patience, and persistence in all I do.”

Elizabeth Erler ‘20 Zone 3 of Guatemala City contains one of the largest garbage dumps in Central America. Elizabeth’s Lang Project, Alianza de salud de zona tres [Zone 3 Health Alliance], will build upon the existing network of neighborhood presidents to bring increased access to preventative and chronic healthcare to the residents of Zone 3. This network of health advocates will work to promote awareness about and treatment of preventable but deadly illnesses such as malnutrition and diarrheal illnesses which devastate these communities and establish long-term community plans to treat chronic diseases including asthma, diabetes, and addiction.

Omri Gal '19 Omri’s project, Design FC, is an after school program in partnership with the US Soccer Foundation which teaches 5th and 6th grade students in Chester,Pennsylvania design thinking through soccer. Omri has designed a curriculum to incorporate the principles of design thinking into an extensive jersey design challenge, in which students will engage in various challenges and activities that will ultimately lead to the creation of both their own personalized jerseys, and a collaborative jersey for their school, Stetser Elementary. Omri’s aim is to help students enhance their creative capabilities, problem solving, and collaborative skills -- all of which can be applied across a wide range of subjects in school. 

Layla Hazaineh ‘20 As a women’s rights activist, Hazaineh strives to amplify the fight against the patriarchy. She has used Facebook as a platform to disseminate videos that address taboo topics and crimes related to misogyny in Jordan and, to date, has 26,388 followers on Facebook from all over the world. With her Lang Project, Hazaineh plans to strengthen her social media platform, elevate it, and create a professional, social, and academic space which will be utilized to fight the patriarchal system, thus empowering women across the Arab world. 

Lamia Makkar ’21 Lamia's Lang Project, WOCO, will stimulate the growth of innovation ecosystems in emerging markets, starting in Haiti. The platform Lamia envisions will facilitate two critical features of a healthy ecosystem: local collaboration through its online community and the ability to leverage international resources through a two-sided marketplace.

Jolleen Opula ’21 intends to create a project that will address the issue of lack of classrooms in schools in a rural village in Bungoma County, Kenya. She will work with the locals to build classrooms using locally available materials. The aim of the project is to enhance the education experience of students in the village and to help improve the students’ learning outcomes.

Seimi Park ’20 Seimi's intended Lang Project, is an initiative dedicated to promoting the education of women in journalism, media, and communications, with a defined focus on data and technology as platform for impact. Operating in several hubs in the greater Philadelphia area, Press for Peace aims to empower women to use their voices, with the long-term goals of: increased diversity in the fields of technology, media, and telecommunications; economic empowerment through relevant skills-based workshops and training programs; and development of an independent news platform. This model will equip women with the tools to thrive in this capacity, while driving academic and cultural discourse in a time plagued by a lack of productive and constructive dialogue.

Chris Precise ’21 Writing in the Ward – Chris’s Lang Project – will be a sociology-writing workshop implemented at Mighty Writers South, designed to teach marginalized high school students sociology in the Seventh Ward of Philadelphia with creative writing. The goal of this workshop will be to fill the educational gaps left behind by the School District of Philadelphia’s poor budgeting and funding of local schools.

Rose Ridder '20 Addressing science engagement in Northern Thailand, Ridder’s project, Phapangwittaya Water Project (โครงการน้ำโรงเรียนผาปังวิทยา) aims to improve experiential science access in Phapang and surrounding communities in Thailand. Over the last decade, National Thai science standards have begun to refocus outcomes on innovation and critical thinking rather than reading and rote memorization, but unfortunately, many schools - primarily rural - remain challenged to transition their curriculums in ways to meaningfully address these goals while maintaining performance on national written tests. By integrating local natural and community resources in a pilot school, Ridder developed a hydrology-focused science program to expose students to laboratory science procedures and opportunities within their communities to learn and discover. Maintaining the central premise of enhancing interactive, hands-on learning, Ridder further expanded her water-focused program to engage 20 teachers and 7 schools, with plans to further expand teacher training opportunities for curriculum development in three other natural-world sciences.  

Shayena Shah ’21 Shayena’s Lang Project, SaniStitch, is an economic livelihood initiative that combats taboos against menstruation in India. SaniStitch aims to improve menstrual health through reusable menstrual product design workshops for women, training peer health workers, and awareness workshops for all genders.

Eriko Shrestha '19 In collaboration with two local partners, The Himalayan Climate Initiative and Doko Recyclers, Eriko launched Nagar Mitra's E-waste Network in Kathmandu, Nepal, a network on advocacy education, and collection of e-waste. E-waste is any item that runs on electricity and/or a battery and contains circuitry. The government of Nepal labeled e-waste as a hazardous waste stream but has no regulations over its management, nor does it plan to prioritize e-waste in the near future. As the fastest growing waste stream, the Network is a sustainable initiative that tackles it by (1) arranging workshops to connect key stakeholders and develop strategies to manage e-waste, (2) creating internships for college students, (3) teaching brief e-waste lessons open to the public and collaborating with higher education institutions on extra-curricular programs related to e-waste. Currently, the project is focused on data collection to assess current e-waste generation and market opportunities. 

Nancy Yuan ’20 An innovative approach to refugee resettlement is for community organizations to sponsor refugees, in addition to the traditional route of government assisted resettlement programs. Nancy is from New Zealand: Her country has just doubled their refugee intake quota and is currently piloting a Community Organization Refugee Sponsorship program. Nancy’s Lang Project is centered on connecting individuals with community organizations to improve the support of refugees resettled in New Zealand. She has previous experience working on projects with Syrian, Iraqi, and Afghan refugees, and continues to be drawn to issues of forced displacement as both an area of academic inquiry and applied practice. 

Andrew Zhu ’21 Andrew intends to create a Lang Project that will raise awareness about and funding for the study of rare, deadly infectious diseases. These infections have very high mortality rates, but are considered low priority by CDC due to their rarity, and therefore, public awareness is low and funding for research is sparse. As global warming may be linked to the proliferation of some of these diseases, we anticipate that Andrew’s project will become a timely STEM for social good project.