Lang Scholar Profiles
Tristan Alston '22 "The relationship between structural racism and the poverty, crime, and social unrest in many urban Black communities is indisputable. Through a youth photojournalism program, I hope to address and dismantle the cyclical traumas and forces of systemic racism in Brownsville, Brooklyn. I hope to create positive, lasting relationships between urban youth of color and the various surrounding disconnected/oppressive populations, and to create social and economic hope in the process. Peace in Focus [Tristan's proposed Lang Project] reimagines a model of social engagement that transcends community boundaries, and that strives to create collective narratives that center and uplift silenced and marginalized voices."
Nancy Awad '20 Nancy's Lang Project, the Banat Seshat [Daughters of Seshat] Initiative, is a computer learning initiative whose mission is to help empower and educate Upper Egypt’s orphaned girls through digital literacy skills and self-advocacy. The initiative is named after the Ancient Egyptian goddess Seshat, who is the goddess of knowledge and intelligence, and in her footsteps, this initiative hopes to instill the same love and commitment for learning among project participants. The initiative’s goals are to increase digital literacy and provide a meaningful path toward higher education, self-realization, and social integration through providing the technological resources and education, administering a computer literacy curriculum, and overseeing a certification process.
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.
Eduardo Burgos '22 "Communities of color in the U.S. continue to experience repercussive defects in health equality due to generations of Western colonization, violence, U.S. imperialism, and White supremacy. When considering methods to reduce health care inaccessibility of marginalized populations, larger structural forms of oppression must be taken into consideration. As a Lang Scholar, I envision using nonprofit organizations that serve migrant populations as catalysts for immigration policy change. Direct medical services positively impact communities of the present, but long-lasting change can only be approached using medical inequity experiences as evidence for change. By [facilitating] medical care at migrant work sites, roadblocks to care are reduced and long-lasting health practices can be established."
Aayushi Dangol '20 Aayushi’s Lang Project, Barabari [ बराबरी ] is committed to creating a community that provides middle and high school girls with the resources, education, community, and confidence needed to succeed in the ever-growing technological world we live in today. By empowering the next generation of women to be leaders in technology, Barabari aims to change the societal expectations towards women and girls in Nepal, in addition to diversifying the field of technology and computer science, which is already far overdue. Thus, it is essential to prioritize an inclusive and safe learning space for girls in the advancement of technology and education, in order for these already marginalized communities of women to not become more oppressed as the field of computer science and technology continues to grow. Women should not just be included, but be leading the technological revolution, and Nepali women are no exception. More
Shay Downey '22 "The legacy of violence against our native women and children needs to end, but in order to stop any instance of injustice, we must start by acknowledging its existence. My project aims to promote advocacy for missing and murdered Indigenous women and make resources to support survivors more accessible. Ultimately, I seek to assist in the reform of tribal policies to defend the rights of Native women who have historically been oppressed and silenced."
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 Design FC -- Omri's Lang Project -- is an after school program in Chester (PA), working in partnership with Chester-Upland Youth Soccer with 5th and 6th graders on encouraging creative thinking and self-expression through design. Each student spent the year designing their own unique soccer jerseys, in which they expressed what means most to them, their families, their city, what they want to change in the world, and more. Students also had the opportunity to work with professional soccer player and designer, Warren Creavalle, who has become an integral part of the Design FC family. Additionally, Design FC was nominated for the MLS Community MVP award, and recognized on a national stage at the MLS All Star Game in Orlando. Further, Adidas soccer and the Philadelphia Union recently asked Design FC to help design the new soccer jersey for Chester’s high school team (it’s been over thirty years since Chester has had high school soccer). Design FC will continue working with the Philadelphia Union on upcoming projects.
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 intends to create a project that will support the growth of innovation ecosystems in emerging markets. Working with entrepreneurs, business accelerators and other local actors in countries like Haiti, she aims to simulate collaboration and provide resources to increase the success of entrepreneurship as a means of effective local development.
Luke Neureiter '22 "Peace engineering is an emerging field that encompasses a broad set of methodologies all with the same goal: building, preserving, and promoting peace around the world. Whether it be building renewable and sustainable neighborhoods from the ground up or promoting dialogue to build long-lasting connections, peace engineering includes both people and projects. I am incredibly honored to be a part of the LOS community and am excited at the prospect of helping define what peace engineering means at Swarthmore."
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.
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.
Chunyang Wang '22 "The FreeArt Initiative [Chunyang's proposed Lang Project] aims to improve disadvantaged children’s access to art education in China. Because of the hukou policy, many migrant students are only able to attend under-resourced schools. The FreeArt Initiative will partner with community-based organizations, university student volunteers, and art galleries to deliver a highly structured art curriculum. As lessons focus on inspiring collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, students will benefit from improved technical and interpersonal skills as well as interaction with the professional art sector. The first program of FreeArt Initiative will take place in the form of a summer camp, which hopes to reach 25 students and produce one student-led group exhibition."
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.
Hussain Zaidi '22 "My project aims to prepare and educate health care professionals, medical students, and policymakers on the negative impact that decentralization can have on health care availability and quality for vulnerable communities (specifically LGBTQ+ communities), advocate for a hybrid approach of both decentralization and centralization of health services to different levels, and introduce relevant educational curriculum in medical and training schools to reduce the negative impacts that devolution of health care has on certain stigmatized communities."
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.