Rice University

Rice University Center for Civic Leadership

2017 Loewenstern Fellows

Elizabeth Asonye



Elizabeth Asonye (Duncan ’19) will serve with FSD International this summer in Masaya, Nicaragua for nine weeks. In Masaya, she will work as a public health and education intern at the Centro de Salud (CS) Monimbo health center. The Health Center has many opportunities to pursue outreach and public health education in urban and rural communities. She will help plan, implement, and evaluate the daily educational workshops at the clinic and travel to rural outposts (puestos de salud) in Masaya to engage communities on thematic topics (such as sanitation, disease and diarrhea, child nutrition, and cervical cancer) and public health campaigns. This internship will provide her the opportunity to develop her skills in the public health sector while serving local communities in Nicaragua. To learn more about Elizabeth's work with FSD, visit her blog.



Margaret Baldwin


Margaret Baldwin (Sid Rich ’19) will serve with Child Family Health International this summer in Quito, Ecuador for 9 weeks. In Quito she will work with an NGO that provides services to promote sexual and reproductive health in underserved rural and urban areas around the city. She will work with the organization and also learn about the educational and outreach strategies used in Ecuador to educate the population about their right to access reproductive and sexual health services regardless of their background or gender. To learn more about Margaret's work with Child Family Health International, visit her blog.




Snigdha Banda



Snigdha Banda (Wiess ’20) will be working through Child Family Health International this summer in the rural district of Mukono, Uganda, for nine weeks. Snigdha’s project centers on strengthening Ugandan grassroots community healthcare, which is currently strained by a lack of medical resources and health care workers. In order to address this shortage, Snigdha will embark on home visits to speak with patients and train Ugandan community healthcare workers in spreading preventative care medical knowledge. She will also be distributing essential medical equipment like mosquito nets and oral rehydration solution and improving infrastructure and sanitation through the construction of cookstoves and water filters. In addition to her service, Snigdha will be conducting research on the efficacy of systems involving community healthcare workers to strengthen the ongoing grassroots healthcare work in Uganda. To learn more about Snigdha's work with Child Family Health International, visit her blog



Kristina Dickman



Kristina Dickman (Wiess ‘18) will research with the Centro de Salud Davila Bolaños this summer in Masaya, Nicaragua for 9 weeks. Kristina will be working with the Centro, one of Masaya’s two major health centers, to help conduct a civic research project aimed at qualitatively and quantitatively gathering information on diabetes. She will be investigating the level and quality of knowledge that diabetic patients possess surrounding their diagnosis. This research project aims to include a wide range of individuals, even those with limited access to the services that the Centro de Salud provides. The ultimate goal of Kristina’s work with the Centro de Salud Davila Bolaños is to gain a holistic image of the level of knowledge that diabetic individuals in Nicaragua possess surrounding their diagnosis. To learn more about Kristina's work with Centro de Salud Davila Bolaños, visit her blog.




Malvika Govil


Malvika Govil (Wiess College ‘18) will research with Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust this summer in Mumbai, India, for 9 weeks. Drug addicts who are also HIV positive and living on the streets of Mumbai represent an especially vulnerable population, and society often views funding and support for antiretroviral therapy as a waste due to the perception that they are irresponsible, their lives too chaotic for effective treatment, and they do not deserve it since substance use is their fault. Malvika’s research will investigate to what extent these claims are true through a qualitative and quantitative approach involving surveys and focus group interviews with HIV positive drug users who are receiving support and treatment through Sankalp. The hoped-for outcome is to demonstrate that substance users do adhere to treatment plans and significantly benefit from them, so that Sankalp and other similar organizations can advocate for this marginalized population more convincingly. To learn more about Malvika's work with Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, visit her blog. 



Anveet Janwadkar



Anveet Janwadkar (Jones ’18) will serve with Child Family Health International this summer in Cordoba, Argentina for 9 weeks. In Cordoba, he will intern at the Argentinian State Ministry of Health and explore the workings of Argentina’s public health policy and its universal healthcare system. Furthermore, Anveet will be assisting mobile clinic teams that provide free services such as blood pressure screenings, vaccines, mammograms, and nutrition counseling. He will also be working with the Social Services Department within secondary hospitals running education and outreach programs that target issues such as diabetes, sexual health, and healthy eating. To learn more about Anveet's work with Child Family Health International, visit his blog



Ben Johnson



Benjamin Johnson (McMurtry ’18) will research with Universidad El Bosque this summer in Colombia for 10 weeks. He will be assisting in a survey of the local biodiversity and summarizing key findings. Then, through interviews and meetings with local community members, he will help identify ways in which natural resources can be used in a sustainable manner for local economic development. To learn more about Benjamin's work with Universidad El Bosque, visit his blog.



Craig Joiner

Craig Joiner (Duncan ‘18) will serve with Fundara this summer in Salta, Argentina for 9 weeks. In Salta, Craig will dedicate his 9 weeks to encourage community engagement through dialogue and civic action. Using Spanish, Craig with organize movements, and promote volunteering among the community youth. Craig will also have the opportunity to organize educational workshops based on health and/or entrepreneurship. To learn more about Craig's work with Fundara, visit his blog.



Elizabeth Jowers


Elizabeth Jowers (Martel '20), will spend Summer 2017 in Lima, Peru, working with education nonprofit Building Dignity. Her research will assess effectiveness in existing programs, and determine best practices to connect with local teachers.She is double-majoring in Latin American Studies and Political Science, and is interested in government transparency, education accessibility, and international relations. Elizabeth interns at the Baker Institute of Public Policy, and plans to study in Mexico and Spain during her time at Rice. To learn more about Elizabeth's work with Building Dignity, visit her blog.



Ashwin Leo



Ashwin Leo (Jones '18) will serve with CFHI (Child Family Health International) this summer in Delhi, India for 9 weeks. In Delhi, he will be working for the Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM), an Indian non-governmental organization that works to provide support for the underserved and disadvantaged. Their goals are to bring out the inner potential and ability in these individuals, instill in them a sense of self- belief and worth, and empower and prepare them for sustainable change. SPYM conducts projects in a wide range of areas related to health and community development, and Ashwin's work will be centered on drug prevention and rehabilitation. He will helping a variety of individuals on the margins of society who are struggling with drug addiction, including children, women, and the prison-based population. To learn more about Ashwins work with CFHI, visit his blog.




Nimi Oyeleye


Nimi Oyeleye (Wiess ’18) will serve with ARDE Kubaho this summer in Kigali, Rwanda for six weeks. In Rwanda, she will be working with rural communities and getting involved in water projects. She will learn about community best practices to constructing water facilities. She will also will assist with community education on hygiene and sanitation practices at households’ level as well as management and ownership of the water facility. She will also work to help implement technical training and establish water management structures. 



Liseth Perez-Sanchez


Liseth Perez-Sanchez (Martel ’19) will serve with Child Family Health International (CFHI) this summer in Cordoba, Argentina for nine weeks. In Cordoba, she will be working with the Ministry of Public Health with an emphasis on Primary Care and Social Medicine. She will be part of rotations to local outpatient wards that focus on preventative and primary care with the option of comparing care in urban and rural hospitals. During the first two weeks, she will also be attending Advanced Spanish classes in a local university, to better understand and communicate with the host community. For the remainder of the program, she will be working in the Ministry of Public Health Administrative office and participating in the mobile clinics and outreach events. To learn more about Liseth's work with CFHI, visit her blog.


Emily Rao



Emily Rao (Baker ’18) will research with Collective Responsibility this summer in Shanghai, China for 10 weeks. She will be studying end of life care options for the elderly in the Chinese health care system. Specifically, she is interested in the question of when it is appropriate, both medically and ethically, to withdraw treatment and begin palliative care and the associated technologies and procedures. Collective Responsibility is committed to the sustainability, thus, her research will prioritize options that protect the financial and cultural interests of the Chinese people. To learn more about Emily's work with Collective Responsibility, visit her blog



Akhil Surapaneni



Akhil Surapaneni (Martel ‘18) will research with Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) this summer in Jinja, Uganda for 9 weeks. He will be investigating low-cost irrigation technologies for rural communities. Akhil will propose an appropriate way for a local organization, Busoga Trust, to provide this technology. His project will combine structured observation, individual interviews, focus groups, and online research. To learn more about Akhil's work with FSD, visit his blog 



Ethan Tan



Ethan Tan (Baker ’18) will volunteer with the nonprofit preschool P.R.E.F.E.R. in Musanze, Rwanda this summer for six weeks. P.R.E.F.E.R. was founded by Cathy Emmerson who has been working in Musanze for the past 14 years to empower the community through education. Ethan will assist local teachers in lesson planning and teaching morning preschool classes. In addition, he will be engaging with afternoon adult and primary six classes with English and general tutorials. He will plan a dental hygiene week to promote the importance oral healthcare and teach practical ways to take care of teeth in Rwanda’s cultural context. To learn more about P.R.E.F.E.R., you can go to the P.R.E.F.E.R. website, or you can read more about it on Ethan's blog



Sonia Torres



Sonia Torres (Hanszen ’19) will be a researcher at the Research Triangle Institute (RTI International) for ten weeks this summer in Kampala, Uganda. Her work this summer will center around the Governance, Accountability, Participation and Performance Program (GAPP) and studying how government can become a platform of empowerment for its citizens. Specifically, in the past, the citizens of Uganda have encountered structural barriers such as geography and minimal contact with governmental representatives, which need to be addressed to strengthen the provision of basic services. She will conduct her research by surveying with citizens from some of the 36 district in Uganda, analyzing reports of previous usage of USAID and DFIW funds, and bolstering the methods in which citizens can contact their representatives. Next year, she hopes to utilize her experience this summer to instigate further ventures with the CCL in international development. To learn more about Sonia's work with RTI International, visit her blog 


Julia Wang

Julia Wang (Baker ’19) will research with Collective Responsibility this summer in Shanghai, China, for 10 weeks. She will analyze the current situation and needs of the growing rural migrant population in Shanghai and across China. She will also discover the potential role of technological innovation in reducing educational disparities for migrant children. Through interviews with migrant workers and their families, teachers at migrant schools, and local government officials, she will research the economic and social impacts of a growing group of educated migrants in the job sector and the impacts of a potential change in hukou policy. To learn more about Julia's work with Collective Responsibility, visit her blog


Sunny Yu


Sunny Yu (Baker ’18) will serve with HandsOn Shanghai this summer in Shanghai, China for six weeks. As a Loewenstern Fellow on the civic service placement, he will help coordinate an integrative camp for middle-school-aged migrant students who have limited access to educational resources. Specifically, Sunny will lead and teach an English curriculum, an initiative he is currently designing. Sunny will also assist with other classes and activities throughout the day and work with administration on logistical duties. To learn more about Sunny's work with HandsOn Shanghai, visit his blog.