Lonnie Hackett ’14 lives by the motto, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”
This philosophy has driven Hackett to do something extraordinary, particularly for a busy college student. In his junior year, Hackett founded Healthy Kids/Brighter Future, a charity dedicated to improving the health of children in Zambia. The organization has already helped thousands of children.
Hackett recently gave a talk to Bowdoin students about how he “turned a funded internship grant [of $5,000] into a nonprofit,” as Associate Director of Career Planning Dighton Spooner puts it. Bowdoin Career Planning offers many summertime grants to help students pursue otherwise unpaid internships or work experiences in the U.S. and around the world.
Hackett, a biochemistry major and National Truman Scholar, first traveled to Lusaka, Zambia, in the summer of 2011 with a Forest Foundation Fellowship. Soon after arriving in the African country, he encountered levels of illness and suffering that were shocking to him, he said. Read more of Erica Hummel ’16′s story about Hackett’s nonprofit.
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Bowdoin is listed among the top bachelor’s institutions that produced the most Fulbright scholars last year, according to a recent list published by The Chronicle for Higher Education.
In 2012-2013, nine Bowdoin students received Fulbright scholarships.
The Fulbright program is the U.S. government’s “flagship international educational exchange program,” administered by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This fall, more than 1,800 U.S. students, artists and young professionals, in more than 100 different fields, have Fulbright grants to study, teach English or conduct research in countries around the world.
The program is administered at Bowdoin through the Student Fellowships and Research office.
Paris Twilight, by Russ Rymer from Bowdoin College on Vimeo.
Acclaimed journalist and author Russ Rymer, currently a visiting writer at Bowdoin, talks about his new novel “Paris Twilight” with Professor of English Brock Clarke.
Exploring Earth System Science on Hurricane Island from Bowdoin College on Vimeo (image credits: Abby McBride, Rachel Beane, and Alice Anderson).
In a cabin on windswept and rain-battered Hurricane Island in Penobscot Bay, 24 Bowdoin students clustered around a poster board covered with a winding trail of pink sticky notes – a timeline telling the island’s geologic and oceanographic history. “Glaciers retreat,” read one pink square at 15,000 years ago. “Sea level rises,” said another, situated 7,000 years later. Further down the line, in the 19th century: “2.5 million metric tons of granite quarried.”
What’s impressive is that the students figured much of that history out themselves, during a single intensive weekend of closely studying the land and water on and around Hurricane Island. Along with 8 faculty and staff members from the Earth and Oceanographic Science Department, the students were hosted by the Hurricane Island Foundation Center for Science and Leadership for a field seminar titled “Earth System Science of Hurricane Island,” organized by EOS department chair Collin Roesler.
The Sept. 20-22 trip was the department’s third annual field seminar for EOS majors and potential majors, following a 2012 trip to Grand Manan Island and a 2011 trip to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. Of the three seminars, Hurricane Island was closest to home: an hour’s drive from Brunswick to Rockland followed by an hour’s trip by boat.
Continue reading Science and Adventure on Hurricane Island
Joan Yego ’16 and Faith Biegon ’14
When Faith Biegon ’14 and Joan Yego ’16 sit next to each other on a couch, casually close, they are like any other pair of old friends. They back each other up after saying something or add a final sentence to round out the other’s statement. They also share an extraordinary background.
Both women participated in a unique program in Kenya that prepares bright students for admission to elite U.S. Colleges. The Kenya Scholar-Athlete Program, or KenSAP, each year selects just a dozen or so students who have scored in the top 1% to 1.5% of Kenya’s national exams. These exams are young people’s gateway to university and are taken by roughly 400,000 high school graduates every year.
In particular, KenSAP targets students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Many have grown up in rural areas, in farming families. Others have illiterate parents and are first-generation high school students. The program provides free room and board, and its instructors prep the students to take the TOEFL and SAT exams and fill out college applications. Since its founding, KenSAP has placed 106 students in schools such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown and the NESCAC schools — schools that can afford to offer generous scholarships. All KenSAP students have received full financial aid.
Read the full story.
Photo submitted by Edith Leghorn to the Needham Times
Edith Leghorn’s 79-day journey through Patagonia this summer with a National Outdoor Leadership School group took her through forests, mountain peaks, snowfields and glaciers.
To get to the point where she could accomplish this feat, Leghorn had to come a long way. When she first started at Bowdoin three years ago, she had never spent a night outside.
Leghorn told the Needham Times, “Before my trip to Patagonia, I never would have thought I could hike 12 straight hours in the pouring rain and cold up 1000 meters of cliff face, thickly vegetated forest, and steep and slippery rock. In retrospect, days such as these are the ones I cherish most, as they helped me to realize the power of perseverance and a positive attitude.”
It’s a familiar scene for anyone who drives: Construction or an accident requires multilane traffic to merge into a single lane. Most thoughtful drivers move over well ahead of the merge point, but there are always a few jerks who stay where they are until the very end, causing the whole system to slow down to a stop. Actually, they’re right and we’re wrong. It’s called a “zipper merge,” and it’s one of the solutions to traffic detailed by author Tom Vanderbilt in his new book.
Marcus Karim ’14 in Peru
Recently a gathering at the Frontier restaurant in downtown Brunswick honored the students who were awarded Global Citizens grants from the McKeen Center.
Global Citizens grants fund students’ self-designed public service projects in a foreign country. The six 2013 recipients spent the summer volunteering as tutors, medical assistants or, in one case, as a farmer, in Peru, Thailand, China, Sierra Leone and Kenya.
While sitting around a long table at the restaurant, several of the students described witnessing distressing disparities in health care, education and civil rights. Others spoke about the unfamiliar sensation of being a minority, signaled out for their difference. Yet most also recounted big gestures of hospitality and warmth from the communities they lived in this summer.
Read about the students’ experiences.
Sarah Hirschfeld ’12 and a fellow NESCAC student (from Connecticut College) in California
This summer, Sarah Hirschfeld decided to have a big adventure before buckling down to her studies to become a high school biology teacher. She joined Bike & Build, a nonprofit that organizes cross-country trips for young people, combining bicycling with building homes for low-income families.
During the trip, the cyclists stop in different cities to help build houses for needy families, usually in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
Hirschfeld’s group left Portland June 16 and arrived in Santa Barbara in late August, a trip of 3,937 miles. After completing her trip, Hirschfeld answered some questions about her summer.
In 1953 the BBC filmed a time-lapse of a train ride from London to Brighton, repeating the same film stunt in 1983 and 2013. In this video, you can watch the same train route over these 30-year intervals. Though it goes by a little fast to take in all the changes, seeing the two train conductors in 1953 and 2013 and listening to the music while seemingly flying down the tracks is pretty fun.