Student Stories

#LandBack

Land Back is more than a hashtag, it is a movement to reclaim Indigenous futures. This project follows historic and contemporary policies impacting Dakota land reclamation, spotlighting Zani Otunwe.

Bare Footage

"Playing with convergences of land, language and alternative (embodied) literacies in the interest of decolonizing relationships to and education about land, our piece is a sensory exercise in communicating with land through the feet."

Beyond the Classroom: Fall 2020 GCC Student Work

 

Each semester, student groups across various Grand Challenge Curriculum (GCC) courses participate in the Classroom to Community Workshop. This workshop serves as an exciting opportunity for students to share group projects being developed in current GCC courses. In response to COVID-19, this page was created as a virtual workshop for students to share their projects despite social-distancing. Thank you for taking the time to view these works.

Beyond the Classroom: Spring 2020 GCC Student Work

Each semester, student groups across various Grand Challenge Curriculum (GCC) courses participate in the Classroom to Community Workshop. This workshop serves as an exciting opportunity for students to share group projects being developed in current GCC courses. In response to COVID-19, this page was created as a virtual workshop for students to share their projects despite social-distancing. Thank you for taking the time to view these works.

Beyond the Classroom: Spring 2021 GCC Student Work

Each semester, student groups across various Grand Challenge Curriculum (GCC) courses participate in the Classroom to Community Workshop. This workshop serves as an exciting opportunity for students to share group projects being developed in current GCC courses. In response to COVID-19, this page was created as a virtual workshop for students to share their projects despite social-distancing. Thank you for taking the time to view these works.

Bridging the Gap: Scientific Research and Indigenous Perspectives

"Our project will investigate how Native science and perspectives can be integrated into Western approaches to science in order to create sustainable and decolonialized research. While Western science typically considers the land as below or unrelated to the individuals who live on it, Native science emphasizes the connection of individuals with their surroundings and regards people as integral to the ecological networks within which they reside. The goal of our GCC course is to examine the relationships between indigenous languages and land and to understand the power of place-based knowledge. Our project aims to investigate a specific facet of the relationship between land and knowledge by exploring how Native science (ie. traditional place-based knowledge) and Western scientific practices can conflict, coexist, or collaborate. We are particularly interested in determining how Native perspectives and Western scientific research projects can be integrated and how this combination of perspectives can decolonize current research."

COVID Pork Shortage

More needs to be done to make the pork processing industry more resilient to avoid future shortages.
Reform is needed in meat markets to allow smaller processors to compete and continue to operate in times of
emergency and disruption.
Stronger action at the policy level can create more opportunities for small- and mid- sized processing plants to
open and thrive in the heavily centralized market.
Investment and other policy approaches need to be done with the current infrastructure of meat packing plant facilities,
such as providing grants to smaller processors and creating a safe and healthy environment for employees to work in even
during a pandemic.

Cut the Crap!

Cut the Crap!

"Our project is the creation of a website that includes sustainability tips, DIYs, personal journey stories and ways to get involved from home during this pandemic. This website is a way to engage all people and ages in the sustainability movement and to inspire us all to change our actions." - Bella Bekos and Zoe Noel Pettit, May 2020

Ecoturismo Brasil!

We are rapidly losing biodiversity and natural resources due to human interferences in our biosphere. Ecoturismo Brasil! is a novel way to use ecotourism to help combat loss of biodiversity in the Amazon river basin.

Healthy Entrepreneurs and Lifestyle Education (HEALED)

HEALED is a multidisciplinary and integrative approach created to address the growing rise in non-communicable diseases, specifically diabetes, in Kampala, Uganda. By centering our curriculum on decreasing binge drinking in order to promote the health of male entrepreneurs aged 18-29, we hope to help mitigate some of the risk factors of diabetes that can be caused by alcohol abuse.

Indigenous Political Activism and Land Reclamation

"The goal of this project is to produce a compelling and engaging video that illustrates the connection between Indigenous political activism and land reclamation. The video identifies the tradition of Indigenous political activism, but focuses on current actions. Our GCC focuses on decolonization, Indigenous ways of knowing, and human relationships to the natural world and the land. This video will provide place-based knowledge on generational activism as it relates to Line 3 and the Water Walkers here in the Twin Cities. At the conclusion of the video, we hope our audience will have a better understanding of the impact that various generations can have on land and language reclamation in the Twin Cities."

Malaria Mortality Prevention in the East African Highlands

Malaria Mortality Prevention in the East African Highlands Banner Image

To help mitigate the expanding global impact of malaria as result of climate change, with its associated increasing drug resistance, implementation of prompt and accurate diagnosis is needed to reduce mortality. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have been recognized as an ideal method for diagnosing malaria in east African Highlands the project is aimed at reducing malaria mortality through the use RDTs especially among pregnant women and children under the age of 5.

Mindanao Motherhood

We have proposed implementing a program in Mindanao, the Philippines that will provide women, mostly poor and rural, with a hub that can connect them to a wide variety of resources. These resources will help with general and reproductive healthcare, with an emphasis on family planning and empowerment within their relationships.

Naag Nool Scholars

Young Somali women in Kismayo, Somalia, participating in the Naag Nool Scholars program will have the opportunity to be mentored and learn directly from successful female professionals in Somalia. The goal of this program is to close the gender gap of employment in Kismayo, Somalia through education, training and high-quality mentorship.

No Shame in the Brain

No Shame in the Brain is a storytelling website that allows members of the Somali community in Rochester who have been affected by the opioid epidemic to share their story. Through this website, we hope that stigma will become a nonissue when it comes to addiction and getting help.

Peritoneal Dialysis--Creating Awareness by Reinforcing Education (PD CARE)

Accessibility to life-saving kidney dialysis treatment is very limited in Uganda and the use of peritoneal dialysis (PD) could help alleviate some of the financial burden associated with receiving dialysis treatment. PD CARE aims to educate patients and their families on what peritoneal dialysis is and why the patient needs the treatment, as well as train them on how to clean and monitor the patient's catheter to prevent peritonitis. By empowering and educating patients, this project aims to reduce some of the financial and cultural barriers associated with peritoneal dialysis in order to make dialysis treatment more accessible for patients.

Place Based Learning

"Our course is all about decolonization and the importance of place and language in education as well as the connection between them. The goal of our project is to look into how we can use place in science education to increase environmental awareness and how sustainable energy sources can be a part of decolonization, all tied together by looking at the land history and the effects of industrialization on the Mississippi River."

ShaqoSearch

ShaqoSearch

Meet the creator of ShaqoSearch, a tailor-made job connection platform that matches young adults with applicable skills to employers with open positions in Kismayo, Somalia.

Tapping Into Sustainability: Bolstering the Sanitation and Education Infrastructure of Schools in Rural Chad

In a country faced with only one in seven children accessing adequate sanitation resources (UNICEF) what is the solution? A school-centered, solar-powered water pump accompanied by an interactive, technology-based hygiene education program for primary school-aged children.

The Language of Relatives

"The grand challenges course we took this semester was titled "seeking connection through decolonization: the power of indigenous lands and languages". In class we have explored big ideas of decolonization and land back. However most notably we have been asked to dive deeper and explore how colonization has impacted our own relationships to land and language. This project will explain how land and languages influence one another and will also introduce community members who are leading this conversation. Ultimately this project hopes to highlight how we can and must build communities grounded in respecting the relationships between lands, languages and people."

The Legacy of Indigenous Names

"Our group's project focuses on the legacy of Dakota names for land and how it has been changed, and what efforts have been done to change them back, as well as what we can do to make change happen. Specifically, one case we will focus on is the case of Kate Beane and her personal journey to change the name of the famous Lake Calhoun back to its original Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska. We will also want to highlight the indigenous names for plants, medicine, lakes, and other items, as well as how Bde Maka Ska is just the catalyst for a broader recognition of Dakota names and culture in general."