Changemakers

Humanosphere
1:50 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

'ChangeMaker' uses business enterprise to promote public health

Erin Larsen-Cooper, 29, is a program associate withVillageReach, and a graduate of the University of Washington and Western Washington University.

By Lisa Stiffler, Humanosphere correspondent

In wealthy countries, it’s no problem for an organization to provide a single, narrowly defined service. In a poor community, it won’t always work to focus on singular goal, ignoring the existing challenges that can doom even the most well-intentioned projects.

Enter Erin Larsen-Cooper, a recent graduate of the University of Washington. She's hopeful that programs that are more holistic, that work with existing health programs and employ members of the community that they’re aiming to help, will get us closer to solving some of the problems in global health and poverty.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
5:37 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Can spiders fight malaria? UW students think so

Univeristy of Washington student propose using native African spiders to prey on mosquitoes who transmit malaria.

By Cyan James, Humanosphere correspondent

A fresh crop of Changemakers has been identified by the Washington Global Health Alliance’s Be the Change student competition. Among the three first place winners was a group of UW students who want to enlist a spider to fight malaria ...

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Humanosphere
1:30 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

How a passing comment on an old medical test won a $100K grant

Gates Grand Challenges award winner Kathleen Bongiovanni demonstrates how a simple idea may save the lives of millions of premature babies.
Tom Paulson KPLU

Earlier this week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the latest 100 winners of $100,000 grants from its Grand Challenges Exploration program aimed at supporting high-risk, creative approaches to improving health and fighting poverty in poor countries.

Celebrated for funding “wild” and “wacky” ideas, this year’s batch of Gates Grand Challenge winners included proposals to develop, as the AP reported, unmanned drones to deliver vaccines, tattoos for monitoring pregnancy and a “tuberculosis breathalyzer.”

Read more on Humanosphere.org

Humanosphere's Changemakers
1:18 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Hooked on science by accident, Kimberly Choi puts it to work in the global community

Quick BIO: Kimberly Choi, 23, is a research technician at Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Seattle BioMed) and a University of Washington graduate.

By Lisa Stiffler, Humanosphere correspondent

Kimberly Choi wound up testing malaria vaccines on mice quite by accident.

“I thought I was going to study Spanish literature,” Choi recalled.

But in 2006, Choi was encouraged by a high school biology teacher to participate in Seattle BioMed’s outreach program, BioQuest, which gives students a chance to do hands-on research.

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Humanosphere
2:11 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Changemakers: Ines Tucakovic puts humanitarian goals to work doing TB research

Quick BIO: Ines Tucakovic, 27, senior clinical research assistant with Seattle’s Infectious Disease Research Institute

By Lisa Stiffler, Humanosphere correspondent

Ines Tucakovic was only a child when she and her family fled the war in their native Bosnia. But her job at Seattle’s Infectious Disease Research Institute has a connection to home.

As part of the research team in the institute’s clinical immunology lab, Tucakovic prepares protocols for clinical trials being conducted internationally. The trials are for vaccines for tuberculosis and a parasite called leishmaniasis. Tucakovic also processes the samples taken from patients in Venezuela, Peru, India, Columbia and Sudan.

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Humanosphere
10:21 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Changemakers: Dean Chahim wants to launch a 'do-good' revolution

Quick BIO: Dean Chahim, 22, is a cofounder of Critical Development Forum, a University of Washington graduate and recipient of a Bonderman Travel Fellowship.

By Lisa Stiffler, Humanosphere correspondent

Can Dean Chahim save the world?

Not alone, he can’t. But if he can inspire and educate enough people in “critical consciousness” – an awareness of the policies and practices that create injustices and an understanding of how we can change them for the better – that might just do it.

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Humanosphere
1:50 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Changemakers: Redmond high school kids help fellow students in Cambodia

Students from Washington and Cambodia pose at the school in the village of Pailin built in part with money raised by the Overlake School in Redmond.
Overlake School

By Claudia Rowe, Humanosphere correspondent

In a lesson showing just how far one unlikely idea can travel, 18 upper affluent kids from suburban Seattle are this weekend en route to Cambodia, where they will teach science, art and English to some of the poorest children on Earth.

Foreign aid is a messy business, often stymied by inefficiency and corruption. But students from the Overlake School in Redmond wave off such concerns – not to mention parental worries about residual landmines and mandatory inoculations.

They believe their two-week trip to the village of Pailin will benefit them as much as their young pupils.

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Humanosphere
8:48 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Changemakers: Katie Leach-Kemon, motivated by experience and empowered by math

Katie Leach-Kemon, 29, data development manager at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation; master of public health from the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health.

“Changemakers” is a new series on Humanosphere exploring how young people, connected and globally aware, are working to change the world.

By Lisa Stiffler, special correspondent

Katie Leach-Kemon arrived in Niger as a newly minted college grad, eager to help in her role as a community health agent with the Peace Corps. She teamed up with health workers who were identifying acutely malnourished children, and then assisting their mothers to better feed their kids. It was culturally sensitive stuff.

“I was straight out of college,” she said, “and I had a lot to learn.”

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
6:53 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Changemakers: Winning, one vegetable patch at a time

Quick BIO: Noah Derman, 31, is development director for Development in Gardening in Atlanta and a University of Washington graduate.

By Lisa Stiffler, special correspondent

Global health and development is by definition bound to be overpowering. So Noah Derman has a strategy for not feeling crushed by the enormous scope of the field’s challenges – he mentally breaks them into smaller chunks.

“If you look at smaller battles that you win,” said Derman, “you won’t get so overwhelmed.”

For Derman, development director for Development in Gardening, or DIG, those battles are won one vegetable patch at a time.

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Humanosphere
1:25 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Changemakers: Becky Bartlein, health advocate, hot on the trail of bad drugs

Quick BIO: Becky Bartlein, 28, research coordinator for the University of Washington’s Global Medicines Program; master of public health from the UW’s Department of Global Health

It’s been a battle to get drug manufacturers to make medicines needed by people in developing countries, drugs to treat diseases expunged from wealthy nations. But what happens when the drugs finally reach these populations – do they work? Are they being used safely? Are there nasty side effects?

Becky Bartlein is trying to answer these questions as part of the newly formed Global Medicines Program at the University of Washington.

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Humanosphere
11:41 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Changemakers: Matthew Schneider on the hunt for what truly works

Quick BIO: Matthew T. Schneider, 25, is a research consultant for the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. He has a master of public health degree from the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health.

This is the first installment of a new series on KPLU's Humanosphere:  “Changemakers” explores how young people, connected and globally aware, are working to change the world.

For Matthew T. Schneider, the struggle to ease the suffering of people afflicted by HIV/AIDS or sickened by malaria is something of a numbers game. Schneider, who since October has worked at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C., is sifting mountains of data to understand how to best help sick, impoverished people in developing nations.

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