MSUToday
Published: April 19, 2019

Honors College students receive funding for international service projects

Contact(s): Stephanie Cepak Honors College office: (517) 355-2326 scepak@msu.edu

Two Honors College student service projects have received funding from the Schoenl Family Undergraduate Grant for Dire Needs Overseas.

The purpose of the Schoenl Family Undergraduate Grant for Dire Needs Overseas is to identify and fund the most outstanding projects that will serve dire human needs in countries other than the U.S.

Joy Chepkorir, a senior majoring in nursing in the College of Nursing, plans to use the $1,800 grant she received to install a water filtration and collection station for the communities of Kapkures and Kaptulwa, Kenya.

“Most residents, including me, use water from roads diverted into small wells for drinking and domestic use,” she said. “This water is unsafe for drinking and has caused incidences of skin rashes, typhoid and other waterborne diseases. This situation has to change. I believe I am destined to bring positive change in my community and I am determined to work hard to impact people’s lives.”

Chepkorir’s project is being supervised by Kristen Sorrow, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing.

Aminatou Seydou, a junior majoring in international relations in the James Madison College, received a $1,200 grant for her project aimed at combating malnutrition in Guelado, Niger. 

Seydou’s project involves creating a temporary stock box of vitamins and nutrient-rich food to provide to the town’s children, as well as using UNICEF learning tools to educate families about malnutrition and teach them how to make their locally-sourced food more nutritional. 

“For decades, malnutrition has been an area of weakness in Niger,” Seydou said. “Although International Organizations such as the Red Cross or Action Against Hunger do intervene in Niger, not all towns have the chance to benefit from their help. I want to be able to fill the gap without having to wait any longer for foreign aid since many lives are being lost during that time.”

Seydou’s project is being supervised by Chinwe Effiong, assistant dean for the Global Youth Advancement Network in the Office of International Studies and Programs, and Robert Glew, associate dean in the Office of International Studies and Programs.

Since 2010, the Schoenl Family Undergraduate Grant for Dire Needs Overseas has been awarded to the most outstanding projects proposed by Honors College students that serve dire human needs in countries outside of the United States.