Strauss Center Announces Recipients of 2009 William H. Crook Fellowships

The William H. Crook Fellowship awards, which cover travel and living expenses for graduate students who will work this summer in developing countries for nonprofit organizations, have been given to seven students in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law has announced.

The fellowships are presented through the William H. Crook Chair in International Affairs, which is dedicated to promoting global economic development and fighting poverty.

"The Crook Fellowships enable the Strauss Center to help students do challenging work in the developing world, addressing issues that are often overlooked," said Strauss Center Director Francis J. Gavin. "We are pleased to be able to support this remarkable group of projects. These fellowships are made possible through the support of Mrs. Eleanor Crook, who last year generously helped the Strauss Center create the William H. Crook Chair in International Affairs. The student recipients are able to carry on Bill Crook's legacy of dedication to fighting poverty and follow his lead into global public service."

The Crook Fellowships for 2009 have been awarded to the following seven projects:

Jenna Cullinane will be conducting field research in conjunction with Makerere University regarding community colleges in Uganda. The community college model is an emerging phenomenon there, with great variety in the size, student population, affordability and quality. Working with faculty members at Makerere University, Cullinane will help design a survey instrument and conduct site visits to a number of these institutions.

Amanda Dillon will join A Glimmer of Hope, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to poverty alleviation and social enterprise development in Ethiopia. Dillon will travel to Ethiopia to observe and research how those working for A Glimmer of Hope in Ethiopia perform their work and report back to headquarters. Using that information, she will develop a standardized template the organization will use in the future to report to small donors how their donations are used.

Bonnie Doty will also be working with A Glimmer of Hope to conduct an analysis of the organization's microfinance projects in Ethiopia. Using community assessment tools and survey research, Doty will conduct economic and social impact evaluations of the organization's microfinance model and will develop recommendations for designing the next phase of the program.

Maria Garcia will work with CHF International on a program to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Honduras, which has the second-highest rate of HIV/AIDS infections in Central America. Garcia will also work on a project that builds agricultural rainwater harvesting systems designed to increase farmers' productivity in rural areas of Honduras.

Emily Joiner will be working with the International Accountability Project (IAP) in Peru, conducting a study of an International Finance Corporation-funded development project. Her research will focus on the implementation and effectiveness of social and environmental performance standards. Her report will help to shape IAP's policy recommendations to the International Finance Corporation during their performance standard review process this summer and fall.

Dianna Long will be working with Pure Love Expressed Healthcare International, an organization in Kenya that aims to provide HIV-positive mothers with alternative feeding options for their babies. Long will help with a wide range of roles, including getting donated equipment from hospitals, contacting at-risk mothers, participating in community outreach and education to find milk donors, contacting donors for funding and collecting data for a research project to determine the efficacy of the program at reducing the transmission of HIV to infants.

Sarah Williams will be working with the Uganda Village Project, a rural health development organization in the Iganga District of Uganda. Williams will work on a Healthy Villages Initiative team that will conduct needs assessments and plan and implement projects to address each community's healthcare needs, including HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention, obstetric fistula outreach, health education and safe water.

After completing their internships, the students will write about their work abroad and participate in public presentations in the fall, discussing their experiences and giving advice to other students interested in working in the developing world.

The awards were made by a selection committee comprised of Dr. Joshua Busby, Strauss Center fellow and assistant professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs; Dr. Eugene Gholz, Strauss Center senior fellow and associate professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs; Dr. Catherine Weaver, director of the Strauss Center Global Governance Program and assistant professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs; and Shannon Dugan, former Crook Fellowship recipient and master of public affairs candidate, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.

This is the second year the Strauss Center has awarded the Crook Fellowships. The 2008 program awarded funds to six projects, ranging from assessments of the effectiveness of microfinance in Jordan to mining public policy in Mongolia to environmental protection in South China.

The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law is a non-partisan research center at The University of Texas at Austin dedicated to promoting policy-relevant scholarship on the problems and opportunities created by our increasingly globalized and interconnected world.