Michael Kennedy, 1937-2016: A warrior in the courtroom

first_imgLeftist political organizers and spokespeople of the late 1960s under attack from the authorities preferred a special attorney: one who would allow them to bring out their politics in a trial, defend them like a tiger, work pro bono and still find a loophole to win acquittal.Few lawyers fit that description. But one who did was Michael J. Kennedy of the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, who died this Jan. 25 at the age of 78.For decades Kennedy represented leftist radicals and liberation fighters, including Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton, Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn and the Native protesters who engaged in armed self-defense in 1973 at Wounded Knee, S.D.Workers World Party’s respect for Kennedy’s contribution grew through his excellent legal and political defense of organizers in the American Servicemen’s Union. The ASU, with WWP’s support, organized enlisted service people in the U.S. Armed Forces during the war against Vietnam, with the goal of breaking the chain of command between the Pentagon generals and the GIs.Kennedy represented ASU chairperson Pvt. Andy Stapp during Stapp’s field board hearing in January 1968. Through a series of questions, Kennedy let Stapp turn the hearing into a launching pad for the union. Replying to a Kennedy question, Stapp said: “[GIs] want to be able to sit on boards of courts-martial. They want an end to racism in the barracks. They want a federal minimum wage. They want a right to disobey an illegal order. They want a right to elect their officers.” (The Bond, Feb. 18, 1968)Stapp was thrown out of the Army, but served no time, and the ASU grew to be a powerful anti-war and anti-racist force.The relationship with Kennedy soon aided the anti-racist struggle within the U.S. military. Some background: Following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination on April 4, 1968, Black people erupted in a righteous revolt in about 100 U.S. cities. Some 22,000 federal troops and 34,000 National Guard were deployed throughout the country, most heavily in Chicago, Washington and Baltimore, where they joined police actions to repress the revolts. It was a bigger version of what happened in Ferguson, Mo., in the summer of 2014.From left, Pfc. Ernest Bess, attorney Michael Kennedy, Pfc. Guy Smith, Sp/4 Albert Henry, Pvt. Ernest Frederick, Sgt. Robert Rucker, Sp/4 Tollie Royal. October 1968 at Fort Hood, Texas.Photo: American Servicement’s UnionSome 5,000 GIs from Fort Hood, Texas, were sent to Chicago in April 1968 with orders to shoot to kill any arsonist and shoot to maim or cripple anyone looting.In August of that year, in preparation for antiwar protests at the Democratic National Convention to be held in Chicago, thousands of troops at Fort Hood again received orders to deploy there to patrol Black neighborhoods. But the African-American troops at Fort Hood wanted nothing to do with shooting people they considered their sisters and brothers. On the evening of Aug. 23, some 160 Black GIs came together at Fort Hood to discuss how to refuse riot duty in Chicago.At dawn the next morning, military police arrested 43 of the Black troops, attacking and beating some of them. Alerted by sympathetic GIs at Fort Hood, the ASU organized publicity and legal defense for the Fort Hood 43. The best lawyers, including Kennedy, were with the NECLC, which took the case.In 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, GIs sometimes received four years in jail just for handing out leaflets. Yet at Fort Hood, the military officers feared provoking more struggle. So thirteen of the 43 were fully acquitted. And of the 12 convicted by special courts-martial, not all received the full six months maximum.Kennedy defended the six “ringleaders,” who faced general courts-martial in October and possible five-year sentences. The GIs were able to take the stand. Pfc. Guy Smith told the court: “I demonstrated against Army policy here and in Vietnam. … There is racism and prejudice here.” In his summation, Kennedy also challenged the officers, saying: “The Army’s racist policies are on trial. Indicate that you will work to end racism in the Army.” (Workers World, Nov. 10, 1968)The officers didn’t end racism. But they flinched: Two GIs got three months, two got bad conduct discharges, and two were fully acquitted. They all considered it a victory for the Black GIs, the ASU — and Kennedy.Catalinotto and Stapp visited Fort Hood in 1968 to organize support for the Fort Hood 43.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

South Sudan: Juba Monitor founder Alfred Taban held by security services

first_img August 21, 2020 Find out more July 18, 2016 – Updated on September 27, 2016 South Sudan: Juba Monitor founder Alfred Taban held by security services August 25, 2020 Find out more Organisation Follow the news on South Sudan Receive email alerts News South SudanAfrica ImpunityImprisoned RSF welcomes UN Special Rapporteur’s statement calling for justice for Christopher Allen three years on Red alert for green journalism – 10 environmental reporters killed in five years RSF_en South SudanAfrica ImpunityImprisoned Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate release of Alfred Taban, a well-known journalist who has been detained by South Sudan’s security services for the past two days. Help by sharing this information to go further News December 23, 2020 Find out more Taban and Ana Namiriano, the editor of the Juba Monitor newspaper, were summoned to the headquarters of the security services in Juba on 16 July. Namiriano was allowed to leave after questioning but Taban (who founded the Juba Monitor in 2000, when it was called the Khartoum Monitor) was detained without any formal charge being brought against him. His state of health is worrying and it is not known where he is being held. “We urge the South Sudanese authorities to free Alfred Taban without delay and to ensure that his rights are respected and that he has access to a doctor,” RSF said. “This leading journalist’s arrest constitutes yet another violation of media freedom in a country that has endured extensive violations of civil liberties since the start of the civil war.” Several sources said the arrest of Taban, who also heads the Association for the Development of Media in South Soudan (ADMISS), was a reprisal for his 15 July “Let us speak out” column where he criticised President Salva Kiir and Vice-president Riek Machar, for their role in the violent crisis that started on 7 July 2016 and has resulted in at least 300 dead. Since the start of this latest violence, in which hundreds of people have been killed and thousands displaced, officials have intensified repressive measures and the security services have imposed curbs on free movement. They had already been targeting journalists and human rights defenders in particular since the start of the year and many journalists are now in hiding. John Gatluak Manguet Nhial, a respected journalist who coordinated and reported for Radio Naath FM in Leer, was killed with complete impunity in Juba’s Terrain Hotel on 11 July, probably because he is a member of the Nuer ethnic group. South Sudan is ranked 140th out of 180 countries inRSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index, having fallen 26 places since the start of the conflict. News News Online memorial and writing prize launched to mark 30th birthday of slain journalist Christopher Allenlast_img read more

NTO students give back through recycling

first_img By Digital AIM Web Support – January 19, 2021 Previous article5 delicious things you didn’t know about gheeNext articleReinventing the rebate: Incentivizing today’s mobile, digitally savvy consumer Digital AIM Web Support NTO students give back through recycling Pinterest Twitter WhatsApp Facebook Typically, capstone projects at George H.W. Bush New Tech Odessa are the culmination of students’ four-year career at the school. But this year due to COVID-19, those projects are being completed as a class instead of as individuals. Recycling is the initiative. The school’s website says the capstone experience is embedded in the NTO four-year journey and career experience. “This is the culminating academic event for all senior learners. Learners demonstrate and present their work completed in the four-year academic program at NTO, their community involvement, career experience and mastery of the NTO SWLOs (school wide learning outcomes) in the Capstone experience presentation,” the site said. Seniors Breanna Galindo, Emmanuel Garcia and Walter Martinez, all 17, and junior Angela Aguirre, also 17, are just a few of the students involved. Aguirre is part of the student council. She said the recycling initiative has been promoted throughout campus and students are buying in. Project-based research facilitator Valentina Rivera said they are recycling plastic water bottles currently and hope to add more items in the future. They are working with Keep Odessa Beautiful, which she said supplied recycling bins. “I feel like the benefit of recycling is of just going green and having some consideration and some thought for what’s around (us), of what things we need to take care of and things we could do better at (in) preserving the world that we live in,” Aguirre said. This being his senior year of high school, Martinez said he just wanted to help the community. “It will definitely help instead of just throwing it (in the) regular trash where it’s going to waste. They will be able to make it into something else and reuse it. It’s better for us, better for the Earth,” Martinez said. Galindo said they haven’t been able to do as much as previous senior classes so it feels good to be able to do something “Like she said, it’s a big project this year because usually we’d be having our own individual things but I think it’s cool that we still get to do this together and as a whole class,” Garcia said. “I think it’s really good this year because … we’re also reaching out to our campuses and reach out to our families so we can recycle as much as possible.” Rivera said students are currently attending school virtually and in person. Normally they devise individual projects. “When we started brainstorming what projects were out there for us to do, that we could share among the virtual students and the face to face students. … We thought about the recycling, and then of course the student council they’re always doing some good stuff for the community, too. We talked it over and figured out that it’s something the whole school can do no matter what happens, if we all go virtual or we all stay face to face,” Rivera said. The student council or some of the seniors pick up the recycled products and there are volunteers that drop them off at the recycling center. Sometimes she’ll let the seniors know they can drop off the items to be recycled in the back of her truck and she takes them to the recycling center. Rivera said the project started before Christmas break and cardboard boxes were used. They got the blue plastic recycling bins about two weeks ago making the project more official. “We will be keeping a spreadsheet of how much we recycle,” Rivera said. “That is something Keep Odessa Beautiful has asked us to do. Hopefully, between Ms. Thurber and myself we can continue for years to come.” Thurber is Ariel Thurber, digital media and student leadership facilitator. “It’s opened up a little bit of awareness,” Rivera said. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”center_img TAGS  EducationECISDLocal News Pinterest Twitter WhatsApp Facebooklast_img read more

Sinn Fein MP calls for all sides to ease tension over NI protocol

first_img WhatsApp Twitter AudioHomepage BannerNews Facebook DL Debate – 24/05/21 Facebook Twitter Previous articleTemperatures set to plummet this weekendNext articleLarge-scale Covid-19 vaccination centres to be set up across country News Highland Google+ WhatsApp Sinn Fein MP calls for all sides to ease tension over NI protocol Pinterestcenter_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By News Highland – February 6, 2021 Google+ Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Pinterest Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows A Sinn Féin MP says the DUP’s campaign to scrap the Northern Ireland protocol has ‘no possibility of success’.The issue is set to be debated in the House of Commons, after the DUP yesterday secured 100,000 signatures in a petition.Some customs checks were suspended at Larne and Belfast ports earlier this week, after staff were threatened over the implementation of the protocol.They have now resumed, and North Belfast MP John Finucane is calling for all sides to ease the tension.Audio Playerhttps://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Brexitnew10am.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programmelast_img read more

California man arrested after ramming car several times in road-rage attack

first_imgNikki Guinn (via Facebook)(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) —  California driver was arrested Monday after video showed him ramming his car into another vehicle repeatedly in an apparent road-rage attack, police said.Police in Sacramento, California, arrested Jose Garcia Alvarez, 40, on Monday afternoon after he allegedly rammed an unoccupied car with his white SUV, hitting it multiple times and pushing it into an intersection, according video posted on social media.Next, Alvarez reportedly got out of his car, jumped on top of the other vehicle and began to smash the windows.The suspect was standing on the vehicle’s roof when police and fire officials arrived on the scene. He appeared reluctant to come down, according to the video, but was eventually removed and taken into custody without incident.Police said he rammed into another vehicle and fled the scene earlier on Monday in a separate attack that may have stemmed from a disturbance on the road, according to local news reports. There were no injuries reported in either case.The intense encounter lasted for more than 15 minutes, according to the video.“I just witnessed this man’s breakdown,” one witness said in a Facebook post. “Whatever went wrong led him to this place. He acted as though there was nothing to go back to.”Officers said they found drugs in suspect’s system and took him to a hospital for an evaluation, according to ABC affiliate KXTV. Alvarez was booked on felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism.He was being held on a $50,000 bail, court records show. It’s unclear if he has obtained an attorney.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Body of 23-year-old Anitra Gunn recovered, boyfriend arrested on unrelated charges

first_imgEvgen_Prozhyrko/iStock(MACON, Ga.) — The body of 23-year-old Georgia college student Anitra Gunn has been recovered days after she mysteriously disappeared, authorities said.Gunn’s body was found in a wooded area of Crawford County, Georgia, near the Peach County line, on Tuesday afternoon, officials with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement on Wednesday.“Please continue to pray for us as there are no words to describe this hurt,” her father, Christopher Gunn, wrote on Facebook Wednesday.An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday to determine Gunn’s cause and manner of death, authorities said.Gunn, a student at Fort Valley State University, was last seen on Friday, Feb. 14, at approximately 11:30 a.m., just outside Fort Valley, according to the Department of Public Safety. Fort Valley is about 30 miles outside of Macon.Gunn’s family contacted the police on Saturday when they couldn’t reach her, and later on Saturday, the 23-year-old’s car was found in the city limits of Fort Valley, authorities said.Gunn’s boyfriend, Demarcus Little, has been arrested on unrelated charges, GBI officials said.Little, 23, was charged with criminal damage to property after the tires were slashed on Gunn’s car and the windows were smashed at her apartment, the Fort Valley Department of Public Safety said. More charges are possible, according to the department of public safety.“Thank you to all who helped search and post and call and prayed for Anitra’s return,” Christopher Gunn said in his statement Wednesday. “We are processing the devastating news and kindly ask for respect and privacy during this time as we wrap our hearts and minds around all of this. ” Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Prep Sports Roundup: 9/14

first_img Written by Tags: 2-A North/Austin Topham/Brooks Myers/Delta Rabbits/Homecoming/Jace Allen/Jake Jackson/Jaymen Brough/Kael Myers/Millard Eagles/Tyce Davies FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailFootball2-A NorthDELTA, Utah-Austin Topham completed 6 of 10 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns, while also earning the key 3rd down conversion to ice the game on a draw as the Delta Rabbits earned their first win of the season in upseting rival Millard 18-15 for Homecoming at Delta High School.The Rabbits limited the high-flying Eagles to 217 yards of offense and sacked elusive signal-caller Brooks Myers (19 of 32, 178 yards, 2 TD’s/3 INT’s) five times with Jake Jackson’s two sacks leading the way for the galvanized Delta defense.Jaymen Brough and Jace Allen caught Topham’s touchdown passes on the evening and Will Finlinson commenced the second half with an electrifying 90-yard kickoff return for a score to give Delta an 18-8 lead they would ultimately not relinquish.Tyce Davies hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass in the loss for the Eagles, with Kael Myers (11 rec, 82 yards, TD) catching a 32-yard touchdown pass as well for Millard in defeat.Despite their 1-4 record on the young season, Delta is 1-0 in 2-A North play and Millard’s 4-1 record gives them one loss in 2-A North competition, incurred this evening.GUNNISON, Utah-Caden Madsen threw a 49-yard touchdown pass and Thomas Yardley added a 5-yard scoring run as the Gunnison Bulldogs got past North Summit 34-31 in 2-A North football action Friday.2-A SouthENTERPRISE, Utah-Riley Ogden, Landan Gale and Gabe Wilcox all had long touchdown runs, with the shortest being 48 yards, as the North Sevier Wolves waxed Enterprise 25-7 in 2-A South football action Friday. Taylor Crane added a 28-yard touchdown pass to Burke Mickelsen to help North Sevier excel in the 2-A South battle of the Wolves.BEAVER, Utah-Corbin Palmer tossed two touchdown passes to Porter Ivins in the final minute of the game as the San Juan Broncos got past Beaver 27-25 in 2-A South football action Friday. EJ Allred had three touchdown runs and  Jose Albelais added a 66-yard touchdown reception to McCoy Smith in the loss for the Beavers.MOAB, Utah-Bryant Troutt’s four touchdown runs helped the Grand Red Devils rout South Sevier 34-14 in 2-A South football action Friday. Tracen Winkel tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Branson Falmer and Tucker Gayler returned a fumble 50 yards for a score in the loss for the Rams.3-A SouthDRAPER, Utah-Chance Clawson threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jaxton Langschwager and the North Sanpete Hawks stunned Juan Diego 17-14 Friday in 3-A South football action. Clawson added  a 7-yard touchdown run and Luis Rodriguez made a 22-yard field goal to help the Hawks get the win.MANTI, Utah-Kasey Briggs threw five touchdown passes and the Summit Academy Bears decimated Manti 56-21 in 3-A South football action Friday, spoiling Homecoming for the Templars. Mason Thompson, Dallin Rasmussen and Dallin Cox all had touchdown runs in defeat for Manti.RICHFIELD, Utah-Easton Wright’s three touchdown passes lifted the Juab Wasps to a 27-21 win over Richfield in 3-A South football action Friday. Emmitt Hafen tossed two touchdown passes and ran for another score in the loss for the Wildcats.Non-RegionDUCHESNE, Utah-Jaren Mortensen and Skyler Ford each ran for scores as the Duchesne Eagles overpowered Kanab 14-6 Friday in non-region football action. Cameron Fryer made field goals of 31 and 40 yards for the Cowboys in defeat.RANDOLPH, Utah-Bryson Barnes passed for five touchdowns and ran for another score, helping the Milford Tigers pulverize Rich 44-7 in non-region football action Friday. Bret Beebe added a 16-yard touchdown run in the rout for the Tigers. September 14, 2018 /Sports News – Local Prep Sports Roundup: 9/14 Brad Jameslast_img read more

UK, Japan staging first bilateral amphibious drill

first_img View post tag: JMSDF Authorities View post tag: Royal Navy Back to overview,Home naval-today UK, Japan staging first bilateral amphibious drill off Japan View post tag: JS Shimokita August 16, 2018center_img View post tag: HMS Albion The UK Royal Navy and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force are scheduled to conduct their first joint amphibious exercise in Japanese waters next week.Taking place on August 23 and 24, the exercise will be spearheaded by Royal Navy amphibious assault ship HMS Albion and the JMSDF tank landing ship JS Shimokita.JMSDF landing craft air cushioned (LCAC) vehicles and Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) reconnaissance boats will be joined by British landing craft and patrol boats for landing evolutions and other exercises at the Numazu Beach training area and nearby marine and air areas.Announcing the maneuver, Japan’s defense minister Itsunori Onodera said he hopes that through this exercise and similar initiatives in the future, Japan would further enhance cooperation with the UK.The exercise is being conducted with the purpose of improving the tactical capabilities of the Japanese Self Defense Force and enhancing coordination with the British Armed Forces.HMS Albion is the third Royal Navy ship to deploy to the Asia Pacific region this year. The assault ship has so far spent eight months deployed, getting underway from Devonport in February this year and arriving in Japan early July.On the return leg of its deployment, HMS Albion is scheduled to join Saif Sareea III in Oman in October – one of Britain’s biggest exercises in the Middle East this century. UK, Japan staging first bilateral amphibious drill off Japan Share this articlelast_img read more

Bakery confirms electrical fault causes fire

first_imgWC Rowe’s Bakery has confrimed an electrical fault as the cause of a factory fire, which tore through its Falmouth premises late Friday evening. In a Facebook statement, the bakery confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the start of the fire at the pasty factory, and an electrical fault had been identified as the cause. The blaze was isolated to a small part of the building, although structual damage has made some areas are unsafe. Eight fire crews from around the county fought through the night to bring the flames under control.The statement on Rowe’s Cornish Bakery Facebook, read: “We have robust contingency plans in place for such incidents and are working around the clock to implement these plans. “Such unity has seen us reach our 65th anniversary and will continue to see us through the next 65 years. “We will be back producing our award winning pasties in the coming days”The company confirmed that no members of staff were hurt in the blaze.In a previous statement, WC Rowe expressed their thanks towards the fire crews. They said: “Rowe’s Bakery would like to express their gratitude to the fire crews who attended the incident. Without their efforts the results could have been far worse.last_img read more

Engineering a better life

first_imgWhen Kathy Ku ’13 proposed to build a water-filter factory in Uganda for $15,000 last year, her contacts in other African countries advised her to double her budget.Starting from scratch on a plot of land donated by Kumi University, in a country where 10 million people — a third of the population — lack access to clean water, Ku forged ahead. She and a team of Harvard College classmates rented a truck, negotiated an individual price for each building material (cement, wire mesh, and so on), and finished with $3,000 to spare.“We didn’t know better, and we didn’t realize how difficult it would be,” Ku recalls. “But now we can construct a factory, apparently.”When the factory needed a hydraulic press to increase its output of clay water filters, Ku asked around.“They said, ‘There’s no way,’” she remembers. “Everyone said that in Uganda you couldn’t make them: You had to go to Kenya.”Undeterred, and with help from the undergraduate teaching labs at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), Ku bought a cheap hydraulic log splitter, dismantled it at her parents’ house in Illinois, and carried the components to Uganda in her suitcase. The scheme gave her a thorough introduction to Ugandan customs regulations — and solved the problem.Driven by idealism yet grounded in solid engineering principles and cultural awareness, the project is anything but naïve. If all goes to plan, by next August Ku and her classmates will have created a fully functional and self-sustaining water-filter factory, employing 14 people and supplying clean water to households across Uganda at half the cost of imported filters.Equally comfortable taking apart a diesel engine or quoting Adam Smith, Ku is the very picture of a Harvard engineer: fluent in hard science, intellectually well-rounded, and passionate.Inspired by her early involvement with Harvard College Engineers Without Borders and her experience at a secondary school for Ugandan mothers in the summer of 2010, Ku enrolled in Harvard courses ranging from public health to technological innovation. As her interest in addressing the Ugandan water crisis grew, she recruited other students to help.“I must have talked about it so much during dinner that somebody said, ‘Kathy, why don’t you just go for it?’ And before I knew it, I had a group of students who were interested in doing what I wanted to do.”Suvai Gunasekaran ’13 (biomedical engineering), John Kye ’14 (economics), and more than a dozen other students joined the project, which they named “Sustainable Point-Of-Use Treatment and Storage (SPOUTS) of Water.” SPOUTS, now a registered nonprofit, has received support from across the University: the Committee on African Studies, Nectar and TECH at SEAS, and the Harvard President’s Challenge all contributed.And Ku, who studied molecular and cellular biology as an undergraduate, is now a master’s student in engineering sciences at SEAS.“No matter where you’re coming from, if you want to understand technology, if you want to make a positive impact in a technology-driven world, you belong in a SEAS classroom,” says SEAS Dean Cherry A. Murray. “This is ‘engineering for everyone.’”Attracted by engaging courses and the real-world relevance of applied research, students are flocking to SEAS classrooms. Enrollment in SEAS courses and the number of SEAS concentrators have more than doubled since the School was established in 2007, filling lecture halls and laboratories to capacity — and posing new challenges for faculty and staff.Enabling continued growth at SEAS is one of six top priorities of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ $2.5-billion Campaign for Arts and Sciences. SEAS aims to raise $450 million to increase the size of its world-class faculty; create modern instructional spaces for teaching, hands-on design, and laboratory research; invest in “innovation funds” for cutting-edge, high-impact research; and support talented students through graduate fellowships.“Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is reimagining engineering education and research for the 21st century,” says FAS Dean Michael D. Smith, the John H. Finley, Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “What makes SEAS truly special for undergraduates is that, at Harvard, students receive world-class instruction in engineering as part of a world-class liberal arts education.”SEAS is a place where one student can improve the outcome of cancer chemotherapy. Another, tinkering in the small hours of the morning, can help a tiny robotic insect take flight. A third can use mathematics and physics to understand human development. And insights from all three, cross-pollinating in a hallway conversation, could make extraordinary contributions to the future of science.“It is not unusual for the ideas developed in courses and labs to take on a life of their own after the end of the semester,” says Fawwaz Habbal, executive dean for education and research at SEAS. “We are fortunate to have outstanding students, and we are very pleased to work with them and mentor them in a process that adds value. Given the right inspiration, the right mentorship, and access to resources, they have what it takes to change the world.”For example, while taking an engineering sciences course called “Idea Translation” a few years ago, Jessica Lin ’09, Jessica O. Matthews ’10, Julia Silverman ’10, and Hemali Thakkar ’11 imagined a soccer ball that could generate enough energy during play to charge a cellphone or power a light in parts of the world where electricity is unreliable. They kept working on the project after graduation, and by July of this year, President Obama was kicking around a functional Soccket ball during a visit to Tanzania. “I don’t want to get too technical,” the president said, “but I thought it was pretty cool.”Indeed, SEAS faculty, students, and alumni are improving living conditions around the world. Whether designing medical devices in India, improving a water supply in the Dominican Republic, searching for land mines in Cambodia, recycling electronic waste in Ghana, examining carbon emissions in China, measuring pollution over the Amazon, or tracing the flow of mercury in the Arctic, the impact of their efforts has been profound.For the students working in Uganda, making a difference means understanding how to build change from within a community. Chlorine tablets could be an effective way to sanitize water, but in Uganda no one would like the taste; instead, the Harvard project’s clay filters complement existing practices, where water is stored in terracotta pots to cool.SPOUTS also hopes to encourage participation by selling filters to individual households. “It allows people to take ownership and almost view the filters as a social status,” Ku explains. “Once that mind-set gets rolling, it becomes a commodity that becomes worth investing in.”The SPOUTS model is designed to be sustainable long after the students have moved on. Partnering with nongovernmental organizations as distributors, Ku and her classmates will require that income from filter sales be used to create jobs and finance local projects.“Solving complex global challenges requires holistic and long-range thinking. Our students gain that perspective through rigorous engineering courses, exposure to ideas from across the liberal arts, and hands-on practical experience,” says Murray. “The SPOUTS of Water project is tackling waterborne illness with real success.”Eventually, when the filter factory no longer needs her, Ku hopes to attend medical school and then to move to rural Uganda as a physician. “I’m not a hardcore engineer, I’m not a hardcore biologist,” she says, “but I think it has allowed me to be a better leader.”What if? What if the world’s most accomplished engineers and applied scientists tackled the world’s most intractable challenges? At Harvard SEAS, all it takes is a question.last_img read more