The grass is green and the sun is undeniable. There are less than three weeks left in the second semester of my junior year. I am finding this very hard believe, but what I find even more unbelievable is that in less than two months I will be boarding a plane to Ecuador. I will be conducting research about the United Nations Millennium Development Goals there with another student. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), are the UN's attempt to combat some of the world's biggest problems like hunger, poverty, gender inequality and HIV/AIDS by 2015. There are eight MDGs, and some have had greater success than others.
We received a Provost Grant from St. Michael's that will allow us to research the effectiveness of these goals in much greater depth. The Provost Grants were created a few years ago in order to give students and professors an outlet for conducting research together. Students, with help from their professors, can apply for these summer grants in March. Examples of Provost-grant funded research varies from studying water scarcity in Jordan to the circulatory systems of North American leeches.
With the help of my professor, friend and fellow blogger, Trish Siplon, Jerry and I have begun the planning process for Ecuador. Our tickets have been bought, and I will be headed back to the southern hemisphere on June 13! First off, I am looking forward to being able to spend a few more weeks in Burlington, doing some pre-research before leaving. And then I will be back in South America, eating mangoes and close to the Andes. I am so grateful to have this amazing opportunity to independently research the things that I think are important (and to be paid for it!).