University of Texas at Austin

Past Projects


School students smile while holding papers at a school in Peru

Literacy Development in Peru

This program will work with Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, Peru to provide students with an understanding of literacy initiatives implemented with international support in the Peruvian Amazon. Students will learn about the importance of preserving indigenous languages through collaboration with local partners. Student teams will collect data from leaders, educators, children, and families in the region of Ucayali to design literacy proposals informed by context. Program includes fully-funded travel to Peru summer 2023 and winter term 2023-2024.


Faculty team members:

  • Desirée Pallais-Downing, PhD, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education
  • Patience Epps, PhD, Professor, Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts

International partner:

  • Cayetano Heredia University, Lima, Peru

Student team members:

  • Antonella Anderson – Plan II, Psychology, Madelyn Hajovsky – Linguistics, Caden Martin – English, History, Jenna Pipkin – Bilingual Education

  • Paola Gon – Psychology, Meera Hatangadi – Plan II, Corporate Communication, Frances Parra – International Business, Karla Rojas – Bilingual Education

  • Sabrina Chuan – Marketing, Saneeva George – Nutrition, Zaina Ghaffar – Speech-Language Pathology, Nutrition, Hanna Kang – International Relations and Global Studies

  • Zofia Graham – Linguistics, Plan II, Gloriel Kazadi – Psychology, Youth and Community Studies, Nioni Ledzma – Religious Studies

Woman donates her blood in a street point in Kampala, Uganda.

Wound Care in Kenya

This program will build upon the AMPATH collaboration with Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya where nurses have identified wound care as an urgent need. Students will work with the faculty and partner to develop wound prevention tools using locally available supplies. Student teams will identify available materials, design and test prototypes, and test for acceptability for both personal and unit-based interventions to address wound outcomes. The program will include fully-funded travel to Kenya during summer 2023.


Faculty team members:

  • Julie Zuniga, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, School of Nursing
  • Janet Ellzey, PhD, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering

International partner:

  • Moi University Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya

Student team members:

  • Megha Bhatia – Plan II, Health and Society, Shawn Fan –  Nursing, Austin Kayanan –  Mechanical Engineering, Carolina Ponce – Mechanical Engineering

  • Sweccha Guntamukkala – Neuroscience, Isabel Richards – Mechanical Engineering, Arielle Warren -Nursing

  • Daniel Guerra – Architecture, Lauren Guerra-Flores – Plan II, Architecture, Mackenzie Noell – Plan II, Computational Biology, Meron Teferi – Public Health

  • Reha Kakkar – Plan II, Neuroscience, Divine Kalu – Public Health, Britney Tran – International Relations and Global Studies, Government


A beautifully expansive view of the Galapagos islands on a gorgeous day with blue skies, puffy clouds, and the colorful ocean waters that surround them

Do-No-Harm, Do-More-Good: Building for Sustainability in the Galápagos

This program will research innovative and implementable solutions for the design of sustainable human habitats that do no harm to—and do more good for—ecologies surrounding the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador. The area’s fragile ecosystem is threatened by a recent surge in land-based tourism, a critical source of revenue for the expanding population. Participants will consider the ways sustainable relations can develop between natural environments, human uses and needs, and buildings and built infrastructure. Students will establish and enact their projects in collaboration with stakeholders that include the University of San Francisco-Quito, global engineering firm Buro Happold, Galápagos islanders, government officials, environmental engineers, economists, and theoreticians, giving the students and university an opportunity to add value to this unfolding and real-world challenge.


Faculty team members:
David Heymann, M.Arch., Professor, School of Architecture 
Gregory Brooks, M.Arch., Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering 
Fernanda Leite, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering 

Student team members:
Sarah Bryant, Architecture
Juan David Ledesma, Architecture
Claudia Katrina Fierro, Architectural Engineering
Olivia Parker, Electrical Engineering/ Plan II

Lynna Benhamou, Biological Environmental Science 
Mariana Mercado, Architectural Engineering
Eduardo Terrazas, Urban Studies/Architecture
Justin Zhang, Finance/Business Honors

Bianca Busogi, Biochemistry/Plan II
Katherine Ospina, International Relations and Global Studies/Sociology
Carmen Whitten, Architecture
Sarah Wildenstein, Civil Engineering

International partners:
University of San Francisco-Quito, Quito, Ecuador 
Buro Happold, Bath, United Kingdom

A shot of building dome from the detailed architecture that can be seen in Oxford England

Addressing an Era of Transatlantic Racial Reckoning: Imagining Anti-Racist Academic Worlds in the United Kingdom and the United States of America

This program will bring together perspectives from faculty, staff, and students in five unique higher education environments—four in the United Kingdom, one in the United States—to identify and validate experiences of BIPOC members of their respective communities. Participants will identify commonalities and differences between the institutional contexts and engage in discussions about the shared and unique aspects of navigating an academic existence for BIPOC community members.


Faculty team members:
Richard Reddick, Ed.D., Professor, Department of Educational Leadership, College of Education 
Peniel Joseph, Ph.D., Professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Student team members:
Jayelon Evans, Applied Movement Science
Hailey Leal, Neuroscience

Ayotoluwafunmi Osunsade, Public Health/African and African Diaspora Studies
Pritika Paramasivam, Neuroscience/Health and Society
Sruthi Ramaswamy, Chemical Engineering/Plan II

Eddie Bankston, Psychology/Philosophy
William Cotton Hearne, Plan II/Government
Joshua Russell, Plan II/Rhetoric and Writing

Sai Annem, Biology
Breigh Plat, Sociology/Plan II
Zia Kinzy, Economics/Plan II

International partners:
Dr. Mike Mimirinis – University of West London, United Kingdom 
Dr. Peter Claus – Pembroke College, Oxford University, United Kingdom 
Dr. Kehinde Andrews – Birmingham City University, United Kingdom 
Dr. Ali Meghji – Magdalene College, Cambridge University, United Kingdom

India city street contrasted with Swedish city view

Cotton Threads: Fabricating Ethical Production and Consumption in the Garment Industry

This faculty-led program aims to help students learn about the ethical production and consumption of high fashion through coursework, field visits, and independent research in three sites: Texas, Sweden, and India. The program team will partner with the company Nudie Jeans, headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, working with their suppliers and academic collaborators in Bangalore, India. Program goals are to teach students how the company strives to: achieve ecological sustainability; instill social justice across production nodes in global commodity chains for growers, textile workers, and garment workers; and offer radical transparency to consumers on ethical production processes and profits. Students will have the opportunity to integrate the skills and knowledge developed over Spring and Summer 2022 to test Nudie Jeans’ business model in Texas, which is the largest grower of cotton in the U.S.


Faculty team members:
Shiv Ganesh, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Moody College of Communication 
Sharmila Rudrappa, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts

Student team members:
Neha Donthineni, Biology/Plan II
Yves Mendoza, International Relations and Global Studies/French Studies
Elyssa Sefiane, Middle Eastern Studies/Religious Studies
Abigail Walker, Economics/Plan II

Patrick Davis, Religious Studies

Ria Goyal, Plan II/Biochemistry
Janani Gopal, Neuroscience
Nivedha Loganathan, Plan II/Public Health

International Partners:
Nudie Jeans – Gothenburg, Sweden 
International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore – Bangalore, India


Headshots of students and faculty for Conversations about Conservation: A Community-Based Research Study to Comprehend Public Engagement in Conservation Initiatives in India.

Conversations about Conservation: A Community-Based Research Study to Comprehend Public Engagement in Conservation Initiatives in India

Asia and Oceania

Implement a community-based research model on local mangrove conservation efforts to emphasize the importance of collaborative approaches to climate change

Student team members: Emily Samson, Yukta Sunkara, Gauree Srinivasan, Sanjna Bhatia

Faculty team members: Jason Cons, Erin Lentz, Deepak Chetty

Graduate student team member: Sachin Dheeraj Mudigonda

Headshots of students and faculty for project, Skin Cancer in Singapore: Using Augmented Reality to Promote Skin Cancer Prevention Efforts.

Skin Cancer in Singapore: Using Augmented Reality to Promote Skin Cancer Prevention Efforts

Asia and Oceania

Explore an updated approach to traditional public health initiatives through innovative communication technologies to distribute an interactive and experiential campaign about skin cancer prevention among young adults

Student team members: Neha Momin, Sahar Ali, Daniel Killough, Arman Farsad

Faculty team members: Erin Reilly, Lucy Atkinson, Thushani Herath

Graduate student team member: Sajani Patel

Team headshots for the project "Fostering Green Entrepreneurialism: A Comparison of Water Conservation Practices and Behaviors in Jordan and Texas."

Fostering Green Entrepreneurialism: A Comparison of Water Conservation Practices and Behaviors in Jordan and Texas

Europe, Middle East and Africa

Compare campus water conservation efforts and overall water conservation technology and practice both in Texas and in Jordan. Project website:

Student team members: Kisara Dang, Sumaya Daghestani, Abby Partridge, Tanya Raghu

Faculty team members: David Eaton, Lucy Atkinson, Jayme Walenta

Graduate student team member: Noorah Alhasan

Headshots of student and faculty team for project, The Case for Connections: Understanding the Effect of Social Networks on the Academic Stress of Undergraduates in Austin, Texas, and Mexico City.

The Case for Connections: Understanding the Effect of Social Networks on the Academic Stress of Undergraduates in Austin, Texas, and Mexico City

Latin America and the Caribbean

Explore the role of social networks on the perceived academic stress levels of Mexican and Texan undergraduates. Project Video

Student team members: Thomas Dang, Melanie Milligan, Grace Ozor, Mariana Rendon Flores

Faculty team members: Deborah Parra-Medina, Carmen Valdez, Keri Stephens

Graduate student team member: Alfonso Rojas Alvarez


Headshots of student and faculty team for project, Young Innovators: Bringing Inductive Learning to Early STEM Education in Jamaica.

Young Innovators: Bringing Inductive Learning to Early STEM Education in Jamaica

Latin America and the Caribbean

Catalyze the shift toward inductive STEM learning in Jamaican primary students. Project website:

Student team members: Pearlyn Ang, Christopher Calizzi, Anthony Tang, Catherine Tang

Faculty team members: Melissa Kemp, Hal Alper, Brent Iverson

Graduate student team member: Bernard David


Using Interprofessional Education to Improve Community Health in Kenya

Sub-Saharan Africa Region

Explore the new Community Based Education and Service model implemented by Moi University and the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH)

Student team members: Kristine Adiele, Lauren Cebulske, Livia Frost, Siddha Sannigrahi

Graduate Student Team Member: Kristian Jones

Faculty team members: Julie Zuniga, Alexandra Garcia, Suzanne Seriff

How Autonomous Vehicles Might Aid Vulnerable Populations: A Case Study in Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

East Asia Region

Research how the elderly and disabled react to autonomous vehicles during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Student team members: Jean Kureyama, Eliezer Pearl, John Sherar, Peter Sumners

Faculty team members: Junfeng Jiao, Junko Hatanaka

Graduate student team member: Yefu Chen

Sustainable Embellishments for the Apparel and Textile Industry in Copenhagen

Europe, Russia and the Caucasus Region

Create embellishments for garments/accessories that biodegrade or form circular product cycle, preventing them from ending up in landfills or the environment

Student team members: Lilli Bennett, Cole Collins, Dominic Schillace, Shroothi Ramesh

Faculty team members: Jessica Ciarla, Luisa Fandino, Nathaniel Lynd

Graduate student team member: Jennifer Imbrogno

A Bittersweet Burden: Understanding Causes and Consequences of Diabetes Complications Using Design-Thinking in Puebla, Mexico

Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean Region

Study patients in Puebla, Mexico, hospitalized with preventable, acute complications of diabetes in order to identify both medical and sociocultural systems gaps in diabetes care and to generate insights on potential points of intervention

Student team members: Harrison Mark, Kanishka Mitra, Kathryn Quan, Joyce Tiong

Faculty team members: Jacqueline Angel, Dr. Meghana Gadgil, Meeta Kothare

Graduate student team member: Christian Vazquez

Rosaleen poses with her team after they pitched their research project

Developing Equality: Creating a Mobile Application to Address Health Inequalities for LGBTQ+ South Indians

South/Southeast Asia and Oceania Region

Visit Project Website

Create mobile and web-based technology to deliver an adapted LGBTQ+ health and sexual health curriculum for regional health care providers in Chennai, India

Student team members Shelby Hobohm, Nima Rahman, Shilpa Rajagopal, Rosaleen Xiong

Faculty team members: Sharmila Rudrappa, Patricia Hamilton-Solum, Paul Toprac

Graduate student team member: Aniruddhan Vasudevan


Four students on the Cambodia project team

Addressing Cambodia’s Waste Management Challenges: A Proposal for Co-Generating Entrepreneurial Solutions with Local Communities

Southeast Asia

Test a pilot educational model in communities and encourage shifts in cultural views on waste while teaching the tools needed to generate solutions. Student team members: Simran Ali, Eunise Chen, Katelyn DeBacker, and Lingyu Kong. Faculty team members: Dr. Jenny Knowles Morrison, Dr. Lucy Atkinson, and Dr. Kasey Mariko Faust.

Four students and three faculty members of the South Asia team

Clearing the Air: Using Scalable, Low-Cost Sensors to Address India’s Air Quality Knowledge Gaps

South Asia

Distribute low-cost sensors to measure air pollution in India. Student team members: Shayan Charolia, Heather Howton, Brian Mai, and Advaitha Reddy. Faculty team members: Dr. Joshua Apte and Dr. David Eaton.

Four female students stand with three faculty members

Women’s Hygiene, Empowerment and Research for Social Impact (HERS)

Middle East and Central Asia

Analyze and address empowerment through the creation and study of appropriate, sustainable menstrual hygiene products for women in refugee camps in Lebanon. Student team members: Ishani Chakravarty, Edith Muleiro, Priya Ramamoorthy, and Kathryn Taylor. Faculty team members: Dr. Janet Ellzey, Dr. Noël Busch-Armendariz, and Dr. Katherine Polston.

Student and faculty members of the Latin America team.

Health and Housing: A Comprehensive Needs Assessment of Low-Income Communities in Puebla, Mexico

Latin America

Visit Project Website

Comprehensive assessment of health needs, determinants, and resources in underserved regions of Puebla, Mexico, focusing on aspects of the built environment. Student team members: Christina Ciaburri, Veronica Remmert, Claire Stephenson, and Andrea Sandoval Flores. Faculty team members: Dr. Ricardo Ainslie, Dr. Tim Mercer, and Dr. Peter Ward.

Europe, Russia and the Caucasus team

Lowering Maternal Mortality Rates: What Texas Can Learn from the Republic of Georgia

Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus

Helping Texas reduce its maternal mortality rate by examining successful methods in Georgia. Student team members: Anastasiya Byelousova, Parth Gupta, Michael Sanchez, and Lyndsey Wang. Faculty team members: Dr. Amy Liu and Dr. Sharmila Rudrappa.

East Asia student team

A New State of Mind: Mental Health in South Korea

East Asia

Explore whether culturally grounded intervention programs, through the use of a mobile app and in-person workshops, can have an impact on people’s opinions on mental illness and suicide in South Korea. Student team members: Andrew Chen, Patience Ojionuka, Elena Ordonez, and Shaina Owens. Faculty team members: Prof. Jiwon Park, Dr. Carma Gorman, and Prof. Michael Baker.

Selected President's Award for Global Learning Team: Africa - The Color Complex: Unraveling the Stigma of Colorism in Global Communities.

The Color Complex: Unraveling the Stigma of Colorism in Global Communities


Explore the influences of colorism in Ghana through the lenses of media and businesses; identity and sense of self-worth; the cyclical nature of skin bleaching in families; and social mobility. Student team members: Timia Bethea, Rebecca Chen, Christina Cho and Vida Nwadiei. Faculty members: Prof. John Doggett, Dr. Kevin Cokley and Dr. Minette Drumwright.