International Graduate Students and Alumni Profiles
The experience and perspectives of international students are an important and integral part of the AUNE community. Their knowledge and understanding of global issues challenges the assumptions and beliefs of U.S. students and faculty members and informs discussion and learning in and out of the classroom. The lifestyles and values of international students bring cultural diversity to campus life, and provide opportunities for the AUNE community to look beyond itself. The work international students embark upon at AUNE, and later as alumni, help to advance social, economic, and environmental justice in their communities and elsewhere around the world. These are but a few of the international students and alumni who are a part of the global AUNE community.
Judith Jeremiah Karangi, Tanzania
“Being a student at AUNE taught me many things which have totally changed my view of the world and my approach to simple and complex daily challenges. I come from East Africa. My AUNE education has opened my eyes and showed me the ways I can now transform my community and its environment by applying what I have learned to suit my local settings and environment.”
Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability
Bernadette Arakwiye, Rwanda
Bernadette Arakwiye, the first female Rwandan student in conservation biology at AUNE received a second fellowship from P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund to support her tuition in the graduate program. She also went to Washington DC in the summer 2012 to intern with Conservation International on a tropical forest carbon project.
Ha Nguyen, Vietnam
Ha N. Nguyen, a master’s student in environmental studies at AUNE, spent the last three springs in North Carolina’s Bat Cave Preserve, working on the “Wine-Red” Floral Guild Project. As a research assistant, Ha is comparing the flowering phenology, breeding system and pollination of two trillium species, Sweet Betsy (Trillium cuneatum Small, red) and Southern Nodding Trillium (Trillium rugelii Rendle, white). Both species are found in the Bat Cave Preserve, owned by The Nature Conservancy.
Yves Gakunde, Rwanda
Yves Pacifique Gakunde, a graduate student in environmental studies at AUNE, was chosen in 2012 to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Started by President Bill Clinton in 2005, the annual CGIU gathers together students and national youth organizations to talk about solutions to urgent global issues.
Alexis Hand, Canada
Alexis’ current research interests center around the management of wild populations and population dynamics. The objective of my thesis research is to examine the relationship between skunk and feral cat densities to the abundance of urban food resources in Windsor, Canada. My hope is to find the reason for the high population of skunks and where the highest densities are occurring. This is important to me because I believe the trap and kill program being used right now is a temporary fix and a more permanent solution, such as food resource limitation and public education, is needed.
Lulu Tan, China
Lulu Tan gave a roundtable presentation about environmental education in China, “Earth Hour China, New Partnerships and Change Beyond 60 Minutes”, at the North American Association for Environmental Education conference in October 2012 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Lulu talked about how Earth Hour can promote learning, collaboration, environmental commitments, and sustainable actions among media, governments, organizations, and enterprises in China. She also discussed the challenges facing environmental education in China with attendees from American Forest Foundation, Lincoln Foundation, the University of Massachusetts, and other organizations. She is now working to build bridges between American and Chinese environmental educators and foster mutual understanding between the two countries.
Xiaohua Yi, China
Yi left China to attend Antioch University New England because she wanted to become more effective at helping nonprofit organizations. “I didn’t have this environmental education background in China, so here everything is very new and helpful. It is meaningful work, where you’re doing the right thing and you’re helping something become better.” Upon graduation, her first position back in China was developing a waste management plan for Shangri-La, China.
Resource Management and Conservation
“I think that the most valuable benefit of being a student in the Resource Management and Conservation (RMC) program is the insight I’ve gained into what’s wrong with our conventional approach in desertification control and how can we improve it. In China, combating desertification is designed and conducted by government agencies in a top-down manner. …I support a community-based natural resource management program as an alternative model and would seek public participation to address the situation. The RMC program at AUNE helped me develop the analytic and critical thinking skills to figure out a solution for the future.”
Kenold Moreau, HaitiBorn in Petit Goave, Haiti, Kenold Moreau appreciates the tenuous state of Haiti’s environment and the hardships faced by agriculturally-based communities. As part of his master’s program Kenold surveyed a fifty square kilometer area and led workshops for community residents. In his final report to the foundation that sponsored his work, Kenold noted that the major environmental problems facing the region—forest depletion, soil erosion, degradation in water quality—were the direct consequences of local people’s activities. Though sobering, his work provided the basis for a community development plan to reverse more than half a century of environmental decline.
John Bosco Sumani, Ghana
Ford fellow JohnBoscoSumani is clear as to what his aims are. “For me,” he says, “I want to always contribute to poverty alleviation by ensuring environmental sustainability.” In the summer of 2007, Sumani returned to his home country of Ghana to undertake research for his master’s thesis and to work on a practicum for a local non-governmental organization (NGO).
Sustainable Development and Climate Change
Mohamud Bulle, Kenya
Mohamud’s interest focused on permaculture. His international research examined sustainable management of cattle ranching and agricultural practices in Northern Kenya. His internship was with the Prime Minister’s Office of Kenya.
Environmental Studies: PhD
Tharcisse Ukizintambara, Rwanda
Throughout the summer of 2008, Tharcisse was on the move. He attended his last intensive summer semester at Antioch, gave presentations at the annual meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) in Chattanooga, Tennessee and at the International Primatological Society congress in Edinburgh, Scotland and taught again at the Tropical Biology Association(TBA) training course in Kibale National Park, Uganda. It was his third time back to Kibale forest after his 2005 service learning project there. TBA was impressed how Antioch has incorporated service into its program. For that reason, TBA re-invited him to contribute to their training over a four year period.
Elin Torell, Sweden
“We’re developing sustainable livelihoods that are combined with environmental management efforts. In Tanzania, we work with women on Zanzibar who have been collecting bivalves and selling the meat, depleting the stock. We are helping them do other things, like using the shells to make jewelry and cultivating pearls, so they don’t have to pick as many bivalves to make money. Livelihood programs to date are very seldom successful, so it’s important to evaluate and monitor them. Sometimes they fail because the environmental managers aren’t livelihood experts.”