Center Associate Director Marci McPhee Visits Kenya and Tanzania

July 5-13, 2007

Associate Director Marci McPhee, who oversees the Center's on-campus programs and the Ethics Center Student Fellowship, traveled to Kenya and Tanzania in early July to represent the Center and Brandeis University in several capacities.


Ethics Center Student Fellow Visits
Marci touched base with current ECSFs Jamie Pottern '09 and Daniel Koosed '08, both of whom are in the midst of their summer internships. Jamie is working as an intern with Kakamega Environmental Educational Program (KEEP) in Kenya, where she is surveying local inhabitants about their use of the rainforest. Marci is happy to report that Jamie is thriving, and her site supervisors are very pleased with her work, particularly her maturity in selecting a project with lasting usefulness to the organization and her ability to work with the organization in every level of planning and executing the project.

Daniel is an intern with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, where he is working with Suzanne Chenault to advance the planning for the Legacy Symposium, a collaboration between Brandeis and the ICTR to explore the legacy of the ICTR as it wraps up its work. Daniel is having a remarkable internship, contributing in substantive ways to the planning of the symposium as well as providing invaluable logistical support. Marci's visit provided an occasion for Suzanne and Daniel to set up meetings with several court officials, thereby solidifying the Brandeis connection to the symposium, giving Daniel access to these individuals, and giving Suzanne the opportunity to solicit feedback and strengthen buy-in from her colleagues on this project. Marci also got the opportunity to sit in on portions of the Karemera trial and the Butare trial.

Admissions Presentation at Education USA in Nairobi
Working closely with Nicholas Senecal of undergraduate admissions, Holly Chase of IBS, and Jim Sabourin, Doris Breay and Kelley Ready of SID, Marci planned and presented an hour-long presentation about Brandeis at the Education USA office in Nairobi. She spoke to an audience of about 50 students, staying afterwards for another hour of individual Q&A. Most of the students completed admissions information cards, which Nick Senecal will distribute to IBS, SID and COEX as appropriate. Furthermore, the Education USA staff members are now more aware of Brandeis and will be able to advise other potential students.

Potential Collaborations with Esther Keino, Member of the Kenyan Parliament
Student clubs Student Global AIDS Campaign (SGAC) and Positive Foundations have been in touch with Esther Keino previously. SGAC has raised about $1,400 over two years to send to Esther's projects in Kericho, Kenya to support the schooling of children affected by HIV/AIDS. Marci attended one of the monthly meetings of about 20 "community mothers," women who conduct monthly home visits to about 15 orphans each, often walking long distances in this rural district to check in with the children. Community mothers coordinate educational, nutritional, health, and psychosocial support to these orphans, who are often bounced around between relatives or are being cared for by elderly grandparents. A total of 25 community mothers serve 620 children throughout the region, connecting the children to existing resources and overseeing their care.

Internships/Field Placements with the World Agroforestry Centre
Mohamed Bakarr, assistant director general of the World Agroforestry Centre (WAC), spent a week in residence at Brandeis in February 2007. (Read more about the residency here.) During his residency, Dr. Bakarr indicated his willingness to host Brandeis students in internships or graduate field placements at WAC. Several students indicated an interest in working at WAC, including one potential ECSF 2008 inquirer. Dr. Bakarr was out of the country when Marci was there, but she did meet with his colleagues Wahida Shah, Jan Laarman, and Hellen Ochieng to discuss the possibilities.