Cambodia Project, 2007-2008


Jo Ann Burkhardt, Associate Professor of Education, will continue a three-year project working with under-trained teachers in Cambodia. Using data from a 2006-07 needs assessment, Burkhardt will both train and develop teacher training materials for K-8 life science instruction, pre-algebra, and algebra instruction, and general instructional strategies for in-service teachers in the schools at Ba Prey and Prekk Royea. Educational materials developed through this long-term project appear to be the only such materials available in Khmer to in-service teachers pertaining to pedagogy, theory, and applied practice.

Professor Jeffrey Weaner, Professor of Social Work and Sociology, will continue his on-going work with the Cambodian Women's Crisis Center (CWCC). Weaner's focus this year will be on a comprehensive program evaluation to gauge the effectiveness of the various forms of existing shelter programming for successful reintegration. Evaluation research findings will be used to help CWCC improve its service to clients and substantiate organizational effectiveness to external funding agencies.


Dr. Nathan Griggs, Assistant Professor of Microbiology, will initiate a critical needs assessment of health care in the rural Cambodian communities and continue the development of training materials in Khmer for the health care workers in rural Cambodia. Griggs project also include collecting baseline epidemiological data to assess the long term impact of the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity on this community.

Don Buerk, Associate Professor of History, will create "An Intelligent Traveler's Guide to the Planet," to serve as a future training manual for McMaster scholars and develop a checklist of indicators of democracy, with a focus on gender equity, demographic distributions, role of religion and royalty, and public security and law enforcement. Buerk will also provide support and supervision for Scholars.

Lori Robison, Director of Social Work Program, will conduct a comparative study of service delivery and best practices between CWCC and the Family Justice Center of Defiance to determine areas of interface between the two organizations, including intake and assessment, intervention planning, resource development, treatment models and discharge planning. Robison will also provide support and supervision for Scholars.


Craig Burke, Senior, Athletic Training and Wellness - This project will develop informational brochures about five preventable common causes of death - diarrheal disease, acute respiratory infection, measles, malaria, and malnutrition - in simple language to be translated into Khmer; provide instruction for CWCC counselors and teachers about these five causes of death including signs and symptoms and preventative measures. The project also plans to raise funds for medical supplies for rural clinics near the CWCC.

Jennifer Creighton, Junior, International and Global Studies - This project will develop training materials for CWCC regarding the rhythm method of birth control, food hygiene and preparation, and sewing and tailoring vocabulary in English and Khmer based on research into what can best be used by the CWCC and what the best methods for transmitting the information may be. The project also proposes to take the training on food hygiene and preparation and sewing and tailoring vocabulary to area schools.

Kirsten Harmon, Senior, Biology - This project will raise funds to purchase medical equip and prepare an instruction manual in Khmer for that equipment. Additionally, the project will attempt to collect med equip donations and prepare instruction manuals for donated equip. Finally, the project plans to prepare an informational brochure on prenatal care in Khmer.

Kelsey Huff, Junior, Molecular Biology - This project will research the current methods of diagnosing and treating Tuberculosis in rural clinics in Cambodia. It will develop an educational handbook about Tuberculosis and treatment for medical professionals. The project plans to evaluate the need for, collect, and distribute medical equipment and supplies for medical professionals, including sample slides of tuberculosis bacterium and infected lung tissue to be used for training purposes. Finally the project may create public health brochures for residents.

Britney Huffman, Senior, Human Resource Management - This project will research the issue of human sex trafficking, particularly in Cambodia. It will then develop training materials and awareness posters to create awareness of the issue among rural Cambodians and develop procedures to help intercede when abduction is identified.

Corynne Long, Senior, Integrated Language Arts - This project will develop basic algebra education materials appropriate for students in grades 4-7, including teacher education materials including goals, ways to teach, activities and assessments. Materials will then be translated into Khmer.

Sarah Plas, Senior, Accounting - This project will develop a micro-lending model through research into existing models and research into needs in the Phnom Pehn area of Cambodia. The project will develop training materials in Khmer that include managing loans and creating business plans in order to improve the success of the loans. The project also hopes to secure funding for at least three loans.

Andrew Pratt, Junior, International and Global Studies - This project will develop English language workshops for language acquisition relevant to the hospitality industry. The project will develop print resources in English and Khmer to support workshop content. The project also hopes to add workforce development skills to the workshop such as job interview techniques and completing a job application.

Candice Schmitt, Senior, Criminal Justice - This project will research construction methods of a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Cambodia. It will then create a manual on various aspects of building a standard housing unit for affiliate with pictograms for residents. Additionally the project plans to interview residents who have been recipients of a Habitat unit in Cambodia in order to share knowledge with others.

Nicolas Webber, Junior, History - This project will develop a guide for understanding Cambodian culture and history for use with future travel groups. The guide will be developed through research of the cultural and political history of Cambodia and a literature review of procedures and protocols of other international groups.

Lindsay Whitman, Senior, Middle Childhood Science and Social Studies - This project will conduct comparative research on the issues and needs of urban and rural teachers in part by shadowing a teacher for several days in country. The project plans to develop training materials and seminars for teacher professional development and will work with one teacher interested in improving her English language ability. The project also plans to create a science curriculum for use by Cambodian teachers.