Cambodia, 2012-2013


JoAnn Burkhardt, Faculty, Education - The purpose of this proposed project is to collect data pertaining to the prevalence and the understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Cambodia. Work has been done with teachers, governmental officials and public school administrators for nearly a decade while partnering with the Southeast Asian Children's Mercy Fund. The Fellow's work with teachers and school administrators has focused on teacher training pertaining to educational pedagogies for typically developing children. For a variety of reasons, the Fellow has recently become interested in the topic of Autism within Cambodian society. This personal and professional interest coincides with requests from a number of governmental officials, teachers and leaders of the Cambodian Women's Crisis Center to provide training within the country pertaining to the issue of non-typical children. This confluence of professional/personal interest and community need has provided an impetus for this project.

Fred Coulter, Faculty, Education - The project is to expand upon the 2011-2012 project of exploring the possibilities of connecting teachers in Cambodia with education majors at Defiance College to include other professionals as well. The purpose of the 2012-2013 project will be to give teachers in Cambodia a live in-service focused on active learning. In May of 2010, teachers in Phnom Penh requested that they be able to see teachers in the United States implementing active learning in their classrooms. Further, the purpose of this project will be to explore how Defiance College students can better understand teaching conditions in Cambodia.


Don Buerk, Faculty, History - In an attempt to determine the strengths and weaknesses of a particular democracy there needs to be a way to objectively look at the different components of democracy and evaluate how a government and a society rate along a scale. Surveys have been developed to compare the various governments around the world. Having students reflect on the indicators of democracy before departure should be a valuable learning moment. Once in Cambodia we can then assess how the country compares to the US. Using these surveys as a guide might help us to determine which areas of a democracy need improvement. This could be used to judge American democracy as well as Cambodian.


Kari Baumgartner, Junior, Wellness & Corporate Fitness - The purpose of this project is to create training materials for taking blood pressure and to create culturally relevant materials on diet and healthy living.

Kelly Beard, Senior, Graphic Design - The purpose of this project is to create guidelines for the purchase of fair trade products for the DC Art Box. Following these guidelines, the scholar will purchase fairly traded handmade crafts and locally produced products for resale on the Defiance College campus. The scholar will examine what fair trade entails, who decides what fair trade is, how fair trade products can be purchased in Cambodia, and how products purchases in Cambodia can legally be resold in the U.S.

Lynn Beining, Sophomore, Medical Laboratory Science - The purpose of this project is to bring donated microscopes to hospitals and clinics in Cambodia and teach other laboratory technicians how to use the microscopes to diagnose malaria. The scholar hopes are that by giving the Cambodian people this knowledge and equipment it will save more lives and eventually help rid Cambodia of malaria.

Ian Fasnacht, Sophomore, Communication Arts/Public Relations - The purpose of this project is to produce training materials for NGO directors and workers to understand the components of leadership. In addition, the scholar will create training materials for commune leadership groups on collaboration, communication, and components of effective meetings.

Cali Hazel, Sophomore, Social Work and Psychology - The project will be addressing the issue of the toxic family dynamic and will aim to strengthen the relationships between mother and child. The scholar will make a booklet of training materials for both the women and social workers at the Cambodia Women's Crisis Center that will include information on the Eight States of Man according to Erik Erikson which will allow a better understanding of where the children and women are at developmentally and emotionally and what problems may arouse or have aroused due to improper development through these stages. Along with this booklet, the scholar will teach a four hour class addressing this same issue. After finishing, the social workers to be able to provide the right type of care for the women and children after they gain this better understanding, and the bonds between the mothers and children to be strengthened.

Lindsay Kasmer, Junior, Social Work & Psychology - The purpose of the project is to develop training for various NGOs for 3 three art therapy assessments. The assessments are: Picture of a Person Picking an Apple, Draw a Tree, Draw a Person.

Dakota Keller, Junior, Molecular Biology - This project will help detest contaminants in Cambodia's water and help the citizens to make their water safe. Water quality in Cambodia is a major problem which causes a high child mortality rate as well as illness rate. In order to combat this rate, testing of water from cisterns, restaurants, and hospitals will tell what is in the water and can help citizens cleanse the water for safe cooking and drinking.

Michael Pigoni, Senior, Digital Forensic Science - The scholar will be exploring the capabilities of both Defiance College and Cambodia to make sure that each have the ability to perform professional training across the internet allowing constant learning and telecommunication between the College and its partners.

Melissa Russell, Sophomore, Integrated Language Arts - This project will address some of the educational problems faced by Cambodia through the introduction of Piaget's learning theory. The scholar will teach Piaget's learning theory to those who are a part of the learning community in which the scholar will focus on helping to build critical thinking skills in order to help teachers be better able to help the students.

Abby Taylor, Sophomore, Accounting - The purpose of this project is to create a model of activities for children living in shelters and orphanages to allow their caregivers to participate in training. In addition, the scholar will develop a day of activities for HCC. The scholar will assess the appropriateness and the efficacy of the various activities.

Taylor Tuttle, Senior, Biology - Water quality in Cambodia is poor and poses health problems to those that use it for drinking and cooking. The major adverse effect of the unsafe water is diarrhea which increases infant mortality rates significantly. By testing water in locations such as household cisterns, restaurants, and hospitals, possible solutions can be found as to what is in the water that is making people sick and what can be done to improve the water quality.