Educating | Informing | Illuminating

SCU Summer Interns in Zambia

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Join three Santa Clara University students on their journey through Zambia on behalf of Lifeline Energy and our Lifeline Taonga (LIFT) action research project for radio education.

Follow their blogs, photos and videos

Laura Ruggles

LauraLaura just completed her third year at Santa Clara University where she is studying Anthropology and Spanish Studies. She grew up in a farming community in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and says she is ”thrilled to be working with Lifeline Energy in Zambia this coming summer.” Her interest in action research started when she studied abroad in El Salvador during the Fall of 2012 with the Casa de la Solidaridad. Learning about new places and cultures has always interested her, particularly in regards to how a society can be shaped by outside factors. She is particularly excited to be able to meet and talk with Zambian children and find out what their education means to them. For Laura, the value of education has been instilled in her by her family, teachers, coaches, and mentors. She’s interested in finding a career that values and promotes education as part of its mission.

“I hope that my work with Lifeline Energy this summer will offer me some insight on how I can incorporate my passion for learning about other people, cultures, and geographies with my value of promoting education for people of all socioeconomic backgrounds.”

Jack Bird

Jack Bird ProfileJack just completed his third year at Santa Clara University where he is studying Environmental Science and Political Science. Jack was born and raised in Aspen, Colorado where he spent his childhood hiking, rafting, and skiing. His love of the outdoors led him to study Environmental Science, which opened him to the intersections between human development and the environment, particularly in regard to sustainable agriculture and food security. Jack says he is tremendously excited to work with Lifeline Energy, as it will help him gain a better understanding of how “radio can be used to educate rural communities about ways to improve their livelihoods through sustainable farming.” Jack hopes to continue working with social enterprises.

 “The ‘base of the pyramid’ is in need of tremendous development if we hope to create a more sustainable and equitable world, yet there is also enormous market potential, making this field incredibly exciting for me. I look forward to this experience and cannot wait to get started!”

Lynsey Palmer


Lynsey1Lynsey just completed her third year at Santa Clara University where she is studying Anthropology, French and Environmental Studies. While studying in Florence she interned with UNESCO. Lynsey spent most of her life abroad living Japan and Saudi Arabia. She credits this international experience for fostering her interest in international development and anthropology. Lysey is passionate about the environment and sustainability, notably in developing nations and would eventually like to continue action research in the bioanthropological field and implement environmental and public health practices. She hopes their research will benefit all the people who use Lifeline Energy’s educational tools.

“Energy poverty is a serious issue in Africa that impacts students of all ages. Lifeline Energy’s goals are crucial to changing the future of education in Sub-Saharan Africa.”