UW-Madison senior Theo Loo has been awarded one of eight 2016 Wisconsin Without Borders Awards for his project focused on waterborne illness prevention in rural South Africa. Loo, who will graduate in May with a degree in Microbiology and a certificate in Global Health, was awarded the the Peter Bosscher Award.
Currently, 40 percent of South Africa’s population lives in rural areas with little access to clean water, leading to illness and disease. Loo worked with CIAS Director Michael Bell to design and carry out a project with the goal of reducing the prevalence of waterborne diseases in Kumanzimdaka, South Africa. The project conducted water testing and water sterilization workshops, established a community dialogue, and mapped houses, community centers, livestock feeding pastures and latrines. The project has produced a recommendation for physical water source protection strategies in Kumanzimdaka and has the potential to lay the groundwork for a systematic approach to reducing waterborne diseases across rural South Africa.
The 2016 Wisconsin Without Borders Awards honor the work of students, faculty, staff and community partners that demonstrates excellence in collaboration between the university and local and global communities. Winners this year represent efforts spanning seven countries.
Wisconsin Without Borders (WWB) is a UW-Madison alliance and award program that recognizes globally-engaged interdisciplinary scholarship and fosters excellence by networking through joint learning activities. WWB draws on the history and values of theWisconsin Idea and the many remarkable partnerships that UW-Madison faculty members and students have initiated, both in Wisconsin and around the world. WWB is a partnership between the Morgridge Center for Public Service, the Global Health Instituteand the International Division.
The Peter Bosscher Award honors the work of Dr. Peter Bosscher, whose work and ethic of social responsibility is at the core of Wisconsin Without Borders. He was passionate about providing service-learning opportunities to undergraduates and having students reflect on the global impact of their work. Winning projects demonstrate a commitment to service, reflection and strong community partners. Wisconsin Without Borders honors up to two undergraduate projects with the Peter Bosscher Award each year.
This article was originally published on the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems website.