Commitments to Action are new, specific, and measurable initiatives that address social or environmental challenges on campuses, in communities, or in different parts of the world. Proposed by an individual or a group, commitments translate practical goals into meaningful and measurable results. WUSTL is proud of all 200 of our students who have made a commitment to action through CGI U. Here is a sample of the projects our students are working on.
Almost everyone finds time to get a haircut. This project aims to train barbers as peer educators to promote healthy lifestyle changes and to explain metabolic syndrome — a cluster of risk factors linked to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes — to their clients.
The goal of the Science in Everyday Life project is a public event to change people's attitudes and beliefs about the nature of science. Specifically, it will point out how people act as "scientists" in their everyday lives, such as using evidence and drawing conclusions. Through this self-reflection people will be guided to think about a controversial, popular scientific topic (e.g., climate change, renewable energy, vaccines) in a new way. In this way, the event will address people's troubled understanding of the scientific method (i.e., how science is done and what science can tell us) and promote a more science-savvy citizenry.
The project's long-term goal is to decrease China’s national smoking prevalence by 1 percent annually. The operation would be located in a hospital in Beijing, and the quitline would be staffed by a team of including psychologists, telephone counseling experts, researchers and information specialists. To avoid censorship from the Chinese government, the program would seek funding from nonprofit organizations.
"Making Vegetables Fun: The St. Louis City Healthy Eating Initiative," addresses childhood obesity in St. Louis. School children will learn about and practice healthy eating in the classroom, and the program will teach an appreciation for healthy eating, as well as provide assistance to low-income families with ideas for healthy foods the children enjoy.
Green Light St. Louis, an extension of Green Light New Orleans, replaces incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) in low-income households for free. By installing CFLs in homes that could not afford to switch otherwise, Green Light St. Louis shows that a movement of individual actions can significantly impact families’ lives and the environment.
This commitment plans to offer HPV vaccines for males and females, ages 9 to 26, in the Gulu District in northern Uganda. Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death among women in developing countries. Sun feels mass vaccination could have a profound impact.
The Missouri Regional Science Bowl seeks to facilitate a science education ecosystem in Missouri where resources and organizations from around the state collaborate, and to open the current Science Bowl program to middle school participants.
This project coordinates with volunteers and local physician groups at the Adeleke University School of Public Health to increase awareness about the detriments of the globalization of fast food and also the relationship between poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and Type 2 Diabetes. Specifically, she plans to conduct community focus groups in Ibadan to gauge community perceptions of causes of Type 2 Diabetes, and also train young adults as community health advocates to promote primary prevention of diabetes and hypertension through lifestyle-change.
This plan seeks to educate Costa Ricans about problematic behaviors handed from generation to generation, among them drinking coconut milk to prevent pregnancy and feeding babies bottles containing coffee and sugar.
In cities throughout the world, years of contamination have rendered large swaths of land unfit for habitation, development or food production. Interactive Living Landscape aims to demonstrate that vacant urban lots can be productively landscaped in ways that not only heal the soil, but also help improve the health of the wider community.
This plan seeks to address St. Louis' significant prevalence of sickle cell disease through visits to high schools to educate students about how the disease is passed from parent to child and to encourage meetings with genetic counselors.
This project seeks to turn a single room in St. Louis into an overpowering art exhibit of human strength and courage. Beginning with a social media campaign, the project is asking for stories, artwork, photographs, and other creative expressions by all individuals impacted by gender-based violence – not just the survivors themselves.
Design to Improve Health Literacy plans to organize an interdisciplinary class that will include both medical and design students with an aim to develop new, image-based health education materials for patients in WUSTL’s Center for Outpatient Health, a resident-run clinic for low-income patients.
This project is committed to improve access to healthy fruits and vegetables for residents of the Columbus Square neighborhood in St. Louis. They will partner with local farmers, gardening organizations, WUSTL faculty, and the Patrick Henry Downtown Academy, to develop a summer program for youth that focuses on gardening, healthy eating and team building.
This project aims to bring a service-learning curriculum to three St. Louis-area schools and encourage underprivileged children to take a more active role in serving the community.
Using the connecting classrooms model from UNICEF, this project hopes to connect high school youth (ages 14-18) in St. Louis, Missouri, Andavadoaka, Madagascar, and Indonesia through an online platform to build international collaboration on environmental issues.
D*Serve (Design Serves) aims to inspire youth who live in disinvested neighborhoods by providing them experience and education in design and civic leadership. The idea is to help teens first identify what exactly it is they want – and deserve – in their community, and then guide them toward reinvigorating culture, socio-economy, and physical spaces through sustainable innovations.
This plan aims to outfit a community health clinic in Villa El Salvador, Peru with a basic eye-care unit as a solution to the community's unaddressed visual health needs. To ensure the sustainability of the program, the clinic will be provided with 500 adjustable-prescription glasses and several of the clinic's nurses will be trained in performing eye exams.
This plan seeks to address the issue of both over- and under-nutrition in Nepalese youth by teaching children and adults living on the periphery of the Kathmandu Valley Region of Nepal, the importance of basic health and physiology.
The Washington University Marshall-Brennan Project places law students in St. Louis high schools to teach a semester-long course on students’ constitutional rights in order to address a fundamental civics gap in American education. The commitment “Addressing Civic Education in St. Louis” will expand the Project to reach hundreds of St. Louis high school students within five years, and ultimately aims to make the Project a permanent institution for educational progress in the St. Louis area.
Andrew Brimer and Abigail Cohen are the co-founders of Sparo Labs, a company that has invented an award-winning, patent-pending device that revolutionizes the management of chronic respiratory diseases. They believe that the key to better health care is education, and committed to partnering with a national organization to develop a campaign that raises asthma awareness and educates patients on how to best manage their asthma.
This group wants to turn the mission behind the ACA into a reality in the St. Louis community. By engaging the immigrant and refugee population of St. Louis and collaborating with CGIU representatives and local organizations, the group believes that they can help this marginalized population gain access to the health care they need and deserve.
Madeleine Polk is developing a means of replicating and implementing Systems Thinking curriculum in schools to better equip the next generation of students to address the local, national, and global issues they face. Because of its broad applicability, Polk anticipates the designing of new materials will allow for more teachers to see the relevance of Systems Thinking for their students and consequently begin to use it to aid students in problem solving processes.
This plan aims to bring a mobile hand clinic to medically underserved St. Louisans. It calls for simple tools, treatments and education for those with untreated hand conditions.
This group seeks to create a partnership with the St. Louis Charter School to increase the school’s volunteer base by 20 percent, specifically in the field of male student mentorship, and to increase educational resources, including textbooks and other school supplies, by 10 percent over the next three years.
Mahila Mobile is a social enterprise that aims to create an Android operating system (OS) customized for illiterate women in Pakistan. We plan to work with local NGO partners over a 2-year time frame to provide women with access to education, health, and income opportunity through mobile phone technology.
The goal of the Correctional Education Reform Through Technology program is to equip the inmates of St. County Jail and St. Louis County Juvenile Detention with the literacy, mathematics, and critical thinking skills necessary in order to obtain their GEDs and reduce their rate of relapse.
In urban communities around the world, young people all too often find their lives circumscribed by poverty, crime and a lack of education. U.Y.N.T (Urban Youth Nation of Tomorrow) aims to provide young people from these communities chances to experience higher education, travel and mentorship.
Team LumaCure has identified one of the most significant factors that contribute towards neonatal deaths — hyperbilirubinemia, or jaundice. The team’s goal is to make a low cost and portable phototherapeutic treatment device that will help treat neonatal jaundice using Electroluminescence instead of the existing LED / halogen lamp phototherapy solutions. The team has been researching and thinking about this problem, and feels it has come up with a better, cheaper solution that is not currently available.