Oct 19, 2011 - Claremont, Calif. - Global Clinic Director and mathematics professor Lisette de Pillis served as guest speaker at the International Place Oct. 13 luncheon at Claremont McKenna College.
In a presentation entitled, “Science and Technology Education Across Borders With HMC’s Global Clinic,” de Pillis shared the program’s successes and challenges.
“Our mission is to give students hands-on experience and prepare them to work in an international context,” she said. “These projects are expensive to run, because they involve travel and equipment and require substantial commitment from the institution.”
Program successes include projects in Iceland and India, where students from HMC worked with students from the University of Iceland and the Birla Institute of Technology, to design systems that captured waste heat energy and used it to generate electricity. Challenges have involved cultural differences and learning to design tools that are not only effective, but also appropriate and convenient for the people who will use them.
Students who participate in Global Clinic appreciate learning how to work and communicate across cultural boundaries, de Pillis said. They also find the projects inspiring.
As the program shifts from commercial projects toward a private-sponsor model, it will focus increasingly on solving problems that benefit humankind—particularly helping people in countries where resources are scarce, she said. With the new, non-commercial direction comes the challenge of financially sustaining the program.
A generous $1 million gift from the Vickery Family has helped forward the program, de Pillis said. Current trustee John Vickery ’91, son of the late Robert and Joan Vickery who bequeathed the generous endowment, particpated in the Clinic Program while at HMC. “I remember the things I got out of my Clinic experience," said John Vickery. "It changed my life.”
For more information, visit the Global Clinic program website.
Global Clinic Director and mathematics professor Lisette de Pillis served as guest speaker at the International Place Oct. 13 luncheon at Claremont McKenna College.
Media Contact: Judy Augsburger