Professor Louise Fortmann of the department of environmental science, policy, and management is among three UC Berkeley recipients of the 2010 Sarlo Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Awards. The award honors professors for outstanding graduate student mentorship.
Professor Fortmann's research focuses on rural sociology. Her work examines natural resource use and management for individuals and communities. Her students work all over the world, though her own research concentrates on California and southern Africa. She studies issues of gender, property, poverty, community control of natural resources, and knowledge production (the study of social structures and processes that facilitate successful collaboration between scientists and researchers).
Photo by Peg Skorpinski
Jenn Jehnsen is a CNR Student majoring in Environmental Sciences. She is also minoring in Global Poverty and Practice via the Blum Center for Developing Economies.
She was given the opportunity of presenting a gift to former President Bill Clinton from the Blum Center for Developing Economices because she is a peer adviser for her minor, Global Poverty and Practice. She presented the gift after Clinton's speech on what global citizenship means. "It was really exciting to share that moment with president Clinton because he had
just talked about what global citizenship means, and I have been trying to
figure that out myself ever since my trip to Uganda. I also love that
President Clinton inspired us as young people, because we are the
generation that can bring change", says Jenhsen.
She spent the Summer of 2009 as an intern with the Uganda Village Project (UVP), working as a team leader for the "Healthy Villages Initiative". The Healthy Villages Initiative is an aims to take a grassroots approach to addresssing rural healthcare and public health in Uganda. Its main goal is to improve the provisions of healthcare and access to preventative health education to underserved populations in the Iganga District, one of the poorest districts in Uganda. "Through Healthy Villages Initiative, UVP targets the primary health risks of the region at the village level, working with the District Health Office (DHO) of Iganga, with Sub-County Officials, and with local Health Center Staff", describes Jehnsen. " UVP launched Healthy Villages in five 'pilot' villages during the summer of 2009, and will eventually expand to work
in a total of 70 chosen villages. All villages are based around the same
five health centers, and all fall into the bottom quartile in sanitation
and access to clean water".
Her team sold insecticide-treated mosquito nets at a subsidized price
along with educational outreaches with these sales to ensure people
were using them correctly. In addition, they sold Waterguard, a water
chlorination product that can treat a family's drinking water for up
to a year for around 25 cents, also in conjunction with educational
outreaches. Her team also brought free HIV/AIDS testing to the
village, for which over 150 people, both young and old, came to get
"The testing organization told us that our village had a
particularly high number of HIV positive people, and for those who
tested positive, treatment was available for them through The AIDS
Support Organization, funded by the U.S. While implementing these
initiatives, I encountered many challenges including cultural
differences, language barriers, and lack of support from the NGO and
from the local government", says Jehnsen.