Dean Douglas Cavener teaches Biology of Eco-Health in Tanzania for three weeks each year. In this course, students explore the intersections of ecology and human health in an environment vastly different from any Penn State campus. Beyond earning course credits, students discover a new perspective, greater understanding, and a passion for making a difference. Credit: Paul Shaffner
Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by social media, crowdfunding, and collaboration. It is celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and kicks off the charitable holiday season. This year’s college Giving Tuesday initiative focused attention on providing programmatic support for the short- term study abroad trip to Tanzania that Douglas Cavener, Verne M. Willaman Dean of the Eberly College of Science, leads and teaches for three weeks each year in late May.
In Cavener’s class, Biology 498: Biology of Eco-Health, students explore the intersections of ecology and human health in an environment vastly different than what can be found at any Penn State campus. The purpose of this class is to provide an understanding of the trends and history that led to some of the most devastating human diseases, by observing African ecology against the backdrop of world health concerns. The short-term study abroad experience is designed to give students a hands-on, individualized experience so they can understand the many different avenues of research that are needed to tackle world health issues.
The college was extremely fortunate to have avid college supporters Judd and Ellen Moul and Ginny Olson champion our Giving Tuesday initiative with matching gifts of $5,000. Penn State alumni Judd Moul and Ellen Jablonski Moul believe the transforming power of global experiences will dramatically impact future global health research and discovery. To encourage others to donate, they made a commitment to provide a match for every gift received during Giving Tuesday, up to the first $5,000 raised. In their own words, "Traveling to new places opens up a world of opportunity. The study abroad program in Tanzania is a unique Penn State learning experience that can make a huge impact on a student’s life. We donated our gift so all students, regardless of financial ability, might be able to participate in this once-in-a- lifetime program."
Eberly College of Science alumna Ginny Olson’s $5,000 gift provided a double match, increasing the power of Giving Tuesday by matching gifts two- to-one for every dollar donated, up to $5,000. Ginny is passionate about giving, providing her time as a volunteer on multiple Eberly College of Science boards and her financial support to college initiatives. Ginny is convinced that every gift makes a difference, and her incentive increases the impact significantly. In her own words, "The gifts today influence careers of future problem- solving scientists and that benefits all of us." Large or small, your gift will change someone's future.