Dr. Stephen J. Mecca ’64 & ’66G, professor of physics, is executive director of the Global Sustainable Aid Project, founded in 2007 by his granddaughter, Hannah Davis. The nonprofit works on a variety of projects, ranging from sanitation to education and technology, to improve the lives of people in the West African nation.
Most of those projects are developed and tested by students in Mecca’s lab on the first floor of Albertus Magnus Hall. They call it S-Lab — for science, service, sanitation, sustainability, solutions, study, and systems — all terms that factor in its work.
Each year, Mecca travels to Ghana to implement new projects and to check on the progress of others. Students from PC and other colleges have accompanied him in the past, including Cornell University, The Cooper Union, and the University of Florida. Once in Ghana, they are joined by students from the University of Ghana and Ashesi University. The six students who joined Mecca for a 25-day visit in 2014 represented the largest contingent ever from PC. They earned course credit for their participation, and three of them received study abroad scholarships to make the trip affordable through PC’s agreement with Santander, N.A.
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More than three-dozen students at Providence College profiled, hosted, and honored 13 immigrants and refugees to Rhode Island as part of a semester-long course in global studies. The honorees included Eric E. Sung, PC associate professor of photography.
The course, Introduction to Global Studies, is taught by Athena Fokaidis, instructor of global studies, and explores social, political, economic, and cultural aspects of the globalized world. Each Global Studies 101 class includes some form of service learning, and the “Welcoming Rhode Island” initiative, directed by the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island, is the civic engagement portion of the course.
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