Spotlight on Jennifer Olson
After finishing her Bachelor's degree, Jennifer joined the Peace Corp, and then the U.N. Volunteers in Africa. She loved the land and people and decided to start graduate studies so that she could better contribute to the rapid changes occurring there. Most of Jennifer's work involves analyzing the relationship between people and the environment, most recently focusing on the causes and impacts of climate change. Her Masters research in Rwanda involved analyzing migration patterns and how they are tied to political and environmental forces. Her PhD work, also in Rwanda, focused on the social and political causes of changing land management and soil degradation. Jennifer has spent over 15 years working in Africa including Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
Jennifer joined the TISM staff in 2007. Her recent work including helping spearhead the new multi-college Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) specialization that the TISM department is leading. The focus of the ICT4D program is to learn about the role of communication technology in economic and social development, and how to enhance the positive impact of ICT in developing countries. Starting the summer of 2010, undergraduate students will be able to participate in a for-credit study abroad in Tanzania, during which they will be preparing and implementing an ICT related project that they design.
Apart from her work in TISM, Jennifer plans to continue her work in Tanzania and the rest of Africa. She will be returning at the end of September 2009 to work with Kenyan and Tanzanian scientists to analyze field data that they've collected, and to start organizing the next round of ICT4D activities.
Keep up the great work Jennifer!
Some of Jennifer's previous work includes: