Ralph J. Bunche Center Howard University

HU is Leader in $1.1 Million Energy Grant

Five HBCUs, with Howard as the lead institution, have received a grant of $1.1 million from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to fund a cooperative pilot project to assist in exploiting technical advances made by NASA for worldwide use. Dr. Arthur Thorpe, HU physics professor, is the Principal Investigator.

The other institutions making up the group include North Carolina A&T University; Savannah State University; Southern University (Baton Rouge); and Jackson State University.

The Howard led consortium will use NASA’s technology and products in the areas of remote sensing and sustainable and renewable energy to illustrate practical applications to the general public, primarily in Africa. The present focus is on Mali, Senegal and Madagascar.

Another objective of the program is to build the research and training infrastructure of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the practical use and application of these NASA developed products and technologies.

The plan calls for concentration in the initial stages on cooperative student training projects, including conferences, training sessions, workshops, and interactive websites, involving professors and students from the cooperating institutions and with their global counterparts. Utilizing existing technologies, they will develop prototype systems and products that can be used to provide renewable, sustainable energy for individual or small scale system use, such as the NASA developed sterling engine. NASA has funded the first year of this project for prototype systems as models. Funding for the second phase of the project must be developed.

My Internship Report
By Ngoma E. Iroabuchi

107th Congress Committee on International
Relations, Henry J. Hyde, Illinois, Chairman

Working as an intern for the Sub-Committee on Africa broadened my horizon on issues vital to Africa and the United States. My interest was mainly in Human Rights activities. The committee had several interesting hearings I wish to share here.

First, there was "Suffering and Despair: Humanitarian Crisis in the Congo," the purpose of which hearing was to encourage the end of rape, torture, massacres, violence and destruction in the Congo and eventually to bring the culprits to justice.

"A Discussion on the U.N. World Conference Against Racism," the second hearing, was designed to "adopt and implement laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, descent, or national or ethic origin at all levels of education; eliminate educational practices within and among schools that contribute to deficiencies in minority students achievement and limit access to quality education."

The third hearing, "African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI): A Security Building Block," aimed to, "create national units of African troops able to operate jointly and effectively in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations throughout what is commonly believed to be the world’s most conflict ridden continent." ACRI is responsible for training African troops in Africa. The goal is to reduce coup plots and devastating war conditions.

"Has the U.N. Commission on Human Rights Lost Its Course?" was the question raised at the fourth hearing. In it Congress was "conducting a policy review, looking closely at new approaches, new

opportunities and tactics that will enable the U.S. to continue to aggressively pursue its human rights objectives worldwide."

In the final hearing, "The Sudan Peace Act; And Condemning the Recent Order by the Taliban Regime of Afghanistan to Require Hindus in Afghanistan to Wear Symbols, Identifying Them as Hindu," there was an offer of protection to victims of genocide, slavery and human rights abuses.

In addition to the hearings, which made for a very busy situation, I attended numerous briefings and wrote briefs too. My favorite briefing was from the Human Rights Watch Organization. The issue at hand was that the United States needed to send relief to the Liberian refugees, who had been neglected, and the Human Rights officials insisted the United States become involved in solving the crisis. The committee also covered the issue of child labor in Africa. Children are put to labor to generate money and goods in most African countries and this violates their human rights. During my internship, I researched and complied articles on human rights violations in all African states.

The International Relations Committee environment was comfortable, and my supervisors and colleagues received me properly. Interning with the committee was very educational and exciting. I highly recommend it.

NOTE: Now on the Bunche Center staff, Ms. Iroabuchi graduated magna cum laude from Howard in 2002, having been elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

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