Weinberg junior awarded grant to investigate malnutrition initiatives

Rebecca Savransky, Assistant Campus Editor

Weinberg junior Elizabeth Larsen was awarded the Circumnavigators Travel-Study Grant on Jan. 10 for a project examining initiatives aimed at eliminating global malnutrition.

With a project called “Tackling Childhood Malnutrition: A Global Study of Scaling Up Grassroots Approaches to Catalyze World Progress,” Larsen will travel to eight different countries to conduct her research.

The $9,000 grant, funded by Northwestern and Chicago’s Chapter of the Circumnavigators Club, gives the winning student the opportunity to travel to at least five different countries on a minimum of three different continents.

Larsen said she decided to apply for the grant after spending a few weeks last summer in Guatemala at a malnutrition clinic.

“They had really innovative methods of implementing strategies, like through education, but it was a small program,” Larsen said. “I saw a lot of potential on how these small programs could be grown to tackle malnutrition on a global scale.”

Larsen plans to travel to different malnutrition programs in Guatemala, Peru, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uganda, Rwanda and Cameroon this summer, and will research how to combat malnutrition and expand the programs. She said there are many different approaches for tackling malnutrition including directly giving individuals nutritional supplements, implementing education programs for mothers and using agricultural techniques.

“I’ll be spending about two weeks at each site looking at the implementation behind each program,” Larsen said. “It’s an issue I’m really passionate about.”

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