PKG Fellowships 2019

January 31, 2020

Betty Johnson Fellow

Devora Najjar (PhD, Media Arts and Sciences)

This summer, Devora worked with the Mahia Maori Committee of Mahia, New Zealand to implement the first iteration of a community-led marine sensor system within their mātaitai, a protected area of ocean which grants the Committee control of all non-commercial fishing. Together with Paul Ratapu, President of the Mahia Maori Council, Devora led wānanga, cultural workshops, together with the community that combined hands-on water sensor education together with māori values and monitoring strategies, as well as workshops that focused on how these two knowledge sets work together to give the community a more robust picture of their changing marine environment. After returning from the trip, Devora documented the successes and failures of the wānanga by meetings with community members who participated as well as compile additional materials and documentation needed for the community to implement the sensors autonomously for the upcoming summer season. 


Becky Vest Fellow

Ellie Simonson (Master’s, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)

Ellie worked alongside the nonprofit Invisible Innocence in Bismarck, North Dakota.  Data have shown that on average, survivors of sex trafficking return to the life of sex trafficking seven times before they fully leave the lifestyle. Belonging to a community where survivors feel safe may reduce the chances of returning to the life of sex trafficking. However, survivors may experience safety risks when they utilize social media or digital messaging tools.  Ellie spent the summer beginning the development of a safer messaging application for survivors.