Elizabeth Larsen, a junior in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, won this year’s Circumnavigators Travel-Study Award, enabling her to travel to eight countries this summer to investigate childhood malnutrition.

The $9,000 award, offered jointly by the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Chicago Chapter of the Circumnavigators Club, funds a 10-week global summer research trip. The recipient must visit at least five countries on three continents.

Larsen, an economics and global health major, plans to model a global nutrition initiative after studying the effects of eight community programs. Her project, “Tackling Childhood Malnutrition: A global study of scaling up grassroots approaches to catalyze world progress,” will compare the successes and failures of malnutrition programs in Guatemala, Peru, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uganda, Rwanda, and Cameroon.

After attending the 2013 GlobeMed East Africa Forum in Uganda and researching a nutrition recuperation program in Guatemala last summer, Larsen decided to apply for the Circumnavigators grant.

The selection committees were impressed by the lifesaving potential of Larsen’s project and her previous academic, research, and travel experiences.

Larsen is a student in the Honors Program in Medical Education, an integrated BA/MD program with the Feinberg School of Medicine. She was also the first undergraduate student ever to win an award from the Global Health Initiative, a fund that supports Feinberg students abroad.

“Northwestern has proven to be a university full of endless opportunities,” Larsen said. “From the professors that are always willing to advise and mentor students, to the research office on campus that provides endless support on ideas, proposals, and applications, there is seemingly no limit to what students can pursue.”


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