January 12, 2004
UCSC tech-savvy internship program receives $300,000
By Jennifer McNulty
An innovative student-run internship program at UC Santa Cruz that trains
undergraduates in the latest tools of information technology, which
they in turn use to advance the causes of global justice, peace, and
gender equity, has received nearly $300,000 from the Compton Foundation,
The program places UCSC students as information technology
interns with nonprofit and nongovernmental (NGO) organizations
around the globe.
The Global Information Internship
Program (GIIP, pronounced jeep) was established in 1998
to build a network of tech-savvy undergraduates at UCSC who share their
skills with activists around the world engaged in democratizing
globalization. The two-year grant, which totals $298,258, will
support student travel scholarships and stipends, bring speakers to
campus, and help cover administrative costs.
Paul Lubeck, professor of sociology and director of GIIP, said the
rapid pace of globalization threatens to undermine human compassion,
community solidarity, and environmental sustainability, and it promotes
insidious inequality in the form of informational exclusion.
GIIP seeks to redress that imbalance by helping to bridge the ever-widening
global digital divide.
The program places UCSC students as information technology interns
with nonprofit and nongovernmental (NGO) organizations around the globe.
These NGO partners benefit from the infusion of expertise in the latest
information and communication technologies. By increasing the organizational
capacity of NGOs, GIIP interns help bolster the impact of groups working
on progressive social change.
Our interns are helping build and strengthen social networks
around the globe by expanding the networking capacity of nonprofits
and NGOs, said Lubeck. Were giving our undergraduates
training in the latest technology, which they are sharing with activists
and organizers working for positive social change. GIIP interns are
committed to empowering people who would otherwise be excluded from
the benefits of the information revolution.
From Santa Cruz to South Africa, GIIP interns earn academic credit
while upgrading the information resources of their sponsoring organizations.
To participate, students must enroll in a nine-month class that provides
40 hours of computer-based technical training and 80 hours of project
work focused on network technology, computer back-up systems, and web-page
Required courses cover subjects such as global inequality, democratic
social movements, fieldwork methodology, and language instruction, if
needed. Interns also learn about grant writing and computer-based fundraising.
GIIP will share the Compton Foundation grant with the UCSC Center for
Global, International and Regional Studies (CGIRS), which sponsors the
hands on service-learning program.
Based in northern California, the Compton Foundation focuses most of
its grant-making activities in the areas of peace and security, population,
and the environment, with an emphasis on strategies that combine research
and activism. The foundation encourages collaboration between agencies
and institutions and seeks to encourage positive models of change.
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