University of Pittsburgh | OaklandHeinz Programming Area:
Lindsay Colgan had the opportunity to intern virtually with a marine biology lab at Massey University in New Zealand. Through this program she gained exposure in managing large data sets for labs, completing literature reviews, and communicating findings with fellow lab members. Exploring the incident reports for the endemic dolphin species of New Zealand helped Lindsay to understand the human impact on marine wildlife mortality. Specifically, the lab focused its work on the disease toxoplasmosis and the transmission to dolphins. Even in a virtual setting, she was able to learn about and contribute to the impact of this research lab’s work from thousands of miles away.
A career development component to the virtual internship focused on networking and building a self-brand. While learning about a new culture, Lindsay was also exposed to career exploration and skills necessary for future employment. Along with the virtual research lab experience, she participated in cultural debriefs to discuss cultural findings while expanding upon new aspects. Through the meetings, Lindsay became familiar with the large indigenous presence in New Zealand and their focus on community traditions, including large feasts called Hakari. With a focus on sustainability, she was introduced to the idea of being a Kaitaki, or environmental steward. The Maori have a strong connection to the land, sky, and sea which roots their values in conservation. As a country with many endemic species, biodiversity sustainability is of high importance. By being able to assist with analyses of human interactions and wildlife, Lindsay developed key lab skills which will assist her in future research positions.
CEE Title: Cross-Cultural Cooking Class
The Oakland Viras of the 2021 cohort held a virtual cooking class to connect cultural recipes to the local community. Our Cross-Cultural Cooking Class combined both dinner meals and desserts from New Zealand, Iceland, China, Spain, South Africa, and Germany. We presented our recipes during the event, teaching the audience about the significance of each dish in that country’s culture. Two dishes, the Cape Malay Potato Fritter (South Africa) and Hokey Pokey (New Zealand) were demonstrated during the virtual event with audience participation. Our team chose to host a cooking class for the Oakland community to foster cooking enjoyment and skills for college-aged students. Audience members enjoyed learning to cook a dish designed for cultures with fewer resources and unreliable power structures. They also witnessed a fun science experiment through our family-friendly dessert. Included with the cooking component were cultural presentations from each team member on their host country and the significance surrounding their recipes. If you are interested in trying a dish from any of these countries or would like to learn about the significance of these recipes, feel free to reference our recipe book!