Solution Oriented

For the Simmons World Challenge, sophomores tackled low breastfeeding rates.

During the January intersession, students and faculty convened for the 11th annual Simmons World Challenge, an intensive, experiential program in which sophomores work in teams to address a global issue. This year, students researched solutions to the low rate of breastfeeding around the world, an issue with many implications for health education and infant nutrition. 

Photograph above: Sophomores Maria Soraghan, Josephine Tran-Vong, Celine Breton and Lauren Wagner.

The program challenges students with various majors to research an interdisciplinary issue. Under the direction of political science and international relations Associate Professor Benjamin Cole, students previously have tackled challenges ranging from civic engagement to violence in society.

After spending two weeks researching and listening to guest lecturers on the breastfeeding issue, the students presented their proposed solutions to the Simmons community. They included a mobile app that provides personalized infant health resources to new parents, and a conference and lecture series for medical professionals and students.

“This really changes you as a person,” says Halley Jeremie ’21.

This year’s Challenge includes the program’s first travel component. Thanks to a significant gift, students will head to Argentina this summer to explore infant nutrition challenges there (see story). 

“The program has evolved to shaping a type of Simmons student that can go out into the world and express themselves and present their research in a formal way,” says Halley Jeremie ’21, one of the 15 participants. “This really changes you as a person.”