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COE to host Scholar Coffee Chat with Marla Jaksch March 24

The College of Education’s (COE) Department of Leadership, Technology and Human Development will host a Scholar Coffee Chat with Marla Jaksch, Ph.D., on Friday, March 24 at 1 p.m. in COE room 2135.

Jaksch, an assistant professor of women’s and gender studies at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), will present a 30-minute lecture titled, “Global Action and Women in STEM: The Solar Suitcase Project.” A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

The Solar Suitcase Project is a transnational project that involves student service-learning and addresses the inclusion of women in community-based STEM initiatives.  

In Tanzania and many developing nations, large numbers of women die during childbirth because they lack access to health clinics with reliable electricity. Jaksch, along with students in her Gender and Development in Tanzania class, deliver and install solar suitcases, portable devices that offer power and energy, to off-grid medical and health facilities in East Africa.

The project provides the installation of solar-based energy for better health services and teaches native women of Tanzania how to build and install the solar suitcases with local resources. The portable devices can be used for lighting, mobile communication devices and medical devices in low resource areas.

“Our Scholar Coffee Chat will give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to engage in a quick-fire mid-day scholar talk,” said associate professor and event coordinator Toby Jenkins, Ph.D. “In the days of a busy campus with educators and students juggling multiple obligations, we often find it difficult to devote an entire evening to intellectual exchange on campus. So we are bringing a national scholar to campus to engage in short lectures.”

Jaksch will also give a guest lecture in a graduate course while on campus.

This event is sponsored by Georgia Southern’s Campus Life Enrichment Committee; Institute for Interdisciplinary STEM Education; and the Department of Leadership, Technology and Human Development.

The Scholar Coffee Chat is free and open to the campus community.

For more information, contact Jenkins at

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 125 degree programs serving 20,673 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit


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