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The Daily Tar Heel

APPLES provides worldwide bene?ts

This summer, a handful of UNC students will take part in APPLES fellowship programs to bring innovative ideas to communities.

APPLES has four student-led fellowship programs, two funded directly through APPLES, and two by private donors and the Office of Undergraduate Research.

“Our motto is ‘student leadership, staff supported’ Sarah Smith, a student services specialist at APPLES, said. “Students ultimately make most of the calls, and staff is just hear to support.”

Maura Allaire, a 2011 fellow, received funding from the Carolina Center for Public Service. She will continue the work she began two years ago in Peru.

With the help of Engineers Without Borders, Allaire will build sustainable water systems. She saw the effect clean water had on the village from her previous work.

“The community not only gained clean water, but a voice,” she said.

Each fellow is matched with a faculty adviser. Steve Wing, a professor in epidemiology, helped Sarah Hatcher, a 2009 fellow and current UNC graduate student. Hatcher investigated well-water quality in rural North Carolina.

Wing said that Hatcher’s experience was a time of growth and maturity.

“For Sarah, APPLES was not about giving hand-outs or services,” Wing said. “She developed respectful relationships that continue to sustain her in grad school.”

For those interested, APPLES applications will be available this fall. Proposals will be accepted in January, with notifications in mid-April.

Beth Sams, a 2009 fellow, said, “I would definitely encourage people to do research at some point in their undergraduate career.”

Sams emphasized that her advisors helped her find a great summer experience.

“I never thought I would do research, but now I’m doing an undergraduate thesis and I won a research award,” Sams said. “I never expected it.”

Contact the University Editor at university@dailytarheel.com.

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