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Seeding Labs
Ibok Oduro
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
"I was coming back to the United States but at such a remove from the problems on the ground. It gave me something incredibly painful and powerful to think about." Back at Harvard, she soon found a group of students who felt very much the same. And then one of them spotted science equipment piling up outside the department's repair shop. Labs were simply not coming back to reclaim their old stuff. "He really put two and two together and knew that this equipment could have another home someplace else." This idea became the heart of Seeding Labs, which Dudnik created in 2008 after she finished her Ph.D. Today, she's CEO of the group, and she works with two others. "Which is 200-fold increase over a year and a half ago. So for a long time, it was just me." A world map is tacked up to one of the cubicle walls. It's freckled with pushpins. "These are all of the countries that we've sent lab equipment to, so 16 countries so far, about 23 different institutions." Seeding Labs ships a 20-foot container full of equipment to the developing world, mostly in Africa four times a year. In fact, they've got one headed to Kenya this month. They're equipping entire departments of research labs, and they're benefiting thousands of students overseas by stocking teaching labs too. Someone who's seen how students can benefit is Ibok Oduro, a science professor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana.