Two engineering students receive humanitarian fund awards to pursue global projects

Two engineering students have received scholarships to pursue humanitarian project during summer 2016. They are among 40 Vanderbilt students who received support from the university’s Nichols Humanitarian Fund.

Human rights, public health, immigrant rights, early childhood education and environmental sustainability are among the issues 2016 Nichols scholarship recipients will address in their work with communities in 16 nations.


Leah Fassinger, a biomedical engineering and Russian major from Nashville, Tennessee, participated in a Maymester trip to Vladmir, Russia. Fassinger, a rising junior, lived with a host family and attended morning language classes. In the afternoons she volunteered at such community organizations as a veterans’ home, an animal shelter and an orphanage.

Chelsea Yip, a computer science major from Tampa, Florida, is participating in a global service program in Morocco this summer through Vanderbilt’s Office of Academic Scholarship and Service. Yip, a rising junior, will work with local non-government organizations that focus on human rights, education and health care.


Since this fund was established in 2006, it has awarded scholarships to 261 Vanderbilt students to enable them to go on humanitarian missions worldwide.

The Nichols Humanitarian Fund was established by the E.C. and Lucile Hamby Nichols Trust and by Edward C. Nichols Jr., who earned his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School in 1970, and his wife, Janice Nichols. The fund is a companion scholarship fund to the Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal and encourages Vanderbilt students to become better citizens of the world and to broaden their thinking by volunteering for humanitarian efforts.

The fund enables students to volunteer for domestic or international humanitarian service opportunities by making support available for educational, travel and living expenses during their time of service. The fund distributes awards based on merit and need to cover the students’ expenses of their humanitarian activities.

Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Twitter @VUEngineering