OSU student works with humanitarian relief organization to set up aid centers


Monday, October 25, 2021

Media Contact: Lyn Putnam | Communication specialist | 405-744-5496 | [email protected]

Oklahoma State University students continue to make their mark around the world.

Larissa Duncan, a graduate student of the School of Global Studies, spent the summer of 2021 with a humanitarian aid organization setting up aid centers for Venezuelans crossing the Colombian border. She was able to work with refugees during an internship with the International Missions Board for the Southern Baptist Church in Cúcuta, Colombia.

Venezuela is in crisis. The country’s economy has fallen and leadership is being challenged due to political opposition. According to World Vision, around 5.4 million refugees, asylum seekers and migrants have left the country in search of food, work and a better life.

Duncan learned about the current crisis in high school and discovered his interest in the regional community between Venezuela and Colombia.

“My time in Cúcuta has taught me that people can come together in difficult situations and that the human spirit is persevering and determined,” Duncan said.

Prior to his internship, Duncan was skeptical of humanitarian missions; However, his time abroad has reinforced his humanitarian work, which has an impact on crises.

“The hardest part was seeing the situations people went through through no fault of their own,” Duncan said. “I just always tried to encourage them to keep going.”

OSU’s Master of Science in Global Studies enables students to study response to international crises in preparation for careers dealing with marginalized peoples of the world.

Duncan will graduate from the program in May 2022 and, as part of the Air Force, the ROTC will receive their orders and begin their career in the Air Force.

Story by: Maddy Sheriff | [email protected]


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