Past Projects

Since 2002, over 95 teams, composed of more than 400 Cornell undergraduate and graduate students, have engaged with community, government, and business partners in 27 different countries across Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Participating students have represented over 20 degree programs housed in eight colleges at Cornell. This section presents profiles of the specific projects’ visions, backgrounds, and impacts the Cornell SMART teams have had.

Partner Testimonials

“It is rare that a small company like ours gets a multi-skilled team of highly talented individuals looking into it, dissecting it, and coming out with tailor-made recommendations that we can now use to re-engineer and re-innovate our business system.”
–  Gichanga Karanja, CEO of Freshco, Kenya

“The students were able to learn and actually exceeded our expectations. We were amazed by thedetailed and through work they managed to do with the limited time they had with us. Theymanaged to sieve through the information provided and get to the main issues.”
–  Yoliswa Gumede, CEO of Cappeny Estates, South Africa

“[The students] Visited all our farms and suggested brilliant ideas on irrigation system, labor management, marketing and promotion.”
–  Fannie Gondwe, Executive Director of Perisha Agro and Packaging Enterprise, Malawi

“The Cornell team has done for my company in 10 days what would otherwise take months and thousands of dollars to do through local service providers.”  
–  Rajinder Mand, Managing Director of Zanobia Seeds, Tanzania

[My engagement with SMART has] “taken my company to the next level…. Getting such services from local consultants would have cost me the shirt on my back.”  
–  Frank Taylor, Managing Director of Wild-Foods, Botswana

Student Testimonials

“It was amazing. It’s the best thing I’ve done so far at Cornell and I learned more in those two weeks than I did the entire last semester.”  
–  2014 SMART student

“SMART completely opened my eyes to what project based development actually looks like, within the first few days I realized that this is a space for creatives and visual learners and thinkers.”
2019 SMART student

“The course was fantastic! I learned more in this 10-day trip than I have ever learned in a full semester of in-class work.”       
–  Megan Gutleber, SMART student

“While in Mongu, we had to answer to real people, with real problems, and provide them with real answers. This was not just a classroom exercise or simulation, but it was real life.”   
–  Marion Smith, SMART student

“Perfect experience. I would include SMART in 100 things to do before graduation.” 
–  2014 SMART student

“After completing the SMART experience I have realized the opportunities I have to use my degree in a way that can benefit many communities.”
2019 SMART student

“The SMART program places you in the perfect position to contribute your expertise to a problem that will have an impact on the lives of others. In my opinion, the SMART program is an experiential, education model that all universities should look to.”  
–  2013 SMART student

“[The most meaningful aspect of SMART was] working in a team that brought in their diverse perspectives. The insights that they brought from their disciplines were meaningful and stimulating. I genuinely got excited tackling problems with my team on the ground in real time.”
-2019 SMART student

“I found that the experience on the ground was a powerful tool to engage my past academic knowledge. Also, it allowed me to learn beyond case studies to understand the real drivers of sustainability and development issues.”
2019 SMART student

“SMART challenged me to work on developing creative solutions to business obstacles in a developing market. Conducting research in the field closely with businesses and getting to see various aspects of their value chain allowed our team to gain a unique view of the industry and emerging market.”
2019 SMART student

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