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New student magazine highlights international development opportunities

Second issue of Komaza will be available on newsstands around campus beginning Dec. 8
magazine cover
magazine cover

The second issue of Komaza, a student-run magazine focused on international development work, will be available on newsstands around campus beginning today, Dec. 8. The professionally designed magazine is unique in its presentation of student-written articles about students who are involved in development projects in locations such as Lesotho, Tibet and Brazil.
“We wanted to present diverse content ranging from students’ project details to their cultural experiences, with a bright design, an informal style and ample amounts of eye-catching photos,” said Komaza editor-in-chief Bina Choi, a junior majoring in chemistry.
Choi founded the publication after she learned about the many international development opportunities available to MIT students. Rather than choosing just one of these options, she decided to create a magazine that would showcase the variety and introduce other students to development work and encourage them to get involved. The magazine debuted in spring 2009 and is now an ASA-approved campus group.
The word “komaza” is a Swahili verb meaning to encourage development and aid growth. “Our team feels that students involved in international development embody this idea of komaza, because they help make substantial change in the world. We hope that by sharing their stories, we’ll promote further international development,” said Choi.
The current issue includes profiles of Scot Frank (S.B. 2008) and Amy Mueller, a PhD candidate in civil and environmental engineering, both of whom have co-founded well-established non-profit groups in the Himalayas and Lesotho, respectively. Another article highlights the two-person team of seniors Julia Day and Star Simpson, who are working on an IDEAS competition project to solve a medical problem in Ethiopia.
“There are so many MIT students engaged in the international development field who work quietly and tirelessly to make a difference. It’s wonderful to be able to shine a spotlight on their efforts and provide them with some public recognition,” said staff writer Rebecca Gianotti, a PhD candidate in civil and environmental engineering. “We also hope to increase exposure for the service-oriented organizations around campus, to help them attract additional resources and raise awareness of the issues they are trying to tackle.”
“If you have an interest — or even think you may — in international development and want to read and see what it’s like through other students’ voice and eyes, Komaza is where you’ll find it,” said Geoffrey Groesbeck of the MIT International Development Initiative, a faculty advisor for Komaza.
For more information on Komaza, please stop by the editorial team’s booth in Lobby 10 Wednesday, Dec. 9 or visit the publication’s web site at

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