CSU professor to receive International Humanitarian Award for work in Kenya

Natalia Sperry

The United Nations Association of Northern Colorado will recognize Colorado State University professor Brett Bruyere with its 2017 International Humanitarian Award for his service in internationally connecting Northern Colorado with sustainable development efforts in the Samburu Women’s Village in Kenya.

The award will be presented Dec. 10 on International Human Rights Day at the Council Tree Library at 3:00 p.m. The event is open to the public and will also feature a silent auction with the proceeds benefiting the Samburu Youth Education Fund and the refugee school in Kenya that the UNA-NOCO chapter has adopted.


Bruyere, an associate professor of environmental communication, co-founded the Samburu Youth Education Fund, which provides access to secondary schools for youth from the Sambaru region. Its mission is to provide equitable opportunities for Samburu youth to enhance their leadership development and problem-solving skills through educational scholarships and civic involvement opportunities, according to the organization’s website

The Samburu are a tribe of nomadic pastoralists who live in North Central Kenya, according to UNA-NOCO. Thanks in part to Bruyere’s efforts, the women in the village have brought in revenue from their bead work. Bruyere’s work focuses on collaborating with local communities and universities in east Africa in sustainability planning, environmental education and training of conservation professionals.

UNA-NOCO is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building understanding and support for the ideals of the United Nations among American people. Its educational and humanitarian campaigns are intended to give people the opportunity to have a strong influence at a local level.

“This is a proud moment for us,” said Bob Jeffrey, president of UNA-NOCO and sponsor of the annual award, in a press release from UNA-NOCO. “… We have the opportunity to highlight a local citizen who is helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

Collegian reporter Natalia Sperry can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Natalia_Sperry.