Ohio University

Dr. Caroline Kingori selected for academic, research fellowship in Kenya

Published: April 7, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Dr. Caroline Kingori, an associate professor and interim associate dean for research within Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions, has been awarded a Visiting Professor Fellowship in Kenya by The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA).

Later this year, Kingori will depart for Kenyatta University for roughly 80 days to support academic activities and work on public health education and research. Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, she’s previously worked in Kenya since her Ph.D. project in 2011, returning nearly every year since to engage in research, as well as collaborate on other opportunities there and in other African countries.

“I have always been interested in enhancing both research and educational capacity within public health in Africa,” Kingori said.

CODESRIA provides various opportunities between African scholars in the diaspora and those on the rest of the continent to collaborate, as well as enhance cooperation among African universities. The organization aims to strengthen teaching and research in social sciences and humanities in higher education in Africa.

The fellowship will allow Kingori to do just that as she works in Kenyatta University’s School of Public Health, Department of Population, Reproductive Health and Community Resource Management.

“Given my interests in reproductive and sexual health, I was drawn to this university because they recently developed this new department in 2018,” Kingori said. “Also, there are a lot of opportunities for growth in their curricular and research priorities.”

Kingori added that the department’s goal is to be innovative and dynamic in training professionals, producing high caliber research, and strengthening community engagement.

While working at Kenyatta University, Kingori will undertake projects such as developing a certificate program in reproductive health, advising graduate students, and developing proposals for research projects among youth in the area of reproductive and sexual health. She will partner with Dr. Margaret Keraka, the dean of the School of Public Health, on the projects.

She was initially made aware of this fellowship through her connections to other African academics, as one of her colleagues was funded for similar work.

“I have folks who (I know) in academia from the diaspora,” Kingori said. “We check in often to see what we are doing to contribute to the advancement of the continent. A lot of skill and knowledge is in the United States and we try to find opportunities to take that back to Africa.”

Kingori, who is also an affiliate faculty member in the Center for International Studies (CIS) at OHIO, will use this fellowship to further CIS’s goals of building international connections. Although OHIO has a previous relationship with Kenya, having many faculty members work there in the past, Kingori hopes her work with this fellowship will enhance continued partnerships between Kenyatta University and Ohio University.

Dr. Michele Morrone, a professor and department chair within CHSP’s Department of Social and Public Health, has nothing but praise for Kingori as she sets to embark on this project.

“This not only enhances Dr. Kingori’s professional growth, but the work she has done internationally in her time at OHIO has enhanced our curriculum and opportunities for students as well,” Morrone said. “The fellowship is a wonderful recognition of her work in Kenya.”

Morrone added this particular role comes with an international prominence that will greatly benefit OHIO.

“I’m hoping to learn how the education system works there,” Kingori added. “From my higher education perspective, I want to learn what it takes to teach and engage in research at that university, but I also want to learn from them what their best practices are. I hope to bring back those practices to the United States.”