Hollins University is working with one of Kenya’s leading universities to offer students experiential learning options in Africa.
With support from the U.S. Department of State’s Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) Program, Hollins and Kenyatta University (KU) in Nairobi are launching a faculty-led study abroad program in gender and women’s studies (GWS) and public health during the 2024 January Short Term. The two schools are also creating internship opportunities for availability beginning in the 2024-25 academic year and exploring a possible articulation agreement with KU’s Master of Public Health program. They have even set in motion plans for Hollins students to go on safari at Nairobi National Park (Nairobi is the only city in the world with an actual animal preserve located within its environs).
“Hollins’ collaboration with KU is our sole partnership in Africa, which in turn is critical for providing our students with a diversity of study abroad experiences in terms of location and disciplines,” explained Assistant Professor of Public Health Abubakarr Jalloh. “Partnering with KU means our students can gain practical field experience on cross-cultural issues related to GWS and public health. In addition, this partnership will enhance career readiness for GWS and public health students through the establishment of international internships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Nairobi.”
Jalloh, Director of International Programs Ramona Kirsch, and Assistant Professor of Sociology Jennifer Turner made up the Hollins delegation that traveled to Nairobi and the KU campus in June to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the institutions. The Hollins team met with KU’s international programs staff and faculty from the university’s humanities and social sciences department, as well as with the director of KU’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Hub, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The delegation also visited potential internship sites including the Port Health Authority at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport.
The MOU, which has an initial term of five years, details four general areas of cooperation between Hollins and KU:
- Academic Partnerships (scholarships, international seminars and conferences, program support, and/or facilities for students and employees as an element of a degree or program of each partner)
- Research and Innovation Partnerships (joint grant proposal writing, research, innovation, and support for the development of knowledge)
- Community Outreach Partnerships (community-based participatory research, community service, community-wide health improvement, community/economic development, environmental justice, legal aid clinics, and business literacy education)
- Utility Partnerships (access to utility capabilities, including unique technology, specialized equipment, facilities, and training or knowledge, which can be used to support a range of activities including education, research, and development)
Kirsch noted, “In addition to establishing a partnership to provide our GWS and public health students opportunities for study and internships abroad, our long-term plan with KU is to develop an exchange program to benefit both Hollins and KU students as well as to create joint faculty research projects and teaching exchanges. There are many potential directions with this partnership and Hollins will work with KU to nurture these directions in both depth and breadth.”
With its main campus located on more than 1,000 acres, KU is home to some of the world’s top scholars, researchers, and experts in diverse fields. Offering undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. programming, KU emphasizes providing practical, hands-on knowledge and skills training in a nurturing environment.
Top Photo (from left to right): Assistant Professor of Sociology Jennifer Turner; Women’s Economic Empowerment Hub Director Judith Ndombi Waudo; Director of International Programs Ramona Kirsch; and Assistant Professor of Public Health Abubakarr Jalloh