Dr. Wanja Ogongi, assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Millersville University has been awarded a fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program. Ogongi will travel to Kenya to work with Chuka University and Professor Christopher Kiboro on their project titled “Curriculum Co-Development for a New Baccalaureate, Master’s and Ph.D. in Social Work.”
“I have a great interest in social work education and practice in Kenya and was already doing some work there. The fellowship is a great extension and compliment to that work,” says Ogongi.
A statement from the Carnegie African Diaspora Program says, “The Chuka University project is one of 74 projects that will pair African Diaspora scholars with higher education institutions and collaborators in Africa to work together on curriculum co-development, collaborative research, graduate training and mentoring activities in the coming months.”
The application process for the fellowship program consisted of several meetings between Ogongi and Chuka University and writing separate proposals to submit to the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program. “I’ve had interest in curriculum development and identified a host university and colleagues within that university who were willing and interested in collaborating with me. The host university submitted their own separate proposal and requested that I get placed there as a scholar. Our proposal was selected among hundreds of others that were submitted,” says Ogongi. According to Carnegie, “the fellowship will provide Dr. Ogongi and Professor Kiboro an opportunity to craft a robust, competitive curriculum that is responsive to the unique social, cultural, political, economic and spiritual landscape of the region.”
For Ogongi, her personal goal for participating in the fellowship program is the opportunity it provides to create a one-of-a-kind social work program that is culturally appropriate and responsive and to use her social work expertise to give back to a country that has given her so much. Ogongi hopes to cultivate relationships and establish networks for future research and teaching collaborations that will span over many years to come.
Ogongi plans to travel to Kenya this coming summer to complete the fellowship program. Carnegie is monitoring the unfolding pandemic and is remaining flexible with their original plans, potentially offering a virtual option with travel built into the program later in the year if conditions do not allow travel.
To learn more about Ogongi’s work within Millersville University, click here to view her bio.