EDWARDSVILLE - Twelve Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students will participate in a five-week travel study to Uganda in June 2018, marking the first experiential and service opportunity for SIUE students in Eastern Africa.
School of Education, Health and Human Behavior (SEHHB) faculty members Michelle Cathorall, DrPH, assistant professor of public health, and Kathryn Brady, PhD, associate professor of speech-language pathology and audiology, visited Uganda in January to finalize plans and discuss goals for potential long-term partnership with Ndejje University.
The two faculty also met with leaders of the Katalemwa Cheshire Home for Rehabilitation Services, a potential site for speech-language pathology students to visit, observe and provide hands-on assistance to staff working with preschoolers with disabilities.
Undergraduates studying public health, speech language pathology and international studies are slated to participate in the global opportunity.
“We are excited about this opportunity for our students, and the potential to develop a viable and sustainable partnership with Ndejje University that could result in the interdisciplinary exchange of faculty and students in the SEHHB Department of Applied Health and beyond,” Cathorall said. “SIUE students will be placed in groups with Ugandan students and will travel with them to outlying communities to complete needs assessments, program planning, implementation and evaluation activities.”
“Speech-language pathology is not common in Uganda,” added Brady. “Tentative plans are for our speech-language pathology students to visit a different facility each week, including primary schools, rehabilitation centers and community organizations working with children with disabilities. We are finalizing plans to ensure that students have appropriate educational and cultural experiences.”
Cathorall and Brady also explored service and sightseeing opportunities for the participating SIUE students. They emphasize that Catherine Keck, founder and director of Edwardsville-based Project Restore, supplied the original connections to people and sites in Uganda, such as the Namulonge Health Center, and was instrumental in the development of the travel study program.
“After this exploratory trip, we determined that SIUE students will spend one weekend painting the Namulonge Health Center, a small underfunded facility that serves a variety of health needs to community members, including HIV education, prevention and treatment, midwife services and more,” Cathorall said.
While in Uganda, SIUE’s public health students plan to keep a blog and video journal of their experiences.
The SIUE School of Education, Health and Human Behavior prepares students in a wide range of fields including public health, exercise science, nutrition, instructional technology, psychology, speech-language pathology and audiology, educational administration, and teaching. Faculty members engage in leading-edge research, which enhances teaching and enriches the educational experience. The School supports the community through on-campus clinics, outreach to children and families, and a focused commitment to enhancing individual lives across the region.