Meet Hannah Muscara ‘19, a sophomore Anthropology/Sociology major at Kalamazoo College.
This past week, Muscara landed a short-term internship, during which she will join AnSo Professor Dr. Kiran Cunningham to do research in Kampala, Uganda for two and a half weeks over winter break.
Cunningham established this opportunity in conjunction with the CIP, who is funding Hannah’s airfare and homestay in Kampala.
“This really stems out of my own work with ACODE–Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment–in Uganda,” Cunningham said. “When I was there in June, I was talking with the Executive Director who was interested in thinking about how we might deepen our institutional connections.”
The think-tank aims to research and analyze public expenditure and governance in Uganda. Cunningham is currently incorporating ACODE’s work into her Qualitative Research Methods class through two projects in which students code research data from the organization.
Muscara shared that she’s excited “to know that we can be furthering that work that we’ve started and being in close proximity and actually seeing and understanding the data we’ve worked with, beyond what’s on a computer screen.”
When asked what she most looks forward to, Muscara quickly responded with one word: “traveling.” She explained that she’s never before been to Africa and that she very much looks forward to the real-world connection that her homestay will offer.
“I think one of the most appealing parts of this project to me is that I’m not going into a foreign-run organization–this is all local. That’s the experience that I would want and that’s the type of organization that I see a lot of value in,” Muscara concluded. Referring to Dr. Cunningham and herself she added,“we’re going in for the purpose of learning.”
Cunningham hopes for this opportunity to set precedent for growth and for similar opportunities in the future. “I hope it is successful so not just this particular one continues but perhaps other faculty will see some potential when they have such an opportunity.”
This weekend, K’s Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership will host the Global Alliance Institute on Civic Engagement Conference, organized by the Great Lakes College Association (GLCA) and Global Liberal Arts Alliance (GLAA).
ACODE staff members Dr. Arthur Bainomugisha and Ms. Lillian Muyomba-Tamale will travel from Kampala to K to attend the international conference. Both Muscara and Dr. Kiran Cunningham will participate in facilitating a workshop.
“The idea was that GLCA campuses with their international partners would come and do a variety of international sessions on different kinds of models and issues surrounding international civic engagement opportunities, some of the challenges around there, some of the good practices, etcetera,” explained Cunningham.
Students are encouraged to attend the Civic Engagement Conference, which runs this weekend from October 23 to 25.