KSU Faculty Study Trauma and Trauma-informed Care at KCA University in Nairobi

KCA University presentation flyer
This past July, Kent State University Sociology faculty Dr. Kamesha Spates and Health Education and Promotion faculty Dr. Na’Tasha Evans combined research expertise with Cleveland State University Counseling faculty Dr. Dakota King-White to study trauma and trauma-informed care at KCA University in Nairobi, Kenya. According to Dr. Evans, the purpose of the project was threefold: “to combine teaching, research and service.” During their 18 days in Kenya, the three professors hosted a series of talks with faculty, staff and the community. At the same time they collected research data and engaged in service initiatives such as the ‘Read Baby Read’ initiative. As Dr. Spates explained, “our contributions to the project were mostly on raising awareness and de-stigmatizing mental illness, suicide and trauma within a Kenyan context.” In Dr. Evan’s perspective, “the experience was very life changing. I was very grateful to go to Kenya, conduct research, and forge international relationships and collaborations.”

Dr. Spates affirmed that each team member brought a very diverse perspective to the research. Distinctively, Dr. Spates was aware of the “importance of going in with an open mind.” It was the first time she was experienced “taking information from the U.S. to other countries and offering insights.” Ultimately, Dr. Evans hopes the collaboration with KCA University will allow Kent State University to build international relationships which can open up future opportunities. The team plans on returning to Kenya in the near future to assist the campus counseling center. In addition to publishing their work, Dr. Evans stresses the impact that the research will have on “creating programs and interventions backed in the data collected to help educate faculty and administration and to give the tools they need to assist students.” Both professors express gratitude that Kent State University is partnering with KCA University and Dr. Spates “looks forward to continuing to use our skill set on behalf of our university.”

POSTED: Thursday, December 5, 2019 - 10:02am
UPDATED: Monday, December 9, 2019 - 1:49pm
Rebecca Johnson