Stephanie A. Caudill Featured in AFA Spotlight
1. Briefly state your educational background, past and current academic positions held, most recent or significant publications or creative works, if any?
This is my fourth year at EKU. I am working towards a Wildlife Management bachelor’s degree, GIS certificate, and African and African American Studies certificate.
2. Discuss how you have encountered Africa or African-American studies, peoples, and societies in your research, studies, travels, scholarship, teaching, or associations.
I have encountered African Studies by studying abroad in the fall of 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. I attended United States International University Africa, Nairobi, Kenya. I was also able to intern at Kenya Wildlife Service the entire fall semester. This internship gave me hands-on experience on African Wildlife. I established personal long-lasting relationships with co-workers native to East Africa, and I picked up quite a bit Swahili that I could get around town by myself without a language barrier.
3. What is the most gratifying experience of those encounters, and why?
The most gratifying experience was traveling across Kenya and seeing the variety of different places, talking with Kenyans and getting to know their personal life, learning the differences between the diverse cultures within Kenya or countries surrounding it, adjusting to a very different lifestyle, trying new foods, and going on African safaris.
4. What should anyone who is yet to experience Africana studies learn from your experience?
African and African American studies exposes students to the type of history that high school hardly discuss. It is an interesting studies regardless of your background and it gives one a valuable idea on how life is like outside of America. If interested in African Studies or Africa in general, there is always an option to study abroad in Africa and take classes there to count towards your degree or certificate. It is a great way to get the full African and global experience and to fully understand that every country within Africa is different in their own unique way. Some things are better experienced in person than reading a book or watching TV. My study abroad in Kenya was an amazing, life-changing experience. A lot of people may think it might be impossible due to time away from school or money but there are many opportunities and programs that offer scholarships and financial aid to make it possible for any student. The first step to take is go into the study abroad office here on EKU campus and ask the different options available. I honestly don't think anybody would regret it; it’s truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Published on September 11, 2017