Our Students

Our Students' Testimonials:


Kaitlyn Sanborn

While interning at AFRICOM in Stuttgart, Germany, Kaitlyn monitored the intelligence surrounding the Kenyan elections, and coordinated with a planning team that focused on revamping the U.S. military awareness to respond to any threats to domestic embassies. This experience has equipped her with an intimate perspective at how the Department of Defense understands the challenges faced by our African partners, and how DoD plans and executes operations in accordance with our strategic goals on the continent. Additionally, she enjoys traveling and hiking. Through her experience, she was able to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, see cathedrals prior to America's independence, and hiked the German Alps.

Natalie Dickson  

Natalie Dickson is pursuing joint degree:  M.A. in African Studies and M.Ph. in Public Health.


Natalie Dickson, MPH/MA student in the Department of Community Health Sciences and African Studies, interned with the Poverty, Gender and Youth Program of Population Council in Nairobi, Kenya. She worked with two projects that aim to understand how social and economic assets impact the health of adolescent girls in Kenya. These programs specifically seek to understand and address the social dimensions of poverty, the causes and consequences of gender inequality and violence, reproductive health knowledge, and the critical elements for reaching a successful, productive adulthood in developing countries. As an intern, Natalie was involved in monitoring data collection, performing data analysis, attending field site visits, and assisting with writing reports and conducting literature reviews for future projects.

 David Spielman 

During his time in the M.A. African Studies program, David Spielman conducted research in Addis Abeba and Sebat Bet Gurage Ethiopia. The research conducted was geared towards the completion of four projects but focused primarily on the Fetha Nagast (Law of Kings), a 13th century C.E. Christian code which governed the church and the state of Ethiopia until the 20th century C.E. The research is focused on areas of overlap between the Fetha Nagast and Judaic and Sharia law, as well as the historical presence of all three of the Abrahamic faiths in Ethiopia and the contributions of each towards the religious and political landscape oft the nation. The bulk of his research was conducted at the Archives at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies library, Addis Abeba University with assistance and direction from Dr. Ghislaine Lydon (UCLA), Dr. Abraham Fanta (CSSB), Professor Mehari Zemelak and Dr. Sirgiw Gelaw of Addis Abeba University. 

After completing his M.A. degree in African Studies, David went on to pursue his Ph.D. in History at UCLA. 

 Sigin Ojulu

During Sigin time in the program, she was able to conducted field research in Juba, South Sudan. The focus of the project was looking at nation-state building and national identity politics in South Sudan. Her work was done in conjunction with Dr. Madut Jok of Loyola Marymount University as well as the Rift Valley Institute in Juba (and its sister headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and London, England).  

Published: Friday, October 16, 2015