Prof Brenda Louw, from East Tennessee State University, was awarded a fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to South Africa and collaborate with Prof Juan Bornman from the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) at the University of Pretoria (UP) on research, writing a manuscript and to present a colloquium.
The aim of the research project was to field-test the Afrikaans version of an assessment tool for children with communication disorders, the Focus on Outcomes of Communication Under Six-34 (FOCUS-34), which was translated by Prof Louw, Prof Bornman, Mrs Karin van Niekerk and Mrs Enid Moolman. The researchers held two focus groups with speech-language therapists and parents of children under the age of six who have communication disorders, in order to socially validate the translation. These sessions provoked lively discussion and enthusiastic participation from the participants. The researchers also presented a colloquium that was attended by speech-language therapists, social work students, social workers, teachers and parents.
This collaboration has the potential to extend clinical practice with improved outcomes for young children with communication disorders. Furthermore, it will impact positively on faculty research and student training.
This is one of 57 projects that pair Carnegie African Diaspora scholars with higher education institutions in Africa to collaborate on curriculum co-development, research, graduate teaching, training and mentoring activities. Prof Louw is one of 59 scholars who were awarded fellowships to travel to Africa in May 2016 to collaborate on projects across a wide range of disciplines, including agroforestry, e-learning for nursing, ethnomusicology and military mental health. The programme has approved a total of 169 fellows since its inception in 2013.
The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program facilitates engagement on mutually beneficial academic activities among scholars born in Africa and now based in the United States or Canada, and scholars based at African institutions. The Advisory Council selected 41 African universities to host fellows, based on collaborative project proposals submitted by their faculty members and administrators. This innovative programme is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with the United States International University Africa in Nairobi, through Dr Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, who chairs the Advisory Council. It is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
About the fellows and hosts
Public and private higher education institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda were eligible to submit project requests to host a scholar for 14 to 90 days. Prospective hosts were invited, but not required, to name a scholar in their project requests. Scholars born in Africa who live in the United States or Canada and work at an accredited college or university in either of those countries were eligible to apply to be put on a roster of available candidates. The IIE maintains this roster to facilitate matches according to the discipline specialisations, expertise, activities and objectives described in project requests. The Fellowship includes a daily stipend, transport and visa funds, and health insurance coverage.
Eligible universities can use the online portal to submit a project request to host a fellow for projects that will start on 1 December 2016. The deadline for applications is 5 June 2016 at 23:59 EST.