Ph.D. Candidate Munala Awarded Dissertation Grants

May 24 2013

Community Health Education Ph.D. candidate Leso Munala recently won a $1000 Dissertation Research Grant from the UMass Amherst Graduate School, and a $2,000 International Travel and Research award from the School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS). Munala will use both grants, totaling $3,000, to support her travelling to Kenya and conducting research June-August 2013 for her dissertation, titled “Health care practitioners’ experiences and needs in providing services to female survivors of sexual violence in Nairobi, Kenya: A phenomenological investigation.”

According to Munala’s abstract, “The current study is designed to…provide insight into the care of [sexual assault victims] from the perspective of health care providers…Understanding what it is like to provide care to victims of sexual assault as well as how the practitioners make meaning of violence would be helpful to inform health practices as well as inform appropriate support and training for health practitioners whose experiences and needs are often overlooked.”

Munala’s faculty advisor on her dissertation is Associate Professor of Community Health Education Tameka Gillum. The Dissertation Research Grants are chosen through a competitive proposal process in the fall and spring semesters. Approximately 40 grants were awarded during the 2012-2013 school year, and Munala received the maximum amount of funding available per student.