Isabella Fabens is a recipient of the Academic Year 2020-2021 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Click here to learn more.
I am currently pursuing a Master of Public Health in the School of Public Health’s Department of Global Health. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique, I learned Portuguese, and was able to learn some of the local languages, Emakhuwa and Makonde. A large part of my work in Peace Corps was malaria-focused, and I trained other Volunteers and Mozambican counterparts across the country. As an intern at PATH, I am a Project Manager for staff who work in Angola and Mozambique, so I have been able use my Portuguese often. FLAS has enabled me to continue perfecting my Portuguese, which is especially helpful for translating documents and training project staff.
My research focuses on mosquito net use, and I hope to be part of net usage studies in lusophone countries in the future. My area studies component will give me the opportunity to learn technical skills such as using GIS frameworks and applying them to global malaria research. A stronger Portuguese foundation through FLAS will allow me to continue working with project staff, government ministries, and other international organizations in Mozambique and Angola both through this internship and for my future career.