Kelsey Barrett is a recipient of the Academic Year 2017-2018 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. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
As a Master’s candidate in the Department of Global Health, I am interested in the development and delivery of health programs that are customized to meet local needs, build capacity and resilience, and empower people and communities. Having worked in West Africa for several years, I know how critical language skills are to cultural competency and building professional relationships. I entered the MPH program eager to expand my regional focus to East Africa and was thrilled to receive an academic-year FLAS for Swahili. In my work with PATH, a Seattle-based global health organization, my Swahili language skills have already proven useful, as I design usability evaluations for new diagnostic tests. One exciting project is an HIV self-test that will be evaluated with target users in Kenya! I greatly appreciate the support of CGS and look forward to applying my Swahili skills at PATH and beyond.