Morgan Wack is a recipient of the Summer 2020 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.
I am a doctoral student in the Department of Political Science with a professional background in policy development. I study the proliferation of new technologies, violence, and barriers to growth throughout sub-Saharan Africa. As a former Princeton in Africa Fellow and policy analyst, I have worked alongside regional governments to design and implement data-driven programs to reduce poverty, barriers to development, and disease burdens.
With much of my current work focused on assisting governments and NGOs operating in East Africa, the Summer FLAS grant I have received through the Center for Global Studies is helping me enhance my Swahili language skills to improve my capability to communicate with the individuals directly impacted by development policies. I plan to continue to improve my Swahili to the point of fluency throughout the conclusion of my PhD program in order to ensure my dissertation and post-graduate research is able to fully integrate the local experience and knowledge that is communicated to me into my academic work and policy recommendations.