Over 1,000 African Alumni Invited to Take Career and Life Trajectory Survey

“The most remarkable thing was the opportunity to reflect on what I should really be doing to have a bigger impact in my community….I don’t get to reflect much these days given my busy lifestyle.” Dr. Daniel Kwaro, Director Kenya Medical Research Institute –KEMRI/CDC, Kisumu

Three Cal-SPH Alumni by Lake Victoria, Kisumu, Kenya Jan. 5th, 2015. (left to right –Dr. Vincent Otieno O. – MPH 2011, Robin Marsh, Sidee Dlamini, Dr. Daniel Kwaro – MPH 2010, Dr. Patricia Ongwen – MPH 2013)

As part of an ongoing project to study the career and life trajectories of African alumni of international universities, researchers from six partner universities designed a comprehensive web-based survey to be administered to their sub-Saharan African alumni, going back fifty years to the post-independence era of the mid-1960s through to 2013. Survey invitations were sent to over 1,200 alums in November and December of 2014, and the number is rising as tracking efforts proceed. Among the partners to launch in this first round were EARTH, Michigan State University, UC Berkeley, and McGill University.

Our Canadian partners – McGill, University of Toronto and Simon Fraser are coordinating the survey administration through Canada-based “Campus Labs”, under the guidance of McGill PI, Dr. Lina di Genova. U of T and Simon Fraser will be inviting their sub-Saharan African alumni to take the survey later this month, bringing the total number of survey invitations to over 1,500.

This first-ever university-initiated African Alumni survey is the culmination of six months of collaborative design, pre-testing, and coding with the expert help of Jeff Royal, the Managing Director, Survey Technology & Services at UC Berkeley. The survey is being administered to African alumni wherever they reside and work, whether on the African continent or in the diaspora. The data gathered will shed light on the research questions related to international university experiences, post-graduation trajectories, connections with countries of origin, and life-long civic and social engagement. The survey is being followed with in-depth qualitative interviews with a diverse set of alumni in Africa, North America and Europe. The first set of interviews were conducted in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa during January 2015. You can find out more about the study’s mixed methods methodology here.

If you are an alum of one of our partner universities and you would like to participate in this pioneering project, or if you know someone who would like to be involved, please let us know. Click here to get involved today!

Cal Ethiopian-Kenyan alum Michaelina Almaz Yohannis (EECS BS 1994) with Sidee Dlamini, Nairobi, Jan. 9, 2015

Cal alum, Professor Jesse Njoka ( PhD Rangeland Management, 1980) with Sidee Dlamini and Robin Marsh in Nairobi, Jan. 9, 2015