Kavita Singh Ongechi, a research associate professor of maternal and child health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, has received a 2016-2017 Faculty Scholar Award from the Carolina Women’s Center to undertake a project that will advance the Center’s mission to further gender equity.
Ongechi’s project, “Understanding the Impact of Stigma Upon Female Survivors of Ebola,” focuses upon the ways in which women in West Africa “disproportionately experience many of the social and economic consequences of Ebola survivorship,” including rejection by families and spouses, loss of livelihood and isolation from social networks and employers.
Focusing on “social and sexual relationships, as well as stigma,” the project is especially crucial in light of the new, sudden and concentrated population of Ebola survivors following the widespread outbreak.
Ongechi is also a faculty fellow at the Carolina Population Center. Her doctoral advisee, Christine Godwin, will draw on the project as part of her dissertation.
“It’s an honor to receive this award,” Ongechi said. “Chrissy and I are looking forward to beginning our project focused on helping women affected by Ebola.”
Three other awardees were also named. Elizabeth Dickinson, a clinical assistant professor of communication in UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, will work on her project, “It’s Everyone’s Business: An Analysis of Gender Diversity and Business Schools”; Michelle T. King, an associate professor of history, will study “The Pei Mei Project: History, Gender and Memory Through the Pages of a Chinese Cookbook”; and Michele Rivkin-Fish, an associate professor of anthropology, will examine “Unmaking Russia’s Abortion Culture: Family Planning, Family Values and the Search for a Liberal Biopolitics.”
Miriam Labbok, a professor of the practice of maternal and child health and director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, received a previous Faculty Scholar award.
The Carolina Women’s Center pursues gender equity at UNC. Through education, advocacy and interdisciplinary research, the Center aims to build bridges and enhance the intellectual life and public engagement mission of the university. The Faculty Scholars program is funded through UNC’s Office of the Provost.