Inside SMART Africa

Student experiences working with the ICHAD/SMART Africa center

“I have opportunities to get involved in different aspects/stages of research projects: from planning a study, updating an instrument, field visits to data management, data analysis, and preparing and publishing manuscripts. I have been supported by prominent scholars in the field on different aspects of my work. Some of them consulted/supported me even though they are based far from St. Louis, which helped to broaden my skills even more.”

– Daji Dvalishvili, PhD Student

“My experience working with SMART Africa Center and ICHAD so far has been extremely informative. I’ve learned a lot about the role of research in Social Work as well as the innovative studies in global mental health that are currently being conducted in the field. I’ve really enjoyed my time working with the US team during the past year and getting to know all the members of the center! I hope that my second year as an MRF fellow will continue to be an enriching experience, especially as we begin to address how the pandemic has affected mental health worldwide.”

– Lily Zmachinski, Masters Research Fellow

“As a practicum student, I was privileged to join a team working on an ongoing study in my home country, Ghana, an opportunity I have and would always appreciate. I have learned to participate in and coordinate stakeholder meetings. ICHAD offered me intensive supervision that has contributed to my growth as a research assistant and a graduate student. This supervision offered me career advising, which has shaped my career goals. I have also enjoyed the sense of community ICHAD offers and until COVID-19 pandemic, I loved sharing office space with the supportive staff and fellow research assistants, who are always ready to offer a helping hand. I am looking forward to more learning opportunities with the Center in the future when it is safe to be in the office in-person.”

– Portia Nartey, MSW Student

“My experience as a practicum student with ICHAD has been incredibly rewarding. I gained a greater understanding of the social research process and how to apply the theoretical foundation I have built from my coursework at the Brown School to a rigorous research environment. I am definitely leaving ICHAD with stronger analytical thinking and research skills.”

 – Jessica McKay, MSW Student