Research Spotlight: Olu’s Marshallese Project

March 17, 2017 By aking50
Olu Ekúndayò

Research Spotlight: Olu’s Marshallese Project

Professor Olugbemiga Ekundayo has been conducting a live challenge project as part of his class on social epidemiology. The project sparked when he learned from one of his students that there was an educational deficit amongst the Marshallese students of Spokane’s Shaw Middle School.

Olu EkúndayòShaw Middle School employs more teachers with master’s degrees than Spokane’s other six middle schools. However, Shaw ranks the lowest. To figure out how to improve the situation amongst the Marshallese at Shaw, Ekundayo and his students asked: What does the community know that we don’t know? What would they like us to know?

To help answer this question, he and his students conducted a focus group. Using the data from the focus group, his students prepared a preliminary interim, which taught students how to do thematic assessment and analysis. In doing so, they have advanced toward their goal of bridging the gap of communication between the Marshallese community and Spokane’s schools.

By using these real-life challenges instead of theoretical scenarios, Ekundayo better prepares his students for the actual public health work that they will do after their formal education is complete. This project will continue into future semesters.