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Research, Activism and Advocacy

Kenya Summer Program (6 Credits)
PSY 363 Abnormal Primate Psychology
SOC 351: Addressing Injustice: Activism and Advocacy
May 19 – June 17, 2014

Course Description:
PSY 363 Abnormal Primate Behavior

  • Advanced Social Science Course (Prerequisite: PSY 101 or 110)
  • Writing Intensive Course (Prerequisite: EN 102)

SOC 351: Addressing Injustice: Activism and Advocacy

  • Advanced Social Science Course (Prerequisite: SOC 131, 202, or 203)
  • Liberal Arts Core ETH Course

Students in this study abroad program in Kenya will learn about animal behavior and the intersections between human and animal welfare. We will explore how development, poverty and food insecurity fuel illegal wildlife hunting (poaching) in Kenya, and Africa in general. You will participate in various hands-on education, conservation and animal protection programs around central Kenya designed to address these issues. Students will visit schools, farms and clinics, track endangered rhinos with wildlife rangers and remove illegal traps set for wild animals. A major component of the program entails conducting behavioral observations of chimpanzees living at a sanctuary in Nanyuki, Kenya who have been rescued from abusive situations. You will interview both chimpanzee caregivers and visitors to the sanctuary to learn about their experiences. You will be required to keep a journal, take photographs and blog, participate in group discussions, and write response papers and a final report. Students will also have the unique opportunity to learn alongside a University of Nairobi student who will receive a scholarship to participate in the program from funds MU Kenya Summer Program alumni have raised.

Dr. Stacy Lopresti-Goodman

Dr. Lopresti-Goodman is a full-time faculty member in the psychology department. Her research focuses on analyzing symptoms of psychological distress in chimpanzees who have been rescued from deplorable captive conditions and retired to sanctuaries. Her work with students has helped sanctuaries rehabilitate chimpanzees, and has been featured on NPR, and other local and national news outlets. Dr. Lopresti-Goodman received Marymount’s 2013 Robert A. Draghi Outstanding Faculty Award.

Professor Justin Goodman, MA
Justin Goodman is an adjunct faculty member in the department of sociology and criminal justice. His research focuses on humans’ complicated relationships with other animals. Goodman is on the leadership council of the American Sociological Association’s Animals and Society Section.

What Marymount students have to say about the Kenya Summer Program:
I was most surprised by how invigorated and filled with purpose I felt after the program. I imagined I would enjoy the program, and that I would not be able to truly prepare myself for the experience, but I didn't imagine how deeply impacted and influenced I would be by it. I would recommend this program to anyone and everyone interested in psychology, conservation, biology, policy, and a wide variety of other fields of study. The experience and the coursework has a high level of value, of a hands-on nature, to many fields. It is also an amazing experience, in a beautiful country, with wonderful instructors. -Amanda Caperton

There are many things anyone can gain from studying abroad that they cannot in the classroom, but having gone to Africa in particular, there is so much more. I could never have learned the humility that I saw without having met the people I met. Everyone was so welcoming and so compassionate, even when they had nothing to give, they would have given us the clothing off their backs. It taught me to be more humble. -Ashlynn Dube

It's a once in a lifetime experience that is truly unforgettable. We made so many memories and definitely connected with each other. We all have such an immense love for animals and we learned about Kenyan culture. –Ariel Gonzalez

Tentative Schedule
May 19 - June 17 MU Classes, DC Area Field Trips, etc.
June 2 Departure
June 3 Arrive Nairobi
June 4 David Sheldrick Elephant Nursery, Giraffe Center, and Bomas of Kenya
June 5 - 6 Camping at Lake Naivasha
June 7 - 14 Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Research Center
June 15 Thompson Falls and Masai Market / Nairobi
June 16 Nairobi
June 17 Return

Program Cost:
Tuition - $ 5100 (six Credits)
Program fee - $1300

The program fee includes:

  • Round-trip economy-class international airfare
  • Accommodations
  • Ground transportation
  • Entrance fees to all required site visits and cultural events
  • Meals
  • Medical and Emergency Travel Insurance

Additional Costs Not Covered:
Kenya Tourist Visa = $25
Vaccines = Approximately $300 (Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Malaria, Antibioltics, etc.)

MU reserves the right to make any necessary changes including adjustments in cost in the event that unforeseen circumstances arise. Financial aid may apply. For more information, please contact the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible. The CGE will register selected students for this course class after receiving a signed Acceptance of Participation Form. Full-time students do not need to pay additional tuition for this course provided they are registered for no more than 18 credits during the spring semester, including this course. Full-time students enrolled in more than 18 credits are subject to over-enrollment fees.

Application Deadline: December 1, 2013
Before you start the online application it is strongly recommended that you meet with a representative from the Center for Global Education. Schedule an appointment online using your MU ID and password.

Learn more about the application process