When most of us imagine a “lab,” familiar images and associations come to mind: sterile spaces equipped with white coats and Petri dishes, beakers, glass test tubes and granulated cylinders galore. Spaces where life-changing discoveries are made, no doubt — but Katie Rhine and her dedicated team of fellow scholars had something else in mind. They envisioned a hands-on, humanities-based “lab” that would bring students and faculty mentors together in the field to ask questions and search for real-world solutions to issues of health and development in East Africa’s rural communities. And in 2018, the team’s shared vision was brought to life in the form of an interdisciplinary umbrella project: ColLAB: Bridging East Africa’s Digital Health Divides.
In this episode we sat down with Katie Rhine, associate professor of Anthropology, core faculty member in the Kansas African Studies Center and the Center for Global & International Studies, and co-director of ColLAB at the University of Kansas, and Macie Rouse, a senior undergraduate student majoring in Anthropology at KU. For Macie, the lab presented an opportunity to do research differently, allowing her to apply her language skills in Kiswahili directly through on-the-ground, immersive research into East African communties. And in Katie, she found a mentor committed to putting students at the center, rather than the periphery, of research. Follow along as Katie and Macie discuss mentorship and scholarship in ColLAB, campus partnerships and funding opportunities that turned the team’s humanities lab dream into a reality, discoveries made working with community members, and unforgettable human connections formed along the way.
It’s Unwinding with Katie Rhine & Macie Rouse:
Unwinding is a podcast that tells the human stories driving the minds and talents of the University of Kansas. In each episode we sit down with KU researchers in a favorite or familiar setting to chat about what they’re working on, why they’re passionate about it, why it matters, and what makes them tick as humans. You may find us on campus, running the trails, on a farm, at a coffee shop or down at the pub. Wherever the location, the conversation explores the fascinations and motivations that produce new discoveries.
Unwinding is a collaboration between The Commons at KU and KU’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. The Commons is a catalyst for unconventional thinking, interdisciplinary inquiry, and unexpected discoveries across the sciences, arts, and humanities. The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is the heart of KU. It’s home to more than 50 departments, programs and centers, offering more than 100 majors, minors and certificates. A collaborative and creative community, the College is committed to making the world better through inquiry and research.
Music: Lee Rosevere‘s “Let’s Start at the Beginning“