Alexandria Dyer ’14, of Portland, Ore., has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to travel to Ghana to study public health.
Dyer will conduct research on the empowering social space of women’s hair salons and will then develop a pilot women’s health workshop for these informal settings.
“Within the hair salon, I hope to develop a model for women’s health and maternal health promotion that has the capacity to make impactful change,” said Dyer, a Konosioni Senior Honor Society member who completed a pre-med track of study while majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies.
Dyer spent a month in Ghana in 2012 as a global health fellow with Unite for Sight, assisting in rural outreach for eye health. On that trip, she observed the important role that hair salons play in Ghanaian women’s lives.
As an intern at the Shaw Wellness Institute, Dyer created programming focused on the intersection of culture and health. These experiences together laid the groundwork that inspired her Fulbright project.
At Colgate, Dyer played varsity volleyball and was a member of both the Anti-Racism Coalition and Kappa Kappa Gamma. She was honored with several campus awards, including the Leadership in Wellness Award, the Leo H. Speno Award, and the ALANA Cultural Award. Since graduating, she has been working in youth health education and advocacy in Portland, Ore.
In addition to conducting her own research in Ghana, Dyer plans to engage with her host community through volleyball, as she views sports as a universal language that brings people together. In the future, she plans to pursue a joint MD/MPH to continue her work at the intersection of health and culture.
“Allie came up with a fascinating Fulbright project that is poised to contribute meaningfully to women’s health outreach in Ghana,” said Kim Germain, Colgate’s assistant dean for fellowship advising and a close adviser to all Colgate Fulbright applicants. “I’m thrilled that she gets to pursue her dream in Ghana.”
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.