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About Leso Munala, PhD

My educational experience spans several disciplines. I earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from The Ohio State University, a master's degree in social work from the University of Chicago, and a doctorate in public health from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. My dissertation investigated the factors influencing the quality of assistance offered to female survivors of sexual abuse in Nairobi, Kenya. My primary research interests are investigating and combating violence against women in East Africa. This involves the establishment of legislation and interventions for survivors of sexual violence, the eradication of damaging cultural practices such as widow inheritance, and the enhancement of the quality of post-rape care services. My current studies investigate the prevention and response to sexual abuse against school-aged girls in Kenya, including the effects of COVID-19 on its spread, as well as the effect of climate change on intimate partner violence.

Positions

Present Associate Professor, Public Health, St. Catherine University Public Health Department
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Disciplines



Grants

2021 - Present Piloting a social justice training program in the MPH Curriculum
St. Catherine University
Academic Excellence Grant
Role: Co-Principle Investigator
2020 - 2021 Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Gender Based Violence (GBV): A focus on school aged girls in Kenya
St. Catherine University
GHR Innovative Scholarship (GHR) Grant
Role: Principal Investigator
$11,500
2020 - 2020 Understanding the differential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among immigrant and refugee communities
St. Catherine University
GHR Innovative Scholarship (GHR) Grant
Role: Co-Investigator
$15,000
2019 - 2020 Exploring the Social Context and Drivers of Age Disparate Transactional Sex Relationships in Mutomo and Ikutha Districts of Kitui South Sub County
St. Catherine University
GHR Innovative Scholarship (GHR) Grant
Role: Principal Investigator
$15,000
2018 - 2019 An exploration of the sexual cleansing ritual as a public health issue in the Luo community of Kenya
St. Catherine University
Academic Professional Development Committee Grant (APDC)
Role: Principal Investigator
$7,500
2018 - 2019 Exploring the community and environmental factors associated with sexual violence against school-aged girls in the Mutomo and Ikutha Districts of Kitui South Sub County, Kenya
St. Catherine University
GHR Innovative Scholarship (GHR) Grant
Role: Principal Investigator
$15,000
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2019 - Present Member, Coalition Against Hepatitis in People of African Origin (CHIPO) group
2015 - Present Member, Minnesota Public Health Association
2009 - Present Member, American Public Health Association
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Honors and Awards

  • 2018- Recognized as a faculty/staff mentor by a student who was nominated for an All- University Student Leadership Award, St. Catherine University
  • 2018- Nominated for the St. Catherine University Excellence in Teaching and advising Award
  • 2018 -Winner of the Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center for Women Annual Research and Creative Work Award
  • 2019- Winner of the St. Catherine University Excellence in Teaching and Advising Award
  • 2020- Recognized as a faculty/staff mentor by a student who was nominated for an All- University Student Leadership Award, St. Catherine University
  • 2020- Nominated for the St. Catherine University Excellence in Teaching and advising Award
  • 2020- Recipient of the St. Catherine GHR-AEG Faculty Fellowship Award
  • 2021 Nominee, the St. Catherine University Patricia O’Connor Myser Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award
  • 2021 Nominee, the St. Catherine University Excellence in Teaching and advising Award
  • 2022 - Winner, Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center for Women Annual Research and Creative Work Award
  • 2022- Nominee, the St. Catherine University Excellence in Teaching and advising Award
  • 2022 Nominee, the St. Catherine University Patricia O’Connor Myser Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award

Courses

  • HLTH 7200-Capstone
  • HLTH 2294- Foundations of Public Health ( UG)
  • GSJ 3990- Dismantling Racism in South Africa and Namibia (UG)
  • HLTH 3250- Global Health(UG)
  • HLTH 6360- Violence as a Public Health Issue
  • HLTH 6320-Global issues in Women’s Health
  • HLTH 6210-Health Communication
  • HLTH 6000- Critical Issues in Global Public Health

Education

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2008 Ph.D., Public Health, University of Massachusetts Amherst
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2006 - 2008 Master in Social Service Administration, University of Chicago
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2002 - 2006 Bachelor of Arts, Psychology Bachelor of Arts, Psychology Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, The Ohio State University
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Contact Information

Phone: 651-690-6265

Email:


Presentations (30)