Background and Context

Life Science in Context: Sub-Saharan Africa and HIV/AIDS, A course taught at Meredith College, Raleigh, NC; North Carolina Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, NC; and University of South Carolina Sumter, Sumter, South Carolina.

Dr. John Mecham and Dr. Michael Otieno, Email:, Phone: (919) 760-8007;
Dr. Erica Kosal, Email:, Phone: (252) 985-5156;
Dr. Pearl Fernandes, Email:, Phone: (803) 938-3725.

Course History | Role in the Undergraduate Curriculum | Funding Sources

Course History

Course History Chart (Acrobat (PDF) 98kB Nov7 08)

To prepare for this pilot module, the consortium members collaborated very productively under the direction of Dr. Pearl Fernandes, an active member of the research community studying HIV. Dr. Fernandes provided workshops for the consortium faculty, during which current research in this field was discussed and in-class activities for students were performed. Hands-on laboratory experiments that could be used with students with discussions focused on strategies to approach the module at the different institutions. In addition, the consortium members decided on the objectives and goals for the course for the different types of courses (seminar vs. life science course). Finally, Dr. Fernandes provided the consortium members with powerpoint presentations for use if desired, references, and other relevant material to achieve aximum success for the module and course.

Additionally, the consortium members worked with collaborating peers from Duke University, Kenyatta University and Edgerton University (the latter two are Kenyan national universities). Such faculty partnerships have included guest speaking engagements at each another's institutions; videotaping of Kenyan speakers and interviews by American students of Kenyan students and faculty for use in the classroom; presentations at professional meetings; and a planned future student symposium at Duke University. Examples of guest speakers included Dr. Philip Owino, Director of the AIDS Control Unit at Kenyatta University; Dr. Rose Odhiambo of Egerton University, Director of the Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies and HIV/AIDS Education; Dr. Sheryl Broverman, from Duke University; Dr. Michael Otieno, Chairman of the Department of Pre-Clinical Sciences at Kenyatta University; Mr. Benson Njoroge, a registered herbalist at Kenyatta University as well as Mr. Polycarp Odhiambo Omollo, a Kenyan student now working on his Masters of Education degree at Meredith College in North Carolina. These speakers have visited the United States to speak to students and faculty as part of the collaborative effort. The presentations have been videotaped for shared use with the consortium institutions.

Role of the Course in the Undergraduate Curriculum

Free Health Evaluations Given

Meredith College

This course is offered as one of several course options to fulfill a college wide requirement known as CORE 400. CORE 400 courses focus on Global Perspectives and are a senior level inquiry into questions of global importance.

North Carolina Wesleyan College

This course is offered as a honor's course for students in our Honor's Program.It is part of their requirements for the Program, but is one of several course options. The course is very popular with students and is one of the highest enrollment courses in the Honor's Program. Most students who take the course are not science majors, and after taking the course, some students have decided to minor or major in Biology. The course may be offered in the near future (as was the pilot course) as a general elective course for all students.

University of South Carolina Sumter

The HIV/AIDS module is a component of a course that is part of the required curriculum of all Biology and Nursing majors. It is a lecture and laboratory course.

Funding Sources

Development for this course was supported in part by a National Science Foundation Phase I CCLI-A&I Grant (DUE0510368), The Fulbright Scholar Program of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, and the Meredith College Office of Faculty Development.