While pursuing her master’s in women’s and gender studies, she researched women’s issues ranging from mental health and pregnancy to immigration and food deserts.
It took just one undergraduate women’s studies course to convince Martha Kakooza that she wanted to make a difference in the lives of women on a global scale.
As a female, black, international student, Kakooza has become an advocate for women on the Towson University campus and beyond. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from TU, Kakooza taught middle school in Baltimore City, where she was exposed to mothers and children who had little community support. That experience helped motivate her return to TU to pursue her master’s degree in women’s and gender studies.
Working closely with her professors, Kakooza presented a paper on immigrant women in Baltimore City at the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference and participated in research on mental health among African American women.
“Not many graduate students have the opportunity to present their work at a major conference,” says Kakooza. “Faculty in this department support you in every way possible.” For Kakooza, that support included a graduate assistantship and a College of Liberal Arts scholarship.
Her research experiences at TU led to an internship with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research where Kakooza helped to reach diverse communities of women about the importance of maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy. Her commitment to the community didn’t stop there. As part of a grantwriting class at TU, Kakooza applied for and received funding for a SAFE Baltimore grant, which will support the creation of greenhouses and the sale of fruits and vegetables in Baltimore City food deserts.
Following graduation, Kakooza joined the faculty of TU’s Department of Women’s and Gender Studies to teach courses in International Perspectives of Women and Women in Perspective. She’s also doing research with the University of Maryland School of Nursing.