Kenya Semester Program Student Airs Own Produced News Segment on VOA Africa

CANTON — A rising college senior who participated in St. Lawrence University’s study abroad program in Kenya and who is currently interning at a national news organization recently had her own news production aired on international radio.

Abigail (Abby) Martin, a senior this fall at Hamilton College, who is majoring in biology and is a pre-med student there, participated during the Spring 2013 semester in St. Lawrence’s Kenya Semester Program. St. Lawrence has operated the Kenyan program for nearly 40 years, making it one of the longest running U.S. study abroad programs on the African continent. Based out of St. Lawrence’s owned and operated campus in the suburbs of Nairobi, the Kenya program is rooted in this deep tradition and is committed to providing students with a unique study abroad experience. 

Abby said she was interested in studying in Kenya because she had worked in the past with various nongovernmental organizations that work in East Africa.

“Though Hamilton (College) has its own study abroad programs, it does not have any programs in Africa,” Abby said. “I also wanted to learn more about the healthcare system there and how I might be able to help in the future through programs like Doctors Without Borders.  The breathtaking landscapes of Kenya also drew me to the country.”

This summer, Abby is interning this summer at Voice of America (VOA) in Washington, D.C. VOA is the federal government news organization that broadcasts exclusively abroad, including in Africa, where it reaches about 11 million people. She attends and reports on health-related events in Africa and helps produce the television program “Africa Health Minute,” which airs on Africa 54, a VOA news program.

But just two weeks into her internship, Abby had the opportunity to write and produce a radio news segment of her own. She wrote the article, after attending a lecture at the National Institutes of Health on vaccinating dogs against rabies in East Africa. Abby recorded the lecture by Veterinarian Dr. Guy Palmer, wrote the script for her radio spot, and voiced the script at VOA, which aired on June 28. (Listen to Abby’s news segment.)

“I think that Dr. Palmer’s rabies vaccination studies will have a huge impact on the livelihood of children in East Africa,” Abby said, “and I was excited to be able to share his research with Africans through the radio show ‘Africa News Tonight.’”

Abby said experience of attending St. Lawrence University’s Kenyan Semester Program created a lasting memory for her.

“The Kenya Semester Program was the best four months of my life,” she said. “I cherish every moment I had Kenya and cannot wait to return one day.”