Natural Hazards Center Research Associate Courtney Welton-Mitchell, who was awarded a Research Scholar Fulbright Award to spend a year in Malaysia, is continuing her work there with a number of efforts.

Courtney Wlton-Mitchell
Courtney Welton-Mitchell of the Natural Hazards Center.

Welton-Mitchell left in August to begin the work, which includes collaborations with faculty and students at Centre for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Science, Malaysia (KANITA USM) in Penang. There she will focus on various gender-based violence, mental health, natural hazards, and forced migration-related research projects and initiatives. This includes involving USM colleagues in her current gender-based violence intervention research with stateless Rohingya communities funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM).

Recently, Welton-Mitchell has been facilitating “Journal Club” research discussion groups for graduate students at KANITA. The first two groups focused on feminist approaches to mixed methods research from global perspectives and mixed methods research designs.

She has also given a half-day seminar for faculty and students entitled Community-based research: Empowering Displaced Rohingya in Malaysia and Syrians in Lebanon to Respond to Intimate Partner Abuse. In addition, Welton-Mitchell provides research advising for several KANITA projects.

These types of initiatives will expand the reach of the Welton-Mitchell’s BPRM work, which is now in the midst of Phase II data collection in Lebanon and Malaysia, with Welton-Mitchell as the Malaysia focal point and co-principle investigator Leah James as the focal point in Lebanon. Phase II involves implementation and testing of a three-day “healthy relationships” intervention workshop that addresses mental health, intimate partner abuse, social norms, and human rights. On the last day of the workshop participants will design their own messaging campaigns to address intimate partner abuse. The community-designed campaigns will be tested using an Randomized Controlled Trial design in Phase III early next year.