Cross-National Collaborative for Youth Health and Gender Issues (May 2009)
CuSAG is also working with colleagues in the two universities to establish what is tentatively being called a “Cross National Collaborative on Youth Health Issues.” One of the most immediate initiatives of the Collaborative is to promote a cross national internship/student exchange program, and possibilities for faculty exchanges. A proposal is being shared to initially look for funding support for research, training, and technical assistance activities in two areas of youth health: (1) reproductive and sexual health issues (e.g. early pregnancy and parenting, HIV/AIDS, and other STIs, etc.) and (2) violence crime, incarceration, and reentry (VCIR). These two topic areas were selected because they are ongoing research activities in which CuSAG is involved, and because for
the past five years, Dr. Tony Whitehead, CuSAG’s Director, has taken US students to Jamaica where they intern for 3½ weeks with NGOs involved in sexual and reproductive health issues. As the Collaborative grows, however, research and technical assistance activities are expected to expand according to the research activities and interests of participating faculty members from both University systems.
A special guest at the May 1 dinner was His Excellency Anthony Johnson, Ambassador of Jamaica, who attended the dinner and congratulated CuSAG Director Professor Tony Whitehead for his efforts in facilitating prospective collaborative efforts between the two university systems.

Rapid Cultural Learning Institute (May 2001)
CuSAG was ask to provide a workshop on rapid cultural learning to an audience of U.S. Marines responsible for guarding U.S. embassies in countries around the world.

Integrating Traditional and Western Medical Systems (July 1996)
For the National Council of International Health (NCIH), CuSAG conducted focus discussion groups with African and American traditional healers as part of a larger two-day workshop on "Traditional Healing and AIDS." CuSAG’s discussion explored the positive aspects and the difficulties that traditional healers experienced working with western trained health professionals, as well as issues related to their methods, training, identity, and power relationships vis-à-vis western-trained health professionals.

Finnish Lectures on CuSAG’s Research Activities (1993)
CuSAG’s director, Tony Whitehead, was invited to Finland for a month to give lectures around the country on CuSAG’s urban and food and culture research.

The Cultural Ecology of Food (1990-92)
CuSAG secured cooperative agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support a Ghanaian nutrition scholar in conducting "African Continuities in African-American Foodways on the Sea Island of South Carolina and Georgia". The CuSAG team expanded this work with more intensive ethnography in South Carolina using participant observation, FGIs, and ethnographic interviews with elderly residents. University links were also created between UMCP and the University of Ghana at Legon for future research possibilities in West Africa. Furthermore, talks were carried out with the Avery Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston and with the Penn Center of Frogmore, South Carolina regarding the possibility of future collaboration in the Sea Islands.

International Conference on Food and Culture (1990)
The Wenner Gren Foundation funded CuSAG to host an international conference on food and culture. Participants included scholars from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and North America.

Evaluation for Success (1990)
An alliance of American foundations providing support to various health and social organizations in South Africa invited CuSAG Director Tony Whitehead to provide them with ideas on how they might design an evaluation model for these programs, highlighting successes, rather than being dominated with failures like most evaluation approaches at that time seemed to be. Later that year CuSAG was invited to submit a proposal by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to evaluate its leadership training program oriented towards training South Africans for health and social infrastructural leadership positions in the inevitable post-apartheid period. Even though CuSAG was one of the two finalists competing for the contract, as a completely new organization, CuSAG was not considered to have the sufficient track record to assure the completion of the work. However, this experience provided some of the impetus for CuSAG’s later work in evaluation, and the evolution of its Ethnographic Assessment and Evaluation System (EAES).

 

   

CuSAG: The Cultural Systems Analysis Group
Department of Anthropology  |  University of Maryland
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