In their own words

New grads on their time at Yale—and what's next.

Mark Ostow

Mark Ostow

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Brenda Kombo
Nairobi, Kenya
PhD, Anthropology

As part of my program, I did extended fieldwork, and I had a chance to spend, if I put it all together, about two years in a country that I didn’t know really very much, Cameroon. So I had a chance to be immersed in a different sociocultural context and use a range of research methods to get at the question that I’d been asking for several years [about domestic violence in Cameroon]. And so, just to be at the end of my program is really enriching, and in some ways I am coming to grips with the fact that I’m actually done—and ready to face the world, as they say.

What are your plans?

I’m still looking for a job.

You have a large group with you. Did you get a sense that people in Kenya are more connected with their extended family than we are here?

I was born in Kenya but I didn’t grow up there. I grew up in other, different places. But in most parts of Africa, we think about the family very differently. We do have a nuclear family, but for us family goes far beyond that. So my boyfriend is here, but his mother is also here, and a friend of his, and my parents, my brother, and a few friends.