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Faculty Who Think and Do: Discovering Communication Behind Borders

Since coming to NC State in 2002, Dr. James Kiwanuka-Tondo has been nothing short of a memorable professor to the students and faculty who interact with him in the Department of Communication. From his work on HIV/AIDS campaigns in Sub-Saharan Africa, to his current research in Uganda, Dr. Kiwanuka-Tondo continues to use his knowledge to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

Dr. Kiwanuka-Tondo’s latest research began when he was accepted to the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program in 2016. The fellowship led him to Makerere University, the largest university in Uganda, where he focused on curriculum development. Through his work, Kiwanuka-Tondo realized the lack of proper documentation of the history of African media in Southeast Africa and sought to document this himself.

In 2017, Kiwanuka-Tondo received a Fulbright Scholarship, giving him the chance to pursue his research and documentation of the history and development of media in Africa, specifically in Uganda. This ranges from the origins and censorship of African newspapers, to how the media was impacted by political development. In addition, there was no formal education on journalism until the 1970s, when the Uganda School of Journalism was established at the Uganda Management Institute. Kiwanuka-Tondo carried out the role of the head of the school from 1990-1992, until he moved to the United States to further his education at the University of Connecticut.

Since returning to the United States, Kiwanuka-Tondo has continued his research and is working on a seven-chapter book that culminates his findings. “It was important to me to make sure the history of the media was documented by people who know and understand the history of Uganda,” said Kiwanuka-Tondo. In addition, he is looking to expand the documentation of the history of journalism and the media to other East African countries.

Kiwanuka-Tondo has a book manuscript on past, present, and future challenges of HIV/AIDS in Uganda which is under peer by Fountain Publishers in Uganda. The book manuscript highlights the research that he has conducted on the efforts by AIDS organizations to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS through prevention campaigns in Uganda. In addition to his research and campaign work, Kiwanuka-Tondo leads a study abroad trip to Botswana to study the issue of HIV/AIDS in the country. Kiwanuka-Tondo worked to create a study-abroad experience because he thinks it’s important for students to learn about other cultures. He feels that studying international communication helps students understand the influence of culture on communication, how people live their lives differently, and how to work in a multicultural country like the United States.

Kiwanuka-Tondo will also be traveling to Egypt to present a keynote speech at the 11th International Conference at  Mansuora University. Two of his most recent publications are: “The prevalence of HIV/AIDS frames in Kenya Newspapers: A summative content analysis of the Daily Nation” and “Climate Risk Communication of Navigation Safety and Climate Conditions over Lake Victoria Basin: Exploring Perceptions and Knowledge of Indigenous Communities.”

A full version of Kiwanuka-Tondo’s publication on climate risk can be found here. To learn more about Kiwanuka-Tondo and his publications, read his faculty bio here.