SAFE Grant Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Jeremiah Kitunda, History

Dr. Jeremiah Kitunda, associate professor, Department of History

Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) fund recipient

Project: “Proverbs as Sources and Subject of History: A Case Study of Kamba Proverbs from Eastern Kenya”

A SAFE fund grant supported Kitunda’s travel to Kenyan archives, databases and enabled conducting oral interviews. With this data he was able to write a book manuscript, which earned a publication contract. The book will be published with James Currey Press, a leading publisher in the field. To reach a wider market for the book, a local version will be published in Eastern Africa by the British Institute of Eastern Africa. A co-authored journal article was also submitted to the Journal of East African Studies. Some material will be used for teaching and will be posted on the website for Africana Studies at Appalachian State University.

This project contributed towards Appalachian’s endeavor “to prepare twenty-first century students to be flexible, creative problem-solvers who can adapt to changing work requirements and life situations.” The project not only brings four thousand inspiring and uplifting idiomatic expressions from East Africa to campus but also emphasizes the use of proverbs in communication. Proverbs are essential for conflict management in all forms of human interactions and enable citizens to have a dialogue with civility.

“The money from the SAFE Fund helped me reach my goals of publication and I will be in a strong position in my pursuit of external funding to complete this project. I will also be applying for the Summer 2020 Fulbright Scholarship after publication of my book,” said Kitunda.

About The SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:

About the Department of History
The Department of History offers a broad curriculum in local, national, regional and world history at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, which encourages history majors to develop a comprehensive approach to human problems. The study of history is an essential part of a liberal arts education and offers valuable preparation for many careers, such as law, journalism, public history, public service and business, as well as in teaching and the advanced discipline of history. Learn more at

Compiled by Barclay Ann Blankenship and Ellen Gwin Burnette
Oct. 15, 2020

SAFE Grant Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Jeremiah Kitunda
Published: Oct 14, 2020 11:04pm