UMSL educator gaining insight, culture in Botswana

Angela Coker, associate professor of counseling and family therapy at UMSL, is a visiting scholar in Gaborone, Botswana. She’s teaching at the University of Botswana and collecting data on counseling across cultures.

As a counseling educator, Angela Coker has spent her career focusing on the issues that plague African American women in the United States. But this year, she has the opportunity to examine those same issues from the viewpoint of African women.

Coker, associate professor of counseling and family therapy at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, is in the mist of an eight-month trip to Gaborone, Botswana, to collect data for her research study titled “Counseling Across Cultures.” The study focuses on how culture impacts the practice of counseling in southern Africa. While there she is serving as a visiting scholar at the University of Botswana.

Coker’s trip and research, which is being funded through the Office of International Studies at UMSL, was recently featured in an article in Counseling Today.

“I believe it is important for counselors to be respectful and understanding of the cultural nuances that may surround their data collection process and methodology,” Coker told the publication. “Building rapport, respecting cultural concerns and honoring some degree of participant resistance is part of our work as cross-cultural researchers.”


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