Celebrate Carolyn Lesorogol






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The Carolyn Lesorogol Global Student Endowed Scholarship will support Brown School students, in perpetuity, committed to social work practice in memory of Professor Lesorogol’s incredible impact on the fields of anthropology, social work, and international social development throughout her life. 

Carolyn was an enthusiastic and outstanding, teacher, mentor, and friend to her students, fellow faculty and staff, as well as an amazing mother. This scholarship will honor her life’s work and passions, while creating a legacy of student support in her memory and inspiring future social workers. Carolyn will be missed dearly by all those that knew her. 

About Carolyn Lesorogol

Carolyn Lesorogol researched international social development to understand how dynamic social change processes affect the well-being of families and communities. Using ethnography and mixed methods, she investigated the transition from communal to private land among Samburu pastoralists in Kenya, and its long term effects on land-use, cooperation, social norms and livelihoods.

Her work combined ethnography, household-level data, and agent-based and simulation computer modeling to examine how household land-use decisions affect ecological and well-being indicators. She studied the formation, operation and impact of community-based wildlife conservancies in Samburu County, Kenya. Her recent book, Conservation and Community in Kenya: Milking the Elephant, shared her research on and in-depth look into community-based wildlife conservancies, and how social relations that effect the effectiveness and accountability in different communities, and recommendations for the future.

Lesorogol also designed and implemented capacity building community programs including work with a community association in Kenya introducing a highly productive breed of dairy goats to improve household nutrition and income.

Lesorogol was on the editorial boards of the journal Economic Anthropology and the monograph series Research in Economic Anthropology. She served on the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association (2017-2019) and served as Associate Dean for Global Strategy and Programs at the Brown School (2014-2020), leading the school's development of global initiatives and educational programs. Lesorogol taught master's classes in international social development theory and practice and the doctoral course in qualitative research.

After earning her Ph.D. in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002, Carolyn Lesorogol joined the Department of Anthropology as an instructor before moving to the Brown School faculty in 2003. As she taught International Social Development, Human Diversity and many other courses, she also continued as an adjunct faculty member in anthropology, teaching masters and doctoral students. She received the Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Teaching at Washington University in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and was named an Outstanding Faculty Mentor in 2012. Lesorogol received the Teaching Excellence Award in 2013, the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2015, and the Dissertation Chairperson Recognition Award in 2019.