Faculty & Staff News
Dr. Margaret Khaitsa inducted into the Tapestry of Diverse Talents
The Tapestry of Diverse Talents, a program of the NDSU Memorial Union, aims to “kindle the spirit to diversify diversity,” by recognizing students, faculty, staff, and alumni for the diversity and contributions they bring to NDSU.
Individuals are nominated to the program, and each semester inductees are added to the tapestry wall to reflect the ages, classes, ability, ethnicity, gender, races, regional differences, sexual orientations, beliefs, and values of the NDSU community.
Inductees are asked to contribute a piece of fabric that represents who they are and where they come from. This fabric is incorporated into the fabric mosaics mounted on the Tapestry of Diverse Talents wall located on the upper level of the Union across from the Rose Room.
Nearly 150 people have been added to the Tapestry since 1993. Last spring, Ebot Tabe, a PhD candidate in our department, was inducted into the program. This spring, our very own Dr. Margaret Khaitsa was one of eight people to receive the honor.
Dr. Margaret Khaitsa was born & raised in Uganda (East Africa) from a humble family of peasant farmers. She had her early education in Uganda where she graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Makerere University Kampala Uganda in 1982. From there she went on to the University of Edinburgh, UK where she obtained her Msc. in Tropical Veterinary Medicine in 1987, to The Ohio State University where she obtained a Ph.D in Veterinary Preventive Medicine in 1999, and finally to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate from 2000-2002.
The piece of fabric Dr. Khaitsa contributed to the mosaic wall was a gift from a friend in Uganda. She explains that “it is a special piece of fabric made in Africa and represents diversity in several ways:
1. It is made from several countries in Africa.
2. It has special significance especially to the African woman as it can serve several roles including: being worn as part of a special dress on festive occasions; as a head turbine; as a wrapper over a short dress e.g. in the presence of in-laws or elders; as a handy bed sheet during funerals for instance; to secure a baby on the back.
3. It keeps me connected to my African roots, therefore acts as a cultural bridge between the African & American cultures that I have come to embrace.”
Dr. Khaitsa joined NDSU as an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences in 2003, obtained tenure in 2009 & is currently Associate Professor of Epidemiology. Her duties include teaching epidemiology and conducting research in infectious disease epidemiology and food safety. Dr. Khaitsa also coordinates a summer study abroad course, “International Animal Production, Disease Surveillance and Public Health,” in Uganda. This course has been offered since 2007 and is a joint effort between NDSU & Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. Dr. Khaitsa also serves as Program Director of a newly approved joint (NDSU & Makerere University) MS degree and Graduate Certificate in “International Infectious Disease Management & Biosecurity,” and as US Partnership Director on a USAID funded international partnership with Makerere University on “Capacity Building on Integrated Management of Transboundary Animal Diseases & Zoonoses.”
Dr. Khaitsa is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. She is also an active member of professional associations including Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases; Association for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine; and American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges-AAVMC (Public Health, International & Multicultural Committees). She is serving currently as the President Elect – Public Health Committee of AAVMC (July 2011-June 2012).
Dr. Khaitsa has served as a Host family for International students at NDSU, including a PhD candidate in Genomics who graduated in fall 2011. She was the first mentor of the African Students Union (ASU) at NDSU (2009). She has also served as Member, Multicultural Student Services Faculty Advisory Committee. In addition, she contributed to our department winning The Advance FORWARD Award (2011). This is an award given annually by the Commission on the Status of Women Faculty to an academic department with a record of outstanding effort to support and advance gender equity in one or more of the five areas/goals established in the National Science Foundation Advance Grant.