Lyungai Mbilinyi ’95

2005 Young Alumni Award

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Lyungai Mbilinyi is a research scientist at Wilder Research in St. Paul. She evaluates programs that address violence prevention and intervention, youth delinquency and the needs of the African immigrant community. Within eight years of graduating with majors in French literature and international studies, she had earned a master’s degree in public health and a master’s and Ph.D. in social work, all at the University of Minnesota.

During and following her graduate school years, Mbilinyi worked, consulted and interned with a variety of programs, giving her a broad knowledge of health and human services. It was as an intern that she became interested in applied research, which became the focus of her Ph.D. work. Mbilinyi conducts the kind of objective research and analysis that reveals how effectively a given human service program serves its clients. She is also involved in primary research such as the St. Paul Foundation’s assessment of racism in the east-metro communities.

As Karen Hanson ’95 noted in nominating her classmate, "Lyungai has demonstrated outstanding involvement and achievement in graduate education, community contributions, career advancement and service to Mac."

Mbilinyi is in demand as a speaker at conferences both locally and nationally. She has published in the areas of children’s exposure to domestic violence, welfare reform, and the co-occurrence of child maltreatment and abuse of women in families. She teaches a research class in the University of St. Thomas social work program, and currently serves on the board of Women’s Advocates. A native of Tanzania, Mbilinyi also values her personal time and often spends it with loved ones and friends.