Onika Henry: Fulbright Scholar

Widener's Center for Human Sexuality Studies welcomes Onika Henry into the M.Ed. program.

Henry, who hails from the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, held the position of information, education, and communications officer at the HIV and AIDS Secretariat on Tobago before coming to Widener. InOnika Henrythis role, she delivered information to the general public about HIV and AIDS and related issues. She said that with very limited prior experience in this field, she received "on-the-job training," but quickly realized that a focused degree in human sexuality education would make her more effective.

"Research shows that most people have the knowledge; they know about the dangers of certain behaviors, but yet they still engage in those behaviors. Why?" Henry asked. "By studying various facets of human sexuality, I can start to understand 'why.' One individual may be motivated to act based on a perception that 'I'm not at risk,' while another may be guided by feelings of trust and love."

Henry hopes to one day return to her country as an entrepreneur who develops online educational programs aimed at curbing harmful behaviors, a consultant who works with schools to develop human sexuality curriculum, an educator at the university level, or perhaps all three. With a background in theatre arts and psychology, Henry is a strong proponent of Theatre for Development (TfD) and will actively use theatre as a tool for social change.

Henry lives with fellow Fulbright Scholar Lorena Olvera, from Mexico, who both began their education at Widener in the fall and settled into housing just off campus in Chester, where they live as roommates and occasional study partners. Both women hope that their Widener education prepares them to tackle various human sexuality issues in their native countries.