- BAs (African Studies, Women’s Studies) The Pennsylvania State University (2004)
- MA (Women’s Studies) The Ohio State University (2006)
- Ph.D (History) The Ohio State University (2012).
Her research and teaching interests include African social movements, youth history, women’s history, British and French colonialism in Africa, and civil wars in Africa. Ballah’s dissertation, ‘Listen, Politics is not for Children:’ Adult Authority, Social Conflict, and Youth Survival Strategies in Post Civil War Liberia,” explores the historical causes of the Liberian civil war (1989-2003), with a keen attention to the history of Liberian youth, since the beginning of the Republic in 1847. She carefully analyzed youth engagements in social and political change throughout the country’s history, including the ways by which the civil war impacted the youth and inspired them to create new social and economic spaces for themselves. Despite their marginalization by the state, the youth have played a crucial role in the quest for democratization in the country, especially since the 1960s. She placed her analysis of the youth in deep societal structures related to Liberia’s colonial past and neo-colonial status, as well as the impact of external factors, such as the financial and military support the regime of Samuel Doe received from the United States during the cold war and the influence of other African nations.
Ballah has presented her research at various academic conferences and is currently working on her first book monograph. In addition, she is also working on an article which examines grass root students’ activism against the colonial and neocolonial Liberian state (1940-1990). She has received several grants to support her scholarly work including Coco –Cola Critical Difference Dissertation Research Grant, The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences International Research Grant, and The Ohio State University Department of History Retrieving the American Past- Award. In 2011, she was awarded an Outstanding Teaching Award for Commitment to Students’ Education by The Panhellenic Association and The Interfraternity Council at The Ohio State University.