CASNR welcomes Mandela Washington Fellowship academic, leadership program
By: Norman Martin
Texas Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is part of a university group hosting 25 bright, emerging African leaders for a six-week academic and leadership institute sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The program, known as the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, began this week on the Lubbock campus.
"We're honored to host this group of Mandela Leadership Fellows," said Scott Burris, Interim Chairman of Texas Tech's Department of Agricultural Education and Communications. "It's a great opportunity to highlight CASNR and our departments, while serving as a national host site and as an ambassador for Texas Tech."
Created in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship is one of the flagship programs of the Young African Leaders Initiative, and empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training and networking opportunities. YALI was created in 2010, and aims to support the growth and prosperity of young African leaders, strengthen democratic governance and increase peace and security across Africa.
A $150,000 grant was awarded to Texas Tech to fund a Public Management Academic and Leadership Institute for the fellows from June 16 to July 30. Tech was one of just 38 U.S. colleges and universities chosen for the program.
"Texas Tech is a world-class institution that offers a unique cultural and academic experience to the Mandela Washington fellows," said Amy Boren, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, and the Academic Director of the TTU Mandela Washington Fellowship.
The cohort of fellows hosted by Tech is part of a larger group of 1,000 Mandela Washington fellows studying at institutions across the U.S. this summer. The fellowship program welcomes African civic, business and community leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 to U.S. universities and colleges and gives them access to free online courses in topics like climate change, entrepreneurship and human rights.
"It's important to note the fellows are not students," Boren said. "They're young leaders in their home countries who were among 64,000 applicants to the fellowship program."
Boren said faculty and staff from several areas, including Tech's Office of International Affairs, CASNR's Department of Agricultural Education and Communications and the Educational Psychology and Leadership graduate program in Tech's College of Education, are involved in the planning and logistics of the institute.
Working closely with the state department and its implementing partner, the International Research & Exchanges Board, Institute Partners designed programs that challenge, inspire and empower the young leaders. During the application process, partners chose between three types of institutes:
- Business and Entrepreneur Institutes that cater to entrepreneurial fellows and those aspiring to become leaders in the private sector
- Civic Leadership Institutes for fellows who serve though nongovernmental agencies, community-based organizations or volunteerism, and
- Public Management Institutes for fellows working or hoping to work in government, regional or international organizations and other publicly minded groups and think-tanks.
"We elected to go with the public management track because my fellow faculty members and I have worked extensively with public institutions in African and Latin-American countries," Boren said.
During their time at Tech, Boren said, the fellows will be introduced to U.S. models and best practices through a broad mix of leadership development and academic activities like classroom sessions, panel discussions and site visits. They also will connect with local leaders and the community through volunteer activities and service projects.
Ultimately, the fellows will meet at the end of their institutes in Washington, D.C., for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they'll take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and U.S. leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors. Following the summit, 100 competitively selected fellows will spend six weeks in professional development experiences with U.S. nongovernmental organizations, private companies and government agencies.
CONTACT: Scott Burris, Interim Chairman, Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-8689 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Editor: Norman Martin
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