July 22, 2011
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Educational partnership set for growth
Metropolitan State College of Denver continues to demonstrate that education has no boundaries as a second delegation of its leaders travel more than 8,000 miles this summer to solidify an educational partnership with Aksum University (AkU) in Ethiopia.
The first delegation spent the month of June there. The trip was funded under a $272,425 U.S. Department of State grant awarded to the College last summer to solidify the partnership, established in March 2009.
Metro State President Stephen Jordan will lead the second delegation to Ethiopia July 22 - Aug. 2. During his trip, Jordan will deliver the AkU’s commencement address on July 30, participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Gessesso Elementary School in Adowa (College helped with fundraising for the school), and explore opportunities under the partnership.
Joining Jordan are:
• Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Vicki Golich
• Interim Associate to the President for Diversity Myron Anderson
• Dean of Letters, Arts and Sciences Joan Foster
• Professor of Anthropology Jonathan Kent
• Associate Professor of Physics Kamran Sahami
• Executive Director of International Studies Ali Thobhani
June trip to Ethiopia lays groundwork for student opportunities
Staff and professors newly returned from Ethiopia report the month-long trip as both productive and useful. Thobhani, who led the trip, described the mission as “extremely successful. We accomplished all aspects of the trip that we wanted to accomplish.”
For instance, the five-person delegation worked on developing Metro State’s partnership with AkU, including plans for a study-abroad program to accommodate 15 Metro State students, who will be selected by November 2011 to study anthropology, African American history and an Ethiopian language at AkU next summer. Students interested in applying should e-mail English Professor James Aubrey at email@example.com.
Cynthia Lindquist, chair of special education, early childhood education, reading and educational technology, was also part of the Metro State delegation and says the trip was “an amazing experience.”
A lot of ground work was put in place for Metro State students to study at AkU next summer, says Lindquist. “We set up some service learning projects for the students to do when they’re there at a local orphanage and elementary school,” she says. “We spoke to the school’s president and vice president to firm up the partnership. It was a very productive trip.”
A “good portion” of the state department grant money will go to AkU to help it prepare to host the 15 Metro State students. “The grant will help give the school some much-needed funds and make it a better experience for our students who go there next summer,” she says. Other members of the delegation included:
• Associate Professor of African and African American Studies Jacqueline McLeod
• Assistant Professor of Anthropology Julie Reyes
• Office of International Studies Administrative Assistant Kelly Huang
Thobhani says future work with AkU might involve Metro State education students completing their teacher internships at the new elementary school. “We think that would be a great opportunity to explore.”