President Stephen Jordan will lead a Metro State delegation to Ethiopia July 22- Aug. 2, 2011 to visit Aksum University to explore additional projects and collaborations under the Metro State-AkU partnership. He will also deliver the commencement address at the Ethiopian university on July 30.
The trip is part of the positive momentum of the partnership, which was formalized in March 2009 and has since seen a host of activities, including a visit last June to Metro State by the Aksum mayor. Just last December Executive Director of International Studies Ali Thobhani traveled to Ethiopia for the Building Sustainable U.S.-Ethiopia University Partnership conference in Addis Ababa.
According to Thobhani, Metro State was the only Colorado higher education institution invited and represented at the conference, presented by the U.S. Embassy and the Institute for International Education. Expecting only to attend and learn more about opportunities, Thobhani was surprised when he learned he would also be a speaker at the conference.
“As I was flying out, they contacted me and asked me to be on a panel. I welcomed the opportunity,” says Thobhani, who also learned how unique the College’s role is in Ethiopia. “U.S. Ambassador Donald Booth, in his remarks at the conference, recognized Metro State. He said it was the first time the U.S. government had funded a U.S. university to bring U.S. students to Ethiopia.”
The College will take 15 students to Ethiopia in 2012 under the Building Sustainable Study Abroad Capacity grant for $272,425 from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
While there in December, Thobhani also traveled to the construction site for Gessesso Elementary School in Adowa, a project in which the Metro State Community and the Axum Denver Sister Cities International committee have helped to raise funds. The project is expected to be completed by July 7.
Computer Information Systems Professor Stuart Monroe, who is on a one-year teaching assignment at AkU teaching business courses and, while there, supervising the elementary school construction project, took a short break from the assignment and was at Metro State last week. He said classes at Gessesso are expected to begin by mid-September for about 60 students.
Thobhani is “hoping Dr. Jordan and the president of Aksum University will do the ribbon cutting for the new school.”
The July 2011 delegation will include:
- Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Vicki Golich
- Dean of Letters, Arts and Sciences Joan Foster
- Interim Assistant to the President for Diversity Myron Anderson
- Executive Director of International Studies Ali Thobhani
- Chemistry Professor Wilton Flemon
- Associate Professor of Physics Kamran Sahami
- Anthropology Professor Jonathan Kent
Note: Earlier, @Metro announced that a separate Metro State delegation would visit Ethiopia in June. A team of five Metro State faculty and staff will spend a month in Ethiopia planning for summer 2012 projects.
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