Faculty Exchange Visits Strengthen AU/Claflin U Partnership

Claflin University faculty members discuss the journey from idea to commercially-viable product with students and staff during a visit to the Africa University innovation hub. Courtesy photo.
Claflin University faculty members discuss the journey from idea to commercially-viable product with students and staff during a visit to the Africa University innovation hub. Courtesy photo.

Shared learning is helping to cement trust and reveal exciting new opportunities for collaboration between Africa University and Claflin University, supported by the Black College Fund.

Your support of the Africa University Fund apportionment supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure.

Claflin University faculty sitting in a meeting. Courtesy photo. 
Claflin University faculty sitting in a meeting. Courtesy photo.

Five Claflin University faculty—including Dr. Verlie Tisdale, dean of the school of natural sciences and mathematics and Dr. Gloria McCutcheon, chair of the biology department—spent a week at Africa University in June. The Claflin University team participated in diversity and cultural sensitivity training, made field visits to neighboring farming communities, and brainstormed about joint projects alongside their counterparts at Africa University.

Speaking on behalf of the Claflin University team, Dr. Gloria McCutcheon noted that “the experience was unforgettable, enriching, and extremely rewarding as we began to build projects with AU and determine the direction of various collaborations (that) address global issues.”

A major highlight of the visit was a presentation on robotics by Claflin University-based Associate Professor of Computer Science, Dr. Karina Liles, who will continue to work with colleagues in the department of computer science at Africa University.

A two-person faculty team from Africa University is due to visit Claflin University in August for follow-up on a variety of commitments, including plans to have Africa University students participate in the annual Claflin University Student Research Day in March 2020.

The two institutions are taking their collaboration on diversity, inclusion, and cultural sensitivity training to the next level with proposals to expand the curriculum and launch an online course.

Andra M. Stevens, Director, Communications, Africa University Development Office

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Africa University Fund transforms Africa by educating and empowering students from across the continent through Africa University, the first fully accredited, United Methodist-related educational institution on the continent. The Africa University Fund supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Africa University Fund at 100 percent.