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News from 2008
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Protective gear, laughter and an underground mine tour
, 2008

Dr. Esi Ansah’s Organizational Behaviour class traveled to the mines of AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi. The intent of the trip was to help students understand and apply the concepts that they had studied and discussed in class. As a course requirement, each student was to write a term paper about of the core concepts of Organizational Behavior using AngloGold as a case study. Ms. Esther Malm, Teaching Assistant and Dr. Esi Ansah, the class instructor joined the Class of 2010 on the trip.

Upon arrival, the group was given a guided tour of the mine as well as insights into the operations of the company. They were shown samples of gold-bearing rocks and were informed about the various Corporate Social Responsibility projects AngloGold is involved in. “I found the tour of the mines most fascinating. I’ve never been 800 feet underground before.” remarks Adwoa Tutu when asked about her impressions of the trip. The group also had the opportunity to see the underground school for miners and the mine sites.

The group interacted with miners and spoke with them about their experiences working in the mine and the working environment at AngloGold Ashanti. The students discussed concepts they studied in class such as workspace design, importance of valuing diversity and organizational communication. “This trip was tiring, yet very fun and educational” adds Nii Lantei Kumi-Bruce.

Presidential Debate--Ashesi Style
, 2008

It was not on television and it was not stuffy either. It came after 3 weeks of intensive campaigning by candidates and campaign team members. Student e-mails were flooded with campaign messages and posters were clustered everywhere. The Ashesi Student Council Presidential Debate was organized to enable students judge the ideas and ideals of the presidential aspirants.

Students came clad in their supporters' T-shirts and other paraphernalia. The debate was intense and interesting— a real battle of ideas. Everyone was excited, faculty and staff as well. Both candidates did well but if the noise level was anything to go by, one candidate must have done better than the other.

As dusk fell, hungry Labone mosquitoes dared to try and feast on their unwilling hosts– only to be slapped and squashed, adding to noise of the clapping and supportive calls. The MCs were professional, managed to keep their cool and asked their questions in a fair and supportive manner. Did the Presidential debate affect the outcome of the elections?

Romeo Owusu-Aning is the new president of the Ashesi Student Council. Romeo attended St. Augustine’s College before coming to Ashesi. He has supported Ashesi by conducting campus tours during orientation as well as putting together material for the Ashesi website.

Romeo is also the president of the African Renaissance Movement (ARM)—a campus platform that allows students to discuss and share ideas about the way forward for Africa.

Nana Ama Akosah is Chairperson of the Judicial and Electoral Committee (JEC) and will sit on the Ashesi Judicial Council (AJC). Nana Ama, last semester was chosen after a long and rigorous interviewing process to study for a semester at the prestigious Babson College, Boston.

Charles Agyeman Antwi, one of the 2008 Goldman Sachs Spring interns was elected Financial Secretary of the council.

According to the President-elect, Romeo Owusu-Aning, “It’s great to be part of such an incredible team and I look forward to the year ahead.”

Great conversations over breakfast
, 2008

On November 29, 2008 Ashesi hosted a fun-filled fundraising event with alumni, students and staff.  Dubbed "Coffee Morning"  the event gathered old friends and new together for a morning filled with sunshine, smiles and storytelling. It was great to see old friends, talk about work and life and think of ways to support Ashesi.

The venue, Cuppa Cappuccino, was beautiful and relaxing. The cake was divine and juice was free. Coffee mornings are a great way to get old friends together and have them support a noble cause. Alumni and staff present made donations towards the Princess Awoonor-Williams Scholarship Fund. 

The Awoonor-Willams Scholarship Fund was founded in 2006 to honor the late Prof. Princess Awoonor-Williams, Economics Lecturer and former head of Ashesi's Business Department.  The Scholarship is awarded annually to students who experience financial hardship and show outstanding ethical character.  According to Ms. Fatou Traore, “supporting the Princess Awoonor-Williams fund is supporting a legacy of concern for others.” The event managed to raise over GHc 100.

In addition, Ashesi Alumni have set up a "short code" on all the existing mobile phone networks in Ghana to allow alumni to make donations to the scholarship fund via their mobile phones. A donation of GHc .25 will be made to the scholarship fund every time someone sends the text "give heart print" to short code 1761 on all networks. 

We would like to thank everyone who participated in this fun event. Let us continue to grow Ashesi's impact in Africa together.

Ashesi wins EDUCATING AFRICA Country Award
, 2008

Ashesi University College this month was awarded the Ghana country prize for the 2008 EDUCATING AFRICA Pan African Award for Entrepreneurship in Education. The award seeks to identify and celebrate the achievements of social entrepreneurs who understand the role education can play within their communities in creating positive social change. Prize winners were selected from a large pool of applicants from across Africa.  Ashesi University College was selected because of our high quality approach to undergraduate education.

The EDUCATING AFRICA Pan African Award for Entrepreneurship in Education represents a small step forward in terms of drawing international attention to institutions such as Ashesi.  The award was sponsored by Teach A Man to Fish, see www.teachamantofish.org.uk an international non-profit organization working to improve the relevancy, quality, and availability of education in developing countries and Educating Africa, see www.educatingafrica.com a foundation that is committed to supporting sustainable cost effective education initiatives that empower students and the communities they represent.

The Astrient Foundation-Ashesi University Women's Forum
, 2008

The Astrient Foundation supported by Ashesi University has developed the monthly Women's Forum as a component of its Women's Initiative and Ashesi’s commitment to keeping alumni connected with the university.

The Astrient Foundation, founded in 2007 by Rashid Mayes and Karlyn Hunter, is a non-profit organization established to support the dissemination of technical knowledge, software and expertise in economically disadvantage communities. The foundation aids students who demonstrate acumen or potential in areas of social responsibility and entrepreneurship. Some Ashesi students who have benefited from their scholarship and fellowship programs include Kwei Quaye-Foli, Diamond Kpesese, Nii Ayertei Tettey, Ernest Appiah and alumnus Samuel Asumadu. Please see, www.astrientfoundation.org.

The Women’s Forum serves as a platform for Ashesi students to interact with successful business women as well as alumnae. It seeks to inspire and encourage the development of future female leaders by connecting them with today's highly regarded female change-drivers. This inter-generational connection is accomplished through monthly interactive sessions which address different themes, including personal financial management, ethics in the work place, women's assertiveness in male dominated environments and brand management.

According to Rachael Agyemang-Duah, “the Women’s Forum is a step in the right direction. I look forward to these monthly sessions because they are both invigorating and empowering. I always leave feeling inspired about my life and all the great things I can accomplish. I also get to interact with all these amazing women!”

Past speakers have included Ms. Allison Bethel, Knight International Journalism Fellow; Mrs. Patience Quaye, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ghana Police Service and Ret. Lt. Col. Georgina Mensah of the Office of Security, U.S.A. Embassy, Accra.


Prof. Apt speaks at UN briefing on the rights of older persons
, 2008

Ashesi's Dean of Academic Affairs, Prof. Nana Araba Apt, was invited to speak on the issues facing older persons in Africa, at a recent United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) briefing in New York.  The theme for this year’s briefing was, “A Call for a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.”

The briefing was held in recognition of the International Day of Older Persons, which is observed on October 1, each year. The day was an opportunity to celebrate the contribution of older persons within their communities and to evaluate how government policies are affecting the lives of older persons in countries around the world. Older persons comprise 11% of the global population yet they remain largely marginalized in society. Professor Apt also stated that “the role of civil society is essential in raising awareness of the need to improve the quality of life for older persons.”  According to Prof. Apt, “the ageing population presents Africa with a significant problem. However, older persons, if treated as development partners could help with improvement in their quality of life.”  She acknowledged the role of NGOs in addressing issues affecting older persons in Africa and encouraged them to work even harder. 

Other speakers present at the briefing were from Brazil, the Middle East, Nepal, the Chez Republic and Argentina.


New faculty profile: Erinn Ransom
, 2008

If you met Erinn Ransom on the campus, you might mistake her as one of Ashesi’s numerous exchange students.  However, Ms. Ransom is an Assistant Professor and teaches African Philosophical Thought. She's a single woman who describes herself as a self-determined, contemplative, heartfelt, spiritual and outspoken individual. 

As an undergraduate, Ms. Erinn Ransom double majored in African-American studies and English at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).  After her undergraduate education, Ms. Ransom went on to pursue a Masters of Professional Studies (MPS) at Cornell University writing her thesis on Hip-Hop.  She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at University of California, Berkeley, and is finishing her dissertation on the topic; “Pan-Africanism and Diaspora in the 21st Century.” 

Erinn lists her most unique achievement as playing host on a hip-hop and politics radio show in Berkeley, California.  Two other achievements she is proud of include her first academic publication while still a freshman at UCLA and designing a course on Consciousness and Hip-hop at the University of California, Berkeley.   

Ms. Ransom has many research interests, including youth culture, media studies, popular culture, Pan-Africanism and consciousness theory.  She enjoys socializing with family and friends, watching films, traveling, listening to live music and dancing. 

Erinn was attracted to Ashesi because the mission of the university is aligned with her own. She looks forward to helping expand the course and majors offering to include more of subjects in the Humanities.  In the future she hopes more Ashesi students will choose to enroll in Africana electives because she believes gaining an understanding of Africa’s past and present is essential to being good scholars, leaders and citizens for Africa. 

She says she loves teaching and will always be an educator no matter what additional roles she may take on.  She enjoys working with students and states, “Ashesi students are confident, polite and ambitious.”


Ashesi hires new Associate Director of Development
, 2008

Ashesi University Foundation is happy to welcome a new member to our Seattle staff.  Joanna Bargeron joins the Foundation as Associate Director of Development and will manage Ashesi's Development office in Seattle.

Joanna holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree from St John's college and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington.  Joanna server in the Peace Corps as a teacher in Gambia and continues to hold a keen interest in issues facing Africa.

Joanna served as Development Director and Deputy Director at the Seattle Midwifery School before taking time off to focus her energies on her two children.  Even after stepping down, Joanna was asked to continue her involvement with the Midwifery School and joined the board, serving as Fundraising Chair and Board Chair.  

Joanna brings to Ashesi a wealth of development and community organizing experience.  We look forward to working with her and the contributions she will make the Foundation team.

Matthew Taggart, current Associate Director will be moving to spend more time in Ghana at the Foundation's office in Accra.

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