Thursday, August 10, 2017  
Young African leaders form bond with BGSU | State of the University address planned
The Mandela-Washington fellows observe practices at a state-of-the-art dairy farm as part of their experience.

“A life-changing experience” was the common refrain at the closing reception for the 25 fellows of the Mandela-Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Institute (MWF-YALI). Both they and those at BGSU and the community with whom they interacted expressed the profound effect the experience had on them.

Over six intensive weeks, young leaders from all over sub-Saharan Africa lived and studied together at the University, led by institute directors Drs. V Jane Rosser, director of the Center for Civic and Community Engagement; Dr. Christopher Frey, associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development; and Distinguished Service Professor Kefa Otiso, professor of geography and director of the Global Village.

BGSU faculty and graduate students worked with the fellows, accompanying them to places such as the Honda plant in Marysville and a high-tech dairy farm near Indiana, to city council meetings in Toledo and Bowling Green, battered women’s shelters, and even to the Toledo Mud Hens for their first experience of an American baseball game. Community members welcomed them into their homes for overnight stays and meals.

In thanking the organizers and the community partners, Emily Miki of Cameroon said, “Forty-two days ago we didn’t know what we were getting into, but this has been a life-changing experience that has left moments of joy inscribed on our hearts.”


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President Mary Ellen Mazey will review highlights of the last academic year and look ahead to 2017-18 in her annual State of the University Address. The talk will begin at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 25 in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell at the Wolfe Center for the Arts.

Those unable to attend may view the address live on Facebook.

The BGSU Firelands community will gather in 1011 Cedar Point Center to watch the address.