Students from Augustana College to study in West Africa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Kamy Beattie   
Thursday, 18 February 2010 08:51

ROCK ISLAND, IL (02/17/2010)(readMedia)-- Four professors and nearly 40 Augustana students will leave in early March to spend 10 weeks studying in the West African countries of Ghana and Senegal. The two countries, both important regional and continental leaders, were chosen for the global learning experience because of their diverse culture, linguistic and topographical contrasts.

The term begins with six weeks in the country of Ghana, where the group will visit the capital city of Accra, as well as Kumasi and Cape Coast. The final four weeks will be in Dakar and St. Louis in Senegal. Classes will be held four days a week and cover the topics of African history, literature, music and art through reading, assignments, guest lectures and field trips. Students will also volunteer at a school and orphanage, spend a weekend with a host family and visit and attend classes at local universities.

From your area, this includes:

Kevin Carton, a senior from Moline, IL majoring in speech communication, French, and Africana studies.

Crystina Mayfield, a sophomore from Coal Valley, IL majoring in general studies.

Bret VanDeWoestyne, a senior from Silvis, IL majoring in biology.

History professor Dr. Todd Cleveland hopes students will embrace the African culture during the term. "I'd like to think that simple things like taking local transportation, sampling new food at an informal food stall…will ultimately offer more insight into local culture and day-to-day living than will our sensational experiences, such as sleeping out in tents in the desert or swimming in the warm waters off the West African coast," said Cleveland.

Junior biology major Amanda Van Daalen of Waverly, Iowa, agrees the experience is an opportunity for personal change. "I see myself too often taking advantage of things that some people could only dream of. I want to have my eyes open to a new culture and I want to live in a culture where simple things are valued."

Co-director Dr. John Tawiah-Boateng said students have been attending a seminar since fall to prepare for the term away. "I hope as they experience a different lifestyle and culture they will compare realities and stereotypes that they see in movies or television."

All four professors, Tawiah-Boateng, Cleveland, art professor Dr. Rowen Schussheim-Anderson and music professor Dr. John Pfautz will teach a class during the term. Tawiah-Boateng, a native of Ghana, and Schussheim-Anderson helped initiate the first Ghana international term at Augustana in 2006, and now serve as co-directors of this trip. Cleveland and Pfautz have also previously traveled or researched in Africa. The students and professors will return to the United States in mid-May.

Several of the students will keep a blog of their adventures on Augustana's Globablogs. To read more about their trip, go to

For additional information, contact Kamy Beattie, Director of Public Relations at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (309) 794-7721.

About Augustana: Founded in 1860 and situated on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River, Augustana College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The college enrolls nearly 2,500 students from diverse geographic, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds and offers more than 60 majors and related areas of study. Augustana employs 226 faculty and has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. Augustana continues to do what it has always done: challenge and prepare students for lives of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.

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