Past News & Events: Recap
IREX Fellows on Campus
On Monday, February 20th, Pamoja hosted IREX Fellows, Dr. Titilayo Olaposi and Dr. Angela Itegboje for a coffee hour.
The group engaged in discussion around capacity exchange in research and entrepreneurship, continuing Pamoja's mission of bidirectionality and interdisciplinary programming in university contexts. The IREX fellows met with Pamoja co-chair Ellis Adams, Dr. John Onyago, Fr Paulinus Odozor, and Pulte Institute For Global Development staff members Alan Medina Hernández and Czesia Eid. The Fellows set up follow-up discussions with the Pamoja community that was present to further elaborate on the initial discussions that were had last month.
Pamoja News: Partnership with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (Kumasi, Ghana)
Dr. Ellis Adjei Adams, Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Policy in the Keough School of Global Affairs visits Dean of the International Programmes Office, Prof. Daniel Duah on Monday December 19, 2022.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST) and the University of Notre Dame recently signed an MOU to collaborate on various levels. As a sequel to this, Dr. Adjei Adams was here to officially invite the Dean to attend the upcoming ND-Africa Partnership summit in Nairobi. The summit will bring together KNUST, Stellenbosh, Pretoria, Strathmore (host university) and other partners to build partnerships for impactful research exchange opportunities.
Prof. Duah welcomed Dr. Adjei Adams, an alumnus of the Natural Resources program at KNUST, back to KNUST. He emphasized the importance of such partnerships to the growth of universities and recalled the MOU signed earlier. He was happy that these new activities are being worked on within the new agreements. Dean Duah indicated that KNUST was committed to this partnership and looks forward to the Nairobi summit.
Togetherness (Pamoja) in Action Student Event: November 3, 2022
On November 3rd, 2022, students gathered for a community building lunch and networking event hosted by the Pamoja ND – Africa Initiative. Around twenty multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate students engaged in an information session that highlighted Pamoja’s goals, community and skill building event announcements, funding opportunities and job opportunities that support research on the African continent, and resources to amplify African voices campus wide.
In addition to receiving information on how to participate in bi-directional community building with the African continent, students were able to connect with each other across departments and share their experiences as Pamoja Summer fellows. They were able to talk to Pamoja-affiliated staff and students about funding opportunities, and ask questions about next steps regarding employment opportunities and future research. The conversation amongst students centered around further exploring the ways in which our Notre Dame Pamoja community can dismantle extractive practices of research and foster bi-directional exchange. Uniting students across campus will continue to occur through strengthening access and sharing resources. Achieving togetherness shows up through actionable steps within the Pamoja network, and increasing student accessibility to faculty and partnership development on the African continent. We are excited to build upon the student momentum that Pamoja has created thus far.
Pamoja News: Strathmore University Partnership Visit
In October, Samuel Rund, Pamoja Partnerships Committee Co-Chair and Center for Research Computing (CRC) Asst. Research Professor visited Strathmore University with Jackline Oluoch-Aridi, Pamoja Partnerships Committee Co-Chair and Director of Notre Dame International, to formally welcome two undergraduates from Strathmore University as virtual CRC software engineering interns. This is one of the first Pamoja-facilitated initiatives to build community, strengthen partnerships and foster student participation on the African continent. Strathmore, a Catholic University in Nairobi, Kenya, will also host the Pamoja African Partner Summit next year.
Fall Brunch & Learn: September 21, 2022
The Pamoja community gathered for an hour of knowledge exchange as we celebrated and learned from our 2022 Pamoja Summer Graduate Fellowship awardees. This initiative will provide a platform of continued bi-directional knowledge exchange and sharing of research. During this event, recipients of our awards gave brief presentations about their research experience, and any findings or insights they have gained from it. About 30 people were present in person, and about 15-20 joined us online. Students who shared their research also testified to the role Pamoja has played in their academic and field research journey.
"The Pamoja ND Africa Initiative played a remarkable role in providing an excellent opportunity to pursue my thesis fieldwork in Africa through the 2022 summer research fellowship. As a result, I had the privilege to research my thesis in the Sagnarigu Municipal District in Ghana. This fellowship granted me profound cultural understanding through my interactions with the study participants while examining my thesis questions with enormous empathy and attention to their dignity and lived experiences."
Africa Graduate Conference: April 8, 2022
On Friday, April 8, 2022, faculty, graduate students, and organizations from the University of Notre Dame gathered for the 2022 Africa Graduate Conference, an event designed to promote and advance Notre Dame’s engagement in Africa. The event was hosted in partnership by the Africa Graduate Club of Notre Dame (AGC), the Pamoja Initiative, and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies’ Africa Working Group. The Pamoja Initiative, funded by Notre Dame’s Moment to See, Courage to Act campaign, and co-facilitated by the Pulte Institute for Global Development, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and Notre Dame International, was created to elevate African voices on Notre Dame’s campus. It also aims to strengthen ties between the University and scholars, students, and other entities on the African continent for mutual gain.
The conference started with a keynote panel. Presentations and discussions centered on how to advance healthy partnerships between Notre Dame and Africa, and were led by the panelists Dr. Ben Ngoye (Strathmore University), Dr. Paul McNamara (University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign), Dr. Leonard Wantchekon (Princeton) and Faith Manuel (Notre Dame alum), and was moderated by Fr. Arthur Ssembajja. The discussion revolved around building sustainable relationships in Africa, maintaining mutual respects among participating organizations, acknowledging diversity within the African continent, upholding reciprocal partnerships, and co-producing knowledge between Notre Dame and institutions in Africa. One of the many key lessons from the panel discussion was the need for western institutions to be guided by the question “What can I do with Africa?” rather than “What can I get from Africa?”
The event continued with breakout rooms, facilitated by Rasheed Ibrahim, Trevor Lwere, and Joachim Ozonze, all students at the University of Notre Dame. At the breakout room led by Trevor Lwere, students shared their experience as Africans at Notre Dame, identifying the strengths of the international student body on campus, as well as areas of improvement. Rasheed Ibrahim facilitated discussion on knowledge production in Africa and the United States, highlighting the need for establishing functional partnerships and policies guided by in-depth research. Joachim Ozonze directed the conversation about Notre Dame’s engagement in Africa, identifying the high points of the ongoing relations that Notre Dame has with other institutions in Africa, and the need for institutional presence on the African continent to further strengthen the built relations.
As part of the networking scope of the event, graduate students presented their projects to their peers and faculty members in attendance. The organizers also encouraged graduate students to identify the resources available to them at the University with presentations by Notre Dame institutions working in Africa, including the Eck Institute for Global Health, Notre Dame International, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and the Pulte Institute for Global Development. The event ended with an informal dinner at International Fuse where attendees continued to network and build relationships.
According to Tinaishe Maramba, the President of the Africa Graduate Club of Notre Dame (AGC), the event was a huge success. It helped African students and graduate students working in Africa to further identify resources available to them on campus. Graduate students and faculty were also able to connect and extend their networks, creating relationships that would last long beyond the event.
The Pamoja Initiative hopes to grow its presence after its inaugural year, both on campus and in Africa. For more information on this initiative, or if you’d like to get involved, please contact Ellis Adams or Czesia Eid.