Global Partner Spotlights
Consistent with USF’s mission as a globally-engaged research university, in 2009, USF identified five strategic international partnerships with universities in the United Kingdom, Ghana, and China. The University of Ghana, Legon—a leading research institution in Africa—and the University of Cape Coast—a leading university in Ghana—are among the five original Global Academic Partners (GAP). USF subsequently launched a funding program for collaborative research, as well as an initiative dedicated to the professional development of Ghana’s university educators.
Global Academic Partners (GAP) Research Funding
The purpose of the Global Academic Program (GAP) funding awards was to generate collaborative research with GAP partner universities. The program provided funds for three types of awards: Developing Existing Partnerships, New Opportunities, and a GAP Program Travel Award. These competitively selected awards gave USF faculty an opportunity to work with colleagues at USF’s global partner universities to develop research initiatives. Between 2010 and 2013, fourteen (14) USF researchers traveled to Ghana to collaborate with colleagues at the University of Ghana or the University of Cape Coast. These relationships produced externally funded projects, publications, conference presentations, as well as new programs in research ethics and teacher education.
USF PIs: Kiki Caruson and Robin Ersing, “The Empowerment of Women to Reduce Disaster Risk and Promote Resilience to Natural Hazards,” 2012-13. Outcome: Creation of a Global Hazard Resilience through Opportunities for Women (GHROW) toolkit that contains awareness raising insights, best practices, and capacity-building strategies to support women as positive agents of change and leaders in disaster risk reduction.
USF PIs: Thomas Crisman and Susan Bell, “Subtropical-Tropical Cooperative Program Management of Coastal Urban Watersheds,” 2011-12. Outcome: To build upon the current strengths of USF and University of Ghana to develop a world class program in research and ultimately instruction for management of rapidly growing, coastal urban watersheds.
USF PI: Cheryl Rodriguez, “Teaching and Research on Women and Gender in Sub-Saharan Africa and the African Diaspora,” 2011-12. Outcome: Rodriguez and her Ghanaian colleagues have produced an edited volume entitled Transatlantic Feminism: Women’s and Gender Studies in Africa and the African Diaspora.
USF PI: Bernd Reiter, “Microfinance: What Breeds Success and What Does Not: A Pilot Study of Ghana, 2012-13. Outcome: An evaluation of the activities of domestic and foreign microfinance institutions in Ghana.
USF PIs: Catherine Batsche, Paul Stiles, and Roger Boothroyd, “International Research Ethics: Children and Youth,” 2011-12. Outcome: the development of a research and educational partnership focused on international research ethics with a special emphasis on issues related to research involving children and youth.
USF PIs: Ilene R. Berson, Jolyn Blank, John Manning, and Roger Brindley, “An Exploration of the Opportunities and Challenges for Early Childhood Teacher Education in Ghana,” 2011-12. Outcome: Ilene Berson and Michael Berson’s proposal entitled “Young Children as Apprentice Citizens: A Comparative Case Study Analysis of the Role of Literacy in Empowering Civic Engagement in Ghana and the United States” was selected to receive funding through The Spencer Foundation’s New Civics Grant.
USF PI: Gabriel Picone, “The Economic Costs and Benefits of Malaria Prevention Among Pregnant Women and Children in Ghana,” 2011-12. Outcome: Supported by the Fogarty International Center, (NIH), Picone led a project with colleagues at the University of Cape Coast that evaluated the importance of social interactions and the adoption of malaria prevention technologies.
The USF Colleges of Engineering, Education, and Global Sustainability are the recipients of funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for water and sanitation research in Ghana. The project, Providing Opportunities for Global Research on Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), gives students and faculty from USF and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)—and well as teachers and pupils from a local secondary school in Kumasi—the opportunity to develop, test, and implement technologies, such as bio-sand filters and decentralized sanitation systems, while evaluating social and financial factors that limit the use of these technologies in the field.
The USF Ghana Scholars Program
The USF Ghana Scholars Program was launched in 2009 by the Office of the Provost and supported a total of five (5) scholars during the 2010-2011 academic year. Another six (6) Ghanaian Scholars joined USF as a second cohort for a writing sabbatical during the 2011-2012 year. The University of South Florida, the University of Cape Coast, and the University of Ghana shared the costs of supporting the program.
Designed to enhance collaboration between the University of South Florida and its institutional partners in Ghana, the University of Ghana (UG) and the University of Cape Coast (UCC), the USF Ghana Scholars Program promoted the exchange of ideas and contributed to the professional development of Ghana’s university educators. The program addressed the critical need for capacity-building within higher education in Ghana. As a result of this initiative, competitively selected Ghanaian faculty were able to take a sabbatical from full-time teaching at their home institutions to complete the writing stage of their dissertations while at the University of South Florida. During a four to six month stay in Tampa, the faculty from Ghana received mentoring from senior USF faculty, engaged in research collaborations, participated in professional development workshops and leadership training opportunities, and experienced the culture of a major metropolitan research-oriented university.
By providing the opportunity for faculty to complete their terminal degrees, both the University of Ghana and the University of Cape Coast improved their teaching and research productivity, increased faculty retention, and cultivated more a more robust research enterprise. With an increase in senior, credentialed faculty conducting research, chairing doctoral committees, and mentoring graduate students and junior faculty, the University of Ghana and the University of Cape Coast are able to support more faculty to receive terminal degrees and, ultimately, grow their graduate and research programs.
In return, USF extends its global impact and benefits from the wealth of knowledge
the scholars bring to campus life as well as the diversity of perspectives present
among them. The exchange of ideas has led to research collaborations between USF faculty
and Ghana Scholars that transcend the scholars’ stay at USF. Since the launch of the
program, numerous Ghana
Scholars have engaged in cross-national research collaborations with USF faculty members.
Not only has the Ghana Scholars Program encouraged research collaboration among USF faculty and colleagues at our partner institutions, it has yielded impressive results in terms of enhancing the research productivity of the Scholars themselves. All eleven of the Scholars have successfully received their doctorates, and many have gone on to publish research from their doctoral work. The emergence of eleven new Ph.D.’s between the University of Ghana and the University of Cape Coast not only strengthens the institutional capacity of these universities, but supports sustainable research collaboration across all three institutions. USF is proud to work alongside two premier universities in the longest standing democracy in West Africa, and the Ghana Scholars Program is testament to the profound and long-lasting influence of collaborative and interdisciplinary university partnerships.
Cohort One: 2010-2011
Dr. Godwin Egbenya, University of Cape Coast. Godwin was mentored by Dr. Kathy Borman in the Department of Anthropology. Dissertation title: The Education-Poverty Interface and its Effects on Development: The Views of Rural Agona Mankrong and Urban Agona Swedru Respondents.
De-Velara Botchwav, University of Cape Coast. De-Velara was mentored by Dr. Edward Kissi in the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies. Dissertation title: Garvey and Damuah in Perspective: Their Philosophical Contribution and Work towards an African Religious Reformation and Spiritual Renaissance.
Dr. Camara Kwasi Obeng, University of Cape Coast. Camara was mentored by Dr. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong in the Department of Economics. Dissertation title: Poverty Implications of Trade Liberalization Financing in Ghana.
Dr. Dido Regina Yirenya-Tawiah, University Ghana-Legon. Dzidzo was mentored by Dr. Ricardo Izurietta in the Department of Global Health. Dissertation Title: Genital Schistosomiasis among Women in the Volta Basin of Ghana.
Dr. Benjamin Dankyira Ofori, University of Ghana-Legon. Benjamin was mentored by Dr. Ambe Njoh in the School of Geosciences. Dissertation title: Market Centers and Trading Activities along the Volta Lake in Ghana.
Cohort Two: 2011-2012
Isaac Bentum-Ennin, University of Cape Coast. Isaac was mentored by Dr. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong in the Department of Economics. Dissertation title: Accumulation of International Reserves and Economic Growth in the West African Monetary Zone.
Modesta Efua Gavor, University of Cape Coast. Modesta was mentored by Dr. Edward Kissi in the Department of Africana Studies. Dissertation title: Significance of Clothing among Selected Ghanaian Chiefs as an Element of Cultural Tourism.
Kankam Boadu, University of Cape Coast. Kankam was mentored by Dr. Don Dellow in the Department of Leadership, Counseling, Adult, Career and Higher Education. Dissertation title: Citizenship Education in Colleges of Education in Ghana.
Ransford Gyampo, University of Ghana. Ransford was mentored by Dr. Earl Conteh-Morgan in the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies. Dissertation title: Youth, Participation, and Development in Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
Jesse Sey Ayivor, University of Ghana-Legon. Jesse was mentored by Dr. Graham Tobin in the School of Geosciences. Dissertation title: Evaluation of Management Effectiveness of Protected Areas in the Volta Basin of Ghana.
Samuel Obeng Manteaw, University of Ghana-Legon. Samuel was mentored by Dr. Kevin Archer in the School of Geosciences. Dissertation title: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Nuclear Regulation in Ghana.
The “Building a New Generation of Academics in Africa” (BaNGA-Africa) Initiative
In 2016, the University of Ghana received funding from the Carnegie Corporation for the “Next Generation of Academics in Africa” initiative. The program is designed to contribute to the attainment of a critical mass of PhD holders among the University of Ghana faculty, improve doctoral training at UG, and enhance the quality and volume of research outputs from exceptional junior faculty. High achieving faculty are competitively selected for short-term research sabbaticals at USF. Four UG faculty are at USF Tampa for a 3 month stay—twelve (12) per calendar year. Each has been connected with a USF faculty collaborator and each is working on specific research projects. USF is honored to serve as a BaNGA mentoring institution.
2017 Fall Cohort
Austin Dziwornu Ablo mentored by Dr. Ambe Njoh in the School of Geosciences.
Ernestina Korleki Dankyi mentored by Dr. Elizabeth Aranda in the Department of Sociology.
Deda Ogum Alangea mentored by Dr. Heewon L. Gray in the College of Public Health
Fidelia Nana Akom Ohemeng mentored by Drs. Victor Molinari and Brent Small in the School of Aging Studies.
2018 Spring Cohort
Grace Diabah mentored by Dr. Kimberly Golombisky in the Department of Women and Gender Studies.
Augustina Naami mentored by Dr. Robin Ersing (Social Work) in the School of Public Affairs.
Mark Kwaku Mensah Obeng mentored by Dr. Earl Conteh-Morgan in the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies.
Mary Boatemaa Setrana mentored by Dr. Scott Solomon in the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies.
2018 Summer Cohort
Rabiu K.B. Asante mentored by Dr. Dillon Mahoney in the Department of Anthropology.
Mansa Fredua-Agyemang mentored by Dr. Alva Limayem in the College of Pharmacy.
Kingsley S-H Mort mentored by Dr. Nancy Romero-Daza in the Department of Anthropology.
Doris Akyere Osafo-Takyi mentored by Dr. Sondra Fogel in the School of Social Work.
2018 Fall Cohort
Abigail Adubea Mills mentored by Dr. Sara E. Green in the Department of Sociology.
Collins Badu Agyemang mentored by Drs. Stephen Stark and Michael T. Braun in the Department of Psychology.
George Acheampong mentored by Drs. Dirk P. Libaers and Lei Zhang in the Muma College of Business.
Sylvia Esther Gyan mentored by Dr. Stephanie L. Marhefka in the College of Public Health.
2019 Spring Cohort
Benedicta A. Lomotey mentored by Dr. John Liontas in the College of Education.
Naa Dodua Dodoo mentored by Dr. Michelle Hughes Miller in the Department of Women and Gender Studies.
Ofosua Klozie Adi-Dako mentored by Dr. Yashwant Pathak in the College of Pharmacy.
Yvette A.A. Ussher mentored by Dr. Dillon Mahoney in the Department of Anthropology.