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2014-15 UMAPS

Mariam Boakye-Gyasi
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15
Lecturer in the Department of Pharmaceutics, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Mariam Boayke-Gyasi is a lecturer in the Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana. She has been a qualified pharmacist since 2010 and is a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy and a Master of Philosophy degree in Pharmaceutics from the KNUST. In addition to being a lecturer, she is a doctoral candidate currently working on a novel antimalarial drug delivery method for treatment of infants with severe malaria. Her research interests include drug formulation, pharmaceutical drug delivery and Pharmaceutical Technology. Professor Steven Schwendeman is her mentor.

John Boateng
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Lecturer in Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana

John Boateng is a lecturer in Continuing and Distance Education at the University of Ghana in Accra. He holds two MS degrees, as well as a PhD in Demography/Agricultural and Extension Education at Penn State. His research project, “Exploring Mechanisms for Effective E-Learning Integration into a Center-Based Adult Education Program,€ explores the possibilities for making eLearning more readily available and effective for adults and disabled learners in Ghana. During his six-month stay at U-M, John will conduct a case study of eLearning programs, and learn skills for developing and implementing such programs. He will be working with his mentor, Professor Cary Engelberg. In early 2015, he will return to Ghana to conduct applied research for the project.

Dennis Chirawurah
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Lecturer in Community Development, University for Development Studies

Dennis Chirawurah is a lecturer in Community Development at the University for Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana, where he is currently a PhD Student in Endogenous Development. He holds an MS in Health Services Planning and Management from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. His research project is: Synergy and Complementarity in Midwifery Practice in Africa; A study of Indigenous Midwifery of the Kasena in Northern Ghana.€ During six months at U-M, Dennis plans to work with Prof. Elisha Renne to develop and write up this project, which explores how indigenous midwifery practices can contribute to healthy maternal outcomes by using a holistic approach to maternal health and childbirth.

Nicole DeWet
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Associate Lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand

Nicole DeWet is an Associate Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She holds a Masters and PhD in Demography and Population Studies from the same University. Her research project, Socioeconomic Status and Youth Health Outcomes in South Africa,€ seeks to examine the association between socioeconomic status and young people’s health in South Africa, looking at factors like AIDS, education and adolescent pregnancy, alcoholism, and violent crime. Nicole will be working with Prof. Barbara Anderson, writing up this research during her four-month stay at U-M

Linda Fondjo
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Lecturer in the Department of Molecular Medicine, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Linda Fondjo is a Lecturer in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and she holds a PhD in Chemical Pathology from the same institution. Her research project, entitled: €œCorrelation between Placental Malaria Parasitaemia and the occurrence of Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension in Ghanaian Pregnant women,€ seeks a possible association between malaria and hypertension among pregnant women in Ghana. During her four-month stay at U-M, Linda plans to work with Profs. Frank Anderson, Tim Johnson, and Cosmas Van de Ven.

Renee Gerring
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Laboratory Supervisor for the Division of Engineering, University of Liberia

Renee Gerring is the Laboratory Supervisor for the Division of Engineering at the University of Liberia. She holds a BS in Chemistry from York College in New York. She has worked as a Consultant for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

Renee will spend six months at U-M working on her project, Study in Advanced Lab Techniques.€ She will work with Prof. Dimitrios Zekkos during her stay.

Dennis Ikpe
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Lecturer in the Mathematical Science Department, University of South Africa

Dennis Ikpe, originally from Nigeria, is a Lecturer in the Mathematical Science Department at the University of South Africa in Pretoria. He holds an MS in Applied Mathematics from the same university, and is currently finishing his PhD in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town. His research project, €œInformation Based Asset Pricing and Applications of Filtering Theory in Finance, addresses €œthe need for a more general class of market information models which are not only attractive due to their tractability but for practical purposes are suitable as market information models for a wider class of assets, different level of investors and broader financial markets.€ During his year-long stay at U-M, he will work with Professors Erhan Bayraktar and Sergey Nadtochiy on this project.

Gesler Murray
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Chairman of the Department of Mining and Geology, University of Liberia

Gesler Murray is Chairman of the Department of Mining and Geology at the University of Liberia. He has served in various positions in Liberia’s Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy, most recently as the Assistant Minister for Mineral Exploration and Environmental Research. He holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Liberia. His research project is entitled, “The Paynesville Sandstone: Its Usefulness as a Water Reservoir Rock and an Academic Study. During his six-month stay at U-M, he will continue his research regarding the provision of safe drinking water to residents of Monrovia, specifically, €œseek[ing] to further analyze the physical and chemical nature of the sandstone to determine its potential as a sustained source of groundwater supply.€ His mentor will be Prof. Adam Simon.

Muchaparara Musemwa
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Associate Professor of African History, University of Witwatersrand

Mucha Musemwa is from Zimbabwe, and is an Associate Professor of African History at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Minnesota, and an MA in History from the University of Cape Town. During his four-month stay in Michigan, Mucha will work with Prof. Derek Peterson as he writes on Water Scarcity: Colonial and Postcolonial Hydraulic Interventions in South-western Matabeleland, Zimbabwe, 1945-1992.€ His research explores how struggles over water in Zimbabwe can illuminate the dynamics of colonial and postcolonial rule.

Amy Niang
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Lecturer in International Relations, University of Witwatersrand

Amy Niang is originally from Senegal, and is now a Lecturer in International Relations at University of Witwatersrand. She holds a PhD in Politics and International Relations from the University of Edinburgh, UK, and an MA in Political Economy from the University of Tsukuba, Japan. Amy will spend six months at U-M conducting research and writing for her project, Rethinking Africa and/in the constitution of the international: Against Recurrence and Repetition.€ Amy’€™s project seeks to reimagine €œthe international€ in a more complex way than it is generally conceptualized, bringing into focus African perspectives to challenge claims of universality in the discipline of International Relations. She will work with Prof. Gabrielle Hecht.

Samuel Nkumbaan
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

PhD Candidate in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana

Samuel Nkumbaan is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon. He holds an M.Phil. in Archaeology from the same university, where he is also employed as a Lecturer. Samuel’€™s research project is on Archaeological Investigations at Tando Fagusa, Koma Land, Northern Region, Ghana.” He has collected artifacts dating from the 6th to 11th century at the Tando Fagusa site that suggest a cultural tradition involving shrines and sociopolitical complexity. His archaeological research is complemented by oral histories and ethnographic data he collected in the region. Samuel plans to work with Prof. Carla Sinopoli during his six-month stay at U-M.

Nonyaniso Nkutu
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Associate Lecturer and Clinical Facilitator, University of Fort Hare

Nonyaniso Nkutu is an Associate Lecturer and Clinical Facilitator at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa, where she is working towards her PhD in Nursing Science. She holds an M.Cur. in Nursing Science from the University of Stellenbosch, as well as degrees in Psychiatric Nursing and Midwifery. During six months at U-M she will work with Profs. Patricia Coleman-Burns and Jody Lori on her PhD research, €œBest Practices for Retention of Undergraduate Nursing Students in the Universities of the Eastern Cape: South Africa.€ Nonyaniso'€™s work seeks to develop a model for enhancing retention of South African students in nursing programs.

Osei Owusu-Afriyie
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Anatomic Pathologist, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Medical School

Osei Owusu-Afriyle is an Anatomic Pathologist with a medical degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Medical School in Kumasi, Ghana. He is currently practicing at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, in Kumasi. His project is titled €œMolecular profiling of Head and Neck Cancers in a Ghanaian population.€ During his six-month research period at U-M, Osei will work with Prof. Sofia Merajver investigate the molecular signatures of head and neck cancers, which are essential for appropriate treatment and are poorly understood by the medical community in Ghana.

Nigel Tapela
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Nigel Tapela, born in Zimbabwe, is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, South Africa. He holds a Masters in Urban Planning from McGill University in Montreal, and is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in Cape Town. His research project, “Planning and sustainable development of mining towns and regions in Southern Africa,” seeks to determine whether mining can be a sustainable basis for long-term urban development, situating his inquiry within broader critiques of development theory, policy and practice. Nigel plans to work with Professors Martin Murray and Margaret Dewar during his five-month stay at U-M.

Ignatius Ticha
U-M African Presidential Scholar, 2014-15

Lecturer in Literature, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Ignatius Ticha, born in Cameroon, is a Lecturer in Literature at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, South Africa. He holds a PhD in English from Stellenbosch University, and an MA in English from the University of the Western Cape. His four months at U-M will be spent developing two articles for publication based on his PhD thesis: €œEvocations of Poverty in Selected Novels of Meja Mwangi€ and Roddy Doyle: a Study of Literary Representation.€ He also plans to use his time at Michigan to develop a research project entitled, €œA Comparative Study of the Perceptions of and Approach to the teaching of (Business) Communication at the University of Michigan and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He will be working with Prof. Andrea Zemgulys.