First Fox Fellows To and From the University of Ghana
June 5, 2015. New Haven, Connecticut—Last year, the Fox International Fellowship at the MacMillan Center created a new partnership with the University of Ghana. Below are updates from Jessica Brooks, the first outgoing Fox Fellow to the University of Ghana, and Reuben Tete-Larbi and Mabel Oti-Boadi, the first two incoming Fox Fellows from the University of Ghana.
Jessica Brooks: Ghana has a very active water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector, which has given me very wide exposure. I’ve attended conferences and monthly seminars on WASH governance, interviewed sanitation businesses and their nonprofit and government partners, and assessed rural water maintenance systems. These opportunities have allowed me to broaden my experience and become better acquainted with some of the most innovative approaches in the sector. With the University of Ghana affiliation, I have also audited Dr. Dzidzo Tawiah-Yirenya’s doctoral-level course, Sustainable Sanitation and Health, and shared research insights in seminar presentations with the Institute for Environmental and Sanitation Studies. This freedom to collaborate with several partners has been especially enriching for my career experience and future vision. My final month in Ghana willentail disseminating the research results in a variety of forms (reports, presentations, and blogs), informational interviews to learn more about similar sectors, and some weekend trips to see a few more corners of this beautiful country. After Ghana, I am seeking opportunities to become further involved in the development of market-based approaches for addressing the challenges of poverty, especially water and sanitation services.
I am working on a research collaboration between a professor at the psychology department at Yale, Jaime Napier and the psychology department at the University of Ghana. This collaboration is informed by the fact that most studies in social psychology have been conducted in western countries. There is a need for research in non-western cultures like Ghana. They are particularly interested in Ghana because of the laurels she has achieved in economic growth and democracy. The research is basically on assessing the attitudes and opinions of Ghanaian students on social inequality, social justice, beliefs about fairness, life satisfaction, gender and intergroup attitudes. Communications have commenced between my head of department and Jaime on conducting the study in Ghana. We have visited the University of Ghana during the spring break to have discussions on what the collaboration entails moving forward. We are very excited about this opportunity and we hope that we can make meaningful contributions which will enhance our future careers and make us effective global leaders.”
Yale has been a great place and the Fox Fellowship has been a life-transforming experience. The exposure to different cultures, the great academic opportunities and the professional network has been awesome. I have had the chance to attend a couple of conferences and workshops; I have met some influential people in my discipline; I have travelled around a couple of states in the US and I have a good perspective of global issues, which I think is very crucial for my career. While at Yale, I worked on my research titled “Risk perceptions and schistosomiasis control in Ghana: Examining the effect of climate change on water contact behavior.” I have received a lot of useful input from several people, particularly during the presentation at the Fox Fellowship seminar. This research is expected to provide an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing schistosomiasis control; and to make useful policy recommendations towards the control and eradication of the disease, which serves as a threat many developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. I am very grateful to the Fox family, the Fox team and to Yale University for offering me this life transforming experience. To learn more about the Fox International Fellowship, visit foxfellowship.yale.edu.
The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale