June 8-10, 2016 - Ashesi faculty engaged with a team from The College of Wooster in a development workshop centered on faculty research and mentoring. The workshop focused on building a strong research program for both faculty and students at Ashesi.

Leading the workshop were Heather Fitz Gibbon, Professor and Dean for Faculty Development, Drew Pasteur, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Sarah Sobeck, Associate Professor of Chemistry, who made up the team from Wooster. Over the three days, members of the Ashesi faculty got a feel of incorporating their research work with those of students.

“Every year, Ashesi organizes a faculty development workshop around different themes that we hear coming up among the faculty,” said Dr. Suzanne Buchele, Associate Provost. “This year, we split the theme around faculty research and mentoring and around student research. This is also a concrete step forward in a two-way relationship between Ashesi and The College of Wooster.”

The workshop was carried out through a series of presentations and group discussions guided by the team from The College of Wooster. Members of Ashesi’s faculty also had the opportunity to engage with one another in ways to incorporate some of the discussions within their context

“The Wooster faculty have interesting ways of linking undergraduate research to their personal research and how they have institutionalized those structures were useful to me,” said Kajsa Adu of the Business Administration Department. “Wooster also has a very light way of guiding their faculty as to how to do research that helps make everyone aware of their strengths- something we can learn from. The workshop also gave us time and opportunity to interact with one another, talking about research opportunities.”

The workshop was also an opportunity for The College of Wooster faculty to share insights into their Applied Methods and Research Experience program (AMRE), while guiding Ashesi faculty to lay building blocks for a similar program. AMRE is a summer program designed to give students from The College of Wooster experience in the practical applications of mathematics and computer science, which the classroom cannot provide. For eight weeks, student teams and faculty advisors from the College of Wooster work on projects for local a business, industry, or agency. To date eight Ashesi students have participated in the program.

“The experience gave us the opportunity to learn more from one another,” said Drew Pasteaur of The College of Wooster. “We sought to understand how some of the things we are doing at Wooster might be able to inform what his happening at Ashesi, as it continues to grow and evolve, while learning from Ashesi as well. Hopefully, this will help grow more connections among faculty and staff.”