Dr. Suzanne Buchele at Ashesi Commencement 2008 Ashesi’s campus feels a little different this semester. After two wonderful years, Dr. Suzanne Buchele has returned to Southwestern University in Texas. However her legacy on Ashesi’s campus has remained.
Dr. Suzanne Buchele, her husband Steve, and three children moved from Texas to Ghana in 2006. Originally they had planned to stay just one year but requested their Fulbright Grant be extended for a maximum two years so they could remain at Ashesi and continue their work in Ghana.
Looking back it is amazing to think that Suzanne was only with us for two years – she helped us accomplish so much. When Suzanne arrived in 2006 her presence made an immediate impact on campus. Her experience attending and then teaching at top liberal arts colleges in the United States gave her an intimate sense for what Ashesi is attempting to become. And Suzanne was not one to stand by and watch, she offered to help and became an active part of the campus.
While at Ashesi, Dr. Buchele taught courses in Computer Graphics, Software Engineering, Discrete Mathematics and helped develop the laboratory component for Programming I. Suzanne helped organize our computer science department, established and chaired the Academic Programming Committee for over two years and was a vocal leader in academic policy discussions. Dr. Buchele helped guide Ashesi’s development of a campus Honor Code and can be credited for countless improvements in our policies regarding faculty and students.
In 2007 when Ashesi’s Dean of Academic Affairs was forced to take leave of absence for a year Suzanne graciously took up the mantle and became Acting Dean in addition to her teaching duties. Suzanne’s knowledge and experience helped us guide the university through a year of immense growth in students, faculty and staff.
However Dr. Buchele’s impact in Ghana was not simply isolated to the Ashesi campus. Dr. Buchele worked to test and deploy the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project, in Ghana. She worked with primary school teachers in a government school in Accra to help them learn how to teach with the new technology.
The Buchele house also became a hub for social activities among Ashesi faculty and staff. The generous Buchele family hosted many dinners and celebrations in their home
Professor Buchele with Araba Amuasi Class '07“Suzanne brought to Ashesi a wealth of experience from Southwestern. I will miss her energy, enthusiasm and commitment to Ashesi’s mission,” states Ashesi President, Patrick Awuah. Araba Amuasi a 2007 Computer Science graduate, “Dr. Buchele had a profound impact on me, both as a lecturer and friend. She is an excellent model for women in computer science.”
Though we are sad that Suzanne and her family have returned to the United States, we are immensely grateful for the contributions they made while they were here. Dr. Buchele’s legacy will remain in the lives of the students that she touched and the programmes she helped shape. She and her family will always be considered part of the Ashesi community and will be welcomed back should they choose to return.