BW in Zambia
2018 Heiskell Award Honorable Mention: Study Abroad
Nomination submitted by: Chisomo Selemani, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the BW in Zambia Program
Intercultural competence is no longer a wish, but a necessity for clinicians in today’s world. BW in Zambia enables the university’s Masters of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) students go beyond the classroom and have a real world service-learning experience, allowing them to see one of the fastest developing African nations while learning to empathize with patients of different backgrounds.
All graduate students in SLP engage with community partners in Zambia during the five semesters they are enrolled in graduate school, and are offered the opportunity to travel to Zambia to meet and work with community partners face-to-face on a study abroad trip.
BW in Zambia has helped the campus reach its Generation Study Abroad goal of doubling the percentage of students studying abroad while diversifying options across academic disciplines and locations. According to Christie Shrefler, Director of Study Abroad at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, the program has impacted the whole campus, and has become a model for future study abroad programs as faculty and staff members who participate become international ambassadors and advocates for study abroad, helping to cultivate a campus culture that embodies global diversity. One faculty member who had never studied abroad before taking part in this program now plans to lead a broadcasting/theater study abroad program to Zambia in 2019.
Provost Stephen Stahl says the university’s senior administration has demonstrated a strong commitment to developing sustainable ties with Zambia, noting that “Activities through the program and its initiatives have connected the university to wonderful opportunities with professionals in various industries in Zambia – in government, public and private sectors.” These ties have been strengthened with the university’s recent burgeoning relationship with the First Lady of Zambia, Honorable Mrs. Esther Lungu, and by year-round distance and remote collaboration between students and faculty in Ohio and their community partners in Zambia. These relationships provide a sustainable foundation by which to develop ongoing high-quality, mutually beneficial programs.