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Today’s International Education Week activities focus on African Studies
Nov 17, 2014
By McKenzie Powell
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]hio University’s International Education Week (IEW) activities are in full swing. This year’s IEW festivities were developed in celebration of the 50th anniversary of OHIO’s Center for International Studies, and today’s activities are focused on the program that led to the creation of the center.
OHIO’s African Studies Program was founded in 1964, during the peak of decolonization on the Africa continent. Later in 1964, Ohio University’s Center for International Studies was born.
“African Studies is the oldest element of the University’s international studies program,” explained Steve Howard, a professor in OHIO’s School of Media Arts and Studies who has served as the director of the University’s African Studies Program since 1991. “It was established by faculty members who had been working in Africa on University projects. They came home (from Africa) and decided that we should be teaching about this newly independent continent.”
Over the past 50 years, the African Studies Program has grown in both size and scope.
“The African Studies faculty members are represented across the disciplines from the natural science and health fields to social sciences and humanities and the fine arts fields,” Howard said.
Howard also noted the growth in OHIO’s African language program.
“We have about six or seven languages spoken on the African continent that are available here at Ohio University for students to study,” he said.
The program’s academic reach has expanded as well, educating students from both near and far, including more students from Ghana than any other university in the United States. Figures provided by OHIO’s Office of Institutional Research last spring showed that more than 410 students had received African Studies degrees at Ohio University since 1987.
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