A new perspective on education.
School of Education graduate students are packing their bags and preparing to gain real-world experience across the globe. These students are headed to Ghana this summer to participate in the Drexel in Ghana Study Tour, where they will study various aspects of the education system. To prepare for the trip, the students enrolled in an online course where they have been learning about Ghana’s history, political climate, economy, and culture. The course culminates in a 10-day trip that will allow each student to develop an individualized research project specific to his or her field of study.
Kristy Herring, Educational Policy
In Ghana, Kristy Herring plans to conduct research on the participation of African-American college students in study abroad programs. The number of African-American students studying abroad in Ghana is low, compared to similar countries. Herring wants to evaluate the potential impact that more students would make on the region, and ways to attract more African-American students to Ghana.
“My understanding of Ghana, its culture, political, economic and educational systems is limited,” Herring admits. She hopes that traveling there will help open her eyes to how educational systems operate in other countries.
Ultimately in her career, Herring hopes she can help schools operate with a more worldly mindset. She wants to help schools develop curricula that will prepare students to become global citizens and provide professional development for teachers to increase their global competence.
Susanna Hunter, Higher Education
Susanna Hunter is no stranger to traveling abroad. For five consecutive years, she accompanied young Philadelphians to Guatemala’s San Lucas Toliman Mission, which focuses on addressing the main issues of poverty in the community: housing, education, healthcare and nutrition. During her time volunteering at the mission, she saw diverse groups of people come together to improve a community.
“Learning about different cultures and engaging students in active learning has always been important to me,” Hunter says. “I’m interested in bringing cultures together…learning about differences empowers students of all socio-economic backgrounds.”
This summer, Hunter is journeying abroad again, this time studying in Ghana, where she will focus her research on the ways in which educational policy and higher education can impact international development initiatives.
Hunter truly believes that our cultural differences are the one thing that can unite us.
“Learning about differences empowers students of all socio-economic backgrounds,” Hunter says.
Janiele Johnson, Global & International Education
Janiele Johnson has always had an affinity for Ghana. She is looking forward to conducting field research there, while immersing herself in the West African culture.Johnson is serious about developing strategies for change. She is interested in Africa’s developmental issues, and is excited about the possibility of connecting with Ghana’s community leaders and educational pioneers to discuss new approaches that promote education equality.
“I am particularly curious about the role women play in society and am looking forward to learning about initiatives and policies in place that provide women with proper access to education,” Johnson says.
As an undergraduate, Johnson majored in International Area Studies and minored in Africana studies. She views this trip as integral to connecting her undergraduate education to her graduate courses, and laying the foundation for her doctoral studies. After completing her master’s in Global & International Education, Johnson plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Africana Studies.
Joseph Strzempka, Educational Policy
Joseph Strzempka is eager to see firsthand the challenges that developing nations like Ghana face concerning education. Concentrating on Educational Policy, Strzempka hopes to improve the approach to education in other countries and cultures. And he truly embodies Drexel’s commitment to global education.
“I fully believe in learning experiences and using the world as a classroom, “ Strzempka says.
The part of the trip Strzempka is most looking forward to? Spending a few days with a host family. He hopes this will “humanize and assign emotion” to the obstacles faced by families in developing countries.
Ultimately, Strzempka hopes to work for an international educational development organization. He hopes this trip will serve as one of the bricks in his path to that goal.