DENMARK - Three Voorhees College faculty members were awarded the Fulbright-Hays Group Project Award to conduct research this summer in Ghana, Africa.
Jayme Bradford-Kinard, assistant professor of mass communication; Lionnell Smith, assistant professor of speech and Pamela Small, assistant professor of child development, will be traveling to Ghana on June 16 to explore areas in mass media, children's literature and speech communications.
The Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Program recognizes and encourages excellence in teaching in the U.S. and abroad. U.S. teachers receive grants to study at a university, observe classes and complete a project pertaining to their field of educational inquiry during their time abroad.
The program is open to teachers from the United States who may apply to be hosted in one of many countries worldwide. The primary source of funding is an annual appropriation by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Voorhees is one of three South Carolina higher education institutions that will be studying in various fields along with Benedict College and the University of South Carolina.
Kinard will be exploring the press freedom, journalist rights, media efforts and the mass communication studies at the University of Ghana. She said her goal is to connect with media outlets and shadow the communication department at the university.
“This experience will allow me to further my communication studies and be able to write scholarly articles for publication, inform the press outlets here in the U.S. on the various practices and present at conferences,” Kinard said. “It is a privilege to experience someone else’s culture to compare, share and learn.”
Small plans to visit the primary schools in Ghana and interview young authors. She said she wants to learn the Ghanaian children’s creative writing thinking process and what drives them to tell a story. Small said her goal is to come back to the U.S. and encourage children here to become writers using samples from the Ghanaian authors.
“There are young children who are actually published authors of children’s books, and we need to close the gap between adult and children authors because everyone has a story to tell. My interviews will prepare me for further research, publishing articles, speaking at conferences and implementing techniques into my classroom,” she said.
Smith has an interest in speech communication, specifically eulogistic communication. He said the Ghanaians celebrate the life of the dead a lot differently than at a typical funeral in the U.S. Smith said he wanted to construct comparisons, attend a traditional Ghanaian funeral and gain perspective on the eulogies.
“I will study all aspects of communication from their version of jargon versus the African-American jargon in the U.S. and how the speak English versus their native tongue," he said. "I hope to chronicle my church and communication experiences through publications, conferences and lectures."
Each professor hopes to establish and strengthen partnerships at the university and other areas that will innovate their approaches in the classroom. In addition to studying, they will have an opportunity to tour museums, castles and other historic landmarks.