Monday, August 8, 2011

If you educate a girl, Part IX

When on sabbatical leave at the University of Ghana in 2008 I heard people say that the University of Cape Coast (UCC) had some of the best university science programs in Ghana. I was concerned, therefore, when I realized that among the Ghanaian students admitted to the African University of Science and Technology (AUST-Abuja), in 2008 and 2009, there were no UCC students.

In March 2010, o
n my way to a meeting at AUST, I decided to stop in Ghana and visit UCC. After contacting the Dean of Physical Sciences via e-mail, he kindly extended an invitation to me. I met with fifteen or so teaching assistants with first degrees in physics and chemistry, and shared with them the AUST vision, but never heard back from any of them. It was therefore a pleasant surprise when in the following July, three students (two females and a male) came up to me in AUST-Abuja, smiling, and introduced themselves as among the students who met with me at UCC.

In December 2011 these three UCC students will graduate with MSc degrees—two of them in Theoretical Physics and another in Materials Science and Engineering. Congratulations to them!

Continuing with my series on the education of females, I asked if the two women, Janet Sackey and Ivy Asuo, would be willing to share a bit about their experiences and what motivated them to pursue careers in science and technology:

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