Photos courtesy of Firas Suqi
In what has become an annual tradition, students on the ACM Botswana: University Immersion in Southern Africa program presented the results of their independent study projects on April 20 at a poster session and reception at the University of Botswana (UB) in Gaborone, which hosts the program.
About 100 people from the university and surrounding community attended the event to hear about projects on topics ranging from the consequences of urbanization on monkeys in Gaborone, to the development and preservation of traditional culture, to economic empowerment in marginalized populations.
The independent project is one of the program’s four academic components, giving students the opportunity to explore their individual interests in current social issues in Botswana and southern Africa. In recent years, students have conducted projects in areas such as health care, business and development, immigration, gender relations, social trends, the arts, and governmental programs and policies.
The poster session highlights the Botswana Program’s commitment to rigorous scholarship, independent study, and sharing the students’ findings with the broader community, according to Bill Moseley, a geography professor at Macalester College who is the Botswana Program Director this spring.
The projects all involved primary data collection, often in the form of interviews, and were vetted in advance by the UB office of research and development and a relevant government ministry. Moseley supervised the students’ projects.
Moseley opened the event with a brief introduction, followed by remarks from the Director of the UB Office of International Education and Partnerships and the Director of the UB Office of Research and Development. For the remainder of the session, guests talked individually with the 14 students about their projects. The students’ project posters will remain on display for a week in the UB Library building.
Along with the independent study project, program participants study Setswana language, take a course taught by the Program Director, and choose an elective course at UB taught by university faculty. Students also volunteer with community service organizations and other non-governmental organizations in Gaborone, and live in a residence hall at the University of Botswana.
This spring, the program also included a rural homestay; a weekend trip to Johannesburg, South Africa; a week-long trip to northern Botswana, including the Okavanga Delta and Chobe National Park; and a visit to the Jwaneng diamond mine.
Botswana Program students showing their project posters included (at right, from the top): Kayla Musgjerd, Lauren Rueda, Marcel Baugh, Axumawit Teklu, Megan Slavish, Melissa Eisenberg, and Emily Johnson.
Botswana Program students and their projects
Use the links to see the students’ posters (if available). See the program webpage for a list of student projects in recent years.
- Marcel Baugh, College of Wooster, The Development and Preservation of the Basarwa’s Traditional Culture through Art and Education in Botswana
- Elise Beckman, Lake Forest College, Socioeconomic Background and Contraception: Is there a Connection for Students at the University of Botswana?
- Melika Celebic, Lake Forest College, The Presence of Homosexuality at UB and the Attitudes of Students Towards It
- Melissa Eisenberg, Lake Forest College, Student Social Movements’ Prevalence and Effectiveness on the University of Botswana Campus
- Marija Ivanovic, Lake Forest College, What Are the Forces that Drive People to Informal Economy with Regard to Gender and Age?
- Emily Johnson, Beloit College, In Pursuit of Commercialization? The Impact of Urban Land Reform on the Poor
- Anja Mirkovic, Lake Forest College, Alcohol Policies and Their Perceived Effectiveness in Botswana
- Emily Murphy, Macalester College, A Case Study of Botswana’s Forced Migrant Populations and Those Who Serve Them
- Kayla Musgjerd, Coe College, Economic Empowerment in Marginalized Populations of Botswana
- Lauren Rueda, University of California San Diego, The Four-fathers of HIV: Ignorance, Impoverishment, Inadequacy, and Inequality
- Megan Slavish, Beloit College, The Nutrition Transition: Changes in Patterns of Food Consumption Related to Urbanization in Southeastern Botswana
- Megan Stark, Lawrence University, An Investigation into the Consequences of Urbanisation of the Southern Vervet Monkey, a Case Study of Gaborone, Botswana
- Firas Suqi, Knox College, Assessing Urban Modernization in Gaborone
- Axumawit Teklu, Colorado College, Turning Out the Lights: Energy Conservation Efforts on the UB Campus