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Botswana Program Students Present Their Independent Study Projects at Poster Session

Botswana Program Students Present Their Independent Study Projects at Poster Session May 7, 2010

Poster Session Gallery

Anna Cao

Joanna Dobson


Nguyen Nguyen and Morgan Jones


Students on the ACM Botswana: University Immersion in Southern Africa program recently capped their semester experience by presenting the results of their independent study projects at a poster session and reception at the University of Botswana (UB) in Gaborone, which hosts the program.

“The poster session was really a perfect way to share our research with the Gaborone community,” said Joanna Dobson from Macalester College. “While many attendees were part of the UB community, several of us invited informants from our projects as well.”

The event, held on April 29 at the UB Library, opened with remarks by Program Director Chet Cain and brief presentations by the twelve ACM students describing their independent projects. The audience of University faculty and students, as well as friends of the program participants, then fanned out in the Library’s atrium to view the students’ posters, which gave details about their projects, and to ask questions. The posters remained on display in the Library for a week following the reception.

The independent project is one of the Botswana Program’s four academic components, giving students the opportunity to explore their individual interests in greater depth. Topics have included a wide range of current social issues in Botswana and southern Africa, such as health care, business and development, immigration, gender relations, social trends, the arts, and governmental programs and policies.

Students are encouraged to conduct interviews and field observation as part of their research for the project, which they complete under the guidance of the Program Director or a UB faculty member.

Dobson pointed out that the poster session will be valuable for her studies next semester at Macalester. “As somebody continuing my research next year,” she said, “it was helpful to get face-to-face feedback and questions from (Botswana residents) themselves.”

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. Living in University dormitories and program-sponsored field trips in the capital city of Gaborone and other parts of Botswana – such as the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, one of the world’s largest game reserves – round out the curriculum.

PHOTOS (top to bottom):

  • Anna Cao (Lake Forest College)
  • Joanna Dobson (Macalester College)
  • Nguyen Nguyen (Colorado College) and Morgan Jones (Macalester College)
  • On the UB campus: Antonio Skarica (Colorado College), Michaela Romano (Knox College), Lucille Wenegieme (Colorado College), and Andrea Houlihan (Knox College)

All photos courtesy of Joanna Dobson


Presentation by Emilie Vrbancic about her independent project on the spring 2009 Botswana Program

  • Spring 2009 Botswana Program Director Todd Knoop’s essay about the program’s safari in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve
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