Students on the ACM Botswana: Development in Southern Africa program recently had the opportunity to meet the U.S. Ambassador to Botswana, Earl Miller, and talk with embassy staff as part of an hour-long visit to the U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Gaborone, where the program is located.
Miller extended the invitation to the group through Luther College professor Richard Mtisi, who is the program’s Visiting Faculty Director this spring.
Botswana Program students at the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone with Visiting Faculty Director Richard Mtisi (third from left), Ambassador Earl Miller (fourth from right), and Embassy staff.
“I have known Ambassador Miller since January 2014, when I first met him at an exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was serving as consular general,” Mtisi noted. “I then bumped into him a few weeks ago while he was strolling outside the U.S. Embassy. When I told him I was in Botswana as part of the ACM program, he offered to invite the group to the Embassy. I told him we would be honored to do so.”
The Embassy posted a photo of the students and Mtisi, along with Miller and some of his colleagues, on its Facebook page with a brief account of the visit. After Miller gave the group a quick overview of the role of the U.S. Embassy in Botswana, public affairs staff briefed the students on U.S. policy and programs in areas such as health and HIV/AIDS, economic diversification, the environment and conservation, human rights, and cultural, educational, and media support. The students also had a chance to ask the Embassy officials some questions.
According to Mtisi, the session covered a number of themes the students are studying in the course he is teaching on the program, titled The Challenges of National Liberation in Southern Africa.
In addition to teaching his course, Mtisi guides the students in their independent study projects and leads frequent field trips, including a trip earlier in the semester to Johannesburg. Program participants also study Setswana language and take an elective course at ACM’s partner institution, the University of Botswana (UB) in Gaborone. Students live in UB dormitories, often with local students as roommates, and volunteer with organizations in the surrounding community.