Printable pdf version: Grinnell - Namibia Service Fellowship
The Center for International Studies and the African Studies Group are pleased to announce an opportunity for a Grinnell faculty member to travel to southern Africa in summer 2011: the Grinnell-Namibia Service Fellowship.
The Grinnell faculty member who receives the fellowship will travel to Windhoek, Namibia in June 2011 and spend three weeks serving as a writing mentor for Namibian university students and early career professionals who are drafting a series of policy briefs for Namibian parliamentarians. The briefs are simple statements of current knowledge and understanding on issues related to sustainable development. They are intended to inform decision making and do not advocate a political outcome.
The Namibian university students and early career professionals have had little writing experience overall: they may struggle with basic sentence construction (e.g. subject/verb agreement) and paragraph structure. Most have never written policy briefs before and need assistance in effectively articulating their good ideas on paper. Because the Grinnell faculty member will provide one-on-one mentorship in writing and organizing clear sentences, it is not necessary that the faculty member have disciplinary expertise in sustainable development or African politics. Indeed, faculty members from all disciplines are invited to apply for the fellowship.
The project is overseen by the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN), an indigenous non-governmental organization (NGO) committed to sustainable development. Grinnell has a ten-year relationship with the DRFN through the successful Grinnell Corps program in Namibia, and thus this fellowship will allow the Grinnell faculty member to benefit from the strong bonds that have been formed between the College and the DRFN. The Grinnell faculty member will be housed in a bed-and-breakfast; other on-site details will be handled by Dr. Mary Seely, who has long experience working with Grinnell students in Namibia.
After the conclusion of the three-week fellowship, the faculty member is encouraged to stay in Namibia or to travel elsewhere in southern Africa to pursue individual research. Windhoek is in easy travel distance to both South Africa and Botswana. Faculty may seek funding from the Committee to Support Faculty Scholarship for these costs.
The Center for International Studies sees this fellowship as particularly valuable for:
a. Faculty who wish to develop their knowledge of southern Africa for teaching or scholarly purposes.
b. Faculty who may be interested in directing the ACM Botswana program in a future year. A visit to Gaborone, Botswana after the fellowship could be coordinated with the ACM office in Chicago.
c. Faculty who could profit from the intellectual resources available in Windhoek. Windhoek is home to one Namibian university and a Polytechnic, the National Archives, Museum, Art Gallery, Theater and the National Botanical Institute, as well as the central offices of government, and numerous indigenous and international NGOs that operate in Namibia.
Questions about the experience should be addressed to Kathy and Peter Jacobson (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org) who assisted with a similar project conducted by the DRFN soon after Namibian Independence. The Jacobsons can also provide samples of previous policy briefs similar to the kind that would be written during summer 2011.
To apply for the fellowship, faculty members should submit a 2-page letter of interest to Lynn Stafford (email@example.com) in the Center for International Studies by 4 p.m., Friday, January 28, 2011. In their letters, faculty should explicitly state the benefits that they hope to gain from the fellowship and how these benefits will translate into concrete outcomes for the faculty members’ teaching or scholarship. The Center for International Studies Advisory Board will review all proposals and select the recipient of the fellowship by mid-February 2011. Thereafter, CIS will help coordinate travel and housing arrangements, as needed, for a departure in June 2011.