Outreach Scholars Program

Outreach Scholars

Invite an Outreach Scholar to your classroom

To invite an Outreach Scholar to your school or community event, please contact the African Studies Outreach Coordinator outreach@africa.wisc.edu.

Popular requests:

  • Classroom presentations
  • African storytelling
  • Intro to an African language (for example Yoruba, Swahili, or Arabic)
  • Cultural demonstrations
  • Educational programs and curriculum consultation

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Our Outreach Scholars receive ongoing support as they develop and facilitate presentations. As they share their knowledge and expertise in classrooms and community settings, Outreach Scholars gain valuable public speaking and teaching experience that they bring with them to their future careers.

Community Feedback

“The presenters had first hand knowledge of living in Senegal and were extremely enthusiastic about the time they spent there. They were engaging speakers and understood what would be interesting to the audience. They were just wonderful–I think my students and I could have listened to them for hours! I would love to have them come back!” – Jennifer Wolfe, French teacher at Verona Area High School

“Professor Songolo was able to provide much more clarity to a difficult situation and my students benefited immensely!”—Carol Brey, teacher at Waunakee High Schooll

“I want to thank you for all your help in contributing to our African culture day. Students were absolutely delighted and want to do it again. They not only learned so much, but they had fun, too. They wish all their school days could be like this”—Barb Cnare, teacher at Watertown High School

“They really engaged the students, and captivated their interest. I had students comment on how helpful it was. We were really happy with the presentation, and my students really gained a lot. Thank you so much for setting everything up!”—Susan Baldwin, teacher at Adams-Friendship High School

“We had a WONDERFUL visit this morning, and the students welcomed Olayinka most warmly. Students were very comfortable with her, curious, and interested. Thank you so much for helping to arrange this amazing cultural exposure.”—Gail Sterkel, teacher at Monona Grove High School

“We can’t thank you and Theresah enough for the amazing program on Friday. The kids could not stop talking about it. Theresah did a beautiful job of teaching them age appropriate things and making it fun. We will for sure have the program back in the future!” –Sarah Popp, teacher at Our Redeemer Lutheran School

Tolu Akinwole

LANGUAGES: Yoruba, Nigerian Pidgin

COUNTRY: Nigeria

EXPERTISE: Literary criticism, postcolonial discourse, social media-enabled cultural expressions, African language pedagogy

TOPICS: “Yoruba Perspective on Love and Marriage,” “Let’s Speak Yoruba,” “How Tortoise Broke His Shell: A Lesson about Commitment.”


Mary Dinsmore

COUNTRY: Madagascar
EXPERTISE: Environmental history of Madagascar, human-wildlife conflict
TOPICS: Conservation of lemurs and their significance (both ecological and cultural)

Lindsay Ehrisman

COUNTRY: Uganda and the broader Great Lakes region
EXPERTISE: Early African history, historical linguistics, gender and sexuality

Omnya Kohla

LANGUAGES: Modern Standard; Egyptian Arabic
EXPERTISE: Arabic, everyday Muslim experience
TOPICS: Cultural events, Islamic celebrations

Jennifer Lien

COUNTRY: Nigeria
EXPERTISE: Egúngún masaquerades,
Yoruba twins
TOPICS: “Double Power, Double Trouble: Memorial Art for Twins in Yorubaland”

Mwita Muniko

Mandela Washington Fellowship Local Resource Guide

Assists fellows navigating cultural adaption, holds weekly office hours for the duration of the institute.

LANGUAGES: Swahili, Kuria
EXPERTISE: Language pedagogy, critical theory, literary criticism, cultural studies
TOPICS: “Let’s Learn Swahili!”

Omotola Okunlola

COUNTRY: Nigeria
LANGUAGES: Yoruba, Pidgin English
EXPERTISE: English literature
TOPICS: Cultural practices in Nigeria

Perpetua Owese

LANGUAGES: Swahili, Kenyan Sign Language
EXPERTISE: Kenyan Sign Language
TOPICS: Cultural practices in Kenya