A Much Anticipated Arrival

Meagan Doll is the Mandela Washington Fellowship program coordinator at UW-Madison and a recent graduate of the university’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.  

The African Studies Program office has known for just over six months that today we would welcome 25 outstanding young Africans to Madison, Wis.

Our team of fearless staff and dedicated campus partners laced-up for a half year of curriculum building, event planning and logistics figuring for this day.

But how, exactly, did we get here? Six weeks of intense leadership training, academic discussions, local site visits and facilitated networking does not plan itself.

African Studies Program staff prepares to welcome Mandela Washington Fellows to UW-Madison.

We could not have done it without the support of campus partners. Staff and faculty from the Global Health Institute, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, School of Education, Law School, La Follette School of Public Affairs, Learning Communities for Institutional Change and Excellence and the Provost’s Office have been nothing short of supportive.

Community partners, you’re next. There are dozens of local organizations and businesses who have agreed to provide tours, Q&A sessions, service activities and a variety of other engagement opportunities for the fellows. We are proud to share your work with these young leaders and looking at their bios, are excited for all that you may learn from them.

Lastly, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the diligent, detail-oriented and generally phenomenal program management of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and IREX, the implementing partner. The deadlines and expectations were challenging, but in-part produced the full and rewarding program we have today.

The best part? There is still room for acknowledgements! If you want to be involved with the program (and you do, trust me), please get in touch at yali@africa.webhosting.cals.wisc.edu.

Today is the day, and this is the behind-the-scenes-blog-post look at the people and places that have made organizing the Mandela Washington Fellowship at UW-Madison possible.

We look forward to sharing behind-the-scenes-blog-post updates from our Fellows as they experience the life and learning and cheese of Wisconsin.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. government and is supported in its implementation by IREX. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a sub-grantee of IREX and is supporting the U.S.-based academic program of the Fellowship.