2013-14 Outreach Scholars

Erin Kitchell

Country experience: Senegal, Mali and travel in West Africa more broadly
Languages: Pulaar, Bambara, Arabic, French
Presentation topics: Urbanization, climate change, natural resources, local government, public health in rural and urban areas, small-scale farming and livestock production, gender and development

I am a second year master’s student in Geography. I recently finished field research in Senegal on information networks and responses to climate change among small-scale producers. I was a health and environmental education Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal. I have since lived and worked in Bamako, Mali on land use planning and provision of primary health care. I have developed a deep attachment to West Africa and enjoy sharing about the region’s languages, history, cooking, music, dance, and stories and riddles.

Max Cronyn

Country experience: Niger, Mali and other West African countries
Languages: French, currently learning Arabic and Hausa
Presentation topics: Diversity of Africa; Experiences growing up in West Africa; Political Events and issues in Northern Nigeria, Niger, and Mali; and the Fascinating Sahel region.

Max is an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has lived and traveled across West Africa with his parents who worked in the region. Max has worked with the 4-H High Ropes for kids and is excited to share his experiences growing up in West Africa. He is interested in talking about artisans, political events in West Africa and particularly his mountain biking passion in Niamey, Niger.

Chris Kirchgasler

Country experience: Guinea, traveled throughout West Africa
Languages: French, Pulaar, Swahili
Presentation topics: History of Colonialism, Schooling in Africa, Trends in International Development

I am a doctoral student in Curriculum & Instruction University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently my research is in investigating fee-based schooling in Kenya. Before graduate cchool I was a 5th grade English teacher in East Boston and a high school teacher in Guinea. I was deeply affected by my time in West Africa, and I miss many aspects of life there—especially the afternoon rains cooling my tin roof, drinking tea, and conversing the day away with friends. I enjoy sharing both personal reflections from my time there, as well as investigating histories of colonialism and development work in Africa, with particular attention to education.

Beatrice Mkenda

Country experience: Tanzania
Languages:Kiswahili, Chagga, French
Presentation Topics: Culture, storytelling, songs

I am a graduate student in the Department of African Languages and Literature with an interest in African studies and pedagogy. I was born in Tanzania and have a vast experience of its culture and people. As an Outreach Scholar, I am interested in sharing stories and songs from Tanzania and knowledge about the country and its people.

Teresa Speciale

Country of Experience: Senegal
Languages: French, advanced; Wolof, intermediate
Presentation topics: Languages of urban Africa, education in sub-Saharan Africa, social class in Dakar, Senegal

I am a second year doctoral student in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison. I have a Masters in International Education from The George Washington University. I lived and worked in Senegal for two years as an English teacher in the capital city of Dakar. I last visited the country in the winter of 2012 when I co-led a group of graduate students from The George Washington University on a short-term study abroad program. I am interested in sharing my experiences about language, education, and social class in Dakar, Senegal.

Bongani Mbatha

Country experience: South Africa
Languages: Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Swati
Presentation topics: Ubuntu and Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa; South African languages and literature; art, music and  theatre in South Africa

Bongani is a graduate student at the Department of African Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He brings in experiences from living in South Africa where he was born and where he studied at the University of KwaZulu Natal. He teaches Zulu language and has had previous experiences teaching drama and Zulu classical literature in South Africa. His research focuses on South African post-apartheid literature. He is interested in speaking about Zulu art, cultures, language, music, dance and theatre, South African literature, its people and the post-apartheid South Africa.

Rachel Manley

Country experience: Namibia
Language: Oshiwambo (Beginner)
Presentation topics: Namibian culture and people, education system.

I am a graduate student at University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, focusing on multicultural and international education. I have been working with children for 10 years and as a formal educator for the last 5 years. My teaching certificate is for Elementary Education, Special Education and Reading Instruction. I lived in Namibia for over two years teaching learners in grade 1-12, as well as training educators. I would love to share my first-hand experience with Namibian cultures, the education system, and everyday life experiences of the people in Namibia.