UW-Stout: University again chosen as a Young African Leaders host

Doug Mell,
Executive Director of Communications and External Relations,
[email protected]

Menomonie, Wis. — University of Wisconsin-Stout will join six other universities across the country this summer in hosting 25 young African leaders who want to sharpen their business and entrepreneurship skills.

For six weeks, beginning Wednesday, June 24, participants in the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders will participate in academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and support for activities in their communities, all based at UW-Stout.

This is the second year in a row that UW-Stout was the only institution in Wisconsin chosen to participate in President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, which sponsors the Mandela fellowships.

“UW-Stout is honored and overjoyed to be given a second opportunity to host these outstanding young leaders,” said Chancellor Bob Meyer. “We will do our best to give these young people a great experience, and I expect we will learn a lot from them as well.”

The 25 young leaders, all from sub-Sahara Africa, have expressed an interest in increasing their skills in the areas of business and entrepreneurship. The other institutions hosing Mandela fellows with these interests are Clark Atlanta University, Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, University of Nevada Reno, University of Notre Dame and University of Texas at Austin.

Other institutions around the U.S. are hosting students interested in civic leadership and public management.

The young leaders will meet with President Obama during a summit in Washington, D.C. Select participants will also receive hands-on experience through six-week placements with U.S. companies, organizations and government agencies.

“UW-Stout was successful in attracting the Young African Leaders program for a second year due to our stellar performance in the first year and a unanimous agreement by the 2014 fellows of UW-Stout educational quality, its welcoming university community and the all-out support of the city of Menomonie,” said Abel Adekola, dean of the College of Management, which sponsors the program.

Adekola said he was in Nigeria recently and visited with three 2014 UW-Stout fellows, “and they could not stop talking about their wonderful experiences at UW-Stout. They all look forward to a near future reunion.”

A new component to the program this year is the addition of peer collaborators for each participant. Peer collaborators will meet with fellows about once a week throughout the six-week term to discuss their areas of interest, attend events, network or just have a meal.

UW-Stout’s participation on a national and international stage shows that the university “takes no back seat to national universities, as evidenced by the company it keeps in hosting the program,” Adekola said. “It will in no small measure attract more quality students to our programs by being designated a Mandela Washington Young African Leadership Initiative Institution, considering the fact that only 19 other institutions in the United States could also lay that claim.”

More information on the program is available at http://eca.state.gov/programs-initiatives/mandela-washington-fellowship.