Global and International Studies Assistant Professor Dr. Nathan Andrews received a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship. He will partner with Professor Ernest Khalema at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa to study the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on post-graduate engagement and academic co-mentorship.
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing a myriad of ways we teach, research and collaborate. UNBC Global and International Studies Assistant Professor Dr. Nathan Andrews is exploring some of those changing relationships as he studies what the pandemic means for post-graduate engagement and academic co-mentorship in Africa.
“Over the past several months since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been reflecting on the many ways the health crisis impacts teaching and learning,” Andrews says. “Through planned workshops and other engagement activities, I hope to provide some insights that will help facilitate effective teaching and learning at the UKZN.”
The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship is designed to reverse Africa’s brain drain, strengthen capacity at the host institutions, and develop long-term, mutually beneficial collaborations between universities in Africa and those in Canada and the United States. It receives funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It is managed by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with United States International University-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, which co-ordinates the activities of the Advisory Council.
Andrews was born and raised in Ghana, before coming to Canada to pursue graduate studies in his mid-20s.
“I am naturally led to give back to the continent that birthed me and contributed significantly to who I am today,” Andrews says. “The cross-institutional and cross-continental exchange facilitated by this Fellowship program offers an opportunity for all parties involved to learn and build respective teaching, mentoring, curriculum development and research capacities.”
The Fellowship builds on work Andrews is currently conducting at UNBC. He sits on the College of Arts, Social and Health Sciences Pedagogy Visioning Committee. The committee is providing a set of key pillars and best practices that will enhance teaching and learning amidst the pandemic.
He is also collaborating with Global and International Studies Professor Dr. Heather Smith on a project examining how pandemic pedagogy exacerbates trends of marginalization and exclusion in higher education.
“My Fellowship covers three areas namely, co-curriculum development, research collaboration and graduate student mentoring and teaching,” Andrews says. “These three areas directly relate with the scholarly expectations in my program and the UNBC at large.”
Andrews and Khalema have worked together in the past, co-editing a pair of books when they were both scholars at the University of Alberta. They have continued to work together on different projects after Khalema returned to South Africa.
“Such a collaboration offers me the opportunity to develop a network of international scholars with whom I can maintain long-term career-defining relationships,” Andrews says.