A NEWSLETTER OF AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA
www.aun.edu.ng September 2013, Edition 65
Academy Brings "Jolly" Learning to Town - P.2
Nigeria's Vice President 'Likes' AUN Library Facebook Page - P.3
Yola Grand Alliance, New Development Initiative, Launched - P.6
AUN Academy Leads the Way
World Beaters: 85% of AUN Academy students recieved distinctions and credits in their subject combination. Inset: Krista Mckee, Vice President of AUN Schools & Educational programs
ith student-driven learning and an emphasis on critical thinking, the AUN Academy, comprising secondary and elementary arms, has set the standard for private primary and secondary education in Adamawa State and Nigeria. The Academy, which is a fundamental component of the University community, has graduated more than 300 secondary students since it opened its doors in 2002. About 270 students are currently enrolled in the International Program (the British model) and 160 in the American Program (K-12). At the Academy, students can begin pre-
school at the age of two and move on to primary and secondary schools. Similar to a typical American K-12 school, the curriculum includes English and language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and physical education. Students also take classes in information technology training, French, music, art, and home economics. â€œWe provide our graduates with an outstanding academic background, teach them how to be wonderful Nigerians and global citizens, and how to compete in the world,â€? explained Krista McKee, Vice President of AUN Schools and Educational Programs.
In addition to the core courses offered, AUN Academy students in the International Program receive training in agriculture, accounting, commerce, Islamic and Christian studies, economics, trade and entrepreneurship, and foods and nutrition. The campus has sporting facilities that include soccer fields, a basketball court, and the community hall for indoor sports, among other activities. Students also have opportunities to be a part of the debate club, music club, art and creativity club, and press club.
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AUN Academy OF Excellence
The Academy Brings "Jolly" Learning to Town
ice President McKee, a Reading Remediation Specialist, and Karon Harden, an English Language and Literature instructor, recently became involved with the STELLAR Project, a collaboration between Jolly Phonics, Universal Basic Education Commission, and the Ministry of Education, Adamawa State. It will train teachers and eventually implement new literacy curriculum in all first-grade classes. As of 2009, Adamawa State had a reported 1,890 public primary schools with 378,433 enrolled students, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, 2012. In spite of this, of the children age 5-16 tested in the State in the Nigeria DHS EdData survey 2010, 77 percent could not read at all (NPC and RTI International, 2011). Hence this initiative has the potential of having an enormous and much-needed impact across the state. Six primary schools--Aliyu Mustapha Model Primary School, TC Demonstration Primary School, Toungo Yola Primary School, Mbamba Primary School, Bako Primary School, and A.A. Namtari Primary School--were part of the pilot team on the AUN campus from August 29-31. By the end of 2013, testing and training sites will be used to prepare teachers for what will be the biggest push for literacy Adamawa has ever seen. About 1,000 teachers will be taught Jolly Phonics methods, and VP McKee expects the program to be fully implemented in May 2014. She said that if the pilot project is successful the Ministry of
Education will adopt the curriculum state-wide. "Jolly Learning" has offered to donate materials to every primary one classroom along with free training. “We started with the Ministry of Education and garnered support from the UBE: 25 testers and 450 students will be involved. Teachers will be monitored and tested before the MoE approves it for the entire state. I believe this is a huge initiative for AUN, Adamawa State children, and the future of education AUN Kindergarten pupils learn from experienced teachers and training.”
A Holistic Approach to Learning
n an effort to produce wellrounded graduates, each week teachers focus on different character traits that instill positive qualities in students. There is also an interactive civics class that teaches students the practical and theoretical aspects of citizenship. A holistic approach to learning is the hallmark of the AUN Academy. “A great deal of time is spent teaching our students cultural and moral respect. We are fulfilling the founder's vision by creating tomorrow's leaders,” Ms. McKee added. The VP said that the International Program prepares students for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) from the University of Cambridge International Examinations (UCIE). Students also prepare for the West African Examinations Council
(WAEC), the National Examination Council (NECO), and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) at the Academy. She said: “The Academy has produced outstanding test results this year. About 85 percent of the students secured distinctions and credits in their subject combinations while the remainder secured credits and passes, and every child has secured the required credits to move on to SS1." Last year, an AUN Academy student scored the highest mark possible on NECO examinations in Adamawa State. Today that star candidate is pursuing an undergraduate program at AUN. This year, students and administrators celebrated two Cowbell Math competitions wins at the state level, had a victory at the National Science Odyssey, and recorded success at the National Mathematical Center, Abuja.
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AUN Smart Library Makes Global News
everal news organizations have featured the AUN Library and its achievements in recent weeks because of its remarkable e-learning and knowledge sharing. Upon completion this fall, AUN's new 'smart' library will be one-of-akind in Nigeria and very advanced by global standards. In fact, the "Guardian Higher Education Network" named the AUN library one of the best digital libraries in the world.
An enormous amount of data and information is available to the AUN community and its affiliates, thanks to AUN Librarian Amed Demirhan (pictured left) and his team. "Yola benefits from our open-access resources. We offer training on how to use and evaluate resources. Open access is the best investment for expansion of global education and development. Through that, we are able to help other Nigerian universities
“We have subscribed to more than 210,000 e-books. This is more than most American university libraries' e-book collections".
and independent researchers,” Librarian Demirhan said. The American Library Association based in the United States gave AUN a Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects in August. The library is now a model for university libraries in Nigeria. “We have subscribed to more than 210,000 e-books. This is more than most American university libraries' ebook collections," Demirhan noted.
Library Director, Amed Demirhan (left); inside Africa’s first ‘Smart’ library, (above) & rear view (below)
AUN Library, Media Darling
digitized version of American Libraries, the American Library Association's magazine, highlighted libraries around the world notable for their exquisite architecture, historic collections, and innovative services. The entire list is available on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/amlibraries/gr eat-libraries-of-the-world/). AUN is mentioned alongside some of the best universities in the world, including the libraries at Cornell University, the George Peabody Library at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., and the Roy J. Bostock Library at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Nigeria's Vice President 'Likes' AUN Library Facebook Page
niversity Librarian Amed Demirhan added Nigeria's Vice President Namadi Sambo as a friend on AUN's library Facebook page on September 12. VP Sambo joins the growing circle of friends of the institution's library which was 629 at the last count. The page has been positioned to become an online learning community for AUN and beyond, committed to providing learning resources and relevant news about the American University of Nigeria to a national/global audience. In the last two years its following in the social media has increased within Nigeria and beyond. It has also attracted several members of AUN Board of Trustees as well as international and national figures. Marshal Breeding, a consultant at Marshall Breeding Consulting Services (USA) is also a fan of the AUN Library. Roberta Stevens, former President of the American Library Association, Tom Sloan, Manager of Library Services at Florida's Boca Raton Public Library, and former Executive Director of Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN), are also fans.
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AUN: Africa's Gateway to Global Grad Schools
s an associate member of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities, AUN provides its graduates with the knowledge needed to continue their educational pursuits both within as well as beyond the continent. AUN has partnerships with John Cabot University in Italy, Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus, Oxford University in the UK, and Kansas State, George Mason, and Tulane universities in the US. These international relationships make AUN an unusual University in Nigeria. AUN alums have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, France, Korea, and Switzerland, among others. Their stories inspire us all. Dooyum Malu is studying software management at the very prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, while Wisdom Omuya has graduated with a degree in computer science from Columbia University in New York. They are just part of a growing crop of AUN graduates who have gone on to achieve great things. After studying at Oxford University as part of the study abroad program, Cynthia Dieyi was recently accepted to the University of Southern California (USC), to work towards a graduate degree in Strategic Public Relations. Teinye Akobo, who graduated in 2009, completed a Master's degree in International Management at Bath University in the UK. He is currently working on a degree in law at Queen Mary University of London. Joseph Ogbonna graduated from
ALUMS IN TOP GRADUATE SCHOOLS Nacha Geoffrey (Class of 2009), Oxford Brookes University, UK – Conservation Biology (completed) Faith Biyapo (Class of 2010), University of Toronto, Canada (completed) Zunzika Thole (Class of 2009), Hult International Business School, Dubai – Masters in International Business (completed) Rosemary Adaji (Class of 2009), Michigan State University, USA – MA in Epidemiology (in progress) Itari Turner (Class of 2010), Brunel University, UK – Human Resource Management (completed) Oma Ogban (Class of 2009), Lancaster University, UK (completed) Yemi Ogunyomi (Class of 2009), University of Buckingham, UK (completed) Nura Manu (Class of 2009), University of Birmingham, UK (completed) Binta Suleiman (Class of 2009), New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA (completed) Chike Chiejina (Class of 2010), University of Sussex, UK (completed) Aja Ogban (Class of 2009), Lancaster University, UK (completed) Chukwunonso Okany (Class of 2009), City University London, UK (completed)
Nayyara Samuel (Class of 2009), Georgetown University, USA -Computer Science (completed) Arinze Nwoye (Class of 2009), University of Warwick, UK – MSc. Economics (completed) Maryam Abubakar (Class of 2010), Geneva School of Diplomacy & International Relations – MA in International Relations (completed) Sam Oye (Class of 2010), University of Warwick, UK – Project Management (completed) Ifeatu Uzodinma (Class of 2010), Durham University, UK -- Finance and Investment Irene Nwoye (Class of 2011), Columbia University, USA – M.S. Journalism (in progress) Damian Feese (Class of 2011), Syracuse University, USA – MSc. Project Management Information Security (in progress) Fisayo Stevens (Class of 2011), France Business School, France – Finance and Auditing (completed) Naima Samuel (Class of 2009), SolBridge International School of Business, Korea – Information Technology (completed) Adeola Adebiyi (Class of 2012), Syracuse University, USA – Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism (in progress)
Tufts University with a Master of Public Health. Currently, he is the Project Manager for the Department of Quality and Patient Safety at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. After he graduated from AUN, Hamman Samuel received a graduate degree in computing science from the University of Alberta in Canada. He now works as a research assistant, and is close to completing a PhD at the same university.
The future looks bright for all AUN graduates. While many do not go to graduate school, they have other career prospects that set them apart from other Nigerian graduates. Babatunde O. Johnson has been hired by McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm; Florence Young is an Economic Associate at the US Department of State, and Steven Prest works for McCormick & Company in Maryland.
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Alum Returns as SBE Faculty Member
featu Uzodinma completed his graduate degree at Durham University in the UK in 2012. The 2010 AUN graduate, who is back at his alma mater to teach finance and accounting, joined other new faculty in the fall 2013 Orientation. “I want students to understand why we study finance and adopt a research-based approach to learning,” he said. Uzodinma was president of AUN Honor Society during his
undergraduate days. His interest is to see students in that club get more involved in scholarly activities and use his skills and expertise to enrich the lives of others. Uzodinma added: “I'm more inclined towards using my finance knowledge to help people get micro-finance loans and be selfsustainable. AUN is a premier development university that encourages personal development. This is an exciting opportunity."
atural & Environmental Sciences alumna Rosemary Adaji was President Ensign's special assistant and coordinator of alumni relations when she was accepted to Michigan State University in the US for graduate school. She said of her stint at AUN, “I have learned to work hard, along with the art of multitasking. I've also learned that consistency is the key to producing results. The importance of community development--there is no end to what I've learned at AUN.” President Ensign said of her, “Rosemary is not only an outstanding student; she is a woman dedicated to improving human development in Nigeria and an inspiration to everyone who knows her. We know that she will be successful in her graduate program and look forward to welcoming her back when she completes her degree."
'My First AUN Experience'
emi Oluwadare was surprised that people could be so happy about serving others when she arrived at the Yola airport and saw how involved AUN volunteers were. “Getting through orientation was exciting. The orientation team was so awesome. Asking a lot of questions helped me. I thought they were being paid for helping us but I found out that it was community service – they did it for free! AUN's development approach seems to be working; students focus on solutions rather than problems,” she said. After moving in to her residence
hall, she discovered that her residence director is an animated, young woman - unlike the housemothers she lived with in high school. Ms. Oluwadare is considering a major in communications and multimedia because that is the area where she will be able to express her creativity. “Graphic design is the best program for me.” “I came from Trinity International College in Ogun State. I applied to other universities like the Art Institute of Colorado and Parson School of Design in N e w Yo r k . T h e A m e r i c a n University of Nigeria came top of my list because it has everything I want and need with another advantage – it's in Nigeria. One particular thing I like about my first semester was how the placement test was organized. You get a chance to show your strengths at AUN -- that's one of the amazing things about being here."
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Yola Grand Alliance, New Development Initiative, Launched
President Margee Ensign
new development-oriented movement involving a wide spectrum of stakeholders in Adamawa State was launched at AUN last Saturday, September 21. Christened "Grand Alliance for Yola," the new initiative is peopled by academics from within and outside AUN, top AUN management, representatives, organizations of religious groups, government, chambers of commerce, banks, and professionals from all walks of life. Its prime objective will be the improvement of the wellbeing of the community. President Ensign, who chaired the launch at AUN Hotel Conference Center & Spa, said, as a development university, AUN is embedded in the community, and understands the economic, social, and political peculiarities of the environment. The Grand Alliance, she assured the audience, has the support of the AUN Board of Trustees which believes that as a development university, AUN should share solutions. AUN will take the needed knowledge and research out to the community and come up with solutions, she added. Dr. Ensign also said that AUN will help to coordinate and provide "strengths" that include education,
research, training, and information technology. She called for clear-cut goals for the Alliance, adding that every idea realized will be put into the proposed development of "The Atiku Abubakar Centre for Entrepreneurship, Leadership, & Development." AUN consultant on competitive economic development, Gordon Studebaker, said there was every possibility of driving investment in Yo l a g i v e n t h e a v a i l a b l e opportunities. But the goal should be to reach out to the developed markets, to identify buyers. He mentioned the available opportunities in gemstones, textiles, and soybeans, as products
that could be further developed. "I envision that if we continue to get around and discover the dynamic opportunities of small producers, and people in villages who are making wonderful hats and fabrics, we can capture those products." All the 55 attendees at the launch agreed to the common goal of improved economic and social development and wellbeing in the community. The Alliance later broke up into five working groups based on areas of interest. These are: Youth, Resources, Education, Women, and Technology. The groups are expected to define their mission by the next meeting on December 5.
Ensign: Nigeria is Poised for Greatness and AUN Can Help
resident Margee Ensign has recently used Nigerian television to describe the American-style curriculum implemented by AUN, contrasting it to the more traditional university systems usually found in Africa. In a TV interview with the Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC) last month in Uyo, venue of this year's annual conference of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), President Ensign emphasized that at AUN students are groomed intellectually with a focus on solving local, national and regional problems. During the 30-minute talk, Dr. Ensign explained that quality education should go beyond the classroom. “At AUN we teach students to think critically and develop their analytical skills. Our goal is not just to teach abstract knowledge, but how to evaluate information and transform that information into knowledge,” she said. “As professors we focus on students. We know all of them. We know their strengths and weaknesses, and we know what they need in order to be successful.” She said AUN gives students an opportunity to have the best of two worlds. “They can stay in Nigeria and receive an excellent education before they go abroad. Our goal is to bring the best and the brightest to AUN. Students receive the same quality education here that they would get at a private university in the United States.” “People are beginning to recognize that there is a world-class university on the continent and they are sending us students,” added the President. The Rwandan government is sponsoring 20 students on full scholarship to AUN every year, while the South African government sponsors five. She described the AUN community service program as a “tremendous opportunity and responsibility” which Nigerian students should be prepared for. “We challenge our students to realize that they can learn a lot through service to others. This is important for every Nigerian student because by 2030 this country will be the fifth largest in the world.”
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meet aun people Samer Naoum Relishes Memories of AUN, Yola
amer Naoum (right) has returned to Beirut after a successful and memorable stint as General Manager, AUN Hotel Conference Center & Spa. Samer came aboard in March 2012 when the Hotel was near completion and swiftly threw himself into transforming AUN's hospitality flagship into a worldclass leisure center that offers stylish accommodation and a dining and conferencing facility consistent with the University's global standards. At ease with people and always willing to listen, Samer typified the professionalism, strong character, belief, team spirit, and multiculturalism common among AUN faculty, staff, and students. While with AUN, he introduced greater transparency and efficiency in the Hotel's accounting system and improved the physical infrastructure, recruitment, and staff training. He said he is proud of
the legacy of luxury services at AUN Hotel, and would not hesitate to recommend the facility to the Lebanese ambassador to Nigeria if he ever visits Yola. “In fact, I will personally make the reservation for him or any other dignitary, if need be.” Samer savors fond memories of AUN and the people he met -guests, faculty, staff, students and the Yola community. “Should fate bring me back to Yola, I will relive my time at AUN with nostalgia,” Samer said, confessing that he already misses his staff. Departing, he thanked President Ensign for her support and for giving him an opportunity to serve the University and the Yola community. Did you know Sameer? Birthplace: Miziara, a Lebanese village Fondest Childhood Memory: Ikeja, Lagos Family: Dad, who lives in Enugu, has been in Nigeria since 1976; sibling lives in Lagos Favorite Spot: AUN Hotel and Club House Fondest Memories: Two AUN Graduation ceremonies and the 2012 Founder’s Day Favorite AUN Buddies: Usoh Usoh, Hajara Jimoh Best Food: Lebanese cuisine
Hansen Ivara – Director, Purchasing & Procurement – 2nd Innocent Nwobodo – Deputy Director, Communications – 2nd nd Fodio Inuwa Musa – Visiting Lecturer, Accounting – 2 rd President Margee Ensign – 3 th Akoji Ebenezer Otijele – Asst. Dir., Advising & Retention – 4 th Francis Chaming – Director IT – 5 Abubakar Bunu – Director, Campus Planning & Safety – 7th th Professor Linus Osuagwu – Dean, SBE – 13 Daniel Okereke – Executive Director, Communications – 14th Grace Ayorinde – Asst. Director, Residence Life – 16th th Abraham Biyasa – Instructor, Physics – 17 Yahaya Zango – AVP, Admin & Development – 21st rd Hajara Jimoh – Coordinator of Benefits, HR – 23 th Robert Doebler – Director, Bridge Program – 26
CFO Anthony Agbo, with Staff of Finance Dept.(above) & wife, Rita (left), celebrated his birthday on September 29
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AUN Joins Global Mega Search Engine for Economic Information The AUN Library has recorded another "first" as Africa's only member of the global partner network for EconBiz.de – a search engine for economic information. The other 13 members of the network are spread over Europe in nine countries as indicated in the accompanying map. AUN became a member in its drive to create Africa's first smart digital library, said Amed Demirhan, the AUN Library Director. He said EconBiz.de is an informationsharing platform on the subject of economics and business. The aim of the network is to integrate EconBiz.de, into the work environments of researchers and students. The search engine was established by Leibniz Information Center for Economics (ZBW) of the
German National Library of Economics. It is the world's largest center for economic literature,
both on and offline, with over four million volumes and subscribes to 33,000 periodicals and journals.
AUN puts Yola, Nigeria on the global map
Reith: How AUN Connects with Other Global Institutions
nterim Provost, Professor Charles Reith, recently outlined how AUN connects with other global institutions, besides its study abroad partnerships. Through the Internet, he said, AUN offers courses that advance its e-learning and distance education with institutions abroad. He cited as an example a course that was developed this semester: "Global Explorations of Water Culture, Management, Policy, and Technology," describing it as “a unique multi-disciplinary course that deploys advanced e-learning and distance education technologies to connect students to classrooms around the world.” The course explores water from every angle, including its physical
and biological properties, distribution on our planet, and role in our global ecology and economy. “As part of our relationship with the Global Liberal Arts Alliance, we are teaching the Global Water course with extensive participation by Professors in Pakistan, Lebanon, Bulgaria, Thailand and the US, by exchanging video course content through the cloud and organizing the international participation through the University's website.” The Global Liberal Arts Alliance is a multilateral partnership of over 25 member-institutions that exchange knowledge, expertise, and experience among institutions whose foundation is rooted in the liberal arts and sciences tradition.
AUN is one of its members. Describing further how technology is being deployed in the course, Professor Reith said that besides the two primary instructors who are physically assigned to the class, students meet the other international faculty by videoskype and work with counterpart students in other countries to prepare presentations that include brief video-taped interviews. “Every student is required to use and demonstrate proficiency in opensource mind-mapping and moviemaking software.” AUN continues to explore learning and research opportunities through its expanding network of international organizations.
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