A part of Gannon University's initiative toward developing worldview is bringing a global perspective back to its own campus. In October 2014, the University will do just that through its acceptance into the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program and a weeklong visit from former Ambassador Robin Sanders, Ph.D.
Hosted by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program supports higher education institutions' requests to bring respected diplomats, business leaders and other professionals on campus to engage with students and faculty. The Visiting Fellow resides on campus, giving lectures and workshops, attending classes and meeting with local schools and organizations to help relate the community with a broader, more global view of society.
“I believe in engaging the next generation of leaders, scholars and visionaries"
Sanders is a former U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) regional organization, as well as to the Republic of the Congo. Her expertise and practice spreads across various fields including energy sector reform, analytical foreign and public policy and public diplomacy.
"I believe in engaging the next generation of leaders, scholars and visionaries – which all students of Gannon are – in whatever capacity they choose to work," said Sanders.
"The value and mission of Gannon University, I think, provides a solid foundation for real civic and global engagement, and any role that my life experiences can add to that, I am more than happy and glad to share."
She is an advocate for global and domestic issues and serves as chairperson for the African organization Songhai Integrative Farms Systems, which is concerned with food security, agriculture, sustainable environment, energy, economics, youth education and entrepreneurship. Additionally, she is the founder of the FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative, which focuses on the same issues in the United States.
Assistant Professor and Director of the Honors Program, Ann Bomberger, Ph.D., said, "I feel very fortunate to be involved in Ambassador Sanders' upcoming visit. Her visit is a way for our students and the Erie-GAINS community to engage with a world-renowned scholar who will help them see themselves as part of an interconnected world.
Students in various College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences courses will experience an enriched global perspective first hand through engaged learning and speeches from Sanders.
"I also learn when I visit colleges and universities around the U.S. as part of the CIC Visiting Fellows program. I hear what is on the next generation's mind, I hear about student's aspirations, and it makes me feel America's young people are so ready to take on the world," said Sanders.
By participating in this program, the University opens its eyes, arms and doors even wider, further welcoming the idea that the world and all its fascinating unfamiliarity is right at our feet waiting to be discovered.