Nebraska to host third cohort of Mandela fellows

Nebraska to host third cohort of Mandela fellows

Nebraska's 2018 Mandela fellows pose after planting a tree by the Harper-Schramm-Smith residence hall complex. The planting was in recognition of Nelson Mandela's birthday.
Courtesy photo
Nebraska's 2018 Mandela fellows pose after planting a tree by the Harper-Schramm-Smith residence hall complex. The planting was in recognition of Nelson Mandela's birthday.

For the third-straight year, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has been named an institute partner in the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program.

As a part of the international program, the university will welcome 25 emerging leaders from sub-Saharan African nations for a six-week Academic and Civic Leadership Institute in June. Nebraska is one of 27 institutions selected to serve as institute partners with the U.S. State Department and the International Research and Exchanges Board, which co-sponsor the program.

Since 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders has selected nearly 3,700 leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 from 49 sub-Saharan Africa nations to visit the United States and focus on one of three areas: civic leadership, business and entrepreneurship, and public management.

Working closely with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and its implementing partner, IREX, host institutions offer academic and leadership programs that challenge, inspire and empower these inspiring young leaders from Africa. The summer 2019 program will include 700 fellows participating at the 27 institutions.

The Mandela Fellows celebrated America's Independence Day by making popular foods from their home countries for a potluck picnic at St. Mark's On-The-Campus.

The project is led by Maegan Stevens-Liska, director of the Office of Global Strategies, and Linda Major, director of the Center for Civic Engagement. The partnership, coupled with assistance from other campus units and faculty, has created a dynamic and engaging program for the visiting fellows.

The program is an extension of Nebraska’s long history of global engagement, which benefits the state, country and world.

Josh Davis, interim associate vice chancellor for international engagement and global strategies, said that being selected as a host institution again this year is a reflection of the growth in the university's global reach and impact.

“We are honored to once again serve as a host for these dynamic, young leaders from across Sub-Saharan Africa,” Davis said. “The energy, passion and global perspective they bring with them enriches our campus community. We are glad to have the opportunity to play this small part in their leadership journey.”

Stevens-Liska said the university is excited to be a Mandela Washington Fellow host for the third time.

“This program offers the university and local community an opportunity to continue building relationships and connect with young leaders from around the world,” she said. “We look forward to learning from our shared experiences and fostering conversations that lead to new ideals and solutions for global concerns.”

Nebraska’s program for the Mandela Washington Fellows will feature academic instruction and practical, hands-on experiences focused on a range of issues, including business, leadership, entrepreneurship, development and human rights, and communications and organizational development. The fellows will also participate in community service and engage with local and state leaders.

The 2019 session is June 19 to July 28. Learn more about the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, leads a discussion on strategic planning during the summer 2018 Mandela fellows program.