Chandaria School of Business visits South Carolina State University for an experiential global learning trip

By Timothy Okech

Chandaria School of Business (CSoB) is committed towards the development of human resources for the global, regional and local labor market through the University’s robust transformative teaching and learning agenda. This is also in line with the university slogan “Education to take you places” and to partly to fulfil the curriculum requirements for both MBA and DBA programs. In collaboration with College of Business and Information System, South Carolina State University (SCSU), organized a two-week experiential global learning trip from June 9, involving twenty-six DBA students and two MBA students accompanied by the Dean, (CSoB) Prof. Okech, Helen Ambasa (Director, Legal Services as a special guest of SCSU) and Dr. Ogada (Asst. Professor of Accounting). They were hosted by SCSU led by Dean Matthew Guah and Prof. David Jamison Chair, Faculty Recruitment and Development Committee.

On arrival, at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, the team was received by Prof. Jamison, before boarding bus to Orangeburg in South Carolina where the team was received by a team of University staff led by Prof. Matthew Guah, Professor of Business and Dean, College of Business and Information System. The program kicked off with a key note address and welcoming remarks by the university management led by the President, Provost and other senior university staff, Head of Police in Orangeburg City, and the Mayor of the City.

This was followed by two-day lectures by senior teaching staff on topical areas including Qualitative Research Methodology for Business & Social Science Research; Counter – Intelligence Strategies & Practices; Grant and Proposal writing, among others. DBA student were accorded opportunity to share their research interests, while Ms. Ambasa held consultative meetings with the university’s former and current General Counsel and the paralegal on various areas relating to transformative teaching and learning. The team visited various companies in Atlanta including World of Coca-Cola, Martin Luther King Memorial, Clark Atlanta University, before being hosted by one of their Alumni–John Funny who delivered a lecture on City/Urban Planning, Traffic/Transportation Planning and Engineering. Others areas visited included university demonstration farm, South Carolina Congress (Senate and House of Representatives), in Columbia, Orangeburg Regional Innovation Center, Arts Center, African American Museum in Charleston, Agritourism farm, among other places. In all these places visited, the team received various talks and accorded opportunity to ask questions. The team was also hosted by Orangeburg County Council and accorded an opportunity to attend the Council Assembly session where Dean Okech was given an opportunity to address the Assembly. The climax of the visit was the closing ceremony that was attended by a host of senior university leadership including the President and the Provost.

In the end, students were awarded certificates of participation by the university. Both the opening and closing ceremonies were covered by the media houses and a few students, Dean Okech given opportunity to share information relating to the visitation and expected outcomes. In deed this was quite enriching trip for the students and we endeavor to pursue more of such trips for the students and to continue linking them with colleagues from SCSU and other universities globally to fulfil our teaching and transformative agenda as enshrined in the university’s strategic plan. Strategies have been initiated to plan for the trip early enough to accord more DBA students and a few MBA–Global Business Management and Health and Leadership Management opportunity to participate in this enriching trip.

Testimonials by students

Student A

It was an honor to participate in the global tour (June 2024) to USA. We visited various institutions, including the SC State University (Bulldog Nation) and Clark Atlanta University; Orangeburg County Council monthly meeting and State House (SC senators & representative’s office building in Columbia); Martin Luther King Memorial Civil Rights Museum (Atlanta, GA & Charleston, SC) the World of Coca-Cola amongst others. The tour was an eye opener which helped me see the vast potentials for initiating change in our society—individually and as a community. We also benefited from some delightfully inspiring messages, including one from a world class professor (Dean Matthew Waritay Guah), and a very successful African American businessman turned politician (Mr. John J. Funny, Pro Tempore District 4 Mayor and President of Grice Consulting). Not only was I among selected students to present our research, but also a great learning experience, where I established a global network for future engagement. I am indebted to the organizers and the university for this opportunity to sharpen my perceptions and passion to relate education to real-world problem-solving scenarios. We will positively impact the ‘global village’ when African intellects not only open our minds and horizons through such programs, but also be ready to institute materials that we learned at both personal and institutional levels. Thus, I highly recommend such a trip to anyone who would love to grow intellectually and has the desire to leave a footprint in his/her respective area of specialization.

Student B

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dean, Prof. Okech and Dean Mathew for enabling the successful visit to South Carolina State University. It was a great experience. We got to experience the US from the lenses of the black community and got to appreciate how far they have come as a country and the black community. The Martin Luther King Memorial and Civil Rights museum and Cecil Williams civil rights museum were very informative. The brief session we had with John Funny was quite enlightening. Just seeing the architectural work in its finest from ideation to final execution was a big lesson. It posed a challenge to myself and our urban planners back home. It is admirable how South Carolina State University has a strong alumni network. The faculty interactions at South Carolina State University and Clark Atlanta University were very productive especially when we got to see their simulation room for currency trade. We got to sit and experience the City Council Assembly meeting. We saw servant leadership in its finesse. We also got an opportunity to do some shopping and experience new delicacies which was quite an experience. We got an opportunity to attend a church service at the Cornerstone Church in Orangeburg. I got spiritual nourishment. This US trip was a wholesome experience. It was definitely worth every penny.

Student C

I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for the recent global trip to South Carolina State University. The opportunity to travel and engage with both academic and professional communities was invaluable. I am deeply grateful to USIU-Africa for coordinating this enriching experience. The collaboration between USIU-Africa and SCSU was seamless, and the support from both ends was outstanding. The SCSU professors' deep dive sessions on research proposal development were exceptionally helpful and will significantly contribute to my thesis. Meeting successful businesspersons and listening to their inspiring stories reinforced my belief in the potential for success with determination and effort. Visiting historical sites in the U.S., like the World of Coca-Cola and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, added a rich cultural dimension to our journey. Connecting with fellow Kenyans and learning about their experiences was also encouraging and opened avenues for future collaboration towards our nations' development. Special thanks to you, Prof. Okech, for your leadership in making this memorable event possible. I look forward to more opportunities for such enriching engagements in the future.

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