Fellows Connect with Content Experts
from Leading Universities

Dr. Buck of Northwestern University Presents on Partnership Negotiations

This June, Dr. Michelle Buck, Clinical Professor of Leadership at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, met with UPEX Fellows to discuss partnership and stakeholder negotiations. Dr. Buck has been engaged in Africa since 2014  when she co-led an international MBA course and a trip to East Africa.

 "Negotiation is fundamentally about communication and how we manage different interests in different relationships in our lives," Dr. Buck said. "It is my hope and intention that [the workshop] plants seeds for further reflection and further dialogue in the [UPEX Fellows'] work and in their lives."

The presentation provided practical applications on how to develop creative solutions that benefit all stakeholders. Fellows learned how to prepare for negotiations, reflect on successes and challenges, communicate personal interests, inquire about the interests of others, and evaluate negotiated outcomes in order to maintain and strengthen relationships.

"Nebraska valued this collaboration with Northwestern and Dr. Buck. UPEX presented an opportunity to leverage the Big 10 Academic Alliance to support our UPEX colleagues in Rwanda," said Blayne Sharpe, Director of Africa Partnerships at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

University of Arkansas Presents on Program Evaluation to Nebraska UPEX-Rwanda Program

In July, Dr. Nichola Driver of the University of Arkansas’ Clinton School of Public Service delivered a virtual presentation to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s UPEX-Rwanda Program. Dr. Driver, who teaches Field Research Methods, Program Evaluation, and serves as the Faculty Director for the Office of Community Engagement at the Clinton School, presented on the use of logic models, evaluation questions, and indicators to guide planning for monitoring and evaluation. 
Dr. Faraj of Africa Leadership University Hosts Project Management Workshop

In a workshop dedicated to project management for UPEX Fellows, Dr. Gaidi Faraj, Former Head of College at Africa Leadership University, shared about his experience leading teams through curriculum development, as well as campus infrastructure build-out. The presentation included topics such as: 
  • Project Management in Higher Education: Understanding the goals of higher education in creating a culture and environment where students can thrive and learn, and how these goals provide flexibility in leading project teams
  • Leading Project Teams: Understanding how the evolution of a team’s vision of core deliverables can be enhanced by narrowing the scope of a project
  • Tools and Framework: Understanding the importance of keeping students at the center of the decision-making process, creating open and honest dialogues through regular “sprint” meetings, and having project dashboards that support prioritization of tasks and transparency around work progress
"I hope Fellows gained a better sense of how project management skills can enable them to be both innovative and iterative as school leaders while also being deliberate and structured in their work. Understanding how to organize a team and implement change is often one of the biggest barriers to new ideas. Hopefully, they have the confidence to overcome that barrier."
- Dr. Gaidi Faraj, Former Head of College at Africa Leadership University

UPEX Program Distributes New Laptops to Empower and Support Fellows 

COVID-19 has challenged university administrators to leverage technology to connect with global partners. With the goal of empowering the sharing of program resources and training materials with their colleagues, the UPEX Program distributed new laptops to Fellows. The laptops will also allow Fellows to use technologies like Zoom, Canvas, and other online learning management systems that provide an opportunity for UPEX Fellows to demonstrate best practices in virtual programming. 

“The laptop will help me transfer knowledge and best practices acquired with colleagues and other stakeholders to ensure the impact and sustainability of the program for a long time to come," said Samuel Sibomana, UPEX Fellow and Fundraising and Industry Relations Specialist at the University of Rwanda.

"The online learning methods have been an effective alternative to classical teaching, especially during the pandemic," said Jean Claude Byishimo, UPEX Fellow and Assistant Lecturer at Rwanda Polytechnic. "The online platforms have allowed me to motivate myself, learn new things, and download materials that I can access in different places. This has increased my ability to prioritize and take initiative."

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