LIBERIA: U.S.  Professor Holds Lecture at Prof. Amos C. Sawyer College .. On Mississippi-U.S. , Mississippi-Liberia’s Ties

Dr. James Andrew Whitaker, a professor of the Department of Sociology of the Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, United States of America, on Friday, 6 July 2022 paid a courtesy visit at Prof. Amos C. Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities( formerly Liberia College), University of Liberia Fendall Campus. Dr. Whitaker, also teaches Sociology at the Mississippi State University in Raymond, Mississippi, as an adjunct faculty. He arrived in the country since 18 May 2022 and is expected to depart this week. He was in Greenville, Sinoe County to undertake a research about the Mississippi of U.S. and Mississippi of Liberia ties.

During the visit, Dr. Whitaker conducted one hour lecture on a research about the Mississippi of U.S. and Mississippi of Liberia ties, using snowball sampling method to carry out the month long studies.  Snowball sampling method involves a primary datasource nominating other potential data sources that will be able to participate in the research studies. It is purely based on referrals and that is how a researcher is able to generate a sample.

The session which took place in the official office of the dean, was interactive and instructive; chairpersons and faculty were given the opportunity to ask questions, freely expressed their thoughts and ideas and lauded Dr. Whitake for the visit and lecture session. The lecture session is part of Dr. Whitaker visiting profession ship role.

During the Friday’s courtesy visit at Sawyer College, the Dean of the College, Associate Professor Dr. Josephus M. Gray and    Dr. Whitaker discussed and exchanged a wide range of salient academic issues and views. On behalf of the President of the University of Liberia, Prof.  Dr. Julius Julukun Sarwolo Nelson, Dr. Gray welcomed    the visiting American professor and wished him well in his tour of a research visit to Liberia and extended an invitation to him to visit the other campuses of the university.  He praised    Dr. Whitaker for the courage to visit Liberia, particularly Greenville City and the UL Fendall Campus.

In his welcome remarks, Dr. Gray stated UL administration’s gratitude and openness for cooperation and partnership with the Hinds Community College in Mississippi, considering that the relations between Liberia and America have been going very well.   He informed Dr. Whitaker that the recent past has been a challenge not only for UL but also for the entire world, but noted that in due course, history will admire the fortitude of our current generation of faculty, staffs and students at the University of Liberia, particularly Prof. Amos C. Sawyer College.

Prof.  Gray reiterated his firmed high hopes for the continued upward trajectory of University of Liberia and Hinds Community College relations across a broad range of cooperation in several areas, such as the full implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) recently signed by the two presidents, Prof.  Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson and Dr. Stephen Vacik, Hinds Community College. The MOU focuses on the following areas: (1) Exchange educational and cultural materials of interest to both parties (2) Explore cooperative endeavors in research, faculty exchange, and short-term study abroad (3) Strengthen and expand mutual contacts between HCC and UL and (4) Publication of a joint peer-reviewed academic journal.

Dr. Whitaker expressed Hinds Community College’s profound gratitude to the UL administration and extended Dr. Stephen Vacik, President, Hinds Community College warm felicitation and appreciation to Dr. Nelson for the MoU between signed by the institutions. Hinds Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award the Associate of Arts degree, the Associate of Applied Science degree and certificates

The dean said: “Dr. Whitaker is an outstanding researcher and an inspiring teacher, and that it is very fortunate to have him visiting at Sawyer College.” He continued: I am inspired by his passion.

Speaking further, Dr. Gray said: I think that the best way to describe what happens here on this campus, between these brick walls, cement sidewalks, and lumbering trees, is to equate it with the humanity that operates within it; with the parts that make a body whole.  He pinpointed that “our body does not exist in a vacuum, instead it stands in a world where hate is rampant, and where trust has become a limited resource, but added that it is our responsibility to forge our paths in the direction of hope, empathy, and respect for the benefit of our students and the state.

Prior to the lecture session, Dr. Gray and his team took Dr. Whitaker on a guided tour of the UL Academic Complex Building hosting Amos C.  Sawyer College and offices of the chairpersons and libraries.

Among places toured were the departments of Art and Crafts, Political Sciences, Demography, History, Liberian Studies, Social Work, Geography, Sociology Anthropology and Criminology, Philosophy and Religious Studies, English and Language, ROTC, Physical Education and Sports. The guided tour also extended to the few classrooms such as AC 20 and 21, computer labs and the libraries. At these departments, Dr. Whitaker was warmly welcomed by various chairpersons and coordinators.

It can be recalled that on Monday, 30 May 2022, Dr. Whitaker paid a courtesy call to the University of Liberia Capitol Hill Campus to meet the President of the university, Prof. Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, Jr. and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prof. Dr. Moses M. Zinnah. Dr. Whitaker was accompanied by Dr. Gray.

Also, during the 30 May 2022 visit at the UL Capitol Hill Cmpus, Dr. Whitaker was taken on a guided tour of the campus by Dr. Gray. Among places toured were the UL Graduate School, A. Romeo Horton College of Business and Public Administration, Tubman Hall, the renovated Firestone Quadrangle Building (FQ) and the Liberty Bell.

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