Dear ASC community,

This is our last eNews for 2021, and I, therefore, want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued engagement with ASC and to wish you a restorative and peaceful (even if short) break. We are now two years into living with Covid, and although we are getting better at it, Covid still impacts our community in many different ways. 

After a year-long Covid-related hiatus, we were very happy that we could again welcome UMAPS scholars to campus in the Fall 2021 semester. Our current cohort of eight scholars presented their research at a day-long research symposium on December 15—be on the lookout for a link to the recording in the near future! We’re also excited about welcoming a second UMAPS cohort for the academic year in the Winter 2022 semester. The new travel ban imposed by the US government, however, means that only a small number of the Winter 2022 UMAPS cohort will be able to join us in early January. We’re continuously monitoring the situation and hope that the rest of the cohort will also be able to travel to the US, even if a bit later in the Winter semester.

I am also very happy to announce that the 2021 edition of ASC’s annual newsletter, Alliances, is now available! The publication was delayed for a few months by Covid-related restrictions, but this edition (our biggest yet!) is chock full of information about all the many ways in which U-M engages with Africa. A special thank you to Raquel Buckley, our Communications Editor, for the beautiful and expert graphic design that went into this issue of Alliances.

Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to a member of the ASC team, and to welcome a new member. Daniel Iddrisu has worked with ASC over the past year as a student assistant, and many of you may have interacted with him at an ASC event or received an email from him. We’re bidding Daniel farewell since he is graduating in December, having just filed his MA thesis for the MIRS African Studies degree. Congratulations, Daniel! We will miss you, but we are also happy with you. As we say goodbye to Daniel, we welcome a new member to the ASC team. Teyei Pam joined ASC in December as Meeting/Events Coordinator. Teyei will focus on all aspects of the UMAPS program, but also assist in many other ASC events and activities. Teyei has an MA in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University and brings many years of experience in Africa-focused work to ASC—including work for the EU and the US government in Nigeria, and various non-profits and community organizations in Nigeria and the US. Welcome, Teyei!

Warm greetings,
Andries Coetzee, ASC Director