Geography Professor Donates Books In Home Country Of Ghana

By Cassie Conklin 

Dr. James Saku, a professor in the Department of Geography at the Frostburg State Universtity, recently traveled to his home country of Ghana, West Africa where he donated books to the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS). The donated books included copies of The Professional Geographer, a quarterly journal published by the American Association of Geographers, and textbooks on climatology, biogeography, geology, and economic geography, among other topics. 

In a short ceremony on Jan. 15, 2020, Prof. Daniel Asiedu, the Provost of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and Prof. Kwasi Appeaning Addo, the Director of IESS, received the books and expressed profound gratitude to Saku. The donated books are particularly relevant and useful for the faculty and students of the Department of Geography and Human Resources at the University of Ghana. 

Dr. Saku with Prof. Daniel Asiedu
Dr. Saku with Prof. Daniel Asiedu | photo: University of Ghana

Saku was inspired to donate the books after meeting Dr. Jessa Ayivor, a Senior Research Fellow at the

IESS after meeting during the American Association of Geographers meeting in Washington D.C. in April 2019. The donated books were assembled by Saku with help from Dr. Francis Precht, another Professor in the Department of Geography at FSU.

Donated books | photo: University of Ghana
Donated books | photo: University of Ghana

Saku’s relationship with the Department of Geography at the University of Ghana developed during his time as the University of Ghana-Carnegie Diasporan Scholar in 2017.

“The reason I donated the books was because the Geography Department at the University of Ghana didn’t have books or journals to use in the classroom,” said Saku. Indeed, this donation represents the fourth time that Saku has packaged and shipped books back to his home country.

Dr. Pabi Opoku, Dr. Daniel Nukpezah, Dr. Benedicta Fosu Mensah, Dr. Samuel Koranteng, Senior Research Fellows, IESS; Dr. Daniel Darko, Research Fellow, IESS; Mr. Peter Osei-Fosu, Senior Assistant Registrar, IESS and other members of faculty | photo: University of Ghana
Dr. Pabi Opoku, Dr. Daniel Nukpezah, Dr. Benedicta Fosu Mensah, Dr. Samuel Koranteng, Senior Research Fellows, IESS; Dr. Daniel Darko, Research Fellow, IESS; Mr. Peter Osei-Fosu, Senior Assistant Registrar, IESS and other members of faculty | Photo: University of Ghana

While in Ghana, Saku was also invited to participate in two radio interviews. The first was with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation where Saku compared universities in Ghana and the USA. Saku earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana and has taught at FSU since 1996. Saku believes Ghanaian universities would benefit from the “continuous assessment” of students that American universities undertake. Moreover, “the system is very rigid and difficult to change,” says Saku.

The second interview was with the University of Ghana and dealt with the problems that are hampering development, as well as topics related to corruption within his home country.

This donation won’t be the last, says Saku, “I’ll start gathering more books soon.”

Read from source The Bottom Line

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