Three American scholars under the sponsorship of I-Help Liberia are in the country to help sharpen the learning and teaching skills of Liberia’s rural teachers and students, and are based on the campus of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata, Margibi County.
Since their arrival, they have been observing classes by teachers in the Math and Physics departments and been given them feedback, also given seminars on probability theory , including seminars on computer skills, logic, and other math topics before their departure.
The three visiting American scholars include, Michael Frank an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Linguistics at Stanford University, who also specializes in statistical models of child language acquisition received his Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from MIT in 2010, and his undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 2004.
He is a graduate of Hunter College High School, where he was coached in soccer and mentored by Liberian teacher and BWI grad Asumana Jabateh Randolph. , and is passionate about science and math education in the US and the developing world and has conducted fieldwork in India and Brazil on numerical cognition and mathematics education.
Ms. Alison Kamhi is a Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid, where she assists unaccompanied minors in immigration and removal proceedings. She has worked with human rights organizations all over the world, including in Russia, Cam- bodia, New Zealand, and Ireland, as well as holding a clerkship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
She received her J.D. from Harvard University in 2008 and her B.A. in History from Stanford University in 2003, and was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship for historical studies in Rostock, Germany.
While Andrew Obus a member of the team, is a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University, specializing in pure mathematics. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, and his undergraduate degree in mathematics, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Harvard University in 2003.
He is a graduate of Hunter College High School, where he was a member of the Science Club, advised by Liberian teacher Asumana Jabateh Randolph. He will be spending next year conducting mathematical research at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, Germany.
The team is expected to host a workshop for members of Liberian Women in Science and the Liberian Science Foundation in Monrovia. They will also be working with the faculty at BWI and other Kakata schools (including Lango Lippaye and St. Augustine) and then travelling to Cuttington University to give a two day seminar there.
Teachers and students benefiting from the expertise of these three American scholars have expressed thanks and appreciation to the I-Help Liberia U.S. based team in the United States and Liberia for allowing professional American scholars to come to Liberia in professionally sharpening the thoughts and minds.