Hello from Ghana, the Gateway to Africa

Fulbright Scholar Dr. Marcella McCoy-Deh shares her experiences as she teaches overseas.
Headshot of Marcella McCoy Deh

Dr. Marcella McCoy-Deh is the Philadelphia University Honors Institute director and professor in the College of Humanities and Sciences.

After touching down in the West African nation of Ghana in August, I quickly settled into my new home, attended a U.S. Embassy briefing and met my colleagues at the University of Ghana for the 2019-2020 academic year.

As a Fulbright Scholar, my appointment is with the Kwame Nkrumah Institute of African Studies, collaborating with faculty on courses on the slave trade, Pan-Africanism and the African diaspora. My role is to teach related material from U.S. history to complement the classes. Likewise, this collaboration will allow me to contribute African studies material to Jefferson courses.

In addition to teaching, I’m auditing courses on traditional African religion and gender and culture to inform my writing, and developing a platform for African and African-American women in higher education to discuss and support each other regarding mutual and distinct intersectionality.

This is all very timely, as 2019 marks the Year of Return, a recognition of the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving at Jamestown, Va.

Outside of my academic responsibilities, I’m volunteering on U.S. Embassy projects related to Fulbright and similar programs, learning to drive “the Ghana way” (think Philly with more congestion but fewer traffic signals and accidents), and taking in all of the sights, sounds and vibes of Ghana’s many formal and informal marketplaces.

Dr. Marcella McCoy-Deh is the director of the Philadelphia University Honors Institute and professor of American studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences. Throughout the year, she will chronicle her experiences in Ghana for The Nexus.

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