Two A&T students become global scholars


“From the classroom window you can see the beach and when you walk outside you’re in the Caribbean,” said Brandon Fennell. Fennell, a junior finance major, and Justin Hayden, a senior electronics computer technology major, were both chosen to attend The Summer Institute for Future Global Leaders at The University of the Virgin Islands at St. Thomas.

A&T’s School of Business and Economics professor, Dr. Chi Anyansi-Archibong, is an instructor for the institute. Since 2001, she has recruited A&T students to accompany her in the Virgin Islands for the institute.

“We have about 50-60 students that attend each summer and the majority come from HBCU’s in the U.S. and schools from pacific islands such as Grenada and Haiti,” said Archibong.

The Summer Institute for Future Global Leaders was held on May 17-30 and is a two week global leadership program. According to the University of the Virgin Islands website, the institute is designed to provide a foundation for nurturing future leaders in the Caribbean and beyond. Its multi-discipline program and activities equip students with the broad knowledge and functional skills necessary to assume future leadership roles.

Hayden said that he chose to attend the institute because it was an alternative to studying abroad. He also wanted to learn leadership. The fact that the program was held in a tropical place was a big factor as well.

The intensive global leadership development courses focuses on three areas; The Global Business Environment, Leadership for Tomorrow and Culture and Communication. Some areas of study include the changing structures of Caribbean markets and heritage.

Archibong is a native of Nigeria and every summer she gives the institute insight into issues that affect Africa. This past summer she taught classes on Africa and the economic prospects and challenges in a global and technology-driven society.

Fennell said that he learned about the issues that small islands face in the Caribbean.

He has become more sensitive towards other cultures and developed leadership skills that will help him throughout his career.

“The purpose of the institute was to acknowledge that there are problems with the black community outside of the U.S. and that worldwide racism still exists,” said Hayden.

According to Archibong, the students met many people from all over the world and learned many skills that will help them to become more effective leaders.

The cost of the institute is approximately $2,000. Last year, Chancellor Renick awarded Fennell and Hayden half of the cost to attend. To be eligible, a student must be a junior or senior, show an interest in pursuing a leadership role in their chosen vocation and be recommended by the Chief Academic Officer of their school.

Upon completion of the program, the student will receive a three hour course credit and a certificate in Global Leadership Development.

  • Torell Taylor
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