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Mentoring in Malawi

Cole Reeves ’18 became a student-turned-teacher in Lilongwe, Malawi, last summer.

If what one wants from a college experience is a mentor for professional development, an assignment that challenges on a number of levels and an expanded vision of the world with the opportunity to change it, they are available at Stetson.

That’s certainly what Cole Reeves ’18 would say.

Last summer, Reeves spent two weeks with William Andrews, Ph.D., associate professor of international business, in Lilongwe, Malawi. As Andrews’ teaching assistant in a class at the African Business Institute, Cole taught and coached advanced entrepreneurship students in building financial models for a pitch competition that contained significant funding possibilities.

Stetson’s William Andrews, Ph.D.

“Cole was a real trooper in Malawi,” Andrews said. “In addition to doing a great job in the classroom, he did a superb job relating to the students. There are a lot of nuanced cross-cultural dynamics in play in assignments like this, and he conveyed both humility and expertise in a manner that was well-received by the students.” 

In turn, Reeves, who graduated in December, labeled the experience a “great opportunity for me.”

“In two weeks, I was a student, a teacher, a world-traveler and so much more,” he commented. “Stetson changed my world by giving me an opportunity to change the world in the beautiful country known as the Warm Heart of Africa. I cannot imagine a more beautiful way to cap off my time at Stetson and am forever grateful for the experience.”

Outside the classroom, Andrews and Reeves navigated developing-world surprises such as not having power in their guest home for much of the time, avoiding rat-kabobs sold in the street, sleeping under mosquito nets, and having two large wild elephants come right up to their weekend treehouse accommodation in the middle of the night. 

Villagers welcomed the Stetson professor and student.

Both are grateful to Stetson’s WORLD-classaward for the funding that allowed them to participate in a segment of a yearlong entrepreneurship-development program with students and professors from Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities. 

It’s all part of the full educational experience offered at Stetson, according to Paula Hentz, director of international learning at WORLD: The David and Leighan Rinker Center for International Learning at Stetson. “We want to ensure every student is having an international experience in one way or another,” Hentz said, simply. 

“It’s about [our students’] ability to see other points of view. This creates a better understanding of the world around us, our place in the world and how we can make it better.”

Classrooms Abroad This Summer

Destinations for official faculty-led study:

Austria, Switzerland and Germany (same program)

Burgundy, France

Cairns, Australia

Cuenca, Ecuador

Dominican Republic

Georgian Foodways

Geneva, Switzerland

Hong Kong

Innsbruck, Austria

Inverness, Scotland

London, England 

Moldova

Novi Sad, Serbia

Paris and London

Portugal (Executive M.B.A. program) 

Singapore

South Africa

South Korea

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