Interaction with learners

A professor from the College of Professional Advancement appointed chairman of the EEA board

Dr Zipangani Vokhiwa (left) testified before the Georgia Senate Outdoor Learning Review Committee during its discussion on the allocation of resources to outdoor learning initiatives.

ATLANTA – Dr. Zipangani Vokhiwa, professor of science at the College of Professional Advancement, was recently appointed chairman of the board of directors of the Environmental Education Alliance (EEA).

EEA is a coalition of educators and organizations standing up for the importance of educating individuals of all ages to be aware of the land around them through environmental literacy and empowerment to protect the land and its inhabitants.

This assignment directly corresponded to Dr Vokhiwa’s passions for environmental science, biology and sustainability, which prompted him to join the organization’s board of directors in 2018.

“I resonate greatly with their goal of ensuring that every citizen of our community knows their environment. Knowledge is power, ”said Dr Vokhiwa.

He was able to put his passion into action by participating in various research projects, such as Mercer On Mission’s trips to his home country, Malawi between 2010-2013. These trips have supported local communities in their environmental sustainability efforts.

These three Mercer On Mission trips were “eye-opening” for students who traveled to Malawi with Dr Vokhiwa, he said, and served as real examples of “seeing is believing” as part of their studies. own outdoor learning experiences.

Dr Vokhiwa was selected to receive a Fulbright Hays Award in 2013 to further support this effort and to collect data for a project titled “The Interaction of Environment and Culture in Malawi”.

“For me, research is how science can help us answer certain questions,” said Dr Vokhiwa. “While we were in Malawi, we studied the quality of the water in a community. We discovered that some of the water contained E. coli, and we wouldn’t have known if we hadn’t gone and done our research.

Dr Vokhiwa was also able to contribute to other projects in collaboration with the AEE, such as his monitoring of monarch butterflies and his appeal to the Georgia Senate to increase outdoor learning opportunities and funding to improve resources for the state to get children out and explore their environment.

Dr Vokhiwa applies this same mindset in the classroom to encourage his students to immerse themselves and actively make a tangible difference in their environment.

“I don’t want to say ‘Oh, things happen like this’ to my students. Instead, things are done scientifically, ”said Dr Vokhiwa. “I encourage my students to think this way inside and outside the classroom. “

Due to his dedication to nature and the EEA, as well as his many accomplishments, Dr Vokhiwa was awarded the title of Chairman of the Board in July.

His presidential duties include leading the EEA executive committee and general board, reaching agreement on issues, managing programs and ‘getting the train going,’ Dr Vokhiwa said. .

Dr Vokhiwa congratulates Mercer and the College of Professional Advancement for providing an excellent support system throughout his 15-year teaching career at the University and for making him stand out in his home country.

“The Mercer family have been very helpful. Without them I would not have been able to return to Malawi three times, and that is a big problem, ”he said. “Without the support of my Department Director, Dean and University President, I wouldn’t be where I am now in my 15th year. The support has always been there.

About the College of Professional Advancement

Mercer University Career Advancement College is committed to serving post-traditional learners. Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs are available to adult learners seeking professional advancement in leadership roles in and beyond their communities. The programs provide students with distinctive multidisciplinary experiences that integrate theory and practice. In addition to providing general education and elective courses at various colleges and schools in Mercer, the College of Professional Advancement offers degree programs in areas such as technology, public safety, public and social services, leadership and administration, health care and the liberal arts. Programs are offered at Mercer’s Atlanta and Macon campuses, as well as regional university centers in Douglas and Henry Counties, and online. To learn more, visit professionaladvancement.mercer.edu.