By Mary Shelley-Snell
From August to December 2022, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture hosted nine Faculty Exchange Program (FEP) and five Scientific Exchange Program (SEP) fellows from four African countries. These programs are funded through the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and they focus on veterinary teacher pedagogy and animal health governance. Marcy Souza, professor and associate dean for outreach and global engagement at UTIA CVM, served as the project lead for both programs. The visiting SEP fellows were all from Kenya, and the FEP fellows were from Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. They were matched with faculty members from three different UT colleges for mentorship for the duration of their programs. Learn more about each fellow and their mentor throughout this #FacultyExchangeFriday blog series.
Daniel Kizza is a faculty member at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Makere University. His core role in this position is teaching, supervising student projects, and writing grant proposals. Kizza returned to Knoxville during the 2023 Spring semester through the Fulbright Scholars Program. He was able to build on the connections he made through the FEP Program, expand his research goals, and continue learning more about animal health education and governance. Read more about his experience as an FEP fellow below!
Q: What interested you about this program?
Some of my fellow faculty members have participated in faculty exchange programs before, and I have been really interested in taking part in one. I wanted to improve my skills and competency in different teaching methods. I do not have a teaching background, so I thought this would help me gain some more experience and knowledge. I also wanted to take this opportunity to build research collaborations between the University of Tennessee and Makerere University.
Q: What were some highlights of the program for you?
There have been many highlights while participating in this program. Two of the things that I enjoyed the most were the master teacher class and several online courses that provided me the opportunity to gain more knowledge on specific teaching topics. Some of the other highlights from this program have been understanding how veterinarians in the U.S. contribute to disease surveillance and management, learning more about food borne illnesses, and gaining knowledge about how to work with the media. Lobbying is new in Uganda, so I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to watch a presentation about lobbying to governments and how to manage change within the animal health industry.
Q: What are you next steps following your completion of this fellowship?
After this fellowship, I have a few goals that I would like to implement at Makerere. While being a participant in this fellowship I have learned so much about teaching styles, how to examine students, and how students learn in different ways. I plan to implement those things into my teaching, as well as within other faculty teaching. Another thing I plan to introduce to my colleagues is teaching peer reviews so that we have a better system for getting feedback on how we teach, and then we can further improve the way we teach our classes.
Q: Why do you view exchange programs like this one as being important?
FEP has been very enriching and useful for me on both a personal and professional level. I was introduced to the American education system and discovered new things that I can implement into my teaching and hopefully improve how veterinarians are taught in Uganda.
Q: What was your favorite part about being at UT and in Knoxville, TN?
I really enjoyed being in Knoxville and at the University of Tennessee! I like that Knoxville is a small town. It has felt very safe, quiet, and calm. Our accommodations have been great and the location we stayed in was perfect for walking around and exploring the city. I’m grateful that I’m only saying goodbye for a short time and that I’ll get to return through the Fulbright Program.