Town Hall; Alumni Engagement and Alumni Reestablishment Article

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Gondar and Queen’s University, now in its fourth year, is finalizing its strategy for alumni engagement and alumni support. As part of this strategy, the program management sought input about how to best support alumni engagement and alumni reestablishment at the University of Gondar.

All Fellows and supervisors were encouraged to attend one of two online town halls on September 3 and September 4, 2020, with the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program team, where they explored ideas and priorities for program alumni support.

The Town Halls were Fellow driven as the management team wanted to hear their ideas on how the Mastercard Foundation could best support their transition back to the University of Gondar.  Many great ideas were shared and discussed among the Fellows, supervisors and the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program team.

After gathering feedback in both of the Town Halls, the Fellows were invited to join an Alumni Advisory Working Group. Five Fellows volunteered, accompanied by the Faculty Development Coordinator (UoG) and the Student and Faculty Liaison (Queen’s), to establish an alumni proposal logic model.

The significant ideas and recommendations proposed by the Fellows and supervisors during the two Town Halls can be summarized in the following categories: networking, capacity building, research, infrastructure, community service, and personal needs. The Fellows who volunteered to be part of the working group developed a Logic Model based on the major categories identified. The Management team will review the logic model, and a final proposal will be created and shared with the Mastercard Foundation.

Thank you to all of the Fellows and supervisors who joined the Town Halls and expressed their support and ideas. The alumni engagement and reestablishment strategy is a crucial part of this program as both PhD and OT Fellows will return to the University of Gondar in Ethiopia as transformative leaders to build institutional capacity for disability inclusion upon completing their degree.