Denison's emphasis on global perspective encourages opportunities abroad for students, and it also brings the world to Denison by building relationships with faculty and institutions in other countries. In the spring of 2016, the provost of Ashesi University in Ghana visited Denison and met with Sue Davis, Director of Off-Campus Study and International Programs, to talk about ways to deepen the relationship between the two institutions, both of which are members of the Global Liberal Arts Alliance (GLAA). GLAA is a consortium of 29 sister colleges in 17 countries working to strengthen liberal arts practices and values worldwide.
Ashesi University Economics Professor, Stephen Armah, happened to be looking for a sabbatical opportunity for the fall semester of 2016. “I wanted to be associated with a university that has a strong economics department — it’s good to bounce your ideas off your peers,” Armah recalled.
Armah's sabbatical plans and Denison's economics department were a winning fit. As a specialist in the economic development of African countries, Armah could contribute in a number of ways to Denison's community, and the reputation of Denison's economics department convinced Armah it would be a productive location for his research, which included education in Ghana, culture and corruption, and eldercare.
He also valued the ready-made community of related disciplines: “As a liberal arts school with an anthropology department, political science, ecology, African studies and economics, I have a rich set of people [at Denison] that I can collaborate with.”
That summer, three Denison professors visited Ashesi for a week to further build ties between the two institutions: Jessen Havill (computer science and data analytics), Veerendra Lele (anthropology/sociology), and May Mei (math). Professor Armah arrived in Granville from Ghana for the fall semester soon after their return.