UniMAC Signs Educational Partnership with Virginia Tech and University of Cape Coast to Enhance Teaching, Learning and Research in Communication

The University of Media, Art and Communication (UniMAC) has signed an educational partnership agreement with the Virgina Polytechnic Institute and State University( Virginia Tech-USA) and the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to enhance teaching, learning and research in communication in the context of agriculture, rural development and environment.

The Virginia Tech team paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor and Management of UniMAC to sign the agreement.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eric Opoku-Mensah, expressing his delight for the collaboration said, “Ghana’s economy is agriculture based and communication cuts across every field. We need journalists and other communicators who fully understand issues of agriculture. Therefore, our students need to take issues of agriculture seriously.” He also intimated that communication cuts across all spheres of life. Thus, teaching and research activities which focus on communication in the context of agriculture, rural development and environment are critical for the socio-economic transformation of Ghana.

The Department of Communication Studies of UniMAC and the Department of Agricultural Leadership and Community Education of Virgina Tech already had a partnership agreement. The existing agreement between the two institutions led to the development of a special course in communication for development and social change. The special course has been successfully pilot-tested for two years, with students from both institutions taking part in the course. Faculty members from both institutions as well as other experts from international organizations collaboratively delivered the course on two occasions. The first cohort of the special course resulted in one MA student of UniMAC gaining a full PhD scholarship to study at Virginia Tech.

The leader of the delegation from Virginia Tech, Prof. Tracy Rutherford expressed her admiration for the commitment towards the initial partnership agreement between UniMAC and Vigirnia Tech, and their keen interest in expanding the ongoing partnership. This has led to the current agreement which is a tripartite partnership including the University of Cape Coast. Among other things, the new partnership will focus on joint study track/courses, joint research and publication between UniMAC and Virginia Tech faculty/Student exchange and faculty capacity building endeavors. Apart from Department of Agricultural Leadership and Community Education, the new partnership also involves the Virginia Tech School of Communication. 

Prof. Tracy Rutherford further disclosed that faculty from UniMAC (Dr. Odoom and Dr. Obeng-Baah) have been appointed as adjunct faculty for Virginia-Tech.

Members of the Virginia Tech team at the meeting included, Professor Van Crowder and Professor Donna Westfall-Rudd from the Department of Agricultural Leadership and Community Education as well as Prof. John Tedesco, Director, Virginia Tech School of Communication.

Present at the meeting for UniMAC were the Registrar, Dr J. Sika Akoto, the Director of Finance, Mr. Francis Obeng, the Director of Academic Planning and Quality Assurance, Prof. Modestus Fosu, the Director of Research, Innovation and Development, Prof. Etse Sikanku, the Dean of the Faculty of Integrated Communication Sciences (FICS), Dr. Daniel Odoom,  the Head of Department  of Communication Studies, Dr Lawrencia Agyepong, Nana Dr Joseph Obeng Baah, a lecturer with the Department  of Communication Studies, a representative of the International Relations Office, Ms Mary Anum, and the Faculty Officer (FICS), Mrs Edwina H. Quartey.