Serving abroad: May 2017 graduate to teach in Botswana through fellowship service program
Monday, June 12, 2017
MANHATTAN — A Kansas State University May 2017 graduate has received a Princeton in Africa fellowship to teach seventh- and ninth-grade geography at Maru-a-Pula, an international school in Botswana.
Emily Pochop Stolfus, a bachelor's degree graduate in elementary education and international studies, St. Joseph, Missouri, leaves July 17 and will spend a year teaching in the southern African country.
Associated with Princeton University, the 12-month fellowship gives college graduates the opportunity to spend a year serving in Africa in various types of development, including the economy, civics, agriculture, education, public health and other fields.
Stolfus conducted an undergraduate research project exploring the opportunities and limitations for collaborations between nonprofits in Ethiopia with Mary Hale Tolar, director of the Staley School of Leadership Studies. By conducting interviews with U.S. and Ethiopian citizens who were familiar with Ethiopian nonprofits and reviewing related literature, Stolfus discovered many political, social and cultural factors that can promote or prevent collaboration among nongovernmental organizations. Through her research, she found the main key to collaborative success is establishing trusting and open relationships.
"I look forward to building relationships with people from all around the world, including students, colleagues and community members," Stolfus said. "I hope to learn from the people I meet and come away with new perspectives of how others experience the world."
In addition to Stolfus' undergraduate research, she played bass drum in the K-State Marching Band, was a class leader for Introduction to Leadership Concepts, and was a member of the KSBN Book Selection Committee and the University Honors Program. She was a student advisor and the director of national service initiatives for Mortar Board Honor Society, and she established a 5K run through the honor society to benefit Ethiopia Reads, an organization that aims to improve literacy for children and teens in Ethiopia. She worked at the Boys and Girls Club in Manhattan.
Stolfus received the Pat J. Bosco Leadership Studies Outstanding Graduating Senior Award, the College of Education's Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award and the Tony Jurich Community Commitment and Leadership Award.
The upcoming experience will be her fourth international trip, following her participation in the Staley School of Leadership Studies' service trip to Mexico in summer 2013, a semester studying abroad at Pontifica Universidad Católica de Valparaíso in Chile in spring 2014 and an English as a second language study abroad course in Ecuador in summer 2016.
She is a graduate of Central High School in St. Joseph and is the daughter of Alan Stolfus and Valyne Pochop.