Dr. Daniel Schwab Appointed Chair of the Afrisnet Education Committee
One of Afrisnet’s major objectivites is to educate African students and professionals about research, and to assist the students as they identify and seek research opportunities from around the world, especially research-based graduate programs. Therefore, Afrisnet develops and conducts research-oriented and sustainable educational activities, which are geared towards African college students. In order to solidify Afrisnet’s education objectives, the organization’s Board of Directors has created an Education Committee through which the education activities will be carried. In December 2019, the Board appointed Dr. Daniel Schwab as the Chair of the Education Committee at Afrisnet.
Dr. Daniel Schwab received his Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology, & Behavior from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2018. For his dissertation, Dr. Schwab used horned beetles as a model system to address major questions in the ecology and evolution of development, with a focus on phenomena ranging from developmental plasticity to symbiosis to niche construction. He presently serves as a Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In this role, Dr. Schwab supports the Basic Research Office at the U.S. Department of Defense, where he focuses on international science and technology engagement. As the Chair of the Education Committee, Dr. Schwab focuses on developing the educational activities and resources of Afrisnet.
Prior to being apointed as the official Chair of the Education Committee, Dr. Schwab was already involved and spearheading Afrisnet’s education activities. In the summer of 2018, Dr. Schwab led a team of Afrisnet instructors who provided professional training to student interns from Moi University, Kenya. The student interns were selected and invited by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Biology at Indiana University in Bloomington to participate in summer research internships. In addition to performing research in laboratories, the students attended weekly training sessions prepared by Afrisnet, where they were instructed on academic and professional writing, as well as on research writing and presentation. The effects of this professional training was obvious and lauded by many in the audience to which the students presented their research at the end of their internship. The instructors that worked with Dr. Schwab to train the Moi interns were Annie MacKenzie and Ashwini Ramesh, both of whom are PhD candidates at Indiana University. In the fall of 2019, this team of Afrisnet instructors prepared and delivered a series of webinars through which they informed students at Kwameh Nkurumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana about research-based graduate programs in the United States. In addition to contributing to the preparation of the webinar lectures, Dr. Schwab also prepared the syllabus and the student contract for the webinar coursework. Currently, Dr. Schwab is actively involved in assisting KNUST students that are preparing for graduate schools in the United States. He is also working around the clock to supervise the activities of the Afrisnet Student Chapter at KNUST, and to seek research and mentorship opportunities for African students. Therefore, Dr. Schwab has not only the capacity but also the experience required to mentor and educate African students that are interested in research.
Afrisnet committees are formed as internal departments through which various activities are carried out to ensure the sustainability and meet the objectives of Afrisnet. The Education Committee is mandated with student training and mentoring responsibilities, which make a central part of Afrisnet’s mission. “On behalf of the Board of Directors and of the entire organization, I would like to welcome Daniel as chair of the Afrisnet Education Committee. Daniel is a very hard-working, and he is very passionate about helping African students. We could not have found a better fit for this position! His passion coupled with his research expertise and leadership capabilities align with Afrisnet mission and make him a great mentor for students seeking research exposure,” Vincent Mwumvaneza, current President of Afrisnet.