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Since 1998, Sylvain Boko, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Wake Forest University, has run a summer study tour to Benin , taking a party of students to this small West African country for five weeks to study economic development in all its aspects.
This year, Sylvain suggested -- and the University agreed -- that it would be worth exploring ways of strengthening and extending the University's connections with Benin. Ideas on the table included involving faculty and students in disciplines other than economics, offering various sorts of internships to students wishing to pursue a deeper engagement with the country, exploring the possibilities for Beninese students to come to Wake Forest, and establishing connections with the National University of Benin (to date, Boko has enlisted the help of some faculty at the National University on an individual basis but there has been no formal association).
To this end, a party of Wake Forest faculty visited Benin from June 4 to 12. The delegation included Sally Barbour, Associate Professor of French and Francophone literature; Brad Braxton, Jessie Ball duPont Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Biblical Studies, and his wife Lazetta; Allin Cottrell, Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics; Herman Eure, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology; Jack Wilkerson, Dean of the Calloway (undergraduate) School of Business; and Pia Wood, Director of International Studies. Our visit was timed to coincide with Sylvain's study program; Sylvain organized our program and we spent some time with his students.