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NCCU Students Gain Civil Service Experience in Africa

 

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) students from the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) program traveled to Monrovia, Liberia, to gain firsthand experience working in the Liberian Civil Service Agency.

The 16 students were invited to Liberia by Puchu Leona Bernard, Ph.D., director general of the Liberian Civil Service Agency and an alumnus of NCCU. They were in Liberia from May 16-25, said Emmanuel Oritsejafor, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Public Administration.

“The Public Administration program at NCCU uses this global experience to help students understand the practice and theory of public administration through a close partnership with leaders in the Liberian government,” Oritsejafor said.

“We are also very proud that [Liberian] Auditor General Yusador Saadatu Gaye is a graduate of our Executive Master of Public Administration program. The links between NCCU, the government of Liberia, and global leadership strengthen values of public trust and service."

Also on the trip were NCCU’s EMPA program director Larrisha McGill-Youngblood, Ph.D., and assistant professor Christopher Paul, Ph.D.  

The students served short-term placements in nine different agencies and organizations, including the ministries of education, finance, health and justice based on their expertise.

“There was extensive opportunity to share best practices and gain perspective that I can bring back to North Carolina,” said student Kian Furnace, who has worked in public education administration and outreach.

Conditions in Liberia are quite different from those in North Carolina, observed student Michael Wagner, who has worked in public utilities for the city of Goldsboro. 

“The need for water and sewer infrastructure in Liberia is extraordinary,” he added.

Youngblood said the group learned “many lessons about public service, trust and governance” during their time in Liberia.

This is the sixth year students from the Public Administration program have visited Liberia.

For more information about NCCU’s Executive Master of Public Administration program, please contact Larrisha McGill-Youngblood, Ph.D., at lmcgilly@nccu.edu or 919-530-6622.

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