As a Fulbright Scholar, I will be teaching at the University of Malawi Chancellor’s College in Zomba from January – August 2016. The title of my project is “Promoting Participatory Speech Communication in Malawi.” By teaching communication courses in the Language and Communication Skills Department, I hope to empower students to engage in public debate and policy dialogue. Social, political, economic, and agricultural vitality depend on citizens being able to express themselves appropriately across a variety of face-to-face contexts.
The areas of concern for Malawians are agriculture and food security, public health, sanitation, malaria and HIV/AIDS management, maternal health, climate change and environmental management, and irrigation and water development. As students at the university graduate and move on to their respective careers, their success and the success of their projects will depend on the efficacy of their communication skills in “real time” and in the immediacy of being fully present to one another, listening and speaking skillfully and thoughtfully.