Decorated Kenyan Professor Wins Coveted American Fellowship

  • Michigan State University assistant professor of African languages and cultures, Jonathan Choti
    Michigan State University assistant professor of African languages and cultures, Jonathan Choti
    Courtesy MSU Today
  • A Kenya professor and scholar has won the 2022 Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program at Michigan State University.

    Jonathan Choti an assistant professor of African Languages and Cultures at Michigan State University now will work with partners in Kenya as part of the 2022 Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program.

    Choti, who is a faculty member in MSU’s Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures, received the prestigious fellowship to co-develop and strengthen curriculum, grow research and mentor graduate students in the Swahili Program at the University of Kabianga in Kericho, Kenya. 

    Michigan State University assistant professor of African languages and cultures, Jonathan Choti
    Michigan State University assistant professor of African languages and cultures, Jonathan Choti
    Courtesy MSU Today

    “I feel proud to be a recipient of this prestigious award and to know that hard work, determination, and grit can bear fruit,” Choti stated. 

    “It’s a confirmation that my work is valuable and fulfilling and a confirmation of my goal to be better every day so I can best help my students.”

    The scholar told MSU Today that he applied for the fellowship because of the opportunity it provided for him to share his experience in America and education in Kenya.

    "The Carnegie Scholar Fellowship Program supports educational projects at African higher education institutions and is designed for African-born scholars based in North American," the MSU Today magazine reported.

    He will be deployed to the University of Kabianga (UoK) for a two-month fellowship. 

    "During that time, he will collaborate with his host Mohammed Ramadhan Karama in the Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Communications at UoK to build and strengthen programs at the relatively new institution that became a full-fledged university in 2013. 

    "The project also will establish linkages between UoK and MSU for student, scholarly, and research exchanges in the area of languages and linguistics," the publication explained.

    Choti noted it is crucial to contribute to the advancement of education in Kenya and that is why winning the 2022 Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program meant a lot to him and Kenya.

    “Our educational systems are so different. I want to give back and enrich educational programs in Kenya and contribute to their growth.

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    An undated photo of KCSE students sitting the national exam
    File

    "It feels really great to realize I’ll be there sharing knowledge, experience, and skills, and being a role model and motivator of young people," he noted.

    The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) is a scholar fellowship program for educational projects at African higher education institutions.