Georgia Tech Introduces New Computer Science Fellowship During Liberian Presidential Visit

Liberia President visits Georgia Tech-May-2024

Pictured left-to-right: Sara Beysolow Nyanti, minister of foreign affairs; Chaouki Abdallah, executive vice president for research at Georgia Tech; Steven McLaughlin, provost at Georgia Tech; Joseph Boakai, President of Liberia; Michael Best, executive director of IPaT at Georgia Tech; Bernard Kippelen, vice provost for international initiatives at Georgia Tech; Cynthia Blandford, president of the University Consortium for Liberia.

Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) and the College of Computing have announced the Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS) fellowship for students and faculty at the University of Liberia. These fellowships cover full tuition for the degree program.

“We are pleased to be able to offer this fellowship program to the people of Liberia,” said Steven McLaughlin, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “The value of a Georgia Tech degree is well-documented and programs such as this one help us deliver on our commitment to empower people of all backgrounds and stages of life to learn and contribute to technological and human progress.”

Michael Best, executive director of IPaT, made the announcement during a luncheon hosted at Georgia Tech on May 11. Joseph N. Boakai, the 26th president of the Republic of Liberia, attended along with a Liberian delegation and representatives from the University Consortium for Liberia (UCL). The UCL provides scholarships, facilitates student exchange programs, study abroad opportunities, and service-learning initiatives between Liberia and partner organizations worldwide. This was President Boakai’s first official visit to the U.S. since becoming president in January.

“Education is the key to building a successful nation, and Georgia Tech is making great research and academic contributions to the Republic of Liberia and to the world,” said President Boakai. “The OMSCS fellowship program will provide the people of Liberia with an additional opportunity to benefit from this relationship and help advance our country.”

The OMSCS program, where coursework is done asynchronously, is one of Tech’s most successful global degree programs and is designed for students seeking a top-ranked degree with the flexibility to fit their studies around work and family commitments.

The purpose of the president’s visit was to thank assembled UCL members for their partnership in Liberia’s post-conflict development. In addition to Georgia Tech leadership, UCL members from Clark Atlanta University, Kennesaw State University, Fort Valley State University, Savannah State University, and the University of Georgia were also in attendance, along with Cynthia Blandford, UCL president.

Best, who also serves as a professor with Tech’s Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and School of Interactive Computing, has a longstanding relationship with Liberia. His involvement began in 2005, just two years after the end of their civil war. His research focuses on information and communication technologies for social, economic, and political advancement. In Liberia, he has partnered in the development of their national information and communications technology and telecommunications policy, created and deployed technology-focused workforce development programs, outfitted computer facilities for public sector units, helped found the iLab Liberia technology and innovation hub, and developed novel digital systems to support that country’s post-conflict healing and reconciliation.

“President Boakai’s visit to Georgia Tech, just four months into his administration, underscores our deep ties and lasting partnership,” said Best. “These new OMSCS fellowships were received with remarkable enthusiasm, demonstrating that the relationship between the Republic of Liberia and Georgia Tech continues to flourish.”

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