Livingstone hires consultant
By Laurie Willis
Livingstone CollegeNews Service
SALISBURY — Livingstone College has hired a man with extensive international affairs experience to establish the N.C. Study Abroad/Global Engagement, a consortium of North Carolina’s historically black colleges and universities that’s designed to ensure more African-American students study abroad and more HBCU faculty members teach outside the United States.
Earl M. Brown Jr., who has traveled widely in Africa, Europe, Asia and South America, is charged with carrying out the vision of Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr., who initially established such a program when he was chancellor at Elizabeth City State University. Jenkins hopes this time, with a broader outreach, many more students and faculty will be impacted by this global initiative.
“Any student who is afforded the opportunity to study abroad and learn about other cultures and customs should jump at the chance,” Jenkins said. “And I would love nothing more than to be part of an effort that sends students and professors from North Carolina HBCUs overseas for an academically rich, life-changing experience. It is my fervent hope that this initiative will be met with much enthusiasm by not only students at the state’s other historically black colleges and universities but also by the businesses, organizations and individuals from whom we will solicit support.”
Brown himself is the product of a historically black college, having earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Morgan State University in Baltimore in 1964. That same year he joined the U.S. Peace Corps and served as a middle school teacher in a remote part of the Republic of Tanzania, a country in East Africa.
Brown taught English, math and science at Nyegina Upper Primary and also served as the school’s sports master, a role that enabled him to develop and coach the school’s sports teams. When Brown began working at the school it offered only futbol. During his tenure at Nyegina, Brown was instrumental in greatly expanding the school’s program to include the more westernized sports of basketball, boxing, track and field and volleyball. Students also gained an appreciation for analytical games including chess and checkers under Brown’s leadership.
Brown has been to 27 of Africa’s 56 countries and has worked in various capacities in four continents. From 1978 to 1983 he served as senior development planner for the Research Triangle Institute, a position that required him to implement a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project in support of the Government of Ghana.
He left the position with RTI to serve for three years as director of the Office of Program and Field Operations for the African Development Foundation (ADF) in Washington. The ADF was created by Congress to provide development assistance to non-governmental private sector community/village-based organizations throughout Africa. Brown has also served as country director for the Peace Corps in Guyana and Papua New Guinea, which included travel to Australia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.
When he worked at Elizabeth City State University from 1988 to 1998, he helped design and implement a study-abroad consortium that enabled 100 students from 20 different colleges and universities, primarily in the southeast, to study in the Dominican Republic and Ghana. Many of those students were African-American and the first in their families to attend college.
Brown, who has a master’s degree in urban planning from Hunter College CUNY, has done doctoral study in regional economic planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written several articles and also authored a chapter in “International Handbook on Land Use Planning,” published in 1986. He retired as an eighth-grade social studies teacher from Dillard Middle School in Goldsboro.
“The 21st Century offers new challenges and horizons for students attending Livingstone College and other HBCUs,” Brown said. “Dr. Jenkins has astutely recognized the global challenges and opportunities for today’s graduates, who must be competitive nationally and globally. The beauty of this consortium is it will promote and offer international academic programs for students and faculty and identify funding resources to support international aspirations of students and faculty at North Carolina HBCUs. I’m truly excited about the endless possibilities this endeavor presents, and I’m anxious to roll up my sleeves and commence working with leaders at participating HBCUs to ensure this program is successful.”