FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 28, 2011
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081
MTSU DONATES BOOKS TO BANGLADESH UNIVERSITY
Student Exchange on Agenda as International Partnership Grows
(MURFREESBORO) - A second shipment of books is on its way to Chittagong University in Bangladesh through the efforts of MTSU’s Yunus Program and Dr. Richard Hannah, professor of economics and finance.
In December, Hannah spent two weeks in Bangladesh talking to students at CU, one of MTSU’s international partners, and making contact with Dr. Muhammad Yunus, former MTSU professor and founder of the Grameen Bank in the capital city of Dhaka.
Yunus and the bank won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for their success with microlending, the awarding of low-interest loans to poverty-stricken entrepreneurs. Yunus was an assistant professor at MTSU from 1969 to 1972.
Hannah says the first shipment, some 400 pounds of books, was collected with help from the Honors Student Association and sent to CU last spring.
“Here, after a student is done with a course or faculty members aren’t using the books, they’re of very low value,” he says. “We want to transfer them to an area where they’re valued extremely highly.”
In addition, Hannah met with the executive staff at Grameen to discuss expanding internships at the bank. The first MTSU student to intern with Grameen, Steve Sibley, is in the second year of a doctoral program at Purdue University. Hannah says, like Sibley, future students have to be willing to live among the poor and experience a quality of life that is probably unlike anything they have ever known.
“These have to be very resilient students who really want to get involved in world poverty studies—and I mean ‘boots on the ground,’” Hannah says.
In the meantime, Hannah and Dr. Kiyoshi Kawahito, manager of MTSU’s Yunus Program, Professor Emeritus of Economics and Finance and advisor to the president and the provost on Asian affairs, are looking for grant money to sustain the internship drive and bring another CU student to Murfreesboro. The first student, Md. Alauddin Majumber, is working on his second master’s degree.
Majumber is an assistant professor in CU’s Department of Economics. His graduate assistantship is funded with a grant from the MTSU Foundation and a national government subsidy from Bangladesh.
Hannah says the two weeks he spent in Bangladesh has prompted him to rethink how he teaches from a cultural context, not just an economic context.
“If we truly want to internationalize, it requires something more than theorizing,” Hannah says. “You have to go. You have to encourage students to go. You have to bring it back. You have to share.”
ATTENTION, MEDIA: For photos of Dr. Richard Hannah in Bangladesh, contact Gina Logue in the MTSU Office of News and Media Relations at 615-898-5081 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1911, Middle Tennessee State University is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution located in Murfreesboro and is the state’s largest public undergraduate institution. MTSU now boasts one of the nation’s first master’s degree programs in horse science, and the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington, D.C., acclaims MTSU’s Master of Science in Professional Science degree—the only one in Tennessee—as a model program. Recently, MTSU unveiled three new doctoral degrees in the sciences.