English Language Specialist Bryce Smedley was featured this week on the Jefferson Exchange, a radio show on local radio station Jefferson Public Radio in Oregon.
During the interview, Smedley discussed his recent Specialist project in the Central African Republic, where he assessed educational needs and trained teachers. Smedley currently works as an Assistant Professor at Southern Oregon University. He described both the international and domestic impact of projects he has completed in countries throughout Africa.
“We need to have teachers in Southern Oregon that have global competence—cultural competence—and to do that we need to find opportunities for these students to explore the world around us. We believe that if we’re going to have an impact in public schools in Southern Oregon, we have to engage globally to have an impact locally here at home,” Smedley said.
In recent years, Smedley has also been an English Language Fellow in both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Comoros, where he:
- established English language programming at a refugee camp
- presented with other Fellows at the first Association of Teachers of English in Rwanda conference
- organized the first three-day English teachers workshop in the South Kivu province
- met then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
- developed a series of workshops on diversity
- organized the first National English Teachers Conference in the Union of the Comoros
“Teachers are the most important jobs in a society. When teachers are successful, you have less need of a military or of conflict, and when teachers fail you have more possibility for things to go wrong. Specialists and Fellows get to work with these amazing young people from Africa, who, soon enough, will probably take the reins or the leadership in many of these countries,” Smedley said.
To hear the full interview from the Jefferson Exchange, click here.