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Dayton Engineer

Two male students working at a table with their computers.

Ghana students spend summer in Dayton through Ethos program

This summer, three students from Academic City University College in Ghana spent their time in Dayton through the School of Engineering’s Ethos Center.

Maame Twumasi, David Mensah and Wehdam Luguje took part in the Ethos Center’s Dayton immersion experience. Their immersions included working with the Westside Makerspace, Greater West Dayton Incubator and the Makerspace of DECA High School.

They worked on different projects to benefit their immersion sites, including planning entrepreneurship-focused events, building a school spirit store for DECA using 3D modeling software and empowering local kids through a Maker Day event.

“I learned a lot about how to be a 'global citizen', 21st-century skills and how to relate to others,” Twumasi said. “I interned at the Greater West Dayton Incubator. The GWDI provides help to small businesses, or underrepresented or under-resourced businesses to help them succeed.”

For David Mensah, the program was an opportunity to merge engineering with community-driven initiatives.

“The chance to collaborate, design, and implement solutions while making a tangible impact was a particularly appealing aspect of the program,” Mensah said. 

Maame Twumasi was able to learn new skills that will help her as she grows a new business she’s starting.

“I was surprised that I was able to work in a field that deals with more business than technology or engineering,” Twumasi said. “I learned not to try and put myself in a box, and be open to trying new things.”

Sami Walker-Baskin, Westside Makerspace operations manager, worked directly with Mensah and Luguje and appreciated their outside look on how to improve the Makerspace community.

I loved working with the students,” Walker-Baskin said. “The students already knew how to use a lot of the tools and equipment available in the Makerspace, and for anything they didn't know, they learned quickly. While they were an incredible help to us this past summer, the most memorable for me was having conversations about their home country and about America.”

UD’s School of Engineering has partnered with Academic City University College since 2019. Fred McBagonluri '05 is the president and provost of Academic City and a graduate of UD’s materials engineering doctoral program.

Although the students have made their way back home to Ghana, they left with a new-found appreciation for Dayton.

“Through my immersion experience, I came to recognize Dayton as a vibrant community with a strong commitment to collaborative problem-solving and innovation,” Mensah said. “It's a place where initiatives like the Ethos program are nurtured and thrive.”

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