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COIL Faculty Fellows (Cohort 1)

Program Launch: Info Session Webinar

Our first Info Session Webinar happened on Friday Sept. 08, 2023 (8-9am Eastern Time) and marked the launch of our fellowship program. Below you can find a video recording of the event, covering important aspects about COIL, the COIL Faculty Fellows Program-Africa, and our first Call for Fellows (which is currently closed; please see our main COIL webpage for open opportunities). Under the video, you can find two Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), reflecting questions received during the Info Session Webinar.

FAQ - Faculty Perspectives on COIL

- Was the COIL a separate short term credit-earning experience, or an activity in a semester long course?

Dr. Tessmer: It was an activity in a semester-long course, and was introduced as a module fit into the semester. However, it ran in parallel with class meetings as most of the COIL activities were asynchronous, and needed to be set up outside of classroom time.

- How are students selected to participate in COIL?

Dr. Tessmer: It can be required for the whole class roster (if feasible) or could be formed of volunteers.

- About how many students were involved? Did you experience any drop-outs?

Dr. Tessmer: We had 7 teams of 4 students (2 from MSU and 2 from UL). As the activity took part half-way through the semester, students did not have the option to drop-out anymore.

- What happens if the students were unable to finish the task at the expected time?

Dr. Tessmer: This did not happen in this situation, but I would have handled it as another missed deadline during the course in accordance with the course policies regarding missed deadlines.

Dr. Pang: Uncertainty and adjustments are almost inevitable for COIL. Students will speak different languages, come with different expectations, and not to mention the variation with time zones and technology availability. Instructors need to be flexible and ready to adjust assignments if many students are unable to finish the task(s) at the expected time.

- What feedback did you receive from the students about their experience with the COIL project?

Dr. Tessmer: The interviews and reflections were positive in terms of the human interaction experienced by students. The students were in collaboration with peers across the ocean, and felt they could speak freely with them as peers, rather than speaking with the instructor. It empowered the students to feel they were on an even playing field. The quality of the final written project was superior to all the other assignments turned in over the course of the semester because they knew their assignment would be read by their colleagues, which gave them an extra incentive. Most of the students were seniors and it was their last semester on campus, and they felt sorry that they had to wait so long to participate in a COIL activity. They saw the extra value of learning in an international setting. However, they felt that it was extra challenging due to the time zone difference and cultural differences regarding working over the weekends.

- Could you speak to the kind of topics best to be COILed? For example, consider complex versus simpler ones?

Dr. Tessmer: I have had the opportunity to design three COIL activities in three different courses over the last two years. The more I experience with COIL the more I am convinced that a simpler project is more likely to succeed than a more complicated project. That is mostly due to some additional non-curriculum related challenges that COIL brings: time zone differences, cultural interpretation of what “business hours” are, language issues, technical difficulties,...

Dr. Pang: Courses with a language learning component is a natural fit for COIL. Additionally, courses in the subjects of humanities and social sciences comprise the majority of existing COIL projects that I’ve seen. I have also seen instructors from “hard” science” fields conducting COIL. In my opinion, the best topics of COIL rely on how instructors can explain COIL as a beneficial component to whatever topic his/her/their courses are about. Fundamentally, I think COIL prepares students for intercultural communication, a skill needed for people from all fields in today’s globalized world.

- If the two instructors agreed on the same course with the same contents, what are the shared interests?

Dr. Tessmer: A situation where two instructors agree on the whole course with the same contents would be an ideal environment. The course goals would be shared and COIL could occur at any point in the semester. It is very rare to find an instructor in the US and instructors in AAP affiliated institutions that would teach exactly the same course with the exact same content. Content and learning outcomes that belong just to the COIL activity can be shared, and students can have other learning goals assigned to them outside of the COIL project.

Dr. Pang: Shared interests is a very interesting point in my opinion. No matter what course or content, I’d like to think in terms of long-term personal development for students. What do you hope your students to become or the skills to develop by the end of your class that might serve them for a long term? Is it to help them become more efficient at communicating interculturally, more adept at working collaboratively, or more acceptable and respectful to diversity? What else? Think in big pictures.

FAQ - Fellowship Program & 1st Call for Fellows

- Can any individual apply?

Our fellowship program anticipate welcoming a total of twelve fellows, affiliated with institutions part of the AAP-Consortium: Michigan State University (USA), Egerton University (Kenya), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Malawi), Makerere University (Uganda), United States International University-Africa (Kenya), Université Cheikh Anta Diop (Senegal), Université des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines de Bamako (Mali), University of Botswana (Botswana), University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Nigeria), and University of Pretoria (South Africa). Fellows will be faculty or academic staff with teaching appointments from any discipline, and each fellow must already have an existing academic course in mind that they will be teaching between May-Dec/2024 to be “COILed”.

- Can any former fellow of the AAP African Futures be part of a team or is that for new fellows?

Previous fellows from the African Futures program are encouraged to apply for this program. That is not a hindrance in any way, shape, or form.

- I do not know anyone associated with African AAP-affiliated universities, can I still apply? How can I meet an instructor?

If you don't have a teammate, but you are eligible to apply you can submit the Individual Interest Form by Sept. 30, 2023. After the deadline has passed, all individuals who have submitted their interest form will be notified about other individuals who are also looking for teammates. After you've found a teammate, you can work with them to put together a Team Application, to be submitted by Oct. 31, 2023.

- If I have found a teammate, whose responsibility it is to submit the application form for the team?

You are free to choose who will submit the team application on behalf of your team. The team application will ask for information regarding each instructor, each course to be COILed, and the team’s initial idea for the COILed project.

- Can we apply as a team of more than two instructors? Could an MSU faculty partner with faculty from more than one African AAP-affiliated institution?

We are looking forward to supporting six teams, each with one instructor from MSU and one instructor from one of the African AAP-affiliated universities. However, all applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and the selection committee is willing to consider teams of number and type outside of the parameters indicated above. Contact Dr. Cherchiglia (leticia(at) if you have any questions or would like to discuss this further.


Selected Teams for the First Cohort of the COIL Faculty Fellows Program-Africa

MSU’s Global Youth Advancement Network (GYAN), Alliance for African Partnership (AAP), and Office for Education Abroad are pleased to announce the selected teams for the first cohort of the COIL Faculty Fellows Program-Africa. Sponsored by AAP, this program is an opportunity for higher-ed teaching faculty (i.e., faculty or academic staff with teaching appointments) from any discipline to explore the theory and practice of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) through global partnerships connecting AAP Consortium institutions.

Almost 30 highly esteemed teaching faculty expressed interest in partaking in our fellowship program and the selection committee was so impressed by the quality of all the team applications received that seven teams were selected, rather than six teams as initially planned. Congratulations to the selected teams (14 fellows in total), who are an example of the wide range of interdisciplinary collaborations at the core of COILed projects!

We welcome these seven teams who will be joining us as our first cohort of fellows, and we look forward to collaborating with them in 2024. We also wish to extend sincere thanks to each one of the applicants and those who helped share this opportunity within their networks; we applaud your willingness and efforts in engaging students in global learning and helping advance internationalization through COIL. Stay tuned to GYAN's COIL webpage for forthcoming information as we plan on opening a second call for fellows in the near future.

Below you can learn more about the teams (ordered alphabetically) and their preliminary ideas:

Team 1

  • Aklilu Zeleke, Lyman Briggs College & College of Natural Science (Dept. of Statistics & Probability), Michigan State University.
  • Fydess Khundi-Mkomba, Faculty of Development Studies (Dept. of Agricultural & Applied Economics), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Malawi).

Provide a space for their students to share and critically reflect upon research ideas in relation to Global North and Global South discourses within health, agri-food, and/or environmental sciences.

Team 2

  • Antoinette Tessmer, Broad College of Business (Finance Dept.), Michigan State University.
  • Nkadi Onyegegbu, Faculty of Education (Science Education Dept.), University of Nigeria Nsukka (Nigeria).

Provide an opportunity for their students to discuss global issues affecting their lives and environments (such as waste management/waste recycling) and learn how to enact positive change in their own local communities.

Team 3

  • Gianina K. L. Strother, College of Arts & Letters (Dept. of African American and African Studies), Michigan State University.
  • Sylvia A. N. Nannyonga-Tamusuza, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Dept. of Performing Arts and Film), Makerere University (Uganda).

Foster intercultural dialogues and utilize the arts to broaden their students’ perspectives related to Black institutions, sustainability, and statecraft.

Team 4

  • Jennifer Marcy, College of Arts & Letters (Dept. of Religious Studies), Michigan State University.
  • Zione Kalumikiza-Chikumbu, Faculty of Food and Human Sciences (Dept. of Human Nutrition and Health), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Malawi).

Bring their students together in the evaluation and analysis of existing efforts related to nutrition challenges in Malawi, with the goal of co-creating innovative solutions that can be later pitched for funding.

Team 5

  • Raymond Pirouz, Broad College of Business (Dept. of Marketing), Michigan State University.
  • Felix Uzochukwu Asoiro, Faculty of Engineering (Dept. of Agricultural & Bioresources Engineering), University of Nigeria Nsukka (Nigeria).

Bring their students together to learn and apply “SPIN selling”, a practical and useful professional sales technique in the food value chain leading to the enhancement of food safety/food quality control.

Team 6

  • Rebecca Malouin, College of Osteopathic Medicine (Global Health Studies Program), Michigan State University.
  • Amelia Ngozi Odo, Public Health Education Unit (Dept. of Human Kinetics and Health Education), University of Nigeria Nsukka (Nigeria).

Offer their students an opportunity to learn about national health plans/policies within their respective countries and to share their own perspectives related to healthcare seeking experiences.

Team 7

  • Teresa Bergholz, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources (Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition), Michigan State University.
  • Benard Odhiambo Oloo, Faculty of Agriculture (Dept. of Dairy and Food Science and Technology), Egerton University (Kenya).

Offer their students an opportunity to learn how to best apply metagenomic theoretical concepts to practical settings leading to solutions to global and local food safety challenges.

Appointed COIL African Campus Coordinators

Speaking closely to sustainability efforts of our fellowship program and in support of a broader African-based COIL network, we are pleased to welcome to our program five COIL African Campus Coordinators, who have been recently appointed by their AAP focal point at their respective African institutions. As part of serving in this role, they will have the opportunity to learn more about COIL and how to best support faculty at their institutions who may want to internationalize their curriculum through COIL in the future. We look forward to working with them throughout this fellowship program and beyond!

    • Daniel Makini Getuno, Lecturer of Educational Technology and Head of Learner/Tutor Support at the E-Campus at Egerton University (Kenya).
    • Kettie Nthakomwa Mtema, Lecturer in Mathematics in the Basic Sciences Department, Faculty of Agriculture at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Malawi).
    • Paul Wabiga, Lecturer and e-Learning Coordinator for the School of Economics, College of Business and Management Sciences at Makerere University (Uganda).
    • Precious Muni-Wathu Gawanani, Instructional Designer and Coordinator of the Open, Distance, and e-Learning (ODeL) Directorate at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Malawi).
    • Theresa Onyema Ofoegbu, Lecturer at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (Nigeria).

More Information

About the Fellows

All fellows are higher-ed teaching faculty (i.e., faculty or academic staff with teaching appointments), scheduled to teach academic courses at universities which are part of the AAP-Consortium:

Each fellow will receive a $750 (USD) stipend to be used for professional and project development. Additionally, fellows will receive extensive COIL training, which is currently estimated to cost at least $250 (USD) for similar training taken directly through external partners, totaling an experience valued at $1000 (USD).

However, the benefits of this program for fellows go way beyond the duration of the program itself, and some examples are listed below:

  • learning best practices in multicultural teaching and curriculum internationalization
  • collaboration with like-minded peers and professional networking
  • content for future research, academic publications, and conference presentations
  • potential recognition of work under global learning objectives when seeking reappointment, promotion, and tenure

Note: MSU faculty/academic staff may need to complete an Outside Work for Pay form due to the stipend at Be aware that, due to fairly recent changes in tax law, stipends are taxable. Those based outside of MSU should consult their institutional regulations. In case of questions, MSU faculty/academic staff may contact Marilyn Amey, Assistant Provost for Faculty and Academic Staff Development, at amey(at)

About the COILed Projects

COILed projects will run between May and December/2024 as each team/pair of fellows will slightly restructure or modify their respective academic courses to incorporate their own collaborative COILed project. Although uniquely defined by each team/pair of fellows during the fellowship program, generally speaking we anticipate COILed projects that:

  • Last between 3-6 weeks, with at least two planned online synchronous sessions (one at the start and one at the end of the project).
  • Focus on providing an intercultural exchange through collaborative activities between students (or groups of students) from both institutions.
  • Focus on one or more AAP priority areas:
    • Agri-food Systems
    • Water, Energy, & Environment
    • Youth Empowerment
    • Education
    • Culture & Society
    • Health & Nutrition

Fellowship Program Activities

This 100% online fellowship program will be composed of:

  • a 5-week COIL training to support the design of COILed projects;
  • a fellows community of practice to support fellows’ learning throughout the program;
  • a culminating symposium/academic conference in 2025 to showcase implemented COILed projects, students’ learning, instructors’ collaborations, etc.

During the COIL training (scheduled to take place from Monday, March 4, 2024 to Friday, April 5, 2024), fellows are expected to work on their COILed projects. The COIL training will offer information, resources, tools, and collaborative opportunities in a blended format of online asynchronous and synchronous activities (note: synchronous activities will always take place on Fridays). See the table below for detailed information about the COIL training schedule:


Asynchronous activities

Synchronous activities

Week 1

  • Learning from instructional materials posted online

  • Working on COILed project with teammate

  • Attending the Intro to COIL Presentation: Friday, March 8, 2024, 8am-9am (Eastern Time)

Week 2

  • Learning from instructional materials posted online

  • Working on COILed project with teammate

  • Attending the COIL Mindset Workshop: Friday, March 15, 2024, 8am-11am (Eastern Time)

Week 3

  • Learning from instructional materials posted online

  • Working on COILed project with teammate

  • Attending the COILed Project Design Presentation: Friday, March 22, 2024, 8am-9am (Eastern Time)

Week 4

  • Working on COILed project with teammate

  • Optional Q&A / Office Hour: Friday, March 29, 2024, 8am-11am (Eastern Time)

Week 5

  • Working on COILed project with teammate

  • Attending the Fellows’ COILed Projects Presentation: Friday, April 5, 2024, 8am-10am (Eastern Time)

Supporting Fellows & COIL Coordinators

An online Fellows Community of Practice is available to fellows of this program to allow for ease of communication and collaboration between each team as they delve deeper into their COILed project. Such an initiative will also bring benefits to all fellows as a whole, since it will serve as a space for further engagement, resource sharing, communication with COIL coordinators, etc.

Moreover, in support of sustainable institutional internationalization efforts and further learning opportunities for our fellows, through our program:

  • MSU fellows: will join regular meetings of MSU’s COIL Faculty Learning Community, composed by MSU faculty/staff who have expertise and/or interest in COIL and curriculum internationalization;
  • African fellows: will be in close contact with appointed COIL African Campus Coordinators from their universities, in support of a broader African-based COIL network.

Appointed COIL African Campus Coordinators will partake in COIL training, so they can better support the faculty teams awarded, as well as other faculty at their institution who may be interested in integrating COIL into their classrooms in the future. Additionally, these individuals will receive a small stipend for their participation ($500 USD).


In case of questions, you may contact Dr. Leticia Cherchiglia (leticia(at), GYAN’s Faculty Liaison & Program Coordinator. Thank you!