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President welcomes African alumni

Pictured at the Alumni Center
Pictured at the Alumni Center are (l-r) Petra Jua (B.S.'90), Sheila Simmons Domba(M.A.90), Dabrice Bartet(B.A.'90), Laurend Doumba(B.S.'88), Carmelie Domingo-Toguyeni( M.S.'88) Pierre Atchade(EDD'02), President Gora, and Amadou Guisse(M.S.'89,MLA'93) with his daughter Khadijah.Not pictured is Abdul-Aziz Diop(M.A.'88)

President Jo Ann Gora gave a special welcome to a group of African-born Ball State alumni during their visit to campus June 24.

In addition to seeing campus changes after more than a decade, the group has a goal to establish a BSU Foundation fund to help needy African students at Ball State, according to Martin Limbird, director of international Advancement.

The group's ties were forged while on campus during the mid-1980s, and have continued ever since Dabrice Bartet served the group as local coordinator for the campus visit, with others traveling from Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. Bartet grew up in the West African nation of Togo.

Chicago-based alumnus Laurend Doumba met his American born wife Sheila Simmons Doumba through his friendship on campus with Mauritanian-born

Abdul-Aziz Diop. "He has been my best friend since those days", said Doumba, a large group underwriter   for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois, whose artistic skills have earned him high marks ( www.fragmentationart.com). Sheila built on her training in human performance at Ball State to work professionally for the federal government and in her own personal training business. Diop went on from BSU to earn a doctorate at the University of Illinois, and now is a professor and department head at Delaware State University.

Carmelie Domingo–Toguyeni, a native of Benin, has lived in various African and European countries since graduation. Her training in management contributed to important work with the government of Burkina Faso. She and her family now live in Pennsylvania. Cameroon-born Petra Jua lives in Silver Springs, Maryland where she has built on her biology degree from Ball State to enter the nursing field.

Amadou Guisse returned several times to his native Senegal before finally returning to Indianapolis where he is a GIS project manager for Gove Associates. Indianapolis is also home to Dabrice Bartet, whose career in accounting also allows her to do consulting in African cultural training.  Joining the group as well was Muncie-based Pierre Atchade, a recent EDD graduate, originally from Benin.

For further information on how to contribute to the African Students Emergency Fund at Ball State, contact Limbird at mlimbird@bsu.edu