Mercer On Mission Team Celebrates ‘Mercer Day’ With Ricks Institute in Liberia

June 12, 2009

Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

Students and teachers from Ricks Institute show off their new T-shirts provided by the Mercer On Mission team as part of "Mercer Day."
Students and teachers from Ricks Institute show off their new T-shirts provided by the Mercer On Mission team as part of "Mercer Day."

VIRGINIA, Liberia — The group of Mercer University faculty and staff in Liberia for their Mercer On Mission trip celebrated the inaugural “Mercer Day” on June 10 with their hosts, the Ricks Institute, in recognition of the partnership between the school and the University. Ten Mercer student-teachers from the Tift College of Education, three faculty members and four mentor teachers in the country for the Mercer On Mission trip.

Mercer Day began in the morning assembly with a short address from Dr. Susan Malone, associate dean of the Tift College of Education. Dr. Malone expressed gratitude for the work of Dr. Olu Menjay (CLA ’95), principal and chief administrative officer of Ricks, for fostering a strong partnership with Mercer and applauded the work of Ricks’ faculty and students.

As part of the celebration, the Mercer On Mission group distributed more than 200 Mercer Youth University and College for Kids T-shirts to kindergarten through sixth grade students and faculty.

In addition to Dr. Malone, the group is led by Dr. Richard F. Wilson, Mercer’s Columbus Roberts Professor of Theology and chair of The Roberts Department of Christianity, and Dr. Emilie Paille, associate professor in the Tift College of Education.

The Mercer On Mission team is spending a month involved in the daily work of Ricks Institute. All 10 students are enrolled in a practicum required of Tift College of Education students. Each Mercer student is assigned to a grade level class at Ricks and works side-by-side with the regular Ricks teachers. As the four-week stay unfolds, the Mercer students will assume greater responsibility in the classes and will be observed by Dr. Paille and Dr. Malone, and four mentor teachers from Georgia who are partners with this year's Mercer on Mission: Liberia.
 
In addition to the Tift College practicum, all students are enrolled in Christianity 410: Peace and Reconciliation in Post-War Liberia, taught by Dr. Wilson of the College of Liberal Arts. The class includes six visits with government officials, peace activists and social workers in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.

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