Wednesday, November 30, 2022

UM Journalism Professor, Student Join Engineers in Togo, Africa

Trading the winter weather in Oxford for the extreme heat of West Africa, Dr. Nancy Dupont and freshman journalism major Sudu Upadhyay are spending winter intersession with the Ole Miss chapter of Engineers Without Borders in Togo.

Togo is located on the western coast of Africa, between Ghana and Benin.

Eleven engineering students, led by Marni Kendricks, assistant dean of engineering, and Michael Costelli of Gulfport, professional mentor, are building the third room of a four-room school building in a village of Hedome in the Vogan region of Togo. Local villagers are assisting with what is know as “sweat” equity.
“This is the most magnificent building we’ve ever seen in this village,” said Rev. Kokou Loko, a Baptist minister with churches in Lome and Hedome. “We can’t thank the engineering students enough for their service to my people.”
Dr. Dupont and Upadhyay are tagging along with the engineers to produce various stories about the project, including print reports, a three-part television series and a documentary.
“This is a big deal to me because I’m getting to witness something that could be life-changing for the people of the village,” and Upadhyay. “For me, as a young student journalist, the experience is incredibly valuable.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the school took place on Saturday, Jan. 11. The engineering team and the journalists will return to Oxford on January 19.
EWB School
EWB School

Sudu, Dr. Dupont and students in Togo, Africa
Sudu, Dr. Dupont and students in Togo, Africa

Sudu and Dr. Dupont
Sudu and Dr. Dupont

– Information provided by Dr. Dupont and Sudu. Compiled by Kate Sinervo, managing editor,,