African Studies director honored by Somali president
Oct 8, 2009
Ohio University Director of African Studies Steve Howard was honored Wednesday with the President's Award from the president of Somalia.
Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was in Columbus on a visit sponsored by African Studies in cooperation with the Columbus Council on World Affairs. Ahmed presented Howard with a statuette reading, "Thank you for being a friend of the Somali community."
"It was very gratifying and I was honored on behalf of the university really because we worked hard in effect to make that Columbus (Somali) community part of what we do," Howard said, referring to the Somali immigrant community in the Columbus area, estimated to number as high as 40,000.
African Studies offers Somali language classes and the department's students have completed research and internships with the Columbus Somali community. "We've had workshops for social service providers on Somali culture so that they can do a better job of understanding these immigrants/refugees as they provide them with housing, education, literacy (and) family counseling services," Howard added.