A professor emeritus of the Oregon State University College of Education spent four months in Kenya during Fall 2012, working alongside OSU alum Kerre Bonaventure, who is now Dean of Education and Social Science at Kenya Methodist University (KEMU).
Brooke Collison, professor emeritus of counselor education, taught at KEMU during the school’s September trimester, while his wife Joan volunteered at the Methodist Church Kenya Children’s home. Collison, past president of the American Counseling Association, said that the experience in Kenya was very powerful, and the opportunity to participate in a different educational system and to observe the effects of urbanization and poverty on such a wide scale had a vivid impact on he and his wife.
Bonaventure frequently regaled colleagues about his time at OSU, and about his faculty mentor, Larry Kenneke. He received an OSU necktie from Collison during the visit.
During the four-month stay, Collison, wrote blog postsfor the American Counseling Association, some acquiring nearly 50,000 hits.
Collison, an unpaid volunteer faculty member, has encouraged other retirees and faculty members to use this kind of experience for travel combined with service.
“If travel is on the long-delayed bucket list, how about planning a trip to some place where you could be of service—either to apply your years of teaching skill, to offer your academic expertise, or to put your hands and heart to work,” he wrote in his blog. “I would think it would beat hunting for lost golf balls in the deep rough; plus, on your days off you might get to wander through the landscape taking pictures of lions, elephants, zebras, and crocodiles.”
In addition to his work at the university, friends of the Collisons contributed funds which Joan used to purchase much needed supplies for the MCK Children’s Home, including mattresses, bedding, chairs, cooking utensils, books, art materials, and other critical supplies.
The Collisons will present a program on their Kenya experience for the Academy of Lifelong Learners (ALL) in April.