Funding from USAID in the shape of a $25 million grant, is enabling Professor Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela ’92, “Reitu,” and her colleagues at Michigan State University to establish the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI). The work of the Center will be focused on the geographic regions of East Africa, West Africa, and South Asia.
“We are one of seven innovation labs funded by USAID,” explains Mabokela, Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Administration, and Assistant Dean for International Studies in the College of Education at MSU, and Co-director of the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.
A native of South Africa, Mabokela received her bachelor of arts degree in economics from OWU, her master’s in labor and industrial relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her Ph.D. in educational policy studies, also from that university.
As Mabokela explains, her research focuses on understanding experiences of marginalized populations, aiming to inform and influence institutional policies affecting these groups within institutions of higher education. More specifically, her research involves examining these interrelated themes: organizational change and culture in higher education; gender in higher education; higher education in transitional societies; and studying these education issues in South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Egypt, and more recently, in Pakistan. Mabokela also has authored, co-authored, or edited seven books.
“The $25 million we received will enable us for the next five years, to develop and implement the research work of the Center/Innovation Lab,” she says.