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Business Professor Receives Fulbright Award to Spend a Year in Ghana

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    Mary Grace Neville

Mary Grace Neville will spend the year teaching at Ashesi University

Mary Grace Neville, associate professor of business and holder of the John Shearn Chair in Business, has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for the 2012-2013 academic year. Neville will spend the year teaching at Ashesi University in Ghana and researching high-integrity businesses in the developing world.

Neville is the second Southwestern University faculty member to be awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach in Ghana. Suzanne Fox Buchele, associate professor of computer science, taught at Ashesi University from 2006-2008.  

Neville said she had been wanting to apply for a Fulbright Fellowship for several years. She visited Ashesi over spring break this year to see if the school was a good fit for her.

“I really liked the school’s vision,” she said. “They are trying to create a very high integrity business program through the liberal arts screen.”

Ashesi University is a private liberal arts college in Ghana’s capital city of Accra. The university was founded in 1999 by Patrick Awuah, a native of Ghana who earned an engineering degree from Swarthmore College and later became a millionaire working for Microsoft.

Neville will be teaching a course that is part of the university’s leadership program and also will teach expository writing. She said she hopes she can bring them Southwestern’s approach to incorporating the liberal arts into business.

Neville is part of a group of deans and faculty members from colleges across the country who are participating in a program sponsored by the Aspen Institute that focuses on how the liberal arts can enrich business curricula.

As a researcher, Neville has long been interested in developing economies, and she plans to conduct research on business innovation and leadership in Ghana and western Africa. She said she may even conduct research on Ashesi itself.

Neville has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 2003. She teaches the core business course in research and writing, as well as classes in Foundations of Business, Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, and Organizational Behavior. She also teaches the Business Capstone class and a seminar on Contemporary Issues in Global Business and has been a Paideia professor. She received the Southwestern University Teaching Award in 2009 and was appointed to the John Shearn Chair in Business in 2010.

Neville received an undergraduate degree in radio-television-film from Northwestern University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. She holds a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University.

Before coming to Southwestern, Neville was a manager in the strategic services practice of a global management consulting firm. Before consulting, she was on the start-up team for a $52 million public aquarium, and served as the executive director of a state-level nonprofit agency.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is the U.S. government’s flagship academic exchange effort. It was established in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills.

The program sends 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year to more than 140 countries. Grantees lecture and conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Program participants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.

The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.