McMurry University Fall Convocation on Tuesday, Sept. 2

  Gary Ellison
  Monday, September 1, 2014 8:22 AM
  Archives 2014 - 2015

Abilene, TX

ABILENE, Texas – McMurry University Political Science Professor Dr. Joel Olufowote will be the featured speaker for McMurry University’s Fall 2014 Opening Convocation at 11 a.m. Tuesday, September 2, in Radford Auditorium. Convocation marks the ceremonial opening of the academic year.

     Dr. Olufowote joined the McMurry faculty in 2013 as an assistant professor in the political science department. He received a B.S. in Economics and Finance from the University of Indianapolis in 2005 and earned his MA, in 2008, and PhD in 2013, in Political Science from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. He arrived at McMurry after spending a year as a Rockefeller Postdoctoral Fellow at the University at Albany, SUNY. 

    Dr. Olufowote writes on, has presented numerous research projects at professional conferences about, and teaches courses broadly within political science with a specialized focus on African politics, the democratization efforts of the developing world, and the intersection of politics with unconventional connectors such as music and sport. His interest in global affairs and comparative politics is the product of his upbringing in a number of West African countries. His emerging research on how politics can be studied ‘outside of the box’ is a result of his teaching which uses multiple scenarios and contexts to illustrate how politics can often operate.

   In his first year at McMurry, Dr. Olufowote founded the Diversity Affairs Council, a student organization dedicated to the promotion of the multicultural and diverse atmosphere of McMurry that stresses the ideals of inclusivity, awareness, and respect on campus. Their activities, alongside the number of students that dedicated themselves to the efforts put on around campus, culminated in the Council being awarded most outstanding Organization of the 2013-2014 academic school year. In the same year, he was also recognized as the most outstanding advisor at McMurry.

   Buttressing his teaching, research, and service dedicated to a larger global awareness on campus, since 2009, Dr. Olufowote has participated as a Program Staff for a United States, State Department funded program known as the Study of the United States Institute for Student Leaders. The institute, through a multi-million dollar federal grant, sponsors the travel of hundreds of students from around the world to the United States to learn about U.S. politics, policy, and government. This past summer, through subcontract arrangement, he represented McMurry University in this national capacity by welcoming 20 students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, The Republic of Georgia, and Turkey.

   This year, Dr. Olufowote will be serving McMurry, again, as Faculty Advisor for the Diversity Affairs Council, faculty advisor for Men’s Interclub and Committee Co-Chair for the ‘All Students’ dimension of the Foundations Of Excellence task force. He is a member of Grace Point Church here in Abilene and proudly serves on their First Impressions Team.

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Gary Ellison