About Cultural Connections

Photo of a tree in Senegal.

Project Description: A Curriculum Development Project

Cultural Connections: From Senegal and West Africa to your Classroom emerged from a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Program awarded to the Western Michigan University (WMU) Haenicke Institute for International Studies as Grant No. 21A03068. The Fulbright-Hays project was designed to address critical gaps in the university and public school curricula, and created the foundation for the development of the Cultural Connections Curriculum Development Team .

The Cultural Connections Curriculum Development Team is participating in the development of a more inclusive curriculum at the university and public school levels. This curriculum inserts information about Francophone West Africa into course content, utilizes collected artifacts and materials to contextualize learning for the students, and supports the development of an international network to support university and school teachers in the U. S. and West Africa. The team is in the process of producing courses, course materials, and teaching units for university and public school curricula. Team members are available to give presentations on their work at professional conferences, for professional development workshops, or can come to your classroom to demonstrate how the collected artifacts and materials can be used to bring learning to life for the students in your classes.

Team Members

Project Directors

Dr. W. F. Santiago-Valles, Co-Director
Dr. Yvette D. Hyter, C0-Director

Team Members

Stephanie Higdon Evergreen, Deborah Jackson, Anya Wiley


Ibrahima Thioub, Lamine Kane, Souleymane Faye, Fatou Kandji, Oumar Ndongo , Ibrahima Seck

Collaborators from Senegal

Bachir Diagne, Cheikh Dieng, Souleymane Faye, Fatou Kandji, Lamine Kane, Abdou Ngom, Ibrahima Seck, Ousman Sene
Ibrahima Thioub

Collaborators from Cape Verde

Elizade Andrade, Daniel DosSantos, Jorge Lopes, Irani Maia, and Adelaide de jesus Barreto Maura  

Collaborators from Mali

Yobi Guindo, and Teachers at the Institute for Popular Education (IEP)