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Alumni spotlight: Agnes Apusigah

Alumni spotlight: Agnes Apusigah

[Dr. Atia (Agnes) Apusigah ]It is almost thirteen years ago when we said a fond farewell to an amazing Queen’s graduate, colleague and friend at the Trudeau International Airport.

A. Atia (Agnes) Apusigah had just successfully defended her thesis from Queen’s Faculty of Education. Her thesis was titled Reconsidering Women, Development and Education in Ghana. With a special award for her exceptional thesis presentation and analysis, Dr. Apusigah was on her way home, to continue her work with women and girls in Ghana.

During her three years at Queen’s she had made her mark. Agnes made contributions in research and teaching in the Faculty of Education and as a student staff member in the Department of Global Development and Studies in National and International (SNID). She also made contributions to the Ban Righ and the International centres.  

We have been privileged to stay in touch with her, and now to share with Queen’s alumni the ways in which she is contributing to the future of education, research and practice, especially relating to women and girls, in her home country and internationally.        

Dr. Apusigah is currently an associate professor of cultural analysis and gender studies and dean of the Faculty of Education in the University for Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana.

Growing up as a Northern Ghanaian woman and watching mothers and grandmothers struggle to make ends meet, she learned very early the ways that women lived their lives in their patriarchal and classist world. Dr. Apusigah learned how her foremothers rejected victimization by creating environments that were not merely reactionary but which positioned them strategically in knowledge and practices for themselves and their fellow women. She learned early that change was much an individual as a collective effort and that by becoming an agent of change one can actually cause even the most entrenched systems and forces to collapse. However, it takes commitment, time and effort.     Dr. Apusigah’s work involves reclaiming and sharing these valuable lessons in an era of African renaissance.

Her research and consultation interests remain many and diverse. Her research has been in the areas of educational reform and policies, women’s rights, political economy of African development and indigenous knowledge systems. She combines her scholarly work with activism. As a member of the Network for Women’s Rights Ghana, Dr. Apusigah remains a strong women’s rights activist and champion of gender equality and social justice. As a consultant she extends her expertise to international, national and local bodies. These include UNICEF, ILO, AFDB, Christian Aid, Comic Relief, CIDA, SEND Ghana, and the Anglican and Development and Relief Organization in the area of Gender and Development, Programme Evaluation and Organizational Development.

Dr. Apusigah has also served on a number of governing boards and councils such as the STAR Ghana, Afrikids Ghana, Regentrofen College of Applied Sciences and Bolgatanga Secondary School.

She has made significant contributions to scholarship as founder, author, editor, and reviewer of several journals, articles and books, such as Gender and Society, African Journal of Sustainable Development, Ghana Journal of Development Studies and Agenda Journal.

Some of her recent works include Women’s Movement and Political Change in West Africa, Women’s Rights Organizations and Funding Regimens in Ghana and Bridging Worlds.

Her teaching at her nation’s University for Development Studies includes such courses as Development Education as a Profession, Research Methodologies, Gender and Development Policy, Tools and Strategies for Indigenous Development.

Indeed, Dr. Apusigah is one of the stellar graduates of Queen’s University. We are so very proud of her accomplishments in such an important field of enriching the lives of women and girls in Ghana, and throughout the world.  

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Submitted by Dr. Glenn Eastabrook, Queen’s University, Faculty of Education (retired) and Dr. Apusigah’s doctoral thesis supervisor; Dr. Shirley Eastabrook, (BNSc’76), Queen’s University, School of Nursing (retired) and friend of Dr. Apusigah; Ms. Susan Anderson (BEd’81, MEd’10) Queen’s University, Director, International Centre (retired), friend and contributor.