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Felix Femoye

Award takes CMU prof back to Africa

Math instructor touts CMU on second Fulbright tour

Contact: Curt Smith


​Just back from nine months in his native Nigeria through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, Central Michigan University mathematics professor and statistics expert Felix Femoye already has delivered a list of potential new international students.

The first time Femoye visited Nigeria, in 2009-10, he returned with commitments from about a dozen Nigerian students — in and outside of mathematics — to attend CMU. Two now are in the final stages of earning their doctorates.

"They really liked the idea of financial support from CMU," he said. Famoye said he got active in recruiting while at CMU and pitched CMU and its programs twice in presentations at the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria.

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Beyond the classroom

Famoye's first Fulbright was devoted strictly to teaching and research at the University of Lagos, where he developed a Statistical Consulting Center in the mathematics department. This time, Famoye wanted to reach clients beyond what he called "the university environment."

While teaching, he also conducted research in statistical methodology, spoke at conferences and developed and presented workshops, making the most of his familiarity with technology and experience in statistical consulting.

He also continued to teach statistics. Famoye taught two classes, both to graduate students, during the first semester. He served as an instructor in two other classes the following semester, one for graduates  and one for undergraduates.

Famoye said his favorite part of the experience was seeing Nigerian education administration firsthand and how it varies from the U.S.

"Just doing this with the Fulbright opened my eyes," he said.

Famoye said he plans to present a report on his trip to faculty and students, hopefully this semester.

In 2005, Famoye received the CMU President's Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity. In 1997, he received CMU's Excellence in Teaching Award.


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