Updates 06 25 2018

Welcome again to all:

The 2018 AERN Biennial Summit is officially open in Accra, Ghana, on the campus of the University of Ghana-Legon!

As part of registration, all summit attendees received a printed 24-page 2018 AERN Biennial Summit book that provides essential information for the sessions.

The day started with a workshop on “Introduction to Mixed Methods Research” facilitated by Beryl Neequaye (Ohio University) and Tamara Jimah (University of California Irvine). The participants in this workshop have expressed their great satisfaction for the wonderful job done by Beryl and Tamara. I am very thankful for their contribution to the AERN summit!

The opening reception started at 2:00 p.m. in the cafeteria of the Balme Library, and included various delicious, authentic meals from Ghana. It was a meet and greet opportunity for participants, representing 8 different countries and 3 continents. Then, we returned to the conference room of the Ghana-Korea Information Access Center ( ).

I opened the ceremony with a tribute to the late Dr. Milton Ploghoft, the funder of AERN. The tribute was followed by welcome remarks from a representative of the University of Ghana-Legon, Prof. Michael Tagoe Ayitey, who was speaking on behalf of Prof. Kwame Offei.

The summit was so fortunate to have the presence of two wonderful keynote speakers: Dr. Lorna Jean Edmonds, Vice-Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies (Ohio University) and Dr. Matthew Shaftel, Dean of the College of Fine Arts (Ohio University). Dr. Edmonds challenged the audience to think compassionately and cooperatively, using a new frame of thinking that looks beyond our single planet, but which accounts for the entire universe. Dr. Shaftel walked us through the beauty of arts, and explained how creative expression can contribute to wellness and community building. Both speakers were very inspirational, and received worthy praises from the participants.

The day ended with a discussion panel facilitated by Dr. Assan Sarr, Associate Professor of History at Ohio University. The panelists were Dr. Grace Anor, Dr. Kwame Owusu, Tamara Jimah, and Eric. The panelists talked about their experiences studying in the U.S., especially at Ohio University, in relation to research and sustainable development in Africa. The audience was very engaged and passionate about the topic.

My heartfelt thanks to Dr. Doreen Ahwireng, Prof. Tagoe Michael Ayitey, staff members of the School of Education at the University of Ghana-Legon, who helped at the registration desk, the keynote speakers, facilitators, panelists, and participants who made this first day an enjoyable one!

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow morning, June 26th, for the second day!

Kindest regards,


AERN Updates 06 24 2018


Here are some important updates for the 2018 AERN Biennial Summit in Accra, Ghana:

Location: The Summit will be held at the Ghana-Korea Information Access Center ( ), at West wing of the Balme Library, located on the campus of the University of Ghana-Legon. When you reach the main entrance of the University of Ghana-Legon, you have some options:
1. You can walk for just a few minutes (less than 5 minutes) up to the Blame Library roundabout. From the roundabout, the Blame library will be on your right. Then, you will be at the Summit facility. There will be AERN signs to lead you to the second floor where the Ghana-Korea Information Access Center is located. Please, understand that the second floor means the 3rd floor in the U.S. context. In Ghana, the first floor is considered as the ground floor.
2. If you do not want to walk, you may take a taxi from the University entrance, and that should cost you 5 Ghanaian Cedis. The conversion would be $U.S. 1 and a few cents.
3. Call my Ghana phone number, if you need additional direction! The number is: 055-622-4464 or Whatsapp: +740-818-1274 or emmaohio.

Virtual Presentation: If you are presenting virtually, please use the following link for your presentation: Meeting URL: Please, communicate with me ( or Dr. Doreen ( for further arrangements!
Proceedings: We will be publishing the proceedings after the Summit by the end of July. The proceedings will include only participants who have presented in-person or virtually.

Things to do in Accra: Please, find below a selected list of links for things to do and places to eat in Accra:
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me!

Kindest regards,


AERN 2018 Biennial Summit Updates


The excitement is growing on your side with our upcoming AERN 2018 Biennial Summit in Accra, Ghana! I am pleased to share with you the following updates :


The schedule for the AERN 2018 Biennial Summit in Ghana is up on the AERN website: AERN PROGRAM BOOK 2018


I hope that you have already made appropriate arrangements with hotels and flights. I also hope that you have already registered to attend the Summit. If you have not paid your registration fee, please do so by clicking on the Registration link that we have sent to you in several occasions. It is important for you to register before the conference, so that we can have a package prepared for you, including tickets that will grant you access to some of the functions.

Traveling to Ghana:

Keep the following in mind about traveling to Ghana: Ghana embassy website

– Apply for a visa: To apply for a visa from the U.S., go to:

– Health requirements: A yellow fever vaccination is required for entry into Ghana. You should expect to present documentation of the vaccination at the airport, in Accra. A Malaria vaccine is also advised!

Keynote Speakers:

– Keynote Speaker 1: Dr. Lorna Jean Edmonds
Dr. Lorna Jean Edmonds is the Vice Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies at OHIO. She also serves as the Director of the Center for International Studies and as a Professor of Health Sciences and Professions. Dr. Edmonds joined OHIO in 2013 after having worked in four of Canada’s research-intensive universities. She served as the University of Toronto’s Assistant Vice President, International Relations; Executive Advisor, Research, University of Ottawa; Executive Director, International Research and Advancement, Western University; and Director, Research Services and the Director, International Center for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation, Queen’s University. Dr. Edmonds’ expertise in higher education strategy, research performance, public/private sector collaboration, and globalization is based upon more than 20 years of experience in academia, government relations and international development. She has extensive international experience, working with universities, governments, industry and research funding and development agencies, and banks in more than 60 countries in Asia, the Americas, Europe and Africa. In addition, Dr. Edmonds is an active contributor to the internationalization of higher education, university-public/private sector collaboration, international development, and new frontiers in science and scholarship with a particular interest in trend analysis, managing social change and space relations. She serves on several international boards including the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine International Research Collaborations Working Group, the Illuminate Consulting International Academic Advisory Board, and the Policy and Law Track (Co-Chair) of the NSS International Space Development Conference in 2016. She received her Ph.D. at the University of East Anglia, UK; her M.H.A. at the, University of Ottawa, CAN; and her B.A. (Sciences) at Queen’s University, CAN.

– Keynote Speaker 2: Dr. Matthew R. Shaftel
Dr. Matthew R. Shaftel is the Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts. Dr. Shaftel is a former Dean and director of Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts in Princeton, New Jersey. Prior to that, he spent 14 years in various roles at Florida State University, including distinguished professor of music theory, director of the Cawthon Hall Music Living Learning Center, director of general education, and most recently, associate vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Shaftel received his master of philosophy and doctorate degrees, both in music theory, from Yale University. He also earned a certificate in higher education leadership from Harvard University.

Please, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any issues or concerns!

I am eagerly waiting for your arrival to the AERN 2018 Biennial Summit in Ghana.

Kindest regards,
Emmanuel Jean-Francois, PhD
AERN Chair

Announcing the Passing of Dr. Milton Ploghoft


It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of Dr. Milton Ploghoft. It was only on April 5, 2018 that I was talking about the pivotal academic and financial roles of Dr. Ploghoft in the foundation and financial sustainability of AERN, during the opening of our Exhibition on Transformational Leaders of Africa, at the Alden Library, Ohio University. I was literally shocked when I learned that He passed away. I will inform you on the date and time of the funeral as soon as I received that information.

Please, keep the family of Dr. Ploghoft in your thoughts and your prayers in this challenging time!

Kindest regards,

Emmanuel Jean-Francois, PhD
AERN Chair

For more information, go to: Dr. Milton Ploghoft