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October 25, 2021

Saginaw Valley State University Professor Receives Distinguished Professor of the Year Award

Saginaw Valley State University Professor Joseph Ofori-Dankwa was recognized as one of the state’s three recipients of the 2020 Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year Award by the Michigan Association of State Universities. The award recognizes the dedication and outstanding efforts of faculty from Michigan’s 15 public universities to the education of undergraduate students.

“Dr. Ofori-Dankwa’s commitment to bringing his students outside of the classroom and into the world shows how higher education in Michigan continues to evolve to meet the needs of its students and Michigan’s people,” said Dr. Daniel J. Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “These professors give their all when it comes to dedication to student success, helping them achieve their ambitions, all the while strengthening Michigan’s prosperity.”

Ofori-Dankwa is the Harvey Randall Wickes Professor of International Business and a professor of management at Saginaw Valley State University. Since joining SVSU in 1987, he has earned several university awards including the House Family Award for Teacher Impact, the Rush Distinguished Lectureship, the Braun Fellowship, and the Thomson Award for Community Engagement. He has helped develop and teach courses for SVSU’s Vitito Fellows Global Leadership Institute, including experiential leadership projects for SVSU business students. Among the inter-disciplinary teaching initiatives he has helped to co-coordinate is the B.A.T.S. (Business, Art, Theatre and Sociology) program. 

A native of Ghana, Ofori-Dankwa is a leader in expanding programs to Africa. He has led and facilitated 10 trips with students, faculty, and Saginaw community leaders to Ghana since 2000. In addition, he served as a faculty advisor for SVSU electrical and computer engineering students planning to design and install solar panels at a health clinic for the Royal Seed Home Orphanage in Ghana.

He has founded or coordinated additional programs including the Makola Institute, which is a training and advocacy center for market women and small-scale business operators in markets in Ghana, and the Makola Foundation which provides funding for entrepreneurs and students. He has also provided a curriculum on leadership and ethics for the U.S. State Department’s Young African Leadership Institute, initiated by former President Obama and located at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.

Ofori-Dankwa received his Bachelor of Law from the University of Ghana, his M.S. in management and technology from the University of Wales, and his Master of Labor & Industrial Relations and Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Michigan State University.

The other two recipients of the 2020 award were Grand Valley State University Professor Stephen Mattox and University of Michigan Professor H. Scott Fogler. 

The Michigan Association of State Universities will recognize Ofori-Dankwa and Tami Sivy, SVSU professor of chemistry and a 2021 recipient of the award, during the SVSU Board of Control meeting Monday, Oct. 25.