From America to Africa, Amina Sillah promotes civic engagement.
Assistant Professor Amina Sillah keeps lecturing to a minimum when teaching political science classes like metropolitan studies and urban government.
“Our students have such a rich, diverse range of experiences and knowledge, so I draw that out in discussions,” says Sillah, who believes that interactions make for powerful learning outcomes.
And just as her class discussions are known to spill out onto campus, the classes themselves take to the streets of Baltimore and beyond.
With a background in nonprofit administration, urban development and civic engagement, Sillah is dedicated to fostering relationships with Baltimore nonprofits, building a network of partnerships that has only grown since she joined the TU faculty in 2015. For TU students, those relationships mean opportunities for career training and chances to make a positive impact in off-campus communities.
Sillah even designed a course around nonprofit administration. Students worked on-site to help build capacity of organizations like Higher Achievement which helps bridge the gap and provide educational opportunities for underserved youth in Baltimore. This win-win partnership also enabled TU students to gain valuable work experience.
“Students feel so good when giving to others,” says Sillah. “And they are taking what we teach them and applying it in the field in a practical way. It makes them better citizens.”
A native of The Gambia, a small nation next to Senegal in Africa, Sillah also brings a global perspective to campus. And she’s helping students expand their cultural competency by hosting a study abroad experience in Africa.
The trip’s theme? Community engagement, of course.