Class Year: 2004
Major at MC: Business and Organization Management
Senior Thesis Topic: “Business as a Calling: The Prevalence of Calling in the Non Profit World"
Current Town/City of Residence: Tamale, Ghana
Occupation: Humanitarian Emergency Affairs and Security Manager for World Vision International, Ghana.
Family: Wife, Alia Twum-Barimah and 2-year-old son, Justin Adansi Twum-Barimah
Describe your career path since graduating from MC.
After leaving MC, I went to UT Knoxville for my master’s degree in Public Administration after which I took a position in Savannah, Georgia as a Residence Education Coordinator at Armstrong State University, Division of Student Affairs. After 4 years there, I moved back to Ghana, my home country, where I’m currently working as a Cluster Programs Manager with World Vision International.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian, advocacy and development organization dedicated to working to transform the lives of children, families and communities especially the most vulnerable so they may reach their full potential by tracking the causes of poverty and injustice.
With my experience at Maryville College there was no doubt that this job was what I needed to take. Maryville College challenged our thinking and built us up to become a citizen of the world. This means contributing to the well-being of humanity and ensuring that the world is a better place for all. My involvement with the Peace and World Concern Committee on campus, student government, Bonner scholarship and as an RA shaped me and built my capacity as a leader.
Maryville also provided the opportunity to live, work and relate to diverse group of people which is always helpful in my field of work. As a humanitarian worker, you have to be open-minded and deal with all sorts of people. Also the idea of Scholarship, Integrity and Respect is something that always rings in my heart. I treat all human beings with respect and seek to learn new things every day.
My MC experience has basically made me who I am now. Volunteering, passion for what I do, caring for the needy, contributing something bigger than myself as a global citizen and making a difference were all areas that were really shaping through my experience at MC.
Describe your job or a typical day “in the office.”
The major part of my job as the Humanitarian Emergency Affairs and Security Manager is coordinating emergency response and relief efforts for the World Vision International Ghana office. It is also my duty to monitor all issues concerning staff security, program security and assets security. Additionally, I coordinate proper and timely implementation and monitoring of development and grants programs/projects to ensure successful delivery of activities to improve child well-being. And I do facilitate and strengthen networking relationships with government, church, faith-based organization leaders and other key partners especially on security, humanitarian and emergency issues.
On a typical day, I start with devotion with the team. Following a review of the day’s activities, assign roles and resources to team members where necessary and get to the office check on mails. I respond to emails and take action on the ones that need urgent action. Sometimes I will then follow up on outstanding issues and partners to ensure that we are on track. I also give security briefings to the Operations Director on what is happening in our operational areas.
Since we are a child-focused organization, I normally follow up on child protection issues that need my attention. I mostly engage with partners about their needs so we can plan for Gift In Kind (GIK) materials to aid them on their activities. On regular basis, I pay visits the communities to ensure that our interventions in these areas are making impact and that the children are benefiting. I interact with community members, children, volunteers and partners on how our interventions are helping to improve their well-being and how we can improve on our practices.
What has been your most exciting/enjoyable professional experience to date?
One of my greatest joys was when I had the opportunity to work with the Ivorian refugees during the Ivorian crises. It was so fulfilling to be there for the children and provide that psycho-social support and help them adjust to life. After going through the trauma of conflict and war, my team and I had the opportunity to provide child-friendly spaces where the children were given the opportunity to be kids and play again. I also had the opportunity to work with people living with HIV. Engaging them always brought joy.
How did your MC experience prepare you for your vocation and/or life?
Maryville College opened my mind to so many things. I'm not surprised I find myself in a leadership role currently. MC gave me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills. Being a Class Senator, RA, Bonner scholar, serving on different committees and working with variety of people was just the perfect preparation I needed. My leadership class and other roles have added value to what I do on a regular basis. Bonner scholarship gave me the opportunity to work with the Boys and Girls Club and now I love children. I live by the mantra “As you have done for the least of these, you have done it for me.” Mathew 25:40. I also remember Rev. Dr. Ann McKee sharing with us Micah 6:8 at the CCM. Now that is what I go by on a typical day. "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
What is your best memory from your time at MC?
Gosh plenty. Alternative spring breaks and fall breaks, RA retreats, winning International Student of the Year Award for two years in a row, SGA events, summer camps, building houses with Habitat for Humanity almost every Saturday, numerous road trips with friends, friends inviting me to spend holidays with them, camping trip to the Smoky Mountains, etc. My experience at MC is a whole book and to top it all, the College inviting my parents and little brother to my graduation where my dad preached at our service.
Lastly, the family that I made in Maryville will forever remain with me. I still have brothers and sisters from MC and that is the best part of my experience in Maryville College. Thanks to Facebook and emails, I still stay in touch with my MC family.
Complete this sentence: "I'm glad that Maryville College still ______________.
Challenges students to think outside the box and challenge the process. It made me unique and a difference maker.
What are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?
I enjoy running, listening to music and reading. Because of the nature of my work as a humanitarian worker, I always enjoy traveling since I'm always off to somewhere. Watching live sports is something I enjoy as well.
Since graduating, what has made you the most proud?
With the work ethic I developed over the years, I received the Employee of the Year award during my time at Armstrong State University. That was very exciting to be recognized by colleagues and students. I will also say that the day my son was born was one day that I was most grateful and proud.. I was proud of my wife after enduring the nine hectic months and proud of myself for surviving the nine hectic months. Was just a proud daddy and I know my MC friends and family were all proud of me especially my Papa George Carpenter.
Professionally or personally, what’s still on your “bucket list?"
To get the opportunity one day to speak to MC students on making a difference in our world and reaching out to the least of these as they prepare to enter the world. I pray to one day speak to the graduation class of Maryville College of my story and how they can make a difference and write their own stories.
Professionally, I want to earn a PhD in Humanitarian Leadership. That will give me the opportunity to understand the emergency response issues and how to address them and provide technical advice to security and emergency issues to United Nation Day.
Complete this sentence: My classmates may be surprised to learn that I _____________.
That I actually moved back to Ghana, married and am now a father and husband.