Edward Osei Kwadwo Prempeh leaves outstanding legacy

Student, teacher, diplomat, colleague, mentor and friend. This is not an exhaustive list, but it does begin to give a sense of the invaluable contribution that Edward Osei Kwadwo Prempeh, PhD/96, made in the too-short a time that he was part of the Carleton University community.

Prempeh, an associate professor in the Departments of Political Science and Sociology and Anthropology, died on March 3 of cancer at the age of 47. According to his Carleton friends, students and colleagues, he has left an enormous legacy.

Imelda Mulvihill, Carleton’s Equity Policy and Research Analyst, worked with Prempeh on the 1996 Census Task Force and on educational equity projects reporting to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Equity Policy during the period he was the Race Equity Co-ordinator (1996-2002).

“What struck me about Edward was both his total commitment to diversity and the fact that he was the consummate diplomat—that’s why deans, chairs, directors, vice-presidents and presidents would always call upon him in a situation where relationships among members of the community were strained.”

In 1997, while still the Race Equity Co-ordinator, Prempeh became an assistant professor with the political science department. Over the next ten years, he introduced countless undergraduate and graduate students to issues related to global democratization and human rights. The current chair of the department, Laura Macdonald, believes that he was one of the most dedicated teachers in the department. “Not only did Edward care deeply for his students, he also contributed substantively to curriculum development and pushed for the African Studies program which is scheduled to be introduced this September.”

One of his other recent projects was to facilitate a relationship between Carleton and institutions in Ghana and in 2004, Carleton signed a formal agreement with the University of Ghana (U of G). Under the agreement, Carleton students can spend a year studying at the U of G. In addition, a U of G professor specializing in African Studies will teach for one year at Carleton. Prempeh was also instrumental in securing an internship for Carleton students with Ghana’s Centre for Democratic Development.

Candice Callender, a secondyear master’s political science student, spent two and half months interning with the Centre last summer. Prempeh was her supervisor and according to Callender, he encouraged her to go to Ghana because he believed she would benefit from having some international experience. “The internship was a life-changing opportunity that I would not have had without Edward’s help,” she refl ects. “He was a truly good person. I will miss him very much.”

Edward Osei Kwadwo Prempeh is survived by his spouse Anna Nsiah-Sarkodie and his children Eva, Gregory, Stephanie and Christopher.

Between 1996 and 2007, Edward Osei Kwadwo Prempeh participated in a number of important Carleton University initiatives including:

– Race relations programs to help create a climate that values racial diversity

– The inclusion of the Antiracism and Ethnocultural Policy as a key section in the University’s Human Rights Policy

– Greater diversity in the curriculum as part of educational equity efforts

– An exchange agreement with the University of
Ghana.

– An undergraduate program in African Studies

A gifted teacher, he received a Carleton University
Teaching Achievement Award in 2001-02 and a PAM Teaching Award in 2006. Prempeh was also the president of the Carleton University Academic Staff Association in 2005-06.

This entry was written by Martha Attridge Bufton and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media: http://carletonnow.carleton.ca/?p=3009

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