In a classroom in Ghana, Lynn Spellman White, professor of accounting at Trinity, stood in front of 25 business people, a group of some of the most attentive and motivated students she says she has ever taught.
As part of a Vander Laan Business Connections Grant, White spent eight days during Trinity’s Interim teaching financial literacy workshops to people from various businesses, ranging from farming to garment manufacturing. The workshops included basic accounting topics such as Microsoft Excel, financial statement and budget preparation, and accounts receivables and accounts payables.
“The students recognized the importance of record keeping to their businesses and approached the workshop sessions with a level of enthusiasm and focus that I never expected,” said White.
She also had the opportunity to visit local Ghanaian businesses and observe their practices, gaining an increased appreciation for accounting’s role in developing businesses.
White worked through Hopeline Institute, an associate member of Partners Worldwide. The institute is a non-profit Christian organization that assists business owners through training, mentoring, and access to capital.
Such opportunities enable White to integrate her overseas experience into the classroom at Trinity and to provide her students with cross-cultural learning. She hopes to one day accompany business students from Trinity to Ghana to work directly with owners in their respective businesses.
White led a group of Trinity students to Malawi in 2009 with partial funding from the Vander Laan grant.