My experience as a Reynolds Fellow and as an alumnus of the Academy of Achievement continues to inform my practice and my scholarship in significant ways. The rich engagement with presenters and colleagues at the International Achievement Summit provided me with the tools I needed to elevate my own leadership capacities.
During our dinner at the Supreme Court, I have a vivid memory of Justice Sotomayor looking into the eyes of each of us at my table, and saying, “Stay connected with the people at this table. These relationships are what will guide your success for years and years to come.” I believe that to be true, and am especially grateful for this fact. (For another Academy memory, see a recent blog post here: http://nathanieldunigan.com/?p=1100.)
During the nine years prior to my tenure as a Reynolds Fellow, I lived in Uganda, East Africa where I founded AidChild, the first organization in the country (and among the first in the world) to provide free antiretroviral therapy to children living with HIV/AIDS. The organization currently earns about 70 percent of its budget through businesses I created under our corporate label in Uganda. Last year, in partnership with celebrity chef Brian Malarkey, we opened yet another business, a restaurant and lounge called Olubugo.
I am currently the Dammeyer Fellow in Global Education Leadership at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, University of San Diego. My Ph.D. research has taken me around the world as I work with a team to create learning-and-teaching training modules for leaders in the affordable private education sectors of the emerging world. (The photo at right was taken during classroom observations in Ghana.) My dissertation is focused on the social construction of masculinities across three generations of Ugandan men. It is my intention to combine my years of on-the-ground experience, insights gained at the Academy of Achievement, and my emerging scholarship to effecting change across Sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2012, I also had the honor of being named a Cordes Foundation Fellow at the Opportunity Collaboration in Ixtapa, Mexico.
I am enormously grateful for the experiences provided by the Academy of Achievement, and I look forward to one day being in a position to offer something back. There is so much to do. Onward!