Professor Heads to Botswana to Help Develop AIDS, HIV Research Center


Professor Heads to Botswana to Help Develop AIDS, HIV Research Center
Cal Poly Pomona professor Charles Gossett will help the University of Botswana develop its new Center for Research in HIV and AIDS.

Some people go to the beach when they need a change of pace. Cal Poly Pomona professor Charles Gossett is going to Botswana.

The San Dimas resident has received a Fulbright Fellowship and will spend the next six months helping the University of Botswana develop its new Center for Research in HIV and AIDS. Gossett will leave for the south African country June 30.

“I'm looking forward to the opportunity to live and work in a different culture. The purpose of a sabbatical is to have a dramatic change of pace, and this will certainly offer an opportunity for that,” said Gossett, who is also chair of the Political Science department.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government's flagship program in international educational exchange. Gossett will serve as a consultant to the research center. He anticipates that much of his work will be focused on developing a clear mission statement, establishing liaisons with other organizations and organizing academic programs and conferences.

“The biggest challenge is going to be helping them figure out what role they want to play in the overall national fight against HIV and AIDS, and how they're going to fit in with all the other actors who are working on that issue,” he said. “They also need to determine how the center fits in the university as a university entity.”

It won't take long for Gossett to acclimate to the Fulbright post. In 1976, he did his dissertation work in Botswana as he worked toward a degree in African politics. Since then he has continued to follow the country's developments and teaches about the country in his African politics class.