African Languages Professor Wins Two 2024 International Studies & Programs Awards 

Jonathan Choti is the 2024 recipient of two ISP awards, namely, MSU Award for Outstanding Service to Education Abroad and Inspiration Award in the Professional Achievement Category

The former is a category of MSU’s International Awards and recognizes faculty and staff who give their time, energy, and creativity to the development and implementation of education abroad programs that support MSU’s commitment to providing students with high-quality international education opportunities. The latter is sponsored by the Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen) and highlights individuals that demonstrate a unique drive and passion within their career and positively influences the culture of Michigan State University. The recognition of Choti’s dedication to international education honors excellence in teaching, research, service, and student mentoring. 

Choti is Associate Professor of African languages and cultures in the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Culture in the College of Arts and Letters (CAL). His research interests focus on Bantu morphophonology, gender and sexuality in Africa, inclusive pedagogy, and the pedagogy of minoritized languages. He teaches Swahili classes and courses that focus on African cultures, and is also the faculty director of a 6-week summer education abroad program known as “Sustainable Community Development in Tanzania”. 

Choti was nominated for the MSU Award for Outstanding Service to Education Abroad by Leo Zulu, associate professor of geography and then Interim Director of the African Studies Center. “Over the past eight years, Choti has expertly guided students through every aspect of the education abroad program, ensuring its excellence in academics in both pre-travel preparation and onsite teaching, intercultural experiences, and student safety measures. Dr. Choti’s leadership has earned praise from both students and colleagues for his exceptional leadership of this collaborative program,” said Zulu. 

Choti was selected for GenCen’s Inspiration Award following his nomination by Kwame Yeboah, the Director of the Tanzania Partnership Program (TPP) that supports Choti’s education abroad program. In his nomination, Yeboah stated, “Choti has a long, impressive track record in his career. His achievements demonstrate clearly a unique drive and passion in undergraduate teaching and positively influences the culture of MSU.” The GenCen advisor, Pat Arnold, who presented the Inspiration Award to Choti, remarked, “Dr. Choti has been a mainstay of global cultural engagement, advocacy, education, and research in the MSU community for over a decade. He has rightly received numerous awards recognizing his interdisciplinary scholarship in African languages and linguistics, as well as numerous teaching awards for his transformative pedagogy and the global exposure he has brought to the MSU student community.”