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Patrick Dua, M.A., Dr. phil.
(Adjunct Professor retd., University of Maryland)

I started my university career in England as a student of law with Wolsey Hall, Oxford. My previous secondary school education (at St. Augustine's College in Cape Coast, Ghana) entailed studies in Latin classics, English Language, English Literature and French, among other things. My university education has been influenced largely by these backgrounds. A receipt of a scholarship to study at a German University led me to abandon my legal studies and to pursue the combined fields of Politics, Philosophy and International Law at the University of Heidelberg. Heidelberg is the oldest university in Germany. It was founded in 1386 and thus became the fourth university of Europe within the Holy Roman Empire.

The 1970s were turbulent times at the University of Heidelberg when I arrived there. Student life was marked occasionally by strikes, sit-ins, leaflet campaigns, protests and the enforced shutdowns of academic facilities. However, most students as well as foreign scholars were drawn to Heidelberg as much for its tradition of activism as for its academic reputation.

Reflections today on my student background enable me to count myself as having been fortunate in several respects. I was a student of some internationally renowned professors of the 20th Century: among them was the fabled epistemologist Roderick Chisholm of Brown University (Rhode Island), so also Rudolf Bernhardt, judge at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg, and Frank Pfetsch, international relations scholar and UNESCO consultant.

Following a Master of Arts degree in 1978, I started my teaching career with the European Division of the University of Maryland, and continued further studies concurrently to obtain the doctorate degree in 1980 - also from the University of Heidelberg.

From 1981 to 1982, I acquired the fundamentals of computer literacy by participating full-time in seminars offered by the German company known at the time as Nixdorf Computers AG (later Siemens-Nixdorf Information Systems) in Wiesbaden. This opportunity enabled me to acquire some of the earlier operational skills - and to gain a new hobby - linked to the emergence of the IBM-PC in 1981, including the configuration of peripheral devices, expansion cards, and software uses. I have been an enthusiastic participant in the internet-based distance education (DE) revolution since 1997. I am the author, among others, of the following works: The Emergence of the Third World, Ethics and the Cultural Context of Human Rights, Social Planning for Senior Citizens, Young Children and Social Policy,
Cognitive Approaches in the Transfer of traditional Learning to the Virtual Classroom.

There is an institutional effort of UMUC Europe in addition to that of UMUCís CTLA Ė the Center for Teaching and Learning that provides a platform for faculty development and the support of learning outcomes. In September of 2009, I had the opportunity to prepare and moderate the forum titled "Teaching Critical and Analytical Thinking across the Curriculum" which attracted 64 faculty members as participants. A summary review of this forum can be read here.

My academic areas of interest include: International Relations, Political Theory, Epistemology, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Language, Theory of Action - and, of course, general literature. I have a particular interest in the application of theory to social policy. While I continue to be active academically in private as well as the lecture halls, I am officially retired since July 2014.

Last Update: July 2017

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