Instructional Team

Dr. Bonaventure Okere (Co-Director)
Bonaventure Okere (PhD) is currently the Ag. Director, Centre for Basic Space Science Nsukka, an activity centre of National Space Research and Development Agency, Abuja, Nigeria. He is also the Regional Cordinator , IAU West African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development. Bonaventure is a co-founder and Director of WAISSYA.

Bonaventure is the director of WAISSYA's 2019 venue in Abuja, Nigeria

Dr. Bernard D. Asabere
Bernard holds a BSc in Physics degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, an MSc in Engineering degree from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and a Doctorate (PhD) in Physics (Astronomy and Astrophysics) from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. He is currently a research scientist at the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute and leads the science engagement group of the Institute. Bernard coordinates and facilitates astronomy outreach and training programmes in Ghana. He is the manager and the local lead scientist (astronomer) of the newly-launched Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory. Bernard is a member of the Ghana team on the SKA (Square Kilometre Array project) Work-group and the champion of the SKA AVN (African VLBI Network) Science Engagement and Communication in Ghana. In addition, he is a member of the EVN TOG (European VLBI Network Technical Operations Group).

Bernard advises the leadership group, works on fundraising, and supports our alumni
Wesley Cheek
 Wesley Cheek is currently working in a small village in Liberia with the Peace Corps, teaching science and mathematics and leading community projects. After having helped to run WAISSYA 2017, Wesley has continued to contribute to WAISSYA by being a part of the leadership and strategy group helping to pave the way to making the organization better able to reach its goals.

Wesley advises the leadership group and co-leads long-term venue planning
Meiling Deng
Meiling Deng is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She joined the WAISSYA team in late 2015. During the WAISSYA 2017 summer school in Ghana, she mainly worked as an inquiry facilitator and instructor on radio astronomy instrumentation.
Before or after the school, she has been working on data analysis, fundraising, curriculum curation and the general report.

Meiling handles administration and authoring of our general report

Dr. Allison Man
Allison Man is a postdoctoral researcher investigating how stars formed in galaxies in the early Universe. In WAISSYA, she co-lead the Alumni Support Working Group. She's interested in involving more professional astronomers in supporting WAISSYA alumni who would like to pursue further studies in astronomy and science in general.

Allison Man is a leading figure in supporting our alumni community
Dr. Finbarr Odo
Finbarr Chidi, Odo hails from Enugu State of Nigeria. He holds a PhD degree in astrophysics from University of Nigeria and currently teaches Physics & Astronomy at the university. Finbarr joined the WAISSYA team in 2015 as an instructor. At WAISSYA, he has developed and taught courses on galaxies, cosmology and cultural
astronomy of West Africa.

Finbarr supports our alumni through advising and discovering opportunities
Dr. Anabele-Linda Pardi
Dr. Anabele-Linda Pardi is currently working as a software developer at Rohde & Schwarz Munich, Germany. Her PhD is in Physics (more specifically in Astrophysics - Galaxy Formation and Evolution).

Anabele leads our administrative team and is an author of our general report
Jielai Zhang
Jielai Zhang has been a part of the WAISSYA team since the start of preparations for the inaugural summer school held in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2013. She hopes to help WAISSYA build up a community of astronomers and STEM leaders in West Africa, and to create long lasting collaborations with her WAISSYA colleagues for education and research.She is in her final few months of her PhD at the University of Toronto. She was part of a small team of four that built a radically new type of telescope, which is 10 times better than any that has preceded it at detecting large but faint galaxies. She uses this telescope, called The Dragonfly Telephoto Array, and multi-wavelength data to understand galaxy evolution and galaxy outskirts. Her research interests also include time domain and multi-messenger astronomy, and interdisciplinary collaboration with medical imaging and machine learning fields.Jielai graduated from the University of Sydney with a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering with honours, and a bachelor’s degree in Science in Physics and Mathematics. She also holds a diploma of Mechanical Engineering from the Imperial College of London.

Jielai co-leads the team strategy and leadership team













Prof. Romanus Eze
Kevin Govender
Lisa Hunter
Prof. Peter G. Martin
Prof. Francisca Nneka Okeke
Prof. Pius Nwankwo Okeke
Prof. Fidelix Ekeoma Opara
Dr. Michael Reid

Past Team Members

Dr. Kelly Lepo (2013)
Valerie Murray (2013-2015)
Daniel Okoh (2013)
Heidi White (2013)

Dr. Linda Strubbe (Co-Director)
Linda Strubbe is co-founder and Co-Director of WAISSYA since the program's creation in 2013. She leads WAISSYA's Strategy & Leadership Working Group, and co-leads WAISSYA's Instructor Workshop Week and curriculum planning. Linda’s Ph.D. is in theoretical astrophysics; she is currently a Science Teaching & Learning Fellow at the University of British Columbia (Canada), where she teaches and develops astronomy and physics courses, helps faculty adopt innovative teaching methods, and engages in education research.

Linda leads the Team Strategy and Leadership group
Dr. Nana Ama Browne Klutse
Dr. Nana Ama Browne Klutse is a Senior Research Scientist at the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute. She is a Physicist and holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She coordinates space science and astronomy outreach programmes in Ghana.

Nana advises the leadership group, supports our fundraising efforts and is a leader in our efforts in Ghana

Dr. James Chibueze
Dr. James O. Chibueze is a VLBI Commissioning & Operations Scientist of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Africa/African VLBI Network (AVN). He is a radio astronomer and hold a PhD (Radio Astronomy & Astrophysics) from Kagoshima University, Japan. He has been involved in WAISSYA since 2013 and coordinated the postgraduate stream of WAISSYA. His research is focused on multi-wavelength exploration of the evolutionary sequence of high-mass stars.

 James co-leads long-term venue planning and supports our alumni. He also plays a leading role in our post-graduate stream.
Sudum Esaenwi
Esaenwi Sudum is a Native of Gure Town (Ogoni) in Khana Local Government area of Rivers State, Nigeria; a PhD graduate student in Enugu State University of Science and Technology, studying High Energy Astrophysics with concentration on Compact Binary Accreting Stars. His love for Astronomy
development in West Africa motivated him to proceed to the prestigious NASRDA-Centre for Basic Space Science, Nsukka where he is currently working as a High Energy Astrophysicist. He is the head of High Energy Astrophysics Division and has dexterity on the operations of small Optical Telescopes for Astronomy popularization. He also coordinates outreach programs for undergraduate students, primary school pupils, primary and secondary school teachers and students within Nigeria. He is an instructor in the West African International Astronomy Summer School for young Astronomers (WAISSYA) undergraduate stream.

Sudum supports our alumni as well as our group working on publicity and social media
Margaret Ikape
Margaret Ikape is a graduate student at the Dunlap institute for astronomy and astrophysics, Department of astronomy and astrophysics, University of Toronto, after having attended WAISSYA in past years. Current research areas include studying the epoch of reionisation with the simons observatory and mapping out the kinematics of nearby galaxies with the wide integral field infrared spectrograph, WIFIS. I am a WAISSYA undergraduate stream instructor, current WAISSYA publicity team lead. I also help organise the WAISSYA mentorship program, a platform to connect WAISSYA students with professional astronomers around the world.

Margaret supports our alumni as well as leads our publicity efforts
Dr. Thai Duy Cuong Nguyen
Dr. Thai Duy Cuong Nguyen is an organizer and instructor of the West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers (WAISSYA) since 2013. Dr. Nguyen received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Toronto, and has held research positions at the University of Florida, Stockholm University, the University of Rochester, and the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Patrice Okouma
Patrice supports our alumni, is a part of our venue team, and plays a leading role in the creation and implementation of our post-graduate stream.