Exploring South Africa


A lifelong resident of South Africa, International Liaison Officer (ILO) Kari Prince has seen firsthand the people’s resiliency and the complex history of the country. For Prince, being an ILO gives her the chance to share South Africa with students and faculty from other countries.

“Even though there is poverty, unemployment, and all the post-apartheid challenges, there is a great sense of humor in the South Africans, a great resilience, and there is so much that can be learned both ways—for the U.S. students and the South Africans we interact with,” says Prince.

Originally from Durban, on the east coast of the country, Prince attended the University of KwaZulu-Natal where she received a degree in economics and finance. While working in the business sector, Prince realized that public relations was her true passion. She worked as Public Relations Officer for the South Africa Sugar Association, before launching her own food and events company, Picnic Fanatics. In 2005 she sold the company and moved to Johannesburg to pursue other opportunities, which ultimately involved outreach work within the rural primary schools sector.

Then in 2013, Prince heard about TCS Education System through a friend and was soon working as an ILO, TCS’ first in South Africa. She embraced the chance to show others her country. In this position, Prince represents all of TCS’s affiliate partners in South Africa and helps “create a collaborative opportunity for staff and faculty.”

Currently, Prince is working with TCS partner colleges that have programs dealing with trauma—Saybrook University, Pacific Oaks College, and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. “Unfortunately, South Africa has a lot to offer in terms of trauma: the poverty, gender-based violence, and crisis pregnancies,” she says.

Partnership in South Africa

During Prince’s seven-year tenure with TCS, she has built amazing relationships with many organizations and students, throughout her home country and beyond. As a result, students are able to have a more meaningful experience when they are visiting. Some of the most impactful have been exchanges of personal, rich stories. “I will take a group of students to an orphanage, and everyone will sit and talk for two hours, sharing amazing, personal stories and connecting over them,” she says.

Prince attended TCS’s first Education Beyond Borders (EBB) study abroad program in Berlin in 2016, and it was then that she first conceptualized its next trip—to South Africa. She considered what topics might be best for students to focus on and created a curriculum centered around identity. “I thought Ph.D. students would find it easier to relate to future clients or classmates if they know who they really are,” she says.

In 2018, EBB took 66 TCS students, faculty, and board members to South Africa. An incredibly diverse country with several languages and a racially varied population, South Africa also has 13 tribes that each have their own language, traditions, and rituals—which adds to many conversations around identity and culture. “For children from a mixed marriage where the parents speak two different languages, the questions of what is their family culture and what is their cultural identity arise,” Prince explains.

Prince believes EBB is so important for students to relate to others in different fields with whom they might not get a chance to connect, in a country they might otherwise not visit. “If anyone is given the chance to take an EBB trip, they should grab it with both hands,” Prince says.

Update: Executive Order on Immigration

In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Trump administration’s travel ban can be fully enforced, TCS Education System renews our commitment to an education that transcends geographical borders.

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How One Psychologist Didn’t Let the Fear of Striking Out Hold Him Back

This content originally appeared in Saybrook University’s UNBOUND Magazine, by Shamontiel Vaughn

As with any professional sport, an athlete in his 30s usually starts looking for other jobs because he knows his time is limited. In Patterson’s case, his baseball career ended early due to sports injuries—a torn rotator cuff, supraspinatus tendinitis, knee surgery, and back surgery.
“I couldn’t throw at all, but fortunately I could hit so I was still able to play in high school and I still played semi-professionally,” says Patterson, who played during the late ‘70s and ‘80s. “I think I played my last semi pro-game in 1989.”
But by that time he’d already shied away from putting all his eggs in one basket. Patterson became a school psychologist in 1984, was a part-time scout for the Major League Scouting Bureau (MLSB) for the next five years, and then a scout part-time for the Texas Rangers, while working on his doctorate degree at Saybrook.
“I knew that my baseball days had passed,” Patterson says. “You hear people call that Cubs player Grandpa Rossy, and he’s only 39. After baseball, I had to figure out what was I going to do. My bachelor’s degree was in psychology and pre-dentistry from the University of Illinois. My parents always stressed to me to have a good education as a backup plan in case I was injured. And Saybrook had the humanistic, holistic approach that fit my needs and that I strongly believe in.”

A Message on DACA Developments

The Trump Administration recently announced that it will sunset the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months, leaving Congress to find a legislative solution for undocumented immigrants in the country. Created in 2012, DACA enables approximately 800,000 undocumented youth who entered the country as minors to receive a two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.

As we closely monitor these unfolding events, TCS Education System continues to support both the global advancement of knowledge and cooperation as well as the individual members of our community. Our Office of the General Counsel and the Global Engagement team have partnered with the broader TCS Education System academic community to monitor the situation.

If you have specific questions, please contact Jennifer Fullick, Director of Global Engagement or visit our Global Impact resource site for updates.

We maintain an unwavering commitment to advancing student success and community impact—with inclusion and diversity as central components of our mission. Each of our System institutions will stay in close communication with their communities as DACA developments unfold.

Michael Horowitz, Ph.D.

President, TCS Education System