Congratulations Dr. Conteh, on your retirement!
When I received the letter announcing Dr. Andrew Conteh’s retirement, it really did trigger a flood of memories. Dr. Conteh was my advisor and the head of the Model U.N. program in which I participated for several years, so I had the pleasure of working with and for him as well as taking many of his classes. I’m not sure I can remember all of the answers to one of his exams (I still wish I’d bought stock in whatever company made Blue Books back then) but I definitely remember the example he set of focused energy, passion for his work and true affection for his students. His wealth of international experience and tales of his time in faraway diplomatic service and academia widened my raised-in-Minnesota horizons and taught me to appreciate not just how we in the USA relate to the rest of the world, but also how the rest of the world saw and related to us in the United States. His classes and Model UN trips were interesting, challenging and ultimately rewarding in so many ways. I’ve had the chance to teach in the aviation field for many years now– as I look back at how he taught his classes, I can appreciate his endless energy and encyclopedic command of his material but most especially the fact that he made it all INTERESTING in the classroom! Every class, he made people want to respond and engage and ultimately LEARN, and that is a gift. Thank you Dr. Conteh for sharing that gift with your students and colleagues.
I wish I could have made the retirement party in person but unfortunately I will not be able to attend. I am sure it will be a night to remember! “Back in the day” on our Model U.N. trips, after each day’s conference activities were done, we always tried to get Dr. Conteh to go out and party with us. He would always laugh, politely decline and say he was going back to his room for a nice glass of Cognac and a quiet evening. As I get older I recognize the wisdom in those words, so Dr. Conteh, this evening in your honor I’ll have a nice glass of Cognac on my quiet evening and toast both the outstanding work you have done on behalf of decades of students at MSUM, and to your good health, continued success and happiness in retirement.
Political Science, 1994