By Chelsea Cabral, Managing Editor
Dr. Bridget Teboh, Associate Professor of History, has been awarded the highly esteemed Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship, allowing her the opportunity to contribute to the development of higher education institutions in Africa as well as facilitating equitable and effective collaborations between scholars in Africa and African Diaspora academics here in the United States.
The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship (ADF) was created in 2014 by the Carnegie Foundation in New York to support African-born scholars who live in the U.S. or Canada and teach at accredited universities in those two nations, to engage in an educational project that would exemplify their commitment to higher education in Africa.
Working with the IIE (Institute of International Education), The ADF has selected several core English speaking universities in Africa to be a part of the program, including accredited institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Professor Teboh will be travelling to Adeyemi College of Education in particular, a part of Obafemi Awolowo University in Ondo, Nigeria for eight weeks this summer.
In addition to mentoring students and faculty there, she will be working to develop new curricula, strengthen current courses in the history department, as well as working to develop a women’s studies center on the campus—where a women’s and gender studies department is currently nonexistent.
“As African-born scholars who are working here with the expertise and skills that could be used to develop African nations, this fellowship is giving us the very chance to not only go and give back to higher education institutions in Africa but also to developing African nations,” explained Teboh. “The ADF has been the missing link in terms of collaborations between institutions in Africa and institutions in the United States.”
In an interview with the Torch, Professor Teboh explained how the ADF was in high demand and highly competitive in nature, especially for African-born scholars living and teaching in the United States and Canada, whose numbers are exponentially growing, and who aren’t able to receive academic grants especially if they aren’t yet citizens, or do not have the means available to actually go to Africa for a period of time and contribute to the betterment of higher education.
“So many people like me have been waiting for this opportunity for years because we couldn’t apply for the Fulbright, or the Ford Foundation, which are grants that are readily available for higher education scholars,” said Teboh. “After applying for the third time, and finally receiving the grant, I consider myself quite lucky.”
Adeyemi College of Education, in particular, is one of only 69 institutions that were selected by the Carnegie Foundation this year to host scholars, with Professor Teboh joining an exclusive class of academics who have been hand-picked to participate in the prestigious fellowship.
In its fourth year, the Carnegie ADF, to date, has helped 239 African-born scholars connect with their peers in Africa.
“Part of my dream is to be able to set up a program at the Adeyemi College of Education that will allow UMass students to go for their study abroad program,” said Teboh. “We’d really be able to enhance the institution’s collaboration with our own campus community.”
For more information on the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship, or on Professor Teboh’s research and academic interests, you can direct all inquiries here.