2021 2021: UMass Dartmouth faculty member awarded third Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship
UMass Dartmouth faculty member awarded third Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship

Professor Bridget A. Teboh to use fellowship to travel to Nigeria to transform Africa’s “Brain Drain” into “Brain Circulation”

Professor Teboh

UMass Dartmouth Professor Bridget A. Teboh (History) has been awarded a 2020-2021 fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP). The fellowship will enable her to travel to Nigeria to work with Benue State University Makurdi (BSUM) and Professor Msugh Moses KEMBE (Vice Chancellor) on Curriculum Co-development, Graduate Students Teaching/Mentoring, and Collaborative Research, thereby transforming Africa’s “Brain Drain” into “Brain Circulation,” one of the Core goals of Carnegie ADFP. This is the third time Teboh has been awarded the prestigious fellowship.

“I am humbled to be a part of this innovative collaboration, funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) in Nairobi, Kenya, which coordinates the activities of the Advisory Council,” said Teboh.

As a Carnegie Fellow, Teboh will spend 82 days during the summer of 2021 to strengthen the existing curriculum and co-develop new courses for the BSUM History Department as well as facilitate the creation of a Diasporan and Heritage Studies Center which will mentor both students and faculty members, foster academic collaboration‚ and organization of capacity building workshops, thereby inserting the Diasporan and Heritage Studies discipline in the Benue State University- Makurdi curricular offerings.

“For both UMassD and BSUM, this collaborative project represents a new and exciting formal partnership—and our students stand to benefit from it, for, the initiative will pave the way for my continued collaboration with African Institutions,” said Teboh. “I hope that this initiative will concretize and increase meaningful Study Abroad/Student Exchange Programs with African universities.”

The Diasporan and Heritage Studies is an expanding academic field dealing with dispersed ethnic populations, regarded as diaspora peoples. It connotes the idea of a forced or (in)voluntary settlement due to coercion, expulsion, slavery, racism, war, or ethnic conflicts. This is linked up with heritage studies that will help to establish the cultural roots of the persons/groups so studied. Teboh’s expertise in African History, Black/Diasporan Studies, Gender Studies, oral history, Interdisciplinary Methodology, and Historical Research will be critical to the setting up of the Diasporan/Heritage Studies at BSUM and help students undertake field trips to heritage sites.

Teboh is one of 74 African Diaspora Scholars who have been awarded fellowships as part of a broader initiative that pairs them with 43 higher education institutions and collaborators in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda to work together on curriculum co-development, research, graduate teaching, training, and mentoring activities in the coming months. The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, now in its eighth year, is designed to reverse Africa’s brain drain, strengthen capacity at the host institutions, and develop long-term, mutually beneficial collaborations between universities in Africa and the United States and Canada. A total of 527 African Diaspora Fellowships have now been awarded for scholars to travel to Africa since the program’s inception in 2013. Engagements in educational projects exemplify Carnegie Corporation New York’s commitment to higher education in Africa. See the full list of newly selected projects, hosts, and scholars.