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University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars (UMAPS)

Fitsum Andargie
U-M African Presidential Scholar 2016-17

fandargi@umich.edu • fassamnew@gmail.com

Fitsum Andargie is a lecturer in electrical and computer engineering at Addis Ababa University where he is currently a doctoral candidate in computer engineering. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (Computer Stream) and a Master of Science in Computer Engineering from Addis Ababa University. His research interests are high performance computing with general-purpose graphics processing units (GP-GPUs), acceleration of mobile applications using mobile GP-GPUs and Computer Vision. Todd Austin, professor of computer engineering, is his mentor

Ian Bekker
U-M African Presidential Scholar 2016-17

ibekker@umich.eduian.bekker@nwu.ac.za

Ian Bekker is an associate professor in the English department of the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University in South Africa since 2010. He also lectured in the linguistics department at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. His chief research focus is the sociophonetics of South African English, focusing both on this variety's genesis and historical development as well as its current internal variation and change. He has recently expanded his research interests to include current phonetic developments in Afrikaans, along with bilingualism, linguistic and literary style, South African literature, heteroglossia, and anything to do with the Russian theorist, Mikhael Bakhtin. His mentor is Patrice Beddor, John C. Catford Collegiate Professor of Linguistics.

Dagnachew Belete
U-M African Presidential Scholar 2016-17

dbelete@umich.edudagnachew2@gmail.com

Dagnachew Belete is a lecturer at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development at Addis Ababa University. He has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Addis Ababa University and a Master of Arts in Urban Management from the Ethiopian Civil Service University. He is a doctoral candidate conducting research on “Landscape based storm water management: A key to water and water resource management in Addis Ababa.” His mentor is Larissa Larsen, associate professor of urban planning, and landscape architecture.

Moses Kingsford Flomo
U-M African Presidential Scholar 2016-17

mflomo@umich.edu • mflomo1989@gmail.com 

Moses Kingsford Flomo is a full time lecturer and the acting chairman of the Engineering College at the Bong County Technical College; a part-time lecturer at Cuttington University and a visiting lecturer at the Phebe Para-medical Training Program (PTP) all in Liberia. He has a Master degree in Material Science and Engineering from the African university of Science and Technology (AUST) in Abuja, Nigeria. He also attended Cuttington University in Liberia where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. Currently, he works with Professor Pierre Poudeu-Poudeu at the University of Michigan in the USA on a research work title: “The Impact of Low Density Polyethylene on the mechanical Properties of Cement Mortar.” He is an engineer, a lecturer who is passionate about doing research; and similarly, committed to enlightening the minds of young people who are obsessive about learning. 

Thabit Jacob
U-M African Presidential Scholar 2016-17

thajacob@umich.eduthabitsenior.jacob@gmail.com

Thabit Jacob teaches environmental science and natural resource governance in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Dodoma in Tanzania. He holds a Master of Science in Natural Resources Assessment and Management from the University of Dar es Salaam and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management from Kampala University in Uganda. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde University in Denmark. He also maintains affiliation with the Institute of Resources Assessment, University of Dar es Salaam. His doctoral research focuses on the political economy extractive resources particularly on renewed state interest in large-scale investments in the extractive sector, with a focus on the coal sub-sector in Tanzania. His mentor is Howard Stein, professor of Afroamerican and African studies, and epidemiology.

Samuel Johnson
U-M African Presidential Scholar 2016-17

jsamuelm@umich.edusmawoloj@gmail.com

Samuel Johnson is the acting chairman of the chemistry department at Bong County Technical College, and coordinator of freshman chemistry at University of Liberia. He has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Liberia. Samuel is pursuing a terminal degree in science education and science curriculum innovation. Samuel will be researching “Developing Teaching-Learning Modules for General Chemistry at the University of Liberia.” Samuel’s mentor is Brian Coppola, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry. 

Priscilla Mante
U-M African Presidential Scholar 2016-17

pmante@umich.edu • mantepk@yahoo.co.uk

Priscilla Mante is a lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana. Priscilla holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) and a PhD in pharmacology from KNUST and has been a registered pharmacist since 2010. While at U-M, she will work with Lori Isom, professor of pharmacology and molecular and integrative physiology, to investigate the molecular mechanisms of cryptolepine as an anticonvulsant. Her research is focused on ethnopharmacological investigation of less explored medicinal plants which find use traditionally in the management of diseases of the central nervous system specifically epilepsy, major depression, and anxiety.

Babajide Ololajulo
U-M African Presidential Scholar 2016-17

boloaju@umich.edu • babjid74@yahoo.com

Babajide Ololajulo is a senior lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Ibadan. His research interest focuses on the effects of oil exploitation on rural oil communities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, identity politics, and cultural heritage. During his residency at U-M, he intends to finish a book length manuscript tentatively titled, “Crafting Development: Oil Communities and the Politics of Intervention in Nigeria.” He will be working with Omolade Adunbi, associate professor of Afroamerican and African studies.

Hiruy Tefera
U-M African Presidential Scholar 2016-17

htefera@umich.edu • hiruydaniel@yahoo.com

Hiruy Tefera is a faculty member in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Management at Addis Ababa University with research focus in heritage and museum studies. While at U-M, he will be working on his research addressing issues of identity creation and contestation in museum spaces in Ethiopia, as well as new approaches and missions for museums in twenty-first-century Ethiopia. He will work with Raymond A. Silverman, professor of Afroamerican and African studies and, the history of art.

Gerald Walulya
U-M African Presidential Scholar 2016-17

gwalulya@umich.eduwerald@gmail.com

Gerald Walulya is an assistant lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Communication at Makerere University in Uganda. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Media Studies Degree from the University of Oslo in Norway, where is currently a PhD candidate. His research focuses on the press coverage of elections in East Africa’s one-party dominant states of Tanzania and Uganda. His research interests also include political communication, media, and governance. While on campus, he will concentrate on writing his PhD dissertation with the guidance of Joyojeet Kunal Pal, assistant professor of information.

Netsanet Weldesenbet
U-M African Presidential Scholar 2016-17

nweldese@umich.edu • netsanetmichael@gmail.com

Netsanet Weldesenbet is a lecturer and researcher at Addis Ababa University in the Institute of Ethiopian Studies. Netsanet is also a PhD candidate at Makerere Institute of Social Research, Kampala, Uganda. She holds a Master of Art in Contemporary Cultural Studies from the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University. Netsanet has served as a director of Addis Ababa University Gender office. Netsanet’s PhD dissertation research is on “Memory Beyond ‘Boom’ and ‘Crisis’: Memories of 1950s-1970s Asmara from Oral Recollections from Ethiopia Today.” Her research interest boarders urban space, memory, and oral history. Her mentor is Martin Murray, professor of sociology, and urban planning.

Zerihun Workneh
U-M African Presidential Scholar 2016-17

zworkneh@umich.edu • getanehzerihun@gmail.com

Zerihun Workneh is a lecturer at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Technology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. While at U-M, he will work on biochar-based urine processing for efficient nutrient recovery and reuse in agriculture. He will work with Nancy Love, professor of civil and environmental engineering; and Johannes Schwank, James and Judith Street Professor of Chemical Engineering.