AADS professor wins prestigious Career Enhancement Fellowship

Posted on May 28, 2021

Hewan Girma
Hewan Girma
Dr. Hewan Girma

Dr. Hewan Girma, a professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) at UNC Greensboro, has received a prestigious Career Enhancement Fellowship from The Institute for Citizens and Scholars.

The award includes a $15,000 stipend for a six-month research sabbatical; a research, travel, or publication stipend (up to $1,500); as well as access to mentoring and a professional development retreat.

Girma will use the fellowship to continue working on a book about Ethiopian return and repeat migration.

“Return and repeat migration is seldom studied from an African perspective, which is what inspired my study,” said Girma. “I explore why people who have good jobs and legal residences in the Global North (U.S., Canada, Western Europe, or Australia) choose to voluntarily relocate back to their home country. Some of the main reasons include family, fleeing racism and a better economic outlook.”

She will also begin work on a new research project exploring the perspectives of both Ethiopian adopted children and their adoptive families in the U.S.

The Career Enhancement Fellowship, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, seeks to increase the presence of underrepresented junior and other faculty members in the humanities, social sciences, and arts by creating career development opportunities for selected Fellows with promising research projects.

“It feels incredible to win the Career Enhancement Fellowship,” she said. “As a junior faculty member, it is great to have my work recognized at the national level. I also appreciate the structure and the mentorship that I will be getting as part of the fellowship. Lastly, I will be joining an impressive cohort of fellows, past and present, who are making such an impact in their respective fields.”

Story by Elizabeth Keri, College of Arts & Sciences
Photography courtesy of Hewan Girma

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