OHBD Board Member Dr. Teferi Adem Receives Fulbright Scholarship Award

From Ethiopia to Yale University and Back Again – Congratulations to Board Member Teferi Abate Adem on his Fulbright Scholarship Award.

Open Heart Big Dreams (OHBD) is pleased to announce that our Board member, Dr. Teferi Abate Adem has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award in the field of anthropology for the 2020-2021 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Teferi Abate Adem is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will conduct research for the 2020-2021 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad. As Fulbright Scholar alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed scholars, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

As a Fulbright scholar, Teferi will be teaching anthropology courses at Wollo University in Dessie, Ethiopia. He will also conduct ethnographic research on the social dimensions of how farmers in two rural communities are adapting to climate change-aggravated irregularities in the onset, duration and intensity of rainfall during local growing wet seasons. The study communities are roughly equivalent in demography and territorial size, but significantly vary in rainfall predictability and cropping systems because of their location at different altitudes. Farmers in the midland community receive moderately reliable rainfall to cultivate both in belg (spring) and meher (summer) seasons, while the highland rely mainly on belg rains which proved to be increasingly erratic and unreliable. This contrast makes the communities compelling cases to examine the range of cultural and contextual factors that might differentially affect farmers’ resilience to climate-related agrarian shocks. The project will explore these variations not just between the two communities, but also at the levels of households and individual persons within each community. The comparison will combine data from an existing longitudinal database on household economic trajectories, with new research on access to previously understudied community enforced cultural mechanisms for resource-sharing and effective collective action. The analysis will determine whether resilience to shocks at each of the above three levels was affected by unequal access to potentially adaptive community mechanisms.

When we asked Tef why he decided to join our board, “If I must single out just one reason for accepting Ellenore Angelidis’s invitation to join OHBD’s Board, it will be my instant appreciation to their idea of opening hearts and minds by sharing stories. I was happy to note that OHBD published a long list of Ready Set Go Books that narrativize a range of themes relevant for children across countries. What a wonderful way of teaching literacy to kids while also expanding their horizon on what it means to be human in different cultures, places and times!”

Thank you, Tef for serving on our Board and congratulations this amazing honor.