Professor Receives Fulbright Ambassador’s Distinguished Scholars Award to Teach in Ethiopia

News Date
davis maye1a

By Hazel Scott/ASU

Great things are continuing to happen in Alabama State University’s Department of Social Work. Most recently, one of the department's professors has received a prestigious award.

Dr. Denise Davis-Maye, chair of the ASU Department of Social Work, has been awarded the Fulbright Ambassador’s Distinguished Scholars Award from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Only a select number of candidates are chosen for this esteemed award.

Davis-Maye has been assigned as a visiting scholar to Bahir Dar University, which is one of the largest universities in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

“The selection to serve as a Fulbright Ambassador’s Distinguished Scholar is an exceptional honor,” Davis-Maye said. “My participation in this highly selective and competitive program will hopefully benefit ASU and its students.”

The aim of the program, Davis-Maye said, is to strengthen Ethiopian universities’ capacity to teach and manage undergraduate and graduate programs and enhance research capacity within Ethiopian universities.

Davis-Maye noted that Ethiopian universities are eager to attract foreign faculty, American scholars in particular.

“The increased demand for qualified academics has outpaced local supply, and currently less than 50 percent of university faculty (in Ethiopia)  hold master’s degrees and less than 10 percent have Ph.D.’s,”  she said.

The year that Davis-Maye will be in Ethiopia, she will teach qualitative research methods; practice with groups; communities and organizations; and teach gender issues.

Davis-Maye said with archaeological finds dating back more than 3 million years, Ethiopia is a place of ancient culture.

“The ancient historical, religious, and anthropological knowledge in that region of the world shifts one’s perspective and encourages growth in a way that is difficult to achieve otherwise.”

davis maye2One of the most memorable experiences Davis-Maye said she has had so far was when she was invited to neighboring Somaliland.

“I had the opportunity to engage the faculty and administration of Hargeisa University to explore opportunities for collaborations and exchanges,” she said.

About the Program

The Ambassador’s Distinguished Scholars Program was established in the fall of 2017 by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, the Institute of International Education and two of Ethiopia’s leading universities, Gondar and Bahir Dar University.

Now, the program has partnered to work with seven Ethiopian host universities.

The program is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, Adama Science and Technology University, Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Arba Minch University, Bahir Dar University, Debre Markos University, Dire Dawa University, Gondar University And the Institute of International Education.

davis maye3