Student Updates Spring 2012

Student Updates


David Ellenwood- At about the same time as receiving the joint degree in African Studies and Library and Information Science, Dave packed up and traveled across the country to Washington State where he embarked on his professional career as an academic librarian. His new role is the Research and Instruction / Social Sciences Librarian at the University of Washington Bothell. There are many ways that Dave draws upon his African Studies education in this professional setting, including working on publishing a paper on hip-hop and library instruction that he began in a class on multicultural education in a global context taught by Curriculum and Instruction faculty member Dr. Bekisizwe Ndimande. As an instruction librarian, Dave attempts to bring African content into the library workshops that he teaches. For example, Dave taught evaluation of textual authority for a course on institutions and social change by comparing the sources used in Kony 2012 with a critical article that incorporated more Ugandan and African voices. Dave uses his knowledge of critical issues in Africa to assist students and faculty who are researching or teaching about Africa or the African Diaspora. Additionally, a significant portion of his position involves collecting books and other materials for several social sciences, including ethnic studies, for which he draws on the knowledge and critical perspective garnered from his African Studies education.



Mor Gueye delivered a paper at the Graduate Students in African Studies Symposium at the University of Indiana at Bloomington on March 31.  The title was: "The Language Issue in African Literature: Beyond the Choice, the Strategy?"  The paper argued that a real promotion of African languages in literature needs to start with an ambitious political planning that considers African languages in the curriculum of formal education.



Rebecca Hamman graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2011. She completed an Individual Plan of Studies in African Studies and a minor in Gender and Women's Studies. The Center for African Studies played a pivotal role in inspiring her to focus her studies on the African continent, and South Africa in particular. She was lucky enough to travel to South Africa in the summer of 2011, where she volunteered with the non-profit organization African Impact. This trip inspired her to further her studies and she is now at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, England in the process of finishing an MSc in Development Studies. She is writing a dissertation on civil society organizations and their impact on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa. She would not be here today without the support of the following: the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Center for African Studies, the IPS department, the GWS department, and in particular, her mentors Dr. Maimouna Barro and Dr. Teresa Barnes. Although the intimidating prospect of searching for a full-time job looms on the horizon, she knows that her educational foundation from both UIUC and SOAS will serve her well in the future.



Anna Henry is now an Education Associate at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. Her work entails researching and developing curriculum for the Diaspora Curriculum Project and developing an Education Blog.




Fay Hodza, Department of Human and Community Development, successfully defended his dissertation on April 5, 2012 and will be graduating this May and returning home to Zimbabwe. His dissertation investigates the underlying ideologies behind the “crisis paradigm” of youth homelessness and how these ideologies, in turn, influence the content and implications of two homeless youth crisis programs, namely the Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services (CCBYS) and the Basic Center in two rural towns in the Midwest. The study contributes to research on youth homelessness, crisis intervention, and human services delivery in community settings. Congratulations to Fay and Prudence Hodza on the birth of their daughter Tawanda Grace Hodza who was born on April 19. We wish you and your family all the best!



Nathaniel Moore started working with the Freedom Archives, located in San Francisco. The Freedom Archives contains over 10,000 hours of audio and video tapes. These recordings date from the late-60s to the mid-90s and chronicle the history of progressive movements in the United States as well as global liberation struggles. The archives also maintain a contemporary focus on issues such as political prisoners, the prison industrial complex and educational outreach. Nathaniel is digitizing and editing media in preparation for the launch of the Freedom Archives' new website.

Congratulations to African Studies students


Damon McGhee and Emily Steiner on their marriage in December. Several students and faculty from African Studies attended their wedding in Chicago. Their marriage proves once again that African Studies inspires not only critical thinking and political awareness but also love. Damon and Emily are both graduating in May and will move to Washington D.C. where Emily will take up a job with  CET Academic Programs, a division of ATA (Academic Travel Abroad), Inc. CET is an international education/study abroad organization. Damon will be applying for librarian/archivist jobs and we are confident with his skills and background in African Studies that he will succeed.



Anne Lutomia is the recipient of the 2012 ASO Award for Outstanding Community Service.  This award recognizes outstanding community service, public service and/or significant charitable or philanthropic contributions of benefit to the African community in the Champaign-Urbana region.