Margaret Adamek

IU School of Social Work
Director of the Ph.D. Program in Social Work
Fulbright Teaching and Research Scholarship
Ethiopia, 2012

What was your project about?
I received a Fulbright Award to undertake a ten-month teaching project in Ethiopia during Fall 2012. I assisted doctoral students in Social Work and Social Development at Addis Ababa University (AAU) in order to complete their degree requirements. I also surveyed university faculty about their students' writing needs and challenges

How did you establish relationship with the host organization?
This is my fourth trip to Ethiopia, where I have been involved with the Addis Ababa University (AAU) School of Social Work and Social Development since 2008. The PhD program at AAU is the first PhD program in Social Work in Ethiopia. The PhD program enrolled its first cohort of 8 PhD students in 2007, where I was recruited to teach a Scholarly Writing course, of which 34 of the 40 students in the AAU PhD program have taken to date.

What were the benefits of the Fulbright project?
The Fulbright Scholarship enabled me to learn firsthand about life in a developing country. I enjoy mentoring PhD students, and I receive financial support to do what I love. This experience also made it possible for my children (two teenage sons and a three-year-old girl) to learn about life outside of the U.S. I also enjoyed the opportunity of traveling to other universities in Ethiopia. Fullbright allowed me the opportunity to develop partnerships/global networking for my university. It is very pleasing to see that students are genuinely appreciative of any support for their scholarly efforts.

What kind of challenges did you confront?
Electric power and internet service are not always available, proving to be quite a challenge. Adjusting to different foods than we are used to was another struggle. The universities are not resource-rich environments as we are accustomed to in the U.S. Additionally seeing abject poverty day after day is very frustrating.