TASCHA Research Assistant Professor Araba Sey spent winter quarter 2014 (January-March) in Grahamstown, South Africa as a Visiting Mellon Scholar at Rhodes University. Made possible through both the Mellon Scholarship program and the University of Washington’s Vice Provost International Faculty Exchange (IFEX) program, Araba spent three months with the Journalism and Media Studies department at Rhodes, mostly working with Dr. Lorenzo Dalvit and his graduate students in their New Media and Society class.
In addition to contributing her experience, thoughts, and ideas to the New Media class, Araba also worked with Masters students on various research projects and reviewed PhD proposals. During her time at Rhodes, she also presented her research on mobile pay phones in Ghana and explored possibilities for new research collaborations with Rhodes’ faculty. In fact, she has already submitted proposals for research on mobile phones, libraries, and disabilities with Dr. Dalvit.
Araba was also able to make various connections and field trips while in Grahamstown, where she visited the South African Library for the Blind and a community library in Fingo village (a local township) and met with the Highway Africa Centre, which trains journalists in issues surrounding development and society. She looks forward to keeping in touch with those she met in South Africa, including the faculty and students at Rhodes, where she very much enjoyed the “collegial, constructive, and genuinely good-natured” atmosphere.
The formal collaboration between the University of Washington and Rhodes University will continue as well, with Dr. Dalvit visiting UW sometime soon to teach a class in the Information School, supported by the IFEX program.