NRM’s Perry aids in creating graduate programs for Ethiopian universities
By: Amanda Bowman
Collaboration is nothing new. People have collaborated throughout history, building architectural wonders, developing vaccines and writing textbooks. So when professors from Texas Tech University decided to collaborate, they came together to partner with four universities in Ethiopia.
The professors created four new graduate programs:
• Doctoral degree in civil engineering at Jimma University
• Master's degree in sustainable water engineering at Arba Minch University
• Master's degree in transportation engineering at Dire Dawa University
• Master's degree in architectural engineering at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development.
The three master's programs in these schools are designed to serve as a pipeline for the doctorate program. "My colleagues and I basically had to design the program from scratch," said Stephen Ekwaro-Osire (third from left), a professor of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech. "We taught all the necessary classes and coursework the students needed. Those students are not only pursuing their doctorates, but they also are being trained as the new instructors for incoming students."
Working on the project with Ekwaro-Osire was Gad Perry, a professor of conservation biology with Texas Tech's Department of Natural Resources Management, along with four other educators from Tech's Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, College of Education, and College of Architecture.
Perry, who also serves as senior director of Tech's International Research and Development in the Office of International Affairs (OIA), has focused his research interests on ecology in the broadest sense, with a large emphasis on conservation issues and the increasingly profound impacts of humans on the environment, including urban ecosystems and international development. Much of his work is carried out on reptiles and amphibians, and invasive species.
Ekwaro-Osire said he believes the main reason the program has been such a success is because of guidance from the OIA and the team of Texas Tech professors. With just a year and a half left until the first 18 students graduate, he is thrilled.
"We're very excited to have an impact in Africa," Ekwaro-Osire said. "We're excited about graduating some of the first doctoral students in this program we created. It's quite an accomplishment."
CONTACT: Mark Wallace, Chairman, Department of Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2841 or email@example.com
0910NM18 / PHOTO: Stephen Ekwaro-Osire (pictured third from left)