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Fall 2022 Alumni

NANCY JUDITH AWORI is a tutor at the Department of Media and Communications at the Multimedia University of Kenya, where she also received her BA in film production and animation. She has a master’s in women’s and gender studies from the University of Western Cape, South Africa. At U-M, Nancy will be working on a research project that aims at exploring the representation of lesbian subjectivities in contemporary Kenyan films, focusing on the film Rafiki by Wanuri Kahiu. Her faculty host is Larry La Fountain-Stokes (American Culture, Romance Languages and Literature, and Women’s and Gender Studies, LSA).

SAMUEL BOAHEN is a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. He holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from Hanbat National University, South Korea. His main research interest involves the design and optimization of energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. He also has a special interest in the development of test standards and fault detection and diagnosis mechanisms for thermal systems. At U-M, Samuel will be working with Panos Papalambros (College of Engineering) on developing efficiently integrated crop, irrigation, and energy subsystem models for a community in Ghana using engineering and economic principles.

ARISTEDES NARH HARGOE  is a lecturer in the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Legon. He also doubles as the artistic director of the Ghana Dance Ensemble in the Institute of African Studies at the same university. He holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Cape Coast, a Master of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Ghana. His research interest lies within the domain of dance aesthetics, performance studies and semiotics. At Michigan, Aristedes will work with Robin Wilson (School of Music, Theatre, and Dance) on a project titled “Klama religious dance in Ghana: Encountering Dangme culture.”

ANNE JEPKEMBOI is a lecturer in the Department of History, Archaeology and Heritage Studies at Kyambogo University, Uganda, where she also received her master’s degree in history. She is a PhD candidate at Makerere University, Uganda, working on a project titled “Plantation agriculture and Socio-economic development: Sugar cane growing in Jinja and Mayuge Districts 1930-2018”. At Michigan, Anne will work with  Ellen Poteet (History, LSA) to develop her thesis project further.

RODWELL MAKOMBE is an associate professor in the Department of English, Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of the Free State, South Africa. A rated researcher of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa, Rodwell is a previous recipient of the African Humanities Program (AHP) Fellowship funded by the American Council of Learned Societies (2018-2019). He received his PhD in comparative literature at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, in 2012. His research focuses on postcolonial literary studies, social media, and crisis literature. At U-M, he will work with Justine Davis (Afroamerican and African Studies, LSA) on a book project tentatively titled “Cultures of resistance in post-Mugabe Zimbabwe: social media, comedy, and dissent.”

(ANNA) LEFATSHE MOAGI is a lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences, University of South Africa (UNISA). She is currently working towards her PhD in the Department of Sociology, also at UNISA with research focusing on the intersecting challenges and sexual expectations of Lesotho domestic workers in South African households. She holds a BA from UNISA, honors degrees from Rhodes University and the University of Pretoria, and an MA from UNISA. At U-M, she plans to work on a project titled “Intersecting challenges of gender roles and identities of Lesotho migrant domestic workers in South African households.”  At U-M, Lefatshe will work with Raevin Jimenez (History, LSA).

THEMBELIHLE LUTHULI is a lecturer at the School of the Built Environment and Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa. She received a Masters in Population Studies from UKZN and is presently a PhD candidate at the same university. Her research interests include social epidemiology, population health and indigenous knowledge systems, population dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa and sustainable development. At U-M, she will work with Lindsay Kobayashi (School of Public Health) on a project titled “Depression in the isiZulu speaking population of South Africa: A mixed-methods study of socioeconomic status and the incidence of depression and depression literacy.”

CELSO MONJANE is an assistant professor in the School of Governance, at Joaquim Chissano University, Mozambique. He holds a PhD from Roskilde University in Denmark and he has also completed postgraduate courses in applied data science at the University of the Witwatersrand. A long-time collaborator of Anne Pitcher (Political Science, LSA), Celso will work with Anne on a project titled “State-Business Linkages in Mozambique.”

JUSTINE GERMO NZWEUNDJI received her PhD in 2016, from the University of Yaounde I in Cameroon, in collaboration with Alabama A&M University and the University of Florida. She is a plant biotechnologist at the Institute of Medical Research and Medicinal Plants Studies and lectures at the Université des Montagnes. She is passionate about science policy and global development challenges, currently serving her fourth year as a founding president of the Cameroon Academy of Young Scientists. During her UMAPS residency, she will work with Nkem Khumbah (Comprehensive Studies, LSA) on a project titled “Mapping of STEM Education in Cameroon.”

UGOCHI ADAKU OKENGWU is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Science, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She received her MSc and PhD in computer science from the University of Port Harcourt. Her research interest is in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analysis, and her work at U-M will focus on sentiment analysis using climate change textual data to develop a machine learning model that will classify the emotion polarity of social media users. She will be working with Prof. Rada Mihalcea (College of Engineering).

JOSEPH M. SIEKA currently serves as the deputy director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Innovation, at the University of Liberia’s College of Health Science. He also lectures at the School of Public Health at the same institution. His research interests are at the intersection of public health and clinical medicine, including infectious diseases epidemiology and maternal and child health. Dr. Sieka holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Liberia, and a Master of Medical Sciences from Harvard University. At U-M, Joseph will work with Jody Lori (School of Nursing) on a project titled “A WhatsApp Triage, Referral and Transfer System: Increasing Access and Quality.”

PIERRE CELESTIN UWITONZE is an assistant lecturer in physics at the University of Rwanda, College of Education. He received his Master of Sciences in Physics at Rhodes University, South Africa, and is currently working towards his PhD research in physics education at the University of Rwanda. His UMAPS project entitled “Diagnosis and remedies of students’ misconceptions in thermodynamics, a study on secondary students in Rwanda” will make an inventory of students’ misconceptions in thermodynamics and propose a way forward to improve students’ understanding of thermodynamic concepts. His U-M faculty host is Tim McKay (Physics, LSA).