Maseno University

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Esther Ohito selected for Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship

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Project aimed at helping expand capacity of Kenyan university to prepare educators

Esther Ohito has been named a Fellow with the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, an initiative through which she will work with a university in Kenya to build the capacity of faculty and students.

About the Researcher: Esther O. Ohito


Assistant Professor

Esther O. Ohito is an interdisciplinary scholar who uses feminist qualitative approaches to research issues of Blackness, race, and gender at the nexus of curriculum, pedagogy, embodiment, and emotion.

The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program is a collaboration between the Institute of

International Education and the United States International University-Africa and funded by the

Carnegie Corporation of New York.

As a fellow, Ohito will undertake a project titled “Exploring Intersections of Language, Arts, and Culture in Education Research and Teaching for Social Change” in the School of Education at Maseno University in Kisumu, Kenya. In her project, expected to take place

during spring and summer of this year, Ohito will work to build the capacity of Maseno University faculty and students to be effective researchers and critical educators able to meet the challenges and demands of contemporary society with attention to the nexus of language, the arts, and social justice.

Ohito joined the School of Education in 2019, coming to Carolina from Denison University where she was an assistant professor of Black Studies and Education. Prior to Denison, she was on faculty at Mills College. Ohito’s primary line of research a ddresses the role of race in teacher education programs, with publications that have focused on efforts to promote anti-racist pedagogy in teaching and teacher preparation. In July 2020, Ohito was named a co-editor of the journal Equity & Excellence in Education.

The Maseno University project is one of 56 that will pair African Diaspora scholars with higher education institutions and collaborators in Africa to work together on curriculum co-development, collaborative research, graduate training and mentoring activities in the coming months. The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, now in its fourth year, is designed to reverse Africa’s brain drain, strengthen capacity at the host institutions, and develop long-term, mutually-beneficial collaborations between universities in Africa and the United States and Canada. The program is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with United States International University-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.

A total of 527 African Diaspora Fellowships have now been awarded for scholars to travel to Africa since the program’s inception in 2013. Fellowships match host universities with African-born scholars and cover the expenses for project visits of between 14 and 90 days, including transportation, a daily stipend, and the cost of obtaining visas and health insurance.