The Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship Fund
The Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship Fund was established to honor the contributions of Professors Simon Ottenberg and Edgar V. Winans to the African Studies Program at the University of Washington and to the field of African Studies. During their distinguished careers, Professors Ottenberg and Winans taught and mentored numerous students and advanced scholarship on Africa. Recipients of this fellowship commemorate their legacy.
Eligible students may be enrolled in any undergraduate, graduate or professional school at the University of Washington. For UW students traveling to Africa, the fellowship can be used to support travel and related expenses, living expenses, and research materials. For African students visiting or studying at UW, funds can be used to support same expenses as well as costs related to attending the UW. Fellowships are expected to be awarded for amounts between $250 and $750.
NEXT DEADLINE: Spring 2018
Application must be submitted via Catalyst.
- Most current resume or CV
- An ‘unofficial’ UW transcript
- A statement of purpose of not more than two single-spaced pages in which you describe a) the nature and purpose of the research project you are proposing; b) the relevance of the project for the field of African studies; c) the institutional support you have for the project; d) your qualifications for the project, including the project’s significance to your academic career goals and past experience that prepares you for this project e) timeline for travel and completion of project
- One letter of reference from an academic advisor who will support your in supervising the project, emailed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
Awarded students will be asked to submit a photo and a short description of the project to be featured on our African Studies website.
Questions about the fellowship or the application process should be directed to email@example.com.
Click here to make donations to the Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship Fund
2017 Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship Recipients
The African Studies Program at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies wishes to congratulate:
David Aarons – Ethnomusicology
“Within a broader framework of the function of music in back-to-Africa movements, my PhD dissertation research centers on Rastafari, reggae music, and the politics of repatriating to and settling in Ethiopia. The primary objective of this research is to analyze the dynamic role music plays in the lives of Rastafarians who have migrated to Ethiopia from all over the world in the belief that Ethiopia is their Promised Land. The Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship will help with my ongoing research in Ethiopia this summer when I will conduct follow-up questions with Ethiopian and repatriated musicians.”
“I am a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology within the School of Public Health. With support from the Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship, I will study the economic burden of severe illness in children in western Kenya. My project draws from epidemiologic and health economics methods to characterize the health sector and household costs of pediatric hospitalizations. Rich, comprehensive data on hospitalization costs are needed for cost-effectiveness analyses to maximize resources in resource-limited health systems, and for identifying opportunities to reduce health care expenditures that are catastrophic to households. This research will have implications for health policy development, poverty alleviation, and future African Studies research examining the societal burden of health costs in Sub-Saharan African countries.”
Sarah Dreier – Political Science
“I am a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Washington. My research and teaching focuses on comparative politics; African political development; religion and global politics; international human rights; histories of colonialism, race and global capitalism; law and society; and qualitative and quantitative research methods. My dissertation focuses on religion and political governance in post-colonial sub-Saharan Africa and has been funded by the University of Washington, the Association for the Sociology of Religion and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).”
Katrin Fabian – Global Health
“I’m an MPH student in the Global Health department. The Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship will help me pursue my MPH thesis project in global mental health in Liberia. My research will use qualitative and quantitative methods to elicit local idioms of mental distress. Mental health interventions that operate within cultural contexts recognize the strengths and established social support networks of communities rather than prescribing western notions of mental illness. The goal of this research is to inform mental health programming that incorporates local pathways to care and culturally salient idioms of mental distress. Thank you to the African Studies Program for helping me make this project a reality.”
“As a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health, my research interests lie within the syndemic of HIV/AIDS, substance use, and gender inequity, with the goal of improving the health and wellbeing of communities. The Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship will allow me to conduct preliminary research in Nairobi, Kenya with HIV partner notification service programs nested within needle exchange programs, to understand the barriers and facilitators in partner notification among persons who inject drugs (PWID). The research opportunity will help me establish my dissertation aims, allow me to apply for an NIH Diversity Supplement, and help me establish a career in developing sustainable health programs in Nairobi that address compound health issues.”
“The Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship will contribute towards my travel expenses for presentation of the results of my study on increasing male partner HIV testing during pregnancy in Kisumu, Kenya. My HIV research interest has been on prevention and elimination of Mother-to-Child HIV transmission in low resource settings by accessing, educating and testing male partners for HIV. In this study, we randomized women to home-based male partner education and HIV testing or standard of care, which was invitation for antenatal clinic-based testing. We further assessed the influence of male partner testing on maternal HIV retesting, as some women are likely to be HIV infected later in pregnancy. The overall goal is to reduce HIV burden in Africa by reducing new infections in pregnant women, their male partners and children. The findings of this study will be presented at the 9th International AIDS Society annual conference in Paris, France.”
Matthew Adeiza – Communications
My name is Matthew Adeiza, a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington in Seattle, where I study the impact of digital media on political campaigning in Sub-Saharan Africa. My dissertation research focuses on how presidential campaigns use digital media for campaigning in the context of ethnic politics that is so commonly associated with campaigning on the subcontinent. The research draws on theories in Science, Technology and Society, Communication, and Political Science. In 2016, I conducted a four-month study of the two presidential candidates in the 2016 Ghanaian election. More generally, I am interested in how elite communication strategies are influenced by, and influence, polarization, especially during election campaigns across different countries.
2016 Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship Recipients
Sarah Yu – International Studies (JSIS)
“I am in my third year majoring in International Studies, Computer Science and Economics. I will use the Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship funds to support my upcoming research trip to Ghana. I will be traveling throughout Southern Ghana to research the current uses of mobile money, for personal and business uses, as well as barriers and hesitations of those who do not currently use these services. My interests are in using technology as a vehicle for social empowerment and economic mobility in developing countries. In particular, I am hoping to gain insight into improving and accelerating the uses of digital financial technologies such as mobile money and banking apps to promote financial inclusion in resource-constrained communities.”
Timothy Abt – International Studies (JSIS)
“I want to thank the African Studies Program at the Jackson School of International Studies for the opportunity that the Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship presents. A portion of my time at the University of Washington has been spent studying development in East Africa and Kiswahili. Now, after a minor in African Studies and 2 years of proficiency in Kiswahili, I am bound for Tanzania. This fellowship greatly supports academic studies and professional opportunities that I will explore in Tanzania. I will be studying the politics of ecotourism in Tanzania, one of the richest locations in the world in regards to natural resources.”
Meredith Bauer – English and Public Scholarship
“This grant will help fund field research in Zimbabwe for my dissertation project, which investigates four novelists who might be taken as representative of the Zimbabwean contribution to the African literary canon. The texts circulate in the world literary market, but are also engaged with Zimbabwean national history and identity. With this grant I will gain access to local literary circles and the Zimbabwe National Archives in order to understand the historical materialities, social networks, and cultural values impacting their production and reception. Exploring these texts as interstices of local and global forces will contribute to defining African studies worldwide.”
Shanna Scherbinske – Anthropology
“I’m interested in the effects of legal relief policies, such as refugee resettlement, on the lives of families who are subject to these systems. I focus on the experiences of Somalis who live in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, while they wait for visas that will allow them to move to the U.S. From past fieldwork, I know that a major theme for Somalis in Addis is a sense of being stuck in one place while waiting to move to another; thus, my work centers on recording and understanding the ways in which waiting profoundly shapes the lives of these migrants. The Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship will help fund my continued research with migrants in Ethiopia.”
Katherine Scherrer – Landscape Architecture
“The Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship will contribute to my travel expenses for my field research in the Suswa Conservancy outside of Nairobi, Kenya. My landscape architecture thesis project focuses on co-creating a design for a sustainable children’s home with a school, community center and healing landscape for vulnerable Maasai children. The co-creation approach to the design process implies that the design and the project cannot be done without engagement from the local community in which the center will be built. This particular Maasai community has wanted to build a children’s home for a long time. The community has a high population of orphans, largely due to Maasai cultural practices of polygamy, which has resulted in associated impacts on the health of the vulnerable girls. The field research in Suswa includes presenting a model of the children’s home for the project to the community, doing informational interviews and site analysis, and conducting community workshops.”
Cynthia Simekha – Anthropology
My main project is to examine new forms of ‘gender-fluid’ households that are challenging and transforming the social structures of communities and redefining gender identities, roles and relationships in this period of intensifying AIDS epidemic. This work is unique internationally, as there is a deep tradition of denial around the historical significance of ‘gender fluidity’ in African traditional communities, especially in rural communities. This work seeks to answer core questions about the nature of demographic and social transformation under forces of deep environmental pressure. At the centre of this research is the rare subject of intimate lives of African women in Africa and in the Diaspora, bodies that overwhelmingly carry the greatest burden of disease in the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
This summer, I anticipate conducting a crucial pilot ethnographic research for eleven weeks in rural and urban western, central and coastal Kenya mainly to understand the ways the community is rethinking family relationships and households, which may/may not adhere to the long-standing family structures that are historically “acceptable”. I will also be analyzing how these new formations of family relationships and households balance between internal protection versus external risk vulnerability for its members it terms of health, access to social amenities, security, the right ‘to be’ and lead a well-fulfilling life.
2015 Fellowship Recipients
Patience Idegwu – Pre-Major Arts & Sciences
“I will be using the Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship to pay for my travels during the Ghana Study Abroad Program. During my time I will be traveling to rural and urban areas, therefore this scholarship will allow me to fulfill the capacity of my research. My plan is to look into how local newspapers, television and radio, as well as social media, are utilized as a means of attracting people’s attention. For example, while people in the US can put anything on YouTube, how do budding musicians in Ghana get their work to be known? As a marketing major, it is really important for me to know how to promote and advertise. Ghana is extremely big on entertainment, and my goal is to work for an entertainment company. As a result the scholarship will go directly to the traveling expenses, buying and observing different technologies used in Ghana, and also covering my lodging expenses needed to fulfill my research in the different locations. ”
Senayet Negusse – Speech and Hearing Sciences
“The Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship Fund will contribute to my community club, which I formed several years ago in my home. With this club I have invited bilingual children (primarily Hispanic and African) who are considered “developmentally delayed” or behind into my home for extra language and literacy help. Over the years I have discovered that many children of color (primarily African & Spanish speaking) are often put into classrooms with special needs. I intend to discover why this is the case and how to bridge the gap among African families and the education system. I have tried to educate these children in a different light by bringing in effective teaching strategies from all over the world. In the near future I will be able to conduct research from the observations I have made. Understanding the underlying reasons influencing the disproportionate representation and bridging the gap between families in special education is my goal. I hope to gain valuable information that will lead to me implementing a change in policy, which will benefit immigrants and minority children. Thank you for your support!”
Sheena Lahren – Masters student, Public Affairs
“During my research study abroad trip to Ghana I will be examining how middle school girls use information communication technologies (ICTs). I am primarily interested in the ways in which girls in Ghana communicate with each other and obtain information and how sex education efforts can reach this population through ICTs. While in Ghana, I will be collecting and analyzing data through field interviews. I hope to use my findings to inform a distribution strategy for a nonprofit project I am piloting in June 2016, Power2Girls. Power2Girls is working to distribute a proven solution for “sugar-daddy” awareness intervention in Ghana through classroom instruction and mobile technology. This study abroad experience will enable Power2Girls to understand who has access to the ICTS we are relying on and to what extent across Ghana, what our limitations will be as we scale up, and how we might want to rethink our model.”
Jocelyn Moon – Ph.D. Student in Ethnomusicology
“The Ottenberg-Winans fellowship will contribute to my dissertation field research in Nyamapanda, Northeastern Zimbabwe during the 2016 calendar year. My dissertation project focuses on issues of sustainability as they relate to music cultures associated with an instrument called matepe, a marginalized type of mbira historically played by the Buja, Korekore and Sena-Tonga peoples of Northeastern Zimbabwe and adjacent areas across the border in Mozambique. I investigate the ways in which matepe players adapt to changing social, religious and technological contexts, including the emerging presence of matepe music on YouTube and a growing international audience of online learners. Although culture-bearers in Nyamapanda have no means of accessing and directly participating in these online spaces, I seek to understand how online resource sharing and dialogue contributes to the vitality of matepe music within Zimbabwe. Thus far, online activity has led to the formation of on-the-ground collaborative networks between matepe players in urban and rural areas and aided in the distribution of archival recordings of matepe music collected in the 1930s-1970s.”
David Aarons – Ph.D. Student in Ethnomusicology
“While much scholarly attention has been given to the relationship between the Caribbean and West Africa, this research focuses on the lived experiences of Caribbean and Ethiopian reggae musicians in East Africa. This research explores the growth and spread of reggae in Ethiopia with attention to the ways in which reggae music functions as a middle ground for repatriated Rastafari and native Ethiopians. Since Emperor Haile Selassie granted land in Ethiopia to Africans in the West in the mid-twentieth century, members of the Rastafari movement have been settling in Ethiopia in fulfillment of a desire to return home. Facing challenges in gaining citizenship and being viewed ambivalently by some Ethiopians, Rastafari have used music as a means of bridging the divide between themselves and Ethiopians.”
2014 Fellowship Recipients
Ashley Andelian – Undergraduate student in the Department of Linguistics
Britta Anson – PhD student in the Department of History
Cynthia Simekha – Undergraduate student in Public Health with minor in Global Health
Eloho Basikoro – PhD student in the Department of Geography
Matthew Adeiza – PhD student in the Department of Communication
Sarah Dreier – PhD student in the Department of Political Science
Sarah Kane – Undergraduate student in the School of Art
Ailene Umayam – Undergraduate student UW Bothell – Nursing
2013 Fellowship Recipients
Daniel E Coslett – Graduate Student in Built Environment
Daniel Low – Graduate Student in the Medical School
Jade Graddy – Undergraduate Student in the Department of Linguistics
Vijay Narayan – Graduate Student in the Department of Global Health
Questions about the fellowship or the application process should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a contribution to the Ottenberg-Winans fund, please click here.