Fulbright update-Adelman

Nov. 16th,  Mekelle University—Northern Ethiopia

Am nearing the end of my 42 day Fulbright appointment.  So many poignant moments to share.  15 students came to my home last night to make braided bracklets, compliments of my friend NIKKI, from BEADWORLD—60% men, 40% women; their focus, determination, energy was mindblowing, within an hour they made the bracklets and were so happy…now they must teach their classmates.  An older student said to me, “A teacher has never done this for us…”

Tomorrow is an ALL-DAY workshop for all 75 students in Public Speaking and Nonverbal Comm…am throwing a Public Speaking CONTEST next Weds. evening w/ PRIZES!

I’m giving a FINAL PARTY for all three classes, 75 students; the President of Mekelle U. is coming (with his wife), and about 10 faculty and friends…at a delicious, outdoor Pizza Restaurent, with pizza, drinks & dancing!

I got such a nice compliment from the guy who brought me to Ethiopia—he said, “I notice you teach the WHOLE 2 hours, most faculty are 1—1.5 hours; and you do all these extra lectures/workshops….we all agree you were the right Fulbrighter to bring here” – I was very touched.  It’s been fun, takes a lot of initiative to do anything here; easy to just slide by.  Last week, I gave a talk to faculty on SOLITUDE, expected about 4 to come; but 12 faculty came, including the DEAN (who is a poet and misses his solitude!)…we had such a great, lively discussion!  Not sure I could do a full year here—but I leave w/ so many great memories!

There are little reminders of life’s struggle here…although never verbalized.  When I grab the students’ arms to walk up stairs, I am always struck with how thin and fragile they are—even those that look “full body” are what we would call “skin & bones.”  A perpetual reminder of the minimal food, low protein here or in their past diet.  You do not see starvation, but people are so thin here.

One never knows the “real” background of their students.  I took this student, who I think is exceptional, out for coffee—to hear about her life plans.  She comes to class dressed so immaculately, so sparkling clean, her writing is great, she is outspoken, so quick and lively (unlike the sullen, taciturn females here).  I presumed she was from a middle-income, intact family.  Her mother died when she was about 8, only child, her father is a laborer.  She said, “I am very neat because it gives me confidence.  I don’t have any money, but I can be neat.”  She is studying Japanese/Chinese, and trying to learn as much as possible—she wants to enter politics and study political science…I find her inspiring.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis wants me to do a couple workshops in Public Speaking and also Nonverbal Communication—the US Embassy is working on dates and logistics…MFA heard about my “success” with govt. officials and PR people—now the “big wigs” want the workshop…I am totally jazzed to do this.

I will be very sad to leave…it really has been an amazing journey, of all kinds….

Mara Adelman, Ph.D.
Seattle University
Associate Professor
Department of Communication

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Cross-cultural/intercultural powerpoints wanted

Request for Basic Cross-cultural/Intercultural Powerpoints

“I am Mara Adelman (Seattle University, author of BEYOND LANGUAGE: Cross-cultural Communication for ESL), and I am heading to Mekelle University in Ethiopia on a Fulbright assignment, for a 42 days series of lectures, seminars, workshops on various topics in communication. Am seeking powerpoints on basic presentations for cross-cultural communication (e.g. theory, values, rituals, non-verbal, verbal, cross-cultural adaptation, work place, friendships, etc.). I would be willing to exchange for powerpoints on such topics as distraction, solitude, contemplative practices, world travel.  Please know that your powerpoints would only be used during this assignment, no copies, forwarded emails, etc. would occur.  Please send to/any questions, etc.: mara@seattleu.edu
MANY THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT.”

–Mara Adelman, Seattle University

Mara Adelman-Fulbright

Mara Adelman
Seattle University

Fulbright Specialist to Ethiopia

Communication Professor Mara Adelman (Ph.D. U. of Washington), currently an associate professor of communication at Seattle University, recently received a Fulbright Specialist award. She will join the Department of Communication at the University of Mekelle in northern Ethiopia next October-December, 2012. The Fulbright Specialist Program links American academics with colleagues at host institutions overseas for short-term collaborative projects.  Adelman will work with faculty and students for six weeks and will present workshops and seminars, consult, and collaborate on community outreach activities. The university is home to 23,000 students.  Adelman received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington and then joined Northwestern University.  She came to Seattle University, Department of Communication in 1994.  She is author of Beyond Language: Cross-cultural communication for ESL (co-authored with Deena Levine; Prentice Hall, 1987, 1997), and an award-winning ethnographic study of the second largest home for persons with AIDS, The Fragile Community (co-authored with Lawrence R. Frey; Lawrence Erlbaum, 1997).  Her research and scholarship focus on cross-cultural communication and adaptation, restorative solitude, interpersonal and organizational social interaction.

Dr. Adelman encourages communication faculty to apply for the Fulbright Specialist position.  This procedure is quite simple (1-2 page application), efficient, and the award position lasts for 5 years.  You are encouraged to cultivate relationships with international universities that then invite you and/or you respond with short proposals from universities that review your Fulbright resume.  Dr. Adelman responded to the call for an appointment to Ethiopia with a brief paragraph and a list of courses, workshops, lectures, and public outreach.  She carefully read the proposal and tried to address the needs of the University of Mekelle.  Fulbright Specialist appointments run 2-6 weeks.  Her appointment is for 42 days, with coverage for airfare, housing, food, and a daily stipend.  In order to share and speak upon a broad range of topics, Dr. Adelman has solicited the help of people in the communication discipline to send information and powerpoints that could be used in public presentations; and she is seeking donations for small laptop notebooks that she can bring to faculty and students at the University of Mekelle.

**See Mara Adelman’s description of her Fulbright after it was completed.