Ezumah collects books, prepares for fellowship

Photo by Jenny Rohl/TheNews

Story by Lindsey Coleman, Staff writer

As Bellarmine Ezumah, professor of mass communications, prepared for her upcoming Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program at Uganda Martyrs University, she realized her old textbooks might be a great donation, so on Jan. 28, she reached out to her colleagues through email in the Journalism and Mass Communications Department, requesting their help.

“I was just going through my library, and I saw that there were lots of books I have not used for a while and I’m probably not ever going to use,” Ezumah said. “So I said, ‘Instead of letting them sit on my shelf, I can take them along with me and just donate it.’”

As of Feb. 3, 56 books had been donated, but she said she expected to add more herself and still receive more from other professors.

Allen White, professor of advertising, was the first to reach out to Ezumah and donated 40 books to her efforts at Uganda Martyrs.

He said he chose to donate because he felt like it was a good cause.

Ezumah said she will be donating the books to the communications program at Uganda Martyrs University, which is slated to be up and running in Fall 2017. She said the books will be appropriate for communications classes she will be working to establish, including journalism, TV production and advertising.

She is leaving on Feb. 20 for Kampala, Uganda, to stay for three months. During her stay, she won’t be teaching classes at Uganda Martyrs, but she will be working closely with the administration there to launch a new communications department. She will continue teaching her Murray State classes online.

Ezumah used international relations terms to describe her trip. She said the brain drain phenomenon, or the tendency of people to leave developing countries, is being reversed with her opportunity with the Carnegie Fellowship.

Instead, she will be able to contribute to the brain gain concept by traveling back to Africa. She said a brain gain occurs when people go back to enrich developing countries with the wealth of their knowledge and experience.

“I just see this as something that will be considered a brain gain trip,” Ezumah said. “I’m excited about it.”