Black Studies Welcomes New Professor

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In addition to two new tenure-track assistant professors, Cruz Bueno and Nicole Carr, visiting lecturer Bula Wayessa  is the third faculty member added to the Black Studies department for this coming year.

Wayessa will be joining the staff for one year as the effort to rebuild faculty ranks continues after an unprecedented amount of retirements and departures 18 months ago.

Wayessa is an Ethiopian citizen who moved to Canada in 2009 with his wife and two children. He earned his Ph.D. in archaeology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada and he earned his graduate diploma as a certified graduate teacher from Jimma University in Ethiopia. He has a Master’s in archaeology, a Bachelor’s in history and a minor in geography from Addis Abba University in Ethiopia.

Wayessa was a sessional instructor of anthropology at the University of Calgary, Destiny Travel Industry College in Ethiopia and Ethiopia Adventist College. He has also lectured history and heritage at Jimma University.

The courses Wayessa will be teaching this year will rely on his expertise in history and archaeology. He teaches Intro to Africa and Black History I.

Third-year psychology major Emi Lewis is taking Intro to Africa with Wayessa this semester and believes that he meshes well with the Black Studies department.

“Because it’s an Intro to Africa course, personally I feel it’s more authentic considering that he is from Ethiopia,” she said.

When Wayessa lectures, he wants to hear what students have to say and encourages class participation because he believes that it sharpens the students’ minds.

“Whenever I teach, I try to get the class to participate because to simply learn from teacher to student is not fully effective,” he said.

Lewis said that although students do not always participate as much as Wayessa encourages them to, it is clear that he believes it is impactful .

“He definitely does want us to participate in the lectures so that we can understand the information to the best of our ability and also to check in that he’s doing a relatively good job in teaching it to us,” she said.

Wayessa’s book “Ethnographic Study of Traditional Pottery-Making Artisan Women and Tuber Crop Consumption Technology in Wallaga, Oromia, Ethiopia” was published by Lambert Academic Publishing. African Diaspora Archaeology Network has also published a report he conducted.

Wayessa is a recipient of numerous fellowships and grants from organizations such as the National Geographic Society and the National Geographic Foundation.

According to Wayessa’s curriculum vitae, his teaching interests include courses “that examine the interplay among gender, religion and identity as well as race, racism and marginalization.” He is passionate about population migration and interactions, putting specific focus on continental and international population movement.

“I have interest in general in teaching courses that deal with Africa and Africa’s interaction with other people all over the world,” he said.