Dr. Eyualem Abebe is an Associate Professor of Biology in the Herman Cooke Department of Natural Science, Elizabeth City State University. He joined Elizabeth City State University in 2006 and teaches both undergraduate and graduate students. Prior to joining Elizabeth City State University Dr. Abebe taught for 10 years at a teachers training institute—Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia.
Dr. Abebe’s passion for teaching emanates from his own educational experience. Growing up in rural Africa and having gone at an early age to the only school in the area, he was one of the few privileged to benefit from education. Dr.Abebe believes a teacher should be both like an elder sibling to guide and enlighten, to serve as resource, to facilitate and to be there when needed. Jane MacCarraher, a sophomore, says “Dr. Abebe wants his students to learn” “he was very fair” and “if you needed any assistance he was there ready to help you with a solution”.
A passionate advocate of learning through mentorship and research, Dr.Abebe has implemented project-based learning in his classes and has mentored through research 27 undergraduate and 2 graduate students. Jeremiah Lancaster, a graduate student, says “I truly believe that I have learned more about biology and the pursuit of scientific knowledge from Dr.Abebe than from all my classes combined.” Budour Mohammad, an alumni, says “I grasped concepts easier in my courses due to the hands-on work I had done while conducting my own research projects” under Dr.Abebe. Jennifer VanWyke, a graduate student, commenting on Dr. Abebe’s project-based class states “I was able to take a look into the history of this area which paved a greater understanding of this town, along with the great ecological impacts that molded the community into what it is today.”
Dr. Abebe focuses on long term learning and keeps his methodology flexible to accommodate his students. Elizabeth Brown, an alumni who attended his Ecology class, writes “I found the class challenging, yet exciting. It is not difficult for me to remember the course. I would even suggest it as the most memorable. “Jane MacCarraher states “he would do almost anything to change his teaching style if he knew it was for the benefit of the class”. She adds “one method of teaching which as a student I really appreciate, is that Dr. Abebe used about ten minutes of lecture time for students to write down their thoughts about the lecture in a few sentences.” Jennifer VanWyke summarizes Dr. Abebe’s overall quality as a teacher by saying “He is quite unlike any other professor that I have had since I have been at Elizabeth City State University.”
Dr. Abebe sees his role as someone who helps the learners realize their potential. Kenya Holley, a senior, says “I have gained a lot of knowledge from working with Dr.Abebe and one critical thing that I learned is to never give up.” Budour Mohammad states “his students’ professional advancement is also high priority to him”, and “when I am distressed about a potential academic issue or have questions about a subject I seem to be struggling with, he is eager to help.”
Dr. Abebe received his BSc and MSc degrees in Biology fromAddis Ababa University, Ethiopia. After graduation he joined Bahir Dar Teachers College, Ethiopia, and taught there for 7 years. Then he received MSc and PhD degrees from Ghent University, Belgium and returned to Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, to teach for three more years. Following that Dr. Abebe expanded the scope of his research by joining Ghent University, Belgium; Edinburgh University, UK; and University of New Hampshire, USA. Dr. Abebe has also received additional trainings from the United Nations University, Belgium, and Kassel University, Germany, on Biological Diversity and Curriculum Design and Research Management, respectively. He has served in various administrative capacities including Research and Publications Officer and Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin at Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia.