Did You Know?

Professor Pearl Robinson won this year's John Harbeson Distinguished Africanists Award!!


Dr. Pearl Robinson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, and in the International Relations and the Africana Studies Programs at Tufts University. She has had a distinguished career through the publication of influential research, mentoring undergraduate students, many of whom have gone on to become African-studies researchers in their own right and in building institutions like the APCG and the African Studies Association. She was with APCG at its founding, and has served as past president of ASA and Director of the Program in International Relations at Tufts. Dr. Robinson has co-authored two books, written numerous articles and has a documentary film “Mama Kyota!” about a Tijaniyya Sufi Muslim women’s movement in Niger. In addition to her path-breaking work on national conferences in Francophone Africa in the early 1990s, Dr. Robinson has especially contributed to our understanding of Pan-Africanism with important recent scholarship on Ralph Bunche and Randall Robinson. Of these, her nomination noted that “her essays on the 2nd wave of African protests from the 1990s were way ahead of their time, centering the contributions of marginalized groups within the protests who subsequently found themselves pushed aside during the transition period.” It was also noted that “her works on the intellectual history of African Studies and Area Studies generally have proven essential and are required reading for anyone interested in the racial divide that continues to structure knowledge production around Africa today.” It was observed in the nomination letter and the committee wishes to emphasize the way that Dr. Robinson has “served the African studies community” and done this sometimes without due recognition, institutional support and in the face of the systemic racism and sexism of the American academic system. As her nomination letter noted, “too often, [there is a failure] to recognize the efforts of individuals like Professor Robinson, a Black woman who bravely challenged existing biases long before it became fashionable to do so.” The nomination concludes: “her work will stand the test of time and epitomizes one possible future for what our community can be. I recommend her in the highest possible terms.” The committee shares this view and has selected Dr. Robinson based on her influential research, commitment to mentoring and teaching about Africa, in Africa and with African scholars, and powerful institution-building, sometimes behind the scenes but never unappreciated.


Lidya Woldeyesus was nominated by President Monaco to be the 2020-21 Newman Civic Fellow for Tufts University!


Nominated for her campus organizing work, through the fellowship she will have the opportunity to strengthen her leadership and policy problem-solving skills alongside a cohort of like-minded peers. We are so proud of you Lidya!



Alphonsus Adu-Bredu and his team are developing software as well as electrical and mechanical hardware for robots assisting individuals who cannot use their arms.                             

Alphonsus Adu-Bredu (BSME 2020) conducting a trial run for the Robotic Assistance of Activities of Daily Living for People with C4-C7 Spinal Cord Injury.

Alphonsus, a rising junior, is co-captain of the mobility team for Tufts' Robotic Assistance of Activities of Daily Living for People with C4-C7 Spinal Cord Injury. This initiative enables students from the School of Engineering (SOE) to collaborate with students from the Department of Occupational Therapy (OT) with the goal of enhancing the ability of robots to assist individuals unable to use their arms. Alphonsus and his team are currently tackling voice-commanded help with the basic activities of daily living, such as getting a drink from a refrigerator, making a microwave meal, and picking up items off the floor.  

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