ETSU Professor leads Drumming Circles
Winner of Diversity Leadership Award
February 06, 2012JOHNSON CITY, TN – Dr. Arnold Nyarambi is one of the 2011 winners of the Patricia E. Robertson Diversity Leadership Award at East Tennessee State University, honored during a reception and award presentation in December 2011.
Nyarambi, who has been holding drumming circles in Johnson City (on campus) and in Kingsport (at the Renaissance Center), is an assistant professor of special education in the Claudius G. Clemmer College of Education's Department of Human Development and Learning.
He mentors ETSU international students from Africa and Asia, helping them adjust to the American education system through programs like Project G.A.S. (Graduate-Adjust-Succeed), as well as such service learning projects as "Afro-Caribbean and Western Music, Drumming and Dancing with Community Adults and Students with Disabilities, Minority Students, and ETSU Students," for which he wrote a grant that was funded by the ETSU Instructional/Development Committee. This allowed him to purchase the drums, costumes and video equipment used in the project, through which he has presented drumming and dancing activities on the ETSU campus and in the Johnson City and Kingsport communities. He has also written an ETSU Diversity Focus Grant for Faculty Recruitment.
In addition, Nyarambi's research investigates special education in other cultures, such as Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe in South Africa and Rwanda in East Africa, and compares their methods with U.S. models of special education. Nyarambi has been invited to present his paper, "Research on Autism in Africa: The Missing Link," in March 2012 during the Oxford Round Table's 13th session on Childhood Education at Harris Manchester College at the University of Oxford in England.
Individuals chosen for the Robertson Award have demonstrated sustained commitment to diversity, education and/or social justice efforts; be outspoken advocates in the effort to combat bigotry, discrimination and oppression; and are either currently employed faculty or staff or currently enrolled students.