Professor hopes to improve third world countries

Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations professor Assefaw Bariagaber has been named president of the Association of Third World Studies (ATWS).

Bariagaber first became interested in the subject of Third World Studies as a graduate student and became an active member of the organization in 1988.

“I have always been interested in furthering an unbiased knowledge of the Third World,” he said. “Therefore, I joined the ATWS as a graduate student, and soon became an active member.”

Bariagaber served as an ATWS Executive Council member from Oct. 2003 to Oct. 2006 and won the President’s 2004 Distinguished Leadership and Service Award for excellent leadership skills he displayed.

He went on to serve as President-Elect from Nov. 2009 to Oct. 2010, where he organized, designed and implemented the program for the 28th annual meeting of ATWS, which was held on Oct. 9 of this year.

Because of the great work and leadership skills he displayed throughout the year, Bariagaber won the Outstanding Leadership and Service Award for the second time and assumed the presidency of ATWS.

“As president, I serve as the executive head of the association, am responsible for initiating and carrying out ATWS policies and functions, serve as chairperson of the Executive Council of ATWS and chair all meetings of the association,” Bariagaber said.

His duties as president also include appointing ad hoc committees as deemed necessary for carrying out the functions of the association.

Besides regulating duties and organization summits and events, Bariagaber hopes to accomplish a lot during his term as president. He has set high goals for ATWS that he hopes will recruit more members and raise awareness of third world hardships.

“During my tenure as President, I will lead ATWS membership drive to increase association membership by about 30 percent, and increase ATWS annual meeting attendance by scholars from the Third World,” Bariagaber said.

According to Bariagaber, in doing this he hopes to not just raise awareness about the quality of life in third world countries, but actually make a difference in the lives of the people who reside there, and making a personal effort in changing the infrastructures of those governments.

“I also plan to strengthen the various ATWS chapters in different countries to enable scholars from the developing world to be active contributors to our knowledge of the Third World,” Bariagaber said.

This past summer Bariagaber hosted a trip to Ethiopia with several students from Seton Hall.

According to Tercia Miranda, one of the students who attended, Bariagaber’s intellect made the trip memorable.

“As the professor and leader of the group, Dr. Bariagaber managed to contribute his knowledge and experiences with Ethiopia and Africa emphasizing the subjects discussed in the African Union meetings as well as the USAID and Oxfam,” Miranda said.

Miranda credited Bariagaber’s point of view for the experience.

“With his influential and enthusiastic point of view, Dr. Bariagaber made the trip to Ethiopia an unforgettable experience,” says Miranda.

Bariagaber said he hopes to make another trip to a third world country this summer with more students from Seton Hall who are interested in the subject.

Rawan Eewshah can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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