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School of Journalism and New Media
University of Mississippi

Posts Tagged ‘Ethiopia’

Ethiopian Airlines graduate cohort flying high with University of Mississippi master’s degrees

Posted on: January 14th, 2022 by ldrucker

Partnership puts 17 employees through UM School of Journalism and New Media integrated marketing communications program

Though they’re rising stars working for Africa’s largest airline and already have impressive resumes, 17 integrated marketing communications students soon will be able to add master’s degrees from the University of Mississippi to their qualifications.

The cohort is the fruit of a partnership between the UM School of Journalism and New Media and Ethiopian Airlines. The students began the program in 2019 and have continued their studies during the pandemic, and several of them have finished their coursework.

Zebiba Miftah, manager of group advertising and sales promotion for Ethiopian Airlines, recently completed her master’s degree in integrated marketing communications at the School of Journalism and New Media. Miftah, who is based at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, said she uses the knowledge and insights gained from the program on a daily basis in her job. Submitted photo

Zebiba Miftah, manager of group advertising and sales promotion for Ethiopian Airlines, recently completed her master’s degree in integrated marketing communications at the School of Journalism and New Media. Miftah, who is based at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, said she uses the knowledge and insights gained from the program on a daily basis in her job. Submitted photo

UM Chancellor Glenn Boyce shared how this partnership and the students’ achievements are helping the university meet its mission of offering enriching and life-changing educational opportunities.

“At the University of Mississippi, we’re committed to increasing educational access and opportunities,” Boyce said in a video message of congratulations to the cohort. “We’re also committed to making sure that our students are prepared to compete in a global economy. Our collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines – and your success in the IMC online graduate program – reflect that commitment.”

Interim Dean Debora Wenger

Interim Dean Debora Wenger

The program has many benefits, said Debora Wenger, the journalism school’s interim dean. The cohort brings together seasoned professionals with their own experiences to interact with the other students in the IMC master’s program.

“They are already highly successful professionals who realize that to help their company thrive, they need to do a different kind of marketing and communication, and our IMC program is ideal for this group,” Wenger said.

“These are top executives in the largest airline in Africa. They get stationed all over the world. The exponential reach of our program through them is something we think is incredibly valuable.”

Zenebe Beyene, UM assistant professor and coordinator of international programs for the School of Journalism and New Media, and Marquita Smith, the school’s assistant dean for graduate programs, lead the program.

The partnership has provided the university with a group of enrolled students who were eager for “one of the best educations,” Beyene said. The cohort has exposed other students to their cultures and added to the diversity of the program, while gaining skills to help their company reach the next level.

Zenebe Beyene, Ph.D.

Zenebe Beyene, Ph.D.

Beyene is from Ethiopia. When he was a student at the naval academy there in 1990, he found himself captured by the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front and became a prisoner of war. He has deep ties to the region, which has helped the program succeed, Wenger said.

The chancellor noted that many in the cohort managed a full-time job, family obligations and the challenges of distance learning, all during a global pandemic.

“You are to be commended for your perseverance, hard work and focus, all of which led to your graduation,” Boyce said. “The invaluable insight, experience and knowledge that you have gained from the program will yield tangible outcomes for yourself, your employer and your career.

“The skills you have acquired will enable you to take Ethiopian Airlines to the next level.”

Samson Arega, the airline’s area manager for Canada, is among those who have completed the program. He said it has given him greater confidence in his academic prowess and also in his ability to move into positions of leadership.

Since enrolling, he’s helped his company through the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused business to decline severely.

“You can easily imagine how challenging it was with the existing new company responsibility, and being a dad of two little boys who need a lot of their parents’ cuddling, and at the same time, pursuing my studies at Ole Miss,” Arega said. “So, I had to develop new skills to manage multiple tasks at once, and now I know how persistence, passion and hard work pays off.”

Tadesse Tilahun, who lives in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia, has been with the airline for 20 years. He said he was initially unsure what he would gain from the program, but after a few classes, he clearly saw its potential to help anyone working in sales or marketing.

“I became highly interested and enjoyed all the readings and exercises,” Tilahun said. “The knowledge I gained from the program and the ideas and experiences shared with my classmates gave me the confidence to work as an IMC professional, which I hope will be applicable in my job.”

Tilahun said he came away impressed with the breadth of the skills he has mastered.

“I never expected that I would be able to get this much practical knowledge from the program,” he said. “The program gave me a number of opportunities to grow and explore my skills.

“I really enjoyed the two years in the program and I have done my level best to benefit the most out of it.”

Zebiba Miftah, the airline’s manager of group advertising and sales promotion based at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, just completed her studies. She said she understands that she must read constantly to stay on top of ever-changing market trends and always be aware of the needs of her target audience, while having a good handle on the relationship her brand has to its customers and the media.

She has seen her value to her company grow, she said.

“It has been quite an experience for me to see as the knowledge and insights gathered from each course added value to my daily activities and decision-making process,” Miftah said. “Now, I can contribute to the organization I am in or anywhere in the field of marketing with the knowledge and insight from the master’s program.

“I feel like a marketing expert, and it is a great feeling.”

This story was written by Michael Newsom for University Communications.

UM School of Journalism and New Media professor attends London event to develop policy for Ethiopia nation building project

Posted on: April 29th, 2019 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media professor recently traveled to London to create a lasting foundation for peace in Ethiopia and all of Africa.

Zenebe Beyene, Ph.D., an assistant professor and director of international programs, said he traveled to London to gather input to develop policy for a nation building project in Ethiopia. Here’s more about his work.

Q. Can you tell me a little bit about the work that you recently did that took you abroad?

A. On April 20, I organized another successful meeting on nation building in Ethiopia. This event in London is part of an ongoing  “Nation building project in Ethiopia,” which has been supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is one of several similar programs we have held in the U.S. and Ethiopia since January of 2018.

The project aspires to promote peace, bring people together and find common ground on issues of collective identity. Focusing on these issues is needed today more than ever. There are ethnic, political, religious differences and other longstanding historical fault lines that divide us.

If we pause for a moment and reflect, we will realize that what unites us is more than what divides us. Based on that fact, this project encourages people to rise above those fault lines. It is hoped the project will create a foundation for lasting peace in Ethiopia and all of Africa.

Q. What are your goals, hopes and mission regarding the work you are doing involving peace?

A. The main goal of the project is to gather input for policy formulation on nation building in Ethiopia, which can be a blue print for the rest of Africa as well. To that end, we have held similar programs in Ethiopia and the U.S.A. And, I have witnessed a commonality among those various events.

People are tired of division, violence and hatred from any corner. However, here is the challenge: Those people, who aspire to promote peace and work to bring people together don’t have platforms. In contrast, those, who divide us along ethnic, political and religious lines have plenty of platforms and opportunities to do so and make us become suspicious of one another, and in the extreme case, to hate each other.

The latter groups confuse others by misconstruing the fact. Here is the fact: promoting collective identity, (which nation building is all about) and recognizing and celebrating ethnic identity are not mutually exclusive. In fact, such an approach will help us set the foundation for lasting peace in Ethiopia and Africa.

Q. How do you think our school and our students will benefit from the relationships you are forming?

A. Peace in Ethiopia and Africa in general is one of the priorities of US foreign policy. The saying “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” does not work anymore. We have seen that time and again. Peaceful and stable Ethiopia and Africa are strong and reliable partners for the U.S.

The experience from this exercise is also vital for our school and students. It will help us develop the skills and knowledge to bring people together and find common ground on issues of common interests.

Another main benefit of my involvement in this project is promoting the UM brand in these events. Wherever I go, I represent our school and our university. As we well know, many people don’t know a lot about this university, and what they know is the incident from the fall of 1962. It is incumbent on all of us the promote our brand, and the initiatives have given me that opportunity.

*    *    *

Beyene earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in political science in 2012. He specializes in media in conflict and post-conflict societies. He has taught, researched and provided training in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the United States.

Beyene has served as a consultant for InterNews Network, US Agency for International Development, United Nations Development Programme, Voice of America, Pennsylvania University/Carnegie Foundation, Oxford University and Oxford University/U.K. Embassy in Ethiopia and Aadland Consult/IDEA International.

He has published or co-published work about tolerance and online debate in Ethiopia; the role of TeleCourt in changing conceptions of justice and authority in Ethiopia; the role of ICT in peacebuilding in Africa; media use and abuse in Ethiopia; From an Emperor to the Derg and Beyond: Examining the Intersection of Music and Politics in Ethiopia.

For more information about our program, email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

School of Journalism and New Media professor meets with Ethiopian leaders in Washington, D.C.

Posted on: September 6th, 2018 by ldrucker

Dr. Zenebe Beyene, a School of Journalism and New Media instructional assistant professor and coordinator of international programs (second from left), is pictured with Dr. Oyvind Aadland, a representative of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, and Ethiopian leaders at a meeting on nation-building in the Charles L. Overby Boardroom at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Participants were primarily from the East Coast: New York, Virginia, Maryland and D.C. with one each from Memphis, Atlanta and North Carolina. They are lawyers, IT experts, software developers, political scientists, economists, a graphic designer, theologians, etc.

The  School of Journalism and New Media is grateful to the Freedom Forum for making the boardroom available. The boardroom is named for Charles Overby, a graduate of Ole Miss.

Ethiopia

Posted on: March 9th, 2010 by

“He is the best teacher I have had at this university,” a student wrote last January in the evaluation of Zenebe Beyene.

Zenebe is the assistant dean at the School of Journalism and Communication at Addis Ababa University and a doctoral candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He taught JOUR 400 International Communication during January Intersession at Ole Miss.

Thus, it was exciting to be invited to dinner by Zenebe’s family when I was in Addis last week.  I had traveled to Ethiopia from Dubai to try to finalize the partnership agreement between Addis Ababa University and the School of Journalism and New Media at The University of Mississippi.

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