As a scholar, she will spend a year at Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia, where she will conduct research, assist in creating a doctoral program in adult learning and international development, engage in curriculum design and the mentoring of students, attend diplomatic receptions and network with participants of other exchange programs and other organizations.
The Ambassador Distinguished Scholars program is a collaboration among the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, the Institute of International Education and Bahir Dar University.
The program provides scholars the opportunity to influence Ethiopia’s rapidly evolving higher education sector and provide a critical foundation for Ethiopia’s development.
The aim of the program is to strengthen Ethiopian universities’ capacity to teach and manage undergraduate and graduate programs and enhance the research capacity within the institutions.
“It is indeed an honor to have this opportunity to represent the United States and to share the message of fine higher education ideals, including academic freedom, the right to disseminate knowledge and the empowerment of students,” said Renner, an ETSU professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.
“I am also excited about the opportunities this could bring for the students and faculty of the ETSU Clemmer College.”
Renner was the recipient of a Fulbright Award in 2013 and spent two-and-a-half months teaching at Kissi University in Kenya. While there she assisted 12 departments with transferring traditional classes to online formats, a move that allowed the university to offer master’s and Ph.D. courses online.
Two years later, she received a Carnegie Diaspora Fellowship to serve at Living Stone International University in Uganda, and in 2015 she was presented a new award, the Carnegie Alumni Diaspora Fellowship, that allowed her to return to Kenya to teach at the Kenya College of Accounting in Nairobi.