FVSU's Dumbuya receives Fulbright grant

May 20, 2013 – A Fort Valley State University history professor is the recipient of a prestigious national grant. The Council for International Exchange of Scholars awarded Dr. Peter Dumbuya a Fulbright Scholar Program grant. Dumbuya will spend the 2013-2014 academic year teaching and conducting research at Fourah Bay College located in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He leaves for the African continent in August. “Dr. Dumbuya’sFulbright award—and for that matter, his scholarly work generally—has brought tremendous credit to our university,” said Dr. Canter Brown Jr., FVSU’s executive vice president and interim vice president for academic affairs. “We take pride in our outstanding researchers and scholars at FVSU, and Dr. Dumbuya provides a fine example of why.” “I’m excited beyond words,” said Dumbuya, who found out about the grant this spring. The Fulbright Scholar Program is the U.S. Department of State’s flagship international educational exchange program, whose mission is to increase a mutual understanding between the nation and the world. Participants possess strong academic merit and leadership potential. Thanks to the program, more than 310,000 educators have exchanged ideas and contributed to finding solutions to international challenges. During the Fulbright grant period, the FVSU professor will research the affect of Sierra Leone’s civil war upon women. Since the war began in 1991, almost 75,000 people died. Sierra Leone’s women and children were often victims of violence during the war, before it finally ended in 2002. Dumbuya said that females had few rights within Sierra Leone’s legal system. “Many women were raped and had children resulting from the rape,” he said. “These victims and their children were rejected outright by their families, because rape was not a concept fully-embraced within Sierra Leone. Relatives believed victims contaminated themselves by joining the rebel movement or because they were immodest.” The professor says that three new important laws are establishing equality for nation’s women. In 2007, Sierra Leone passed the Domestic Violence Act to provide abuse victims with legal protection. That same year, the Devolution of Estates Act became law, giving rights to surviving spouses, children and other dependents. Before the statute, a woman could not inherit the estate of her husband; instead, it went to her spouse’s next male kin. In 2009, the Registration of Customary Marriage and Divorce Act provided for the registration of marriage and divorces. The new law granted inheritance rights to women in the case of divorce or domestic violence. Dumbuya believes that his important research will help students see how history connects to world events. “I think that students sometimes think that the events that historians write about happen in space, when they read it inside a book,” said the professor of history. “I believe my project will strengthen their desire to learn about history and to pursue research.” Fulbright professor encourages other FVSUfaculty members to apply for the Fulbright Scholars Program. Professors may submit their application online, apply online at http://www.cies.org/us_scholars/us_awards/Application.htm. Applicants may only apply for one award per year. –FVSU— Contact: Christina D. Milton, writer Fort Valley State University Office of Marketing and Communications (478) 822-7589, miltonc@fvsu.edu