Six Tubman Students Awarded Prestigious Dean’s Award for Research Excellence (DARE)



The Dean’s Award for Research Excellence (DARE) provides Liberal Arts & Professional Studies undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in research supervised by a faculty member. Over the summer months, selected students develop their research skills through the investigation of a research area of interest. Of the 2019-2020 awardees, six are Tubman students. Their research focuses on issues ranging from UN peacekeepers in Congolese communities, the demography of the city of Moçâmedes, and the expressive cultures of the African diaspora as seen in carnival. We look forward to having them present to the Tubman community soon. Three of the students are profiled below:


Munzungu Nzeyedio

Name of the DARE Project: Relationships Between MONUSCO Peacekeepers and Local Congolese Communities   
Program of Study:
 Political Science & Public Administration
Supervisor: Annie Bunting

As a student researcher, it carries significant academic responsibility to cultivate a mentorship opportunity and gain insights on a specific area of research interest. As an African woman of Congolese descent, it is a tremendous honour and privilege to explore the area of legal accountability with respect to the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC.”

One of Munzungu’s major research findings was the presence of a “serious gap between the UN policies and their implementation on the ground in the DRC”. Her team is advocating for a “survivor-centred” approach to justice for Congolese women and their “peace babies”.


Arshad Desai

Name of the DARE Project: Reconstructing the Demography of Moçâmedes, Angola, 1844-1869

Program of Study: History

Supervisor: Jose Curto

“Receiving the Dean’s Award for Research Excellence is a tremendous honour because it assisted me in my experiential learning opportunity in Portugal, while contributing to the production of important new knowledge…The opportunity to collaborate with Professor Curto represents a defining moment in my academic career as an aspiring [African] historian.”

Through archival research, Arshad was able to shed light on the integral role of Africans in the development of Moçâmedes.


Fernanda Sierra Suarez

Name of the DARE Project: Expressive Cultures of the African Diaspora

of Study: Culture and Expression
Supervisor: David Trotman

“We are focusing on the culture behind carnival. We are also focusing on carnivals from Latin America and how they follow the Caribbean traditions. One of the interesting things about doing research and using cultural analysis to look at history is that you are able to look at the array of contributions that make up a particular culture. That’s what I have been able to see so far—how we can build a database of cultural expression [with] things like dance, theatre and music.Fernanda curated an online exhibit “focusing on the historical re-enactments of Huejotzingo’s Carnival”.


Here are some photos of the students with their poster presentations. Congratulations Munzungu, Arshad, and Fernanda! 


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