News Alumni

GRÓ GEST Welcomes Two New Ph.D. Fellows!

28 April 2021
Stella and Yeshiwas, while fellows in GEST's diploma programme
Stella and Yeshiwas, while fellows in GEST's diploma programme

Two GRÓ GEST alumni have commenced their Ph.D. studies at the University of Iceland on full GRÓ GEST scholarships.

Yeshiwas Degu Belay, a 2017 GEST alumnus from Ethiopia has enrolled in the Faculty of History and Philosophy in the School of Humanities, where he will work under the supervision of Valur Ingimundarson, a Professor of Contemporary History. He will pursue a joint Ph.D. degree at the University of Iceland and the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he currently resides.

Yeshiwas’s research project deals with Ethiopia’s implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Specifically, the focus is on three issues: first, on the national effort to integrate women into peacekeeping and on how the gender gap in peace operations (women only make of 16% of the Ethiopian peacekeeping force) has been addressed; second, on the interactions between national and global actors regarding the implementation of gender mainstreaming policies in peace operations; and third, on the experiences, obstacles and contributions of women peacekeepers.

Yeshiwas Belay has completed MA degrees in International Relations and International Security from the University of Groningen (2019 ) and in Human Rights, Gender, and Conflict Studies (2013) from the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. His BA degree (2006) is in Political Science and International Relations from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Yeshiwas was a lecturer at Mekelle University in Ethiopia and has completed internships at the Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa, in Cambridge, USA, the Slovenian Migration Institute in Ljubljana, and at the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands.

Stella Tereka, a 2016 GEST alumna from Uganda, has enrolled in the interdisciplinary doctoral programme in Environment and Natural Resources where her supervisor is Dr. Jón Geir Pétursson, an associate professor at the Faculty of Sociology, Anthropology and Folkloristics and at the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences. Stella‘s research project contributes to GEST’s focus on Sustainability and Gender Equality in Sub-Saharan Africa, a research position advertised in 2020 as a collaboration with Makerere University’s School of Women and Gender Studies. In her research, Stella aims to examine the gendered dimensions of climate change and to identify effective approaches and strategies to support gender equality transformation in Uganda’s policies and processes in response to climate change.

Stella Tereka holds a MA (2013) in Development Studies from Uganda Martyrs University Institute of Ethics and Development Studies in Kampala, Uganda, and a BA (2009) in Development Studies from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. She has worked at the Uganda country office of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in various positions since 2008, most recently as a programme associate officer for gender and climate change, and a gender focal person.

We at GRÓ GEST are proud to support the research education of the programme’s alumni through the GRÓ GEST Ph.D. Scholarship Programme and are particularly pleased to welcome our initial fully funded Ph.D. fellows to doctoral programmes at the University of Iceland.