by Web on March 23, 2018
Adonia Goshu chose Millsaps College because of its size and sense of community.
"I like the professors and the small class sizes," said Goshu, a sophomore from the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. "I also like the international community -- and loved the snow that we had earlier this year!"
Plenty of opportunities to get involved are another reason Goshu likes Millsaps.
A member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, Goshu belongs to the International Students Organization, serves as secretary of Millsaps International Buddy System, and works as an audio-visual technician on campus during special events.
A Davis Fellow in the International Perspectives Program funded by a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Goshu recently presented research about coffee in her home country during the program's recent conference. The conference examined climate change from numerous perspectives including agriculture, health, the arts, teaching, research, and service.
"My research focused on coffee, specifically the effect of climate change on the production of coffee in Ethiopia," she said. "Coffee not only originated in Ethiopia, but still holds an immense economic and social value. It is the source of livelihood for more than 15 million Ethiopians and makes up a quarter of the country's export earnings. Not to mention the well-known Ethiopian coffee ceremony, which is the backbone to social life for Ethiopians.
"Through my research, I discovered that the overall increase in temperature and decrease in rainfall of the African planet as a result of climate change endangers the dominant species of coffee plant, Coffea Arabica, by causing its premature death and the lack of complex flavors in the ones forced to grow in this unfavorable condition. If this situation continues to worsen, it will severely harm the country's economy, the livelihood and social life of several, ultimately putting the global supply of caffeine at a great risk."
Goshu said her experiences as a Davis Fellow have been educational and fun. She has enjoyed the open discussion-based class, liked hearing from experts on climate change (which was the program's focus for the 2017-2018 academic year), and found the group's field trip to a swamp in Louisiana interesting.
She has not declared a major yet but is considering a double major in chemistry and applied math with a minor in digital arts.
Two of her favorite professors, she said, are Dr. Cory Toyota, associate professor of organic chemistry, and Sue Carrie Drummond, assistant professor of art.
"Dr. Toyota definitely makes chemistry fun,” she said. "I'm also taking my first ever art class this semester, Beginning Drawing with Professor Drummond. I really like the class so far and where it is headed. It has already introduced me to some new techniques and helped me rediscover my love for drawing."