Dr. Solomon Weldegirma
Dr. Solomon Weldegirma is a Fulbright scholar and faculty member in the chemistry department at the University of South Florida. For his Fulbright scholarship, he traveled to Ethiopia where he stayed for 10 months, teaching organic chemistry classes at Bahir Dar University and upholding USF’s commitment to global sustainability by integrating green chemistry into the classroom. Throughout his time there, Dr. Weldegirma was able to successfully identify experiments that were using toxic chemicals and replace them with new strategies that minimized the use or generation of these harmful substances. He also created a lab manual that included a variety of experiments that use cheaper chemicals to reduce waste and pose no environmental or health problems.
In addition to the impactful global imprint that Weldegirma will leave, he says that he has also learned to be more adaptable, making it easier to work collaboratively upon return to USF. Part of his role in the chemistry department at USF involves the integration of green chemistry into the classroom, effecting hundreds of USF students each semester. He stated, “… being flexible, patient, and tolerant are the things I learned the most. I am sure [the Fulbright experience] will have a positive impact in my future teaching at USF.” He has enjoyed learning about the rich history, culture, food, religion and living of the Ethiopian people, and as well as introducing American culture to them.
“My word to a future ‘Fulbrighter’ is that I have never had such a rewarding, unique and indescribably rich experience like the Fulbright in my entire life.”