SPOTLIGHT: Adom Getachew
NEUBAUER FAMILY ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND THE COLLEGE
Dialogo asked new Assistant Professor Adom Getachew a few questions to help us get to know her better. Getachew joins the UChicago faculty from Yale University, where she earned a joint PhD in Political Science and African-American Studies.
WHAT EXCITES YOU MOST ABOUT BEING AT UCHICAGO?
I am excited to be at an institution with a rich history of social science research and a long-standing commitment to studying questions of race and inequality. As a junior faculty member, I look forward to learning from and working with colleagues who have shaped their fields in pioneering ways. This is what drew me to UChicago. Since starting, I have found myself surprised and excited by UChicago students who bring an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm to their education. It is so rewarding to work with students who take the initiative, are open to risks, and committed to scholarship as an end in itself.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING YOU DID ON CAMPUS WHEN YOU ARRIVED?
The first thing I did was visit Regenstein Library. Many of my friends from graduate school were UChicago undergrads and often talked about their long nights at the Reg so I had to see if for myself. It is one of my favorite buildings on campus and feels very much like the heartbeat of the University. I think this speaks to the distinctive UChicago commitment to rigorous inquiry and academic excellence.
WHAT SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT CHICAGO?
I had never lived in the Midwest before coming here, and the size and sprawling nature of the city were very surprising after coming from the east coast where cities are concentrated and dense. Although the size makes moving around the city harder, I like how unique each neighborhood feels. It is in many ways a city of villages and each has different things to offer. On the weekends when the weather is nice, I try to pick a new neighborhood, plan a walk and try to get a sense of its character.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT ON OR OFF CAMPUS?
I love walking or running by the lake. I often find myself lingering at the Point and taking in the expanse of Lake Michigan. It is very calming and stunning. Before moving here, I hadn’t expected that the Lake would figure so centrally in the city's life and in my own experience. But from walks and runs to picnics and community events, the lake is one of my favorite places to spend time in the city.
NOW THAT YOU’VE BEEN HERE FOR A FEW MONTHS, WHAT MYTH OR LEGEND ABOUT UCHICAGO HAS BEEN DISPELLED (OR REINFORCED)?
As with many others, I had often heard that UChicago was where fun comes to die. This always conjured images of students who were singularly focused on their academic work, competitive and disconnected from the outside world. So far I have found my students to be well-balanced, deeply committed to a range of projects beyond their studies, and collaborative and supportive. UChicago students are some of the hardest working, but they also know how to have fun and understand themselves as citizens of the city, nation, and world.