About Faculty & Staff 2016


Dr. Leslie Steeves

Program Director
Senior Associate Dean, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon

I first came to Ghana on Fulbright in 1996 and have been returning ever since. Ghana is a beautiful and accessible country offering rich opportunities for media internships, research, and service projects. 2016 marks my 14th year bringing UO SOJC students to Ghana. The 2016 group promises to be a great one. It is exciting and humbling to see
such a growing interest in sub-Saharan Africa at UO.


Dr. Michael “Doc” Williams

On-site adviser; Executive Director of the Aya Center

I have been working with the Media in Ghana program for several years now, and I have enjoyed my experience immensely. The quality of students who have participated in this program have been phenomenal — extremely bright, talented and creative! What I enjoy most about the program is seeing how both the student and the agencies they work for benefit from this service-learning experience. In short, everyone’s a winner, and I enjoy being involved in something this positive.


Dr. Audrey Gadzekpo

Director, Department of Communication Studies, University of Ghana

I head the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana and have been involved in the Media in Ghana program for many years. I typically give students an introductory lecture on media in Ghana and address gender issues. I’m also happy to answer questions that arise during their stay related to their internships and research projects. As usual, I look forward to meeting and interacting with the new group.


Chavez_Christopher-263x263Dr. Christopher Chávez

Assistant Professor in Media Studies and Advertising, University of Oregon

In both my research and teaching, I’m very interested in the relationship between globalization, media and culture. Prior to becoming a professor, I worked for ten years as an advertising executive working at TBWA Chiat/Day, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Mullen and Publicis & Hal Riney. This is my third year with the Ghana program and I am looking forward to working with such talented and capable students.


Dr. Doug Blandy

Professor in the Arts and Administration Program, University of Oregon
Core faculty member in Folklore, University of Oregon
Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Oregon

Dr. Blandy’s research and teaching addresses art educational experiences in community-based settings that meet the needs of all students within a life-long learning context. Research and teaching also concentrates on the relationships between art, education, gender, community, and place.  Doug’s research defines, describes, critiques, and analyzes the implementation of community arts programs that are participatory, community focused, community based, and culturally democratic. Doug is a principle investigator associated with ChinaVine.org, an interactive website with a mission to interpret China’s cultural heritage for English reading audiences.


Dr. Habib Iddrisu

Assistant Professor, Dance and Ethnomusicology, University of Oregon

Habib Iddrisu is a traditional trained dancer, musician, and historian from Northern Ghana, born into the Bizing family of court historians and musicians of the Dagbamba people.  Dr. Iddrisu has toured the world extensively with traditional singing and dance groups, and has diverse experience as a performer, teacher, choreographer, and scholar throughout the U.S.

As a scholar, Dr. Iddrisu’s research interests include West African Music and Dance Practice and Performance, Cultural Studies, Post-Colonial Independence History, Political Economy, Oral History, African Diaspora Studies, and the New Internationalism. He explores new viewpoints on tradition, globalization, and popular culture, looking at he difference in discourse and rhetoric coming from indigenous peoples to the international performance and scholarly community. Dr. Iddrisu is currently researching how indigenous performance practices change and adapt to new situations as these practices travel from village to international settings. He is the founder and artistic director of Dema, UO’s newest non-auditioned performing ensemble.


Mary Popish

Blog Admin

This is my second year managing the Media in Ghana blog, and I love helping students share their experiences abroad. At the SOJC, I manage the production studios and support multimedia production and broadcast technologies. Outside of the SOJC, I run marathons, coach Special Olympics, and love spending time outdoors.