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OSU to debut Center for Africana Studies and Development

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

An afternoon of events will be held Jan. 25 at the Wes Watkins Center to commemorate the establishment of the OSU Center for Africana Studies and Development.

The celebration includes a noon luncheon followed by a 1 p.m. open house and grand opening led by OSU System CEO and President David Schmidly at 1:30. The highlight will be an installment of the School of International Studies’ Global Briefings Speaker Series. David Wiley, professor of sociology and director of Michigan State University’s African Studies Center, at 3:30 will give the presentation, “Global Africa and the United States: A Past, Present and Future.” Events will conclude with a 4:45 reception.

The conception of OSU African Student Organization members, the center has received support from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of International Studies. Its establishment follows almost two years of discussions involving faculty, administrators and students and will help advance an initiative to start an interdisciplinary degree program in African studies at OSU, according to Billy Jivetti, ASO president.

“At the time it was proposed, ASO members were of the consensus that we needed this kind of center for academics, outreach and research pertaining to Africa,” Jivetti said. “Working closely with Arts & Sciences Dean Peter Sherwood, International Education and Outreach Director Jim Hromas and Vice President for Institutional Diversity Cornell Thomas, we now have an office in 204E Wes Watkins.”

“This semester, Swahili is being taught as a foreign language, and we look forward to when the center can support additional courses as well as research and outreach on Africa,” he said.

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