Meet African Studies

Lauren Parnell Marino and Meagan Doll discuss African Studies logistics at a YALI technical workshop in February 2016. (Photo by Catherine A. Reiland)

Director: Nancy Kendall (Educational Policy Studies)
Associate Director: Aleia McCord
Assistant Director: Meagan Doll
Steering Committee: Katrina Thompson (African Cultural Studies), Lisa Naughton (Geography), Emily Callaci (History), Tony Goldberg (Vet Med/GHI)
Student Staff: Lauren Parnell-Marino (Outreach), Aberdeen Leary (Communications), Megan Skalitzky (Office Administration)

African Studies is faculty-driven and governed. A full-time, tenured faculty member is elected to serve a three-year term as director. The director sets intellectual priorities for the center and
oversees programming, relying upon a permanent associate director and staff to provide administrative continuity. This system of a rotating directorship vests a broad spectrum of our faculty in operations, allowing the center to stay responsive to current trends in the field by shifting its disciplinary and regional foci every few years. The faculty Steering Committee meets with the faculty director and associate director regularly during the academic year, providing intellectual leadership and oversight of African Studies Program activities. The committee is comprised of the chair of the Department of African Cultural Studies and three faculty members elected at-large by African Studies Program affiliates to serve staggered, three-year terms.The committee provides counsel on relevant center issues, approves the annual budget, and makes curricular and program recommendations to the director and associate director.

Students, faculty, and community members are welcome to reach out directly to the steering committee, faculty director, or associate director with suggestions, concerns, or new ideas. We are here to serve you!

Are you interested in serving on the faculty steering committee? African Studies is always eager to welcome enthusiastic and engaged faculty members to grow and guide the African Studies Program. If you are a student, staff, or community member, there are many other ways to be more involved in the program. Please contact associate director Aleia McCord ( if interested.