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College of Arts and Sciences News

Amoaba Gooden Appointed Chair of Kent State’s Department of Pan-African Studies

Posted Oct. 14, 2013
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Amoaba Gooden, Ph.D., has been appointed chair of
Kent State University’s Department of Pan-African Studies.

Amoaba Gooden, Ph.D., has been officially appointed chair of Kent State University’s Department of Pan-African Studies. Gooden served previously as interim chair of the department.

As chair, Gooden wants to augment the curriculum, while maintaining the academic integrity of the discipline—intellectual excellence and social responsibility.

“I would like to restructure the curriculum based on the National Association of Black Studies Model,” Gooden says. “We’ve created three new concentrations: Community Development and Public Policy; Global and Government Systems; and Race, Gender and Sex. We want students to have a curriculum for employers to look at and be even further impressed.”

Gooden also plans to reinforce the idea of double majors. She hopes students will consider fields that coincide well with Pan-African studies.

“We’re encouraging students to consider second majors like sociology, history and politics,” Gooden says.

Additionally, Gooden wishes to increase enrollment and connect the Department of Pan-African Studies with other colleges across campus and the local community. 

“It’s important for students to realize their responsibilities to themselves and to the community,” Gooden says.

Gooden credits her inspiration to a book she read about Harriet Tubman at the age of nine.

“It opened my eyes,” Gooden says. “I realized I really wanted to help people find a path for themselves.”

As she takes this focus into her career, Gooden wants to maintain a strong Pan-African studies program with a long and fruitful life at Kent State.

“It’s important to reinforce the knowledge that there is so much to this field,” Gooden says. “We are a discipline with our own theoretical and methodological stance.”

Kent State provides students interested in Pan-African studies with opportunities for college writing courses, education-abroad programs, a Center of Pan-African Culture, the African Community Theatre and the Uumbaji Art Gallery.

For more information about Kent State’s Department of Pan-African Studies, visit www.kent.edu/cas/pas