Dean of undergraduate studies position filled

Said Sewell. Photo courtesy of Kent State University.

Said Sewell. Photo courtesy of Kent State University.

Rex Santus

Kent State has appointed Said Sewell as its new dean of undergraduate studies, a position that has been vacant since November 2010.

Sewell, who serves as executive director of the Academic Success Center and associate professor of political science at Fort Valley State University in Georgia, will take his position April 15, 2012, according to a university press release.

Although obtaining the job was a “rigorous process,” Sewell said he’s very excited to work at Kent State because of the university’s “history, awesome programs and exceptional students.”

“I am most excited and humbled to be joining Kent State as its newest dean,” Sewell said. “I share the institution’s values toward education and its commitment to moving our students to higher heights. I am committed to leading the college in a very collaborative, energetic and strategic manner.”

With his new position, Sewell will oversee the Exploratory Advising Center, Academic Success Center, Student Success Programs and Dual Enrollment.

“The College of Undergraduate Studies deals, specifically, with how we transition our students from being a freshman or sophomore into their majors and graduate them at a higher rate,” Sewell said. “We want to retain them and graduate them on time.”

In a statement, President Lefton said Sewell will be a key player in achieving the university’s goals.

“This year, I’ve asked the university community to focus on retention, persistence and timely graduation, and Dr. Sewell will be a key driver of this effort,” Lefton said in the press release.

Sewell is a native of Houston, Texas, and attended Morehouse College in 1988, according to the press release. He graduated in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and received his Master of Public Administration from Texas Southern University. At 21, Sewell was the youngest recipient of this degree in the university’s history.

Sewell furthered his education at Clark Atlanta University in 2001. He holds a doctorate in political science.

From 2000 to 2009, Sewell served as a professor at the University of West Georgia. He was also the founding executive director of the Center for African American Males: Research, Success and Leadership in Atlanta. The center, which Sewell headed from 2004 to 2009, is the first of its kind in Georgia and “has a mission of addressing the challenges faced by African-American men.”

He has also taught at Albany State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Perimeter College, Dekalb College, Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College.

Throughout his professional career, Sewell has authored numerous publications, including articles on faith-based initiatives, community and economic development, juvenile issues, and religion and politics.

Currently, Sewell is working on two books, “Empowering Black Male Students to Greatness” and “Let Us Make Man: A Conversation with Black Men on Saving Black Boys.”

Sewell, 40, said he’s excited for the opportunity to help students.

“I’m a professor, so I’m very involved with students,” Sewell said. “I was always really committed to trying to help students do well academically. I want to take my passion for the academy and working with students to a level that, I believe, can be both beneficial to the students as well as the university.”

Contact Rex Santus at [email protected].