Professor chosen as ACE fellow

Kate Bigam

Diedre Badejo, chair of the department of Pan-African Studies, has been chosen to participate in the American Council on Education’s Fellow program, according to a Kent State press release that came out yesterday.

Under the fellowship program, 37 emerging leaders in the field of higher education spend 10 months at another university participating in seminars, meetings, discussions and special projects designed to better prepare them to serve their home universities.

“The ACE Fellows Program enables participants to immerse themselves in the culture, policies and decision-making processes of another institution,” according to the program’s Web site.

According to the release, Badejo will spend August 2006 to June 2007 concentrating at Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, a relatively new school that welcomed its inaugural class in 2005.

Provost Paul Gaston, who nominated Badejo for the fellowship position, said he looks forward to the experience Badejo will bring to Kent State following her time at Harrisburg.

“She’s going to be able to observe an institution that is more or less in the process of formation, and that’s a remarkable opportunity,” Gaston said. “I mean, how many opportunities are there like that anymore, to see an institution in the process of getting started? I think in terms of Kent State’s interest of responding to emerging needs, the experience she’s having will be really very valuable.”

Along with her position as chair of the department Pan-African studies, Badejo, who received her doctoral degree in comparative literature from the University of California Los Angeles, is a professor of African World Literatures and Cultural History. In 1996, she published a book, Osun Seegesi: The Elegant Deity of Wealth, Power, and Femininity, in addition to various essays and articles.

According to her faculty biography on Kent State’s Web site, Badejo has lectured in the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia on topics including African feminism and theater, curricular cultural diversity and Yoruba cosmology.

“She is widely respected as a scholar and as an academic administrator,” Gaston said. “She has earned the respect of her fellow department chairs of the deans and of her colleagues.”

Badejo, who is in Pennsylvania this week, could not be reached for comment about the ACE Fellow program.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to get a broad, national perspective on some of the challenges higher education will be facing in the 21st century,” she said in the press release.

Contact enterprise reporter Kate Bigam at < A HREF=”mailto:[email protected]”>[email protected]