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UNCG African American Studies in country’s top 10 in assessment of faculty research

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 by Research under Spotlights
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Article by Betsi Robinson

UNCG’s African American Studies program has garnered national recognition as one of the top 10 programs of its kind in the country, according to productivity rankings released by Academic Analytics.

Data on faculty research was collected from 383 colleges and universities during the 2010-11 academic year. Among the activities measured were book and journal publications, conference proceedings, federal grants, and professional honors and awards.

UNCG’s program ranked in the company of Ivy League universities Harvard and Yale, as well as programs closer to home at Duke and Emory.

“I am very pleased by the high rating accorded to UNCG’s African American Studies Program by Academic Analytics, showing that it compares very favorably with some much larger and better-known programs,” said Dr. Timothy D. Johnston, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UNCG. “This is a well-deserved testimonial to the scholarly accomplishments of our faculty.”

Dr. Tara T. Green and Dr. Omar H. Ali, the two full-time faculty members in the program, published a combined four books.

“Our national position reflects our commitment to producing scholarship in our specific disciplines and to African American interdisciplinary studies,” said Green, director of the program and associate professor of African American literature and gender studies. “As a result, we are better equipped to help strengthen our students’ ability to analyze cultures locally and globally.”

The news comes as UNCG’s African American Studies program celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Last spring the program graduated its largest class to date, 20 students who earned more than $250,000 in grants to continue their studies at universities such as Duke, Vanderbilt, Rutgers and Berkeley.

The program also recently established its first scholarship, made possible by the generosity of UNCG alumna Whitney Ransome. Ransome served for almost two decades as co-executive director of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, and was one of the founders of the coalition in 1991. An educator her entire professional life, Ransome recently served on UNCG’s Board of Visitors.

“There are many challenges to running a small academic program, but I am very proud to work with a great group of scholars and dedicated teachers,” Green said. “We are moving in the right direction.”

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