Endowment Provides Study Abroad Opportunities for Students
In addition to classroom training, Africana Studies offers study abroad opportunities for students. In May 2022, Amadou Sall, lecturer in Africana studies, will resume the study abroad program in Ghana.
The program takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of African traditions, cultures, religions, political economies, the impact of colonization, globalization, and the role of Africa in the contemporary world. Participants engage in service learning by working with local communities on issues related to poverty, social justice, race, and gender. Students also learn to speak basic African languages (Wolof and Fulani) and French. Students in any major with a 2.0 GPA or higher are eligible for the study abroad opportunity.
Funding for study abroad in the Africana studies department is provided by the Dr. Carolyn R. Hodges and Dr. Amadou B. Sall Travel Endowment. In honor of Professor Emerita Carolyn Hodges and Africana Studies Lecturer Amadou Sall, the fund was established in 2019 to support the program within the College of Arts and Sciences and provide student funds for travel so they have the opportunity to participate.
Hodges joined UT in 1982 as an assistant professor of German. Her 37-year-career at UT included several leadership positions. She rose from assistant to full professor and served as head of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures from 1999 to 2004. She was associate dean for faculty personnel and, in 2007, became the university’s first African American vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. She served in that position until 2016 when she rejoined the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences as a professor of German and chair of the Africana Studies program. She retired from UT in 2019, but left a legacy of leadership and in November 2019, was inducted into the UT African-American Hall of Fame, housed in the Frieson Black Cultural Center on campus. She has written a number of articles and books, including the most recent book, Truth Without Tears: African American Women Deans Share Lessons in Leadership (Harvard Education Press, 2018), which she co-authored with Olga M. Welch.
Sall has been part of the Volunteer community for more than 30 years and an advocate of internationalism and interculturalism on campus. As a lecturer of Africana Studies, Sall has been a leader in promoting diversity and multicultural understanding both within and outside the classroom. He regularly organizes events to broaden peoples’ understanding. Since the 1980s he has worked with the African Student Association on their annual production of Africa Week. He has been honored for his dedication with the University Citation for Excellence in Teaching, the Outstanding Adult Educator–East Tennessee College Alliance Award, and the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association’s Outstanding and Dedicated Service Award, to name a few.
Both Hodges and Sall received the Hardy Liston Jr. Symbol of Hope award, which goes to a faculty member, staff member, or friend of the university who demonstrates a commitment to diversity, multiculturalism, and appreciation of the differences in people and cultures on our campus. Liston – the first African American member of the UT Knoxville central administration – came to UT in 1970 as the assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of mechanical engineering. He retired in 1990 and passed away in 2021 at the age of 91. Sall received the award in 2014 and Hodges received the award in 2017. The award is presented by the UT Commission for Blacks each year during the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet.
Thanks to their generosity, UT students will have the opportunity to travel to Africa and experience the cultural richness of the area, as well as learn about issues impacting the local communities. If you are interested in supporting this opportunity for our students, please visit africana.utk.edu to donate to the endowment.