National Institute on Aging

Four African American Scholars Taking on New Duties at Major Universities

Rachel L. Swarns, a correspondent for The New York Times, will join the faculty of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University at the rank of associate professor. She will begin teaching in the fall of 2018.

Swarms is the author of American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama (Amistad Press, 2012). She is a summa cum laude graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in Spanish. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Kent in England.

Jennifer Hamer, a professor of American studies at the University of Kansas, was named vice provost for diversity and equity at the university. She joined the faculty at the university in 2012. She is the author of  Abandoned in the Heartland:  Work, Family, and Living in East St. Louis (University of California Press, 2011).

Dr. Hamer is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio. She earned a master’s degree at Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Texas.

Autumn Womack was hired as an assistant professor of African American studies and an assistant professor of English at Princeton University. Since 2013, she has been an assistant professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Womack is a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York City.

Ibram X. Kendi is joining the faculty at American University in Washington, D.C. He will hold a joint appointment in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of International Service. Dr. Kendi was also named the founding director of the Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center at the university. He has been serving an assistant professor of African American history at the University of Florida.

Dr. Kendi won the National Book Award in the nonfiction category for his book Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Nation Books, 2016). Dr. Kendi is a graduate of Florida A&M University, where he majored in journalism and African American studies. He earned a Ph.D. in African American studies at Temple University in Philadelphia.


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