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ATLANTA (Sept. 26, 2011) Spelman College has named Dimeji Togunde, Ph.D., dean of the Gordon-Zeto Center for Global Education. The center has been launched under the auspices of the Gordon-Zeto Endowed Fund for International Initiatives, which is supported by a $17 million anonymous gift received in 2008. The center will serve as the hub for Spelman’s international programs aligned with curriculum development, international student recruitment, and study-travel abroad.
Togunde comes to Spelman from Albion College where he held the John S. Ludington Endowed Chair in the social sciences as professor of sociology, and served as chair of the department of anthropology and sociology and director of ethnic studies.
“As a distinguished teacher/scholar and strong advocate for campus internationalization, Dr. Togunde understands the need to widen Spelman students’ socioeconomic, political, and cultural horizons if they are to function effectively as global citizens,” said Johnnella E. Butler, Ed.D., provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Dr. Togunde brings to Spelman College a wealth of experience in curriculum planning, program development and review, assessment, and strategic planning in international/global and domestic diversity initiatives.”
The Gordon-Zeto Center for Global Education reaffirms the College’s commitment to offer students engagement with global cultures and to prepare them for leadership roles in an increasingly complex and interdependent global society. Led by Togunde, the center will focus on increasing the number of African students who study and graduate from Spelman, support study abroad opportunities for Spelman students and faculty, and provide senior leadership for the College’s international education programs.
“In order to achieve global competency that students need to succeed as future professionals and global leaders, the center will function as an institutional focal point to cohere, enhance, and lead the College’s global strategic initiatives embodied in the Spelman College Strategic Plan for 2015: Strengthening the Core, and the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan, which is designed to improve student learning through global study-travel experiences,” Togunde said.
“The Gordon-Zeto Center is poised to translate the College’s global initiatives into action,” added Togunde. “Spelman College has positioned itself as a forward-thinking institution; embedded with comprehensive and integrated approaches to global learning by utilizing the Gordon-Zeto Center as a catalyst for forging fruitful international collaborations and synergistic relationships that encourage greater awareness of and involvement with the realities of globalization.”
In addition to his role as dean, Togunde will also serve as a professor in the International Studies Program. His academic work intersects the areas of African development, family demography, immigration, and Africans in the U.S. Diaspora. He received his doctorate in development sociology from Cornell University and earned bachelor and master’s degrees from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria.
About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer; JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis; former acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley; Harvard College Dean Evelyn Hammonds; author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.