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Mugo honored with 2007 Distinguished Africanist Award
Mugo honored with 2007 Distinguished Africanist AwardApril 06, 2007Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Micere Githae Mugo, chair of the Department of African American Studies and Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence at Syracuse University, is the 2007 recipient of the Distinguished Africanist Award, presented by the New York African Studies Association (NYASA). The award will be presented to her at the upcoming NYASA annual conference, April 13-14, at the SUNY College at Plattsburgh.
Mugo joined the Department of African American Studies at SU in 1993. Though she is known at SU mainly as a professor, Mugo is also a renowned poet and playwright, as well as an influential creative intellectual in the African world.
Born in Kenya, she was forced to flee into exile in 1982 at the height of repression against political activists by the Moi dictatorship. She consequently became a Zimbabwean citizen and lived there from 1984-92 before moving to the United States.
A university professor for 34 years, Mugo has taught in Kenya, Zimbabwe and the United States. At SU, she teaches mainly orature, literature and creative writing. She is a member of the University Senate, the Faculty Council, the Humanities Council, the Faculty for Community Engagement Group, the SU Abroad A&S Committee, the Religion and Society Program Board and the Women’s Studies Program Board, and serves on many committees at the departmental and university levels.
As the past director of Graduate Studies in the Department of African American Studies, she was the driving force behind the effort to create a master’s degree program in Pan-African studies, a 30-credit program offering students a comprehensive understanding of the global African experience. She is also a past chair of the Africa Initiative, an effort to bring together scholars who have an interest in Africa.
Mugo’s publications include six books, one co-authored play, eight co-edited supplementary readers for Zimbabwean schools and an edited journal — Third World in Perspective. Mugo serves on the board of directors of many international organizations and several editorial boards. A committed community activist, she is a passionate advocate for human, women and children’s rights.
NYASA, founded in 1967, is a nonprofit membership association dedicated to advancing the discipline of Africana studies. NYASA encompasses Africanists who are faculty members at colleges and universities, researchers, professionals and students.