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Dr. DeBrenna LaFa Agbényiga Appointed to ADN Global Advisory Board


Kwabena Boateng


ATLANTA (March. 12, 2020)— African Diaspora Nation President Kwabena Boateng today announced the appointment of Dr. DeBrenna LaFa Agbényiga as ADN's new Global Advisory Board Chair for Curriculum Modernization and International Experience Design.  The appointment takes immediate effect.

In this new role, Dr. Agbényiga will oversee the ADN HBCU Africa Education Consortium's Global Center of Excellence for Study Abroad Design Innovation and Programming; a specific focus will also be the backward integration of the soft skills, hard skills and international experiential modules required to deliver the HBCU Africa Innovation City anchor project - in the Akwamu State of Ghana - into consortium member's curriculum. The desired outcome is that international experience becomes credit bearing.

Boateng notes that “Agbényiga is one of America’s most respected advocates for international education opportunity for the underrepresented demography in study abroad". Dr. DeBrenna LaFa Agbényiga previously served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bowie State University. As the chief academic officer, she was responsible for overseeing the academic and research enterprises of the university. She also worked to ensure the recruitment and retention of high-quality faculty, student, and staff, and promoted educational excellence. Dr. Agbényiga went to Bowie State from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) where she was Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School and professor of Social Work. At UTSA, she was noted for establishing a sustainable foundation to support academic excellence in graduate education. Prior to working at UTSA, Dr. Agbényiga was Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Inclusion in the College of Social Science at Michigan State University. In addition to providing significant administrative oversight for graduate programs, she was the founding director of the College’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Academic Affairs. An accomplished scholar, Dr. Agbényiga’s research spans organizational culture, international social and economic development, community development and sustainability, women’s rights, children’s rights, gender-based violence, cross-cultural learning and diversity. Dr. Agbényiga has spent numerous years working globally and more extensively in Western, Southern, and Eastern Africa as a researcher and consultant to numerous ministries, NGOs and universities. Dr. Agbényiga earned her doctoral degree in social work, MBA in strategic management and an MSW in Social Work-Urban Studies from Michigan State University. Her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Her research has been published in leading social work journals including the Journal of Social Work Education, Children and Youth Services Review, Administration in Social Work, and Advances in Social Work. She has co-edited two books and several book chapters published by leading press houses l i k e Springer, Council on Social Work Education, and Lexington Books..”

Agbenyiga says that while accepting a new volunteer assignment required thoughtful consideration, joining the team at African Diaspora Nation was an easy decision.  “My research work and practice in organizational culture, international social and economic development, community development and sustainability, women’s rights, children’s rights, gender-based violence, cross-cultural learning and diversity within NGOs, governments, academia and industry has prepared me well for the creativity and innovation required in my new role with ADN".

“I have long respected and admired Dr. Debrenna Agbényiga’s work,” says Boateng.  She is a die-hard advocate for our nation’s HBCUs and a stalwart champion for creating equity and access for young scholars and leaders.  Her personal and professional integrity are unimpeachable and, as important, her creativity and international experience has been responsible for elevating the the brands of the institutions she has served. I am excited to now have her expertise and perspective on our team at ADN.  She is a pivotal addition to ADN  and will play a key role in the impact we have resolved to make in the international education and human development space". 

African Diaspora Nation is an Atlanta based culturally responsible Pan Human Human Capital Development organization that has a priority focus on catalyzing human development in Africa and it's diaspora, and as such sees Historically Black Colleges and Universities(HBCUs) as priority partners of choice in delivering upon it's mandate.

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