Faculty and Staff

The institute is comprised of U.S.-based university professors, language instructors, and staff with extensive experience and research in Africa and Europe. The faculty’s diverse specialties include African history, philosophy, literature, French and Wolof languages, religion, postcolonial studies, gender studies, and education. The faculty members utilize innovative teaching techniques, which include a theoretical and a practical component in each course, guided research, and cultural exchange between U.S. and Senegalese students.

Diana Baird N’Diaye

Diana Baird N’Diaye is a Cultural Heritage Specialist and Curator at the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. She developed and leads The Will to Adorn: African American Dress and the Aesthetics of Identity, a pan-institutional, multi-sited research project that was a featured program of the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Her training in anthropology, folklore, and visual studies and her experience as an anthropologist and studio craft artist support over thirty years of fieldwork, exhibitions, programs, and publications focusing on expressive culture and community based cultural industries in Africa, the Caribbean, and their diasporas in the United States, children’s play and performance, and dress traditions and fashion in Oman, Mali, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Japan. She is a research associate at Michigan State University Museum and University of Iowa’s first Interdisciplinary-Writer-In-Residence. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology and visual studies from The Union Institute. She is currently is co-editor of a volume of essays entitled, Curatorial Conversations on curators’ perspectives on the Smithsonian Folklife Festival for University of Mississippi Press. Dr. N’Diaye’s forthcoming book on the Will to Adorn is scheduled to be part of the Mellon Foundation sponsored series, Folklore Studies in a Multicultural World.

Kọ́lá Abímbọ́lá

Kọ́lá Abímbọ́lá is a Babaláwo (Ifá Priest) and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Howard University, Washington, DC, United States. His teaching and research focuses on the intersections of Òrìṣà culture with law and philosophy. He has taught at Seattle University, Haverford College, Temple University, and at the University of Leicester School of Law. He is author of: Ifá Encyclopedia (2016); and, Yorùbá Culture: A Philosophical Account (2006). Kọ́lá is the Editor of Journal of Forensic Research and Criminology. He was President of the International Society for African Philosophy and Studies (2006—2010), and a British Council Commonwealth Academic Scholar (1989—1992).

Barrel Gueye Abeidi

Barrel Gueye Abeidi has received her Doctoral Degree from SUNY Binghamton. As an Assistant Professor in Education at East Stroudsburg University and at D’Youville College, she taught courses on foundations of Education, psychology of education, qualitative research, multicultural and diversity education, etc. Dr. Gueye is a passionate of diversity, global awareness, social justice and women’s empowerment. She participated in various projects on gender and education in Sub-Saharan Africa and contributed to projects on girls’ perspective on education and on Women’s literacy in Senegal. She was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship by the Forum of African Women Educationalists in 2010 in Kenya. Dr. Gueye managed study abroad programs in Senegal as Assistant Director and at SUNY Binghamton as Director of Study Abroad for many years. Dr. Gueye is currently an Assiatant Professor at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal at the Faculté des Sciences et Technologies de l’ Education et de la Formation (FASTEF).

Monika Brodnicka

Monika Brodnicka is an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University in the African American and African Studies Department. She specializes in West African Religious Traditions and Literature as well as Sufism and Islamic Brotherhoods in West Africa. Dr. Brodnicka has received her PhD in Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture from SUNY Binghamton. She studied abroad in Senegal for two years, receiving a D.E.A. (Postmaster’s degree) from Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar in African Philosophy and Islam. She was awarded two Fulbright scholarships to study African tradition and religion in Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

Pape Ndiouga Ndiaye

Pape Ndiouga Ndiaye has a D.E.A. (Postmasters degree) in Sociology and two Masters degrees in Communication and Philosophy from the University of Provence, Aix-Marseille I.  He is currently a freelance international communication consultant. M. Ndiaye is frequently sought after by African leaders on issues pertaining to political strategy and public communication.  As a Senior Consultant for Foreign Relations, he was previously the director of the Office of External Affairs at the Institut Professionnel d’Art et d’Administration of Aix-En-Provence, France.

Oumar Sarr

Oumar Sarr is a Doctoral candidate at Pace University Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. He has a Bachelor in International Studies from Mary Mount Manhattan College and a Masters of Science in Teaching French from Pace University School of Education. Mr. Sarr is a Technology Specialist with an interest in researching the impact of professional development in teachers’ technology integration in classroom instruction for primary education in West Africa. Mr. Sarr is currently teaching French at Ossining Union Free School District in New York.

Ibra Sene

Ibra Sene is Associate Professor of History and Global & International Studies at The College of Wooster. His research is on the history of penal institutions and the history of education. Dr. Sene has published book chapters and articles in academic journals and his current book project is titled “Discipline and Punishment in French Colonial Senegal: A History of the Prison System as an Institution of Colonization, ca.1830- ca.1960.” He teaches courses on Africa, its Diasporas, the African youth, colonialism and imperialism, and Islam. Dr. Sene is on the Editorial Board of the journal Phare. He also served on the Board of Directors of the West African Research Association (WARA), from 2010 to 2016. He coordinated the Michigan State University-Université Cheikh Anta Diop partnership from 2002 to 2008, and played an active role in the setting of the Michigan State University Francophone Studies Program in Senegal. Before that, he was Assistant to the Director of the Kalamazoo College Study Abroad Program in Senegal for three years.

Cheikh Thiam

Cheikh Thiam is an Associate Professor of African American and African Studies and French at The Ohio State University. He is the author of Return to the Kingdom of Childhood: Re-envisioning the Legacy and Philosophical Relevance of Negritude, Ohio State University Press, 2014.  Dr. Thiam has published numerous articles in major journals in African And French Studies. Dr. Thiam’s teaching and research areas include Francophone literature and philosophy, race theory, colonialism and post-colonialism. He is an associate editor for Research in African Literatures and has set up and directed study abroad programs in Senegal for The Ohio State University and Linfield College.