Benyame Assefa | Correspondent

Photo courtesy of Facebook

With the start of 2016, the concept of ‘new’ is lingering close-by. For the new Assistant Director at the African American Cultural Center (AACC), Dawn Morgan, the ‘new’ 2016 involves more than just a few resolutions; it means a new office.

Q: So tell us about yourself.

A: I am from Rochester, NY where I graduated from Nazareth College with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Multicultural Studies in 2005. I continued working full-time and attended Buffalo State College part-time, eventually earning an M.S. in Student Personnel Administration in 2010. In 2011, I moved to North Carolina as a newlywed, and worked at Elon University as an Assistant Director in housing. In 2013, I accepted a position at NC State in the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service (CSLEPS).

Q: What were your roles as as coordinator at CSLEPS?

A: As Coordinator of CSLEPS, I was responsible for developing and executing a number of programs, mostly related to leadership development. Some signature programs I was responsible for included Leadership In Action (until its final graduation in 2014), LeaderShape, Service NC State Meal Packaging Event and advising Campus Pals. Another exciting opportunity and one that I am particularly proud of was chairing the Student Leader Training Committee. Last year, we hosted the first Leaders Under Construction themed conference for these students and will continue with that initiative this year…(look out for this opportunity on April 16th!).

Q: What are some of your new roles?

A: My new role is a balance of programmatic and administrative responsibilities. I will be coordinating artists and their work for the African American Cultural Center’s Gallery and co-advising the AYA ambassadors. I am also focused on establishing new initiatives and enhancing current programs centered around leadership development for students associated with the center, promoting undergraduate and graduate level research as well as connecting with faculty to extend learning opportunities beyond the classroom, for those wanting to learn more about African American people and cultures represented in the diaspora.

Q: What are some things you are excited about?

A: I am thrilled to be working with students and a professional team that are connected to, engaged in and have the desire to enhance learning and awareness around something I am so passionate about: black culture and experiences. That excitement is then amplified by the fact that it is the AACC’s 25th anniversary. This is the perfect time to think about what the AACC means to us as members of the NC State and surrounding community and consider giving back to ensure we can continue being of service to future generations. Thankfully, through the support and guidance from Dr. Graham and Mama Thorpe, my first program will be a gallery opening on February 2nd at 6pm. The exhibit is entitled “The Soul of Philanthropy” and will focus on a rich history of ‘giving back’ in the black community. We hope many of our students and campus colleagues will join us to celebrate and participate in the African American Cultural Center’s 25th year in this way.

Q: Lastly, any idea what the sex of the baby is?

A: HAHA! I am so delighted that our campus friends and family are so excited about our Little Peanut. My partner, Garry Morgan (who also works on campus, in OIED) and I are waiting until birth to find out the baby’s sex. In the meantime, prayers, positive thoughts and hugs are welcomed as we eagerly await their arrival in April.
Congrats to Ms. Morgan in her new position, and her upcoming role as a mother.