The Director's Welcome

Welcome ot the Pan African Studies certificate webpage.  We are so glad you decided to explore our program.

Program History

Following the 1960's Civil Rights movement, the Black studies movement swept across many white college campuses.  This movement centered around Afro-centric students desiring academic to acknowledge and embrace the relevant historical and social struggles of African people by creating a sound and fluid curriculum.  Many college campuses responded to this movement by creating Back studies programs.  In 1973, The University of Akron instituted the Afro American Studies program.  As the face of Black social movement changed, so did the need for the University to remain current with its mission to focus on Black studies.  In 1996, the program refocused its mission and curriculum to teach a collective history and culture of the African Diaspora.  As a result, the program name changed to Pan African Studies.  


Create an environment of common knowledge:

  • Engage students in a historical knowledge quest of Afro-centric philosophy and worldview; providing knowledge, analytical tools to understand this perspective.

Create open dialogue:

  • Expand student vocabulary to engage in meaningful dialogue around historical facts, current issues, and future problems and solutions that plague the African and African American community.

Create history makers:

  • Employ the skills and interest that students have across disciplines to assist students in seeing "history is alive and usable" through them. They can be history makers by mastering historical facts to understand current issues, and predict future problems and project solutions.  These things can bring about social justice, equality, and communal sustainability.


Pan African studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding Afro-centric philosphy and worldviews.  This approach encompasses analyzing African and African-American history from a social, psychological and cultural context, and it is meant to provide students with a framework to compare and contrast the experiences of African and African American people past, present, and future.

Sheldon B. Wrice, Ed.D.
Director, Pan African Studies
Associate Dean, Multi-Disciplinary Studies & Diversity, Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences
Professor, Technical Writing & Composition

Ed.D., The University of Akron
M.L.S., Atlanta University
M.A., M.S., The University of Akron
B.A., South Carolina State College