The African and African American Studies program at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth quietly marked its 20th Anniversary with the appointment of associate professor of English, Mwalim (MJ Peters) as the new director.
Mwalim, a multi-award-winning performer, writer and artist, joined the faculty at UMass Dartmouth in 2003. He credits his experiences as a research assistant at the Afro American Studies Department at Boston University and his development as a protégée of the late James Spruill as the main influences on his interests in academia.
The local NAACP recognized his work last May by naming him “Educator of the Year.”
Under Mwalim, the objectives of the program are “to provide an academically rigorous, interdisciplinary exploration of the arts, humanities and social sciences from an Afrocentric perspective.”
Within the last month, Mwalim has successfully increased the number of students currently enrolled in the minor from three to almost 12. The program, which was co-founded in 1991 by the late Dr. Gloria Waite and Dr. John Rice, offers a minor in African and African American Studies to undergraduates.