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Barnes named new director of APSU's African American Cultural Center

Officials at Austin Peay have announced the appointment of a new director of the W. N. Daniel African American Cultural Center.

Dr. Valerie A. Barnes comes to APSU from Gary, Ind., where she has been teaching liberal studies and communication courses for a community-based organization, while completing her doctoral degree in adult education at National-Louis University, Chicago.

She earned her master's degree from National-Louis University, also. Her Bachelor of Arts in English is from Calumet College of St. Joseph, Whiting, Ind.

After earning her baccalaureate degree, Barnes served during 1996-98 as an admissions counselor at Calumet College of St. Joseph. From 1998-2000, she was director of the Merrillville Campus, Calumet College of St. Joseph, where she was responsible for the administration and supervision of the entire campus.

During 2000-01, Barnes was employed with the Tree of Life Community Development Corp-Youthbuild/Americorps as a GED instructor, teaching reading, writing, social studies and literature. She also facilitated workshops in leadership development and assisted GED recipients with financial aid and admissions for higher education.

Barnes explored alternate ways of teaching during the time she was doing her doctoral studies. Her scholarly publications include a review of “Sistahs in College: Making a Way Out of No Way,” which was published in “Adult Learning Magazine” in Fall 2002.

Dr. James Diehr, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, says, “The University and the College of Arts and Letters have completed an extensive national search, and we feel confident we have found the best person to serve as director of the African American Cultural Center. Dr. Valerie Barnes is highly qualified and comes to us with considerable experience in higher education.

“Dr. Barnes will assume various duties supporting the University's educational mission as well as improving the retention of our students, so they achieve their goal of graduation.”

Barnes' appointment as director of the W.N. Daniel African American Center was effective Aug. 16, 2004.
—Dennie Burke