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Indiana woman tapped as director of African American Cultural Center

An Indiana woman was appointed new director of the Wilbur Nathan Daniel African American Cultural Center at Austin Peay State University.

Effective Aug. 16, Carol Lynnett Bennett replaced Beverly Sims, who had been serving as interim director for the past year.

Bennett is a Ph.D. candidate in the field of African diaspora within the history department of Indiana University, Bloomington, where she also earned a Master of Arts in Afro-American Studies in 2001. In 1997, she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in African Studies from Martin University, Indianapolis.

Since June 2005, she had been the administrator and project coordinator for the Indiana University Archives of African American Music and Culture, where she managed the day-to-day operations and provided administrative support for research and service activities.

From 2002-05, she was an academic support center site manager, overseeing one of three academic support tutoring centers at Indiana University. She was program adviser of Indiana University's Minority Achievers Program in 2000-02.

Bennett's research includes “The History of Historical Black Colleges and Universities,” “The Role of African American Museums in the Preservation and Presentation of African American Culture and History” and “The Presentation and Representation of Slavery and Emancipation: A Comparative Analysis of Caribbean Museums and United States Museums in the Mid-West.”

In May 2006, she was the moderator of the Paul Lucas Conference in History, Indiana University. She has made several scholarly presentations, including to the Association of Black Culture Centers 14th Annual Conference held in 2004 at Indiana University.

Among Bennett's awards, she was first-place recipient of the 2004 Martin Luther King Essay Award and Indiana University's College of Arts and Sciences Fellowship recipient for 2000-01 and 1999-2000. — Dennie B. Burke