The Centential Center for Leadership’s Welcome Back event will feature new Provost Titi Ufomata in an interview led by William Smith sophomore Aminata Dansoko on Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.
The Leadership Café series which began last year is designed to talk about leadership in an informal and comfortable atmosphere. “We are interested in bringing a wide range of perspectives, experiences and voices from the Hobart and William Smith community in order to feature a spectrum of leadership insight,” explains Associate Director of CCL Amy Forbes. “The Cafe provides a forum for these leaders to share their stories and also talk shop about leadership techniques, practices and the decisions that they have encountered during their careers. They are meant to be small gathering so that students, staff and faculty have an opportunity to learn from one another.”
CCL adopted the model for Leadership Café discussions in order to further focus on student leadership. This year each interview will be led by a student who has worked with CCL to prepare and develop their leadership skills prior to the event. Designed to be unrehearsed and uncensored, the Leadership Café is intended to teach the campus that leadership is not effortless or innate, but is, instead, a learning process worth examining.
As the former associate provost and interim director of graduate studies at Kentucky State University, Ufomata has an array and depth of knowledge to share with students. The author of a number of articles and a book, Ufomata’s scholarship has focused on the intersection of language, immigration, identity and gender with a special emphasis on Africa. Ufomata has twice been named a Faculty Fellow at Kentucky State, a meritorious appointment based on a faculty member’s record of teaching and work place excellence. In 2005, she received the Tom Joyner Hardest Working Faculty Award, and in 2006, her peers presented her with the Distinguished Professor Award recognizing her excellence in teaching and research. In 2010, Ufomata’s students acknowledged her dedication to teaching by making her an honorary charter member of the Nu Phi Chapter of the Alpha Sigma Lambda national honors society for non-traditional students. The State of Kentucky recognized her commitment to community engagement in 2010 by commissioning her a Kentucky Colonel for honorable contribution to the State.
Born in Nigeria where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English, Ufomata attended University College London where she earned a second master’s degree as well as a Ph.D. in phonetics.