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Announcement of New Intercultural Center Director

May 5, 2014

Dear Members of the Swarthmore Community,

It is with great pleasure that I share the news with you that Amer F. Ahmed, currently associate director of the Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) and Trotter Multicultural Center at the University of Michigan, will be joining Swarthmore as our new dean of the sophomore class and director of the Intercultural Center, beginning July 2, 2014.

Amer brings a wealth of experience and knowledge related to student development and support in the context of cultural centers. While at the University of Michigan, he was instrumental in developing the current model of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, created the now annual Hip Hop Summit, improved and expanded their peer mentoring programs such as Supporting Incoming Black Students, was an active member of the MLK symposium planning committee, initiated a partnership to bring more international students into the Trotter Intercultural Center, and served as the primary advisor to the South Asian student organization. He has established a national network and reputation for his work related to intercultural communication, Islamophobia, and hip-hop. Amer is known for his warmth, his enthusiasm, and his calm grounding presence. He is universally described as someone deeply committed to student learning and growth, building inclusive environments, and building collaborative partnerships with students, faculty, and staff.

"I am very excited to have Amer join us at Swarthmore. He is very personable and understands what's necessary to develop our community," said Uriel Espino '16 and a member of the search committee. "I believe Amer will successfully navigate through this joint role position as director of the Intercultural Center and sophomore class dean and advance the IC's goals of creating coalition and increasing our presence throughout campus. It is very clear his values align with that of the Intercultural Center, including his emphasis on student mentorship."

Amer has served as the Associate Director of MESA and Trotter Multicultural Center at the University of Michigan since 2007. In his position as associate director, he provides support for diversity programming initiatives, student advising, supervises professional staff within the MESA office, manages the budget, and develops assessment and long range strategic planning for MESA.

Amer has also served as an associate faculty member for the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication since 2010 and has worked as an intercultural diversity consultant for a range of colleges and universities since 2005. He served as the director of Intercultural Affairs at Concordia College (2005-2007); the director of Intercultural Programs at Loras College (2003-2005); and was an associate instructor in Afro-American Studies at Indiana University. He is also the Board of Directors Co-Chair for the Hip Hop Congress.

Amer received his B.A. in anthropology and Black World Studies from Miami University; his M.A. in Afro-American and African Diaspora studies, anthropology from Indiana University; and is currently pursuing his Ed.D. in adult and higher education from the University of South Dakota, where his dissertation focuses on the oral tradition as a critical liberatory praxis in Islamic Black America.

Says Amer: "I am truly humbled by the opportunity to join this unique and vibrant community that balances academic excellence with holistic development grounded in a commitment to social responsibility. I look forward to engaging faculty, staff, and students in order to learn as much as possible from the Swarthmore community and discover how my background and experiences can best benefit this fine institution of higher learning."

I would also like to thank the members of our search committee for their diligent and thoughtful work: Lili Rodriguez, associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and community development, co-chair; Karlene Burrell-McRae, dean of the junior class and director of the Black Cultural Center; Joyce Tompkins, religious and spiritual life advisor; Brian Johnson, visiting assistant professor of Russian; Pallabi Chakravorty, associate professor of dance; Sanaa Ali-Virani '15; Uriel Espino '16; and Shelly Wen '14.


Liz Braun 
Dean of Students