Alumni Testimonials

"Obtaining my MA degree from AADS has more than paid off for me. I am now the Executive Director of Collaborising, a newly formed non-profit dedicated to the exploration of humanity through social and cultural exchange. My initial interest in the African Diaspora began when I first traveled to Senegal in 2007 and with subsequent visits to Haiti and Jamaica. I could not explain my strong desire to visit the Motherland or to Black spaces until I enrolled in the certificate program in 2013. AADS gave me the chance to delve into the Diaspora and develop critical thinking skills which helped me create the vision for Collaborising. Notwithstanding, I have maintained professional relationships with my former colleagues that have led to mutual collaborations. I highly recommend the MA degree in AADS. You won't be disappointed!"

Lea Murray, President and Founder, Collaborising Inc.

MA in AADS, Class of 2016

"In July 2018, I completed the African and African Diaspora M.A. Program at Florida International University. Pursuing this degree deepened my appreciation for interdisciplinary perspectives on the Black experience and broadened the scope of my research interests. A.A.D.S. incorporates an interdisciplinary approach, as well as highlights transnational relationships throughout the Black Atlantic; it offers the ideal environment that enabled me to advance my research on Black women in Africa and the African diaspora. A.A.D.S also afforded me professional experience through its Teaching Assistantship Program. Moreover, working with a diverse faculty who specialize in the Black experience in the United States, Africa, and Latin America prepared me to embark on a doctoral degree in Atlantic History."

Darlene Westleigh, PhD Student in History, FIU

MA in AADS, Class of 2017

"My name is Cliff ‘Ubba’ Kodero and I am 31 years old Ph.D. candidate in international relations. I hail from Migori, which is a town in western Kenya at the border with Tanzania. I hold a BA in political science from Principia College, Illinois, an MA in international studies from the University of Wyoming, another MA in African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) from FIU.
As a Ph.D. candidate, I research the non-economic rationales of African regional economic communities for small-economies in the continent. I am married to Alice Kodero, and together we have a two-year-old daughter, Sabina. My career goals include working in East Africa in academia as a university professor and a development practitioner. I also intend to publish a book on African politics as well as prepare students for graduate school in the U.S.
In the year 2016, I was admitted to Africa and African Diaspora Studies Program at Florida International University for a master’s degree program with full tuition paid and a teaching assistantship program. I was also admitted for the Ph.D. program in International Relations at FIU, but my funding was based on my admission at AADS. I was hesitant at first at this preposition for a hold another master’s degree. However, I thought about the importance of the program- the possibility of focusing only on African American and African studies. As an African, this appealed to me. I am glad I made this choice as the AADS thoroughly prepared me for the Ph.D. section of my program. I went through rigorous training on the theory and how to apply it, particularly when studying Africa. I also studied the history of the condition of blackness in non-American places such as Brazil and Cuba.
Additionally, I was able to be a TA in classes which grounded my understanding of Africa and Afro-descended people. Most importantly, the AADS program assisted me with writing a research proposal which I have used base material for my dissertation. In addition to the academic training, the funding, and socialization in academia, the AADS program gave me some life-long friendships and relationships that I cherish.
I would encourage future students to consider the AADS program even as they prepare for PhD level at FIU. "

Cliff "Ubba" Kodero, PhD student in Politics and International Relations, FIU

MA in AADS, Class of 2018