Linda Myers to conclude distinguished service at Community Extension Center, new leadership structure planned
After four years of distinguished service as director of Ohio State’s African American and African Studies Community Extension Center (CEC), Linda Myers will return to the faculty of the Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) at the end of April.
A professor in AAAS, Myers specializes in psychology and culture; moral and spiritual identity development; healing practices and psychotherapeutic processes; and intersections of race, gender and class. Among Myers’ myriad accomplishments as CEC director was implementing a new initiative that examined cultural enrichment and enhancement of individual and collective health and sustainable wellbeing — with a particular focus on the experiences of non-immigrant Africans.
The CEC catalyzes outreach and engagement opportunities for AAAS, the College of Arts and Sciences and Ohio State as a whole. Located on the Near East Side in a community whose residents are predominantly of African ancestry, the center is uniquely positioned as a part of Ohio State’s land-grant mission to fulfill the legal and moral obligations to educate and enhance the quality of life for Ohioans and to address the most pressing issues confronting the citizens of Ohio.
First opened in 1972 on Ohio Avenue, in 1985 the CEC moved to 905 Mount Vernon Ave. after the Ohio General Assembly allocated state capital improvement funds to build the current center. Over its 47-year history, the center has offered targeted programming for the Ohio State and greater Columbus community — including lectures, courses and scholarly conversations.
Moving forward, an enhanced leadership structure will be implemented that will continue to enable the center to fulfill its land-grant mission. Simone Drake, Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of African American and African Studies, will serve as director of the CEC, effective May 1.
Drake will continue to serve as AAAS department chair — bridging the department’s Columbus campus home with the Near East Side. The College of Arts and Sciences will hire a full-time program manager, reporting to the AAAS department chair, to manage the day-to-day operations and programming of the CEC.
Building on this new structure, the Ohio State Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences will collaborate to organize forums at the CEC where Columbus and Ohio State community members will be invited to help envision a bright future for the center, building on a nearly half-century legacy.