Faculty Focus Friday is a Q&A series that highlights individual faculty members in various academic programs around Spalding University. Today’s featured faculty member is Dr. Deonte Hollowell, Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies within the School of Liberal Studies. Dr. Hollowell, who received his PhD in African American Studies from Temple University and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Pan African Studies from the University of Louisville, was instrumental in the creation of a minor in African American Studies at Spalding two years ago, and he is a co-faculty advisor for Spalding’s Black Student Alliance. This past week, he helped organize Spalding’s second annual Elmer Lucille Allen Conference on African American Studies. Hollowell is also on the Board of Directors for 2Not1, an organization that supports fathers and families, as well as The West Louisville Math and Science Project. He works with the Pivot to Peace group, extending resources to victims of violence. Dr. Hollowell also serves as the Lead facilitator for the Rites of Passage Brotherhood, which introduces young boys to conflict resolution tactics and traditional African method of being.
What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?
I like the fact that at Spalding, we understand that we are still growing and constantly working to better ourselves for the sake of our students.
What is your academic specialty, areas of expertise or research?
My current area of research is in the relationship between African American communities and police. I also have an interest in the study of the African American experience, post-Great Migrations (early 1900s).
Why is the School of Liberal Studies a good option for new students to consider as their major?
Students who come through the School of Liberal Studies are able to choose a major, minor and/or concentration. This gives students an opportunity to explore various options and also engineer their own academic experience. Our students are able to utilize disciplines such as African American Studies, Anthropology, English, Fine Arts, History and Religious Studies to not only develop a greater understanding of the world, but to facilitate change where it’s needed.
What is an interesting thing that you keep in your office?
The brief backstory is that when Dr. Merle Bachman retired, I asked to move into her office in the Liberal Studies department in the Mansion Complex because it was larger than the one I was in and she also had one of those standing desks. (I thought the desk might be included if I got the office.) I got the office – without the desk. But I love it. I keep a space heater in there year-round because I am very cold-natured. I also have a mini-fridge, lots of snacks and a library that will soon be available for students to check out books.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most fulfillment that I get from being a professor at Spalding is the opportunity to work with individuals (students, faculty and staff) who value the work that I do in African American Studies and are willing to help advance it.
At Spalding, we like to say, “Today is a great day to change the world.” How do you think your role at Spalding is helping you change the world or the world of your students?
My role as Co-Faculty Advisor for the Black Student Alliance is my way of paying it forward, or giving back, so to speak. Also, being in the School of Liberal Studies is great because the Department values community service.
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