Mobley to Assume Provost Post at Bennett College

Posted: June 26, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Marilyn Sanders Mobley, associate provost for educational programs, has announced she will leave Mason to become provost at Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. Her last day is July 16.

Marilyn Sanders Mobley, associate provost for educational programs, leaves Mason July 16 to become provost at Bennett College.
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A farewell reception will be held Monday, July 2, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Mason Hall Atrium. RSVP to Marcy Glover at 703-993-8722 to attend.

“This is a real loss-gain situation — a great opportunity for Dr. Mobley, a loss of a significant academic leader for us,” says Provost Peter Stearns. “It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Mobley and to benefit from her keen sense of educational and academic values. We wish her the best.”

Mobley, who was named associate provost for educational programs in 2003, is also associate professor of English and African American Studies, an interdisciplinary program she founded and directed for six years. She is also on the faculty of the Cultural Studies and Women’s Studies programs. She has been with Mason for 19 years.

“George Mason has been such a wonderful academic home that I thought I would stay here forever,” says Mobley. “I have loved my students and have had some of the best colleagues and friends anyone could want. I am especially grateful for the privilege of working with my colleagues in English and African American Studies, with Provost Peter Stearns and his staff, and for all of my fond Mason memories.

“I’m also very excited about the opportunity to join the leadership team at Bennett College for what promises to be an exciting new chapter of my life in the academy.”

As associate provost, Mobley chaired the General Education Committee, worked on the University Catalog and served on advisory boards for distance learning, global education, academic integrity and the Center for Teaching Excellence.

She also launched the “Dialogue on Democracy” series and George Mason’s participation in the Democracy Project, an initiative to incorporate civic engagement in curricular and cocurricular programs. Most recently, she designed GEMS (General Education Mason Seminars), a pilot to provide a seminar experience for first year students set to begin in spring 2008.

Mobley’s teaching career began nearly 35 years ago as a Barnard College sophomore when she taught in Columbia University’s adult education program. She earned her master’s degree in English from New York University and her PhD in English from Case Western Reserve University.

Her educational experience includes teaching at the high school, community college and college levels, and she was director of the Afro-American Cultural Center at Cleveland State University. After receiving her doctorate, she taught for one year at Howard University before joining Mason.

In the English Department at Mason, Mobley served on several committees, designed the first courses on writer Toni Morrison, black women writers, black autobiography and the role of the black church in black literature, and helped redesign other course offerings in the department.

She led three summer institutes at Mason for teachers, most recently through a $176,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant.

Under her leadership, numerous guest scholars and speakers visited Mason for such programs as the W.E.B. Du Bois lectureship, the African American Studies Scholar-in-Residence, the annual Martin Luther King celebration, Black History Month, and the annual Fall for the Book Festival.

Former president and current board member of the Toni Morrison Society, Mobley is the author of the book, “Folk Roots and Mythic Wings in Sarah Orne Jewett and Toni Morrison: The Cultural Function of Narrative.” In 1994, she organized and hosted at George Mason one of the first major national symposia on Morrison.

She is the author of numerous articles on African American literature, black women writers, and issues of race, gender and diversity in culture and the academy.

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