Linda Strong-Leek was appointed the first Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at Berea College on July 1, 2015. In this role, she works closely with the President and Dean of the Faculty, as well as all other Vice Presidents at Berea College, as they consider how to make Berea College more inclusive and welcoming for all members of the community.
Since 2019, Dr. Strong-Leek has served as the Provost. In this capacity, she works with the directors of the Carter G. Woodson Center for Interracial Education, Black Cultural Center, Center for Teaching and Learning, Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Francis and Louise Hutchins Center for International Education, Center for Excellence in Learning through Service, and the Child Development Laboratory.
Before joining the Berea College Women’s and Gender Studies faculty in 2002, Dr. Strong-Leek taught at Miami’s Florida International University. Dr. Strong-Leek graduated from North Carolina Central University with a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English and Educational Administration (1988 and 1990, respectively). She received her Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University in 1994. She is a Fulbright Scholar who spent a year teaching at the University of Zimbabwe, Harare.
Dr. Strong-Leek has published articles on major African writers, including Chinua Achebe, Flora Nwapa, and Ngugi wa Thiongo. Her book, Excising the Spirit: A Literary Analysis of Female Circumcision (2009, Africa World Press), focuses on the work of Alice Walker, Fauziya Kassindja, Flora Nwapa, and others who have explored, through a literary lens, the very complex and multi-dimensional issues related to “female circumcision (or female genital mutilation).” Dr. Strong-Leek has traveled abroad extensively and enjoys traveling with students, and has, in conjunction with other Berea College faculty and staff, traveled with students to Ghana and Jamaica.
Scope and Contents: Records, primarily email communications to faculty, staff, and the Berea College community, of the Berea College Provost (2019-2020) and Vice-President for Diversity and Inclusion (2015-2020).