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Faculty & Staff

Below you will find a listing of the faculty and staff for the Africana Studies Program. If you are unsure of who to contact with your questions, please call the main program office at 509.359.2205.

  • Scott Finnie, PhD
    Scott Finnie, PhD
    Director of Africana Studies and Race and Culture Studies, Africana Studies Professor
    204B Monroe Hall
    Phone: 509.359.6152
    Fax: 509.359.2820

    Dr. Scott Finnie, raised in the Bay Area, came to Spokane in 1975 on a basketball scholarship at Gonzaga University. He earned a B.A. in English and a Minor in Criminal Justice in 1979, a Master's degree in American History from Eastern Washington University in 1992, and a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University in 2000. His dissertation was entitled "The Impact of the Removal of Affirmative Action Upon the Freshmen Class at the University of Washington - Implications of a Ten Year Quantitative Study."

    Dr. Finnie has been a faculty member of EWU's Africana Education Program and History Department since 1992. As a recipient of over 20 awards for excellence in teaching, leadership, civil rights and mentoring - Dr. Finnie has made over 40 presentations in the past ten years at Oxford-England, Mexico City, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle as well as the Inland Northwest on such themes as civil rights, affirmative action, servant leadership, diversity and cross-cultural communication, the American criminal justice system and faculty hiring in higher education.

    He has published a dozen articles in The National Social Science Journal, The Inland Northwest Health Services Training Manual, Investigating Diversity: Race, Ethnicity and Beyond, The Oxford Round Table Journal, The Journal of Intercultural Disciplines, Ethnic Studies Review, The Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly and The International Journal of Servant Leadership.

    Office Hours

    Monday-Thursday

    3:00 pm-4:00 pm

  • Okera Nsombi, PhD
    Okera Nsombi, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    204C Monroe Hall
    Phone: 509.359.6151
    Fax: 509.359.2820

    Dr. Nsombi grew up right outside of Columbia, SC, which is near Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Charlotte, NC. He earned his Ph. D. in April, 2013 and Master's in December, 2000, both from the University of Cincinnati; and Bachelor's degree in May 1994.

    Since January of 2000, Dr. Nsombi has taught Education, History, and African American Studies courses at the University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, University of South Carolina, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, and now at Eastern Washington University.   

    To date, Dr. Nsombi has lectured and conducted workshops 76 times for student, community, and civic organizations about topics ranging from Black males, Black Male/Female relationships, Black religion, Race, and the Propaganda of Black History Month; and he has also presented 15 times at professional conferences from Canada to Texas to New Orleans to Oregon.  

    Throughout his life as a student and professor, he has been the president and faculty advisor for student organizations aimed at addressing issues in the Black community. He loves bass fishing, watching science fiction movies, working out, drawing, laughing, talking with good family and friends, and of course, EATING!

    Office Hours

    Monday & Wednesday 12:00 pm-4:00 pm

    Tuesday & Thursday 12:00 pm-1:00 pm

    Friday by appointment

  • Professor Angela Schwendiman, MA
    Professor Angela Schwendiman, MA
    Senior Lecturer
    216 Monroe Hall
    Phone: 509.359.7372
    Fax: 509.359.2820

    A film enthusiast, Professor Schwendiman attended UC Santa Barbara and completed her first two degrees in Film Studies. She later worked for four years at a local NBC affiliate in Spokane before returning to school at Eastern Washington University to complete her post baccalaureate in Electronic Media and Film. During her studies as a graduate student, she discovered her interest and developed a love for African American Cinema, the Black Film Historiography, as well as Third World Cinema and the expression of the Empowerment Theory film. Her Master's Thesis focused on "Resolving the Problem of the 'Twoness' and the Struggle for Identity in Independent African American Films.

    Professor Schwendiman began her career as an adjunct faculty for the Spokane Community Colleges teaching Film Communications. She subsequently joined Eastern Washington University as a producer and host at KEWU for the radio program while also working as an adjunct professor in Africana Studies teaching African American Cinema. Professor Schwendimn joined Eastern Washington University as a full time faculty member in 2009 and holds the position of senior lecturer in Africana Studies. Currently, she teaches course in Introduction to African Culture, African American Family, African American Cinema, Black Aesthetics, and various Independent study courses. She continues to research and present lectures on topics concerning the formation, defining, and redefining of blackness, culture, identity, and gender in film. She has been happily married to Bryce Schwendiman for nearly 25 years and is the mother of nine wonderful children.

    Office Hours

    Monday-Friday

    10:00 am-10:50 am, or by appointment

  • Gloria (Jeanne) Baynes, PhD
    Gloria (Jeanne) Baynes, PhD
    Quarterly Faculty
    204E Monroe Hall
    Phone: 509.359.6412
    Fax: 509.359.2820

    Dr. Baynes grew up southwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has lived in the Spokane area for more than 30 years. She earned her Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction in 2001 from Washington State University, Master's in 1975 from Atlanta University and a Bachelor's degree in 1973 from Youngstown State University. Prior to relocating to the Spokane area, she taught in the Howard County School District and part time at the University of the District of Columbia. Dr. Baynes worked for Spokane Public Schools and retired in 2013.

    Since March 2014, she has been a Quarterly Professor in the Africana Studies Department. Dr. Baynes has taught 430-African American Women's History, 220-African American History Post Civil War to Present, 214-African American Culture and Expressions, 301-Harlem Renaissance and 381-African American Literature.

    Currently, Dr. Baynes has lectured and conducted workshops for students, Spokane community and civic organizations about topics in Literacy, Leadership Skills for African American youth, and Reducing the Barriers to School to Prison Pipeline. Dr. Baynes recently won the NAACP's Community Leadership Award for her active involvement in the African American community.

    "Teaching in Africana Studies Department" has been an enlightened and enjoyable life changing experience. The students and my colleagues are invaluable pieces of this wonderful family puzzle. I continue to read and research about the African American culture and history.

    Dr. Baynes has two adult children, Brittany Black and Samuel W. Baynes, III, and one granddaughter, seven year old Brielle. During her leisure time, she enjoys spending quality time with family, reading, traveling, listening to jazz, dancing and writing.

    Office Hours

    Monday-Thursday

    1:00 pm-2:30 pm

    Or by appointment

  • Tade Ayeni, EdD
    Tade Ayeni, EdD
    Quarterly Faculty
    202 Monroe Hall
    Phone: 509.359.6150
    Fax: 509.359.2820

    Dr. Tadé Dami Ayeni was born in Nigeria, West Africa and raised primarily in New Jersey, USA. He attended Rutgers University where he was first introduced to the study of Africa and the African diaspora.  As an undergraduate student, he originally intended to major in English Literature and ended up 'accidentally' double-majoring in Africana Studies. When he discovered that there was a field dedicated to studying African culture and people of African descent, he took so many courses in the discipline that his academic advisors discovered he only needed a few more courses in Africana Studies to earn a major in that field as well. This began an increasingly developing interest in learning about domestic and global cultures and societies. From there, he completed a Master's degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership at Saint Joseph's University. He currently works as an Academic Advisor in the Center for Academic Advising and Retention and as a Quarterly Faculty member in the Africana Studies Program. His educational philosophy centers around moving away from merely teaching students to memorize facts, and helping them to enter a more genuine learning process by focusing on equipping them with the investigative tools and skills to become lifelong researchers; essentially, teaching students how to (genuinely) learn instead of what to learn.  

    Office Hours

    Wednesday
    5:00 pm-5:30 pm

    or by appointment

  • George Duvall
    George Duvall
    Program Coordinator
    204D Monroe Hall
    Phone: 509.359.6286
    Fax: 509.359.2820

    George is originally from Lexington, Kentucky. He holds a BA in Public Relations and plans to pursue his Masters in Communication Leadership. George is also a Nationally Recognized Motivational Speaker and Author. In his spare time he likes to exercise, fish and mentor students.

  • Ry-Yon Nixon, MBA
    Ry-Yon Nixon, MBA
    Secretary/BSU Advisor
    204A Monroe Hall
    Phone: 509.359.2205
    Fax: 509.359.2820

    Originally from Atlanta, GA, Ry-Yon has lived all over the United States. While in Raleigh, NC, she received her BA in Political Science in 2003 from Meredith College, and her MBA from City University of Seattle in 2016. She is passionate about politics, serving her community, and spending time with her husband and two cats.

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