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Maimouna Barro received her M.A. in African Studies in 1997 and her PhD in Education with a minor in Gender Relations in International Development (GRID) in 2005, both from the University of Illinois. She is the Interim Director at the Center for African Studies and has been instrumental in expanding the Center’s academic programs. Maimouna helped establish a joint degree with the School of Information Sciences as well as the graduate minor in African Studies. She has received several awards, including the Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence Award in 2010.