Special Section Introduction: HBCUs Reimagine Study Abroad - Inclusive and Transformative


  • Asabe W. Poloma Brown University
  • Dafina Blacksher Diabate University of Delaware
  • Andre P. Stevenson Elizabeth City State University






The purpose of this special section can be summarized in three aims. One is to foreground the emergent and effective pedagogical practices from HBCUs by presenting the work of leading scholar-practitioners who are reimagining what it means to study abroad, both beyond borders and after the global pandemic experience. The second aim is to exemplify the collaborative and cross-institutional efforts of HBCUs. The third and final aim is to draw on the many lessons and highlight the strategies study abroad programs at HBCUs developed as they reimagined justice-oriented education in the context of their global education programming and priorities. By unmasking the important and critical contributions of HBCUs, we hope to learn from the transformation underway in study abroad offices across the country, while also recognizing the historical context of study abroad at HBCUs and foregrounding the effects of the pandemic on contemporary and future study abroad programs and models at these important institutions.


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Author Biographies

Asabe W. Poloma, Brown University

Asabe W. Poloma is associate provost for global engagement at Brown University where she oversees the Office of Global Engagement and leads, coordinates, and supports Brown’s international strategy both on campus and around the world. Asabe directs Brown’s Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program. She is a proud alumna of Hampton University where she completed her undergraduate degrees; she holds master’ degrees and a PhD, respectively, from Columbia University, Old Dominion University, and University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Dafina Blacksher Diabate, University of Delaware

Dafina Blacksher Diabate is Program Director for the Women’s Leadership Initiative at the University of Delaware, where she administers programs to advance gender equity. She previously served as the Director of International Programs at Lincoln University, where she provided leadership for international programs, partnerships, and strategy at one of the nation’s oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). She earned her degrees from University of Michigan (bachelor’s), Cornell University (master’s), and University of Pennsylvania (doctorate).

Andre P. Stevenson, Elizabeth City State University

Andre P. Stevenson is Professor of Social Work and Director of the Office of International Programs at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). He primarily teaches courses in research methods and social policy, as well as overseas study abroad and other international education initiatives at ECSU. He is a graduate of South Carolina State University, an HBCU, where he completed his undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Counselor Education. He holds a PhD in Social Work, Master of Public Health, and Master of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.


Diabate, D. (2017). Internationalization on HBCU Campuses and the Role of Presidential Leadership [Doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania]. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1954672647)

Poloma, A. & Szelenyi, K. (2018). U.S. Coloniality of Knowledge, Hybridization, and Indigenous Survival: Exploring Transnational Higher Education Development in Africa from the 1920s to the 1960s. Compare: Journal for Comparative and International Education, 49(4), 635-653. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2018.1445962

Stevenson, A. & Abraham, K., eds. (Forthcoming 2022). The Half Not Yet Told: Study Abroad and HBCUs. The Forum for Education Abroad.

Stevenson, A. P., Jordan, T. L., Green, M. T., Shannon-Ramsey, V., Legette, K. J., John-Langba, J., ... & Lesane, T. (2019). Global Learning Among Undergraduate Social Work Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Urban Social Work, 3(S1), S17-S28. DOI: 10.1891/2474-8684.3.S1.S17

Stevenson, A. & Shannon-Ramsey, V. (2018). Developing Institutional and International Partnerships for Undergraduate Global Learning Experiences at HBCUs and Other MSIs: A Social Work Program’s Journey (Brief on Global Education and Minority Serving Institutions in US Higher Education). Diversity Abroad.

Shannon-Ramsey, V. & Stevenson, A. (2018). Using Virtual Exchange to Foster Global Learning Experiences at HBCUs and Other MSIs (Brief on Global Education and Minority Serving Institutions in US Higher Education). Diversity Abroad.

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). (n.d.). Status and Trends in the Education of Ethnic and Racial Minorities. https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=667




How to Cite

Poloma, A., Diabate, D., & Stevenson, A. (2022). Special Section Introduction: HBCUs Reimagine Study Abroad - Inclusive and Transformative. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 34(4), 459–464. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v34i4.805



Special Section on International Education at HBCUs