Former AFAM Studies chair Dr. Wacira Gethaiga earned his masters in Education from UC Berkeley and earned a doctorate from Claremont University. He was one of the founding fathers of CSUF’s Ethnic Studies Department, along with Dr. Michael Finney, Dr. Diego Fuentes and Dr. Roberto Ceros. The department hoped their curriculum would increase Black enrollment at the university. Gathaiga and others visited surrounding high schools to build a black presence on campus. The Ethnic Studies Department can be found in Humanities 314.
As the black population rose on campus, Dr. Gathaiga strived to create a space for students to socialize and receive coursework tutoring. It would suffice as a gathering space to replace congregating in the quad. He proposed to University Administration to establish the African American Resource Center, and its approval was a gradual process. The African American Faculty & Staff Association was established during this time as well.
Students talked to President Milton Gordon to place the center in the second floor of Humanities. Vice President Dr. Robert Palmer spearheaded funding the AARC. His Secretary, Ellen Shaw identified the needs of the center. Now the AARC is currently located in PLS 182 thriving in all of its black excellence glory.
meet the coordinator
Torrell Foree (he/him/his)
Coordinator, African American Resource Center
Torrell Foree serves as the Coordinator for the African American Resource Center (AARC). He earned his Bachelors of Arts in History and African American studies with a minor in Sociology at California State University, Fullerton. He also has a Masters of Science in Education, with a concentration in Higher Education from CSUF. He has worked in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at Iowa State University. As a first-gen scholar and someone who has utilized the AARC as a student, he hopes to provide opportunity where students can have transformative experiences that impacted him as a student. In addition to supporting students, Torell loves driving stick-shift cars, is a fan of anime and Marvel, and enjoys everything Apple.