Prof. Sheilah F. Clarke-Ekong

University Council Member

Clarke-Ekong is currently Associate Professor Emeritus of Cultural Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. She officially retired in late 2016 and continued to teach online to support Anthropology's African Area Studies program until early 2021.

Dr. Clarke-Ekong earned degrees from Florida International University, Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife, Nigeria), and a University of California, Los Angeles doctorate. Academic training in cultural anthropology, applied anthropology, women studies, and African area studies grounded her academic teaching and research interests. She received full scholarships to the prestigious United States Peace Institute and the Aspen Institute which recognized the range of her intellectual and community interests.

Clarke-Ekong received awards for teaching, supervising, and mentoring students and junior colleagues in several disciplines in Nigeria, the US, Ghana, and South Africa throughout her career. She established the first UM-System and Missouri consortium Africa Study Abroad program for undergraduates in Ghana, West Africa.

Clarke-Ekong held numerous administrative positions, beginning with Assistant Director, in the James S. Coleman African Studies Center at UCLA from 1990-1992. While at the University of Missouri-St, Louis, in fall 1992, senior administrative positions held included: Co-Founder and Co-Director, Center for Human Origin and Cultural Diversity at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (1995-1997); Chair of the Department of Anthropology (1999-2002); Interim Dean of the Evening College and Supervisor of the University Advising Center (2002-2005); Special Assistant to the Provost (July 2005-May 2006); Interim Chair, Department of Sociology (August 2009/2010) and Director, General Education (2013-2015).

Board assignments have included The Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, the UMSL Sister-Scholars Program, Community Women against Hardship, and the Sisters-Helping-Sisters volunteer organization.

Notable awards include; The UMSL Student Life Award for Excellence in Service, The Chancellor's Award for Excellence for service as a faculty member, The Black Faculty, Staff, Student Awards for Service, and The Office of Equal Opportunity Women's Trailblazer Award, to name a few.

Clarke-Ekong is an African-American native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and the proud mother of three daughters, Jennifer, Mfon, and Ime. Franklin, the grandson, keeps her young.