news-category: Alumni

Celebrating Alumni-Dr. Mamadi Corra

Gardner-Webb Alumnus Publishes His First Book on African Immigrants in the United States

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Students are the focus of Gardner-Webb University’s mission. Faculty members seek to engage students with unique, experiential learning opportunities to prepare them for their next steps. Whether they choose to begin a career or accept the academic challenges of graduate school, students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to lead and serve. Additionally, through GWU’s supportive and diverse Christian community, students are inspired to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others.

Dr. Mamadi Corra, a 1993 and 1995 alumnus of Gardner-Webb, is a professor of sociology at East Carolina University (ECU). He has written his first book, “African Immigrants in the United States: The Gendering Significance of Race through International Migration?” The publication will be available on Nov. 15.

A native of Gambia, West Africa, Corra came to GWU from the Georgia Academy for the Blind in Macon, Ga. He earned a double major from Gardner-Webb in sociology and business administration, and also received his MBA. He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of South Carolina at Columbia. 

Corra appreciated the assistance he received from the Noel Center for Disability Resources to obtain his degrees from Gardner-Webb. “Without the program and its dedicated staff, I am not sure what my prospects for a college education would have been,” Corra affirmed. “And most definitely without the efforts of Sharon Jennings, then program director, to help solicit financial assistance to bring me to GWU and keep me there, I would not have made it there. The program, Gardner-Webb and the overall GWU community made college a reality for me.”

At ECU, Corra is the graduate program director and affiliate faculty with the ECU African and African American Studies Program. He is an associate editor of Immigration and Society, a specialty section of Frontiers in Sociology, and co-guest editor of the 2021 special issue, “The Status of Black Sociologists in the 21st Century,” published in the Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy. Corra is a frequent presenter at scholarly conferences and contributor to academic journals.

His new book, available from Barnes and Noble, Rowman & Littlefield, Amazon and others, takes a closer look at the growth of African immigration to the United States in recent decades, as well as implications of this growth. Corra highlights several resulting sociodemographic processes underway, including the changing composition of the foreign-born and U.S. Black populations. Corra also takes a closer look at sociodemographic profiles of these new African Americans or new Americans, highlighting the increasing diversity, yet also the racialized portrait of this group of immigrants.

In 2018-19, Corra was fellow in residence for the American Association for the Advancement of Science Judicial Branch Science and Technology Policy (Science and Law) at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C. At ECU, he has been awarded the Departmental Teaching Excellence Award for Lower Division Courses in 2019-20, 2015-16 and 2013-14. He was also honored as the GWU 2001 Young Alumnus of the Year.

Corra was featured in Gardner-Webb: The Magazine Vol. 50, No. 2 (2015) page 80.

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Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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