On the Spot: Sentwali Bakari
We gave Drake students, alumni, and community members the opportunity to ask Sentwali Bakari, dean of students, anything they wanted. Here’s what they were eager to know about the charismatic administrator:
Tyler Von Ehwegen, AS’12: I’d love to learn more about how you became the dean of students at Drake.
Bakari: I decided to pursue my master’s in student affairs after spending some time in Copenhagen, Denmark, playing and coaching basketball. I worked all over the United States before coming to Drake in 2003. One of my fraternity brothers was a track star and ran in the Drake Relays, so that was my only knowledge of Drake initially. This is the longest I’ve ever stayed in one place. I’m doing what I love.
John Honchell, BN’92, GR’99: As dean of students, how are you working to improve student learning and success?
Bakari: There are many areas of focus for my office. We’re really encouraging more holistic learning—wellness of the mind, body, and soul. It’s also up to us to promote diversity and teach our students how to interact with people from any background; if we do that, they’ll be better off when they leave here.
Megan Uzzell, BN’00: With the job market tough for young people, what unique experiences does student life offer that will help them stand out to an employer?
Bakari: I’d like to think that our students’ experiences with student groups will help them in the interview process and give them confidence in working with groups and managing people and tasks. We push them early on to start preparing resumes, obtain internships, and get involved through an organization or volunteer opportunity.