Cotati city councilman, SSU professor dies

April 11, 2011 1:31:54 PM PDT
Cotati City Councilman and Sonoma State University professor Robert Coleman-Senghor died Saturday after suffering a medical emergency Thursday while teaching an English class.

Coleman-Senghor, 70, suffered a torn aorta, his family said.

He was elected to the Cotati City Council in November 2008, and served as vice mayor in 2009 and as mayor in 2010, Cotati City Clerk Tamara Taylor said.

He also served on the city's planning commission in 2005 and 2006 and again in 2008, Taylor said

Coleman-Senghor joined SSU's English Department in 1972 and specialized in 19th and 20th Century American Literature. He started the school's California Cultural Studies Program in 1990.

"At the university, Bob had high standards and fought for the best education we could provide," SSU President Ruben Arminana said on the university's website.

"I respected his unwavering commitment to excellence and fair play. I know you join me in offering your thoughts to his family, friends, students and colleagues," Arminana said.

Coleman-Senghor leaves behind his wife and four sons Kenya, Akai, Michael and Drew, Arminana said.

Arrangements are still being made for a memorial service.


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