Thursday, December 20, 2007

RW Soul: FAMU President James H. Ammons Gives Holiday Joy to Local Kids

Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons and first lady Judy Ammons kicked off the holiday season with their first annual toy drive. CD players and bicycles were distributed to more than 750 children ranging from ages five to 18. The program benefited children at the FAMU Developmental and Research School and three local community centers — Jack McLean, Jake Gaither and Walker-Ford. The Ammons also delivered bicycles (three for boys and three for girls) to each community center. Collecting the CD players and bicycles was a university collaboration.

“This holiday season is about more than giving presents,” said President Ammons. “It is about showing you care and are concerned; it is a time for family and friends to come today to celebrate the true meaning of the season.”

According to Phyllis Bush, supervisor of the Jack McLean Community Center, the children were to grinning from ear to ear.

“The kids couldn’t wait to show their parents what they had received,” said Bush.

At two of the centers, the children received greetings from the FAMU men’s and women’s basketball teams, Mr. and Mrs. Florida A&M University and Student Government Vice President James Bland. They were entertained by the Marching “100” and the FAMU cheerleaders.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ray Mobley, FAMUassociate professor, Reappointed to the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Florida A&M University’s Ray Mobley was reappointed to the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner appointed 20 members to serve on the committee. Seven of the appointments are new; the other 13 are reappointments.

Mobley is an associate professor and coordinator of Animal Science and Research programs in the FAMU animal-science department and serves as an extension veterinarian.

"I was pleased to meet with committee members and I appreciate their work to strengthen support of beginning farmers and ranchers," said Conner. "As the Administration's proposals for the 2007 Farm Bill demonstrate, helping beginning farmers and ranchers is a priority. I look forward to working together with this diverse, skilled team to build a strong future for our next generation of farmers and ranchers."

This committee identifies ways to increase participation between federal and state programs to provide joint financing for beginning producers. Committee members also suggest agricultural opportunities that will help beginning farmers and ranchers.

“I was proud, delighted, and humbled to be reappointed,” said Mobley. “The competition is keen to be appointed to this committee, and to the best of my knowledge, there is only one additional black minority to be appointed to the committee.”

Mobley said the opportunity to have a voice in agricultural policy at the national level is what initially interested him in the committee.

“I believe that minorities need to take advantage of the opportunity to influence issues that impact us,” he said.

Mobley is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in Florida and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. He received the bachelor’s degree in animal science from FAMU, a master of public health from Tulane University and a doctor of veterinary medicine from Tuskegee University, and the MPH. He is a certified trainer instructor for the Hazard Analysis Critical Control point program and has conducted numerous food safety workshops. His area of concentration is herd health and food safety.

FAMU Administrator selected to serve on the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Advisory Board

Cynthia M. Harris, professor and director of Florida A&M University’s Institute of Public Health was invited to serve as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Exposure and Human Health Committee for a term that began October 30, and ending September 30, 2010. As a member of the board, Harris, because of her extensive experience in toxicology, will serve as special government employee and will provide independent, expert advice on technical issues underlying EPA policies and decision-making.

According to the appointment letter received from Stephen L. Johnson, EPA administrator, the EPA is committed to employing sound science and good sense to pursue the resolution of a broad range of urgent environmental issues facing the nation. Additionally, Johnson said the experts selected to serve on the SAB will play a big part in the success of a prudent approach to effective environmental protection.

“I’m very excited and look forward to serving as a member of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board,” said Harris, whose program is housed in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “This appointment will further allow me to provide public-health service regarding protection of human health and the environment.”

“We congratulate Harris on receiving this significant national appointment,” said Henry Lewis III, dean of FAMU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “Harris’ contributions to the nation in environmental health policy and her board certification as a toxicologist made her an ideal candidate for this appointment.”

The Environmental Protection Agency’s mission is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.

FAMU Faculty Honored as American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Fellow

Mandip Sachdeva, professor of basic sciences at Florida A&M University’s, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) was conferred as Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) at a recent AAPS meeting held in San Diego, California. AAPS confers the honor of Fellow to recognize individuals for outstanding contributions, which elevate the stature of the pharmaceutical sciences, and for professional excellence in the field relevant to the mission of AAPS. AAPS is an international pharmaceutical organization with more than 10,000 members.

Over the years, Sachdeva has identified new molecular pathways and mechanisms for therapeutic agents intended for the treatment of lung cancer and skin inflammation. Additionally, he has made significant contributions in understanding skin irritation markers in the skin.

“This is not only a great honor for me, but also for Florida A&M, which gave me a platform to strive for excellence in research by caring for the students,” said Sachdeva. “This clearly demonstrates that high quality pharmaceutical research is being conducted here at Florida A&M, which is being recognized by my peers across the country.”

“I join our many colleagues in the pharmaceutical sciences in congratulating
Sachdeva on receiving this national recognition,” said Henry Lewis, III dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “Sachdeva has been a significant contributor to research that enhances our abilities to treat several diseases.”

The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) publishes papers on innovative research spanning the entire spectrum of science that is the foundation of drug discovery, development, evaluation and regulatory approval. Small drug molecules, biotechnology products including genes, peptides, proteins and vaccines and genetically engineered cells are an integral part of papers published in Pharmaceutical Research, the association’s principle research journal.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

RW News: Dean of Allied Health Appointed New Provost at FAMU

Today, Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons appointed Cynthia Hughes Harris, dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences at Florida A&M University, as the new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

“She comes to the post with extensive administrative and professional experiences having functioned at multiple academic levels including faculty member, department chair, program director and dean, “ said Ammons. “I believe that she has the vision and leadership qualities to take our academic programs to the next level; to strengthen our research capabilities and provide new and challenging professional development and global opportunities for our faculty and students.

Harris will assume the post on January 3, 2008, at a salary of $255,000.

“I am thrilled to be chosen by Dr. Ammons to serve as the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Florida A&M University,” said Harris. “I have felt a special connection to FAMU since my first day on its campus and this feeling has been reinforced every day since then. I believe in what FAMU does and in the mission on which it is based. Through the efforts of Dr. Ammons and the team he is creating, our future is indeed bright! For me, nothing is more exciting than the anticipation of contributing to that future from the position of provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.”

Since 2000, Dean Harris was responsible for the oversight and management of graduate programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and health administration as well as undergraduate programs in health sciences, health care management, health information management and cardiopulmonary sciences.

A graduate of the University of Illinois at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, Harris earned her undergraduate degree in occupational therapy in which she remains an active practitioner and contributor to the field. She is a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, has served as a recent vice president of the Association, and is a former chair of the Occupational Therapy Commission on Education.

Her master’s and doctoral degrees focused on higher education and policy studies. As a researcher, one of her primary investigative initiatives addressed the results of the qualitative experiences of minority students in different academic environments.

Harris has studied the lives of college students to identify and alleviate stressors that interfere with maximum academic performance and achievement. Another of Harris' research activities focused on HIV prevention programs for high-risk urban adolescents. She has successfully implemented such programs in Chicago public schools as well as schools in the South Bronx section of New York City.

At FAMU, she has been particularly successful in receiving external funding for purposes related to the improvement of health professions education and the improvement of societal health. She has served as the principal investigator for Project CHOICE (the Center for Healthy Options and Innovative Community Empowerment), a National Institutes of Health funded grant focused on the elimination of health disparities in rural and urban communities; the principal investigator for the Florida Department of Education SUCCEED grant to increase the Florida allied health workforce; and the principal investigator for the Health Careers Opportunity Program and the Health Careers Pathways, two federally funded initiatives to increase the number of students from underserved populations succeeding in health professions programs.

Last year, she served as a presidential appointee to the Advisory Committee of the White House Conference on Aging and was recently nominated to serve on the National Health Disparities Advisory Committee of the NIH/National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. She has presented her health disparities research initiatives in multiple forums across the country including the 2006 National Meeting of the Black Caucus of State Legislators and the Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators.

Harris also serves as a director on several boards including the National Society of Allied Health and the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions and she was recently honored by the University of Illinois as a Distinguished Alumnus and recipient of the 2006 Ruth French Lectureship. Prior to assuming the position of dean at Florida A&M University, Harris was the chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Columbia University in New York.

She is married to Michael Joseph Harris, CEO of Educational Success Inc., and their daughter, Kori Hughes Love is a director of public relations in south Florida. Harris is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

RW News: Nikki Giovanni Tells FAMU Graduates to Never to Give Up

Banners that read “Congratulations Tiffany Lewis, FAMU Graduate 2007,” “Go Derrick,” “We Love U,” and “Proud of U” along with shouts of happiness and camera flashes were seen and heard throughout the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center at Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) commencement exercises. FAMU conferred 732 degrees to society’s next wave of productive citizens.

Keynote speaker Nikki Giovanni, who is currently the University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, told FAMU students a heartfelt story about a football game between FAMU and Virginia Tech.

“By halftime, the score was 47-0 in favor of Virginia Tech,” said Giovanni. “However, every time the FAMU quarterback had the ball, he kept playing,” said Giovanni.

The next Tuesday after the game in her class, Giovanni asked members of the football team who did they think was the best player at the Saturday game. They mentioned various names but Giovanni told them that the best player was FAMU’s quarterback.

“He knew the odds were against him but he keep giving it his all,” said Giovanni. “After the game, he left the field with his head held high. You too must remember to do your best and hold your head up high. Never give up.”

Giovanni’s words of encouragement were reinforcement for Toneka Pinkney, a public relations graduate.

"Her [Nikki Giovanni] words were inspiring,” said Pinkney. “It's something I'll remember throughout my professional career."

Pinkney also noted that she was very proud of herself.

"Once I walked across the stage I realized the importance of accomplishment,” said Pinkney. “I can't wait to get into the real world and show them what FAMU has produced.”

Giovanni received awards as well. President Ammons presented Giovanni with the President’s Award and an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

After receiving her honorary doctorate, Giovanni said that she was very proud of being a part of FAMU.

A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Giovanni grew up in Lincoln Heights, an all-black suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. She and her sister spent their summers with their grandparents in Knoxville. She graduated with honors from Fisk University, her grandfather's alma mater, in 1968. After graduating from Fisk, she attended the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.

She published her first book of poetry, Black Feeling Black Talk, in 1968, and within the next year published a second book, thus launching her career as a writer. Early in her career she was dubbed the "Princess of Black Poetry," and over the course of more than three decades of publishing and lecturing she has come to be called both a "National Treasure" and, most recently, one of Oprah Winfrey's twenty-five "Living Legends."

PHOTO CAPTION: FAMU President James H. Ammons presents Nikki Giovanni with an honorary doctorate of humane letters at FAMU’s commencement exercises.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

RW News: FAMU TO FORM ALLIANCE TO ADDRESS INFANT MORTALITY CRISIS

President James H. Ammons announced today that Florida A&M University will form an alliance with campus health care experts, researchers, and local, state and national organizations to address the Infant Mortality Crisis in Leon County. He is calling the group the FAMU Black Infant Health Alliance.

During the press conference, the State Surgeon General of the Florida Department of Health Ana M. Viamonte Ros pledged her support of the initiative.

“We are pleased that Dr. Ammons has step forward to address this matter,” said Viamonte Ros. “We are committed to being a partner.”

Ammons says the high infant mortality rate among African Americans threatens the stability and future of African Americans. He wants to bring campus health care professionals and others on campus together to strengthen FAMU’s impact and efforts to address this crisis. He would be relying heavily on the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the School of Allied Health Sciences and the School of Nursing as resources.

“In as much as this crisis is in the shadows of the Florida A&M University community, we feel that it is our duty to engage all relative departments at the university and others with great interest in addressing this crisis,” said Ammons. “We will join forces with state, national and local organizations and coalitions to develop strategies that will address this crisis. Infant mortality is a crucial issue that the university must embrace. We want to take the lead and have impact.”

Ammons has asked Cynthia Hughes-Harris, dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences, and Dr. Joseph Webster, of the Webster Surgical Center in Tallahassee, to co-chair the alliance that would convene a think tank in January. The think tank on “Health Care: Infant Mortality Crisis in Leon County” will bring members of the alliance together to identify resources and develop goals and objectives. Dr. Ammons believes this alliance will be able to develop a plan that will be effective in addressing the crisis.

“Community leaders, healthcare professionals and county leaders have expressed there is indeed a crisis and a solution to this problem is imperative,” said Ammons. “Although there are no immediate answers to the high rate of infant mortality in Leon County, this alliance will be used to address and obtain viable measures to decrease the number of infant deaths in the county. If we do not assemble scholars to review a life and death issue affecting the future of our communities, then we would reduce the meaning and impact that an institution of higher learning should have in its community and state.”

Several organizations have agreed to support this alliance, including the Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee Health Equity Alliance Team, the Institute of African American Health, the Gunn Society, and Bond Community Health Center. Commissioner Bill Proctor has agreed to work closely with the alliance, as well as, Charles Evans, who will represent the State Chapter of the NAACP; Eunice Cofie, Miss Black Florida USA; and Dr. Nelson L. Adams, M.D., president of the National Medical Association.

“FAMU has a right and obligation to take a stand,” said Dr. Joseph Webster. “I commend Dr. Ammons for taking that stand and thank him for his vision. Today, we stand ready to lead this alliance.”

“There is a need to develop programs and coordinate resources,” said Proctor. “The educational entities must become involved to improve health care access. The university will empower this initiative and find practical solutions to decrease the number of infant deaths in Leon County.”

PHOTO CAPTION: FAMU President James H. Ammons announces the alliance to address the infant mortality crisis. Supporters of the alliance include (from left to right) Charles Evans, president of the Tallahassee Branch of the NAACP; Yolanda Bogan, director of FAMU’s Counseling Center; Fran Close, assistant professor of behavioral science and health education; Jean Kline, representative from the Florida Department of Health; Ed Dixon, county commissioner for Gadsden County; and State Surgeon General of the Florida Department of Health Ana M. Viamonte Ros.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

RW News: SACS CONTINUES TO ACCREDIT FAMU, BUT EXTENDS PROBATION

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Commission on Colleges’ (COC) voted today to continue to accredit Florida A&M University (FAMU), but extended the university’s probation for six months. This recommendation, from the COC’s Executive Council, went before the full commission today in New Orleans.

University officials received a clean audit on Friday and believed it would have significantly impacted the outcome. The FAMU audit did not reach the COC’s Criteria and Reports Committee in time for its deliberation. This committee made the recommendation to the executive committee. The audit was a critical document that was required to show evidence of FAMU’s financial position. Auditor General’s Office worked with FAMU so the final audit could be submitted before the SACS meeting. Under normal circumstances, the audit may have been completed in December or as late as February 2008. The Commission on Colleges authorized a committee visit to the campus in April 2008 to review the audit and verify that the corrective actions have been implemented. SACS will make a decision regarding FAMU’s probationary status during its June 2008 meeting. The Executive Council acknowledged the report submitted by the special committee visiting team and the progress made at FAMU.

No new areas of non-compliance were cited by SACS. The core requirements the committee will review in April include:

2.11.1 Financial Resources
The institution has a sound financial base and demonstrated financial stability to support the mission of the institution and the scope of its programs and services.

3.10.1 Financial Stability
The institution’s recent financial history demonstrates financial stability.

3.10.2 Submission of Financial Statements
The institution provides financial profile information on an annual basis and other measures of financial health as requested by the Commission. All information is presented accurately and appropriately and represents the total operation of the institution.

3.10.3 Financial Aid Audits
The institution audits financial aid programs as required by federal and state regulations.

3.10.4 Control of Finances
The institution exercises appropriate control over all its financial resources.

3.10.5 Control of Sponsored Research/External Funds
The institution maintains financial control over externally funded or sponsored research and programs.

3.11.1 Control of Physical Resources
The institution exercises appropriate control over all its physical resources.

3.2.8 Qualified Administrative/Academic Officers
The institution has qualified administrative and academic officers with the experience, competence, and capacity to lead the institution.

4.7 Title IV Program Responsibilities
The institution is in compliance with its program responsibilities under Title IV of the 1998 Higher Education Amendments. (In reviewing the institution’s compliance with these program responsibilities, the Commission relies on documentation forwarded to it by the U.S. Secretary of Education.)

“This decision was very disappointing in light of our efforts,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “We did everything humanly possible in the last five months to turn this situation around. I am proud of the work of my leadership team and the support we received from key individuals throughout this process. We were responsible for the university receiving its first clean audit in three years and implementing a corrective-action plan that significantly improved the university’s fiscal affairs. Even with this decision, we will remain optimistic about FAMU’s future and continue the steadfast pursuit of excellence."

Monday, December 10, 2007

RW News: Received its first Unqualified Audit in Three Years

Florida A&M University (FAMU) received its first unqualified audit in three years from the Auditor General’s Office.

Auditor General David W. Martin released the executive summary and noted, “The results of our test disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards.”

Earlier in the week, FAMU received preliminary and tentative findings from the Auditor General that noted a marked improvement in FAMU finances. The University moved from an inauditable financial report with 13 significant financial findings to an auditable financial statement with seven internal control findings. The report notes that these findings have either already been corrected or have been partially corrected.

“I am proud of the work of our staff,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “This means that FAMU has addressed issues in such a way that the Florida Auditor General Office has confidence in our management of the finances at FAMU.”

In her analysis of the audit statements, Teresa Hardee, chief financial officer (CFO) and vice president for Administrative and Fiscal Affairs, said that the auditors noted that the account balances and related note disclosures were a fair presentation of the university’s financial statement.

“It is difficult to put into words what a truly remarkable turnaround this represents,” said Hardee.

FAMU officials said that they anticipated some findings since this audit period reflected the financial situation prior to Dr. Ammons’ arrival. In the past two years, FAMU received qualified audits, which ultimately led to the University being placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). After reviewing documents and speaking with University leaders in October, members of the Special Committee had seven recommendations.

The Committee recommended that the University provide evidence with regard to all aspects of financial management systems as reflected by audits and management letters. The audit report provides such evidence.

Friday, FAMU submitted to SACS the audit findings in the hopes that it would satisfy their concerns. SACS will make a decision on December 11 regarding FAMU’s probationary status during the SACS meeting in Louisiana.

RW News: Construction Project Update

With the construction of a new teaching gym and Florida A&M University Developmental Research School (FAMU-DRS), and the complete renovation and conversion of the University Commons, Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) main campus is undergoing a serious change.

Chuks Onwunli, interim director of Construction Operations, said each construction project is funded through the Public Education Capitol Outlay, (PECO), project.

According to Onwunli,

FAMU-DRS is scheduled to be completed by September 2008.
- Will hold up to 476 kindergarten through 12 grade students
- The school will be composed of six main buildings: a gymnasium, administration building,
cafeteria and elementary, middle and high school buildings.
- Have a football field, with a track, baseball and softball fields
- The construction cost of the new FAMU-DRS totals $24,656,782.

The conversion and renovation of the University Commons is scheduled to be completed by December 2008.
- It will feature the Academic Technology Lab (ATL) designed to provide students, faculty,
staff, administrators and alumni with assistance in the technology arena.
- House academic labs (writing, math, etc.), the Service Center (assisting with all problems
pertaining to email, OurFAMU, wireless, and limited software concerns),
conference rooms with video conferencing capabilities, electronic teaching facility, Web and
Pod Casting studio, Center for Credentialing, Internet Café, and a game room
- Sodexho will replace the Orange Room with a recent new concept. Their Einstein's Cafe has
been selected as the model for the 'Internet café.' The Internet café
seating will be adjacent to the open computer lab area of the building.
- Staff offices and the Enterprise and Information Technology Vice-President/CIO's Office.
- Construction cost for the University Commons totals $8,729,900

The Teaching Gym is scheduled to be completed by February 2009:
- The four-floored facility will be the new home to FAMU’s physical education department.
- Will feature sports training and physical education training areas, a hydrotherapy pool,
concession stands and ticket booths, interactive learning classrooms,
athletic and physical education offices, an indoor track and an arena that will seat more than
9,000
- Construction costs for the Teaching Gym totals $34,200,000.

In addition to the three construction and renovation projects on campus, Phase I, covering 2000 through 2007, of the FAMU 2000-2015 Master Plan includes the remodeling of the Dyson Pharmacy building, the construction of a parking garage and the remodeling and expansion of the Gore Education Complex, among a host of other projects. Phase II of the Master Plan, covering 2008 through 2015, along with other projects, includes the remodeling of Tucker Hall, the construction of phase II of the Recreation Center and an addition to the Perry-Paige Building.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

RW News: FAMU Chapter of Golden Key wins First Prize for raising $1,500 for historic Riley House

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Chapter of Golden Key International Honour Society won first place for raising $1,500 during the Seventh Annual Riley House “Rock-A-Thon.”

“The FAMU Chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society is ecstatic to win the honor of raising the most money for the Riley House Museum. But it was the collective effort of the FAMU community and Dr. James H. Ammons that really helped make our fundraising a success,” said Joy Dixon, president of the FAMU chapter of Golden Key. “Golden Key is pleased that they were able to positively represent the university and thanks each individual who contributed.”

The Riley House “Rock-A-Thon” is a fundraiser for the John G. Riley Center and Museum of African American History & Culture. Built in the 1890s, the historic John G. Riley House is the last visible evidence of the middle class African-American community that existed in Tallahassee during the periods of Reconstruction to the 1950s. The Riley House showcases the cultural and educational history of African Americans in the Tallahassee area, as well as in the state of Florida.

Charitable donations from the FAMU faculty, staff and student body and deans of the various schools and colleges enabled the executive board of the FAMU chapter to raise $700 more than last year and capture first place.

“For us it was more than just trying to raise money to win an event,” said Michael Bandy, director of fundraising and “Rock-A-Thon” event chairperson for the FAMU chapter of Golden Key. “It was about raising awareness about the historic museum right here in town.”

RW News: Announces its Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Enterprise Information Technology

Florida A&M University’s search for a permanent chief financial officer (CFO) and vice president for Administrative and Fiscal Affairs, and vice president for Enterprise Information Technology (EIT) has ended.

Teresa Hardee will serve as the chief financial officer and vice president for Administrative and Fiscal Affairs and Robert Seniors will serve as the vice president for Enterprise Information Technology. They both served as interim in their respective positions.

"What is really exciting to me is the opportunity to continue the good work we already started and to be able to do so in a way that helps to revitalize this University,” said Hardee. “I have an awesome team to work with and I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. I am grateful and humble by this tremendous expression of confidence by President James H. Ammons and will do everything in my power to help this university be even more successful in the future.”

Hardee was the former assistant vice chancellor for Financial Planning at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). She worked in various statewide government agencies before assuming her post at NCCU. Hardee also worked at NCCU as the director of Internal Auditor. She is a licensed certified public accountant who graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fayetteville State University and magna cum laude with a master's degree in public administration from NCCU.

Seniors, specialist in computer systems control, has more than 10 years of management experience in information technology. He has experienced all aspect of technology and served on implementation teams for academic affairs, administration, infrastructure, management and reporting. He earned his bachelor's degree in computer science from FAMU.

“It is indeed a privilege and honor to be able to serve my alma mater in this capacity,” said Seniors. “It has always been my dream and now it has become a reality.”

RW News: FAMU’s Counseling Center Partners with Capital Area Healthy Start to Support Students, Increase Health Education, and Reduce Racial Disparity

Capital Area Healthy Start and the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Counseling Center have teamed up to provide the support needed by a special university population – pregnant students and those who are parents striving to complete their education.

“College can be an incredibly stressful time under the best of circumstances, but when you add a pregnancy or the care of an infant into the mix, additional support is vital,” said Ann Davis, executive director of Capital Area Healthy Start. “Stress is one of the leading causes of early labor and we are thrilled with this opportunity to work hand-in-hand with FAMU to give these college moms the help they need.”

A Healthy Start care coordinator with the Leon County Health Department will be housed at FAMU’s Counseling Center for 30 hours a week. Healthy Start will provide whatever assistance the students need to have a healthy baby, referrals for insurance and assistance with early entry to prenatal care. Students in the Healthy Start program will also receive childbirth education, parenting and baby care classes and emotional support. Community referrals will also be provided for other services that might be needed.

The recent rise in racial disparity in infant mortality rates in Leon County highlight the need for pre-pregnancy health and education to young African American women. One of the goals of the Healthy Start partnership is to provide education to young women before they become pregnant in an effort to prevent future losses.

“We want to educate young women and men on ways to create healthy habits today that will last a lifetime,” said Yolanda Bogan, director of the FAMU Counseling Center.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

FAMU Preliminary Audit Shows Significant Financial Improvements

Florida A&M University received its preliminary and tentative findings and recommendations from the Auditor General’s Office Friday which “disclosed significant improvements” in the management of the University finances.

“When one looks at the prior year audit, the University moved from an inauditable financial report with 13 significant financial findings to an auditable financial statement with seven internal control findings,” said Teresa Hardee, interim chief financial officer and vice president for administrative and financial services.

In her analysis of the audit statements, Hardee notes that the auditors stated that the account balances and related note disclosures were a fair presentation of the university’s financial statement. This positive measure provides the evidence recommended by the Special Committee from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

FAMU officials said that they anticipated some findings since this audit period reflected the financial situation prior to Dr. Ammons’ arrival. In the past two years, FAMU received qualified audits, which ultimately led to the University being placed on probation by SACS. After reviewing documents and speaking with University leaders in October, members of the Special Committee had seven recommendations.

The Committee recommended that the University provide evidence with regard to all aspects of financial management systems as reflected by audits and management letters. The preliminary and tentative report provides such evidence.

On Friday, FAMU submitted to SACS the preliminary and tentative audit findings in the hopes that it would satisfy their concerns.

“We believe through our efforts we have improved the university’s financial status,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “We have done everything that we could possibly do to address their concerns and rebuild the fiscal integrity of FAMU.”

RW Sports: William “Bill” Hayes named new FAMU Athletic Director

William “Bill” Hayes, former director of Intercollegiate Athletics at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), has been hired as the new Athletic director at Florida A&M University.

The FAMU Board of Trustees approved his three-year contract today. He will report to work on January 2, 2008, at a salary of $175,000.

Hayes, a native of Durham, N.C., and a 1965 graduate of NCCU, directed NCCU to its most successful season in school history in 2006-2007, with four conference titles and five NCAA Championship team qualifiers. The Eagles placed 24th in the final standings of the U.S. Sports Academy Directors’ Cup, the prestigious award presented annually to the best overall collegiate athletics program in the country.

In addition, Hayes was recognized as the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s (CIAA) top athletic administrator by being presented with the 2007 Jeanette A. Lee Athletic Administration Award. A year earlier, he was selected as the 2006 CIAA Athletics Director of the Year after guiding the program to its most successful season, at the time, in school history with four conference titles and four NCAA Championship team qualifiers during the 2005-2006 slate.

FAMU President James H. Ammons said given that the university has an active athletic program and recruiting is imminent for several fall sports, including football, the hiring of Hayes was necessary to move the athletics program forward.

“Mr. Hayes’ record speaks for itself as it shows his passion for athletics,” Ammons said. “I am sure he is ready for the challenge and the responsibility of continuing to build a strong foundation for the athletic program here at Florida A&M University.”

NCCU also had the most productive fundraising campaign of any athletics department among all Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The foundation of his fundraising success was built when he initiated the “$1,000 Eagles” campaign with the slogan, “1,000 Eagles giving $1,000 . . . Springboard to $1 Million.”

He has been inducted into three halls of fame, including the NCCU Alex M. Riveria Athletic Hall of Fame; the Winston-Salem State University Clarence E. “Big House” Gaines Athletic Hall of Fame; and the CIAA John B. McLendon Jr. Hall of Fame.

Hayes has had an illustrious coaching career prior to becoming Director of Athletics at NCCU. During his 27 seasons as head coach at Winston-Salem State University (1976-1987) and North Carolina A&T State University (1988-2002), Hayes amassed 195 wins along with six conference championships.

He has also coached at the high school level at Paisley High School in North Carolina (1966), North Forsyth High School (1967-1971) and his alma mater Hillside High School (1972), before accepting his first college job as offensive backs coach at Wake Forest University (1973-1975). His first football coaching job was at Northside High School in Greatha, Va.

Hayes was a multi-sport student-athlete at Hillside High School before attending NCCU, where he played four seasons as a linebacker and center for the Eagles. He earned three All-America citations (1962-1964, Pittsburg Courier) before graduating in 1965 with a degree in physical education.

Hayes is married to the former Carolyn Pratt of Durham, N.C., and they have a son, William Jr., and a daughter, Sherri Walker.

RW News: College of Pharmacy Graduates Achieve 100 Percent on Licensure Examination

Florida A & M University 2007 pharmacy graduates achieved a 100 percent passage rate on the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) exceeding the state and national rate. This group of first-time candidates took the test between May 1, 2007 and August 31, 2007, as reported by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Seventy-three (73) candidates of the Class of 2007 took the NAPLEX during this time and all passed. In addition, FAMU’s school average score of 119.15 exceeded the state and national averages of 118.77 and 116.00 respectively. The state passing rate was 98.22 percent and the national rate was 97.23 compared to FAMU’s 100 percent.

“We are very proud of the students in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “I applaud Dean Lewis and the faculty for doing an outstanding job in preparing our students. This is another example of how we have distinguished ourselves.”

The NAPLEX is developed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and is utilized by the boards of pharmacy as part of their assessment of competence to practice pharmacy. The NABP is the independent, international, and impartial association that assists its member boards and jurisdictions in developing, implementing, and enforcing uniform standards for the purpose of protecting the public health.

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Barbara Barnes, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Students in the College of Pharmacy have proved through their actions that FAMU students are the best and brightest in this region, state and nation.”

“We are extremely proud with the performance of our PharmD graduates on the NAPLEX,” said Lewis, dean of College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “The efforts of our faculty and staff in preparing our students not only for this first measure of competence but for life long learning is embodied in their performance.”

Monday, December 3, 2007

RW News: FAMU’s College of Education will host its Annual Pinning Ceremony

The College of Education at Florida A&M University will host its Annual Apple Pinning Ceremony Friday, December 14, at 10 a.m. at Bethel A.M.E. Church located at 501 West Orange Avenue, Tallahassee. The Apple Pinning Ceremony is an induction ceremony similar to those held for other professions, such as nursing, pharmacy, and medicine.

This year’s Apple Pinning Ceremony theme is Professional Educators: Inspire, Empower and Emancipate. The ceremony will include a dynamic keynote speaker, stimulating performances by students, and awards to selected outstanding graduating students from each department in the College of Education.

Students with BEd, BS, MEd, MS and/or Ph.D. degrees in elementary education, secondary education, business and technology education, physical and recreation education, educational leadership and human services will receive their Apple Pins during the ceremony.

The College of Education’s Apple Pinning Ceremony was initiated in 2000 through the visionary efforts of FAMU’s Kappa Delta Pi Chapter with Bernadette Kelley serving as advisor and Ada Puryear Burnette serving as co-advisor. Viewing the “apple” as a long used symbol of education and of educators, Burnette keyed in that symbolism when she developed the traditional ceremony and came up with the ceremony’s name.

Friday, November 30, 2007

RW News: FAMU Launches its 2008 Alumni Association Membership Campaign

Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons, Alvin Bryant, president of FAMU’s National Alumni Association, and Lisa Lang, chairperson of FAMU’s National Alumni Association Membership Committee, announce the launch of the FAMU Alumni Association 2008 membership campaign.

“Our goal is to double our national membership,” said Bryant.

Alumni, who are not a current member of the alumni association, will receive a bonus for joining. As an incentive, individuals will receive membership in the local chapter for the remainder of 2007, in addition to being a member locally, regionally and nationally for 2008.

Individuals not sure about the amount or are not aware of his or her local chapter president or membership chair is, can contact the FAMU Office of Alumni Affairs at
1-888-664-6544 or (850) 599-3707.

Recognition will be given to the chapter that brings in the highest number of memberships (new, life and regular) for 2008.

Applications can be obtained at the following web address http://www.famu.edu/alumni/UserFiles/File/NAA_App1_26Nov2007.doc.

For more information, contact Lisa Lang at (850) 561-2421 or via email at lisa.lang@famu.edu.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

RW news: Board of Trustees Schedules Meeting

The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees will meet Tuesday, December 4, at 9 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom on FAMU’s campus. For more information, call (850) 599-3413.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

FAMU Student Health Services will Observe World AIDS Day

Florida A&M University Student Health Services and FAMU’s Student Government Association’s Office of the Surgeon General have collaborated with local, state, and community based organizations to observe the 20th Annual World AIDS Day. Events have been scheduled beginning on Thursday, November 29, through Wednesday, December 5.

“The theme for this year is Leadership,” said Jennifer Harrison-Hauer, FAMU’s Student Health Services Health Educator. “Leaders are distinguished by their actions, originality, and vision; their personal example and engagement of others; and their perseverance in the face of obstacles and challenges. However, leaders are not necessarily those in high offices. Leadership can occur at every level – in families, churches, organizations, and right here on the campus of Florida A&M University. With that in mind, anyone can be a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Stand strong and make a commitment to become a leader against this preventable disease. Get tested for HIV and encourage others to know their status. The more people tested means less people infected. Talk about HIV/AIDS with family, friends, and loved ones. Educate yourself and others about ways to prevent becoming infected.”

For a complete listing of events, go to FAMU.edu.

Monday, November 26, 2007

RW News: Finalists named for the Position of Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

The search committee for the position of Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Florida A&M University has identified five finalists who will be interview beginning November 26 through December 5. The Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs is the second highest-ranking position at the university and reports directly to the President. The search committee is expected to submit its list of three unranked finalists to FAMU President Ammons no later than Monday, December 10.

The five finalists are the following: Perry Massey, professor, Department of Government and History at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, NC; Cynthia Hughes Harris, dean for the School of Allied Health Sciences at FAMU; K.K. Bentil, retired president for the Medical Center Campus, Miami Dade College in Miami, Fla.; James Wyche, CEO and principal scientist for the Presbyterian Health Foundation in Oklahoma City, Okla.; Lemuel Berry, Jr., educational consultant, Scarborough, Maine.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

RW News: FAMU ASKS U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE TO INVESTIGATE UNAUTHORIZED GRADE CHANGES

Florida A&M University has asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office to take over the FAMU grade change investigation.

University officials said they believe their involvement would strengthen the university’s efforts to have those involved prosecuted. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has committed to the investigation.

“We are pleased that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has made this determination,” said Sharon P. Saunders, university spokesperson. “Their involvement will send a signal that we are serious about seeking prosecution.”

On September 18, 2007, FAMU Police Department launched an investigation after discovering that unauthorized grade changes had been made.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

RW News: FAMU’s Social Work with Children’s Class Sponsors Around the World Event

Florida A&M University Social Work with Children’s class will sponsor an Around the World Event on Saturday, December 1, beginning at 12 noon at the Walker-Ford Gymnasium. Doors will close at 12:30 p.m. Children from ages four to 17 will have the opportunity to learn about eight different cultures, customs and enjoy cuisines from the various cultures. Each child will be given a kids fact on each culture and provided with a pretend passport that will allow them to visit each culture.

Katisa Donaldson, professor for the Social Work with Children class stated this event will expose a child to new and exciting adventures.

“Children in our community will have a chance to travel around the world without leaving Tallahassee,” said Donaldson. “The students in my class have worked very hard to make each child’s travel experience one they will never forget.”

Admission is free and open to the general public. For more information, contact Albert Williams at (863) 228-4127 or Rinadi Tropnas at (239) 398-1836.

RW Sports: FAMU Begins Hiring Process for New Athletics Director and Head Football Coach

Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons said today he would begin the hiring process for a new Athletic Director and Head Coach.

Athletic Director Nelson Townsend resigned today and will be on administrative leave with pay until February 12, 2008, his last day of employment. Head Football Coach Rubin Carter, received a “notice of non-reappointment and employment separation.” He has been placed on administrative leave with pay. His last day of employment is April 22, 2008.

Ammons said that he would fill the positions by the end of the year. He announced to the staff in the athletics department this morning that Allen Bogan, an assistant professor and former assistant football coach, would serve as interim until a permanent director is hired.

“I am appreciative of tremendous work Mr. Townsend and Coach Carter have done during the period when we were working to address the NCAA sanctions,” said Ammons. “We want to move in a new direction with the athletics program. I’m moving forward with the hiring process.”

Townsend began his tenure at FAMU in January 2006 as the athletics director. He has had more than 30 years of experience in athletics and education. He previously served as director of athletics at FAMU from 1986-1987. He also served as athletic director at University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Delaware State University and the University of Buffalo.

Carter was appointed head coach in July 2005. He was an All-American defensive lineman at the University of Miami in 1974 and had a 12-year career in the National Football League with the Denver Broncos. Prior to coming to FAMU, Carter had more than 18 years of professional and collegiate coaching experience.

RW News: FAMU Pharmacy Faculty received Certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology

Rafaat Khalil, assistant professor, basic pharmaceutical sciences at Florida A&M University’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS), recently received his certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology, Inc. (ABT).

ABT diplomates participate in all aspects of the profession of toxicology including: the design and interpretation of safety studies for product development; review and interpretation of such studies for regulatory compliance; basic and applied research into toxic effects, mechanisms of toxic action, toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics; and education of undergraduates, professional and graduate students and the public in the science of toxicology through courses, legal cases and media interactions.

While the majority of diplomates reside in the U.S., approximately six percent of ABT diplomates are found in other countries worldwide. These countries include Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, Korea, India, Singapore, and Taiwan. The acceptance of ABT certification as a qualification for membership by the national registries of several European countries, and thus by Eurotox, demonstrates ABT's leadership role in the certification of toxicologists.

Khalil’s certification is valid for a period of five years, and in 2011 he will begin his recertification process. ABT considers periodic recertification of diplomates as essential to maintaining high standards of professional competence. Recertification is conducted at five-year intervals and requires demonstration of continuing education and the active practice of toxicology.

“As a board member, we are charged with working with all regulatory agencies including the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency and can be called upon to testify as an expert in the field of toxicology,”
Khalil said. “I am excited about the opportunity to serve in the capacity of a diplomate for ABT.”

“The College is proud of Khalil’s accomplishments and being included in the distinguished group of over 2000 certified toxicologists who are diplomates of ABT,” said Henry Lewis III, dean and professor of FAMU’s COPPS. “He joins Cynthia Harris, director of the Institute of Public Health within the College with this designation.”

The mission of the American Board of Toxicology is to establish standards for professional competency in the field of toxicology and advance awareness of its position as the premier certifying body in the field.

RW News: FAMU Department of Social Work Granted Full Accreditation for its Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees Programs

Florida A&M University College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Social Work announced that the Council on Social Work Education Commission on Accreditation granted a full eight-year accreditation to the bachelor of social work (BSW) and master of social work (MSW) programs for the full eight year cycle from 2006 to 2014.

“We are extremely excited and proud,” said Brenda Jarmon, chair of FAMU’s Department of Social Work. “The faculty, staff, and I work very hard every day to ensure that our students succeed. I know that Victoria Warner, founder of social work at FAMU, would be very proud of us. She worked tirelessly to establish social work as a bona fide discipline at FAMU. She secured initial accreditation of our BSW program in 1974, and led the charge for professionalizing BSW programs across the country. We are proud to continue her legacy at the BSW and MSW levels.”

The official social work program began with one introductory course in the Department of Sociology during the 1950 - 1951 academic year. By 1956, a six-course sequence was available as a minor for students majoring in the liberal arts. A bachelor’s degree in social work was first offered in 1979 under the leadership of Warner. Under her direction, the program achieved departmental status in the 1990-1991 academic year.

“I am extremely pleased that our social work program has received reaccredidation from the Council of Social Work Education,” said Ralph Turner, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Having an accredited social work program enhances our recruitment of good faculty and students. It also expands and affords our students’ eligibility for licensure and jobs in the marketplace.”

The BSW program received full accreditation in 1974 and the MSW program received initial accreditation in 2002. The department is housed in Banneker B, Suite 300 and has 170 BSW majors and 43 MSW majors.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

RW News: FAMU Pioneer Hansel Tookes Succumbs

Jacksonville native served in numerous roles at Florida A&M University and remained active in alumni, athletic affairs after retirement

Hansel E. “Tootie” Tookes, a longtime Florida A&M University (FAMU) athletic administrator and educator, passed away Wednesday evening. He was 86.

The funeral service is scheduled for Monday, November 19, at 11 a.m. at Bethel Baptist Church, 417 West Tennessee Street.

“Coach Tookes was a legend in the life of Florida A&M University,” said President James H. Ammons. “He was a true Rattler who was admired and respected by many. This a great lost to the FAMU family. He will long be remembered for his longtime support and generous contributions. He was a great guy who maintained a sense of humor even throughout his illness. What I enjoyed most about him were the messages and the advice he gave me to take to the football team as I talked to them prior to the game. He will be missed.”

Tookes, whose passion and enthusiasm for FAMU, its Health and Physical Education Department and the school’s storied athletic program, never waned in his later years following his retirement in the late 1980s. He remained an active member of the FAMU Alumni Association, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., the FAMU National Varsity “F” Club and the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame Steering Committee.

Indicative of his continuing love for FAMU, Tookes and wife, Lavada, began a scholarship endowment program for the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department in the late 1990s.

A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Tookes served as Director of Athletics at FAMU, chaired the FAMU Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department and oversaw the FAMU Intramural Department during his career at the university.

From 1947 through the mid-1960s, Tookes served on the FAMU football coaching staff, under legendary Hall of Fame Coach A.S. “Jake” Gaither, mentoring the tackles and serving as the team’s advance scout of future opponents. He also served as the school’s golf coach.

He was appointed athletics director in 1975, upon the retirement of Gaither, serving in that role until the fall of 1980.

“Coach Tookes,” as many knew him, founded the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame in 1976, an institution that has now honored more than 200 former athletes, coaches, administrators and supporters.

Tookes also oversaw the FAMU athletic program’s transition to NCAA Division I in the late 1970s, helping transition the program from membership in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) to affiliation with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in 1980.

Undoubtedly, the move that he will be most remembered for during his reign as athletics director was his role in the creation of the Florida Classic football game between FAMU and Bethune-Cookman College, which began a 27-year run in 1978 in Tampa.

Tookes, along with Bethune-Cookman athletic director Lloyd “Tank” Johnson, former FAMU President Walter L. Smith and former B-CC President Oswald P. Bronson, hammered out the deal for the Classic, which has now grown to epic proportions, annually drawing 70,000 fans to the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Also known for his enthusiastic vocalizing of the fabled FAMU battle cry, “Hubba, Hubba,” at sports and alumni gatherings, Tookes began his long association with FAMU as a student-athlete on the Rattler football team.

An All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tackle for the Rattlers from 1939 to 1942, Tookes helped FAMU to win Black College National Championships in 1940 and 1942.

After graduating from FAMU, Tookes continued his athletic career in the United States Army, where he stood out as a tackle for the Camp Lee team for three years.

He returned to FAMU in 1947, joining the Rattler athletic staff as an assistant football coach and golf coach, while also serving as associate professor in the Health and Physical Education Department.

His wife, Lavada, two sons, Hansel II and Darryl, and several grandchildren survive him.

RW Soul: FAMU Students Encourage Other Students to “Keep off the Grass”

Florida A&M University students met on the quadrangle to instill pride in the campus community—one strand of grass at a time.

“Students, especially, should do their part to take care of their campus,” said D’Andra Escuffery, an 18-year old freshmen nursing student from Ft. Lauderdale. “We’ve been out here for an hour trying to explain to students that keeping off the grass and taking pride in the university’s appearance is just the beginning.”

The students are a part of Jeffery Mills’ African-American history class, and decided to take the matters of instilling school pride and spirit into their peers in their own hands after a class lecture.

“My class is currently studying about an era in which there was a boom of black-owned businesses and the pride surrounding them,” said Mills. “I noticed that lately the university has been doing a great deal to keep the institution looking it’s best. Encouraging students to keep off the grass is just one way to promote that same pride and ownership, as well as cultivate an attitude for what the university stands for.”

According to Mills, this is just the beginning. Mills and his students plan to continue their efforts to “keep the campus green.” He also noted that each student earns extra credit for

participating and they will be on the quad for the remainder of the week.

Keontra Campbell, a 19-year-old freshmen history education student from Pensacola, stated if those benefiting directly from FAMU [students] do not act as though the institution has any significance, then outsiders would not see its significance either.

“It’s up to us to see that others learn about FAMU’s history and take part in preserving it,” he said. “Encouraging students to avoid walking on the grass is the least we can do.”

FAMU President James H. Ammons made his way to the quad to greet and congratulate the students for their effort.

“The effort made by these students symbolizes so much more than what meets the eye,” said Ammons. “By encouraging their peers to keep off the grass, students are not only encouraging other students to preserve the appearance of the institution, they are, in turn, instilling a sense of pride in students.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

FAMU Pharmacy Alumnus elected President of the Association of Black Health-System Pharmacists

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Jasper W. Watkins III, a 1982 graduate from Florida A&M University's College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) with a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy was recently elected president of the Association of Black Health-System Pharmacists (ABHP). Watkins, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, also received a masters of science in health services administration from Central Michigan University.

Watkins serves as Chief, Bureau for Statewide Pharmaceutical Services, Florida Department of Health (DOH). In his role, he manages a budget in excess of $100 million and the provision of pharmaceutical services to all Florida Department of Health facilities. He oversees the States’ Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, Florida Formulatory system, assists in expansion of the States’ Pharmaceutical Stockpile Program, provides technical support for all areas of pharmaceutical services related to preparedness, and coordinates with the pharmacy managers of County Health Departments and DOH during times of disaster.

For more information visit famu.edu

FAMU Pharmacy Alumnus Appointed to the Michigan Board of Pharmacy

Gwenesia Collins, a 1999 doctor of pharmacy graduate of the Florida A&M University's College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS), was recently appointed by Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of Michigan, to the Michigan Board of Pharmacy for a four-year term. The Michigan Board of Pharmacy consists of 11 voting members — six pharmacists and five public members. The board currently oversees approximately 12,535 pharmacists, 2,931 pharmacies and 937 manufacturers/wholesalers.

Additionally, Collins serves as CEO and managing member of Tri Unity Infusion, LLC, located in Masonic Fraser, MI, which provides home fusion services. Home infusion therapy involves the administration of medications using intravenous, subcutaneous, and epidural routes.

“I consider it an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve my fellow pharmacists and the citizens of Michigan with excellence and integrity, “said Collins.

“The College of Pharmacy family is elated about Collins’ recent appointment to the Michigan Board of Pharmacy,” “aid Henry Lewis III, dean and professor of the FAMU COPPS. “Collins typifies the professional caliber and level of public service commitment of our alumni.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

RW Soul: “Orlando 9” is the beginning of a new wave of recruiting for FAMU Football

The 2007 Florida A&M University football team will bring nine Orlando area natives back home when they face off against archrival Bethune-Cookman in the Walt Disney World Florida Classic XXVIII, presented by State Farm on Saturday, November 17, at 3:30 p.m. in the Florida Citrus Bowl.

This group of talented student-athletes is the largest number of Orange County area players on a FAMU football roster in several years. They also represent the positive results of two years of intensive high school recruiting by FAMU head coach Rubin Carter and his staff.

Upon his appointment as head coach in July of 2005, Carter pledged to make an effort to reconnect FAMU Football with high school programs in the State of Florida, and this group of youngsters is part of that bumper crop of Sunshine State prospects that signed on with the Rattlers.

“Interestingly enough, two of the Orlando-area players on the Rattler roster went to high school right down the street from the stadium where the annual Classic battle will be played out,” said Alvin Hollins, assistant athletic director for external operations/media relations.

Sophomore center Kwame Akkebela and second-year linebacker Damien Priester both graduated from Orlando’s Jones High School, which is less than a mile away from the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.

Akkebela, a 6-4, 255-pound lineman, was the former All-State, All-Area and All-District performer. He was the starting center for the Rattlers all season until the FAMU Homecoming game, helping anchor a group which allowed the fewest quarterback sacks in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference so far this year.

He saw action in six games as freshman in 2006, finishing with 12 tackles (nine solo, three assists). He tallied a season high eight tackles (six solo, two assists) against Hampton University.

A two-sport athlete at Jones High, who competed in football and track, Priester was named the team’s Most Valuable Player in 2005, earning All-Metro honors, and All Orange County honors in football. Priester tallied 80 tackles, 10 sacks and 12 tackles for a loss in his junior season, earning him All Orange County Honors.

Redshirt freshman offensive tackle Gerald Poke, a 6-6, 270-pounder from Boone High in Orlando, has been pressed into service as a starter on the offensive line the second half of the season.

Poke, who was redshirted last season, was a three-sport letter winner in basketball, football and track at William R. Boone High School in Orlando, Fla. His senior season, Poke was team captain, a first team All-FNF selection and earned first team 6A All-State honors. In addition, Poke earned FNF first team all-conference honors and was named third team 6A All-State.

The rest of the “Orlando 9” include Derrick Tarver, a redshirt freshman defensive back from nearby Apopka; and five “true” freshmen who started school this fall: wide receiver Kevin Elliott and linebacker Alvis Graham from Colonial High; offensive lineman Carter Franklin from Dr. Phillips High, tight end Max Purcell from Edgewater High, and linebacker Alphonso Walker III, from nearby Eustis.

Friday, November 9, 2007

FAMU Alum and Film Producer Will Packer Says No Other HBCU Prepares Students Like FAMU during the Homecoming Convocation

*** Please note: The following is a revised press release. Total donation amounts have been included.

With Florida A&M University’s 120th anniversary and homecoming well underway, the university celebrated the Homecoming Convocation at the Jake Gaither Gym.

This year’s homecoming theme, “The Rattler Renaissance; A Rebirth of Rattler Pride and Spirit,” encompasses the renewal of the institution in every aspect. Alvin Bryant, president of the FAMU National Alumni Chapter, greetings embodied the theme.

“Although we’ve been through tumultuous times,” said Bryant. “This is a time of togetherness and rebuilding of strength.”

FAMU’s Marching “100” enthused the crowd with “FAMU Spirit,” “Rattler Orange & Green,” and “S.O.S.” while FAMU’s world-renowned gospel choir serenaded the audience with “More Abundantly” and “I Will Bless the Lord.” Cheerleaders kept the crowd roaring while the 2007-2008 Royal Court was introduced and past Miss FAMUs of the 30s and 40s were recognized. Even former FAMU presidents Fred Gainous and Fredrick Humphries were in attendance.

FAMU President James H. Ammons described the keynote speaker, William Packer, film producer and FAMU graduate, as “an outstanding and gifted Rattler.”

“Never has there been a more important time, and never have we had to be more responsible for being African-American,” Packer said. “We’re about to inherit the world. No one prepares our young people for the world like HBCU’s and no HBCU prepares our young people like Florida A&M University.”

Packer ended his speech by explaining the importance of giving back to the institution he cherishes, and by giving Ammons a check for $10,000. As it turned out, this was the first in a series of eight checks to be presented to President Ammons.

Col. Ronald Joe, interim vice president for university relations, reintroduced Ammons for an announcement regarding a new fundraising effort.

In the midst of the Marching “100” playing the Tom Joyner Morning Show’s theme song and a swarm of orange and green balloons falling the gym ceiling onto a plethora of prestigious guests, Ammons said, “I am proud to announce the official launch of the fundraising campaign for Florida A&M University,” he said. “We have been selected to as the Tom Joyner School of the Month for January 2008, which is the 10th anniversary of the School of the Month effort. Today, we kickoff this campaign with efforts donations made by FAMU alumni and supporters.”

To date, the following has been received for the Tom Joyner School of the Month Campaign.

- Student Government Association: $500
- Executive Office Furniture: $5,000
- Diamondback Pharmacy Council: $30,000
- Florida Region of the National Alumni Association: $62, 908
- Washington D.C. Chapter of the National Alumni Association: $64,500
- National Alumni Association: $158,000
- FAMU Industry Cluster: Alcoa, $65,000; Boeing, $75,000; Duke Energy, $10,000; Eli Lily,
$23,000; and Lockheed Martin, $20,000 (totaling $193, 026.95)
- FAMU Foundation and National Alumni Association fundraising receptions: $168, 980.15

Ammons thanked each of the contributors and encouraged the audience of Rattlers past and present to continue the effort to raise dollars for the campaign. Ammons ended the convocation with the famous FAMU mantra, the Rattler Charge.

RW News: FAMU College of Law Opens its Doors with a Tailgate Party

Before Florida A&M University and Bethune-Cookman University take to the football field this year during the Walt Disney® World Florida Classic in Orlando, the FAMU College of Law will open its doors to the community for a pre-game showcasing of the law school and a family-friendly tailgating event.

The first FAMU College of Law Open House and Tailgate Party will kickoff at 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 17, 2007 on the College of Law campus located at 201 Beggs Avenue in downtown Orlando. The event will begin with an open house presented by the law school’s admissions office, where potential law students and current college students with an interest in attending law school will receive an overview of the admission’s process and financial aid information. The open house will also include a law student panel with FAMU law students discussing their experiences and soliciting questions from event attendees. Tours of the law school will be available following the panel.

The tailgate portion of the event will begin promptly at 11 a.m. at the student lounge on the south end of the campus. The tailgate will be catered by Sonny’s Barbeque, and will feature music mixed by Orlando’s Power 95.3 radio personalities on-site for a remote broadcast. Open house and tailgating attendees can enter a drawing to win several prizes including the grand prize of two complimentary tickets to the Florida Classic football game. The FAMU College of Law, the Student Bar Association and the Gwendolyn Cherry Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity will sponsor the tailgate party. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on the law school campus.

There is no cost to attend either event. The law school is conveniently located two-blocks from the Central Boulevard and Church Street parking garages. Both garages are used for Citrus Bowl Stadium Shuttle parking. To pre-register for the open house or get more information about the event, contact the FAMU College of Law’s Admissions Office at (407) 254-3286.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

RW News: FAMU President James H. Ammons will Host the President’s Forum

Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons will host the President’s Forum on Tuesday, November 27, for faculty, staff and students in Lee Hall. The scheduled forums are the following:


Faculty forum- 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Staff forum- 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Management forum- 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Students forum- 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

For more information, call (850) 599-3413.


FAMU Welcomes Gordon Parks’ Crossroads Exhibit

Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication will host the Gordon Parks “Crossroads” exhibit beginning Tuesday, November 27 through January 15, 2008 in the FAMU Black Archives. FAMU will be the second of six colleges and universities to host the exhibit.

“It’s very exciting to know that people are going to have the chance to witness such an accomplished photographers work up close as opposed to in books,” said Delisha Peterson, an adjunct graphic communications professor at FAMU.

Individuals will be able to view 45 of Parks’ works, all selected from different areas of his multifaceted career. A career that saw Parks’ served as a composer, a musician, a poet, a photographer a journalist and a director to name a few.

“Crossroads” serves as an opportunity to celebrate the life and a career of a man who undoubtedly was one of the most influential photojournalists of the 20th century.

Parks is mostly remembered for the time he spent as photojournalist for Time magazine and being the co-founder of Essence magazine as well as his activism and desire to help others.

FAMU's School of Nursing in Compliance with the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc.

Florida A&M University’s School of Nursing received notification from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) that the School of Nursing was in compliance with all accreditation standards and criteria regarding a recent complaint made by a student.

This fall, a student submitted a complaint against the FAMU School of Nursing regarding its nursing programs. Among the allegations were the department’s academic policy, discriminatory practices and comprehensive exam.

According to Dr. Sharon J. Tanner, executive director of NLNAC, NLNAC must review each complaint it receives in accordance with its policies as required by the U.S. Department of Education Regulations related to student concerns.

“The materials submitted were carefully reviewed,” said Tanner. “Based on the complainants’ concerns, it appears that you [FAMU’s School of Nursing] are in compliance with NLNAC Standards and Criteria.”

“I was confident that the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission would find our program in compliance with all accreditation standards and criteria,” said Mary Graham, dean of FAMU’s School of Nursing. “I will continue to give 100 percent in my role as dean. The faculty and I believe in excellence and the success of our students.”

The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting body for all types of nursing education programs.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

RW News: Adding to the Beauty…

I'm sure we can all agree that the campus of Florida A&M University is already a beautiful site. Now students, faculty, staff and administration are enjoying a different type of beauty--the kind that moves.

The StarMetro Venom Express I and II student shuttles now feature a new design with the FAMU logo and Rattler. Charles Collins, graphic designer for university relations, is responsible for creating the design.

Ranada Arnold, a 19-year-old pharmacy student from Jacksonville, said that the new design has helped to make the bus more welcoming.

“We have been working with FAMU Chief of Police Calvin Ross and his staff on the bus design for over a year,” said Ronald Garrison, executive director of StarMetro. “We are all excited to get these buses in service.”

FAMU Chief Ross said the new design is intended to bring a strong sense of Rattler pride to those in view of the shuttles, both on and off campus.

“There were many designs that were considered,” Ross said. “The final design was the most popular design that was approved for the StarMetro bus.”

By RattlerWIRE contributing student, Toneka Pinkney

RW News: Activist Kemba Smith and Journalist Reginald Stuart Speak at FAMU’s Journalism Colloquium

The Florida A&M University School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) has announced that Kemba Smith will be the featured speaker at its Journalism Colloquium Thursday, November 8, at 11a.m., in Lee Hall Auditorium. The general public is invited to attend.

Smith will tell her story of being an impressionable student at Hampton University, Hampton, Va., falling into the wrong crowd and becoming involved with a young man who turned out to be a drug dealer.

She found herself in the middle of her boyfriend’s $4 million crack cocaine ring and a life of physical, mental and emotional abuse.

Her unwitting participation in the crack cocaine world led to being sentenced to 24.5 years and serving 6.5 years in federal prison. Smith regained her freedom in December 2000 when former President Bill Clinton pardoned her.

Joining Smith at the colloquium will be Reginald Stuart, a veteran journalist whose article about Smith appeared in Emerge magazine. Stuart’s article sparked a groundswell of attention and support that helped lead to her presidential pardon.

“We are pleased to have Smith and Stuart on our campus,” said Jim Hawkins, dean of the SJGC. “Her story is an inspirational one that our students will appreciate. This case also reflects the importance of the media in helping to right an egregious wrong.”

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

RW News: Don “D.C.” Curry to host AARP Alumni Gala

On behalf of the Florida Classic Consortium, Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons and Bethune-Cookman President Trudie Kibbe Reed announced that comedian/actor Don “D.C.” Curry will serve as the host and master of ceremonies for the AARP Alumni Gala during the Walt Disney® World Florida Classic presented by State Farm weekend.

Widely known as the star of numerous stand-up comedy tours, Curry has played huge theaters at home and abroad and headlined special engagements at the nation’s hottest comedy clubs. From co-starring in major studio motion pictures or taking the duties of leading man in an independent feature film to touring the country as the lead in a hit stage play or serving as the front man of his own R&B and Blues band, Curry stands apart as a multi-talented performer.

Featured in several major motion pictures such as Next Friday and Friday After Next, Curry was one of the first comedians to be named BET Comic of the Year, a distinction which gave him an opportunity to host a full season of the hit-series ComicView.

Curry will be joined with legendary R&B group Midnight Star as the talent for the gala. Curry will host the Alumni Gala program and perform a 30 to 45 minute act during dinner, while Midnight Star will provide the entertainment at the conclusion of the program.

The AARP Alumni Gala is scheduled for Friday, November 16, 2007, at 6 p.m. at the Rosen Center Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased at Florida Citrus Sports by calling (407) 423-2476 ext. 165 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com. For table purchases or for more information on the AARP Alumni Gala or the Walt Disney World® Florida Classic presented by State Farm, log on to www.floridaclassic.org.

RW News: FAMU Media Sales Institute has been Renewed for an Additional Year

The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF), the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), and Personal Selling Principles (PSP), announced that they will renew the Media Sales Institute at Florida A&M University (FAMU) for an additional year. NABEF and NABOB will provide funding for the initiative.

The NABEF/NABOB Media Sales Institute at FAMU is an intense ten-day training program for college seniors who are interested in careers in media sales. The program was a joint vision of the late Professor Ernie Fears, Sr. at Howard University and Jeffrey P. Myers, principal of Personal Selling Principles. The master lecture held at Florida A&M is named after Ernie Fears, Sr.

“We are pleased to continue the Media Sales Institute at Florida A&M University,” said NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr. “This highly successful ten-day program offers students of diverse backgrounds excellent training for entry-level careers in media sales. To date, 85 percent of these graduates have been hired into media sales jobs.”

“We continue to be excited about hosting the Media Sales Institute in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University,” said Jim Hawkins, dean, School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. “Already more than 40 graduates of the program have found positions in this rewarding field. The success of these graduates validates the effectiveness of the program and its importance to the media industry.”

RW News: FAMU Faculty to Serve on Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications

Gale A. Workman, professor in the Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, has been appointed to the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, (ACEJMC).

Workman will represent the Association of Women in Communications (AWC) on the Council. AWC is one of 19 member-organizations that constitute the Council. The Council is responsible for the evaluation of professional journalism and mass communications programs in colleges and universities.

Currently, there are 110 professionally accredited programs in the United States. FAMU’s Division of Journalism is professionally accredited.

“I never imagined 20 years ago, when I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the history of the Accrediting Council, that I would become a member of this powerful organization,” Workman said. “My predecessor, Jo-Ann Huff Albers, is a tough act to follow. She has been AWC’s representative on the Council for 27 years.”

Jo-Ann Huff Albers will retire from the Council in May. She was director of journalism and broadcasting at Western Kentucky University and remains an active member of AWC.

Workman is a former AWC national board member and the faculty adviser to the Tallahassee Student Chapter of AWC. She has been named AWC Outstanding Faculty Adviser five times.

Workman will be the second faculty member to serve on the ACEJMC. Bob Ruggles, the former dean, also served on the council.

RW News: FAMU Alum Will Packer Says No Other HBCU Prepares Students Like FAMU

With Florida A&M University’s 120th anniversary and homecoming well underway, the university celebrated the Homecoming Convocation at the Jake Gaither Gym.

This year’s homecoming theme, “The Rattler Renaissance; A Rebirth of Rattler Pride and Spirit,” encompasses the renewal of the institution in every aspect. Alvin Bryant, president of the FAMU National Alumni Chapter, greetings embodied the theme.

“Although we’ve been through tumultuous times,” said Bryant. “This is a time of togetherness and rebuilding of strength.”

FAMU’s Marching “100” enthused the crowd with “FAMU Spirit,” “Rattler Orange & Green,” and “S.O.S.” while FAMU’s world-renowned gospel choir serenaded the audience with “More Abundantly” and “I Will Bless the Lord.” Cheerleaders kept the crowd roaring while the 2007-2008 Royal Court was introduced and past Miss FAMUs of the 30s and 40s were recognized. Even former FAMU presidents Fred Gainous and Fredrick Humphries were in attendance.

FAMU President James H. Ammons described the keynote speaker, William Packer, film producer and FAMU graduate, as “an outstanding and gifted Rattler.”

“Never has there been a more important time, and never have we had to be more responsible for being African-American,” Packer said. “We’re about to inherit the world. No one prepares our young people for the world like HBCU’s and no HBCU prepares our young people like Florida A&M University.”

Packer ended his speech by explaining the importance of giving back to the institution he cherishes, and by giving Ammons a check for $10,000. As it turned out, this was the first in a series of eight checks to be presented to President Ammons.

Col. Ronald Joe, interim vice president for university relations, reintroduced Ammons for an announcement regarding a new fundraising effort.

In the midst of the Marching “100” playing the Tom Joyner Morning Show’s theme song and a swarm of orange and green balloons falling the gym ceiling onto a plethora of prestigious guests, Ammons said, “I am proud to announce the official launch of the fundraising campaign for Florida A&M University,” he said. “We have been selected to as the Tom Joyner School of the Month for January 2008, which is the 10th anniversary of the School of the Month effort. Today, we kickoff this campaign with efforts donations made by FAMU alumni and supporters.”

A total of $682,919 was donated by FAMU’s Student Government Association, the National Diamondback Pharmacy Council, the Florida and North East regions of the National Alumni Association, the FAMU Industry Cluster and other supporters.

Ammons thanked each of the contributors and encouraged the audience of Rattlers past and present to continue the effort to raise dollars for the campaign. Ammons ended the convocation with the famous FAMU mantra, the Rattler Charge.