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


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


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
- 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.