Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Florida A&M University Receives Scholarship Support from Cracker Barrel

Florida A&M University announced the three-year commitment of scholarship support from Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® to provide tuition assistance for students in the School of Business and Industry. Cracker Barrel will provide a total of $30,000 for six scholarships annually over a three-year period to assist students who have displayed an interest in the hospitality industry and who have a minimum grade point average of 2.5.

“Since both of my parents never completed high school, they have struggled to provide a decent standard of living for my sibling and me,” said Giles Paul. “As the first in my family to attend college, I am determined to work hard to achieve my goals in life. Having adequate funds is essential to the completion of my college education. The scholarship that I received from Cracker Barrel will greatly assist in furthering my studies. My parents and I are most appreciative.”

“Words cannot express how grateful I am to be a recipient of the Cracker Barrel scholarship for Spring 2009,” said Jeremy D Mounticure.

“Cracker Barrel is very pleased to provide this scholarship support as part of our overall commitment to achieving business excellence by embracing diversity and inclusion,” said Diana S. Wynne, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs for Cracker Barrel. “We believe that welcoming diversity in our company, our retail stores, and our restaurants, is good for business and, more importantly, good for people.”

The six students who received scholarships this year are as follows:
- Cusheena A. Brown, a senior business administration major from New York, NY;
- Carletha M. Clemmons, a senior business administration major from Pompano Beach, Fla.;
- Melkevia Denisha Morris, a senior accounting major from Jacksonville, Fla.;
- Jeremy D. Mounticure, a senior business administration major from Birmingham, Ala.;
- Giles Dionne Paul, a junior business administration major from Miami, Fla.;
- Christopher Andre Wan, a senior business administration major from West Palm Beach, Fla.;

About Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants provide a friendly home-away-from-home in their old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that’s surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s country heritage…all at a fair price. The restaurant serves up delicious, home-style country food such as meatloaf and homemade chicken n’ dumplings as well as its signature biscuits using an old family recipe. The authentic old country retail store is fun to shop and offers unique gifts and self-indulgences.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the publicly held CBRL Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL). Cracker Barrel was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. operates 585 company-owned locations in 41 states. For more information, visit

Photo caption: From left to right: Dean Lydia McKinley-Floyd, Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) School of Business and Industry; Carla Willis, vice president of FAMU’s University Relations; FAMU students Carletha M. Clemmons; Giles Paul; Melkevia Morris; and Jeremy Mounticure are presented with a check from Roy Thombs, manager, Field Human Resources for Cracker Barrel.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

FAMU Launches Fundraising Effort for Marching “100” Road to Washington Campaign

Florida A&M University is soliciting the help of its supporters to raise at least $100,000 for the Marching “100”’s “Road to Washington and Beyond Campaign.” One of the upcoming fundraisers is the “FAMU Band Sunday” scheduled for Sunday, December 14, 2008. The University’s Division of University Relations is asking churches throughout the community to take up a special offering to support the band’s trip to Washington.

The university also is asking individuals who are interested in supporting the trip to make a donation online by logging onto or to provide a check payable to the FAMU Foundation with “Road to Washington” in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to FAMU Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 6562, Tallahassee, Florida 32314-6562.

The University was notified on Friday that the Marching “100” had been selected to participate in the President’s Inaugural Parade scheduled for Tuesday, January 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C.

University officials have set a deadline of December 31, 2008, to raise the required funding.

“We are optimistic that the community, our alumni and supporters will help us to reach this goal,” said Carla Willis, vice president for University Relations. “We began our fundraising efforts this weekend with an email blast and already we’re seeing the results. We are going to need the collective support of all of our stakeholders to reach our goal.”

If additional information is needed about the fundraising effort, please call (850) 599-3491 or (850) 224-6093.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Marching “100” will Participate in President-elect Barack Obama's Inaugural Parade

Florida A&M University’s Marching “100” has been selected to participate in the President's Inaugural parade on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, in

A telephone call on Friday to Dr. Julian White, director of bands and chair of FAMU's Department of Music, was unexpected and changed the course of the band’s practice session.

December 5, was a typical band rehearsal for FAMU Marching “100” as they created unique formations with high-stepping techniques. According to White, he received a telephone call during rehearsal congratulating him that the Marching “100” had been selected to participate in the inaugural parade.

“When I heard that we were selected, I immediately asked them to repeat it again,” said White. “I put them on speakerphone and put the phone to the microphone so that the entire band could hear the invite. As soon as the band members heard the invitation, they went berserk. They were screaming and shouting. They started calling and sending text messages to their family and friends informing them of the wonderful news.”

This is not the first time the Marching “100” has been invited to participate in a Presidential Inaugural Parade. This appearance will be the third time for the Marching “100”. The band participated in both of the inaugural parades for former President William “Bill” Clinton.

“For Florida A&M University to be a part of such a historical occasion is truly an honor,” said James H. Ammons, FAMU's president. “This nation will have an opportunity to see once again what we all know — the Marching “100” is this nation’s most talented, dynamic and innovative university band.”

White is also proud of the band.

“I am proud and elated that the 420 piece Florida A&M University Marching Band has been invited to participate in the historic Presidential Inaugural Parade,” said White. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to represent the university, the City of Tallahassee, and the State of Florida. The invitation to Present-elect Obama’s Inaugural Parade is by far what we are most proud of. We would like to thank our President Dr. James H. Ammons who has supported us every step of the way.”

Ralph Jean-Paul, student president of the Marching "100," echoed White’s sentiments.

“Words can not express how we feel,” said Paul, a senior from Miami majoring in music education with a concentration in performance. “We consider this to a great privilege for the band to be part of this historical event.”

To be considered to participate in the inaugural parade, the band had to submit an extensive application. White stated they sent a DVD of the band’s marching performance as well as audio clips. A 50-page media kit also was sent highlighting the numerous accomplishments of the band over the years.

“It was a hard job to condense some many years of accomplishments into just 50-pages,” said White.

Now the challenge is funding. According to White, he estimates that the cost for three nights of lodging and the travel expenses to and from Washington, D.C. could cost from $90,000 to $100,000.

“We are really going to need the help from our supporters, the FAMU community, our alumni, and the local community,” said White.

Friday, December 5, 2008

FAMU Student Honored by Black Public Relations Society of Atlanta

Mark Taylor II, vice president of the Florida A&M University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), was recently honored as the 2008 Beacon Award recipient during the Sixth Annual PR Summit hosted by the Black Public Relations Society of Atlanta (BPRS/Atlanta).

“Although I was confident in my accomplishments and what was submitted for the award, I was shocked when they announced me as the recipient,” said Taylor, a senior public relations student from Toledo, Ohio. “I had to work hard. I did my research, wrote and re-edited my submission using what I’ve learned from FAMU and work experience.”

Taylor’s press release on the recent academic achievements and social highlights at FAMU was a key component in his receiving the award. According to Taylor, he wrote the press release so that it would appeal to journalists.

“BPRS/Atlanta was pleased to award Mark the 2008 Beacon Award because of his quality work,” said Keith Aikens, president of BPRS/Atlanta.

According to the BPRS/Atlanta Web site, Taylor will also receive a scholarship that is given annually to an African-American undergraduate student who demonstrates leadership qualities and a commitment to achieving excellence as a future public relations professional. In fact, several panelists at the PR Summit lauded FAMU students for demonstrating professionalism and leadership.

“Mark is a very hard-working student who has a passion for public relations,” said Dr. LaRae Donnellan, professor and former PRSSA faculty advisor.

The BPRS/Atlanta PR Summit is an opportunity for students to network with several middle and senior-level PR professionals through panel discussions, breakout sessions and hands-on workshops. Students also discuss important issues with professionals from the black perspective, like how to make career choices and how to successfully transition from college into the workforce.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Three FAMU Alums Elected to the Florida House of Representatives

Three Florida A&M University alumni have been elected to the Florida House of Representatives — Representative Dwight M. Bullard, District 118, Miami; Representative Mia L. Jones, District 14, Jacksonville; and Representative Alan B. Williams, District 8, Tallahassee.

Bullard, a teacher in Miami, received his bachelor’s degree in history in 1999.

His father, Edward B. “Ed” Bullard, was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000-2008 and his mother, Larcenia J. Bullard, was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 1992-2000 and has been a member of the Florida Senate since 2002.

Bullard is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Richmond-Perrine Alumni; Redlands Democrats; Richmond Heights Homeowners Association; Ron Brown Democratic Caucus; and the South Dade Democrats. He is also a life member of the NAACP.

The former director for Minority Business Affairs for the Duval County Public Schools, Representative Jones received her bachelor’s degree in 1991 and a MBA in 1992.

Jones’ affiliations include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Leadership Florida, and Leadership Jacksonville. She is a board member for the Essential Capital Board of Directors and the Healthy Start Coalition Advisory Board. She is a life member of the FAMU National Alumni Association.

In 2003 and 2007, Jones was elected to the Jacksonville City Council.

Williams, a marketing and business consultant, received his bachelor’s degree in 1998 and his MBA in 2003.

His public service includes the City of Tallahassee Airport Advisory Board; a community relations aide to Mayor John Marks; the Florida Selective Service Board; and the Florida Advisory Committee for the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Some of Williams’ affiliations are as follows: chair of the Board of Governors for
Leadership Tallahassee; current member for the Council of Advisors for Leadership Florida; life member and chapter president for the FAMU Alumni Association; a member for the board of directors for the Challenger Learning Center and the United Way of the Big Bend; a board member for the Florida Advisory Committee, United States Commission on Civil Rights; and a board member for Tallahassee Boys Choir.

Williams’ accomplishments include Brother of the Year and past Polemarch for alumni for the Alpha Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; founded FAMU Campus Venom Shuttle Service; Leadership Tallahassee Distinguished Leadership Awards Finalist; recipient of the Rattler Pride Award in 2007; and from 1993 through 1998, a student senator for the FAMU Student Government Association. In 2003, he was featured in Ebony Magazine’s “30 Future Leaders under 30.”

From left to right: Representative Dwight M. Bullard, District 118, Miami; Representative Mia L. Jones, District 14, Jacksonville; and Representative Alan B. Williams, District 8, Tallahassee.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Judge Glenda Hatchett to Keynote FAMU’s 2008 Fall Commencement

Glenda Hatchett will keynote Florida A&M University’s 2008 fall commencement scheduled for Friday, December 12, at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center at 6 p.m. Hatchett presides over the syndicated show “Judge Hatchett” now in its 8th season.

After graduating from Emory University School of Law and completing a coveted clerkship in the U.S. Federal Courts, Hatchett accepted a position at Delta Air Lines as the company’s highest-ranking African-American woman. She served in dual roles as a senior attorney for Delta, litigating cases in federal courts throughout the country, and manager of public relations, supervising global crisis management, and media relations for all of Europe, Asia and the United States. In fact, her outstanding contributions were recognized by Ebony Magazine, which named Hatchett one of the “100 Best and Brightest Women in Corporate America.” She made the difficult decision to leave Delta Air Lines to accept an appointment as Chief Presiding Judge of the Fulton County, Georgia Juvenile Court. Upon accepting the position, she became Georgia’s first African-American Chief Presiding Judge of a state court and the department head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country.

Hatchett is a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and has been recognized as a distinguished alumna and awarded an honorary degree by the college. She also attended Emory University School of Law and because of her commitment to excellence and service within the community, she was awarded the Emory Medal, the highest award given to an alum by the university.

She is the author of the national bestseller, “Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say” (HarperCollins). She has previously served on the Board of Directors of Gap, Inc., the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), and the Service Master Company.

Hatchett is a board member of the Atlanta Falcons Football Organization and serves on the Board of Advisors for Play Pumps International. She also serves on the Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Board of Governors.

She resides in Atlanta, Ga. with her two sons.

Monday, November 10, 2008

FAMU Student Designs Program Cover for the Walt Disney World Florida Classic Presented By State Farm

Florida A&M University (FAMU) student Roderic Edwards is the design contest winner for the Walt Disney World Florida Classic XXIX football game and the State Farm Battle of the Bands program covers.

This makes the second consecutive year a FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) student has won the contest.

“We applaud Roderic for this recognition,” said Dean James Hawkins, SJGC. “This award reflects the caliber of our students and will motivate other students to continue to set the standard of excellence in the graphics industry.”

Edwards, a 23-year-old senior graphic design student and Pensacola, Fla. native, said a classmate told him about the contest.

“I am elated to win and thankful for the opportunity to demonstrate my God-given talent,” said Edwards.

In addition to having his work featured on thousands of programs, Edwards will receive two tickets to the Florida Classic

XXIX football game (BCC vs. FAMU) in Orlando on November 22 and two tickets to the Battle of the Bands.

Edwards’ career goal is to eventually own a graphic design company.

Music Is My Business CEO and Former Sean “Diddy” Combs Exec. at FAMU

Aaron Arnold, chief executive officer for Music Is My Business, will speak to Florida A&M University (FAMU) journalism students on Thursday, October 9, at 11 a.m. in FAMU’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) Lecture Hall. His presentation is part of the fall journalism colloquium series. The presentation is open to the public.

“The music, entertainment, television and multi-media industries are of high interest to many students,” said Dorothy Bland, journalism division director. “We’re delighted that Mr. Arnold will share some of the lessons he’s learned about the business of music production, television/film and multi-media with our students.”

Arnold, a former member of Sean “Diddy” Combs’ executive team, has appeared on Cable News Network for being a “Young Person Who Rocks.” The show honored people under the age of 30 who impact and inspire the world. He is also on VH1’s new show “I Want to Work for Diddy.”

Arnold’s firm is based in Atlanta and houses several divisions including:

•MIMB Music (houses artists, producers and writers)
•MIMB TV & Film
•MIMB Marketing & Brand Development

MIMB is home to the Million Dollar DJs and has consulted for brands such as ESPN, Heineken, Billboard Magazine, The United Nations’ World Food Organization, Grammy Winner Bryan-Michael Cox and MTV’s Making The Band and platinum-selling artist Danity Kane.

Prior to working at Bad Boy Records, Arnold was an executive at Hill & Knowlton in New York.
Arnold graduated from the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations.

For more information on colloquium and upcoming guest speakers, contact Dorothy Bland (850) 599-3719.

Victoria’s Secret PINK and FAMU Combine to Strike PINK!

With a little Rattler spirit from Florida A&M University (FAMU) and a touch of style from Victoria’s Secret (VS) PINK, FAMU President James H. Ammons, VS PINK chief operating officer, FAMU alum and Board of Trustees member, Richard Dent, announced the extension of VS PINK Collegiate Collection.

“This is a day when my past and my present meet; a day when two important elements in my life converge; a day when I feel like the broker, of sorts, for a very powerful partnership,” said Dent. “I can’t think of a better place to roll out this new line than right here on the Rattler Yard.”

The PINK collection will incorporate some Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), including FAMU, Howard, North Carolina A&T State, and Southern Universities, and is slated to launch in mid-December.

“This year we have been working to expand our licensed products and this new partnership with Victoria Secret PINK will place merchandise with our logos and marks in area stores and provide access to a broader audience through on-line purchases,” said Ammons. “This will generate revenue for the university that we can use to enhance operations.”

Ammons spoke about how FAMU students can benefit from this historic partnership. Students from FAMU’s student-run public relations firm, PRodigy were able to get to practice basic integrated marketing and communication skills by working on the Strike PINK account, taking what is learned in the classroom and putting it to use with a real life client.

Three FAMU students will also be selected as VS PINK brand ambassadors, gaining valuable experience promoting the company on the campus and receiving compensation for their work.

In recognition of the occasion PRodigy hosted, alongside VS PINK, a “Recycle Your Sweats” clothing drive. A total of 1,100 clothing items have been collected so far and will be donated to Mothers in Crisis.

According to Dent, FAMU set the record for collecting the most clothing items by any group VS PINK has work with.

Pastor Rosalind Tompkins, founder and Executive Director for the Mothers In Crisis charity, was on hand to accept the donation.

“I am very grateful for this generous donation,” said Tompkins. “I assure you that every article of clothing donation will be put to good use.”

The clothing drive continued throughout the day at the VS Pop-Up Store. This weekend PRodigy students will deliver all of the collected items to Mothers In Crisis.

Lindsey Johnson, a junior pubic relations student and the PRodigy associate that presided over today’s event, introduced FAMU student models showing off VS PINK Collegiate Collection designs for FAMU, Howard and Southern Universities.

As the program came to a close, Johnson reminded the crowd that the VS Pop-Up Store, full of VS merchandise, was also on campus for the FAMU community to enjoy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tallahassee Museum Features Photography of FAMU Journalism Professor

The Tallahassee Museum will display the photography of Florida A&M University journalism professor Michael Abrams in the “A Passion for Flowers” exhibit from September 2008 through January 2009.

“I was surprised and gratified when the Tallahassee Museum asked me to present my photography after viewing my work on the web,” said Abrams.

The exhibit features natural and supernatural wildflower and insect photography. Some of the photographs show natural repose; other images are enhanced by computer algorithms. They are printed on various types of paper including fine art and canvas, with 200-year-old archival ink.

Abrams’ photographs are of Florida wildflowers, some of them endangered species, such as the night-blooming wild petunia and hexalectris (crested) orchid. Most of the photographs were digitized from slides taken over a 15-year span, and other photographs were taken digitally.

Professor Abrams teaches communication law and is the director of graduate studies at the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. Some of his photographs are located on the award-winning website

For more information on prints and prices visit

With an Increase in National Achievement Scholars, FAMU Continues to Attract the Best and Brightest in the Nation

Rekindling the tradition to attract the best and brightest students in the nation, six National Achievement Scholars are calling Florida A&M University home, which has more than double from last year. In addition, FAMU also recruited 14 finalists and 10 semifinalists.

“Through aggressive recruitment campaigns, which led us across the nation to places like Boston, New York, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angles and the State of Florida, we were able to show prospective students that FAMU is an institution that provides an enlightening academic experience and faculty that care about student development,” said Roland Gaines, vice president for Student Affairs. “This increase in National Achievement Scholars is just the beginning.”

Of the 1,836 freshmen that are attending college for the first time, the six National Achievement Scholars are as follows:

- Justin Daranda, majoring in management, from New Orleans, La.
- Martine Lunis, majoring in occupational therapy, from Eustis, Fla.
- Alicia Payne, majoring in broadcast journalism, from Louisville, Ky.
- Matthew Rodney, majoring in pharmacy, from Tamarac, Fla.
- Ulyssa Hester, majoring in biology pre-med, from Stone Mountain, Ga.,
- Danielle Jones, majoring in biology, from Anderson, Ind.

FAMU’s National Achievement Scholars from Louisiana to Florida from Indiana to Kentucky share one thing in common — their ardor for an education at FAMU.

Lunis forwent an opportunity to attend Princeton University and came to FAMU.

“I applied and got accepted to Princeton, Florida State and Emory, but I wanted to go to FAMU,” she said. “FAMU provides me with the type of community I wanted for my college experience and the high level of education. I've made so many friends here and the classes are very stimulating.”

Hester said that along with the outstanding academic programs, FAMU “just felt right.”

“I liked the feeling of it,” she said. “At FAMU, they really look out for you; it’s like the motto; ‘Excellence with Caring.’ They really do care. I’ve been to a lot of college campuses, but nothing felt better than being at FAMU.”

Crestview City Council Voted to Transfer Building to FAMU for Health-Related Educational Programs

The City Council of Crestview, Fla. voted to transfer the title of a 39,200 square foot building to Florida A&M University to be used as classroom/laboratory space for health-related educational programs. Pharmacy is a leading candidate for offering a program at this site. Nursing and allied health courses could also be offered from Crestview.

“This effort would help to bring health education to a region of our state which sorely needs programs in areas where there are critical shortages,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “Our goal, and our hope, is that local residents trained in the health professions will remain in the area to address some of the health needs in a 12-county area stretching from Leon to Escambia counties.”

Currently, students seeking health education from the area are forced to drive to Tallahassee and many travel to Auburn and Birmingham, Ala.

Students interested in the program will be admitted to FAMU. Lectures will be provided in real-time through video conferencing between the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Tallahassee and the Crestview facility.

The major objective of the Crestview project is that graduates of the program will be able to alleviate the increasing shortage of pharmacists presently being experienced throughout the Florida Panhandle.

Currently, FAMU has existing relationships with many in the healthcare industry. Faculty assigned to the Crestview facility will be able to establish relationships with major health-care systems and community pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and other, which will provide training for students.

FAMU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals is a leader in attracting millions of dollars for basic science and clinical research and competes nationally to attract industry and federal support for its many research and training endeavors. We fully expect that students and faculty Crestview will be able to participate in this research and be fully engaged in community outreach.

“Once up and running, we fully expect that this branch campus will attract thousands of dollars to be spent in the Crestview area and potentially become its own research center,” said Ammons.

FAMU President James H. Ammons Will Host the President’s Forum

Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons will host the first President’s Forum for the 2008-2009 academic year on Monday, September 22, in Lee Hall Auditorium. The scheduled forums are the following:

Staff forum - 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Faculty forum - 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Management forum - 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Students forum - 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

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

BET’s College Tour Will Visit FAMU

Florida A&M University will be one of the 16 stops on the BET College Tour, the largest and only national tour of its kind. The tour will be on the Benjamin L. Perry lawn, behind the Perry-Paige building, on Wednesday, October 29, during FAMU’s Homecoming week.

“This is very exciting for our us,” said Mellori Lumpkin, vice president of FAMU’s Student Government Association. “We have built a great relationship with BET over the past couple years and to have them to come back and participate during our homecoming activities is great.”

Now in its seventh year, the College Tour is part of BET’s continuous efforts to highlight and support historically black colleges and universities by providing relevant, engaging and informative outreach to minority students.

The schedule of events will include a spoken word contest, a two-on-two basketball challenge, a singer’s spotlight and a concert from a Universal Records recording

FAMU Sponsors a Book Series in Celebration of President Ammons’ Inauguration

The Florida A&M University Book Series celebrating the inauguration of President James H. Ammons is set to begin October 2 in Perry Paige Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Keith Simmonds, assistant dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, will lead a discussion on the first book of the series entitled “The Audacity of Hope” by Senator Barack Obama.

“The series was formed in order to provide opportunities for enlightening and informative dialogue sessions on various topics leading up to the inauguration of Dr. Ammons as the 10th President of FAMU,” said Sharon P. Saunders, chair of the President’s Inauguration Committee, adding the sessions are free and open to the public.

Here’s a listing of what’s scheduled:

Wednesday, October 8, 6:30 p.m.
“Jazz” by Toni Morrison
Discussion Leader: Dr. Emma Dawson, professor and director of the FAMU Honors Program
Location: Lee Hall Auditorium

Thursday, October 16, 6:30 p.m.
“Letters to a Young Sister” and “Letters to a Young Brother”
by Hill Harper
Discussion Leaders: Monique Gillum, FAMU SGA President, 2007-2008 and Commissioner Andrew Gillum, City of Tallahassee
Location: Perry Paige Auditorium

Thursday, October 23, 6:30 p.m.
“A Return to Excellence: Historic Headlines Reflecting the Presidential Eras of Florida A&M University (2001-2008)” by Dr. Elizabeth Dawson, Dr. Leedell W. Neyland and Professor Yanela Gordon.

Discussion Leaders: Dr. Elizabeth Dawson, Dr. Leedell Neyland and Professor Yanela Gordon
Location: Perry Paige Auditorium

The President’s Installation Ceremony will take place in the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center on October 31, at 10:10 a.m. Additional key events planned during the inaugural week include an inaugural gala dinner dance, a gospel concert featuring Shirley Caesar, an inaugural barbecue, and an art exhibition and symposia.


Marlon S. Honeywell, PharmD, associate professor, Pharmacy Practice in Florida A&M University’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS), was appointed to the Diabetes Advisory Council for a two-year term beginning November 2008. Honeywell’s appointment was based on his qualifications as a healthcare practitioner and his interest in serving the people of Florida.

“I feel honored and privileged to serve the people of Florida and I am extremely excited about working with the Diabetes Advisory Council,” said Honeywell.

“The COPPS family is elated and congratulates Dr. Honeywell on his prestigious appointment to the Diabetes Advisory Council,” said Henry Lewis III, dean and professor of the COPPS. “Dr. Honeywell typifies the caliber and level of commitment of our faculty in the College to address the healthcare needs of the people of Florida.”

Senator Al Lawson will Keynote FAMU’s Founders Day Convocation

Florida A&M University has scheduled its Founders Day Convocation for Friday, October 3, at 10:10 a.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium. The keynote speaker will be the Honorable Alfred "Al" Lawson, Jr., a state senator.

As a state senator for nearly 10 years, Lawson was recently designated as the leader of the 2008-2010 Senate Democratic Caucus and served as a member of the Florida House of Representative for nearly two decades.

Elected to the Senate in 2000, Lawson is an insurance agent with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and president of Lawson & Associates, a marketing firm. He received his bachelor’s degree from FAMU and a master’s degree in public administration from Florida State University.

FAMU College of Law is Ranked Among the Top Ten Law Schools for the most Clinical Opportunities Available

Florida A&M University’s College of Law was recently ranked seventh for providing clinical opportunities by National Jurist magazine, beating out other schools like Cornell, Harvard, Stanford and Rutgers Universities and making it one of two historically black colleges or universities (HBCU) on the list.

“We are pleased to be ranked with some of the most prestigious law schools in the country,” said FAMU Law Dean LeRoy Pernell. “This recognition demonstrates the value-added significance of our legal clinic.”

The September issue of the magazine for law students ranked the top 50 American Bar Association (ABA) law schools based on the total number of full-time clinical course positions offered per the number of full-time students. National Jurist used information from the Official Guide to ABA Approved Law Schools, 2008 edition to compile the list.

“In a field where hands on experience is in high demand, this is great news,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “The sun is indeed rising as we embark on a new day at FAMU. In taking steps to ensure the College of Law becomes a leader in producing the top lawyers in the country and is home of top-rate and credible academic programs, this is just a sign of things to come.

The FAMU College of Law’s Legal Clinic Program is under the direction of Assistant Professor Ann Marie Cavazos and includes Guardian Ad-Litem, Public Defender, Prosecution, Judicial Externship, Homelessness and Legal Advocacy, Death Penalty, Housing and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Community and Economic Development. Information sessions are held regularly to inform students of available opportunities. Students participating in the legal clinics have assisted Orlando’s indigent population with numerous court cases, and have been recognized for their winning efforts.

Last year, the FAMU Law Clinic received the 2007 Intergenerational Partnership Award, along with the Town of Eatonville, for its assistance with several projects geared toward historical preservation. “In harmony with the College of Law’s Mission Statement, the objective of the clinic is ‘to produce excellent legal professionals who will demonstrate professionalism’,” said Cavazos.

The FAMU College of Law was founded in 1949 on the main campus in Tallahassee. After graduating 57 lawyers, the law school was closed by the state of Florida in 1968. The Florida Legislature voted to reopen the law school in 2000 and Orlando was selected as the location. The reestablished FAMU College of Law opened its doors in 2002 and is now housed in a state-of-the-art facility at 201 Beggs Avenue in downtown Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

FAMU Division of Journalism Director Appointed to National Committee that Awards Excellence in Student Journalism

Dorothy Bland, Florida A&M University’s director for the division of journalism, was recently appointed to the Hearst Journalism Awards Program Steering Committee.

“I'm honored to serve on the Hearst Steering Committee,” said Bland. “At the collegiate level, the Hearst Awards are as prestigious as the Pulitzer Prizes in the professional arena. The steering committee represents some of the most prestigious journalism programs in the nation."

The Steering Committee, which meets twice a year, involves discussing any changes that might have developed over the year or additions to the program. All steering committee members are expected to make sure their institutions enter all monthly competitions in writing, broadcast, photo and multimedia. The only exception would be if an institution does not have a curriculum in one of the areas.

The next board meeting will be in January 2009 in Mexico City, as part of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication (ASJMC) winter meetings.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

FAMU Foundation Offers a New and Innovative Option for FAMU Donors

With just two clicks, anyone can make a contribution to Florida A&M University, or any FAMU school, college or institute, via the new online-giving Web site.

To make an online contribution visit and input the requested information.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rattlers fill FAMU’s Gym to Capacity in Anticipation of President Ammons’ State of the University Address

Standing room only describes Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Annual President’s Convocation.

Cheers of anticipation grew silent as a processional of FAMU’s faculty, followed by distinguished guests, entered the gym draped in academic regalia for the day’s occasion. As it turns out, this President’s Convocation would commemorate more than just the start of a semester and a presentation of FAMU’s President James H. Ammons’ goals for the school year.

This convocation would remind everyone that with perseverance and “a dream” anything is possible.

FAMU Student Government Association (SGA) President Andrew Collins presided over the convocation and SGA Vice President Mellori Lumpkin delivered a dynamic welcoming address. Following Lumpkin were Omari Crawford and Amanda Byrd, Mr. and Miss FAMU 2008-2009, who introduced the Royal Court and spoke of the significance of today’s occasion.

Cynthia Hughes Harris, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, had the honor of introducing FAMU’s tenth president, who presented to the FAMU community his eight goals for the 2008-2009 school year but not before explaining today’s historical significance.

“I want to congratulate the United States of America and indeed the Democratic Party for the historic nomination of Senator Barack Obama as President of the United States,” said Ammons. “His acceptance of this nomination came 45 years to the day that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.”

Ammons said that no matter what your party affiliation, he encourages everyone to exercise their right to vote in this historic election.

Ammons then outlined his goals, which focused on retention and graduation rates, reaffirmation of the Southern Association of Colleges and Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), new degree programs and full accreditation for the FAMU College of Law.

• Update the university’s strategic plan;
• Increase enrollment as well as retention and graduation rates by improving the quality of the student experience;
• Secure reaffirmation of the SACS-COC and move FAMU’s accredited disciplines toward compliance with the standards of their respective accrediting bodies;

• Develop new degree programs and increase research productivity to be competitive with our peers;
• Implement policies, processes and procedures that continue to enhance and strengthen the University’s financial and operational systems;

• Implement new strategies to meet fund-raising goals;
• Implement marketing and public relations strategies that will enhance the image; of the University and increase membership in the National Alumni Association; and

• Secure the full accreditation for the FAMU College of Law

Hughes Harris then introduced members of the FAMU Board of Trustees, FAMU’s leadership team and the university deans to the campus community and recognized all faculty and staff in attendance.

In presenting this year’s “Marching 100” to the community, Julian White, Ph.D., also introduced James Moran, Ph.D., development officer in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, who delivered a stirring rendition of the “I Have a Dream” speech as the sounds of the world famous “Marching 100” playing America the Beautiful filled the background.

Ammons honored White with a framed New York Times article that featured the “Marching 100.” Following the introductions of the band and band staff, Director of Athletics William “Bill” Hayes introduced FAMU’s coaching staff. Joe Taylor, head football coach, followed Hayes and introduced the football team and brought an overwhelming feeling of school spirit into the gym.

“I look forward to the celebration as we highlight a new beginning and a new era of excellence with caring,” said Ammons. “Rattlers, 2007-2008 was remarkable, but 2008-2009 will be the ‘Year of the Rattlers,’ where we will have no boundaries in the pursuit of excellence and success and a year of unlimited possibilities.”

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tickets On-Sale for FAMU’s Tenth President Inaugural Kick-Off Event — Featuring Gospel Sensation Evangelist Shirley Caesar

Tickets go on sale today, Thursday, August 28, 2008, for Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons’ inaugural events, including the gospel concert, featuring Evangelist Shirley Caesar, gospel phenomenon and 11-time Grammy Award winning artist.

In addition to the concert tickets, which are $40 per person, tickets for the Homecoming Gala, $125; Presidential Inaugural Barbeque, $10; and Champagne Jazz Brunch, $25, will be on sale at Lee Hall, Room 103, and at the FAMU Alumni House, 1810 South Adams Street, Tallahassee, Fla. 32307, and online at

The gospel concert featuring Evangelist Shirley Caesar is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Lee Hall Auditorium, Monday, October 27. The theme for the inaugural week is “Preserving a Legacy of Excellence in a New Era.” The seven-day celebration will highlight some of the major thrusts that are part of the Ammons 10-point plan: education, community service, health and the arts.

For more information about the FAMU Presidential Inauguration and for regular updates, visit the official website at

Anchors and editors announced for FAMU Student Media for 2008-2009

Brent Hatchett and Courtney Simms have been named news anchors for FAMU-TV 20 and the Live at Five Newscast. The newscast will move from airing twice a week to four times a week starting September 15.

“This places our broadcast journalism program on par with the top journalism programs in the nation in regard to producing news reporters, producers, videographers, editors and news anchors,” said Kenneth Jones, a broadcast professor and sequence coordinator.

Students in the advanced TV news class also will contribute to the Week in Review news show that will air on Fridays at 7 p.m. on FAMU-TV 20 starting September 5.

Hatchett, a broadcast student from Detroit, has interned with WTXL-TV as a reporter. He also has worked as a sports announcer and gospel disc jockey for WANM-FM as well as a reporter for The Famuan, FAMU’s student newspaper.

Simms, a broadcast student from Chicago, has been a Fashion Fair model worldwide and worked on FAMU’s homecoming show broadcast as a reporter.

Rounding out the four-person anchor team will be weather anchor Maria Osler, a broadcast student from the Detroit-area, and sports anchor Alicia Mitchell, a broadcast student from Orlando.

Akeem Anderson, a newspaper journalism student from Chicago, and Yewande Addie, a newspaper journalism student from Atlanta, have been selected as the editors for The Famuan newspaper and Journey Magazine respectively for the 2008-2009 school year.

Under Anderson’s leadership, The Famuan was named the top student newspaper published at a historically black university in 2008. The Famuan staff also won 10 other awards for reporting, headline writing, editing, photography, informational graphics and design work at the HBCU National Newspaper Conference held in Baltimore earlier this year. Students working on Journey also have won several awards in recent years, including a Hearst Award in 2008 and the “Best College Magazine” by the Southeast Journalism Conference in 2006.

“We understand the increasing importance of convergence and our student media will be ramping up the volume of multi-media projects in the coming school year,” said James Hawkins, dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.

Under the leadership of Professor Michael Abrams, FAMU journalism students also will be working with the Tallahassee Democrat on an election-related poll this fall.

Photo caption: (From left to right) Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) TV-20 news anchors for the fall 2008: Alicia Mitchell, Brent Hatchett, Courtney Simms, and Maria Osler.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

FAMU Welcomes Rev. Margaret Kartwe-Bradley as the New Director of the Campus Ministry

Rev. Margaret Kartwe-Bradley recently joined the Florida A&M University family as the director of the campus ministry.

“I have already fallen in love with the people here at FAMU, and the university is so blessed to have an awesome president,” said Rev. Kartwe-Bradley. “As an ordained elder of the United Methodist Church, the world is my perish. At this moment in time, this university, FAMU, and its whole community is my parish. I’m not just here for Methodist students, but all students and staff if and when needed.”

Rev. Kartwe-Bradley, former member of the Gainesville and Orlando Board of Ordained Ministry, comes to FAMU after serving as senior pastor at Ebenezer United Methodist Church, in Orlando, Fla., since 2003.

She has also served as senior pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church and Zion United Methodist Church, in Ocala, Fla. Prior to moving to Florida, Rev. Kartwe-Bradley served as a local pastor at the Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Madison, Ind. She has held leadership roles in the Conference Board of Global Ministries, the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry and the Justice Committee on African-American Comprehension Plan Task Force.

Rev. Kartwe-Bradley obtained her associate in business degree from the College of West Africa, in Monrovia Liberia, bachelor’s of arts from the American Baptist College and master’s of divinity from the Gammon Theological Seminary.

FAMU is the Only University Recognized as Graphic Students Win 15 Printing Association of Florida Awards

The Florida A&M University School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) announces its students have received 15 awards at the 2008 Printing Association of Florida (PAF) Print Awards. The awards were announced at the association’s annual conference in Orlando.

FAMU was the only university honored among 78 Florida-based printing, graphic arts companies, and schools.

“We are delighted the Printing Association of Florida has recognized our students’ work,” said James Hawkins, SJGC dean. “This will signal to the printing community that students in our school are learning the skills they will need in the workplace.”

The students won one Best of Category Award, two Awards of Excellence and 12 Honorable Mentions.

The students participating in the competition were:

• Angelica Broadus
• Windham Graves
• Cleather H. Hathcock, III
• Alicia Hope
• Stephanie M. King
• Matefia Poitier
• Tchanarian Roche
• Delarian “Dee” Roper
• James Scott
• Yvette Summers
• Terrance Ward
• Riana Winters

“We applaud these students’ work,” said Arvid Mukes, SJGC associate dean and director of the Division of Graphic Communication. “We also recognize and appreciate the work of Kay Wilder, a professor of graphic design. Professor Wilder encouraged these students to participate and coordinated their entries.”

Friday, August 8, 2008

FAMU Environmental Sciences Institute Students Receive First to Third Place at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Scholarship Program

Four Florida A&M University Environmental Sciences Institute (ESI) undergraduate participants received high rankings at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) 3rd Annual Combined Student Scholarship Program held at NOAA’s Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD.

“We are extremely proud of the success of these Florida A&M University students,” said Larry Robinson, director of FAMU’s Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC). “It reflects their capabilities and potential to make even greater scientific contributions in the future. Their faculty advisors and NOAA mentors should also be congratulated for playing a role in this tremendous outcome.”

Students were evaluated by prominent NOAA scientists in the extremely competitive event.

This year, NOAA’s Office of Education hosted 136 undergraduate student participants from around the nation representing NOAA’s Educational Partnership Program Undergraduate Scholars and Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship recipients. Students gave oral or poster presentations describing their internship research experiences in one of six categories critical to NOAA’s mission.

In the oral presentations Sherrita Commey placed first in ocean and coastal management; LaToya Chandler placed second in fisheries sciences; and Amari Jones placed third in meteorology and hydrology. Judith Sarkodee-Addo placed third in the poster competition.

All four ESI students were supported by NOAA’s Environmental Cooperative Science Center led by FAMU.

Photo caption: From left to right – Florida A&M University’s Environmental Sciences Institute students Judith Sarkodee-Addo; LaToya Chandler; Amari Jones; and Sherrita Commey were winners at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 3rd Annual Combined Student Scholarship Program.

FAMU to Induct Eight in Sports Hall of Fame

The 33rd Annual Florida A&M University Sports Hall of Fame program will induct eight members in the Class of 2008 during enshrinement ceremonies Friday, August 29, at 7 p.m. in the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.

The honorees include Sura Balogun, tennis; Joseph Durant, baseball coach; Eddie Jackson, supporter; Frances Knight, track coach; Curtis “Pecan” Parnell, football; Kanyon Singleton-Medford, track and field; Willie “Jelly” Taylor, football; and Dorothy Williams, supporter.

Balogun led FAMU to three consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tennis team championships in 1991, 1992 and 1993. Lucas served a head baseball coach from 1991 to 2007, capturing three conference championships, 350 wins and FAMU’s first ever Division I post season appearance in 1994.

When serving respectively as vice president of university relations, Jackson and Williams played major roles in raising funds for women’s athletics, underwrote the first Wall of Fame breakfast program and made substantial contributions to the planning and operation of the Orange Blossom Classic and the Florida Classic.

Knight was a three-sport letter winner at FAMU in softball, track and tennis. She also coached tennis and volleyball, winning three consecutive MEAC titles in tennis and the 1988 MEAC championship in volleyball. Medford was twice voted the MEAC Outstanding Female Performer in 1991 and 1992, winning the 100 and 200 meters while excelling in the field including the javelin, discus and shotput.

Medford, who earned All-America honors in 1976, was a four-year starter at defensive back. He led FAMU in interceptions in 1973, 1975 and 1976, finishing his career with 22 interceptions, the third highest in FAMU’s history.

Taylor earned All-America honors at center in 1958 and was an outstanding performer on FAMU’s undefeated national championship team in 1957.

Established in 1976, FAMU has inducted more than 200 members into its sports hall of fame including coaches, supporters of sports programs and outstanding athletes in football, men and women basketball, men and women track and field, baseball, women softball, volleyball and swimming.

Joseph Ramsey, chairman of the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame Committee said the induction ceremony helps to strengthen and support FAMU’s great athletic tradition.

“The Class of 2008 is representative of those who gained prominence in athletics as players, coaches and supporters,” said Ramsey. “We expect this year’s ceremony to be among the largest and the best we have had.”

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

FAMU NABJ Wins Student Chapter of the Year

The Florida A&M University Chapter of National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) was recently honored as Student Chapter of the Year during the UNITY Journalists of Color Convention.

Earlier this summer, FAMU broadcast journalist senior, Sidney Wright IV, an award-winning senior broadcast journalism student from Tampa, was honored as the Student Journalist of the Year by the NABJ.

“Anybody who hadn’t heard of SJGC before knows about us now,” said James Hawkins, dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.

Hawkins noted Dorothy Bland, director of FAMU’s journalism division and a McCormick Fellow, was featured in UNITY’s opening plenary session that focused on changes and challenges facing the media 40 years after the historic Kerner Report. The Kerner Report spotlighted the lack of diversity among media organizations.

“Our students and graduates are ready, willing and able to help the media industry diversify the talent pool,” said Hawkins.

Wright said UNITY, which attracted more than 6,000 journalists, recruiters and other professionals, was an “excellent networking opportunity…. I and other students met industry leaders that will benefit us for years to come.”

“Under the leadership of President Georgia Dawkins, FAMU’s NABJ chapter has become one of the most active student groups in the SJGC,” said Bland. “Membership in the chapter has tripled from 15 to more than 50 active members in the last year.”

Members of the FAMU NABJ chapter are actively engaged in student media outlets such as The Famuan, Journey, WANM radio, FAMU-TV 20 and related web sites. In addition to participating in student media boot camps, producing a newsletter and hosting résumé-writing workshops, they have established a mentoring and scholarship program for high school students at FAMU’s Developmental Research School.

About the SGJC
The School of Journalism and Graphic Communication was founded in 1982. Its Division of Journalism was the first journalism program at a historically black university to be nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). It offers four journalism sequences: newspaper, magazine production, broadcast (radio and television) and public relations.

Photo caption: From left to right: Front row - Kathy Times, NABJ vice president of print and a FAMU alumna; Sidney Wright IV, winner of Student Journalist of the Year; FAMU Professor Dorothy Bland, director of FAMU Division of Journalism; Georgia Dawkins, FAMU ABJ president, who is holding the Chapter of the Year Award; Chantell Black, FAMU ABJ vice president; and John Marsh, a 2008 FAMU graduate. Second row - Jon McCloud, ABJ treasurer, and Robin Mitchell, a FAMU alumna and former ABJ president.

Friday, August 1, 2008

FAMU Rattler Football Day at the Governor’s Square Mall

The Tallahassee community is invited to attend Florida A&M University Rattler Football Day at Governor’s Square Mall on Sunday, August 17, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Individuals will have an opportunity to meet FAMU’s Head Football Coach Joe Taylor and members of the FAMU coaching staff and football team. FAMU football players will be available for photos and autographs. Season football tickets will be available for purchase as well as information about FAMU Booster membership. Entertainment will be provided by FAMU’s pep band and cheerleaders.

“We are looking forward to the upcoming Rattler football season,” said Mickey Clayton, director of the FAMU Booster Club. “There will be a lot of excitement this year.”

Governor’s Square General Manager Eric Litz welcomes all Florida A&M University alumni and friends for the pre-season football pep rally.

“August is a time of excitement in our community with the return of college students and the expectations for the coming football season,” said Litz. “This season will indeed be one of expectation for FAMU with the advent of a new coaching staff. We wish the Rattlers much success on the gridiron this fall.”

Thursday, July 31, 2008

FAMU Health Information Management Program Faculty Garners Statewide Recognition

A record number of awards were presented to Florida A&M University Health Information Management (HIM) Program affiliates at the Florida Health Information Management Association’s (FHIMA) Annual Convention in Orlando.

Marjorie McNeill, Ph.D., director of the Division of Health Information Management in the School of Allied Health Sciences, received the 2008 FHIMA Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes FHIMA members who have completed a major project for the Association and supported the Association through leadership in accomplishment of a goal.

McNeill served as FHIMA chair of the Bridging the Gap: Education to Employment Task Force. This project took first place at the 2008 American Health Information Management Association Component State Association Core Service Achievement Award in Support for Local Accredited HIM Education Programs.

Jenese Fuller, a graduating senior in the Division of Health Information Management, received the 2008 FHIMA Outstanding Student Award. This award recognizes a student who has made a contribution to the profession and professional association through special projects or service.

Fuller is a FAMU Outstanding Honors Student; Presidential Classroom Scholar; National Society of Collegiate Scholar; and a member of the White and Gold Honor Society and Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society. She serves as vice president of the FAMU Student Health Information Management Association. Fuller volunteers as a Reaching Out Against Cervical Cancer peer educator, student spokesperson for National Health Information and Technology Week, mentor for the Children’s Home Society, and a participant in the Relay for Life.

Brittany Scriven, a 2004 FAMU Health Information Management graduate, received the 2008 FHIMA Outstanding New Professional Award. This award recognizes a FHIMA member who has made significant contribution to the profession within five years from the date of initial certification as a HIM professional; demonstrated excellence in the management of personnel, finances, or systems; displayed innovation and creativity that exceeds ordinary problem-solving ability; and exhibited leadership qualities.

Scriven is currently the manager of Document Imaging with Automated Document Solutions at Citrus Memorial Hospital in Inverness, Florida.

FAMU’s Upsilon Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. is the First International Undergraduate Chapter Recipient

The Upsilon Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. at Florida A&M University is the International Undergraduate Chapter of the Year for Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

This accomplishment marks the first time that there has been an international undergraduate chapter of the year due to an undergraduate chapter being chartered in Canada. The Upsilon Psi Chapter is the first international undergraduate chapter to win this honor. The competition was stiff as chapters internationally competed for this prestigious award.

“It is really an honor for our chapter to receive this recognition,” said Royle King, president of the Upsilon Psi chapter. “This proves that hard work does pay off. The chapter is extremely overjoyed but we know there is still work to do as we move ahead.”

The criterion was based on grade point average and service in the community. The chapter contributed countless hours toward being scholars and uplifting the community.

To add to the chapter lists of firsts, Jason Little, a graduating engineering major, was the first undergraduate to receive the Grand Basileus Award (International President). This award was a scholarship that was started this year and is awarded to graduating seniors who excelled in the classroom and pillars in the community. Little also has the highest grade point average in the fraternity with a 3.9444.

The chapter is striving to be the best in the community. Members plan to have a community-wide Jamboree on August 15, at the Palmer Monroe Community Center on Jackson Bluff Road.

Edward Willis is FAMU’s New Associate Vice President for Student Affairs

With 30 years of student affairs experience, Edward M. Willis is the new associate vice president for Student Affairs at Florida A&M University.

“Edward brings a wealth of student affairs experience to Florida A&M University and I consider him to be a great addition to my leadership team,” said Roland H. Gaines, vice president for Student Affairs. “We are looking forward to his work in student development assisting our students and the directors who report to him. He will support and enhance programmatic directions, student retention, institutional accountability, strategic planning, and accreditation reaffirmation.”

Prior to FAMU, Willis was the special assistant to the president for Community Outreach and Engagement at Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio. He has also worked at other universities including the University of Michigan; the University of Missouri – Columbia; Rutgers University; St. John’s University; North Carolina A&T State University; and the University of Toledo. He has taught “Orientation to College Life” at Coppin State College and was a freshman year instructor for the College of Business at the University of Toledo.

Part of Willis’ role and responsibility includes working collaboratively with students, faculty and staff across the university to support and promote strategic initiatives for the Division of Student Affairs. In addition, he will oversee the following student affairs departments: counseling services, student health services, career center and the Learning Development and Evaluation Center (LDEC).

“I am pleased to have been selected for this important role in student affairs at Florida A&M University,” said Willis. “FAMU has a long history and rich tradition, and is one of the premiere institutions of higher education in America. I look forward to contributing to the learning environment for students, and supporting programs and activities that reinforce classroom learning and that foster holistic educational development.”

Willis further explained his goals as the associate vice president of student affairs.

“The student affairs program provides opportunities for students to learn and develop, through programs that are based on an assessment of students’ needs and interest,” said Willis. “Student affairs programs are considered laboratories for students to experiment with skills that will help them to develop academically, culturally, socially and recreationally.”

Willis received his bachelor’s degree in American history from Montclair State University, the masters of education from Rutgers University, and has completed work toward a Ph.D. at the University of Toledo.

A native of New Jersey, Willis’ professional and honorary memberships include the Association of College Unions – International (ACU-I); Blue Key National Honorary Fraternity; Golden Key National Honor Society; Midwest Deans’ Conference; National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA); Ohio Association of Student Personnel Administrators (OASPA); and Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Society.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Joint Statement, B-CU President Trudie Kibbe Reed and FAMU President James H. Ammons Regarding Florida Classic and MEAC-SWAC Challenge

“It has come to our attention that a recent article in the Tallahassee Democrat incorrectly indicates that we, as presidents of Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) and Florida A&M University (FAMU), support the relocation of the MEAC-SWAC Challenge football game to Orlando and agree to play in the challenge.

We wish to correct the information that was erroneously printed in the Tallahassee Democrat.

As we have made clear in earlier statements, we do not support any historically black college or university athletic event in Orlando. We believe such a contest would negatively impact the annual Florida Classic. In addition to being a much-loved tradition for our alumni, the Florida Classic is a critical revenue source for both B-CU and FAMU. It is our strong belief that scheduling a football event in Orlando prior to the Florida Classic will erode its brand and put this critical funding source at risk.

We have advised MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas of our concerns, noting that Historically Black Colleges and Universities should not infringe on each other’s markets for signature events, whether it be the Florida Classic in Orlando or the Bayou Classic in New Orleans.

In addition, we want to dispel a rumor that the Florida Classic will move to Miami in 2009. This is also not true.

Information regarding the official positions and statements of B-CU or FAMU are issued by the President’s Office of each institution. We urge everyone – alumni, friends, and media – to check with our offices to get the most accurate information on this or other issues.”

FAMU’s Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Receives College Chapter of the Year Award

The Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at Florida A&M University (FAMU) was named the College Chapter of the Year during the fraternity’s 88th General Convention held in Kansas City, MO.

The Beta Nu Chapter, chartered at FAMU on April 23, 1932, competed on behalf of their region of the fraternity against four other country-wide regions after having been selected as the college chapter champions at the Southern Regional Conference held in Jacksonville, Fla. in April of this year.

Thaddeus Payton, Jr., whose term as president of the Beta Nu Chapter concluded this past April, was at the helm of the chapter throughout much of the activities and accolades highlighted in the winning display board.

“To work with such an outstanding group of gentlemen has been as taxing as it has been rewarding, yet I regret not a second of it,” said Payton, a FAMU alumnus from Mitchellville, MD. “I am proud of this chapter’s membership and its many successes both collectively and as individuals.”

The current president of the Beta Nu Chapter, James Nero, is a graduate professional MBA student from Detroit, MI in the School of Business and Industry.

“Winning an award like chapter of the year may come once in a lifetime for some chapters or not at all, so we cherish this moment in time,” said Nero. “We have worked tirelessly to accomplish this amazing feat and we owe it to those brothers that came before us, the nurturing of Florida A&M University, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for creating programs of action that have exemplified manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind for over 100 years.”

As part of the national competition, chapters of the fraternity document their exceptional community service, campus involvement, and leadership. The members of Beta Nu accomplished this under the leadership of Eric O’Rear and Chise Nicholson through the use of an elaborate board design, extensive artistry, scrapbooks, and videos.

A native of Stone Mountain, GA and recent graduate of FAMU, O’Rear felt that among many, there was one component of creating the board that he found most arduous.

“The most difficult aspect of the construction of the board would have to be finding the articles for the events that we felt properly displayed our service to the university and community,” said O’Rear. “When your organization has executed as many successful community and university service-related events such as this, it is very difficult to determine which among them to highlight.”

“It is truly an overwhelming experience to be recognized as the top Chapter of Alpha,” said Chise Nicholson, a fourth year architecture student from Sacramento, CA. “As a chapter, we endure long nights, endless days, and oftentimes negative criticism despite our best efforts. Nevertheless, in this day I am truly happy and honored to be a member of the Beta Nu Chapter of this historical fraternity.”

A few of the highlighted activities that were presented in this year’s winning board included Beta Nu’s Rock the Vote Campaign; volunteer efforts with homeless shelters; Capitol City Youth Services; involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America; and fundraising efforts with Relay for Life. They also emphasized the myriad of accomplishments of their individual members.

Among Beta Nu’s current membership include the FAMU Student Body President and University Trustee; the president of the Student National Alumni Association; president of the FAMU NAACP; president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council’ 6th Year pharmacy class president, and FAMU strikers president.

"From a national standpoint, Beta Nu has always served as a shining light for our fraternity,” says Everett Ward, Southern Region vice president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. “This award underscores their commitment to uphold the precepts that define our fraternity. As leaders within and outside of academics on campus, they epitomize what Alpha men have always been about. We are extremely proud of our Beta Nu brothers, and look forward to the continued leadership they will provide throughout all of Alpha, especially for college brothers.”

According to Ward, the first Southern Region Board of Directors meeting under his leadership was hosted by Beta Nu at FAMU and that he feels a strong attachment to the chapter.

“I am extremely pleased about the Beta Nu Chapter being named Chapter of the Year for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.,” said Henry Kirby, dean of students at FAMU. “I would like to applaud all of the members of the Beta Nu Chapter.”

The Leadership Development Committee chairman for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alex DeJarnett, was equally impressed.

“The College Chapter of the Year is the highest award a college chapter can receive,” said DeJarnett. “We are proud of them and wish them more success in the future.”

Notable members of the Beta Nu Chapter include Fred Humphries, the eighth president of FAMU; Will Packer and Rob Hardy, producers of Stomp the Yard; and Marcus Knight, the recently-elected first black Mayor of Lancaster, Texas.

The first black Greek letter fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., was founded on December 4, 1906, at Cornell University by seven men or “Jewels”: Henry A. Callis; Charles H. Chapman; Eugene K. Jones; George B. Kelley; Nathaniel A. Murray; Robert H. Ogle; and Vertner W. Tandy.

Jewel Charles H. Chapman later founded the Beta Nu Chapter of the fraternity on the campus of then FAMC in 1932. The aims of the fraternity are manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind. Its motto is: “First of all; Servants of all; We shall transcend all.”

16 FAMU Rattlers Head to Medical School This Fall

Florida A&M University students and faculty member’s hard work paid off recently with the news that 16 FAMU graduates will be enrolling at medical schools across the country in fall 2008.

“The goal of the College of Arts and Sciences is to adequately prepare students in many disciplines, which will in turn make a positive impact on mankind,” said Ralph Turner, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “This well-planned program for students majoring in pre-professional or premedical tracks, designed to help meet the national and international health care demands of our society, is admirable and absolutely necessary for this day and time.”

FAMU hosts workshops for general pre-professional school information, writing a personal statement, interviewing skills and a mock interview for all university students and works with students to help place them in physician-shadowing programs.

For a complete list of all students heading to medical School, please visit

Thursday, July 17, 2008

FAMU Fills Interim Dean Positions

Florida A&M University has appointed new deans for its College of Arts and Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences and College of Education.

Ralph Turner, Ph.D., will serve as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Barbara Mosley, Ph.D., dean of the School of Allied Health; and Genniver Bell, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education.

“This is great news for us here at FAMU,” said Cynthia Hughes Harris, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. “With the hiring of these talented individuals, we are confident that these schools and colleges are governed by a competent leader that will work hard to ensure the continued success of our students.”

Each hire resulted from a search conducted by committees made up of faculty, staff and student representatives.
Turner has served as interim dean of the college and before that appointment, he had served as the associate dean of the college. Prior to serving in the college's administrative ranks, Turner was chair of the Department of Chemistry. Turner has been with the University since 1967.

Mosley has served as interim dean and is a former associate dean of the school. Formerly, she served as the director of Health Information Management. Mosley has been employed at FAMU for more than 25 years.

Bell was an associate professor of educational leadership at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, NC. She holds the B.A. degree in art from Oral Roberts University (1976), the M.A. in educational administration and policy studies (1982) and the Ed.D. in educational administration and supervision (1990) from Clark-Atlanta University.

Bell is a former K-12 classroom teacher and administrator and has held numerous positions in higher education administration and state government. Her scholarly work includes articles in referred journals and presentations at national conferences. Her research agenda focuses on leadership, equity and equality in school reform and policy, politics and advocacy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FAMU-DRS Moves from an F to a C in the FCAT

Ronald Holmes, superintendent of Florida A&M University Developmental Research School (FAMU-DRS), received a phone call from the Florida Department of Education that left him in awe.

“All the superintendents are offered the option of receiving a courtesy call about the schools’ grade,” said Holmes. “When I heard the news that FAMU-DRS had jumped from an F to a C, I was extremely excited. I was excited for the faculty and staff at DRS and excited for FAMU, but most importantly, I was excited for the students who worked so hard to prepare for the exam.”

The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is part of Florida’s overall plan to increase student achievement by implementing higher standards. FCAT is used to report educational status and annual progress for individual students, schools, districts, and the state. Schools are graded based on the percent of students meeting high standards and the percent of students who make learning gains.

“I am proud of the progress made by the faculty, students, administration,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “The students were provided with the support they needed to improve their overall performance. I will continue to provide full support to DRS as we work to make it one of the county’s leading schools.”

According to Holmes, the biggest influence on the passage rate at FAMU-DRS came from the involvement of students at the Saturday tutorial sessions over a seven-week period. Students were taught the fundamentals necessary to be successful on the Florida Comprehension and Assessment Test (FCAT).

While Holmes is proud of the move from an F to a C, he says this is only the tip of the iceberg.

This fall, Holmes plans to implement additional programs and services to address each student’s need by tapping FAMU-DRS’ human and financial resources at the university and community level. While this summer he has been busy enlisting the aid of alumni, local businesses and community partners to make donations of $1,000 to go toward the FAMU-DRS ?Student Achievement Initiative Campaign in line with a promise made to students who passed the exam.

Holmes also has committed to providing Pay for Performance (PFP) incentives for all full-time employees at FAMU-DRS based on the district's overall performance on the FCAT. Since DRS earned a "C," he is continuing to enlist funds to reward all full-time employees with $500.

In addition to student and faculty incentives, FAMU-DRS is hosting two Student Recruitment Days on July 15 and 16, in an effort to increase the enrollment. These activities will be held at the FAMU-DRS Media Center from noon to 6 p.m.

This fall, academic and recognition programs will be implemented, such as the awarding of state-of-the art laptop computers for elementary students, innovative curriculum titled "Gear Up" for middle school students and a rigorous Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) Academy offered through Kaplan Testing Service for high school students. Scholarships will also be available for qualifying students.


Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) has been awarded a $14 million grant to enhance its infrastructure to continue its efforts to conduct cutting edge research.

“One of the main criteria used to determine the quality of a university is the amount of research taking place by outstanding faculty and the funding obtained for them to conduct research on a regular basis,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “With this in mind, this announcement proves that Florida A&M University is rising to the occasion and meeting the standards of excellence.”

The Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) grant award for the period of 2008-2013 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health(NIH)/National Centers for Research Resources (NCRR) will support drug discovery and research aimed at better understanding the makeup and risks associated with various degenerative diseases and their treatment. RCMI support is provided by the NCRR through the Division of Research Infrastructure.

“The grant award will support research projects such as drug discovery, neurodegeneration, nanomedicine, biotechnology and pilot projects,” said Henry Lewis III, research principal investigator and dean of the COPPS. “We are elated to have been selected by NIH and NCRR to conduct new and ongoing cutting-edge research which gives credit to our cadre of faculty who are devoted to finding new and improved ways to treat patients everywhere.”

In the area of drug discovery, the grant will aid in developing new drugs that can be used for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s; stroke; cancer (breast, prostate and lung); and emerging infectious diseases to uncover targets for therapy and translational research.

The neurodegenerative core will provide FAMU researchers with an understanding of neurotoxicity, the tendency of some treatments to cause damage to the nervous system, and its possible influence on the increased risk of neurological disorders and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, stroke and Parkinson’s. In the area of nanomedicine research, the grant will provide resources and expertise in the area of nanoparticles technology, which could be applied to imaging of various degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and stroke, and also target various receptors in disease states like cancer and Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome.

“The goal of the Research Centers in Minority Institutions Program is to develop and enhance the institutional capacity for conducting biomedical research at minority colleges and universities that award doctorates in health sciences,” said Barbara Alving, Ph.D., NCRR Director. “Florida A&M University’s College of Pharmacy has a long history of conducting research in pharmacology and toxicology and this award will allow the institution to continue to recruit established and young researchers, acquire more advanced instrumentation, and staff core laboratories to support the university’s research and research training efforts.”

FAMU is one of 18 locations that host the NCRR-supported RCMI Program, whose mission is to expand the national capacity for research in the health sciences.

With concentrations in pharmacology/toxicology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics and environmental toxicology, the College has graduated more than 60 percent of the African-American Ph.D. recipients in the pharmaceutical sciences nationally.

Since 1985, FAMU has received RCMI support continually in excess of $40 million including construction funding for the research wing on the New College of Pharmacy Building. RCMI also funded laboratory animal facility improvements that were instrumental in the COPPS-receiving national accreditation of its research animal facilities, making FAMU one of 500 accredited facilities from 3,500 colleges and universities. RCMI has provided critical infrastructure to enable the College to achieve national prominence and become a competitive biomedical research center nationally. Since the inception of the RCMI Program at FAMU, the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has implemented four Ph.D. tracks in pharmaceutical sciences.

Drs. Henry Lee and Ann Heiman, both professors of basic sciences and previously funded RCMI investigators are scheduled to retire this year. Their research efforts have had a tremendous impact in the area of pharmaceutical sciences across the globe as well as made significant contributions to the pharmaceutical sciences profession.

Lee, whose research has been published in national and international journals that span more than three decades, has received several patents. While at FAMU, in 1986, he received a patent for Anti-inflammatory Prednisolone Steroids (4588530) and in 1998 for Anti-inflammatory Carboxy Pregnane Derivatives (4762919).

In the arena of research, Lee has discovered safer, yet potent drugs based on his new concept called antedrugs now recognized internationally. (Science, 215, 989-991, 1982) His worked involved the synthesis and evaluation of anti-inflammatory steroids, anti-AIDS, and anti-cancer agents.

Heiman’s research interests are in the treatment of airway inflammation in chronic airway diseases such as asthma. Some of her research efforts include the following:

•Develop an individual response to various allergies;
•Design novel drug targets for treatment of airway diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and

•Reduction of allergy rhinitis (runny nose)

Other key COPPS researchers in the FAMU basic sciences that will benefit from the grant include the following: Karam Soliman, RCMI program director, distinguished professor and assistant dean for research; Kinfe Redda, professor; Mandip Sachdeva, professor; John Cooperwood, associate professor; R. Renee Reams, associate professor; Carl Goodman, professor; Nazarius Lamango, associate professor; Seth Ablordeppey,professor and director, basic pharmaceutical sciences; Donald Palm, professor and assistant vice president for Academic Affairs; Selina Darling-Reed, assistant professor; Karunya Kandimalla, assistant professor; Shawn Spencer, assistant professor, and other FAMU investigators.

This 2008 fiscal year, NIH-NCRR has funded 28 RCMI Research Centers nation-wide, totaling $53,000,000.

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) provides clinical and translational researchers with the training and tools they need to understand, detect, treat, and prevent a wide range of diseases. This support enables discoveries that begin at a molecular and cellular level, move to animal-based studies, and then are translated to patient-oriented clinical research, resulting in cures and treatments for both common and rare diseases. NCRR connects researchers with one another, as well as with patients and communities across the nation, to harness the power of shared resources and research and is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Photo caption: Karam Soliman, Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Research Center in Minority Institution program director, distinguished professor and assistant dean for research, shares the importance of the National Institutes of Health grant award as FAMU President James H. Ammons, Henry Lewis III, dean of FAMU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Seth Ablordeppey, professor and director of basic pharmaceutical sciences participates.