Thursday, March 27, 2008

FAMU Alumnus Bernard Kinsey Encourages FAMU Students to Reach for their Dreams

A cold morning gave away to warm skies on March 26, 2008 as staff at Florida A&M University prepared for the annual Honors Day Convocation which pays tribute to FAMU’s 2007-2008 honor students. The featured keynote speaker was FAMU alumnus Bernard Kinsey.

Kinsey is also president of KBK Enterprises, a management-consulting firm. He is a recognized expert and leader in the field of urban revitalization and economic development and has counseled the governments of South Africa, Germany, England, Israel and France.

The program opened with a procession of FAMU’s brightest led by faculty from each of FAMU’s colleges, schools and institutes. The Lee Hall Auditorium was full of students, staff and faculty who sat in anticipation as Mellori Lumpkin, president of FAMU’s the 36th Student Senate, extended greetings and gave the occasion.

Herron Gaston, a senior political science honors student, had the honor of introducing the event’s speaker. Following the introduction, the FAMU band wowed the audience with a moving rendition of Imbizo.

Suddenly the crowd’s demeanor shifted from an attentive silence to joyous cheers as Kinsey stood from his seat and moved towards the podium with a bright smile and a warm wave to the crowd.

“Gazelles wake up everyday and know that they have to be able to outrun the quickest lion,” Kinsey explained. “Lions waking up knowing that that have to be able to catch up to the slowest gazelle. What’s the point of this? The point is, that it doesn’t matter if you’re the lion or gazelle, you better wake up running.”

Kinsey stressed to the students being honored for their achievement to continue to be active citizens and reach for their dreams.

A former member of FAMU’s Marching 100, Kinsey spoke of how proud he was to watch the Marching 100 perform with Kanye West and Jamie Foxx at the Grammy and with Prince for the Super Bowl XLI halftime show. Kinsey said that while he has maintained a growing love for music, the opportunity to give back is something he loves even more.

“To whom much is given, much is required,” he said. “Being able to see students come to this prestigious university and graduate to go on and become lawyers and doctors, and know that they did that with your help, will just fill you up.”

Kinsey stressed to the audience the importance of understanding that no one gets a head start with life, and explained that “you either do it right or not.” He explained that the dash on the tombstone separating the date of birth and death is the most significant. Kinsey said the dash represents all your accomplishments and fulfilled dreams and that it is up to the individual to chase their dreams.

In closing, Kinsey informed the audience that “there are three types of people in the world; those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that simply aren’t aware of anything and thus don’t act at all. Let’s try our best to not be the two latter.”

After Kinsey’s words of encouragement, deans from FAMU’s colleges and schools recognized each student with a 4.0 GPA and presented two students from each college and school with an outstanding student award.

Azryana Campbell, a freshmen bio-medical engineering student, said she found the convocation to be enlightening.

“I was very impressed with the speaker’s message and the band’s performance was outstanding,” she smiled. “Being an honor student and attending Honors Convocation is something I plan on doing as long as I’m at FAMU.”

Florida’s Attorney General Bill McCollum Commends FAMU

Florida’s Attorney General Bill McCollum is encouraging universities throughout Florida to have a student alert systems after recognizing how effective Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) e2Campus alert system was in notifying FAMU’s campus of shots being fired during an incident last Friday.

Attorney General Bill McCollum today met with Florida A&M University Chief of Police Calvin Ross to commend the chief for the university’s successful implementation of the student alert system. The system was used last week to alert students about a shooting incident on campus. The initial alerts and follow-up messages were executed without any complications and protected students from any additional danger. Following his meeting with the Chief of Police, the Attorney General issued the following statement:

“I commend FAMU President Ammons and Chief Ross for the successful implantation of the student alert system. As we saw just last week, the system was quickly and efficiently activated and countless students were warned of the potential threat to their safety.”

“FAMU’s commitment to the safety of its students is exemplary, and the campus police deserve recognition for gaining control of the situation before anyone was injured. I encourage all our universities, both state and private, to implement and promote these student alert systems so that each and every student on our campuses can benefit from a system like FAMU’s.”

Photo caption: Florida A&M University’s Assistant Chief of Police John Earst, Assistant Chief of Police James Lockley, Chief of Police Calvin Ross were commended by Attorney General Bill McCollum for FAMU’s successful implantation of its student alert system.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

FAMU National Alumni Association Hosts Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) National Alumni Association will hold its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Saturday, April 26, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The black tie gala will be held at FAMU’s Grand Ballroom.

The recipients of the 2008 NAA Distinguished Alumni Awards are as follows:

Athletics: Curtis W. Miranda
Community Service: James E. Fayson, Sr.
Education: Leila A. Walker
Government: Ambassador Davidson L. Hepburn
Health: Michael W. Early, Sr.
Law: Theodore N. Taylor, Esq.
Military: Retired Lt. Col. Samuel Washington, Jr.
Religion: Apostle Zinerva White, Jr.

Tickets are $100 per single seat and table purchases are $1000 and up for a table of eight.

To purchase tickets or tables, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at (850) 599-3861 or (850) 599-3707.

Friday, March 21, 2008

FAMU Journalism Division Recommended for Re-accreditation

The School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) at Florida A&M University (FAMU) celebrates another recommendation for re-accreditation. The Accrediting Council on Journalism and Mass Communications (ACJMC) has unanimously voted (11-0) to “strongly recommend” reaccreditation for the Division of Journalism. The division was the first journalism program at a historically black university to be accredited by the ACJMC.

“We strongly recommend re-accreditation,” wrote Trevor Brown, professor emeritus at Indiana University, and Jackie Jones, a longtime journalist and director for Jones Coaching. Brown and Jones conducted the site team visit for the Accrediting Council on Journalism and Mass Communication in February 2008. The division was placed on provisional status after a 2006 site visit due to governance and communication issues, including the lack of a permanent director.

The site team report stated “(it is) clear from comments and observation that Dorothy Bland has transformed the living and working environment for faculty, students and staff.” Bland, an award-winning journalist, media executive and former newspaper publisher, joined FAMU in January 2007 as the director of the Division of Journalism.

James Hawkins, dean of the SJGC, said he is delighted with the ACEJMC committee’s vote of confidence.

“We applaud and commend the work of Professor Bland, and the journalism faculty following the provisional recommendation two years ago,” Hawkins said. “Professor Bland’s appointment is a significant ingredient in the division’s success. The report of the site team and the committee’s recommendation will weigh heavily in the council’s decision.”

The ACEJMC, which represents journalism and mass communication educators and professional practitioners, will meet May 2-3 in Arlington, Va., to review the committee’s recommendation and will take a final vote during that meeting. ACEJMC has accredited about 110 journalism and mass communications programs in the United States.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Director of Bands Julian White Honored by the American Bandmasters Association

Florida A&M University (FAMU) distinguished professor of music, chairman of the Department of Music and director of bands Julian E. White, Ph.D., and the FAMU Symphonic Wind Ensemble were honored at the 2008 American Bandmasters Association (ABA) Convention.

White was awarded the honor for being one of three African Americans in the American Bandmasters Association, and the only African American from a historically black college or university (HBCU). In addition to White making history, FAMU’s Wind Symphonic Ensemble was selected to perform as part of the welcome concert at the University of Miami’s Maurice Gusman Concert Hall, which featured seven nationally renowned composers and conductors.

“Being a part of this prestigious concert was an honor,” said White. “This adds to the rich history and tradition of artistic excellence in the Florida A&M University band program.”

FAMU Alum Who Developed Xbox 360 Video Game Will Speak at FAMU

As a part of the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Computer Information System (CIS) Department Distinguished CIS Alumni lecture series, FAMU alum and video game designer Benjamin Johnson will guest lecture on Friday, April 11, 2008. The lecture is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Humphries Science Research Building, Room 214.

Johnson, a 1998 CIS graduate, led a team of Rockstar designers in the development of the company’s first XBox 360 video game, Rockstar presents Table Tennis.

Prior to graduation, Johnson served as the CIS Club junior vice president, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Club president and wrote for the CIS Times, a student newspaper. Before graduating, Johnson held internships with 3M, Cargill, Eli Lilly, Northwest Airlines and the University of Minnesota Supercomputer Center/Clark Atlanta University.

Johnson earned his master’s in computer science from Michigan State University in 2000.

FAMU Engineering Technology sponsors Annual Alumni Industry Day

Students majoring in the engineering technology program at Florida A&M University (FAMU) can look forward to enhancing their professional savvy through participating in the college’s first annual Alumni Industry Day on Thursday, March 27, 2008 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Benjamin Banneker Technology Complex.

The Division of Engineering Technology (ET) in the College of Engineering
Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA) at FAMU is sponsoring this professional development activity to provide an opportunity for former graduates to return to FAMU to share their expertise and insight on the essentials needed by graduates to successfully enter diverse professions.

Seminar topics will include the following: Preparing a Professional Resume; Interviewing 101; Professional Development; Career Options; Transition from College to the Workforce; Being a Woman in Construction; and Networking and Community Involvement.

FAMU alumni have pledged their support to connect with current and prospective students, faculty, staff and administration in CESTA to help build a stronger circle of success. Alumni and guest presenters at the forum will include Curtis Sheard, president, CS & Sons; Anthony Rodgers; superintendent Balfour Beatty; Kori Monroe and Guysen Bohler, vice presidents for IROK; Walter E. Dukes, University of Florida; Lynn Mims, Mims Construction; and Julian Parker, Rosser International.

The banquet will culminate the forum. Makola Abdullah, dean and director, Land-Grant Programs, CESTA, will be the keynote speaker. The banquet will be held in the H. Manning Efferson Grand Ballroom on FAMU’s campus from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets are $20 per person and proceeds will be donated to students clubs in the ET division. Business attire is requested. Persons interested in attending the banquet should RSVP via email to Terrance Hunt at by March 29, 2008. Monies will be collected at the door on the night of the event. For more information, contact Terrance Hunt at (972) 431-6582.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Michael Dorsey, Dartmouth Environmental Activist, to speak at FAMU

Michael K. Dorsey, environmental activist and one of few African-American scholars on Environmental Policies, will speak at Florida A&M University (FAMU) Friday, March 21, 2008 at 11:15 a.m. in the New Pharmacy Building, Room 106. Dorsey, an assistant professor at Dartmouth, will discuss The Struggle for Climate Justice.

Hosted by the Environmental Sciences Institute, the School of Journalism and Graphics Communication, and the Office of Sponsored Research the event is free and open to the public.

A joint study from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the California based not-for-profit organization, Redefining Progress, revealed that African Americans are already disproportionately burdened by the health effects of climate change, including deaths during heat waves and from worsened air pollution. People of color are less responsible for climate change than other Americans historically and at present. Policies intended to mitigate climate change can generate large health and economic benefits or costs for African Americans, depending on how they are structured.

Dorsey purports, “any conversations on avoiding a climate crisis must bring diverse voices to the table and consider the vicissitudes of race, class and injustice.”

Professor Dorsey is actively engaged in scholarly research and strategic policy advocacy on the subject of climate justice. Some of his thoughts on this matter are reflected in the recent publication: “Climate Knowledge and Power: Tales of Skeptic Tanks, Weather Gods and Sagas for Climate (In)Justice.”

Dorsey provides advice to governments, foundations, and others on a variety of climate change matters. In 1992, he was a member of the U.S. State Department Delegation to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, “The Earth Summit.”

FAMU launched efforts to promote environmental awareness and specifically issues related to global warming and climate change January 31. More than 600 students, faculty, staff and members of the community participated in Focus the Nation, a nation-wide teach-in directed by Lewis & Clark Professor of Economics, Eban Goodstein.

“We are honored to be able to continue our environmental awareness efforts by extending the conversation with someone of Dorsey stature,” said Henry Neal Williams, director of the Environmental Sciences Institute.

Dorsey is a graduate of the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment; Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; and The Johns Hopkins University, Department of Anthropology.

FAMU Alum Bernard Kinsey will Keynote Honor’s Convocation

Florida A&M University (FAMU) will host its annual Honor’s Convocation Wednesday, March 26, at 10:10 a.m. in the Lee Hall Auditorium. This year’s keynote speaker is FAMU alum Bernard Kinsey.

His wife, Shirley Kinsey, will serve as the speaker for the Honor's Banquet scheduled for Friday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom.

Kinsey is a native of West Palm Beach, Fla. Following in his family's tradition, he attended FAMU. At FAMU, he met his wife, Shirley. After graduating in 1967, he was hired as the first African-American sales representative for Humble Oil Company, then a part of the Exxon Corporation. The job took Kinsey and his wife to South Central Los Angeles. Kinsey was immediately successful and quickly became Humble Oil's number-one sales representative.

In 1971, Kinsey left Humble Oil to join Xerox Corporation as a field service manager. Within his first nine months, he rose to number one. During that same year, Kinsey and a group of African-American Xerox employees protested the promotion of a less-qualified white employee over an African American with supervisory experience and a college degree. Xerox promoted the African-American employee. This action resulted in the creation of the Xerox Black Employees Association, which Kinsey co-founded.

Kinsey became a vice president of Xerox within 10 years. He holds the distinction of achieving No. 1 status nationally in every sales and marketing position he held from 1968 to 1984. Kinsey also worked to create a program for bringing African Americans and other minorities into the company and training them for jobs with opportunities for advancement.

In 1991, Kinsey left Xerox and in 1992, he became the chief operating officer and co-chairman of Rebuild Los Angeles (RLA) under Peter Ueberroth. RLA's mission was to bring jobs, economic opportunities and pride to the area that had been devastated by the 1992 Los Angeles riots. While leading the revitalization efforts, Kinsey succeeded in generating more than $380 million in investments for inner-city Los Angeles. Kinsey also worked to bring grocery stores, loan funds, pharmacies, hardware stores and other retail outlets to the community.

Kinsey currently serves as president of KBK Enterprises, a management-consulting firm. He is a recognized expert and leader in the field of urban revitalization and economic development and has counseled the governments of South Africa, Germany, England, Israel and France.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Director of FAMU’s Black Male College Explorers Program

Florida A&M University (FAMU) alum, Edward G. Tolliver, was recently named the director of FAMU’s Black Male College Explorers Program.

“I am truly excited and passionate about this program,” said Tolliver. “Our major objective is to help an at-risk black male become a safe-risk male.”

The Black Male College Explorers Program is an at-risk prevention/intervention program designed specifically to prevent black males from dropping out of high school; facilitate their admission to college; and significantly increase their chances of earning a college degree. Middle and high schools from Tallahassee and major cities all over Florida are selected as participating schools. Participating schools are asked to identify at-risk males enrolled in grades 7 through 11. A team of school and community leaders is required to provide supportive services for the student during the regular year. FAMU provides six weeks of highly concentrated developmental experiences, which includes weekly seminars, workshops and motivational trips, during the summer.

Some of Tolliver’s previous positions include Bureau Chief for State Purchasing, Florida Department of Management Services; assistant director of Purchasing, Florida A&M University; purchasing specialist, Florida Department of General Services; director of Materials Management for Capital Hospital; and purchasing agent for Tallahassee Community Hospital.

Tolliver received his associate of arts degree from Tallahassee Community College and his bachelor of science, master of applied social science and doctor of philosophy from FAMU. He is a 2001 Distinguished Alumni.

FAMU to Host Tallahassee African Sister Cities Coalition Conference

lorida A&M University (FAMU) the official home of the Tallahassee African Sister Cities Coalition Conference (TASCC) will host its Seventh Annual Observance of Africa Awareness Month from March 17-21, 2008.

The conference theme is “Florida-Africa Relations: Building Alliances by Focusing on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).” It will feature a number of activities including keynote speakers, group discussions, a film festival and a dinner dance.

The culminating event of the conference is the “Taste of Africa” gala dinner and dance which is scheduled March 21, at the Ramada Inn Hotel Convention Center located at 2900 North Monroe Street. Tickets are $50 each, and tables can be reserved for $650.

TASCC seeks to establish student chapters around the world to fill the void often left by the lack of emphasis of cultural immersion in higher education. The main idea is for the youth to establish critical linkages for future ventures across continents and to take more of a leadership role in forging ties within the African Diaspora.

The discussions will focus primarily on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). This initiative, signed by African Heads of State in 2002, embodies Africa’s vision and aspirations for sustainable economic development and regional cooperation leading to continental unification.

African Union/NEPAD representatives, international diplomats and experts from the United States, Europe and African and Caribbean nations and territories will address theme-related issues and topics. The primary goal is to foster dialogues that lead to identifying, nurturing, and establishing functional partnerships mutually beneficial for all involved parties.

In addition to NEPAD, the conference focuses includes: (1) a signing ceremony of the sister city relationship between the City of Tallahassee and Asante Akim North District, Ghana, followed by negotiations on prioritizing goals and objectives to move the relationship forward; (2) building a foundation to support the African Diaspora Heritage Trail – Florida Initiative, which is to “identify places and phenomena relevant to the global presence and influences of people and culture of African descent and to develop mechanisms to promote and facilitate informed and socially conscious travel to these sites, with emphasis on enhancement of the quality of life of host communities;” and (3) introduce Kenya Development Fund Corporation (KDFC), a startup investment company aimed at providing a means for U.S. citizens to invest in Kenya’s rapidly growing economy.

This year, the bulk of the festivities will be hosted on FAMU’s campus, and there will be additional emphasis placed on student participation to increase African awareness and perhaps offer programs offering opportunities for students to travel abroad. Last year, 20 students traveled to Ghana to commemorate the country's 50th year of independence.

Monday, March 10, 2008

FAMU Office of Public Affairs Launches New Media

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Office of Public Affairs is proud to announce the launch of new media that will broaden the lines of communication between all its stakeholders, as well as serve as a recruitment and marketing tool.

“The Office of Public Affairs is committed to maintaining an open line of communication between all of FAMU constituents and ensuring that the campus community is aware of activities, issues and opportunities,” said Sharon Saunders, FAMU’s chief of communications. “The new media we have launched will serve as a means to increase the flow of communication and grab the attention of computer savvy Rattlers.”

The FAMU Public Relations MySpace page, the official FAMU YouTube channel, the FAMU Message On-Hold System, the FAMU e-newsletter and the FAMU Board of Trustees Report (BOT) will each serve as new means to increase communication among the FAMU stakeholders.

The official FAMU MySpace page,, will feature up-to-date news on the institution; photo galleries showcasing campus activities; alumni and student achievements; and promotional videos.

The official FAMU YouTube channel,, will feature news updates, promotional videos, documentaries from students in the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC), and video from SJGC student “Live at Five” newscast.

Both the YouTube channel and MySpace page were constructed and will be maintained by Angel Suri, a FAMU information and communication specialist. The media act as ways to communicate with students and alumni, and market prospective students.

“The YouTube channel and MySpace profile kill two birds with one stone,” Suri said. “Prospective Rattlers are a product of the digital era, and new media is a great way to attract them to the Hill. Students and alumni have expressed serious interest in keeping abreast on just what is going on at the institution, and this is a fun and interactive way to keep them informed.”

Pamela Tolson, FAMU’s director of media relations, echoed Suri’s sentiment as it applies to the FAMU Message On-Hold, e-newsletter and BOT Report, which she will be responsible for maintaining.

“Everyday thousands of individuals step foot on this campus and we have a responsibility to find new and efficient ways to communicate with those individuals who all lead very busy lives,” Tolson said. “We have to reach the FAMU community where it is most effective and we have to realize that all constituents should be knowledgeable of what is occurring here at FAMU. The new media will do just that.”

The FAMU Message On-Hold plays when an individual calls the university and is placed on hold. The message will reflect the most current and up-to-date news, special events, student, faculty and alumni achievements, and information for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community.

The FAMU e-newsletter will be distributed via the FAMU email system to students, staff, faculty, administration, alumni, board of trustees and foundation. It will feature up-to-date information about campus highlights, special events, student and faculty achievements and other pertinent information.

The FAMU BOT Report will be published electronically and recap the events of each board of trustee meeting. It will be distributed, via the FAMU email system, to students, staff, faculty, administration and FAMU Foundation and Board members. It will be published quarterly after each board of trustees meeting.

FAMU's student newspaper, The Famuan, Wins 11 Awards

Florida A&M University (FAMU) student-run newspaper, The Famuan, recently won 11 awards out of 21 categories at the 2007 HBCU Excellence in Journalism Student Newspaper Awards at the Black College Communication Association (BCCA) 10th Annual National HBCU Newspaper Conference, including the coveted Best Newspaper, twice weekly or more, Award.

“We applaud our students for receiving this recognition from the Black College Communication Association,” said James Hawkins, dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. “This recognition signals a high quality of journalism.”

Each year, participating BCCA member colleges, companies, and organizations come together at the National HBCU Newspaper Conference to share in a week full of workshops, networking, and fun.

This year, the conference included sessions on editing, copy writing, media law and increasing frequency, which was given by FAMU’s own Sidney Wright, a senior broadcast journalism student and former editor-in-chief of The Famuan, and Valerie White, a FAMU professor of journalism and BCCA chair. Other activities included a student editor roundtable, which Akeem Anderson, The Famuan’s editor-in-chief attended.

“I was extremely proud of what we accomplished as a staff,” Anderson said. “There are a lot of great newspapers out there, and to be considered one of the best is an honor. It has been three years since we won such an award and I'm just happy to return The Famuan to elite status.”

The following is a list of each award The Famuan and it’s staff garnered:

First Place: The Famuan (Florida A&M University)

Third Place: The Famuan (Florida A&M University)

First Place: The Famuan (Florida A&M University)

First Place: The Famuan (Florida A&M University) “Blacks on a New Grind”

Second Place: The Famuan (Florida A&M University) “Protestors hit the city streets”

Third Place: The Famuan (Florida A&M University) “Academics leave star on sideline” by Akeem Anderson

Third Place: The Famuan (Florida A&M University)

First Place: The Famuan (Florida A&M University) “Blacks on a New Grind” by Alex Acosta

Honorable Mention(s): The Famuan (Florida A&M University) “Research building evacuated” by Jhenelle Johnson

Honorable Mention(s) The Famuan (Florida A&M) “Rattlers slither past Tigers (Jhennelle Johnson and Nyerere Davidson)

Honorable Mention(s): The Famuan (Florida A&M University) “The Minstrel show: Black television is in utter disarray” by Nyerere Davidson

About the BCCA
The Black College Communication Association (BCCA) is a not-for-profit organization, established through a grant from the Freedom Forum. Membership consists of administrators at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with communications programs. The BCCA operates through annual dues from members and grants from foundations. The mission of BCCA is to identify resources necessary for strengthening communications programs at HBCUs; provide technical assistance to HBCUs seeking accreditation; and establish state-of-the-art hardware systems, which can be shared by member institutions to promote the understanding and advancement of communication as an academic and professional field.

Photo caption: Staff members of The Famuan proudly display awards at the National HBCU Newspaper Conference.

FAMU Collaborates with Internal Revenue Service for the Criminal Investigations Forensic Accounting Workshop

Florida A&M University’s Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and School of Business and Industry in collaboration with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation will sponsor a Forensics Accounting Workshop Wednesday, March 19 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the School of Business and Industry Building North Wing, Room 447-B.

FAMU hosted the first workshop in 2006 and is the only historically black college or university to conduct such a project. This is also the second collaboration of this kind in the state of Florida.

Based on an increasing interest in the study and investigation of financial crimes through the use of forensic accounting principles, the workshop offers a unique program that will assign 20 FAMU students to teams responsible for solving several hypothetical crimes.

The hypothetical scenarios challenge the students by presenting "real world" situations. Each group of students, working as a "task force," will have an experienced IRS Special Agent serving as a coach, but it will be up to the students to follow the appropriate "paper trail" to resolve the scenario. The four-hour investigations may start with an anonymous informant, a meeting with local law enforcement, or even a bag of garbage. Once given a starting point, the students will select the next steps in gathering evidence. These steps usually take them to potential witnesses played by seasoned IRS Special Agents. The students will utilize tools available to federal law enforcement officers, including undercover operations, surveillances, subpoenas, and search warrants. At the end of the scenarios, the students will meet as a group to discuss the lessons learned from their respective investigations.

Through this project, the Internal Revenue Service hopes to generate interest among qualified students in its unique brand of criminal investigation, while preparing prospective applicants by giving them a taste of the world of forensic accounting and financial investigation.

For further information, please contact Pamela Tolson, director of FAMU’s Office of Media Relations, at (850) 412-5211 or Norm Meadows, IRS Criminal Investigation Recruiting Coordinator, at (941) 378-6417.

FAMU Students Spend Spring Break Developing a Caribbean Media Project

Four journalism and graphic communication students from Florida A&M University (FAMU) will travel to Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles during the spring break to help a group of teenage students improve a radio magazine program and to produce a multimedia web site and podcasts that feature the program’s highlights.

The students will be supervised by Professor Joe Ritchie, the Knight Chair in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication at FAMU, who visited the island a year earlier with his wife, Louise Reid Ritchie, as volunteers training the Bonaire youth group on the basic principles of journalism. The Florida Association sponsored the earlier trip for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas (FAVACA).

FAMU students were selected after meeting minimum academic performance criteria and submitting applications centered on essays outlining how they could contribute to the project.

The students on the project are:

Alex Acosta, a senior photography student, is the project’s designated webmaster and still photo archivist. In addition to having been the photo editor and online editor for The Famuan, Alex has been a multimedia intern at the Palm Beach Post and the Tallahassee Democrat.

Jermaine Fletcher is the lead broadcast production team member. A senior broadcast journalism student, Jermaine has interned at ESPN in Bristol, Conn., at Bloomberg News in New York and is currently working as a videographer at WCTV-TV in Tallahassee.

Vanessa Lemaistre, a senior public relations student is the broadcast specialist and reporter for the team. She has worked with Cumulus Broadcasting in Tallahassee and has been a video jockey hosting a Caribbean music program for Video Mix television in Miami. She speaks Creole.

Driadonna Roland, a senior broadcast journalism student, is designated lead broadcast specialist/reporter. Driadonna was an International Radio and Television Society summer fellow and production intern at GREY Worldwide in New York last summer. She has had a number of responsible positions with FAMU student media, including several editing positions with The Famuan, being the weather anchor/producer for the News 20 at Five live television newscast, and hosting a weekly gospel music show on WANM-FM. She also has several national and regional journalism awards to her credit.

“This is truly an outstanding group of students, an all-star cast, and I am confident our hosts in Bonaire will be thoroughly impressed at the quality of this team,” Ritchie said. “The students are excited about this opportunity, and I can’t wait to get them to Bonaire.”

The trip is sponsored through a Knight Chair endowment designed to support professional development activities for FAMU journalism students. Ritchie is a former editor for The Washington Post and Detroit Free Press newspapers with extensive experience in international journalism. He has traveled widely, including previous visits to approximately 20 islands and other territories in the Caribbean region, among other places.

Under separate auspices and as a parallel event sponsored in part by FAVACA, Louise Ritchie and Akin Ritchie, a freshman at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., also will travel to Bonaire and provide training in conflict resolution and communication skills. Both were trained in Washington and are certified facilitators in the Help Increase the Peace Program (HIPP) established by the American Friends Service Committee.

FAMU Hosts Annual Weekend of Rededication (WORD) and Spring Alumni Meeting

Florida A&M University (FAMU) will host its annual Weekend of Rededication (WORD) and spring Alumni Meeting April 24 through April 27, 2008.

For a complete listing of the weekend's events, please visit

Thursday, March 6, 2008

FAMU College of Law Names New Director of Registrar

Geraldine A. Nappa, who has more than a decade of experience as a law school registrar, has been appointed the director of registrar for the Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law. She will begin on March 21, 2008.

“Nappa comes to us after a nationally advertised search which produced several highly qualified candidates,” said LeRoy Pernell, dean of FAMU’s College of Law. “Nappa’s training and experience was a particularly important part of the decision to have her lead our registrar operation.”

Nappa served 14 years as the Registrar for Stetson University College of Law. Prior to that, she served as the associate registrar for the University of Rhode Island and as registrar for Mitchell College in New London, Conn. She is a graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University, with a master of arts degree from the University of Connecticut.

Nappa is a member of Omicron Tau Theta, a national professional honor society, and has served as a member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, and the National Network of Law Schools Officers.

“She is excited about what FAMU Law can be and how she can contribute to excellence with caring,” Pernell said.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

FAMU Hosts its Annual Spring Preview

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Annual Spring Preview is scheduled for Saturday, March 29, at FAMU’s Grand Ballroom.

“Spring Preview is an excellent opportunity for prospective students, from high schools and community colleges to learn more about the opportunities that await them at FAMU,” said Danielle Kennedy-Lamar, FAMU’s associate vice president for student affairs for enrollment management. “Students and parents can learn about academic programs, student organizations and life on ‘The Hill.’ They will meet current students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni.”

Prospective high school juniors and seniors and community college transfer students are invited to attend.

There will be academic departments, student services areas (financial aid, admissions, housing and orientation) student organization representatives, and on-the-spot admissions will be available for qualified students who have completed an application, have official transcripts (with test scores) and application fees. Scholarships will be awarded, on-the-spot, to qualifying students.

The schedule for the day’s activities is as follows:

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Registration/Departmental Exhibits
Academic and Student Services Sessions

9:30 a.m. Welcome to FAMU

10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Learn more about FAMU's programs

11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Campus Tours

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch

FAMU and the City of Tallahassee Sponsor Second Annual Daylight

For the second year in a row, Florida A&M University (FAMU), in cooperation with the City of Tallahassee Energy Services Department, will distribute free compact fluorescent light bulbs to city residents on the first day of Daylight Saving Time. Sponsored by the FAMU Green Coalition, the Second Annual Change a Light for Daylight Saving event is scheduled for Sunday, March 9, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. FAMU students will distribute 2,000 CFLs to residents in the Southside community.

Last year, 80 volunteers distributed nearly 2,300 CFLs to residents for the southside of town. The value of the energy savings over the lifetime of all of those CFLs was estimated to be $183,000.

“To receive a free compact fluorescent light bulb, all individuals need to do is give us one of their old incandescent bulbs,” said David Byrne, energy services director for the City of Tallahassee. “We’ll give each household up to four new bulbs in exchange for four old bulbs until our supply runs out.”

Volunteers will go door-to-door, to pass out the CFLs. In addition, distribution sites will be set up at the following locations: Bethel AME Church, 501 W. Orange Avenue; Catholic Charities, 1380 Blountstown Highway; Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Bend, 306 Laura Lee Avenue; and Apalachee Ridge Technology Learning Center, 937 Kendall Drive.

"We had a great time distributing the CFLs last year,” said Markita Samuel, student co-chair of the FAMU Green Coalition. “Residents were excited to get their free CFLs and to save money on their energy bills.”

Diamondback Pharmacy Alumni Council Unveils the Wall of Givers

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) National Diamondback Pharmacy Alumni Council (NDPAC) unveiled its “Wall of Givers” during the 31st FAMU Clinical Symposium. The “Wall of Givers” is housed in the New College of Pharmacy Building and it recognizes those pharmacy alumni who contributed to the completion of the $100,000 Pharmacy Scholarship Endowment.

Pharmacy alumni Monroe W. Mack (‘53), Gwendolyn Washington (‘69) and Joy Wallace (‘78), president of NDPAC, were the leaders of the endowment campaign. Dean Henry Lewis challenged the pharmacy alumni to now raise the bar to $1.5 million and the NDPAC accepted the challenge.

**Photo caption: Members of the National Diamondback Pharmacy Alumni Council at Florida A&M University stand in front of their “Wall of Givers.”

Orlando Welcomes LeRoy Pernell as Dean of FAMU’s College of Law

ORLANDO, Fla. – Nearly 200 elected officials, judges, attorneys, business leaders and other supporters joined Florida A&M University (FAMU) President James H. Ammons during a reception to welcome LeRoy Pernell as the new dean of the FAMU College of Law.

Ammons kicked off the event at the Marriott Orlando Downtown by recognizing Pernell as one of only two African-American law school deans with more than a decade of tenure at one institution.

“We are pleased to have Dean Pernell as a part of our leadership team,” said Ammons. “I believe he is a great asset to the College of Law and the university.”

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer extended greetings on behalf of the city, declaring how proud he was to have the FAMU College of Law located in Orlando, and recalling that while he was in the Florida Senate, he co-sponsored legislation authorizing the reestablishment of the law school.

“We recognize the value this law school brings to our city,” Dyer said. “Dean Pernell, we are excited to have you at the helm of our law school. We welcome you and thank you for accepting this opportunity.”

Also attending the event were University and state administrators, including Frederick S. Humphries, the former FAMU president who fought to have the law school reestablished; C. William Jennings, chairman of the FAMU Board of Trustees; and Tico Perez, a member of the Florida Board of Governors. Other participants included Orlando City Commissioner Daisy Lynum, who worked to bring the law school to Orlando; Orlando City Commissioner Samuel Ings; Orlando City Commissioner Phil Diamond; State Representative Geraldine Thompson; Judge Emerson Thompson (Ret.); and a number of other judges, legislators, political officials, business leaders, area attorneys, and law school alumni.

**Photo caption:
FAMU President James H. Ammons (center) is pictured with Orlando City Commissioner Daisy Lynum (left to right), FAMU Law Dean LeRoy Pernell, State Representative Geraldine Thompson and Judge Emerson Thompson (Ret.) at Pernell’s Welcome Reception held in Orlando