Monday, April 28, 2008

Bishop Eddie Long and Attorney Willie Gary Tell FAMU Graduates It’s Time to to Start Running and to Set High Goals

With mortarboards that read, “DONE” and “Thank you Mom and Dad, FAMU 2008,” the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic was filled near capacity as 1,389 Florida A&M University (FAMU) students received their degrees during FAMU’s spring commencement.

While parents, friends, and family members yelled and shouted, “We love you” and “We are proud of you” and banners read, “Follow the path of God” and “Congrats! Dr. Curtis, You did it!,” FAMU students received challenges and advice from commencement speakers Bishop Eddie Long and Attorney Willie Gary.

During the 9 a.m. commencement ceremony, Long told FAMU graduates that they better be ready to run.

“When that sun comes up tomorrow morning, don’t hit the snooze button,” said Long. “You better get up running; you better be ready to keep learning; you better be ready to work.”

Long, lead senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., also told graduates to remember to not let any problem put them in fear.

“Remember that behind every problem, there is a promise,” said Long. “And every promise is always bigger the problem.”

Attorney Willie Gary, one of the most successful trial attorneys in the nation, told FAMU graduates to set their goals high.

“I challenge you today to be all that you can be,” said Gary. “You can make it happen. You are going to go out there and make a difference. Remember to always give and reach back and help those that are less fortunate.”

FAMU President James H. Ammons gave Long and Gary the President’s Award for serving as the keynote speaker. Monique Gillum, James Bland and Phillip Agnew each received the President’s Student Leadership Award for their role on FAMU’s Student Government Association.

This spring commencement was for one for the history book. The graduating class of FAMU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical had the largest graduating class in the college’s history, with 144 graduates, which included Shantrice Green, a Miami native and an NCAA track star.

“I’m the first person in family to graduate from college,” said Green. “The whole time I was in college I ran track, worked and I was in pharmacy school. I guess you can say that is my greatest achievement.”

Shantrice’s mother echoed her excitement.

“I'm very proud of my daughter and her accomplishments,” said Joann Green. “The speaker touched on a lot of relevant topics that these young people that are getting ready to go out in the real world need to focus on.”

While at FAMU on a track scholarship, Green qualified for the NCAA regional championship two years in a row, 2005 and 2006, and she was awarded FAMU’s Outstanding Athlete Award of the Year in 2006.

FAMU Offers Online Courses for the 2008 Summer Semester

The Florida A&M University Office of Instructional Technology will offer a combination of undergraduate and graduate hybrid and/or distance learning delivered courses this summer.

Online courses allow individuals to take courses anytime and anywhere. Interested individuals must have a computer and Internet connection (DSL or Cable). All other specific requirements will be listed with course descriptions.

Some of the courses available include Intro to microcomputer applications; introduction to psychology; abnormal psychology; introduction to educational technology; computer animation modeling; introduction to exceptional education; and communication techniques (graduate).

Course registration will be the same as for regular courses. For a complete listings of courses available, visit and click on the summer online courses link. For more information, call (850) 599-3460.

About a hybrid course
Hybrid course can be taken by students who cannot meet in classes on a regular basis. This kind of course is good for students who work and/or live in the surrounding areas (Tallahassee). The faculty/department chair decides how many face-to-face classes are needed. Students with good study skills and who have a mature work ethic are good candidates for these kinds of courses.

About distance course
Distance course is essentially needs no face-to-face meetings. This kind of course is good for students that are at a far distance from campus and/or have jobs that keep them from meeting the class schedule. Students with good study skills and who have a mature work ethic are good candidates for these kinds of courses. Testing in a distance course is done at proctored locations (must be arranged by faculty) or the test can be designed to test for understanding of concepts and critical thinking as opposed to basic knowledge of facts, i.e. true/false, multiple choice and fill-in the blank.

Four FAMU Law Students Named Summer Associates for Firm

Parks & Crump LLC, a personal injury law firm based in Tallahassee, has selected four Florida A&M University College of Law students as summer associates for the firm. Current second-year students Regina Hogan, Reganel Reeves and Gregory St. Jour, and first-year student Ashley Mitchell received notification of their selection in late March.

“The students will gain a great depth of practical litigation experience at our firm to better prepare them for the rigors they will face in the legal profession upon their graduation from the College of Law,” said Daryl Parks, managing partner of the law firm.

According to Parks, who is also a member of the FAMU Board of Trustees, the students were selected from a highly competitive group of applicants, and are well deserving of the opportunity to contribute as associates to the firm.

“Our firm has employed students from the College of Law during previous summers, and we have been pleased with the ability they have demonstrated,” said Parks.

The selected students exemplify an active involvement at the College of Law through their participation in various student organizations. Hogan, Reeves and St. Jour were selected to the 2008-2009 FAMU Law Review, where Hogan will serve as Editor-in-Chief. Mitchell will serve as 2008-2009 American Bar Association Representative for the FAMU Student Bar Association.

Several FAMU College of Law graduates who have worked with the Parks & Crump firm as students later found permanent employment as associates. This includes Tiffany Mount, Class of 2005, who handles personal injury and wrongful death, and Jarian Lyons, Class of 2006, who handles mass tort litigation and general litigation.

“We will continue to support the College of Law’s mission to impact the legal profession throughout the country while increasing the representation of minorities within the profession,” said Parks.

Photo Caption: Daryl Parks (center), FAMU Trustee Member and Managing Partner of Parks & Crump, LLC, poses with FAMU students selected as summer associates for the law firm: Reganel Reeves (left to right), Regina Hogan, Ashley Mitchell and Gregory St. Jour.

FAMU College of Law Announces New Faculty

LeRoy Pernell, dean of the Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law, has announced the hiring of seven law professors who are nationally and internationally recognized for their academic leadership and legal expertise. The appointments are effective for the 2008-2009 academic year.

“These individuals are distinguished in legal academia, scholarship, and professional service,” said Pernell. “I am confident that each one of them will make a unique contribution to the academy, complementing the exceptional team of legal scholars currently on the FAMU College of Law faculty.”

The new faculty members are:

• Markita Cooper, professor and associate dean for Academic Affairs. Cooper formerly served as professor and associate dean for the JD Program Academic Affairs at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, where she was responsible for the administration of curriculum, instruction and course scheduling. She also hired, evaluated and trained adjunct faculty and helped develop a comprehensive program that improved the bar passage rate. She holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, and an A.B. in communications and psychology from Stanford University.

• Jeremy Levitt, distinguished professor for International Law and associate dean for International Programs. Levitt previously served as associate professor and director of the Program for Human Rights and Global Justice at Florida International University College of Law, in Miami. His areas of expertise include African politics, the Caribbean, and human rights law. He is a columnist for the Chicago Sun Times and has contributed to radio and television programs across the country and in Ghana, West Africa. He received a B.A. in political science from Arizona State University, a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Cambridge St. John’s College in the UK.

• Kenneth Nunn, professor and associate dean for Research and Faculty Development. Prior to joining FAMU, Nunn served as a professor at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville, where his research focused on criminal law and procedure, civil rights, and critical race theory. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Warsaw Faculty of Law in Warsaw, Poland and Makerere University Faculty of Law in Kampala, Uganda. Nunn has published extensively and served as consulting editor for law and society for the “Macmillan Encyclopedia of Race and Racism. He received a J.D. from the University of California School of Law in Berkeley and an A.B. in international relations from Stanford University.

• Deleso Washington, associate professor. Washington comes to FAMU after serving as assistant professor of law at Barry University School of Law in Orlando, where she taught legal research and writing. She holds an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC, where she focused on the Intersectionality of Gender, Race and Law; a J.D. from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and a B.S. from Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge.

• Crisarla Houston, assistant professor and director of Legal Writing. Prior to coming to FAMU, Houston served as assistant professor and director of Legal Research and Writing at Texas Southern University School of Law, where she focused on developing and strengthening students’ basic writing, legal writing and case analysis skills. She received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a B.S. in finance from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, and has studied international and humanitarian law at the University of Ghana.

• Jonathan Fineman, assistant professor. Fineman previously served as a research fellow for the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder, where he taught employment law and comparative employment law. He also has served as an associate for the law firms of Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold LLP; Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; and Morgenstein & Jubelirer LLP in San Francisco, California. He holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School in New York and a B.A. in American studies from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

• Tshaka Randall, assistant professor. Before joining FAMU, Randall was a visiting professor at Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he taught property and education law. He also served on the admissions and diversity committees. Randall received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, an M.A. in education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and a B.S. in education from the University of Dayton.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The National Collegiate Athletic Association Certifies FAMU

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Committee on Athletics Certification has certified Florida A&M University and 34 other Division I member institutions that have undergone the Association’s second cycle of athletics certification.

“We are elated at this news, which is a result of the hard work and dedication of our administrative staff and coaches, who have helped us maintain a high quality athletic program here at Florida A&M University,” said William “Bill” Hayes, FAMU’s Athletic Director. “We will continue to build on the great tradition here at FAMU as we continue to move our program forward in the future.”

The purpose of athletics certification is to ensure integrity in the institution’s athletics program and to assist institutions in improving their athletics departments. NCAA legislation mandating athletics certification was adopted in 1993.

The certification process, which involves a self-study led by an institution’s president or chancellor, includes a review of these primary components: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; equity; and student-athlete well-being.

A designation of “certified” means that an institution operates its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the Division I membership.

This classification means that the institution is considered to be operating its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the NCAA's Division I membership.

FAMU Partners with Parks Pharmacy, Inc. to Provide Entrepreneurial Opportunities for FAMU Graduates

Florida A&M University joins forces with Parks Pharmacy, Incorporated to provide entrepreneurial opportunities for FAMU graduates to own and manage an independent community pharmacy.

Additionally, this partnership with Parks Pharmacy, Inc. and the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) will establish a scholarship fund and a Community Pharmacy Residency Program that will fund two (2) residency positions focusing on community pharmacy practice and advancing state-of-the-art pharmaceutical care in a community pharmacy setting.

“This mutual agreement between FAMU, the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Parks Pharmacy is designed to establish the M.B. Coleman Scholarship Fund, named after the grandmother of Demetrius Parks, owner and CEO of Parks Pharmacy, Inc., headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama,” said Henry Lewis III, dean and professor of COPPS.

This is the first entrepreneurial program of this nature for FAMU graduates to actively participate in economic development activities. In addition, Parks Pharmacies will serve as a community clerkship-training site for

current students enrolled in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Lewis believes this is a phenomenal opportunity because so few minority pharmacists own and operate independent community pharmacies.

“With more than 900 independent drug stores closing annually, this partnership will help reverse the trend particularly for minority practitioners,” said Lewis.

“I am excited about working with Dean Lewis and the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences,” said Demetrius Y. Parks, R.Ph., owner/CEO Parks Pharmacy, Incorporated. “My vision is to change the direction of pharmacy so that more pharmacies are independently owned and operated. This program is uniquely designed to assist minority pharmacists with financial options that will enable them to build, startup, operate, and local pharmacies.”

“The collaboration with Parks Pharmacy is an excellent opportunity for pharmaceutical entrepreneurship,” said Angela Hill, professor and director of COPPS Pharmacy Practice.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us as we continue to expand post-graduate training experiences for our students,” said Michael Thompson, professor and assistant dean for Clinical Affairs. “I am delighted that Parks has decided to partner with us on such an innovative venture.”

Photo caption: (from left to right) Demetrius Parks, owner and CEO of Parks Pharmacy, Inc., FAMU President James H. Ammons and Dean Henry Lewis, III, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, signed the Memorandum of Understanding which will establish the partnership between Florida A&M University and the Parks Pharmacy, Inc.

Monday, April 21, 2008

FAMU Launches African-American Men's Health Coalition

Today, Florida A&M University (FAMU) launches the Coalition on African-American Men's Health (CAAMH) as FAMU celebrates the National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, April 20-26, 2008.

"We are honored to announce a new initiative and to participate in the effort to increase awareness about the impact that cancer is having among men in the African-American community," said FAMU President James H. Ammons.

The mission of the coalition is to develop, promote and sustain independent, competitive men's health research and training programs at FAMU that create opportunities and promote careers for FAMU scientists. The coalition will also create a series of support networks and activities to assist men in the African-American community.

Statistics show that African-American men have the lowest life expectancy compared to any other group in the United States. Their quality of life is also poor. They are disproportionately affected by the leading chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and HIV/AIDS.

“In 2004, it was reported that the death rate for African-American men is two and half times higher than Hispanics or any other race due to prostate cancer,” said Ana M. Viamonte Ros, State Surgeon General for the Florida Department of Health. “We must raise awareness and emphasize routine screening.”

"With the disparate burden of disease experienced by African-American men, it is important that we address the health concerns that are specific to the population," said Folakemi Odedina, FAMU professor and director of the Economic, Social and Administrative Pharmacy and chair of the coalition.

The Coalition is comprised of FAMU faculty, researchers, staff, students, university partners and healthcare professionals.

"FAMU is ideally suited to address the mission of the coalition," said Cynthia Hughes Harris, FAMU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. "Our mission is to improve African-American men's health, increase their expectancy and enhance their quality of life.”

Among the activities the coalition has planned to highlight during National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, April 20 – 26, 2008, are:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Get Linked: Cancer Information for you & loved ones
Florida A&M University Center for Minority Prostate Cancer Training and Research
Dyson Pharmacy, Suite 200

Wednesday, April 23, 2008: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cancer Information Outdoors at the FAMU SET
Florida A&M University Set

Thursday, April 24, 2008: All Day
Get Your Questions Answered on Prostate Cancer
Call 1 – 800 – 4 – CANCER (1-800-422-6237)
Call 1-800-ACS-2345 (1-800-227-2345)

Friday, April 25, 2008: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Open House: FAMU-ACS Men's Health Resource Center
Florida A&M University Center for Minority Prostate Cancer Training and Research
Dyson Pharmacy, Suite 200

The FAMU National Minority Cancer Awareness Week is presented by Florida
A&M University, Florida Department of Health, American Cancer Society, Cancer Information Service, Northwest Cancer Collaborative, Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center and Bond Community Health Center.

Photo caption: Florida A&M University (FAMU) President James H. Ammons announced FAMU’s newest initiative, the Coalition on African-American Men's Health. Ana M. Viamonte Ros, State Surgeon General for the Florida Department of Health (far left) and Representative Curtis B. Richardson, District 8, joined Ammons and FAMU in support of the coalition.

FAMU Students Launch Web Site to Cover the Panhandle’s Legislature News

Your Capitol Bureau, a student-staffed news service, has launched its Web site with legislative news for Panhandle counties.

Your Capitol Bureau covers the Legislature for 19 non-daily newspapers and seven radio stations in 11 North Florida counties. The 8-year-old bureau launched its Web site this month:

The Web site is hosted by WMBB-TV, Panama City, and was designed by the station’s Web master, Gene Hilsheimer. The TV station’s reporters can mine the bureau’s Web site for ideas for stories to broadcast on WMMB news.

“The Internet is a great source of leads,” said Hilsheimer. “What starts out as rumor on the Internet may turn out to have legs. In this way, a news staff can be more effective watchdogs on state government.”

WMBB and the bureau share audiences in five counties: Jackson, Calhoun, Liberty, Franklin and Gulf. The bureau also reports on the Legislature for Suwannee, Leon, Gadsden, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton counties.

The WMBB partnership with the bureau was initiated by Bureau Chief Gale Workman, a FAMU journalism professor.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Five FAMU Students Selected for the New York Times Student Journalism Institute

Five journalism students from the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) at Florida A&M University have been selected to participate in The New York Times Student Journalism Institute, May 18-31, in New Orleans.

The five chosen will join 24 students selected from a total of 102 applicants for the program. The five FAMU students are:

Yewande Addie, a junior newspaper journalism student from Atlanta, Ga.;
Jhenelle Johnson, a senior newspaper journalism student from Miramar, Fla.;
John W. Marsh, a senior broadcast journalism student from Detroit, Mich.;
Nathaniel Nelson, a junior magazine production student from Miami, Fla.;
Saraj Sabree, a senior newspaper journalism student from Miami, Fla.

“Students who come to the Institute are among the best and brightest in the country, and they have the drive and the talent to succeed without our help. But what we can give them is two weeks of intensive interaction with writers and editors from the most prestigious news organizations in the nation,” said Don Hecker, the Institute’s director and the training editor for copy editors at The New York Times.

The Institute the FAMU students will attend is based at Dillard University in New Orleans.

“They [the students] see what it’s like to work at the very top, because for two weeks they work at the very top, and they do so in a setting created specifically to focus on each of them and to be supportive of their unique set of talents,” said Hecker. “Beyond that, the students get to spend time with others who share their passion for news,
giving them a peer support network that will last through a career lifetime.”

During the program, students run a daily news Web site and the best work created is published in a newspaper at the close of the program.

“The skills we gain will help us become more marketable as journalists and prepare us for the ever changing media landscape,” said Marsh.

The Associated Press Recognizes FAMU Broadcast Students for Excellence in Journalism

The Associated Press has announced the winners of the 2008 Florida Associated Press Broadcasters (FAPB) College Awards, which recognizes excellence in television and radio journalism. Eleven broadcast journalism students from the Florida A&M University School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) were honored during the FAPB College Convention in Orlando, Fla. SJGC students won 10 awards; an increase from last year’s seven.

“This recognition indicates the high quality of student and faculty talent we have in our school,” said James Hawkins, dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. “I am extremely proud of all of our winners.”

The first place winners are:

Best Short Light Feature: “Tallahassee Boycott” by Mahalia Bowman and Driadonna Roland

Best Long Light Feature: “A Helping Hand” by Mahalia Bowman and Shakaya Andres

Best Newscast (5 min): “Special Report: FAMU Athletic Department Changes” by John Marsh

Best Newscast (15 min): WANM-FM News by Bryan Brown

Best Long Light Feature (Radio): WANM-FM, “More Sex” by Erica T. Hicks

The second place winners are:

Best TV Newscast: “Live at 5,” Sidney Wright and Maya Franklin

Best Sports: “Football Postseason” by Danon Bell

Best Sports (Radio): WANM-FM, “FAMU Athletics Changes” by Courtney Jones

Best Spot News: WANM-FM, “FAMU Firings” by Guy Lemonier

Best Short Light Feature: WANM-FM, “The Classic” by Courtney Jones

Photo Caption: Bottom Row (L-R) Mahalia Bowman, Shakaya Andres, Driadonna Roland, and Maya Franklin. Top Row (L-R) John Marsh, Guy Lemonier, Keith Miles (Station Manager for WANM-FM 90.5), Bryan Brown, and Sidney Wright.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

FAMU Hosts its Annual Spring 2008 Teacher Recruitment Day

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) C.C. Cunningham Career Center and College of Education will host the Spring 2008 Teacher Recruitment Day Wednesday, April 23, 2008, at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Interested persons participating in this event must be dressed in business attire and have resumes available for distribution.

According to Cecile Washington, FAMU’s Career Development Coordinator, the following majors are in great demand: math (all areas); sciences (all areas); exceptional student education (all areas); physical therapy; occupational therapy; guidance counselor; social work; school psychologist; and speech language pathology.

For more information, please contact the C.C. Cunningham Career Center at (850) 599-3700 or visit

College of Law Students Honor Former President Humphries

Frederick S. Humphries, former president of Florida A&M University (FAMU), was honored by law students for his efforts to re-establish the FAMU College of Law.

Several members of the law school’s Class of 2008 were granted permission from LeRoy Pernell, dean of FAMU’s College of Law, to honor Humphries’ legacy by placing his portrait in the atrium. The portrait featuring a much younger Humphries was unveiled during the recognition program.

“I picked this picture because I took it when I started on the journey to re-establish the law school,” said Humphries.

“Students you are here today because of the blood and sweat of people like Dr. Humphries,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “He came to the helm of FAMU to re-establish the law school with tremendous passion.”

Ammons joined more than 150 students, faculty and guests in the College of Law Atrium on Friday, April 11, 2008 as they lauded Humphries’ efforts in returning the law school to the university.

“Dr. Humphries worked furiously with politicians, alumni and other friends of the university and was one of the chief advocates in convincing the Legislature to give FAMU the opportunity to once again foster a law program,” said third-year law student Chmari Anderson, president of the school’s Student Bar Association.

Humphries served as the eighth President of FAMU from 1985 until 2001. During his tenure, the institution achieved unprecedented heights including being named Princeton Review’s “College of the Year” in 1997. Humphries is currently a Regent Professor for the FAMU College of Law.

The College of Law was originally founded on December 21, 1949, where a division of law was established at the then Florida A&M College, and the first class was admitted in 1951. In 1966, the Florida Board of Control (later known as the Board of Regents) withdrew its permission for the institution to admit law students, and two years later, the law school graduated its last class and closed its doors. Between 1954 and 1968, the law school graduated 57 students.

The 2000 Florida Legislature unanimously passed legislation establishing a law school at Florida A&M University and on June 14, 2000, former Governor Jeb Bush signed the bill into law. The College of Law admitted its first class in fall 2002 at a temporary campus in downtown Orlando. The law school moved into its permanent facility in the Parramore neighborhood district of Orlando in 2006.

Photo Caption: FAMU President James H. Ammons (center) is pictured with FAMU College of Law Dean LeRoy Pernell (left to right), former FAMU president Frederick Humphries, FAMU Trustee Daryl Parks and People for the American Way Attorney Reggie Mitchell at the portrait dedication program at the law school.

Professor Dhyana Ziegler Knighted as a Dame of Justice

Dhyana Ziegler, professor of Journalism at Florida A&M University, was knighted as a Dame of Justice by the Chivalric Order of the Faithful Knights of Justice (formerly The Faithful Knights of the Roundtable) during the World Reunion and Festive Knights Ceremony of Investiture at Cambridge University in England.

According to the Chivalric Order of the Knights of Justice, originally founded in the 10th Century, Ziegler’s status as a Dame of Justice entitles her to enjoy all rights, honors, privileges, emoluments, private as a well as public, and pre-eminences pertaining to her Letters Patent. The Letters Patent requires her to hold true forever her obligation of honor toward the Order.

“The Knighting of Ziegler is representative of her career as a respected scholar and member of the faculty,” said James Hawkins, dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. “I congratulate and applaud her for this monumental achievement.”

In April 2007, Ziegler was awarded a bronze medal for meritorious service by the Chivalric Order of the Knights of Justice at Warwick Castle for her outstanding contributions to education.

Ziegler joined the FAMU faculty in 1997 as the Garth Reeves Eminent Scholar in the SJGC. She later held several administrative positions at FAMU including assistant vice president for Academic Affairs and Instructional Technology, acting vice president for Research, and acting director for the Office of International Education and Development.

As a three-time Governor’s Appointee to the Board of Trustees for the Florida Virtual School, Ziegler serves on several boards including the Boards of the Southern Scholarship Foundation, and the Center for Education, Productivity and Accountability for Florida Tax Watch.

Throughout her academic career, she has received numerous honors and awards. Lady Dhyana Ziegler has also been appointed to a five-year term on the Academic Board for the London College for Higher Education. The London College is an international university. The London College Academic Board includes scholars from around the world. Lady Dhyana Ziegler serves as the only female representative on the board.

FAMU’s March of Dimes Collegiate Council Hosts its First Annual Carnival on the Set

Florida A&M University's March of Dimes Collegiate Council will host its first annual "Carnival on the Set" on FAMU's campus in front of the Grand Ballroom, Friday, April 18, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The event will include a Greek step off hosted by WCTV's Shonda Knight; a fashion show; pie-eating contest and other trivia and games. Along with the carnival theme, cotton candy, popcorn, and soda will be sold for $1. All proceeds benefit the March of Dimes.

Friday, April 11, 2008

FAMU Student Wins CNN’s iReporter Contest

Florida A&M University senior Jermaine Fletcher is the winner of the CNN Campus iReporter Contest, and has a chance to be the grand prize winner of a trip for two to the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans.

“I was shocked and more amazed, only because of how fast it gained attention,” said Fletcher, a broadcast journalism student from Richmond, Va. “I got a phone call less than 24-hours after I sent my video, that it would be on the CNN website, and in another 24-hours I got another phone call to notify me that I won the competition. It was amazing.”

Choosing the topic, “What does it mean to be Black in America,” Fletcher decided to put a spin on his almost 10-minute long iReport to effectively reflect black Americans.

“Black people aren’t monotypic by nature,” he said. “So it was very necessary for me to have multiple perspectives. I felt the impact would be greater if I had more than one opinion and more people would connect to it.”

As part of CNN’s Black in America HBCU Tour, an iReporter winner will be chosen from every stop. Each winner is given a digital camera, and will submit a new report focusing on the experiences of

their campus' “Black in America Tour” stop for a chance to win the grand prize.

Fletcher will graduate in December 2008, and plans to pursue a career in film production.

FAMU Celebrates New Chapter in FAMU-DRS History with Topping Off Ceremony

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Construct Two Group, the firm responsible for the construction of the new Florida A&M University Developmental Research School (FAMU-DRS), held a Topping Off/Appreciation Day to celebrate one of their latest projects.

A crowd of construction workers waited patiently as FAMU President James H. Ammons, his leadership team, members of the Board of Trustees, FAMU-DRS superintendent Ronald Holmes, and FAMU-DRS administrators entered the FAMU-DRS future gym.

The crowd grew silent as Derrick Wallace, FAMU alum and Construct Two Group chairman, made his way to the podium.

“This construction firm is owned by FAMU alumni and 82 percent of its staff is FAMU alumni, so we’re excited about this project,” he said. “We are even more excited about such an outstanding education facility.”

Wallace said the new FAMU-DRS will be remembered as a milestone for Construction Two Group.

Soon after, Ammons took the podium and reminded the audience of this pivotal moment in the new facility’s history.

“This facility marks the next chapter for DRS,” said Ammons. “We want to recognize a company that has been groomed by our [FAMU’s] hands. This is what it’s all about—raising students to be the best, pushing them to graduate at the top of the class and allowing them to come back and show us what they can do.”

Holmes followed Ammons and proudly explained how the future home of FAMU-DRS fits perfectly into his plan of action.

“It is my main goal to lead FAMU-DRS to new heights and lead its student to their highest potential,” said Holmes. “With this new facility, we’ll be a step closer to getting our students in the right direction.”

The FAMU-DRS is scheduled to be completed by September 29, 2008 and will hold up to 476 kindergarten through 12 grade students. The school will be composed of six main buildings: a gymnasium, administration building, cafeteria and elementary, middle and high school buildings. It will also have football, track, baseball and softball fields. Construction costs for FAMU-DRS totals $24,656,782.

Ammons, his leadership team, Holmes, FAMU-DRS administration and members of the Board of Trustees signed a banner in recognition of the day’s event.

Photo caption: FAMU-DRS Superintendent Ronald Holmes writes his thoughts on a banner in recognition of the ceremony.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Florida A&M University’s senior broadcast students are bringing a touch of Hollywood to that highest ‘Hill’ as they gear up to unveil their short documentaries.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) will premier four, 15-minute student documentaries that take a critical and not-so-glamorous look into topics ranging from women in the prison system, to the plight of failing schools, to the rising number of single black women, and an inside look at one of the candidates in this year’s historic national election campaigns.

The Student Documentary Night will be held in the SJGC Lecture Hall. A reception is scheduled immediately following the program in the SJGC Gallery.

Professor Kenneth Jones, an associate professor in the Division of Journalism and Coordinator of the broadcast sequence, teaches specialized reporting in television where some 20 students, working in teams of two, vied for the opportunity to showcase their work.

“I choose the student documentaries based off of story content, uniqueness of the story, the high level of production quality and in terms of the ability of the student producers to do such dynamic stories,” said Jones.

The broadcast degree sequence at FAMU continues to enjoy tremendous popularity and impressive growth. There are more than 115 students in the program today and many of them are award-winning journalists. Three of the filmmakers, Driadonna Roland, John Marsh, and Gabrielle Brinson, are Associated Press College Contest Winners.

In addition to these four documentaries, there will also be a special showing of a short movie that was written, directed and produced by Jones called “Effects on Families.” Developed as a promotion piece to accompany a university-wide seat belt safety campaign, the film seeks to increase awareness of safe driving. Even though Jones produced the movie, several students participated in the production of the film as editors, writers and assistant directors.

Student associates in the PRodigy Public Relations Firm, a student-run, campus-based company housed in the SJGC), designed, planned and implemented the marketing and publicity for the spring 2008 Student Documentary Night and reception.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

FAMU Department of Music Presents An Evening of Jazz

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Department of Music presents An Evening of Jazz featuring the Jazz Ensemble I, under the direction of Lindsey B. Sarjeant, Monday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium.

Admission is free and the general public is invited to attend. For more information, call (850) 599-3024.

Monday, April 7, 2008

State Recognizes FAMU Law Students for Supporting Foster Care Project

Jim Kallinger, Florida’s Chief Child Advocate, visited Florida A&M University’s College of Law to recognize law students who are helping his office implement reforms in the state’s foster care system.

Kallinger, who heads the Office of Adoption and Child Protection within the Executive Office of the Governor, acknowledged the law students’ work to complete a list of more than 20 high-priority tasks aimed at increasing the efficiency, accountability and effectiveness of Florida’s foster care program. The FAMU College of Law is the only law school in the state assisting the state task force with the effort to improve child protection legislation and regulation.

“Students at the FAMU law school have been important partners in our effort to give every child in Florida the opportunity to live in a loving, safe and permanent home,” said Kallinger, a former state representative for the Winter Park area. “Their projects will continue to improve our strategies for increasing adoptions in Florida.”

Law school Dean LeRoy Pernell and Clinic Director and Assistant Law Professor Ann Marie Cavazos thanked Kallinger for extending to FAMU College of Law students the opportunity to gain practical experience while serving the community.

“Working with children is an area with which I’ve had an ongoing special interest,” Pernell said. “We want to make the law school and its resources available to help with more of these types of endeavors.”

Gov. Charlie Crist made adoption and child abuse prevention one of his top priorities when he was elected in 2006. The Office of Adoption and Child Protection was created in 2007 to establish a comprehensive statewide approach to the promotion of adoption, support of adoptive families, and the prevention of child abuse, abandonment and neglect. The office is charged with working alongside child welfare agencies, community-based organizations and other agencies to achieve the Governor’s goals.

In support of the office’s initiatives, third-year law student Jeremy Hill has proposed that a disclaimer be added to monthly checks issued by the Department of Children and Families to adoptive families, warning that recipients are committing welfare fraud if they cash the checks and are no longer taking care of that child. Hill, who spearheaded the College of Law’s participation in the task force, also is compiling a report on a new law that regulates responsibilities and obligations of states when a foster care child is placed across state lines.

Kelly Puckett, a third-year law student, is working to propose a bill that would provide a tax break to employers with adoption-friendly environments. Laura Klossner, a third-year student, is seeking to render tax-exempt the one-time $10,000 gift from the state of Florida to state employees. Currently, the gift is taxable as income.

Friday, April 4, 2008

FAMU’s School of Business and Industry Places Record Number of Students on Wall Street

More than 40 students from the Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of Business and Industry (SBI) are bound for Wall Street internships.

“This is a record number of Wall Street interns for the university,” said Karl Lawrence, Ph.D., a finance professor, who is coordinating the project. “This is an especially impressive achievement given current recessionary market conditions. Our previous record was 30, which occurred during the summer of 2004.”

Lawrence said that catalyst for the up-tick in Wall Street opportunities is attributed to SBI’s, recently implemented, the Wall Street initiative. He met with SBI Dean, Lydia McKinley-Floyd, in fall 2007 and presented her with a Wall Street Initiative, which has a goal of placing 100 students in internships with Wall Street firms during the summer of 2010.

“We are ecstatic about our initial accomplishment and look forward to establishing ourselves as the pre-eminent institution for Wall Street opportunities and other challenging careers,” he said. “Having a permanent President and Dean, who make it a priority to invest resources in cultivating opportunities for our talented students, is a tremendous help.”

Dean McKinley-Floyd, now in her second year on the job, attributes much of the current success to the school’s talented students, an enthusiastic alumni base, and faculty members who are dedicated to preparing students for the marketplace.

“We've been able to significantly improve our Wall Street placements in one of the toughest financial markets,” said McKinley-Floyd. “Firms understand that diversity, as a portfolio risk management principle, equally applies to the workforce.”

According to Lawrence, students who are able to secure permanent placement positions with Wall Street firms can expect to make $90,000 to $100,000 during their first year.

“The 10-week Wall Street internships at firms such as JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Barclays are quite challenging,” said Lawrence. “Student interns are expected to contribute and work long hours like other employees. Their experiences are important because it is intended to lead to permanent placement offers. Moreover, it gives both the firm and the students an opportunity to determine whether a fit exist. An equally important feature of these internship experiences for the school is that students often return to campus invigorated to learn and their enthusiasm is quite contagious.”

FAMU Places Third in Executive Leadership Council’s 2008 Business Case Competition Sponsored by Shell Oil Company

Florida A&M University placed third as The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) announced the winners of its 2008 ELC Business Case Competition—“The Jiffy Lube Offering.” Sponsored by Shell Oil Company, the events and the finals took place at Shell Headquarters in Houston, TX. This year’s competition challenged students to develop innovative solutions to help Shell Oil satisfy the needs of Jiffy Lube franchises.

“The SBI [School of Business and Industry] community takes great pride in the significant accomplishment of this highly motivated MBA student team,” said Colin Benjamin, advisor to the team of students, Eminent Scholar and professor of engineering management. “Despite their already busy schedules, the students all invested considerable time and effort in developing a comprehensive written analysis of the case provided by Shell, progressing to the finals, and in preparing for the Oral presentation.”

The FAMU team members were Logii Dekhara Pinion and Deliena Stone. Pinion, who was the team captain, is a 23-year-old MBA student majoring in business administration. Originally from Marietta, Ga., she is finishing a five-year BBA-MBA program. Stone is a 24-year-old MBA student majoring in business administration. Originally from Miami, Fla., she is finishing a five-year BBA-MBA program. The team will receive a $5,000 cash award.

“Going into the competition, we were the youngest and smallest team, which was intimidating,” said Pinion. “But everyone helped to make us feel comfortable. It was a great opportunity, and I’m glad I got to experience it.”

Pinion’s teammate said that although they placed third they still consider themselves the big winners.

“Considering that we only had two people on our team, I think we did a great job successfully meeting the criteria,” Stone said. “Third is just that, a placing. It doesn’t mean that we weren’t winners. The fact that the Shell executives were impressed by our written submission made us winners already.”

Individual African-American students or teams of up to five, the majority of whom must be African-American, from 35 selected schools nationwide were invited to compete. Finalists were invited to make presentations before John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Company, Carl Brooks, president & CEO of The Executive Leadership Council, a panel of distinguished judges and a corporate audience.

National Alumni Association Declares FAMU Church Day

Florida A&M University National Alumni Association (NAA) has declared Sunday, April 13, 2008 as FAMU Church Day across United States.

According to Altamease Cole and Jean Downing, co-chairs of FAMU NAA Church Day, FAMU NAA Church Day Campaign is distinctive in that it exposes the University’s many contributions to parishioners throughout the nation and offers them a way to participate in advancing the cause of FAMU.

“On that Sunday, we are requesting churches, alumni and supporters from across the country to raise love offerings for FAMU,” said Alvin Bryant, M.D., FAMU-NAA president. “FAMU NAA Church Day funds will be used to provide student scholarships and general student support.”

For additional information on how to participate or host a “FAMU Church Day,” contact Bryant at

FAMU is First Stop on CNN’s Black in America HBCU Tour

Florida A&M University is the first stop on CNN’s first ever “Black in America Historically Black College or University (HBCU) Tour.” The tour comes to FAMU’s campus on April 8, 2008, at 11 a.m. and will be located on the lawn between the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) and the School of Business and Industry (SBI).

As part of the tour, there will be a DJ; a graffiti wall, where students can write what being Black in America means; the Picture U Station, where students can pose for photos and print-outs that will resemble the cover of an Essence Magazine; and a CNN text message poll, where the DJ will ask questions and have students respond via text messages. The answers to the questions will be displayed on a plasma screen or LED scrolling sign.

As part of the tour CNN Black America, in association with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), is hosting a Campus iReporter Contest among students at each college or university. One iReporter from each campus will win a digital video camera and have the chance to win a trip for two to the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans.

For more information on submission criteria and deadlines, visit

The tour serves as a means to introduce the upcoming CNN documentary, “Black In America.” The documentary will explore the provocative, surprising and often under-reported stories of the African-American experience, an experience, in which Soledad O'Brien will report.

The first installment of the series will feature O'Brien investigating how James Earl Ray, an armed robber and escaped convict, had already spent an uncommon year on the run just a month before his path collided with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tenn. It will air Thursday, April 3, at 9 p.m.

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