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.

Friday, July 11, 2008

FAMU General Counsel Featured Among Florida’s Legal Elite

Florida A&M University general counsel Avery D. McKnight, Esq. was selected out of approximately 61,500 active Florida Bar members that practice law to be feature in Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite.

“I am sincerely grateful to be recognized by my fellow colleagues for such a prestigious award,” said McKnight. “It is an extreme honor to have the opportunity to serve my alma mater and the state of Florida.”

After 18,051 votes cast by attorneys across the state of Florida, McKnight was recognized as one of Florida’s Legal Elite as part of the government attorney category.

As general counsel, McKnight is charged with the responsibility of providing legal advice and counsel to the FAMU Board of Trustees, president and administration. After graduating from the Florida State University College of Law as a Virgil Hawkins Fellow, he gained valuable litigation experience in the State Attorney’s Office in the Second Judicial Circuit for Leon County, Florida. From 1992 through 2005, he served in various capacities with the Office of the General Counsel at FAMU including acting general counsel. In 2005, McKnight transitioned to private practice as a senior associate with Allen, Norton & Blue, P.A., specializing in labor and employment law.

A native of Gainesville, Fla., McKnight has been recognized by the NAACP as a 2002 Achiever. McKnight is an ordained elder with the Church of God By Faith, Inc. and volunteers with Big Bend Hospice. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Character Center in Tallahassee, which focuses on the educational, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of young students.

FAMU’s Irene Edmonds Youth Theatre Summer Production Celebrates the 100th Birthday of its Namesake

The Florida A&M University Irene C. Edmonds Youth Theatre will honor its namesake on Edmonds’ 100th birthday with a performance of The ICE Patch written by Kimberly Kay.

The play is centered around a magic story quilt that records the cultural, historical and personal events of Edmonds’ life. Campers gain an appreciation for her contributions as they prepare to celebrate her 100th birthday. Show date and times are Saturday, July 12, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Charles Winter Wood Theatre located in Tucker Hall. Admission is $10 for adults; $7 for senior citizens; $5 for students and children.

Edmonds was an assistant professor of humanities and speech and drama at FAMU. She is perhaps best known for her work in children’s theatre. She established the first children’s theatre at Dillard University in 1935, where it flourished under her direction for 12 years. Under her artistic guidance, the Creative Children’s Theatre at FAMU grew to great prominence. However, she attained stature as well in the arenas of literary criticism and creative writing and as the director of the FAMU Playmakers Verse Choir, which reached wide national acclaim.

“Had she lived, Mrs. Edmonds would be celebrating her centennial birthday on October 31,” said Valencia E. Matthews, founder and artistic director of the children’s theatre named for Edmonds. “Even though she is not with us physically, her spirit of caring and excellence is a legacy that we honor through our production of The ICE Patch.

For more than 10 years, the Irene C. Edmonds Youth Theatre has been a creative force in Tallahassee children’s theatre. This youth organization, whose participants range ages six through 16, strives to produce theatrical material that speaks to young people about their capacity to inspire and create change both socially and individually through the arts. Culminating a five-week summer camp filled with classes, workshops, and cultural excursions is a full-scale production.

Grant Funding for FAMU Mosquito Research Center

Just as the gas prices keep rising, grant funding to support educational programs for students majoring in agricultural sciences and engineering technology continues to increase significantly in the Florida A&M University College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA).

John Smith, director and professor at the FAMU John A. Mulrennan, Sr. Public Health Entomology Research and Education Center (PHEREC) in Panama City, reports that the center has received funding totaling $139,908 for research projects and educational programs related to entomology and mosquito control. Such funding provides excellent opportunities to engage FAMU students and faculty in meaningful research and outreach initiatives as an 1890 land-grant institution of higher learning. The following grants have been awarded funding during June, 2008.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service (FDACS) funded three out of seven grant projects initiated by PHEREC scientists for a total of $98,908. The grants are as follows:

·“Discovery of New Mosquitocidal Bacteria Producing Toxins Different from Bti and Bs.” FDACS awarded $31,126 for research aimed at discovering new mosquitocidal bacteria that could reduce the reliance on chemical insecticides for mosquito. Hyun Woo Park is the principal investigator.

·“Adulticide New Product Comparisons for Mosquito Adultcides” was funded for $42,903. Jane Barber is the principal investigator of this study aimed at comparing the toxicity of insecticides used to control adult mosquitoes. Findings from the study will help mosquito control programs in selecting effective insecticides.

·“Efficacy of 25(b) Commercial Products in Automatic Misting Systems for the Control of Adult Mosquitoes” was funded for $24,879. James Cilek is the principal investigator. This study evaluates the efficacy of botanical oils as possible non-toxic alternatives for conventional chemical insecticides.

The National Science Foundation, through the Entomological Society of America, funded a grant titled, “Group Travel Proposal – International Congress of Entomology 2008,” for $40,000. Jack Peterson is the principal investigator. The grant provides funding for students to compete for travel funds to attend and present papers at the International Congress of Entomology meeting, which will be held in Durban, South Africa.

“The College is proud of the continued contributions of the center faculty and staff,” said Makola Abdullah, dean and director of Land-Grants Programs in the FAMU College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture. “The Mulrennan Public Health Entomology Research and Education Center continues to fulfill an important need for the state of Florida.”

Abdullah indicated that the PHEREC funding increased the level of support for CESTA through external funding sources to more than $2 million for the months of May and June.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Third-Generation Rattler Travels to Ghana, Africa in Hopes of Leaving a Positive Mark on the African Diaspora

This fall, Florida A&M University MBA candidate, accomplished scholar and third-generation Rattler Renita Canady will be continuing her studies abroad.

In August, she will be traveling to Legon, Ghana to participate in the Global Elevation International Business Leadership Program. Canady hopes to gain the experience necessary to achieve her goal of working with entrepreneurs to help bring their visions into fruition and to work in the field of investments and consulting in emerging markets. She is particularly interested in Pan-African opportunities and Diaspora markets.

“I am delighted that Renita is extending her international exposure to Ghana,” said Lydia McKinley-Floyd, dean of FAMU’s School of Business and Industry (SBI). “The experience will be truly an enriching one, where she and the ideas she brings will be valued and rewarding. This initiative, made possible through the creative genius of the founders of Global Elevation, Melissa Howell and Kandace Jones--both SBI alums, is yet another positive link in the chain of global opportunities available to SBI students.”

The FAMU SBI, among other entities, has partnered with Global Evaluations to increase the number of African and African-American college and high school students who participate in international education programs to expand the global awareness of this student population and maximize their preparedness for successful careers in the current era of globalization.

“This mission is significant because the ability of African people to manage and reap the benefits of all their resources (natural as well as human) is so crucial for their progress at this time,” said Canady.

While in Ghana, Canady will be involved in an intensive cross-cultural study abroad program based on the needs of the hosting institution, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana. The focus of the program is to challenge students to think strategically, while connecting them to business mentors and preparing them for global leadership and entrepreneurship.

Canady, who has made the Dean’s List from 2001 through 2005, placed first at the Ford Motor Company HBCU Business Plan Competition in 2005 and was the national champion at the Deloitte Case Study Competition in 2005. No stranger to the international field of study, in 2007, she held a year-long internship as an investment analyst with a New York based hedge fund, which stationed her in Manila, Philippines and Hanoi, Vietnam. Earlier this year, she earned certification in advanced financial analysis and financial modeling from a respected training firm that caters to Wall Street.

FAMU’s Pamela Zackery Honored by the National Urban League Black Executive Exchange Program

Pamela C. Zackery, program assistant for the Florida A&M University Division of University Relations office, was named the Campus Liaison Rookie of the Year by the National Urban League’s Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP).

BEEP, now entering its 40th year of service to students at historically black colleges and universities, has reached more than 750,000 students to-date, with participation from more than 1,000 companies throughout its history. The Rookie of the Year Award, now in its second year, is given to those campus liaisons that have taken the lead in implementing BEEP on their campuses for the first time.

“My receipt of this award is both an honor and a privilege for me and on behalf of FAMU,” said Zackery, who recently hosted the program in conjunction with the school’s industry cluster activities this past spring. “FAMU has produced some of this nation’s leading business executives and I’m proud to assist in the endeavor. BEEP allows these executives to give back to their communities and other college campuses in order to make a real difference in the lives of many young people who are aspiring to become executives.”

“BEEP Central is proud to recognize Ms. Zackery -- and by extension Florida A&M University -- for her hard work in not only bringing BEEP back to campus, but also ensuring that it was a quality program,” said Mark V. Monteverdi, vice president of BEEP and Volunteer Initiatives for the League. “Partnerships like the one we have with FAMU define BEEP’s mission, which is to help our student leaders reach their potential by realizing that anything is possible.”