Friday, September 19, 2008

Tallahassee Museum Features Photography of FAMU Journalism Professor

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on prints and prices visit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BET’s College Tour Will Visit FAMU

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a listing of what’s scheduled:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Senator Al Lawson will Keynote FAMU’s Founders Day Convocation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 4, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

FAMU Foundation Offers a New and Innovative Option for FAMU Donors

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

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Secure the full accreditation for the FAMU College of Law

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

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

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

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