Monday, August 17, 2009

Authors of The Pact to Visit FAMU as Part of the Freshman Summer Reading Program

Drs. Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins, fondly known as The Three Doctors, will visit Florida A&M University (FAMU) on Thursday, August 20, as part of FAMU’s Freshman Summer Reading Program. The three doctors will speak at noon in the Multipurpose Center Teaching Gymnasium.

The book selection for the 2009-2010 academic year is The Pact, which is an inspirational story about Drs. Davis, Hunt and Jenkins, who grew up together in the inner city of Newark, N.J.

The Freshman Summer Reading Program is a new University initiative that is designed to provide students with a common academic learning experience during the freshman year. All FAMU freshmen are required to read an assigned book and complete a writing assignment before arriving on campus this month. Students will participate in small book discussion groups and attend a campus-wide book forum. During the academic year, students will be given assignments in various courses based on the assigned reading.

The purpose of the Freshman Summer Reading Program is:
- To promote the development and enhancement of critical thinking skills
through written and oral communication;
- To provide freshmen with a common academic learning experience;
- To expose freshmen to the academic expectations of the University;
- To promote the integration of academic and social experiences; and
- To develop a sense of community by increasing interactions between
students, staff, and faculty.

As teenage boys, these three kindred spirits made a pact: they would stick together, go to college, graduate and become doctors. Surrounded by negative influences and having few positive role models, made this a not so easy feat. Now several years later, these three men have overcome countless obstacles and proudly bear the title of doctor and serve as the face of health and education for youth and families across the country.

Today, Dr. Hunt is a board certified internist at University Medical Center at Princeton and assistant professor of Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Jenkins serves as assistant professor of Clinical Dentistry at Columbia University. Dr. Davis is a board certified emergency medicine physician at St. Michael's Medical Center, Raritan Bay Medical Center and Easton Hospital.

The doctors have additionally authored two inspiring books about their lives: The Pact, for adults, and We Beat the Streets, for children. A third book The Bond, highlighting fatherhood relationships was immediately recognized as an exceptional guide for those struggling with fatherlessness by Essence magazine and the National Fatherhood Initiative Organization.

The general public is invited to attend. Admission is free. For more information, call (850) 412-5759.

FAMU Schedules Annual President’s Convocation

Florida A&M University (FAMU) has scheduled the annual President’s Convocation for 10:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. on Friday, August 28, at the Jake Gaither Gymnasium. All classes will be canceled until noon for this convocation.

FAMU President James H. Ammons is slated to deliver the State of the University address at the convocation. This convocation will also serve as an introduction to the 2009 Rattler football team and head coaches, as well as the 2009-2010 Marching “100” drum majors.

Other convocations scheduled for the 2009-2010 academic year are:
  • Founder’s Day Convocation: Friday, October 2, from 10:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. at the Lee Hall Auditorium
  • Homecoming Convocation: Friday, October 23, from 10:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. at the Gaither Gymnasium. All classes will be suspended until noon.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation: Thursday, January 14, 2010 from 10:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. at the Gaither Gymnasium. All classes will be suspended until noon.
  • Black History Month Convocation: Thursday, February 18, 2010 from 10:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. at Gaither Gymnasium. All classes will be suspended until noon.
  • Honors Convocation: Thursday, April 1, 2010 from 10:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. at the Perry-Paige Auditorium

For more information about FAMU’s convocation schedule, call (850) 599-3413.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bob Hayes Joins NFL Hall of Fame

On a cool, crisp Saturday evening, the late FAMU sports great Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes finally had his dream of football immortality realized, as he joined five others in the National Football League (NFL) Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Hayes’ 2009 enshrinement classmates included Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, Jr., defensive back Rod Woodson (Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Oakland, Baltimore), guard Randall McDaniel (Minnesota), defensive tackle Bruce Smith (Buffalo and Washington) and linebacker Derrick Thomas (Kansas City), who like Hayes, was inducted posthumously.

Both Hayes and Thomas were represented by their sons, Bob Jr. and Darrien.

Hayes’ son during his acceptance speech on behalf of his father, said: “When I'm watching my dad on film, it’s just mind blowing. Because somebody that fast can’t be human. He got the name Bullet Bob because of his speed, because he was fast like a bullet. He was so fast they didn’t have an answer for him.”

“He revolutionized the game of football because of his world-class speed as a sprinter…
In his last days, he used to talk about the Hall of Fame. It hurts because he should have been here to witness this special occasion.

“But, unfortunately, he didn't make it to see it. I know wherever he is, he’s smiling. He’s happy. He knows what’s going on. And he’ll be with us in our spirits, in our hearts and our minds. For us he’s always been a Hall of Famer.

“I knew one day it was going to happen. He was always going to be a big joker. So maybe he would say ‘It's about time, y'all. I've been waiting 30 something years.’”

For Hayes, his family and his legion of fans, which included Florida A&M University alumni and friends, this day was a long time coming, and tinged a bit with sadness that the legendary sports great could not be here to experience this defining moment in person, due to his death in 2002 at age 59, after a long illness.

From the moment the NFL announced in January that he would be part of the 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class, Hayes’ many accomplishments came to light again as the enshrinement weekend drew near thanks to the Internet and media outlets including ESPN and NFL Network.

His many great sports moments from his days at FAMU in both football and track; his Hall of Fame track career which culminated in the two Olympic gold medals he won in the 1964 Tokyo Games; to his pro football performance during an 11-year career (Dallas and San Francisco), which many credit with revolutionizing the staid old NFL of the 1960s, left many in awe of this singular personality.

In support of Hayes in Canton were members of his family, classmates and friends from old Matthew Gilbert High School in his native Jacksonville, Fla., along with FAMU classmates, teammates and coaches.

FAMU President James H. Ammons headed the official FAMU supporters, which included former presidents Walter L. Smith, Ph.D., Frederick S. Humphries, Ph.D. and Fred Gainous, Ph.D., along with Athletic Director Bill Hayes, and Joseph P. Ramsey, II, Ph.D.,chairman of the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame Steering Committee.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival in Canton, Ohio, birthplace of the NFL, is a week-long event, which culminates with the induction and the Hall of Fame Football Game at Fawcett Stadium.

On Friday evening at the Canton Memorial Civic Center, Hayes and his 2009 classmates were formally introduced and regaled with a video highlights presentation at the Enshrinees Dinner. The dinner also featured recognition of more than 50 living members of the Hall of Fame.

On Saturday evening, the three-hour long enshrinement ceremony at Fawcett Stadium featured video highlights, stirring introductions and acceptance speeches from the honorees, as well as the unveiling of the fabled bronze busts that will be housed in the fabulous Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum.

Hall of Fame legend quarterback Roger Staubach, who was not only a teammate of Hayes with Dallas, but also a close, personal friend, served as the presenter, reflecting on his memories of Hayes both on and off the field.

Before the unveiling of the bust, Staubach made a presentation to the audience. Staubach said of Hayes: “He was so impactful …. And you look at the league, and back then it was a lot of you ran more because the passing game was a little bit more difficult because of the ability to hit receivers.

“But Bob really had an impact on the kind of coverage they use in the National Football League. And that's what the Hall of Fame is about, is having an impact. And a great player like Bob Hayes truly had an impact on the NFL, and he had a tremendous impact on the Dallas Cowboys.

Staubach along with Bob Hayes, Jr., unveiled the bronze bust of the former Rattler great, officially enshrining him into the hallowed Hall.

“Bob worked with me in the '80s, and Bob faced some challenges. And everyone was there to help him through the challenges, because he was there when you needed Bob Hayes.

“He was almost generous to a fault. But Bob Hayes was really, really a decent, caring human being that had extraordinary skills. And old Speedo (his Cowboy nickname) was one humble son of a gun. I don’t know if he ever showed me his gold medals from the Olympics.

“He just was a big guy. A great athlete, who faced some challenges. Some a little bit more than most of us go through. And his family was always there for him. He was always there for them.... So it's a real privilege for me to say thank you, Canton… Thank you NFL and thank you to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for making sure that this great athlete that had an impact on the NFL is in the Hall of Fame.”

Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes, once known as “The World’s Fastest Human,” and still known as the only man to be a world champion in two sports (track and football) will now be forever known by everyone as one of the greatest professional football players of all time.

Journalism Alumna and Student Win NABJ Elections

For the first time in history, two Florida A&M University (FAMU) Rattlers will serve on the board for the National Association of Black Journalists, which represents more than 3,200 journalists across the nation. Kathy Times, an alumna of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, and Georgia Dawkins, a current broadcast journalism student, have been elected as NABJ president and student representative respectively.

“For Kathy, it’s a tremendous honor,” said Rod Carter, FAMU alum and anchor for NBC 13 in Birmingham, Ala. “For the Rattler nation, we’ve got an incredible advocate for journalists…and students.”

James Hawkins, FAMU SJGC dean, said, “Kathy is simply impressive. Her commitment to journalism and diversity is unwavering. NABJ is in good hands with Kathy as its president.”

During a news conference announcing the election results, Times shared her love for FAMU.

“I was editor of The Famuan, and I got leadership training through that,” said Times. “I learned accuracy counts. If you made one fact error you got an F (grade)…and that made me a better journalist.”

Times said she plans to implement “NABJ 360.”

“It is a great initiative to help our members get online training and entrepreneurial training,” said Times. She also plans to work on an aggressive strategic plan for fundraising and will continue to hold industry leaders accountable.

Times is an Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and co-anchor of Fox 40 News at 9 in Jackson, Miss. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in journalism and computer information systems from FAMU and was the 2008 recipient of the FAMU SJGC Thelma Thurston Gorham Distinguished Alumnus Award. She is the former NABJ vice president of broadcast.

Dawkins, who was named one of the top 100 student journalists in the nation earlier this year by UWire, said, “I’m humbled by this opportunity. I will work to increase student retention and student member activity.”

“Georgia rules!” said FAMU SJGC Dean Hawkins. “Last year, her work led to our chapter’s selection as the NABJ chapter of the year. Now she’s the NABJ student representative.”

Dawkins is a senior broadcast journalism student from Sebring, Fla., and the former FAMU-ABJ chapter president who worked this summer at ABC News in New York City. The FAMU-ABJ chapter was a finalist for the NABJ Student Chapter of the Year.

Caption: (From left to right) Kathy Times and Georgia Dawkins.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

College of Law Receives Full Accreditation from ABA

The American Bar Association (ABA) Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar granted full approval to Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law during its meeting in Chicago on July 30, 2009, according to FAMU President James H. Ammons.

“I applaud Dean Pernell, his administration, faculty, and students for reaching this milestone,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “This achievement speaks volumes about their hard work, dedication and commitment.”

Ammons announced the Council’s decision regarding accreditation during a press conference held in the ceremonial moot courtroom of the FAMU College of Law in downtown Orlando. He was joined by FAMU Board of Trustees Chairman C. William Jennings, Law School Dean LeRoy Pernell, Former FAMU President Frederick Humphries, dozens of university administrations, law school alumni, friends and supporters.

“Critics of our school once said that the mountain was too steep to climb,” said Dean Pernell. “When faced with a mountain you have to cross, the slope is irrelevant. The Council’s decision is a reflection of the resilience, perseverance and commitment of the university, our students, faculty and staff to the mission of the FAMU College of Law.”

Under the rules of the ABA, the Council’s decision is final and effective immediately, subject to review by the ABA House of Delegates. While the House of Delegates may request reconsideration of the Council’s decision, the group has never done so in the history of the ABA.

“Full accreditation by the ABA ensures that the 500-plus FAMU College of Law graduates can continue to sit for the Bar exam in any state in the nation and it reaffirms what we have always known: that we have and will continue to provide our students with a great legal education,” Pernell said.

The FAMU College of Law becomes one of only 189 law schools fully approved by the ABA. To remain in compliance with ABA standards, the FAMU College of Law will undergo its next full site evaluation in three years then reviews every seven years thereafter.

The FAMU College of Law was reestablished in 2000 and opened its doors to 89 students in 2002. The ABA granted the law school provisional accreditation in August 2004. Since that time, the FAMU College of Law continued to grow and pursue its mission.

With the arrival of Ammons from North Carolina Central University in July 2007, and Pernell from Northern Illinois University's College of Law in January 2008, sweeping changes and improvements followed at the law school. The changes included the addition of 16 nationally-recognized faculty members and a new Center for International Law and Justice (CILJ) at the start of the Fall 2008 semester. Law faculty publication and scholarship output increased; the law school was recognized as the most diverse law school in the nation by U.S. News and World Report; and was ranked seventh nationally for providing clinical opportunities by National Jurist magazine. The campus was enhanced also with the opening of the FAMU Café in December 2008 and the FAMU Bookstore in January 2009.

"This is a significant milestone for FAMU,” Ammons said. "But it’s just the beginning of a long journey to make the College of Law a premiere institution of legal education, committed to its history of making an indelible mark on the community and the world.”

The law school was created with a specific mission — to “meet the educational needs of African Americans and other ethnic minorities, while maintaining its leadership in racial diversity.”

To view the press conference, you can visit and click on "On Demand", and then click on "Law School Accreditation Press Conference".

CAPTION: LeRoy Pernell, dean of Florida A&M University’s College of Law (at the podium), along with FAMU President James H. Ammons (far left) and former FAMU President Frederick S. Humphries, gives remarks regarding the American Bar Association granting full approval to Florida A&M University’s College of Law.

FAMU Law Strengthens Bar Preparation Program

LeRoy Pernell, dean of the Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law, has announced the appointment of a new director and coordinator of its emergent Academic Success and Bar Preparation program.

Jendayi Saada, former critical skills program instructor for Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, will serve as director with Kristy D’ Angelo-Corker as coordinator. D’Angelo-Corker has served as a visiting instructor with the College of Law since January, teaching Florida Practice II and organizing workshops in Bar preparation.

“I am excited by the dynamic combination that both these individuals bring to our academic success and bar preparation program,” Dean Pernell said. “They will strengthen our efforts to assess student academic skills early on and then develop a support mechanism that enhances their writing and analytical skills for classroom and Bar exam performance.’’

Jendayi Saada, director for Academic Success and Bar Preparation
During her five years as a critical skills instructor for Nova, Saada is credited with developing a program design for Florida Bar tutoring adopted as the law center’s Florida Bar Auxiliary Program – a program credited with helping to significantly increase Nova’s bar passage. She also published an article in the area of bar preparation titled When Failure Is Not an Option, Conquering the Bar Exam: Personal Stories & Practical Advice for Overcoming the Final Hurdle to Becoming a Full-Fledged Licensed Lawyer. Saada received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force with the rank E5-Staff Sergeant. She holds a B.A. and J.D. from Wayne State University, and is a member of both the Florida and Michigan Bars.

Kristy D’ Angelo-Corker, coordinator for Academic Success and Bar Preparation
Prior to joining the FAMU College of Law, D’Angelo-Corker worked at the University of Central Florida in the area of faculty research contract and grant management, as well as in private practice in New York. As a visiting instructor, she taught Florida Practice II and conducted a comprehensive Academic Success and Bar Preparation workshop schedule aimed at reinforcing analytical, writing, and test-taking skills appealing to students in their first, second, and third years of law school. She is also a former attorney with Rivkin Radler, LLP, New York. She received a B.A. from Syracuse University and a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law. She is a member of Florida, New York and New Jersey Bars.

FAMU Director to Serve on International Board of Trustees

The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools, Inc. (AMHPS) has appointed Tanise L. Jackson, DVM, director, Office of Animal Welfare and Research Integrity in the Division of Research at Florida A&M University (FAMU) as the new AMHPS’ representative to the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International Board of Trustees. Her first Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for September 2009, according to Phyllis R. Champion, president and chief executive officer for AMHPS. FAMU is an AMHPS member institution.

Henry Lewis, PharmD., professor and dean of FAMU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) nominated Jackson.

Jackson has more than 23 years of experience in animal laboratory animal care and more than 20 years of administrative experience in managing laboratory animal facilities. She totally revamped the laboratory animal programs at FAMU and successfully secured both initial AAALAC accreditation and has had this accreditation reaffirmed since 2003. Since 1997, Jackson has served as the director of the Animal Welfare and Research Integrity and assistant professor at FAMU’s COPPS. She also serves as administrator for the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

“This appointment is of tremendous significance,” said Larry Robinson, Ph.D., vice president for Research at FAMU. “The AMHPS recognizes the stellar career of Dr. Jackson and acknowledges her ability to contribute to the integrity of laboratory animal care on a national level.”

Jackson holds the B.S. degree in animal science from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and the doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Tuskegee University. She has received Animal Facilities Improvement Grants from the National Center for Research Resources. She has professional membership in the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science, and has served as consultant for Xavier University Animal Care Program in New Orleans, La.; Jackson State University Animal Care Programs; and as a site visitor with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, Bethesda, MD.

Alumnus Receives National RXPortfolio Award

Michael Bandy, a 2009 Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate from Winter Haven, Fla. is the selected as a recipient of the 2009 Pharmacy (RX) Portfolio National Achievement Award.

According to RX Insider, winners are carefully selected by a RXportfolio Selection Committee and Bandy was selected based on his exceptional RXportfolio submission as well as his outstanding achievements. As a recipient, Bandy will be honored by receiving extensive recognition and exposure with pharmacy industry professionals as well as national recognition on the RXportfolios website.

Bandy was selected to receive this award out of more than 9,000 RXportfolio applicants, based on his content, quality of writing and overall achievements professionally displayed within his RXportfolio.

Bandy said, “When I was notified that I was selected as a recipient of the 2009 RXportolios National Achievement Award, I was ecstatic! I view this as one of my most notable professional accomplishments to be chosen from a pool of some 9,000 candidates nationwide to receive this prestigious award. I humbly receive this award, and I give recognition to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am very excited to represent FAMU on such an esteemed platform. I will use this recognition to encourage others to be diligent in all that they do throughout their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences. I am grateful to FAMU for giving me this highly visible opportunity to put my talents and gifts on display.”

“We are proud that a FAMU graduate’s portfolio was selected as one of the best in the U.S. two years in a row. Just last year in 2008, we recognized alumnus Denisha Carty for winning the same award. This exemplifies the consistent quality of students that FAMU produces,” said Henry Lewis III, dean and professor of FAMU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

RXportfolios, RX Insider, LTD, located in West Warwick, RI, is a communications and software development firm focused on the development of portfolios for the pharmacy profession and schools of pharmacy. RXportfolios are professional, detailed and lifelong portfolios used to organize one’s entire professional history from their first professional year until retirement.