Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FAMU Awarded $50,000 Grant from Higher Education for Development and the United States Agency for International Development

The Higher Education for Development (HED) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded Florida A&M University (FAMU) a $50,000 grant through the U.S.-Africa Higher Education Initiative Planning Grant competition.

The grant was awarded to U.S. and African partnering institutions to develop plans to address regional and national economic development priorities including such as engineering, health, agriculture, environment and natural resources, science and technology, education and teacher training/preparation, and business, management and economics.

“We are extremely pleased to fund these additional 13 partnerships,” said Alonzo Fulgham, acting administrator of USAID. “With the addition of these 13, we now have a total of six historically black colleges and universities in the initiative and a number of well-respected, top-ranked academic institutions in the United States and throughout Africa. The expertise and experience delivered by these institutions will have a critical impact as this effort moves forward."

FAMU is currently partnering with the University for Development Studies, Ghana, Africa.

"Faculty and staff at Florida A&M University have created yet another excellent opportunity to address complex health issues,” said Larry Robinson, FAMU vice president for research. “This USAID planning grant allows us to work in collaboration with colleagues in Ghana who have similar interests and are also strongly committed to the resolution of health issues."

Marching 100 Selected to Participate in 2010 Honda Battle of the Bands

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Marching “100” has been chosen as part of the 2010 lineup of marching bands for the eighth annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase scheduled for Saturday, January 30, 2010 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Eight Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching bands have been chosen to participate through a combination of online voting by fans and a selection process involving HBCU band directors and university presidents. The 2010 lineup includes the following:
• Florida A&M University “Marching 100” (Tallahassee, Fla.)
• Albany State University “Marching Rams” (Albany, Ga.)
• Clark Atlanta University “Mighty Marching Panthers” (Atlanta, Ga.)
• North Carolina Central University “Marching Sound Machine” (Durham, N.C.)
• Prairie View A&M University “Marching Storm” (Prairie View, Texas)
• Southern University “Human Jukebox Marching Band” (Baton Rouge, La.)
• Tuskegee University “Marching Crimson Pipers” (Tuskegee, Ala.)
• Virginia State University “Trojan Explosion Marching Band” (Petersburg, Va.)
The Honda Battle of the Bands is the only event where the HBCU marching bands act as the show headliners. The FAMU Marching “100” will have the opportunity to perform for 12 minutes and showcase their musical skills, dancing talents and creativity.

“The Honda Battle of the Bands is designed to showcase the amazing talents of student musicians and celebrate the musical prowess represented at our nation’s HBCUs,” said Marc Burt, senior manager, Office of Inclusion and Diversity for American Honda. “This event is not only about entertainment, it’s also about highlighting the importance of music education and shining a spotlight on vital skills which are learned through band participation like effective communication and teamwork. Honda is proud and honored to be able to bring this enriching experience to every marcher on the field and every band fan in the stands.”

The Honda Battle of the Bands is the only national scholarship program that showcases an important facet of HBCU heritage and culture – music education. The eight winning band programs chosen to participate in this year’s Invitational Showcase will be awarded $20,000 by American Honda for their music programs in addition to the $1,000 grant they received for participation in the pre-qualifying fall campus event tour. Through this program Honda is awarding a total of $205,000 in scholarships to HBCU music programs for the 2009-2010 academic year, and since the beginning of the program, has awarded grants in excess of $1 million.

About American Honda
Honda has a long-standing commitment to the support and success of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities that began more than 20 years ago with the establishment of the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, a program designed to showcase the academic gifts and prowess of HBCU students. American Honda established Honda Battle of the Bands eight years ago as an effort to support HBCU music programs.

PHOTO CAPTION: Derek Webber, director of Promotions and Operations for Urban Sports and Entertainment Group, (first on left); Erika Braxton-White, communications administrator for Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Affairs and Communications, American Honda Motor, Co., (second from right left); and John Morris, promotions and event manager for Urban Sports and Entertainment Group (first on right) presents Shelby Chipman, assistant director of bands (second from left) and Julian White, director of bands and chairman of the Department of Music, with the official plaque inviting the Marching “100” to participate in the Honda Battle of the Bands.

FAMU Awarded $225,079 Grant from USDA

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will provide Florida A&M University (FAMU) with a $225,079 grant to address the needs of beginning farmers and ranchers and enhance the sustainability and competitiveness of the U.S. agriculture.

FAMU was one of the 29 institutions USDA chose to award more than $17 million in grants for this cause.

“FAMU is one of two 1890 Land Grant Institutions that received an award from this program,” said Ray Mobley, director of extension programs. “Although we are pleased for this award, we are very much aware of the work to be done to address issues particularly related to our clientele. I am appreciative of the work of our team led by Ms. Vonda Richardson, extension marketing specialist. We are determined to provide the best support to our Beginning Farmers and Ranchers program.”

“Beginning farmers and ranchers face unique challenges and need educational and training programs to enhance their profitability and long term sustainability,” Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said. “The training and education provided through these grants will help ensure the success of the next generation of farmers and ranchers as they work to feed people in their local communities and throughout the world.”

The grants were awarded through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA, formerly the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). BFRDP is an education, training, technical assistance and outreach program designed to help U.S. farmers and ranchers, specifically those who have been farming or ranching for 10 years or fewer.

FAMU was one of the two universities in Florida, the other being University of Florida, and one of two historically black colleges and universities, the other being Langston University, in the nation to be awarded this particular grant.

Life Gets Better and Distinguished Scholars Receive Laptops

Christmas came a little early for some freshmen at Florida A&M University (FAMU). FAMU President James H. Ammons presented laptops to more than 40 scholars as part of the FAMU Presidential Scholarship Program, which includes the Life Gets Better Scholarship and the Distinguished Scholar Award.

The sound of boxes ripping out and the chatter of excitement filled the room as FAMU scholars opened their brand new HP Probook 4310s.

The HP Probooks are equipped with a 4.0 GB RAM, a 250 GB hard drive, DVD player and web camera.

Some of the scholars stated that the laptops were something they really needed.

“I need one [laptop] because I have been borrowing my parents’ laptop,” said Loren McLendon, a biology pre-med major from Jacksonville, Fla. “I’m really grateful and excited to receive a laptop. It’s nice to know that my hard work has paid off.”

McLendon is a Life Gets Better Scholar.

David Johnson, another Life Gets Better Scholar from Atlanta, Georgia, agreed with McLendon.

“I am really happy to get a laptop,” said Johnson, who is also a biology pre-med major. “My old desktop had stopped working a couple of weeks ago.”

Johnson further stated that he chose FAMU because of the biology department.

“FAMU has a good biology department,” said Johnson. “I feel the department [biology] will prepare me for medical school. I’m looking forward to all of the opportunities and internships.”

This group of scholars is from Florida, Missouri, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Alabama, Maryland, and Tennessee. One scholar, Tyler Fryberger, is from the state of Washington. When asked how did he hear about FAMU, Fryberger, who is a Life Gets Better Scholar, stated he heard about the University through ROTC.

“I received a ROTC scholarship as well,” said Fryberger, who is a chemical engineering major. “I had an opportunity to attend the University of Washington, but I decided to come to FAMU because of the Life Gets Better scholarship package. I made the right decision because I feel I can learn more here than I could in Washington.”

Another scholar, Michael Jefferson from Indianapolis, Ind., stated he broke the family tradition by attending FAMU.

“I’m the first to break my family’s tradition by not attending Jackson State University,” said Jefferson, who plans to be a Presidential Ambassador. “In March of this year, I visited FAMU. I walked the campus and studied the history. I knew this [FAMU] is where I wanted to be. I love FAMU.”

PHOTO CAPTION: President James H. Ammons (center); Vice President for Student Affairs Roland Gaines (first on left); and Dedra O’Neal, coordinator for university scholarship programs (second from right) take a photo with the Life Gets Better and Distinguished Scholars.

Rattler Battalion Takes First Place in Ranger Challenge Competition

For the first time in the program’s history, the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Army ROTC “Rattler Battalion” took first place in the Ranger Challenge Competition at Fort Benning, Ga.

Cadets from 42 schools throughout Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana competed in the competition over a three-day period. FAMU was classified in the gold tier, where the Rattlers emerged victorious over teams from the University of Florida, which finished second, followed by Tulane University. Each team was comprised of 10 to 11 students for competition.

Sgt. Maj. Julio Baez of the Army Cadet Command’s Sixth Brigade, FAMU’s headquarters command, said the achievement is a significant one for the university program.

“For a team that never won before, it is a very motivational tool, it’s bragging rights,” Baez said.

A few of the graded events the cadets participated in included a physical fitness test, obstacles courses, marksmanship training and night land navigation.

Cadet Cory Bazemore, a third year electronical engineering technology student from Fayetteville, N.C. and FAMU team captain, said all of the hard work and preparation of the team
paid off.

“To see the excitement on my teammates faces was priceless,” Bazemore said. “I knew we had the physical ability and the mental capacity. It was just about staying focused.”

Master Sgt. Thomas Myers, a member of the FAMU ROTC cadre, said he is proud of the way the cadets performed especially with the responsibilities they all must maintain as students.

“Not only are they training for this event, but, in addition to that, they have to do their normal studies and many of them work part-time jobs. I’m incredibly impressed with each one of them,” Myers said.

LT. Col. Jeffrey Williams, FAMU ROTC Battalion Commander, said the first place finish speaks volumes on the character and commitment of the cadets and what he is trying to accomplish with the program.

“I am so proud of their hard work,” Williams said. “When young men and young ladies look for prospects of programs that they can attend to receive commissions in the U.S. Army, they look for the best programs, and this is another step in making us the best program in the country.”

Overall, Bazemore hopes the win will enlighten cadets at other institutions of the high quality ROTC programs housed at institutions such as FAMU and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“Competing against the larger schools gave us motivation. Hopefully it will encourage other HBCU’s to step out and continue to work hard and strive for the best, he said.

The Annual Ranger Challenge competition is widely considered a valuable training tool for the enhancement of skills ROTC cadets acquire through years of intense training. Upon their college graduation, cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown Will Deliver Keynote Address for the Fall Commencement

Congresswoman Corrine Brown, a Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumna, will serve as the keynote speaker for the 2009 fall commencement. The ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday, December 11, in the Alfred Lawson, Jr. Multipurpose Center Teaching Gymnasium. Doors will open for the general public at 5 p.m., and the line of march will begin at 5:40 p.m. from Gaither Gymnasium.

A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Congresswoman Brown served in the Florida House of Representatives for 10 years before going to Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Brown was elected to Congress from the Third District of Florida in 1992.

As a result of Brown’s commitment to bringing the services of Washington back to Florida, communities throughout the Third District have been able to access resources previously unavailable to them. Brown was reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives for a ninth term in November 2008 and in the 111th Congress. Congresswoman Brown remains the chair of the Transportation Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. In this capacity, in the 111th Congress, Brown will concentrate on ensuring that both the Amtrak Reauthorization and RailRoad Safety legislation enacted at the end of the 110th Congress are fully and appropriately implemented. The subcommittee will concentrate on the oversight of pipeline and hazardous material programs and agencies, including reauthorizing the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety program. The subcommittee will also focus on reauthorizing the Surface Transportation Board, funding rail infrastructure improvements throughout the nation’s transportation system and developing a domestic High Speed Rail.

Her constituents and colleagues know Brown as a fighter. Her campaign slogan, Corrine Delivers, is one of the most apt descriptions of Brown’s style of service. By focusing on issues that are key to economic development, Congresswoman Brown has helped bring jobs and opportunities to towns and cities throughout the Third District. One of her first accomplishments as a Member of Congress was winning funding for the much needed Fuller Warren Bridge in Jacksonville.

Brown has been a member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure since going to Congress. Early in the 110th Congress, Brown was picked to chair the Transportation Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. This subcommittee is very important to Florida and the Third District because of its jurisdiction over the passenger and freight rail industry, which plays a vital role in Florida’s economy.

During her tenure in Congress, Brown has been a member of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. She has championed the rights of veterans and called for better funding for veterans health care programs. In the 111th Congress, Brown will serve on the Health Subcommittee. As the former ranking member on Oversight and Investigation, Brown presided for more than 20 hearings on issues relating to veterans services, health care and the Veterans Affairs readiness for the new millennium.

Brown has also fought to protect environmental resources in her district and across the country. Because of her advocacy, Brown has received accolades by the National Parks and Conservation Association, the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters and Florida Public Interest Research Group. One of the most important environmental successes for Brown was securing the American Heritage River designation for the St. Johns River, which spans
the length of the Third District.

Congresswoman Brown attended FAMU where she earned a bachelor of science degree. She also received a master’s degree and an education specialist degree from the University of Florida. She received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Edward Waters College. She has been a faculty member at Florida Community College of Jacksonville, the University of Florida and Edward Waters College. Her daughter, Shantrel Brown, is a lawyer in Washington, D.C.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Media and Entertainment Conference is Free of Charge for Students

The Media and Entertainment Conference scheduled for today, Friday, November 13, and Saturday, November 14, is free of charge for students. However, students are asked to register for the conference. Registration is location in the University Commons Building. Students that paid for the conference will be reimbursed their registration fee and will be notified by email.

The conference will feature top media and entertainment industry executives to provide guidance, educational tips and knowledge to college students looking to have a career in media, entertainment, sports, business and law.

To view the complete schedule for the Media and Entertainment Conference, visit

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You Opinion Counts! Take the FAMU Web Survey!

Please take the time out to complete this survey in regards to FAMU’s website. The feedback you provide will offer an in-depth perspective on areas of concerns and areas of improvement.

Thank you for your continued support.

Friday, November 6, 2009

B-Healthy with Mr. FAMU, TODAY at the Hansel E. Tookes, Sr. Recreation Center

Office of Student Activities and Campus Recreation sponsor SET Friday’s “B-Healthy” hosted by Mr. FAMU, Brandon McCaskill, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hansel E. Tookes, Sr. Recreation Center to encourage FAMU faculty, staff and students to live healthier lifestyles.

Scheduled activities include the following:

  • 100 Seasonal flu shots will be available. The flu shots are free for students and $10 faculty and staff

  • Group exercise showcases from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Step Aerobics from 1 pm. to 1:20 p.m.
Cardio Kickboxing from 1:20 p.m. to 1:40 p.m.
Caribbean Dance from 1:40 p.m. to 2 p.m.
TKO Boxing from 2 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.
Spinning from 2:20 p.m. to 3 p.m.

There will also be a smoothie/healthy food bar on site called “Island Retreat.”

Different fitness challenges are scheduled throughout the day.

Those interested in attending today’s SET Friday must present their Rattler card I.D. for admittance and bring a towel to use the workout equipment.