Thursday, December 16, 2010

Martin Luther King III to Keynote MLK Convocation


Florida A&M University (FAMU) will host its annual Martin Luther King Convocation on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 10:10 a.m. in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium. This year’s keynote speaker is Martin Luther King III, son of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

As the oldest son of the late Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King III is carrying the torch lit by both of his parents into the 21st century. His dedication to creating and implementing strategic nonviolent action to rid the world of social, political and economic injustice has propelled him to the forefront as one of the nation’s most ardent advocates for the poor, the oppressed and the disillusioned.

In 1986, King was elected to political office as an at-large representative of more than 700,000 residents of Fulton County, Ga. His tenure on the Board of Commissioners was marked by strong ethics legislation, purification of the county’s natural water resources, legislation regulating minority business participation in public contracting and stringent hazardous waste disposal requirements.

King is committed to the personal and educational development of youth and has initiated several programs throughout the years to support and nurture young people. Among them are the King Summer Intern Program designed to provide employment opportunities for high school students; Hoops for Health – a charity basketball game held to increase public awareness of newborns suffering the affects of substance abuse; and A Call to Manhood – an annual event designed to unite young African-American males with positive adult role models. One of King’s ongoing collaborations is with the annual Kindness and Justice Challenge sponsored by Do Something, Inc.

In the 1980’s, King was incarcerated for protesting against injustices in South Africa and for the release of freedom fighter Nelson Mandela. Throughout the 1990s, King continued the fight for justice by addressing the moral and political dilemmas of Haiti, Nigeria, Australia, and Sierra Leone. He has led protests against the biased digital divide in the field of technology and has spoken to the United Nations on behalf of individuals living with the challenges of AIDS. In the spring of 2001, King hosted a series on the Wisdom Network cable channel titled “The Wisdom of Dreams.” The programs highlighted stories of individuals who were able to achieve extraordinary feats by steadfastly pursuing their dreams.

In 2003, King co-sponsored the 40th Anniversary of the historic March On Washington with human rights organizations from across the country. His experiences as a committed son of the civil rights movement give him a unique perspective concerning critical problems facing our nation and world. In 2006 King founded the organization called Realizing the Dream and conducted a four-month long listening and learning tour on poverty in America. The program focus is three fold: economic development, youth leadership development, and nonviolence education, training and technical assistance programs.

King received his bachelor of arts degree in political science from Morehouse College, and is the recipient of numerous awards and several honorary degrees. In addition to being the president and chief executive officer of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta, Ga., King is married to Arndrea Waters King and they are the proud parents of a young daughter, Yolanda Renee.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Joshua Green, from Redlands Calif., was the 2nd place winner for a presentation on his research and extension experience in South Africa at the Professional Agricultural Worker’s Conference (PAWC) at Tuskegee University.

Green is a senior international agriculture and business major at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in the College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA).

As a participant in the College’s Research and Extension Scholars Program, Green is mentored under the FAMU Center for International Agriculture Trade, with Harriett Paul as his adviser. Green was able to experience a research internship through the international agriculture development with the FAMU Farmer-to-Farmer (Ftf) program in Alice, Eastern Cape, South Africa. The Center funded the internship with a purpose to assist historically disadvantaged farmers in South Africa.

The five-week internship with the University of Fort Hare (UFH) Agripark Cooperative provided an opportunity for Green to conduct a multipurpose General Household Survey (GHS) in Eastern Cape on a total of 20 small-scale farmers in the region. Ten farmers are working with the Agripark Cooperative, and the other ten are non-Agripark farmers from the region. Green collected information for the study, which will be used by the FtF Program to obtain a comprehensive profile on the farming households in order to gain a better understanding of how to improve their economic condition.

About the PAWC presentation, Green, 22, said, “Among thirty student presenters from around the country, I was able to successfully present my paper and place in the top percentile. My paper and presentation allowed me to place second! I feel I did a superb job and I look forward to many opportunities such as this one.”

His oral presentation at PAWC was titled, “Research and Service Learning in South Africa,” and is the culmination of the field study and data analysis in South Africa. The presentation was written under the supervision of Center faculty, staff and international partners.

For more information, contact the FAMU Office of International Agricultural Programs at (850) 599-8867.
Three Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law students are working with Jim Kallinger, Florida’s Chief Child Advocate, to compose a proposed bill that, if it were to become law, would require parents of children in state custody to pay child support to the State of Florida.

Kallinger, who is the director of the Governor’s Office of Adoption and Child Protection, has received a draft of the proposed legislation prepared by third-year law students Heather Barry, Keith Boykins and Julian Jackson-Fannin. The law students are legal interns with the FAMU Legal Clinic Program, and are supervised by adjunct professor Linda Rohrbaugh, clinic law instructor Eunice Caussade-Garcia, and clinic director and assistant professor Ann Marie Cavazos.

“The Governor’s Office has had a long-standing partnership with the FAMU College of Law and with the assistance of their professors and outstanding students, we are able to explore the efficacy of good public policy that would improve the well-being of Florida’s children,” said Kallinger.

The intent language in the bill states that the purpose is to defray some of the costs the State of Florida and taxpayers incur with the care and education of children in the foster care system. The proposal supports the state’s increased emphasis on adoption and child abuse prevention.

Kallinger's office was created in 2007 to establish a comprehensive statewide approach to the prevention of child abuse and neglect, the promotion of adoption, and the support of adoptive families. Introducing such legislation is directly in line with the goals of the Governor’s Office and the mission of the FAMU College of Law to serve the underserved.

“Through this proposal, our law students have once again demonstrated the real-world value of blending classroom theory with practical experience in our legal clinic program,” said LeRoy Pernell, dean of the FAMU College of Law.

Once a final draft of the proposed bill is agreed upon and a legislative sponsor is identified, Florida would be the first state to enact this type of legislation requiring financial support from the parents to the state in dependency cases, if it were to become law.

“The state is undertaking a burden of being the surrogate parent when a child is placed in foster care,” said Cavazos. “The objective is for children to be raised by their parents. However, when this responsibility is abdicated to the state, then parents should contribute to the expense of raising the child in order to prevent a pervasive incentive.”

The FAMU College of Law's Legal Clinic Program offers third-year law students an opportunity to serve traditionally underrepresented clients under the supervision of faculty, the bench and the bar. The clinical program offers a variety of in-house clinics and externships that allow students the opportunity to explore various career potentials and handle problems that arise from poverty, inequality, and other social ills.

“The opportunity to develop law students' education, creativity, and legislative advocacy skills while achieving a societal benefit demonstrates the unique capabilities of clinical education,” Cavazos said. “Therefore, in order to meet the demands of the marketplace, it is imperative that our students are afforded every opportunity to develop practical skills through “hands-on” training under the supervision of faculty who are licensed practitioners.”

Kallinger has previously worked with the FAMU College of Law Clinic students. In 2008, three College of Law students were recognized by Kallinger for their assistance in helping the state to implement reforms and ratify the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children.



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 re-established FAMU College of Law opened its doors in 2002 and is now housed in a state-of-the-art facility in downtown Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood. The FAMU College of Law received full accreditation from the American Bar Association in July 2009, and is ranked number one in the nation for Diversity by U.S. News & World Report.

Florida A&M University (FAMU) will welcome one of the most renowned and influential voices of today, Maya Angelou, Wednesday, January 26, 2011 in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m.

Angelou will perform as part of the 2010-2011 FAMU Lyceum Series.

“We are so excited to have Ms. Angelou to be a part of our lyceum series,” said FAMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Hughes Harris. “She has been hailed as a global renaissance woman. I am confident that our faculty, staff, students, alumni and the Tallahassee community will be graced with wisdom that will leave them speechless.”

Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker and civil rights activist.

A trailblazer in film and television, Angelou wrote the screenplay and composed the score for the 1972 film Georgia, Georgia. Her script, the first by an African- American woman ever to be filmed, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

She continues to appear on television and in films including the landmark television adaptation of Alex Haley’s Roots (1977) and John Singleton’s Poetic Justice (1993).

In 1996, she directed her first feature film, Down in the Delta. In 2008, she composed poetry for and narrated the award-winning documentary The Black Candle, directed by M.K. Asante.

Angelou has served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, and has received three Grammy Awards. President Bill Clinton requested that she compose a poem to read at his inauguration in 1993.

Angelou has received more than 30 honorary degrees and is Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.

The FAMU Lyceum Series has been a part of the FAMU tradition since the university’s early beginnings.

Throughout the history of the series, FAMU has enriched campus life and shared with the community the artists, performers and lecturers of the day.

Enhancing FAMU students’ exposure to culture is essential to the selection of performers. The campus is also committed to exposing the Tallahassee community to a variety of cultural experiences through the series.

Ticket prices are $50, $35, $25 and $10. For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (850) 599-3413.

President of CBS News and Sports Sean McManus announced today that CBS News is establishing the Harold Dow Professorship at the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University (FAMU), which is the first historically black university to have an accredited journalism program. The professorship is designed to enhance presentation skills for students interested in on-air positions in broadcast television and will begin in the 2011-2012 academic year.

CBS News is also implementing an array of initiatives to further promote diversity and excellence in journalism. Among the workplace programs CBS is putting into effect in 2011 are a new paid internship program, a professional development program and a discretionary award to be used by the president of CBS News to recognize truly outstanding contributions by News Division employees who promote excellence and diversity at CBS News.

"Through these initiatives in our workplace and with the aspiring young journalists at the distinguished Florida A&M University journalism program, CBS News is expanding its longstanding commitment to diversity, to industry excellence and to nurturing future generations of journalists," said McManus. "We also are extremely pleased that we are able to memorialize our colleague and dear friend, broadcasting legend Harold Dow, in this significant way."

"We are profoundly appreciative to have the CBS Harold Dow Professorship, which will immediately enhance the education of students committed to a career in broadcast journalism," said James Hawkins, dean of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. "This professorship speaks volumes about CBS's regard for journalism education and appreciation for Harold Dow, a gifted journalist whose work was nothing short of outstanding. It is our goal to produce journalists who will commit to the trusted standards of CBS and Harold Dow."

Dow had been a correspondent for 48 HOURS since 1990, after serving as a contributor to the broadcast since its premiere on Jan. 19, 1988. He was a contributor to the critically acclaimed 1986 documentary "48 Hours on Crack Street," which led to the creation of the single-topic weekly news magazine. Over the course of his distinguished career at the Network, Dow served as a correspondent for the CBS News magazine, STREET STORIES, and reported for the CBS EVENING NEWS, SUNDAY MORNING and the CBS News legal series, VERDICT. He also served as co-anchor on CBS News' NIGHTWATCH, prior to which he was a correspondent and reporter at CBS News' Los Angeles bureau.

"Harold was a celebrated journalist, a CBS colleague and a friend and mentor to me and to so many throughout his career," said CBS News senior producer Kim Godwin, a Florida A&M School of Journalism and Graphic Communication alumna and former faculty member. "I am proud of CBS's ongoing focus on excellence and diversity in our newsroom and in the industry as a whole, and so very gratified that the students at FAMU will benefit from this wonderful professorship established in celebration of Harold's extraordinary contributions and career."

A Day in the Life of a Graduate

This Day in the Life of Amari Jones, an environmental science graduate from Houston, Texas, is a special one. Jones will close one chapter in her story to soon begin another. This is a day in the life of a FAMU Graduate.... Class of 2010


Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile told more than 700 Florida A&M University (FAMU) fall graduates during FAMU’s Commencement Ceremony that they must struggle to reach their respective goals.

“It is a special day and I know you will be excited for tomorrow,” Brazile said. “There are barriers you are destined to break. Who here today will break new ground? Who here today will beat the odds and make FAMU proud? My secret is that we are meant to struggle. We grow by our struggles. We mature by how we handle adversity. FAMU has prepared you to go out there and conquer the world.”

Brazile, a New Orleans native, admitted that a lot has changed since her childhood.

“But it is not as different as you think it is,” she said. “We were young and restless, but we made noise. Agitation for change is the duty for youth. This is your mission. We owe our freedom to those who laid down their lives. It’s now your fight to secure the future for your children’s future and for your grandchildren’s future. It’s your moment—seize it. It’s your future—claim it.”

Markashia Jeter, who earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism, said graduation felt surreal to her.

“We worked so very hard throughout our four years at FAMU, and on Dec. 10, it all paid off,” said Jeter, an Atlanta, Ga. native. “FAMU taught me to be a preserver. I made sure my nephews were a part of the experience with me, and hopefully, it will encourage them to attend FAMU one day. Donna Brazile’s words were insightful. Brazile embodies wisdom and I’m glad she shared her story with us.”

FAMU President James H. Ammons presented Brazile with the President’s Award. He later encouraged the graduates to make their marks on the world.

“Go out and change the world,” said Ammons.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Day in The Life of an Allied Health Student - Staying Fit

A day in the life of Sean Montford, a senior allied health student from Miami, Fla., can whip anyone into shape. This pro health student manages his classroom performance, alongside of assisting others in weight training and pre physical therapy. This is a day in the life... Staying healthy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Day in The Life - Theatre Student

A day in the life of Kendrick Jones, a graduating senior theatre and dance performance student, is often theatrical. This Broadway bound student knows the importance of balance when it comes to dance performance and his studies. This is a day in the life... after the curtains drop

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Day in the Life - A Drum Major




A Day in The Life of Wesley Hemmans, a FAMU drum major, is an instrumental one. From the Patch to the classroom, this senior music student from Orlando, Fla. uses his talent and love for the Marching "100" to get him through his day-to-day. This is a day in the life of a FAMU drum major

FAMU Opens a Juvenile Justice Research Institute


lorida A&M University (FAMU) has joined the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to open the Juvenile Justice Research Institute (JJRI) to identify research and implement cutting edge juvenile justice services that will address the needs of youths at greatest risk of delinquency involvement.

DJJ has facilitated the funding of the JJRI with $400,000 from Florida’s Juvenile Justice State Advisory Group and a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention.

The project, which is titled the Situational Environmental Circumstances Pilot (SECP), will provide non-traditional strategies that will enhance youth and family engagement and development, public safety and the effectiveness of existing juvenile services and programs.

“The over-representation of minorities, particularly black young men, is a special concern in juvenile justice systems across the country,” said Secretary Frank Peterman Jr., Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. “I believe support from the academic community in addressing delinquency will greatly encourage our troubled youth, and show them a positive path filled with young people who are not so very different from themselves.”

Minority over-representation in the juvenile justice system exists when the proportion of DJJ youths who are members of minority groups exceeds the proportion such groups represent in the general population. For example, DJJ data from 2009-2010 shows that black youth make up 39 percent of DJJ youth, although they account for only 21.5 percent of Florida’s youth population.

“Our center will focus on improving the recidivism rate of youth in the juvenile justice system,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “Florida A&M University and the Department of Juvenile Justice partner to develop strategies to address this crucial crisis. Today is the day the FAMU community kicks off this renewed commitment to work to ensure that the youth of Florida are offered and provided the services that will help them to become successful and productive citizens.”

The SECP Project will emphasize individual development, academic/vocational achievement, job readiness, family and community support to 150 moderate to high-risk youth, 75 per site, receiving DJJ residential and/or community supervision services.

Mentoring services will be provided by graduate and advanced undergraduate youth mentor advocates and volunteer mentors under the direction of a site coordinator at FAMU and Edward Waters College. Key components of the SEC Model include the following: motivation, habits and attitudes, goal setting, problem solving, decision making, family relationships, effective communication, lifestyle/environmental changes, and employability skills.

FAMU is establishing the JJRI in collaboration with Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, Florida Atlantic University and Florida Memorial University. These institutions are committed to addressing the inexorably linked problems of juvenile crime, academic failure, family dysfunction and other youth related problems associated with disadvantaged communities throughout Florida.

National Academies Ranks FAMU No. 1 Institution of Origin for African Americans Earning Doctorates in Natural Science and Engineering

Florida A&M University (FAMU) is No. 1 in the nation as the institution of origin for African Americans who earn doctorates in natural science and engineering.

In a pre-publication copy of Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads, the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine reported that FAMU is No. 1 out of the top 25 universities in the U.S. An institution of origin is where a person earns his or her bachelor’s degree.

In the report, the top 10 baccalaureate institutions of African Americans who went on to earn doctorates in the natural sciences and engineering for the period 2002-2006 were historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Some of the other universities that were listed in the top 25 included Howard University, Morehouse College, Tuskegee University, Hampton University and North Carolina A&T State University. University of Florida was one of the non-HBCUs listed in the top 25.

“FAMU’s highly talented and dedicated faculty prepare and motivate our students to pursue doctoral degrees,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “These statistics also underscore the importance of HBCUs in producing our brain trust for the future.”

According to the National Academics web site, the national efforts to strengthen U.S. science and engineering must include all Americans, especially minorities, who are the fastest growing groups of the U.S. population but the most underrepresented in science and technology careers. Minority participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels should be an urgent national priority, says the report, which offers a comprehensive road map for increasing involvement of underrepresented minorities and improving the quality of their education.

“It’s well-documented that the United States needs a strong science and technology workforce to maintain global leadership and competitiveness,” said Freeman Hrabowski III, chair of the committee who wrote the report and president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “The minds and talents of underrepresented minorities are a great, untapped resource that the nation can no longer afford to squander. Improving STEM education of our diverse citizenry will strengthen the science and engineering work force and boost the U.S. economy.”

The report also notes that underrepresented minorities, including African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans, comprised just more than 9 percent of minority college-educated Americans in science and engineering occupations in 2006. This number would need to triple to match the share of minorities in the U.S. population. Furthermore, to reach a national target that 10 percent of all 24-year-olds hold an undergraduate degree in science or engineering disciplines, the number of underrepresented minorities would need to quadruple or even quintuple.

The National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Life Gets a Little Better for FAMU Scholars



With smiles stretching from ear to ear and sounds of students saying ‘Yes,’ 22 Florida A&M University (FAMU) scholars were full of joy and excitement when FAMU President James H. Ammons presented them with a couple of items to assist them with their studies. Each scholar received an HP Elite Book 2450p and an Apple iPad as part of the FAMU Presidential Scholarship Program, which includes the Life Gets Better Scholarship and the Distinguished Scholar Award.

The scholars were so overwhelmed that it left one scholar speechless.

“I am truly speechless,” said Nellena Adekoya, a biology major from Grayson, Ga. “I have never had so much available at my fingertips.”

This group of scholars is from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia. One scholar, Joel Sankar, is a native of Tunapuna, Trinadad.

“I’m very excited and humbled by the gifts that I have received,” said Sankar, a chemistry major. “They [computers] are very necessary for our education and for us to succeed.”

Aubrey Upsher, a journalism major, expressed that he was very appreciative.

“I received more than I expected,” said Upsher. “These are some excellent tools to have. This will definitely help me in my classes.”

About the Life Gets Better Scholarship
Incoming freshmen designated National Achievement, Hispanic, or Merit Semifinalists by the National Merit Corporation, having an unweighted 3.50 high school GPA and having a 1,800 on the SAT or 27 on the ACT or incoming freshmen who have at least an unweighted 3.50 high school GPA and scores of 1900 on the SAT or 29 on the ACT will receive the following over four years: tuition and fees, room, board, books, $500 per semester stipend, internships and a laptop. The awardee must major in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics or physics in order to be eligible for this scholarship. Students must take the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) in the junior year of high school to compete in the National Merit Corporation programs.

About the Distinguished Scholar Award
Incoming freshmen who have scores of at least 1,800 on the SAT or 27 on the ACT and an unweighted 3.50 high school GPA:

Florida Residents receive a full four-year scholarship that pays for tuition and fees, double occupancy room rate and board. The $350 housing deposit will be waived for Florida Bright Futures Scholar awardees. Additionally, National Achievement Semifinalists will receive up to $500 a semester for books.

Out-of–State students receive a four-year scholarship that pays for tuition and fees. A National Achievement Semifinalist will receive double occupancy room rate and board. Students who are Pell Grant eligible will receive a stipend not to exceed $500/semester.

A National Achievement Finalist will also receive a laptop. A National Achievement Scholar will receive a laptop, $500 per semester for books and a $500 per semester stipend.

FAMU wins $50,000 Grant from Ford College Community Challenge

Students at Florida A&M University develop sustainable project to benefit farmers and their communities through Ford College Community Challenge.

Florida A&M University (FAMU) has been selected as one of the 2010 winners of the Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) and the recipient of a $50,000 grant to develop a student-led community project focused on sustainability in the farm community. Ford C3 is a national initiative of Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, which challenges students from within Ford’s national network of higher education partners to develop innovative programs to create sustainable change in their communities.

Students at Florida A&M University will implement an on-farm demonstration and education model for renewable biofuel production that provides an essential alternative energy road map for the future. This innovative, student-led demonstration project will test the use of biofuel made from oil seed crops and waste vegetable oil for use as an alternative energy source for farm machinery in the university’s StateWide ® Small Farm Collaborative. The project will involve students from the College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA), the School of Architecture, as well as community stakeholders including schools interested in green and alternative energy, local businesses and governmental entities.

“We are honored to receive the Ford Motor Company Fund C3 Grant to implement an organic farm alternative energy demonstration and education model for small farms and innovative communities,” said Jennifer Taylor, FAMU’s coordinator for the Small Farms Program. “This project will provide a unique opportunity to partner with community collaborators, provide education and training experiences to FAMU students, while equipping small farms and the community with exciting options for a thriving sustainable future.”

The Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) is a national challenge grant competition that recognizes colleges and universities that utilize a school's resources to address an urgent community need related to the grant's theme: Building Sustainable Communities. This year's proposals were expected to incorporate the use of alternative energy in a unique way. Unlike many traditional college grant programs, Ford C3 requires colleges to create proposals that have significant student input, involvement and leadership from beginning to end.

“Winning proposals have a distinctive student perspective on what it means to have a sustainable community,” said Mike Schmidt, director of Education and Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We are pleased to be able to support the millennial spirit of innovation in these students, whose projects help address critical needs within their communities.”

Response to the Ford College Community Challenge was significant this year, with 23 proposals from 16 of Ford's partner colleges and universities. Five winning proposals were selected. Each school will receive a one-time $50,000 award from Ford Motor Company Fund to implement their proposed project.

“The Ford C3 project will bring together students and faculty from many of our disciplines in the college,” said Makola Abdullah, dean of FAMU’s College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture. “We all are aware of the positive environmental impact of alternative energy sources and we are proud to be a part of the solution."

Ford Fund grant funding is designed to launch and sustain the projects through the first year of implementation, and then projects will continue with support from university and local resources. This is the third year that Ford C3 has awarded grants to partner universities for sustainable community projects.

About Ford Motor Company and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is focused on building community through partnerships that promote education, driving safety and quality of life in communities where Ford does business. Established in 1949, and made possible by funding from Ford Motor Company, the Fund's programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with academically rigorous, interactive learning experiences, and Ford Driving Skills for Life, a teen-focused safe driving initiative. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, 20,000 Ford employees and retirees participate each year in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities in more than 40 countries. For more information, visit www.community.ford.com.

About Florida A&M University
Florida A&M University (FAMU) was founded on October 3, 1887, as the State Normal College for Colored Students. Today, FAMU offers 62 bachelor's degrees and 39 master's degrees. The university has 13 schools and colleges and one institute. The university also offers a juris doctor at its College of Law in Orlando. FAMU has 11 doctoral programs, which includes 10 Ph.D. programs.

With an enrollment of more than 13,000 students, Florida A&M University is part of the State University System of Florida and is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Friday, October 22, 2010

FAMU Alumna Sonia Myles will Keynote Homecoming Convocation


Florida A&M University (FAMU) will host its annual Homecoming Convocation Friday, October 29, at 10:10 a.m. in Gaither Gymnasium. This year’s keynote speaker is FAMU alumna Sonia J. Myles, director of Global Printed Packaging Purchases for Procter and Gamble Company (P&G).

Joe Bullard, program director for Cumulus Tallahassee WHBX 96.1-FM and WHBT Heaven 1410-AM, will serve as the master of ceremony. The general public is invited to attend.

In July 2006, Myles accepted the position of director of Global Media Purchases. In this role, she was responsible for leading the global media purchases organization and ensuring best in class strategies are developed, shared, and applied globally. At P&G, she has continued her track record of attaining outstanding results and using innovative strategies. She led the launch of the Media Transformation Initiative for the company in late 2009, and was appointed director of Global Purchases in early 2010, responsible for leading the Purchases 2020 Initiative. In August 2010, Myles was appointed to her current position responsible for all fiber and printed packaging for the company. She is responsible for leading a team of 100 people with a budget of $3 billion.

In 2009, Myles was named one of Essence Magazine’s 25 Women of Power and was selected as a Bloomberg “History Maker.” She also is a recipient of The Trumpet Awards Foundation “High Heels Award.” Myles has media profiles in Businessweek, Fortune, Profiles in Diversity Journal and The New York Times. She has written two books: “The Sister Accord: 51 Ways to Love Your Sisters” and “7 Spirit-Filled Strategies for Raising a Loving Child.” Myles penned the very popular The Sister Accord: The Promise that will Transform your Life! designed to help women establish more meaningful, loving relationships with each other.

Myles is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., FAMU National Alumni Association, a charter member of the Metro Detroit Optimist Club, National Black MBA Association, and a Board Member for Impact Young Lives, an organization that focuses on assisting outstanding students in South Africa develop into Global Leaders. She was most recently elected as chair for the FAMU School of Business and Industry Advisory Board, and Board Member for Women Helping Women, in Cincinnati, Ohio that focuses on helping victims of domestic violence and rape.

Myles graduated summa cum laude in 1989 with her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from FAMU. She later received her master’s degree in business administration in 1990. During her matriculation at FAMU, she received numerous honors and awards including: Academic Achievement Award--Highest GPA Class of 1989; Academic All-American Student Award; Academic All-American Collegiate Scholarship; National Dean's List; Outstanding Young Women of America; White & Gold Honor Society; National Business Merit Award; National Urban Bankers Award; Dean’s Scholar; and in 1988 the Economics Club Award and Outstanding College Students of America.

A native of Saginaw, Mich., she is married to Kenneth A. Myles, president and CEO, KAMJAM Entertainment and has two sons, Kendall, 14, and Jordan, 13.

FAMU wins $50,000 Grant from Ford College Community Challenge

Students at Florida A&M University develop sustainable project to benefit farmers and their communities through Ford College Community Challenge.

Florida A&M University (FAMU) has been selected as one of the 2010 winners of the Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) and the recipient of a $50,000 grant to develop a student-led community project focused on sustainability in the farm community. Ford C3 is a national initiative of Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, which challenges students from within Ford’s national network of higher education partners to develop innovative programs to create sustainable change in their communities.

Students at Florida A&M University will implement an on-farm demonstration and education model for renewable biofuel production that provides an essential alternative energy road map for the future. This innovative, student-led demonstration project will test the use of biofuel made from oil seed crops and waste vegetable oil for use as an alternative energy source for farm machinery in the university’s StateWide ® Small Farm Collaborative. The project will involve students from the College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA), the School of Architecture, as well as community stakeholders including schools interested in green and alternative energy, local businesses and governmental entities.

“We are honored to receive the Ford Motor Company Fund C3 Grant to implement an organic farm alternative energy demonstration and education model for small farms and innovative communities,” said Jennifer Taylor, FAMU’s coordinator for the Small Farms Program. “This project will provide a unique opportunity to partner with community collaborators, provide education and training experiences to FAMU students, while equipping small farms and the community with exciting options for a thriving sustainable future.”

The Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) is a national challenge grant competition that recognizes colleges and universities that utilize a school's resources to address an urgent community need related to the grant's theme: Building Sustainable Communities. This year's proposals were expected to incorporate the use of alternative energy in a unique way. Unlike many traditional college grant programs, Ford C3 requires colleges to create proposals that have significant student input, involvement and leadership from beginning to end.

“Winning proposals have a distinctive student perspective on what it means to have a sustainable community,” said Mike Schmidt, director of Education and Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We are pleased to be able to support the millennial spirit of innovation in these students, whose projects help address critical needs within their communities.”

Response to the Ford College Community Challenge was significant this year, with 23 proposals from 16 of Ford's partner colleges and universities. Five winning proposals were selected. Each school will receive a one-time $50,000 award from Ford Motor Company Fund to implement their proposed project.

“The Ford C3 project will bring together students and faculty from many of our disciplines in the college,” said Makola Abdullah, dean of FAMU’s College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture. “We all are aware of the positive environmental impact of alternative energy sources and we are proud to be a part of the solution."

Ford Fund grant funding is designed to launch and sustain the projects through the first year of implementation, and then projects will continue with support from university and local resources. This is the third year that Ford C3 has awarded grants to partner universities for sustainable community projects.

About Ford Motor Company and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is focused on building community through partnerships that promote education, driving safety and quality of life in communities where Ford does business. Established in 1949, and made possible by funding from Ford Motor Company, the Fund's programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with academically rigorous, interactive learning experiences, and Ford Driving Skills for Life, a teen-focused safe driving initiative. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, 20,000 Ford employees and retirees participate each year in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities in more than 40 countries. For more information, visit www.community.ford.com.

About Florida A&M University
Florida A&M University (FAMU) was founded on October 3, 1887, as the State Normal College for Colored Students. Today, FAMU offers 62 bachelor's degrees and 39 master's degrees. The university has 13 schools and colleges and one institute. The university also offers a juris doctor at its College of Law in Orlando. FAMU has 11 doctoral programs, which includes 10 Ph.D. programs.

With an enrollment of more than 13,000 students, Florida A&M University is part of the State University System of Florida and is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

FAMU Students Win National Team Selling Competition


Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) School of Business and Industry (SBI) won the National Team Selling Competition hosted by the Center for Global Sales Leadership at Indiana University.

The competition attracts top teams of undergraduate sales students from America's leading universities who wish to pursue high-level, complex sales in an opportunity to practice team-selling simulations. Altria Sales & Distribution employees created the case, role-play the position of buyers and senior management, and also serve as judges.

Some of the universities that participated in the competition included Indiana University, Michigan State University, University of Kansas, University of Florida, Penn State, Ball State University and Syracuse University.

“Everyone was good, but our young people were great,” said Roscoe Hightower, Jr., Ph.D., team coach, lead adviser and a SBI associate professor. “We look forward to continuing to recruit, train and graduate the best professional selling student leaders in the U.S. Under the current leadership of Dean Friday-Stroud, we are continuously in search of excellence.”

According to Hightower, this year’s case was provided to the teams one week prior to the competition. The case included, but was not limited to, convenience store and candy industries focusing on all aspects of general business with specific emphasis on in-store visibility, inventory and pricing. The case challenged the students to really understand and apply what they knew about the basic convenience store business to the concept of team selling.

FAMU’s team consisted of Nicole Crowell, a fourth-year business administration student from California; Keisha Faulkner, a fourth-year business administration student from New Jersey; Jamil Codner, a third-year business administration student from Florida; and Darriel Brown, a fourth-year business administration student from Florida.

“The preparation made the competition seem easier upon completion,” said Crowell, the team captain. “Competing against the best professional selling schools and dominating them made us appreciate the education that we are receiving at FAMU even more.”

Through the program, the students received job offers from Altria Sales & Distribution and at least one will take a position with the firm in 2011. The others are currently in the interviewing process.

Brown, a returning team member from the 2009 second place team, said, “We were on a mission. We were being tested in a number of ways, especially from a conviction or belief in our training, coaching and ourselves. We showed them the outcome when a student has the wherewithal to believe in their training.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Day in The Life— Miss FAMU



A Day in the Life of Kindall Johnson, 2010-2011 Miss FAMU, is pretty hectic. Johnson, a senior public relations student from Tampa, Fla., gracefully balances her school work and duties on the Royal Court with a constant smile on her face. This is a day in the life of a FAMU student leader.

A Day in The Life — A Scholar



A Day in the Life of Ralph Jones Jr., a 16-year-old freshman scholar.
Jones, a mechanical engineering major from Atlanta, Ga., turned down
prominent universities to become a Rattler. See how he is adjusting to
his new environment.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Small Farms Program Coordinator Appointed to National Organic Standards Board


Florida A&M University (FAMU) Small Farms Program Coordinator Jennifer E. Taylor, Ph.D., was appointed to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), adding new vision to the organization.
The Small Farms Program is designed to assist and equip underserved farming communities and their families toward sustainable development.

“I am excited about the opportunity to continue to serve Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, our farming populations and its consumer communities, and to participate and contribute to the National Organic Standards Board,” Taylor said.

Taylor, along with the four other appointees, will serve terms beginning Jan. 24, 2011, and ending Jan. 24, 2016.

“These highly qualified members of the organic community bring years of experience to the board, and we welcome their expertise and appreciate their dedication to the integrity of the organic standards,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Authorized by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, as amended (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.), the NOSB is responsible for making recommendations about whether a substance should be allowed or prohibited in organic production or handling; assisting in developing standards for substances used in organic production; and advising the Secretary on other aspects of the Act’s implementation.

New Diplomat In Residence Arrives


Florida A&M University (FAMU) welcomes its newly selected Diplomat-In-Residence, Jay Smith. Smith is charged with building awareness and attracting students’ interest in the U.S. Department of State and the Foreign Service at career fairs and other programs implemented.

“I want to take every opportunity available to reach out and speak to the students,” said Smith. “Educate them on what it is we do, what we can offer them in a way of a career and try to recruit some bright young people to come in behind me.”

Smith received his bachelor’s of art from the University of Notre Dame in 1975. He was invited to attend the United States Army War College as a State Department officer from 1994 to 1995 and successfully completed the course of study given to senior military officers in senior leadership studies.

Smith has served extensively overseas, performing services across the spectrum of Foreign Service skills. He began his career in 1981 in Lilongwe, Malawi and went on to serve in Indonesia, France, the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), the Philippines, Romania, Haiti and – most recently – Senegal where he served alternately as ChargĂ© d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission.

Smith was promoted into the Senior Foreign Service in 2003 and now holds the personal rank of Minister-Counselor. His service has been recognized with two individual Superior Honor awards, two group Superior Honor awards and one individual Meritorious Honor award. He speaks French, Indonesian (Bahasa) and Romanian.

Smith insists that FAMU students have an advantage because he is stationed on campus and concurrently serving as a diplomat for the east coast region.

“I’m looking for people who are open-minded, bright and who are open to working overseas,” said Smith. “They must be resilient and dedicated.”

Smith and his wife of 34 years, the former Jacqueline Billy of Saumur, France, have five children.

FAMU Receives $1.5 Million to Establish Center for Public Computing and Workforce Development


Florida A&M University (FAMU) has received nearly $1.5 million in a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to establish the FAMU Center for Public Computing and Workforce Development.

“We would like to thank Congressman Boyd for his support and the U.S. Department of Commerce for selecting FAMU for this initiative,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “We believe that this center will provide an economic boost to our community and provide training and computer access to a segment of our population who may otherwise not have access. Through this center, we will help build a trained workforce for Tallahassee and the region.”

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the three-county region of northern Florida targeted by Florida A&M University has poverty and unemployment rates well above the state and national averages, and many residents lack the 21st century skills necessary for industry certifications and job preparation.

“FAMU has a long and proven history of providing our students with the skills they need to be successful. This new workforce center will allow them to turn their talents toward helping our local small businesses succeed in a challenging environment,” said Congressman Boyd. “Small businesses play a pivotal role in getting our economy back on track, and I’m very pleased these federal funds will help ensure they have access to the support and services they need to be successful.”

Through the grant, the FAMU Enterprise Information Technology Division and the FAMU College of Education Department of Workforce Education and Development will establish a new Center for Public Computing and Workforce Development on the FAMU campus to serve the public of Tallahassee and surrounding Gadsden and Jefferson Counties. The center also plans to serve as a resource to other public computing centers in the region.

“We are extremely pleased that the concept we developed for the FAMU center was viewed favorably by the evaluators of the many grant applications that were submitted in the national competition for establishment of Public Computing Centers,” said Robert Seniors, principle investigator and vice president for FAMU Division of Enterprise Information Technology. “Goals established for these centers include an increase in access to broadband computing resources and training as a remedy to disproportionately high non-employment and under employment of disadvantaged and underserved Americans.”

FAMU’s Small Business Development Center plans to provide business development training and counseling services through videoconferencing technology, and offer workshops to small businesses with an emphasis on minorities, women, and veterans.

The project aims to develop and expand its instructional capacity through an aggressive “Train the Trainer” workshop program, which includes working with Florida’s Small Business Development Agency to create training content and identify and recruit trainers.

The FAMU Center for Public Computing and Workforce Development will also provide 65 new workstations and significantly upgraded support technology to help enable access for an additional 2,800 users each week and significantly expand the number of hours the public can access public computers. The new centers will also offer improved access speeds and shorter wait periods.

“I am very excited about the positive impact that will result from this award,” said Seniors. “The access to our broadband driven knowledge and skill development program and 21st century technology resources, especially for the underserved, will change many lives in a significant way.”

Seniors said that through the center they plan to train 14,500 residents with approximately 87,000 hours of teacher-led training annually over the three years of the project.

The project’s training and broadband programs would include specific disciplines important to the northern part of the state, including public administration, education services, healthcare, social assistance, agriculture, forestry, and fishing and hunting.

Seniors is the principle investigator for the project. The co-principle investigator is Dawn Holley-Dennis, associate professor and chair of the Department of Workforce Education and Development in the FAMU College of Education.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A 16 Year Old FAMU Freshman Has Earned His Spot


Florida A&M University (FAMU) freshman, Ralph Jones Jr., a 16 year old from Atlanta, Ga. turned down offers to Howard University, Fort Valley State University and Morehouse College to attend FAMU. In addition to these institutions, he also turned down prominent institutions such as the University of Alabama, Stanford University, Pennsylvania State University and Harvard University to become a Rattler.

With an SAT score of 2,120 out of 2,400, it is understandable how he was admitted to the top institutions in the U.S.

Jones is a recipient of the Life-Gets-Better Scholarship and a National Achievement Finalist. Jones was awarded $120,000 in scholarships, which includes a stipend, tuition and fees, room and board, books and a laptop.

Being a member of a family who has a three-generation history of attending Fort Valley State University and parents who are educators, Jones feels that his childhood played a huge role in his development.

“My background growing up is a little different,” said Jones. “My parents are both educators. My mother is a first grade teacher and my dad was a college professor for some time. Needless to say, a large focus was on education in my house.”

By the time Jones was four-years old, he was adding, subtracting, dividing, reading at the ninth grade level and doing basic algebra.

As impressive as Jones’ ability to learn at a young age may seem, he continued to excel by setting a record of having the highest SAT scores in the past five years at his high school.

Jones’ former SAT math prep teacher and FAMU alumnae Kemberlee Pugh Bingham challenged her students by promising them an “A” in her class if they scored high on the SAT test. As a junior in high school, Jones scored a 1,910. The following year, he increased his SAT scores by more than 200 points.

“You could never forget a kid like Ralph,” said Bingham. “He is a child prodigy and has always been different from his peers. He would often provide a challenge. One day, we went toe-to-toe and he strongly argued his point. I appreciate a kid who thinks critically; it shows that they care.”

When Jones shared his score with Bingham, she immediately inquired what college he planned to attend.

“When I first told her, she was excited,” said Jones, a mechanical engineering student. “One thing I can say about FAMU alumni is that they will lobby for their school. Before I knew it, she had gone over to her FAMU billboard and gave me a brochure on the Life-Gets-Better Scholarship, which was the first time I heard of the scholarship. She was like ‘Baby did you know you can go to FAMU for free for four years with a full scholarship and a computer?’ and I was like ‘no ma’am.’”

The following year, Jones attended the recruitment fair that FAMU hosted in Atlanta, Ga., where he felt the energy in the room as President James H. Ammons began to articulate the Rattler Charge.

“When Dr. Ammons got up, he began to say ‘When the dark clouds gather over the horizon’ there was this atmosphere of tension and I knew something was going to happen,” said Jones. “I did not know exactly what; it was very exciting. Then suddenly you heard hissing from all over the room and you saw people with fingers in the air and that is when you start to feel it. I was like wow! This is something bigger than what I could have expected.”

During the award ceremony, Ammons awarded Jones with a $120,000 scholarship for four years along with a list of other incentives. It was Jones first scholarship before he learned about being selected as a National Achievement Scholar.

“I am so pleased to know that he decided to attend FAMU,” said Bingham. “I love my alma mater. When he told me what he made on the SAT, I was in shock because you do not come across those scores in my environment.”

Jones expressed that he has earned his place at FAMU.

“Everything that I have worked for has helped me earn my place here,” said Jones. “I am going to earn my right to stay here and when I graduate, I am going to have earned my degree.”

Friday, September 24, 2010

Six Rattlers will be Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame

Florida A&M University (FAMU) will induct six Rattlers into its Sports Hall of Fame (SHOF) during the 35th SHOF Enshrinement Ceremony at the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium on Friday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m.

Andre Dawson, who was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in July, will be a special guest honoree at this year’s ceremony. Dawson, a Rattler baseball great in the 1970s, was a member of the 1981 FAMU Sports Hall of Fame enshrinement class.

The 2010 SHOF Class features four athletes - Tiffany Daughtry (Women's track), the late Robert Jackson Jr. (Baseball), Olrick Johnson (Football) and Ulysses Wilson (Baseball); one coach - Amos Hill, assistant football coach during the Rudy Hubbard Era; and one supporter of athletics – local radio personality and Marching “100” announcer Joe Bullard.
Daughtry (1989-1992) came to FAMU and helped build the women's track program into a perennial conference power under Head Coach Bobby Lang. Daughtry excelled in the shot put, javelin and discus helping lead FAMU to Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championships in 1989 and 1991;
Jackson (1987-1990) was the ace pitcher of three MEAC championship squads (1987, 1988, 1990). A product of FAMU High, Jackson still holds several single season records for innings pitched (96.1 in 1988; 85.2 in 1989). He also led the team in wins in 1988 (10-5) and 1989 (8-5) with his 10 wins in 1988 the second-most victories in a season by a FAMU pitcher. His 96.1 innings of work in 1988 was the third most innings pitched in FAMU history. Jackson will be recognized posthumously.
Johnson (1995-1998) was the epitome of the student-athlete concept. A three-year starter as linebacker, Johnson led the Rattlers in tackles in 1997 and 1998, piling up 193 total stops his last two seasons, twice earning All-MEAC first-team honors (1997 and 1998), while capturing Sheridan Broadcasting Network (SBN) Black College All-America and NCAA Division I-AA All-America honors from the Associated Press as a senior (1998). He finished his career with 246 total tackles, 11 sacks, 39 passes defended with seven interceptions, seven forced fumbles and one touchdown return on an interception. The 1998 Defensive MVP at FAMU and the winner of the Jake Gaither Award from the Tallahassee Quarterback Club, Johnson did a brief professional stint with the New York Jets, the Minnesota Vikings and the New England Patriots.
Wilson (1967-1970) led the Rattlers in hitting and stolen bases during his junior and senior seasons (1969-1970), capturing All-SIAC honors in 1970, as well as second team All-America. He was signed by the San Diego Padres in 1970, and ascended through the Padres’ farm system to the Triple A level, playing three seasons in the Pacific Coast League before retiring from baseball.
Hill (1977-1985) was an integral member of the Rattler Football coaching staff under Rudy Hubbard, tutoring FAMU’s defensive lines. During Hill’s tenure, the Rattlers boasted one of the nation’s top defensive units, ranking No. 1 in total defense (149.6 ypg) and rushing defense (48.6 ypg) in 1978 - the year of the inaugural NCAA Division I-AA national championship.
For more than 35 years, Bullard has put his personality and varied talents to work on behalf of FAMU. From serving as the ever-popular and irrepressible “Voice of the Marching 100,” to his tireless and award-winning work in the entertainment industry in radio and music, Bullard, like the FAMU Band, stands alone. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Bullard is a Distinguished Alumni of FAMU and has been honored by the Leon County Chapter of the National Alumni Association.
Dawson and the honorees will be recognized during halftime at the October 2 football game between FAMU and South Carolina State University at Bragg Memorial Stadium. Single tickets for the enshrinement ceremony are $50 and tables for groups of eight are also available. Seats can be purchased at the FAMU Athletic Box Office.

The FAMU Sports Hall of Fame, founded by the late athletic director Hansel E. “Tootie” Tookes in 1976, has recognized more than 200 sports personalities since its inception.

For more information, contact Vaughn Wilson at (850) 561-2701.

FAMU Cuts Ribbon and Breaks Ground



Florida A&M University (FAMU) broke ground for its $40.5 million Pharmacy Phase II building and had a ribbon cutting ceremony for its $16 million remodeled and renovated Tucker Hall.

The Pharmacy Phase II of the New Pharmacy Building will be located on FAMU’s main campus at the corner of Bronough and Pershing Streets. It involves the designing and constructing of a state-of-the-art 45,000 net square feet research, graduate and professional study instructional space.

Florida’s Gov. Charlie Crist, Sen. Alfred Lawson Jr. and Frank T. Brogan, chancellor of the State University System of Florida participated in the ceremony.

“I am indeed proud to have this opportunity to be here today,” said Gov. Crist. “This is not only for what it can do for medicine, but also what it can do for jobs.”

According to Henry Lewis III, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the new pharmacy complex will facilitate the College’s hiring and filling of five endowed chairs in biomedical research. New animal research facilities, research libraries and cutting-edge research equipment will allow the College to continue to be a leader in pharmaceutical research. Furthermore, more than 30 new research laboratories will allow expansion of the College’s graduate enrollment by more than 50 new students.

Lewis said, “I am elated that we are beginning the final phase of construction that will catalyze the future growth of the College.”

Before the ground breaking ceremony, FAMU had a ribbon cutting ceremony for Tucker Hall. The newly renovated building is home to the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Graduate Studies and Research and the Charles Winter Wood Theatre.

As William “Bill” Jennings, chairman of the FAMU Board of Trustees, Chancellor Brogan and FAMU President Ammons cut the ribbon, more than 100 people in attendance cheered.

“This building is a showcase,” said Ammons. “We are proud of the work that has been done to complete this project. This building is a symbol of how we can preserve ‘Excellence with Caring.’”

Brogan, who wore an orange tie, said, “We all know that we do this for one reason — the students now, the students who have passed through these halls and the students who are not born yet. It is not about the steel frame of this building. It is about the teaching and learning that will take place in here.”

The project scope of Tucker Hall included restoration of the building’s envelope, replacement of the building’s plumbing and air conditioning system, total replacement of the electrical wiring, complete roof replacement, asbestos abatement, structural systems upgrades, correction of life safety and technology upgrades. Renovation of offices, classrooms and the Charles Winter Wood Theater were also included in the project scope.

During the ceremony, Chanta Haywood, dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, shared a story she had with a student regarding Tucker Hall’s renovations.

“I ran into a student in the elevator who told me that this building [Tucker Hall] makes him want to make straight A’s,” said Haywood. “Now we have a straight “A” building that will inspire straight “A” attitudes and now we as administrators and faculty have to give a straight “A” effort to assure our students have a straight “A” future.”

FAMU Welcomes New Director of Financial Aid


Florida A&M University (FAMU) continues to excel by not only attracting the best and the brightest students, but also employees as the university extends its welcome to the new director of Financial Aid, Marcia Conliffe.

For the past 20 years, Conliffe served at Broward Community College in supervisory positions including her latest position as the associate vice of Student Affairs and Financial Services. Prior to her tenure at the community college, Conliffe gained experience in higher education at Florida Atlantic University and Florida State University.

As the director of Financial Aid, Conliffe is charged with assisting the vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management with the governess, structure, policy formation and implementation for the Division of Student Affairs. Conliffe also serves as the chief financial aid officer with a lead role in the administration, planning and management of financial aid, veterans and disability services programs.

“I could not be happier to be here at Florida A&M University,” said Conliffe. “Everybody here has welcomed me as an addition to the Rattler family. I can honestly say that this is one of the best decisions I have made. I am looking forward to helping the university take the Office of Financial Aid to the next level.”

Conliffe’s understanding of Student Financial Services, Veterans Affairs and Disability Services has gained her experience in managing a team of eight senior staff members and more than 40 individuals in daily operations by providing visionary leadership to develop complete cutting edge college-wide projects. Her responsibilities included overseeing administration and distribution of financial aid budget; serving as liaison to the Office of Information Systems Technology; preparing and monitoring administrative and operational budgets; maintaining policy and procedures manual for each department with emphasis on current practices and well-develop goals; and as designated college administrator for the receipt of federal, state institutional and private financial aid programs.

Conliffe obtained her bachelor’s of science in business administration and master’s in information studies with a concentration in information technology management from Florida State University. She is also a member of National Association of Student Financial Administrators; the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators; Florida Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators; the Hispanic Association of College and Universities; the National Association of Foreign Educators; the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators; the National Association of College and University Business Officers; and Florida Community College Software Consortium.

Monday, August 30, 2010

FAMU Mourns the Loss of Dr. William P. Foster


The Florida A&M University (FAMU) family is mourning the loss of one of its legends, Dr. William P. Foster, who was known as the “Dean of America’s Band Directors.”

Foster, who was also called The Law and The Maestro, was the creator of the noted FAMU Marching “100.” He served as the band’s director from 1946 to his retirement in 1998. He is credited with revolutionizing marching band techniques and reshaping the world’s concept of the collegiate marching band. Foster brought more than 30 new techniques to the band that have now become standard operating procedure for high school and college bands nationwide.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Foster,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “As a visionary leader, he built America’s greatest band by departing from the standard routines and maneuvers to showcase band pageantry. I can attest to the fact that what he created was magical. It was the marching band, at an Orange Blossom Classic in Miami, that sparked my interest in attending FAMU. The band was dynamic, larger than life and something that I wanted to have access to even though I was not a musician.”

Ammons went on to say, “Dr. Foster was a legend during his reign and will always be remembered as a key figure in the life and history of FAMU, helping to build our brand not only in America, but internationally. He left an indelible mark on this university. His work will live on at FAMU and in bands across this nation and the world.”

Foster’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday, September 4, at 11 a.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium on FAMU’s campus and will be proceed by a public concert of tribute at 10 a.m. as performed by the FAMU Department of Music. The memorial service is scheduled for Friday, September 3, at 6 p.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium. There are also public viewings scheduled for Friday, September 3, from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday, September 4, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be made to the “William P. and Mary Ann Foster Endowed Scholarship Fund” at FAMU in support of FAMU band scholarships.

On June 1, 1946, William P. Foster became Director of Bands at FAMU with 16 members, and created what is known today as “The Most Imitated Marching Band in America.” His textbook Band Pageantry is considered to be “The Bible” for the marching band.

“Dr. Foster, who is founder and creator of the FAMU Marching “100,” is viewed with great respect among hundreds of past and present members,” said Dr. Julian White, FAMU’s director of Bands. “We are deeply saddened by his death, but appreciative that we had him so long to share with us his great love for music and the profession. We pledge to continue this outstanding legacy that he created and offer our condolences to the Foster family.”

Foster began his music career by learning to play the clarinet at age 12. While in high school, his talent was recognized and he was appointed student director of the Sumner High School Orchestra in Kansas City, Kansas. In 1936, he became the director of an all city band. Foster was a fellow of the Rosenwald General Education Board at Teacher’s College, Columbia University from 1953 to 1955 for doctorate studies. He received his bachelor of music education degree from the University of Kansas in 1941, the master of arts in music degree from Wayne State University in 1950, a doctor of education degree with a major in music from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1955, and the honorary Doctor of Human Letters Degree in 1998 from FAMU.

Under Foster’s direction, the Marching “100” has appeared in films, commercials, numerous magazine and newspaper articles and nationally televised performances. In 1989 the French chose Dr. Foster and his band as America’s official representative in the Bastille Day Parade, celebrating the bicentennial of the French Revolution. On January 27, 1996, the Marching “100” was the centerpiece of the opening ceremonies of the Walt Disney Indy 200. The “100” was also the featured attraction at the 15th and 25th Anniversary for the National Telecast of Walt Disney World in 1986 and 1996. In January 1993 and 1997, the band appeared in the Inaugural Parade of former President Bill Clinton.

Dr. Foster has been inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, the National Association for Distinguished Band Conductors Hall of Fame, the Florida Music Educators Association Hall of Fame and the Afro-American Hall of Fame. He has also served as national presidents of the American Bandmasters Association, the College Band Directors National Association and was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by former President Bill Clinton.Foster is the author of the book The Man Behind the Baton and Band Pageantry: A Guide for the Marching Band. He is the composer of Marche Brillante, National Honors March, March Continental, and Centennial Celebration.


Curtis B. Inabinett, Jr., a former City Councilman in Ravenel, SC, remembers the first time he saw the Marching “100” during halftime of Super Bowl III.

“I fell in love with the band and have been in love with it since,” said Inabinett. “He is like a giant to me, a person that commanded respect and got it.”

Inabinett was instrumental in bringing to the attention of the College Band Director’s National Association the achievements of Dr. Foster. This fall during the October 2 FAMU football game, the president of the organization, Dr. Thomas Duffy, was to present to Dr. Foster the “College Band Directors Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.” Foster is the only African American to serve as national president of the organization and only one of five individuals ever selected to receive the award.

Bishop Adam J. Richardson, who was elected and consecrated the 115th Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1996, said Dr. Foster was a class act.

“He was an extraordinary scholar, gentleman and icon not only at FAMU, but in the United States,” said Bishop Richardson who served as drum major of the Marching “100” from 1966-1969 and participated in Super Bowl III. “He believed in quality and excellence. He helped us to strive toward that to the point that we did not think of ourselves as second to anyone. He was revered by every person who ever participated in the band at FAMU. It is a sad day in the life of us all.”

Linda Dilworth, a close friend of the Foster family and president of the Tallahassee Chapter of The LINKS, Inc., said that Dr. Foster was able to unify and strengthen the community through his work.

“He offered a focus that everybody could rally around,” said Dilworth, who also attends Dr. Foster’s church, St. Michael and ALL Angels Episcopal Church. “He brought a lot of pride to FAMU and he was always there to lend his support through music. Music was his passion and through music he was able to advocate for education, good character and leadership.” The following is a list of the Marching “100” achievements under the leadership of Dr. Foster:

* 1950 - The Marching Band consisted of 110 members and became widely known as the Marching “100”;
* March 17, 1950 - The Marching Band became the first black band to appear in the Festival of States Parade;
* 1953 - The Marching Band incorporated a dance routine using the music of “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” in a half-time performance at the Orange Blossom Classic in Miami, Fla.;
* April 1953 - The Marching Band was featured in an article in The Courier Magazine;
* January 1956 - The Marching Band was mentioned in an article by Ebony Magazine titled Orange Blossom Classic Is Top Negro Grid Bowl Game;
* December 1958 - The Miami Herald proclaimed the Marching Band as The Marchingest, Playingest, Band in the Land;
* January 6, 1963 - The Marching Band made its national television debut at the Pro Playoff Bowl on CBS TV in the Orange Bowl Stadium in Miami, Fla.;
* November 1963 - The Marching Band appeared in an Ebony Magazine article titled The Best Band in the Land;
* December 1963 - The Marching “100” received its first international recognition when it performed for the Kiwanis International Cultural Exchange Program in Nassau, Bahamas;
* January 5, 1964 - The Marching Band made its second nationally televised appearance at the Pro Playoff Bowl;
* December 27, 1964 - The Marching Band made its third nationally televised appearance for the NFL Championship Game in Cleveland, Ohio;
* 1966 - The Seven Up Company of St. Louis, Mo. and the Sterling Drug Company of New York established an annual $1,500 scholarship in music in honor of Dr. William P. Foster;
* 1968 - Dr. William P. Foster authored Band Pageantry: A Guide for the Marching Band;
* January 21, 1968 - The Marching Band made its fourth national television appearance at the AFL All-Star Game on NBC television;
* August 1968 - The Marching Band appeared in the Paramount News Film Half Time USA;
* January 12, 1969 - The Marching Band performed at Super Bowl III in the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla;
* January 19, 1969 - The Marching Band performed at the AFL All-Star Game in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.;
* October 10, 1969 - The Fine Arts Center on FAMU’s campus was named in honor of Dr. William P. Foster, and well-known African-American artist Henry O. Tanner;
* November 30, 1969 - The Marching Band performed at halftime for the NFL Game between the Boston Patriots and the Miami Dolphins;
* September 25, 1971 - The Marching Band represented the University of Kansas Band during halftime at a Kansas vs. Florida State University game at Doak Campbell Stadium;
* 1971 - The Marching Band recorded an album, FAMU Spirit;
* 1975 - The Marching Band made its first national television commercial for Coca-Cola: Look Up America, I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing;
* October 1975 - The Marching Band performed at halftime for the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins;
* December 1975 - The Marching Band performed at haltime for the Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills;
* 1977 - A Joint Resolution from the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate was presented to Dr. William P. Foster;
* 1978 - The Marching Band performed at the first NCAA Division 1 - AA National Championship Game at the Pioneer Bowl in Wichita Falls, Texas;
* 1978 - The Marching Band performed at the “Battle of the Bands” in the New Orleans Super Dome;
* February 24, 1979 - The General Assembly of Washington, D. C. proclaimed February 24 as FAMU Band Day;
* February 20, 1980 - The Marching Band made its second national television commercial for Welch’s Grape Soda;
* March 29, 1981 - The Marching Band was featured in a 60 Minutes documentary on CBS TV;
* January 1983 - The Marching Band performed at Super Bowl XVII in Tampa, Fla.;
* August 1983 - The Marching Band was featured in a documentary on ABC’s 20/20 television show;

* November 1983 - The Marching Band was featured in a PM Magazine documentary on CBS television
* November 14, 1984 - Dr. Foster and the “100” appeared in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Learning;
* December 1984 - Ebony Magazine featured Dr. William P. Foster and the Marching Band in an article titled William P. Foster: A Fabled Director and His Band;

* 1984 - The Marching Band performed at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Calif.;

* October 26, 1985 - The Marching Band was presented the Sudler Intercollegiate Marching Band Trophy. The “100" became the fourth recipient and the first (still the only) historically black university band to receive the trophy. This award is the highest honor a collegiate marching band can receive. With the presentation, the “100” became the first southern band to receive the award;

* 1986 - The Marching Band performed for the 15th Anniversary Celebration of Walt Disney World on national television;

* February 4, 1986 - Dr. William P. Foster and the “100” were honored on the floor of the 99th U.S. Congress for receiving the Sudler Award;

* 1987 - Dr. William P. Foster and the Marching Band appeared in a book, America Is My Neighborhood by Williard Scott of the NBC Today Show;

* March 12, 1989 - The Governor of Florida and the Mayor of Tallahassee proclaimed that March 12 is Dr. William P. Foster Day in the State of Florida;

* 1989 - Governor Bob Martinez issued a proclamation declaring July 18 as The Florida A&M Marching 100 Day in the State of Florida;

* July 1989 - A major news story about the Marching Band was broadcast on the Voice of America, international radio station of the United States government;

* July 14, 1989 - The Marching Band was selected to be the official United States representative at the Bicentennial Celebration of the French Revolution, better known as Bastille Day in Paris, France. This celebration was seen live worldwide by millions. Front page articles about the “100” appeared in newspapers such as the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times

* July 1989 - Lead story in the New York Times, A Birthday Gift to France: 500 American Feet in Paris referring to the “100;”

* July 18, 1989 - The 101st session of the United States House of Representative honored Dr. William P. Foster and the “100” on the floor of Congress for being the official United States Representative in Paris, France for the French Revolution Bicentennial Celebration;

* 1989 - The House of Representatives of the State of Florida honored Dr. William P. Foster and “100” for being the only band in the United States selected for the honor of performing in the French Revolution Bicentennial;

* 1992 - Sports Illustrated magazine listed the Marching Band as The Best College Marching Band in the Country;

* 1993 - The Marching Band represented the State of Florida in the Inaugural Parade of former President Bill Clinton in Washington, D.C.;

* 1994 - The Marching Band’s percussion section and four drum majors performed at the Kennedy Center Concert for former President Bill Clinton in Miami, Fla.;

* 1995 - The Marching Band performed for President Bill Clinton’s visit to Tallahassee;

* 1995 - The Florida General Assembly recognized Dr. William P. Foster for his 50 years of service and outstanding achievements to the State of Florida;

* July 26, 1996 - Dr. William P. Foster and the Marching Band were inducted into the Afro-American Hall of Fame for Fine Arts. The Marching Band became the first student organization to be inducted into the Hall of Fame;

* December 19, 1996 - The Marching Band received its second invitation to participate in former President Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC;

* 1996 - The Marching Band participated in festivities marking the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.;

* 1996 - The Marching Band performed for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s visit to the FAMU campus;

* 1997 - The Marching Band represented the State of Florida at the second Inaugural Parade of former President Bill Clinton in Washington, DC;

* 1997 - A New York Times article: 50 Years as a Marching Band Guru, which referred to Dr. William P. Foster; and

* 1998 - Dr. William P. Foster retired after 52 years of service to the university, the State of Florida, the nation and the world. As of August 9, 1998, he holds the position of Emeritus Professor, chairman of the Music Department, Emeritus and Director of Bands. His legacy, influence, and presence is still being felt as the Marching Band continues to break ground and receive national attention, and awards.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FAMU Schedules the Annual President Convocation


Florida A&M University (FAMU) has scheduled the annual President’s Convocation from 10:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. on Friday, August 27, at the Alfred Lawson, Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching 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 2010 Rattler football team and head coaches as well as the Marching “100” drum majors.

For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (850) 599-3413.

FAMU Mourns the Death of Civil Rights Icon and Alumna Wilhelmina Jakes Street


Civil Rights icon and Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumna Wilhelmina Jakes Street passed away at the age 80. Jakes Street is highly celebrated for her role in initiating the Tallahassee Bus Boycott of 1956.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, August 21, at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens Central, 499 Northwest 27th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The viewing will begin at 1:30 p.m., and the funeral will follow at 2 p.m.

“We are deeply saddened and devastated over the loss of one of our trailblazers and activists for civil rights,” said Carmen Cummings, director of Alumni Affairs. “Her sacrifice, diligence and contributions to FAMU, to this community, and to the State of Florida will never go unforgotten. She will be sorely missed.”

Street was born September 14, 1929, in Hardeeville, S.C. As a result of her father’s untimely death, Jakes Street moved with her mother and siblings to West Palm Beach, Fla., where she was raised. She attended FAMU to major in education. During her time as a student at FAMU, she and her close friend, Carrie Patterson, a 20-year-old English major from Lakeland, Fla., were arrested for refusing to move to the back of a crowded city bus. This courageous act sparked what is known today as “The Tallahassee Bus Boycott.” Many prominent figures such as Rev. C. K. Steele, Rev. Herbert C. Alexander, Dr. C. U. Smith, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and several others were actively involved in supporting these students with a systematic approach to integrating the city’s public transportation system.

After graduating from FAMU in 1956, she went on to fulfill her professional aspiration as a Florida schoolteacher for 33 years. Jakes was an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Federated Women’s of Club of Fort Lauderdale; FAMU National Alumni Association; and life-long member of National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She was also a dedicated servant of New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

As a FAMU student, Jakes Street lived on Jennings Street with Carrie Patterson, who is also credited with igniting the 1956 Tallahassee Bus Boycott. On January 30, 2009, Leon County officials renamed Jennings Street in Tallahassee, Fla. to Jakes & Patterson Street in their honor.

During FAMU’s 2006 Spring Commencement activities, both Patterson (posthumously) and Jakes received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award and its first Freedom Award.

She was married to the late Neopoleon Street. She had one daughter, Priscilla Lewis (deceased).