Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Coca-Cola Sends Two FAMU Students to FIFA World Cup

Coca-Cola is giving two Florida A&M University (FAMU) students, Justin Smith and Alisa Routh, the opportunity to embark on cultural adventures against the backdrop of the world’s biggest sporting event. On June 25, the students will travel across the globe to Africa for the FIFA World Cup.

Smith, 20, a junior mathematics major, and Routh, 20, a junior public relations major, are the winners of the Coca-Cola “Open Happiness Tour,” a video contest that sought creative and inspirational answers to the question: How does the Coca-Cola RAIN program inspire you?

The FAMU students will travel with of 19 other student winners from 12 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

“The Open Happiness Tour allows Coca-Cola the opportunity to engage and inspire young African Americans while connecting them with their roots,” said Yolanda White, assistant vice president, African American Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “We hope experiencing the diverse culture and meeting people who will be in South Africa for World Cup will inspire these students to view the world differently and make a commitment to creating a better place for everyone to live.”

The winners will spend five days soaking up the South African culture and learning more about Africa’s water crisis. During their visit, the students will meet with executives from Coca-Cola South Africa, who will share what the Company is doing in support of the RAIN project as well as learn about other initiatives throughout Africa, including HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention, access to education, job creation and humanitarian assistance.

“This will be my first time leaving the country, and that makes this trip even more exciting because I have always wanted to see what the other side of the world is like,” said Smith, a native of Memphis, Tenn. “I plan to become a new person, better than I was yesterday. I feel as though when a person explore new heights in life they have a better respect for life and gain motivation for wanting to do more.”

In addition, the students will see first-hand the extreme need for potable water when they visit a local orphanage whose water system is in dire need of repairs. The Company will make a donation to assist with the repairs of the water system and, once the project is completed, the orphanage will have clean running water for cooking, bathing and other necessities.

“I am still shocked and wondering why they picked me. It is wonderful that Coca-Cola is taking action to help solve some of the issues that face our world today,” said Routh a native of East Point, Ga. “I plan to gain a bigger understanding of people around the world and be a wonderful representative of my university.”

The students also will have the opportunity to explore more facets of South African culture when they take a trip to the Nelson Mandela National Museum, go on a Safari and attend a FIFA World Cup match. The students will get another perk during their time in South Africa – meeting with actor Idris Elba, whose father is from Sierra Leone and mother is from Ghana. Elba will spend time with the students throughout the trip, discussing water stewardship and its importance to Africa and his passion for the World Cup, as well as providing his unique perspective on the local culture.

“I look forward to sharing my love for Africa with the students,” said Elba. “Through experiencing Africa’s rich history and the wonderful diversity of its culture, the students will be amazed and enriched. I hope they grow to love Africa as much as I do.”

Elba is best known for his roles in HBO’s series The Wire, Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls and Ridley Scott’s award-winning film American Gangster.

Coca-Cola is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. The company serves more than 200 countries across the globe and focuses on its initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where they operate.

FAMU Receives Patents for Inventions from Detecting Radioactive Materials to Treating Breast Cancer

ur Florida A&M University (FAMU) professors and a staff member have received patents for their inventions that range from detecting radioactive materials in luggage to treating a particular type of breast cancer.

John Cooperwood, associate professor of basic sciences in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, has secured a patent for “Selective Estrogen Receptors Modulators,” which is a drug that can assist in the treatment of triple negative breast cancer.

Depending on the stage of its diagnosis, triple negative breast cancer can be particularly aggressive, and more likely to recur than other subtypes of breast cancer in black women.

According to Cooperwood, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 191,410 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,280 died from it in 2006. White women have the highest incidence follow by black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.

“This higher mortality has been shown to be linked to the triple negative form of breast cancer that tends to occur early, under the age of 50, and is more aggressive,” said Cooperwood. “We have several lead compounds in a patent (US patent 7,687,486) that show some promising results on cell culture level against estrogen dependent and triple negative forms of breast cancer.”

Another patent was received collectively by Elliott Treadwell, Ph.D., and Ely I. Leon, Ph.D. They invented the “Threshold Ceronkov Detector with Radial Segmentation.” This design may be adjusted to detect radioactive materials in luggage. High schools may also benefit from general science and astronomy courses that teach students how to detect ever present cosmic and heat rays from a parking lot or lab.

Moeub Lanh, assistant director for Human Resources, was issued a patent for his invention titled the “Finger Flag Assembly.” It is a product that is attached to the finger and is easily removable. It can be used as a flag holder since it has a detachable pole connected. This product is small enough to be carried in a wallet, billfold or a pocket.

Lanh later made an improvement to this invention receiving another patent. This version of the product attaches to writing utensils, car antennas and other narrow items.

Seth Y. Ablordeppey, Ph.D., received a patent for “Haloperidol Analogs,” or new drugs derived from haloperidol for the treatment of mental illness and especially schizophrenia. Unlike its predecessor, the new drugs are designed to treat schizophrenia without producing movement disorders similar to Parkinsonism. In addition, initial tests suggest the new drugs may not produce weight gain which can lead to type II diabetes, a characteristic of the most recent treatment option for schizophrenia. Thus, the new agents have the potential to replace the antipsychotic drugs currently on the market without producing the debilitating side effects associated with them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Marching 100 to Host its Annual Band Camp and Parade

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Marching “100” will host its Annual Band Camp from Monday, July 12 through Saturday, July 17. The “100” will lend its talent to hundreds of the nation’s best high school band students.

A myriad of students from throughout the United States arrive for the week-long camp in order to prove their dedication to service and excellence by emulating the style of the world-renowned Marching “100.” The participants will showcase their new skills and moves to the FAMU family and the Tallahassee community at the annual band camp parade scheduled for Friday, July 17, at 1 p.m.

Each year, the parade features a variety of community schools, organizations, and local participants for a unique and enjoyable celebration.

The parade route will begin at Bragg Memorial Stadium traveling north on Wahnish Way; turn right on to Gamble Street; then right on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., and end on “The Set” at the viewing stand.

Band participants will continue to showcase their new skills at events throughout the week. An ensemble concert is scheduled for Thursday, July 16, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and a symphonic concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Both concerts will be held in Lee Hall Auditorium.

The Super Summer-Fest Finale Performance is scheduled for Saturday, July 18, at 10 a.m., featuring a pre-game and halftime show in the traditional style of the Marching “100.”

Other scheduled events include a talent showcase in Gaither Gymnasium at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14; an ensemble concert in Lee Hall Auditorium at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 15; and a symphonic band concert in Lee Hall Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 15.

For more information, call the FAMU Band Department at (850) 599-3024.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

SGA President Elected Florida Student Association President

Florida A&M University (FAMU) Student Government Association President (SGA) Gallop Franklin II was recently elected as the Florida Student Association (FSA) chairman and correlating position with the Florida Board of Governors.

Franklin, who is a member of the men's golf team, is the third FAMU SGA president to serve as FSA president and the first to serve on the Florida Board of Governors.

“I am just really excited and humbled to serve the students in Florida,” said Franklin, a fifth-year doctorate of pharmacy candidate from Tallahassee, Fla. “I’m passionate and committed.”

The influential statewide advocacy organization is composed of the student body presidents of the state universities and their respective staffs. FSA represents more than 300,000 students in the State University System.

A third-generation Rattler, Franklin, 22, was elected as the freshman class president and was re-elected as sophomore class president. After his two-year class presidency, he was elected as a student senator, where he served a two-year term.

“When I was told the news, I was ecstatic,” said Dean Henry Kirby, associate vice president for Student Life. “I was happy for Gallop and the university. I know he will be able to do a lot of great things. He has natural leadership abilities. I am really proud of him and I think there are great things to come from him.”
Six Florida A&M University (FAMU) journalism and graphic communication students will join students from Shantou University in Guangdong Province, China in Johannesburg, Africa where they will produce daily multimedia stories about the 2010 FIFA World Cup of Soccer and its impact on life in South Africa.

“I’m pretty sure what we’re doing is unprecedented for a journalism program at a historically black university,” said Joe Ritchie, the Knight Chair in journalism at FAMU. “Few journalism students anywhere get to do a foreign reporting internship of any kind and to be at one of the biggest events on the planet is a huge deal.”

The students will be responsible for posting stories with video, audio and text as well as blogs, photo galleries and podcasts covering a range of topics related to the World Cup as well as to general social, economic and political issues about South Africa. Individuals can view their daily reports at

The six FAMU students are as follows:

Rachel Gadson from Chicago, Ill., has had previous international experience as a graphic design intern with a company in Florence, Italy. Gadson is the team’s webmaster;

Aaron Lancaster is a first-year student from Bowie, Md., who plans to major in broadcast journalism. Lancaster has traveled to Nanjing, China, as part of a Johns Hopkins University program for talented and gifted youth;

Wandoo Makurdi has completed her first year in the FAMU master’s degree program and is a naturalized citizen originally from Nigeria;

Clarence Polke is a first-year student from Gainesville, Fla. who has served as deputy sports editor and deputy news editor for The Famuan. Polke was named the paper’s “Rookie of the Year;”

Anamarie Shreeves is a senior magazine production student and was the online editor for Journey magazine; and

Kristen Swilley is a first-year broadcast journalism student from Douglasville, Ga. Swilley was news editor for The Famuan this past spring semester.

Ritchie made the connection with Shantou University while on a sabbatical leave in Asia a year ago. He helped arrange a semester abroad there this spring for another FAMU journalism student, Caryn Wilson, a senior from Charlotte, N.C. Wilson will be the upcoming editor-in-chief for The Famuan this fall.

“Shantou is an amazing place,” Ritchie said. “They teach many courses in English and have an amazing faculty which includes internationally known veteran journalists such as Peter Arnett, a former CNN correspondent, and Peter Herford, who was with CBS for years and worked closely with Walter Cronkite.”

Ritchie said he sees the project as an amazing opportunity for the FAMU students.

“This an opportunity for the students to broaden their global perspectives while getting major experience in the news-gathering techniques of the 21st century.”
This year is the first time that an African country has hosted the World Cup, which is scheduled from June 11 to July 11.