Friday, April 30, 2010

Two Top Military Officials Scheduled to Visit FAMU

Two of the U.S. military highest ranking officials will visit Florida A&M University (FAMU) over the next two days, Admiral Mike Mullen, the 17th Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff and principal military advisor to the President, and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead.

Admiral Gary Roughead will administer the oath of office and give the keynote speech for the NROTC commissioning ceremony. The ceremony is scheduled for Friday, April 30, at 10 a.m. in the courtyard of the Capitol State Building.

“The importance for our new officers in having the opportunity of being commissioned by the Chief of Naval Operations, the highest ranking Navy official in the country, cannot be overstated,” said Col Elvis E. Blumenstock, USMC, FAMU NROTC Commanding Officer. “It drives home the importance of the oath they are taking in service to our country, our constitution, our fellow citizens and our comrades.”

Following the ceremony, FAMU administrators, faculty and staff will meet with Admiral Roughead to discuss how FAMU and the Department of the Navy can forge a stronger relationship for the common goal of enhancing the number of science, technology, engineering and math majors.

FAMU has scheduled a press conference to discuss Admiral Roughead’s visit on Friday, April 30, at 1:15 p.m. in the lobby of Lee Hall.

Admiral Mike Mullen, the 17th Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be the keynote speaker for the 9 a.m. spring commencement ceremony scheduled for Saturday, May 1, in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Teaching Center Gymnasium.

Admiral Mullen was sworn in on October 1, 2007. He serves as the principal military advisor to President Barack Obama, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.

A native of Los Angeles, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968.

Admiral Mullen commanded three ships: the gasoline tanker USS Noxubee (AOG 56), the guided missile destroyer USS Goldsborough (DDG 20) and the guided missile cruiser USS Yorktown (CG 48).

As a flag officer, Mullen commanded Cruiser-Destroyer Group 2, the George Washington Battle Group and the U.S. 2nd Fleet/NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic.

Ashore he has served in leadership positions at the Naval Academy, in the Navy's Bureau of Personnel, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Navy staff. He was the 32nd Vice Chief of Naval Operations from August 2003 to October 2004.

His last operational assignment was as commander, NATO Joint Force Command Naples/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe.

Mullen is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School and earned a master of science degree in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Prior to becoming chairman, Mullen served as the 28th Chief of Naval Operations.

Admiral Roughead is a 1973 graduate of the United States Naval Academy.

Among his six operational commands, Roughead was the first officer to command both classes of Aegis ships, having commanded USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Port Royal (CG 73).

As a flag officer, Roughead commanded Cruiser Destroyer Group 2, the George Washington Battle Group; and U.S. 2nd Fleet/NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic and Naval Forces North Fleet East.

Ashore, he served as commandant, United States Naval Academy, the Department of the Navy’s chief of legislative affairs, and as deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Command.

Roughead is one of only two officers to have commanded the fleets in the Pacific and Atlantic, commanding the U.S. Pacific Fleet and Joint Task Force 519, as well as U.S. Fleet Forces Command, where he was responsible for ensuring Navy forces were trained, ready, equipped and prepared to operate around the world, where and when needed

Roughead's awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and various unit and service awards.

Roughead became the 29th chief of naval operations September 29, 2007.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Renee Washington Named Director of Recruitment

Florida A&M University (FAMU) recently named Renee Washington as its newest director of recruitment.

Washington, a FAMU alumna, said it feels good to be back home.

“I am so excited,” said Washington. “I love FAMU and I have always been loyal to this university. I feel it’s the best historically black college or university any student should want to attend.”

Washington is a three-time FAMU graduate. She received her bachelor’s in management and marketing in 1983; a master’s degree in applied social sciences in 1988; and a master's of education in 1994.

She has held the position as director of freshmen year experience program in the FAMU School of General Studies and as the registrar of the FAMU College of Law from 2002-2007. From 2007-2009, Washington was the faculty counselor for Hillsborough Community College: Ybor City Campus.

Washington says her wealth of experience, enthusiasm and knowledge from her previous positions will help her better serve in the current position.

“I plan to have a wider territory—going to more high schools,” Washington said of her plans. “I also want to initiate the Just One Project, where alumni and employees recruit one student to attend FAMU per year. It’s not difficult or time consuming. It will help with retention and accountability. We are out there getting the best and the brightest. It is not about I, it’s about us.”

Governor Charlie Crist Appoints Two Board of Trustees Members

Governor Charlie Crist has reappointed Solomon L. Badger, Ed.D. and appointed Torey L. Alston, chief of staff for Broward County Commissioner Albert Jones, to Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Board of Trustees.

Badger and Alston’s term will end January 6, 2015.

“It feels exciting to be reappointed,” said Badger, who is currently retired from a career in education.

During his career, Badger worked as a community college counselor, campus dean of Student Affairs and District Dean of Student Affairs. He has also served as an adjunct professor for graduate research at Nova Southeastern University and as a professor in the School of Teacher Education at Edward Waters College.

“My world is a world of academia,” he said. “I have served in every rank — from the classroom to leadership. Those experiences can help with what the board is trying to do for this university.”

In 2003, Badger was selected by the Florida Supreme Court from a list of three candidates to fill one of two seats reserved for public members on the Florida Bar Board of Governors. After completing an enlistment in the United States Air Force, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees from FAMU in 1963 and 1969, respectively. In 1975, he earned a doctorate in higher education/behavioral studies from Nova Southeastern University.

He lives in Jacksonville, Fla.

Alston previously served as executive director for Florida's Office of Supplier Diversity and interim executive director for the state's Council on Efficient Government. In 2009, he served as vice-chair of the Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys.

“I’m very grateful and excited to come back to serve,” said Alston. “I want to thank Gov. Crist for appointing me. I plan to serve the faculty, staff, students and alumni to the best of my ability.”

Alston, a FAMU graduate, received his bachelor’s degree and an MBA with a concentration in marketing and management. While at FAMU, he served in various roles including class president (two terms), student senator and president of the FAMU Student National Alumni Association. Alston is a life member of the NAACP and the FAMU National Alumni Association. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

As a new FAMU Board of Trustees member, Alston wants younger alumni to become more active.

“I want to encourage the younger alumni to become active life members,” said Alston.

FAMU and FSU Joined Forces to Build a Home with Habitat for Humanity

Florida A&M University (FAMU) President James H. Ammons and Florida State University President Eric J. Barron gave a helping hand during the “Historic Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Tallahassee Co-Build” sponsored by FSU and FAMU Campus Chapter HFH Co-Build.

The two universities joined forces to work on a home for Lateshee Daniels, who said she was thankful for the assistance by the two schools.

“It feels great to see them working together,” said Daniels, who left early to attend a homeowners’ workshop that is required through the program. “It’s just awesome.”

President Ammons, along with his wife, Judy Ammons, Provost Cynthia Hughes Harris, FAMU HFH advisor Phyllis Reaves and nearly 20 FAMU students, worked on the landscaping for Daniels’ homes.

“It was important to come out to not only complete the house we’ve committed to build, but to complete our mission with Habitat for Humanity,” said Reaves. “It warms our heart to see that Dr. Ammons is just as active of a participant as we have been in the past. It is good to know that we have his support in all of our efforts. It is really just a blessing to have such a supportive administrator.”

Reaves presented President Ammons with his own hard hat.

Alicia Alexander, a FAMU pre-pharmacy student from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said she enjoys participating in the build.

“It’s important to give back to the community,” said Alexander, 20. “With this project, you get to leave a piece of yourself with somebody who really needs your help and benefits from you giving that time. I didn’t know Dr. Ammons was going to be here. It’s great to work hand-in-hand with him.”

FAMU Student Attends Clinton Global Initiative University

Florida A&M University (FAMU) student and Miss FAMU-elect Kindall Johnson was selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), which brings together young world leaders to take action on global challenges at the University of Miami.

Johnson, 20, a public relations student from Tampa, Fla., described her experience as eye opening.

“It was amazing to discuss a lot of the issues going on around the globe and to hear what the youth are doing to combat those issues,” Johnson said. “I have a passion for international affairs and I wanted to build my networks. I wanted to see how that experience would be first-hand.”

Former President Bill Clinton launched the CGI U in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting for students, national youth organizations and university officials to discuss solutions to pressing global issues.

“Not only was I representing FAMU, but I was representing historically black colleges and universities and black Americans,” she said. “It felt so good to sit at the table of the world. Bill Clinton did an incredible job. I saw him everyday of the conference. I shook his hand. It was well organized and I look forward to going again.”

Johnson was one of nearly 1,500 attendees at the third annual event. The participants were asked to come together to make a difference in CGI U’s five focus areas: education; environment and climate change; peace and human rights; poverty alleviation; and public health.

Throughout the year and as a prerequisite of attending the CGI U meeting, students, youth directors and university officials develop their own commitments to action, a specific plan of action that addresses a pressing challenge on their campus, in their community, or in a different part of the world.

Commitments range from installing energy-efficient light bulbs to establishing campus bike share programs, from distributing life-saving water filtration kits to designing medical backpacks for nomadic doctors in Africa. Since the inaugural meeting, nearly 2,000 commitments have been made.

Johnson’s commitment is to recruit African-American males in their high schools’ International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Programs to FAMU.

“Not many of my counselors encouraged me to attend FAMU,” said Johnson, who was in her high school’s IB Program. “I want a chance to reach these students. I want to let them know, ‘I was one of you and look what you can do.’ I want them to know they are worthy. I want them to have a respect for their people.”

Johnson, who is studying Arabic, said FAMU has prepared her greatly for her new role and plans to give back.

“Your job now that you have gotten through the door is to hold the door open for future Rattlers,” Johnson said.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dean Haywood Appointed Chair for a U.S. Department of Education Board

Chanta Haywood, Ph.D., dean of Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) School of Graduate Studies and Research, has been elected to serve as Chair on the U.S. Department of Education’s prestigious Jacob K. Javits Fellows Program Fellowship Board. The Javits Board establishes general policies for the graduate fellows program and oversees the operation of the program.

Earlier this year, Haywood was appointed as a board member.

Exiting board chair, Luther Hodges of Phoenix Associates, Inc., Chapel Hill, NC, stated the program would gain needed visibility under Haywood’s leadership.

“The Board of Directors could not possibly have made a better choice given Dr. Haywood's experience with graduate education and her dedication to the principles of the Jacob Javits Fellowship,” said Hodges. “Under Dr. Haywood's leadership, I know that the program will gain needed visibility, and we can expect support for the graduate fellowship to grow both within the Department of Education and the United States Congress.”

The members of the Javits Board voted Haywood chair unanimously.

“I am truly excited that Dean Haywood has been selected to lead such a prestigious board,” said FAMU Provost Cynthia Hughes Harris. “This new appointment speaks volumes of Dr. Haywood’s leadership and dedication to graduate education.”

Haywood’s experiences with graduate fellowship programs range from writing and managing millions of dollars in federal grants, reviewing proposals, and giving national and regional presentations and workshops on various issues facing graduate education.

Newly elected vice chair, Ana M. Cauce, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, expressed her thoughts on Haywood’s appointment.

“Dean Haywood’s energy and enthusiasm for the work was obvious from the start, and I very much look forward to her leadership on the Board,” said Cauce.

According to Haywood, many people may not know that Senator Javits wrote an article in Esquire Magazine in 1958 predicting that Americans would elect the first black president in his children's lifetime. He also projected that in terms of its demographics, the world would look very different during this first black president's term. Javits pointed out that in order to maintain its position as a world leader, America would have to be vigilant in its understanding of diverse cultural views and perspectives and train professionals in fields that would make us leaders in traversing such a social climate.

“The fellowship program seeks to award federal funds to graduate students in the arts, humanities and social sciences,” said Haywood. “Senator Javits’ premise will inform my leadership of the Board that makes the policies for operating this program. Senator Javits’ prognosis has become a reality in President Barack Obama, and I am eager to work under his administration in the Department of Education."

Haywood’s appointment ends on July 31, 2014.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Florida A&M University Hosts its Annual Spring Teacher Recruitment Day

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) C.C. Cunningham Career Center and College of Education will host the Spring 2010 Teacher Recruitment Day Wednesday, April 28, at the FAMU Grand Ballroom from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Interested persons participating in this event must be dressed in business attire and have resumes available for distribution.

The following majors are in great demand: exceptional student education (ESE); physical therapy; history; occupational therapy; reading; art education; biology; chemistry; early childhood; elementary education; educational leadership; English; French; guidance counselor; library media specialist; mathematics; middle school integrated; music education; physics; Spanish; special education; school psychology; and speech language/pathology.

This event is open to the public. For more information, please contact the C.C. Cunningham Career Center at (850) 599-3700.

FAMU is hosting its annual President’s Concert Monday

FAMU is hosting its annual President’s Concert Monday, April 19, in Lee Hall at 8 p.m. The concert is open to the general public. Admission is free.

The focus of this year’s concert is the university community. Each year the concert focuses on a particular segment of the community. Examples are faculty, Greek letter organizations, retirees, honor students, colleges and schools, state legislators and civic organizations.

The concert was conceived with the idea of presenting a musical, cultural event under the auspices and sponsorship of the university president. The university community is invited to hear the talent of the FAMU Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble perform standard, contemporary and popular music.

For more information, call (850) 599-3024.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

MBA Student will Appear on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

Florida A&M University (FAMU) MBA student Gabrielle McMahan will be a contestant on the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” hot seat with guest host Steve Harvey on Friday, April 16. Meredith Vieira normally hosts the show. “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” can be seen in the Tallahassee area on WTXL (ABC), weekdays at 12:30 p.m.

“FAMU prepared me for this show simply by the way I presented myself and how I showed the casting people that I would be the person for the show,” said McMahon, 22, a Springfield, Va. native.

McMahon is in her last year in the MBA program. With the tough economy, she is anticipating that it might be difficult to find a job, so she is hoping that a big win in the “Millionaire hot seat” will help relieve the pressure.

After graduation, she wants to get a degree in baking and pastry arts at a culinary school. Gabrielle said that if she wins big on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” she will pay for culinary school, save money for a bakery and buy a new van for her 75- year-old grandmother.

In 2008, McMahon also appeared on the Jeopardy! College Championship show.

“I just see the opportunity,” McMahon said about her appearances on the game shows. “I watch them and think, ‘I can get on that.’ When the opportunity arose, I took it. It was fun and a great way to win some money.”

Monday, April 12, 2010

Actress Anika Noni Rose to Keynote Commencement

Tony Award winner, alumna and star of Walt Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” will keynote Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Commencement Exercises during the 2 p.m. session at the Alfred Lawson, Jr. Multipurpose Center Teaching Gymnasium on May 1.

Anika Noni Rose, a product of FAMU’s theatre department (BA), has received international acclaim for her professional accomplishments in the visual and performing arts. After graduating from FAMU, she earned her MFA in drama from the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, Calif.

“We are pleased to have Ms. Rose come back to the University to share words of inspiration with our students,” said President James H. Ammons. “We are immensely proud of her and all of her accomplishments in the visual and performing arts. I am sure that she will inspire graduates to excel in their fields of study. She is a graduate who has tested unchartered waters and excelled.”

In 2004, Rose won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in the Broadway show, “Caroline or Change.” Her other awards include the Theatre World Award and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress. In 2006, Rose starred in “Dreamgirls” as Lorrell Robinson. She portrayed Mma. Grace Makutsi in HBO's Peabody Award Winning “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” and her role in Disney's latest animated feature “The Princess and the Frog,” are historic as she represents the first black-animated princess, Tiana. The movie recently received three Oscar Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award nomination for the best-animated feature.

In addition, Rose has earned multiple 2010 Image Award nominations including Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for “The Princess and the Frog” and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama for “Dreamgirls.”

The colleges and schools scheduled to graduate during the afternoon session are: the College of Arts & Sciences, the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, the College of Law, the School of Architecture, the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication and Environmental Sciences.

The line of march will commence at 1:30 p.m. Graduates are to arrive at 12:30 p.m. and doors open to the public at 1 p.m. Commencement rehearsal is scheduled for Friday, April 30, at 4 p.m. in the Multipurpose Center Teaching Gymnasium.

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

Student Body at FAMU March to the Florida Capitol

Florida A&M University (FAMU) Student Government Association (SGA) led a march from the University Commons Building to the steps of the Florida Capitol in order to protest the proposed state budget cuts to education.

“When they cut back, we strike back,” said Gallop Franklin, president of FAMU’s SGA.

FAMU President James H. Ammons, Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor, state representative and FAMU alumnus Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, and others joined the students during the event.

“We can’t let this be the only time you come to the state Capitol,” Bullard told the students. “In anything you want, you have to demand it.”

Calvin Hayes, vice president of SGA, told the students to walk and talk like Rattlers as they lobbied on behalf of the university.

“Go in that building and let them know FAMU means business,” Hayes said.

FAMU Competing for The Home Depot HBCU Grants

Florida A&M University (FAMU) needs your vote as it competes against other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to win $150,000 in campus improvement grants from The Home Depot. One $50,000 major grant and ten $10,000 minor grants will be awarded.

FAMU made the first cut in the “Retool Your School” competition. The competition is part of The Home Depot’s long-standing efforts in support of the black community. Grant proposals must be for initiatives that make “lasting positive transformations that are visible” on campus.

For the $50,000 grant, FAMU is proposing to remodel the old TV Room, which is located in the Student Union Building, converting it into an environmentally friendly oasis where students can socialize with friends, have a healthful snack, fill up their water bottles with free purified water, and watch television. The project must be completed during summer 2010.

“Our campus improvement proposal should save FAMU money by making the space more energy efficient,” said Ryan Mitchell, senior environmental specialist in the FAMU Department of Environmental Health and Safety. “We propose installing motion-controlled LED lighting, adding fresh plants, repainting the walls to eliminate harmful chemicals, and installing a humidifier that is built in to an indoor waterfall. That has the added benefit of providing soothing sounds while purifying the air.”

For the $10,000 grant, the planning team – consisting of Mitchell, plus LaRae Donnellan and Jacqueline Hightower, co-advisers to the FAMU Green Coalition – is proposing to install cisterns for catching rainwater off campus buildings and diverting it to water the grounds near the women’s dormitories. The project must be completed fall semester 2010.

To win either the $50,000 or one of the $10,000 grants, FAMU must receive more online votes than any other HBCU in the competition. The winning team must also receive the votes of a separate panel of judges, who will determine whether the proposal is doable, transformative and environmentally friendly.

Online voting is now open and ends Saturday, May 15, at 11:59 p.m. Each individual may vote once each day until the deadline. To vote for FAMU’s grant proposals, go to

At the site, individuals can sign up to receive updates on the status of the competition. Individuals can purchase special “Retool Your School” commemorative gift cards that feature inspirational moments on HBCU campuses. The Home Depot will make a donation equivalent to 5 percent of the value put on the card to this worthwhile program, up to $150,000.

“It will really be a feather in the caps of student government and the Office of Student Activities if we can beat out other HBCUs and win this grant for FAMU,” said Calvin Hayes, vice president of the FAMU Student Government Association.

About FAMU’s Green Coalition
The FAMU Green Coalition promotes sustainability in the greater Florida A&M University community. Some of its initiatives include the recently completed ECOnscious Days, last fall’s Green Summit and the annual CANpaign aluminum can recycling event.

About Home Depot
The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,245 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, Mexico and China.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

FAMU Schedules Several Events in Observance of Sexual Awareness Week

In an effort to combat sexual battery and recognize Sexual Awareness Month, Florida A&M University (FAMU) Office of Counseling Services is hosting its fourth Annual Clothesline Project from April 13 through April 16. The Clothesline Project is a display of T-shirts that speaks out against sexual assault. There also will be a These Hands Don’t Hurt display, which will be an exhibit of sheets that will give men a chance to place their hands in paint and leave their handprint to show that their hands will never hurt a woman.

“College students are a population that are highly vulnerable to being sexually assaulted,” said Allison Lockard, assistant director for Clinical Programs for the Office of Counseling Services. “One in four females are sexually assaulted during their academic career, yet it is a topic that we really don’t speak about on campus. This project serves as a visual reminder that affects everyone on this campus.”

White T-shirts, which were donated by the FAMU community, will be displayed around campus, stating strong slogans that may bring attention to the epidemic.

“Every year, we have gotten a great response with this event,” Lockard said. “It has become an event that students, faculty and staff expect to see each April. If someone is interested in making a shirt, they may stop by the Office of Counseling Services this week between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The T-shirts and markers are provided for free and we encourage faculty, staff and students to come make a shirt.”

Counseling Services, with other organizations, are hosting a weeklong series of events.

“This is an issue that affects men as well,” said Lockard. “One in six men are sexually assaulted during their lifetime. Everyone is encouraged to attend these events.”

The scheduled events are as follows:

Sunday, April 11, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Sexual Assault March - To certify April 11 through April 17 as Sexual Assault
Awareness Week on FAMU’s campus. (Locations TBA)

Monday, April 12, 7 p.m.
Panel Discussion - “Rape on HBCU College campuses”
Perry-Paige Auditorium

Tuesday, April 13, 6 p.m.
Documentary and Discussion - “No! The Rape Documentary”
Perry-Paige Auditorium

Wednesday, April 14, 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Self-Defense Class
Hansel E. Tookes Student Recreation Center

Thursday, April 15, 5:30 p.m.
Take Back the Night - Rally that features performers, speakers and words from victims
Eternal Flame

Friday, April 16, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Trivia and Giveaways
The Set

Saturday, April 17, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Community Service - Bringing about awareness to youth (ages 11-18) about
sexual assault awareness along with games and several other activities
Walker Ford Community Center

For more information, contact Allison Lockard at (850) 599-3145.

FAMU to Host The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp

Florida A&M University (FAMU) will host the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp program, along with 29 other campuses across the country, to inspire middle school students to pursue science and mathematics careers. The two-week science camp will be a free-of-charge experience.

FAMU was chosen out of 65 university applicants to participate this year in this summer program.

From June 13 through June 26, students will attend daily classes in the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics and technology. Activities include classroom study, experiments, individual, team and group projects, weekly field excursions and motivational guest speakers.

“When you look at careers you’ll always find that the top five jobs are based in mathematics and science,” said Decatur Rogers, executive camp director.

The students also will participate in three science fairs during the two-week camp. They will be grouped and judged by volunteers.

“We hope to leave them with wanting to learn more,” said Rogers. “We certainly need more of our youth to become professionals and involved in discussions regarding fossil fuel and the water we drink.”

The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp is the largest of its kind in the nation. Students that participate are usually from urban areas and referred by teachers based on leadership skills and science and mathematic aptitude.

“We are interested in reaching inner city communities,” said Bernard Harris, an accomplished NASA astronaut, physician and businessman. “We want to enhance students’ education and prepare them for the future.”

Harris is the first African American to walk in space.

Currently, Harris serves as president of The Harris Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization he founded in 1998 to develop math/science education and crime prevention programs for America’s youth.

Interested students will need to submit a completed application along with a letter of recommendation from their science and math teachers and an essay that explains why they want to attend the science camp. The application deadline is May 6.

Since 2006, nearly 4,000 students from across the country have attended ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Camps. This year, more than 1,500 students will attend in the free science camp nationwide.

The ExxonMobil Foundation, which supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels, has teamed with The Harris Foundation for the past five years. The Harris Foundation mission is to invest in community-based initiatives to support education, health and wealth. Through both foundations’ mission the science camp is able to serve students in the City of Tallahassee area.

“We are excited that FAMU is going to be a part of this camp this year,” said Harris. “We are really selective with the schools that we chose to be a part of this camp.”

DanceBrazil to Dazzle FAMU Campus

Florida A&M University (FAMU) Lyceum Series presents Dance Brazil on Saturday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium. This is the final production of the 2009-2010 Lyceum Series.

DanceBrazil has thrilled audiences across the Unites States and throughout the world for more than 30 years with its dazzling artistry, which is inspired by the cultural tapestry of Brazil. Whether in the streets or on stage in the most-prestigious theaters, the dancers and musicians of DanceBrazil never fail to excite audiences with the company’s unique fusion of Afro-Brazilian movement, contemporary dance and Capoeira, the traditional dance/martial arts form that had its origins in Africa and evolved in colonial Brazil as a means of fighting enslavement.

Jelon Vieira founded DanceBrazil in 1977 after evolving the program from grass-roots workshops at the Clark Center for the Arts in New York City. Alvin Ailey joined the board of directors in 1980 and helped focus the objectives of DanceBrazil, emphasizing the company’s ability to speak to a broad North American community. In 1985, DanceBrazil premiered Orfeo Negro at the Riverside Dance Festival to critical and popular acclaim.

This academic year has welcomed a 3 Mo’ Divas concert that smashed musical barriers; a Media and Entertainment Conference; the Highwaymen Exhibition; FAMU Essential Theatre presentation of “Crowns, ” which featured actress and FAMU alumna T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh; and at the end of this month, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with jazz legend Wynton Marsalis.

Student tickets are $5, Non-FAMU student tickets are $7; senior citizen tickets are $12; general admission tickets are $15; and preferred seating tickets are $25.

Free tickets will be available to the first 450 FAMU students with valid ID (first come, first served; registration is required).

Closing dates for online payments/registration for DanceBrazil is April 4, at midnight.

Tickets for Lyceum events may be purchased at or in the Commons Box Office, located across the street from the main entrance of Lee Hall Auditorium. Lyceum Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, noon to 5:30 p.m. the week of the event and one hour prior to the time of the performance.

There will also be a shuttle service available the night of the show from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The shuttle will run every 15 minutes on the East Side of Bragg Stadium and in front of Lee Hall.

For more information, call (850) 561-2425 or (850) 599-3413.

University Settles FAMU Sex Tape Lawsuit

Florida A&M University (FAMU) is pleased to announce that it has reached a settlement with RK Netmedia, Inc. regarding a pornographic video called “Big Rattler 77” that university officials said damaged the reputation and name of the university.

As part of the settlement, RK Netmedia, Inc. has agreed to pay FAMU $105,000 to fully fund two scholarships and pay $15,000 for attorney fees. Secondly, RK Netmedia, Inc. has agreed to issue a press release offering its regrets and apologies for releasing the video. In addition, RK Netmedia, Inc. has agreed to exercise a reasonable and good faith effort to prevent and stop any and all other persons from displaying the video.

A settlement was reached by the university attorneys that was approved today by the FAMU Board of Trustees.

“RK Netmedia, Inc. has already signed the settlement and with the Board’s approval, we expect that the joint consent agreement will be accepted by the court,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “The resolution of this case represents a firm commitment by FAMU and its Board of Trustees to preserve the good name and reputation of this university for its students, alumni and the people of this great state of Florida.”

FAMU filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida against RK NetMedia, Inc. on March 16 after discovering that the sexually explicit video with references to FAMU, its mascot and school colors were displayed on a website name “” The video suggested that it was filmed on the university campus and individuals depicted were FAMU students. According to university officials, this settlement is historic for FAMU and all of the colleges and universities across the nation.

“The timely resolution of this lawsuit not only benefits FAMU and its students, but creates a legal precedence and a landmark opportunity for other state and national universities to legally protect their name, trademarks and reputation,” said Ammons.

Ammons thanked the University’s General Counsel Atty. Avery McKnight, Atty. Richard Mitchell of GrayRobinson Law Firm, for proceeding with the lawsuit that has resulted in this amicable resolution. He also thanked RK Netmedia, Inc. for working with the attorney to reach an agreement.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

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The Home Depot© Kicks Off Program to

'Retool' Historically Black

Colleges and Universities

Home Improvement Giant Offers $150,000 in Grants

To Improve Campuses

Click link to get more information on how to vote for FAMU

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis Hits Right Notes at Jazz Concert

Florida A&M University (FAMU) Lyceum Series presented Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis to a sold-out crowd. The show featured music by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and had the audience clapping their hands and tapping their feet. One song, “Red Wagon,” had guests laughing to the colorful lyrics, which were sung by musician and FAMU alumnus Vince Gardner.

“I think this concert was great,” said Nicole Cain, who attended the event. “I also think it (concert) is a wonderful compliment to what FAMU already does with its music program.”

Marsalis, who has been described as the most outstanding jazz musician and trumpeter of his generation, co-founded Jazz at Lincoln Center, an institution dedicated to jazz education and performance.

David Perry, a Tallahassee resident, said the show was excellent.

“The music, the interaction with the audience — it was all just amazing,” said Perry.

Gardner and Victor Goins, a former professor of jazz saxophone/woodwinds and jazz studies at FAMU, taught a master class to FAMU music students prior to the concert.

“Those who take the greatest risks, get the greatest returns,” Goins advised the students in the class.

Ralph Jean Paul, a music student, said he appreciated the advice and hopes more speakers come to FAMU to share real-life stories.

“I think it’s great when a professional player comes back and shares knowledge and experience with the students,” said Jean Paul. “It’s always good to come back home. I hope they come back again.”

The concert was a part of the 2009-2010 Lyceum Series.

“The Lyceum series is excellent for the campus and Tallahassee community,” Perry said. “Hopefully, it will ignite something in them.”

FAMU to Host Haiti Relief Concert featuring Trey Songz, Common and Fabolous

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) 39th Student Senate will host a Haiti Relief Benefit Concert featuring three of this generation’s hottest performers Thursday, April 15, at 7 p.m. in the Alfred Lawson, Jr. Teaching Center Gymnasium.

Singer Trey Songz is set to headline this concert. There also will be performances by FAMU alumnus and Grammy award-winning rapper Common and New York-born rapper Fabolous.

“It should be a good one,” said Saundra Inge, director of student activities. “We wanted to do something very big to help.”

Proceeds from the event will go toward FAMU's Haiti Relief Effort.

FAMU has been very active with its role in helping the victims of Haiti following the catastrophic earthquake, which occurred on January 12, 2010.

Subsequently, the university launched a mobile campaign and collected clothing, food, hygiene products and medical supplies to donate.

“We've also set up a resource center for our students from Haiti, so if they need items that we have collected, they can get them,” said Inge.

FAMU is also sponsoring an essay contest open to all high school students in the Big Bend area. Three winners will be selected to receive two VIP passes to the benefit concert and have a meet-and-greet with Trey Songz, Common and Fabolous.

“Many people use music as their outlet of expression,” said Tyler Cheatham, CEO of the District 7 Production Group and promoter for the concert. “The contest will introduce local students to the positive side of the music industry and allow them the opportunity to speak one-on-one with artists in the industry.”

Tickets are $25 for FAMU, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College students, and $33 for non-students and the general public. Tickets can be purchased at the Alfred Lawson, Jr. Teaching Center Gymnasium from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday or online at .

FAMU Received National Recognition for Community Service

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

The COPPS’s community service hours totaled 27,000, which equaled to $1.4 million.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. On campuses across the country, thousands of students joined the faculty to develop innovative programs and projects to meet local needs using the skills gained in their classrooms. Business students served as consultants to budget-strapped nonprofits and businesses, law students volunteered at legal clinics, and dozens of others organized anti-hunger campaigns.

“Congratulations to our College of Pharmacy and its students for their dedication, service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Our nation’s students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service.”

The Honor Roll includes six colleges and universities that are recognized as Presidential Awardees, with an additional 115 named to the Distinction List and 621 schools named as Honor Roll members. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

“I applauded the hard work of the faculty, staff and students in our College of Pharmacy,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “Throughout Florida A&M University’s history, we have always been committed to community service and civic engagement. This is yet another proud moment in our history.”

Henry Lewis III, dean and professor of COPPS said, “Being recognized by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is the most significant validation of the role community service plays in a College curriculum. We are extremely grateful and proud.”

College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector; in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.

The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit

FAMU Showcases African-American Doll Collection

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Carrie Meek-James N. Eaton Sr. Black Archives Research Center and Museum at FAMU presented the “Black Like Me: The Dr. Annie B. Henry African-American Doll Collection.”

“Women of color have contributed tremendously to American history and Florida history, and we certainly wanted to celebrate the women of Florida A&M University,” said Murrell Dawson, archivist and curator of the Meek-Eaton Black Archives. “It was an honor to end the month with this particular celebration.”

Henry’s collection of more than 350 dolls and figurines represents yet another example of a woman’s struggle to find self-representation and equality in all things including one of civilization’s oldest toys — the doll.

“There are so many messages that these dolls represent,” said Henry, a Jacksonville native. “If these dolls could speak, what would they say?”

Henry earned her master’s degree from FAMU in 1969 and then her doctorate in philosophy in education from Florida State University. She received her first black doll as a graduation gift.

This doll was named “Dr. Annie” and was the beginning of Henry’s love and search for black dolls.

The collection included famous African Americans, rag, wedding, darkey, Topsy Turvy and slavery dolls.

“You cannot tell me we are not gorgeous and intelligent; I wanted to show that through the dolls,” Henry said.

Dawson says more than anything, she hopes the doll collection will inspire, motivate and encourage students to continue in their endeavors.

“It certainly is something that makes you feel good about yourself — about being a person of color,” said Dawson. “I thank Dr. Henry for the gift and I think it’s going to be used for many years not only at FAMU but throughout our local community, the state and our nation.”

Henry added that the dolls serve as an educational tool.

“We are each other’s keeper,” Henry said. “It’s important to give the dolls to the next generation. I love to see the kids looking at the dolls. It’s like Christmas for them; it’s amazing.”

The Dr. Annie B. Henry African-American Doll Collection has been displayed throughout northern Minnesota and in several Florida cities.

Pharmacy Graduates Win National Awards

Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science (COPPS) alumni Rhonda Norwood, PharmD, Class of 2004, and Rashida Hudson, PharmD, Class of 2003, both received the One-To-One Patient Counseling Recognition Program Award at the American Pharmacist Association (APhA) meeting held in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Norwood, a pharmacist with the Veterans Affairs (VA) Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Delray, Fla., said, “Following up with patients and providing one-to-one counseling is important. I see the difference with my own two eyes. Patients who know that they will have to see me again in a month are motivated to do the right thing.”

Before moving to the VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic, Norwood managed a community health center ambulatory care clinic for three days a week, focusing especially on helping clients manage diabetes. Norwood has been known to help uninsured patients who could not afford regular treatment.

“The key to assisting patients with achieving such successful outcomes, is to treat the patient and not the chart,” said Norwood. Her colleagues have described Norwood as “a pharmacist who is dedicated to improving the lives of her patients through diligent disease management.”

Dr. Rashida Hudson, a pharmacist for Kroger Pharmacy in Nashville, Tenn., said, “Outside the pharmacy is where the real work begins. You have to get out into the community where the people are, especially when they don’t have insurance and are unable to see doctors. The community is where you reach the people who care the most.”

The colleague who nominated Hudson for the one-to-one recognition said, “Hudson is driven and motivated by knowing that her purpose in life is to help those who cannot help themselves.”

Hudson called patient counseling her passion and ministry.

“I just love it so much that there are some days I have to force myself to stop working,” she said.

Dr. Henry Lewis III, dean and professor said, “We are extremely proud that ‘two’ FAMU pharmacy graduates received national recognition for the jobs they do in serving our communities. To have not one, but two recognized at one of the largest meetings of practicing pharmacists in the country highlights the training received here in Tallahassee.”

Oxford University Invited Professor Dhyana Ziegler to Speak on the Status and Progress of African-American Women Journalists

Lady Dhyana Ziegler discussed women’s achievements in 19th and 20th century literature with academic scholars and leaders from around the world at the annual Oxford Round Table — a nonprofit academic conference that focuses on issues concerning women’s interests and gender equity. Ziegler, Dame of Justice and a professor of journalism at Florida A&M University (FAMU) presented a paper on “African-American Journalists: Finding Their Voices” at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England.

“I was very excited about the opportunity to sit at the table with scholars to discuss important issues,” said Ziegler.

According to Shenette McCandless, coordinator of the Oxford Round Table, “Invitations are sent to selected persons throughout the world. The foundation of the Round Table’s success is the assurance that this academic forum will be composed of outstanding leaders.”

Invited speakers are identified through several screening processes: by nomination from previous participants in the Round Table; from recommendations to the Round Table directors who are actively involved in higher education and public school leadership; from recognized presentations and awards by state and national organizations; and by invitation to individuals from a successful university or school district.

Ziegler teaches media ethics at the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. She recently served on an Oxford University Press review panel to evaluate a draft manuscript of Ethics in Communication, a 500-page textbook intended for courses addressing media ethics.

“I was very pleased to serve on the Oxford University Press panel and review a manuscript that introduces a new theory on ethics. It was an exciting read!”

For more information about the Oxford Round Table, visit

Alumnus Adriel A. Hilton to Receive an Award for Exemplary Scholarship

Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus Adriel A. Hilton will receive the 2010 Dr. Carlos J. Vallejo Memorial Award for Exemplary Scholarship at the 2010 American Educational Research Association Conference Multicultural/Multiethnic Education (MME) Special Interest Group (SIG) on May 3, in Denver, Colo.

“I feel both humbled and honored to be receiving the 2010 Dr. Carlos J. Vallejo Memorial Award for Exemplary Scholarship,” said Hilton, who received his master’s degree in applied social science with a concentration in public administration in 2004. “I am excited that the American Educational Research Association has taken the initiative to encourage scholarship that represents the underrepresentation (persons of color).”

This award is given annually to an exemplary scholar/practitioner who illustrates effort in producing scholarship that advances multicultural and multiethnic education and a demonstrated commitment to underserved communities beyond scholarship with evidence of improving the practical conditions experienced by multicultural/multiethnic communities.

Hilton was nominated for this award and selected by a committee of the MME-SIG of the American Educational Research Association.

“Receiving the 2010 Dr. Carlos J. Vallejo Memorial Award for Exemplary Scholarship is an outstanding accomplishment,” said Hilton. “The award symbolizes that my work and scholarship are not in vain. Receiving this award is inspiring and memorable.”

Hilton is a graduate of the Ph.D. program at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md. He has been a Frederick Douglass Scholar at Clarion University of Pennsylvania in the College of Education and the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. He was featured as one of Ebony magazine’s “2009 Young Leaders Under 30” for his educational achievements, service to the community and leadership.

In his career, he has received numerous accolades, including the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education’s “Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation” Award and the Outstanding Research Award from the American College Personnel Association’s Standing Committee for Men.