Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Women's Flag Football Wins National Championships

Florida A&M University (FAMU) women’s flag football team, Simply Marvelous, has recently won two national championships – tallying six national championship wins within four years. Simply Marvelous most recent titled game, the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National Campus Championship Series (NCCS) National Championship, is scheduled to air Saturday, January 29 at 10 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

Simply Marvelous is scheduled to play in ESPN’s Weekend Women’s Flag Football Tournament in Orlando, Fla. Friday, March 4 through Sunday, March 6 at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex.

Simply Marvelous first – with a season record 11-0 – defeated Stephen F. Austin 35-6 in the NCCS Regional Flag Football Championship last month at the University of Southern Mississippi before traveling to Texas A&M University for the NIRSA NCCS National Championship.

Dominating their competitors in the NIRSA NCCS National Championship, Simply Marvelous went 5-0 and defeated Texas State University 26-6 in the final game.

FAMU freshman Erika Collins was named the Most Valuable Player. Collins, along with teammates Kimbryana Lewis and Aisa Evans, was chosen to be a part of the All-Tournament Team.

Just days before being named NIRSA NCCS National Champions, Simply Marvelous were the American Collegiate Intramural Sports (ACIS) winners during the 31st Annual National Flag Football Tournament in New Orleans, La. where they trounced more than 40 teams.

ACIS Flag Football is a series of campus flag football regional and national championship tournaments that provide college student athletes with the opportunity to compete in high quality, nationally promoted intramural and extramural events.

The National Campus Championship Series (NCCS) is a component program of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). The mission of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) is to provide for the education and development of professional and student members and to foster quality recreational programs, facilities and services for diverse populations. NIRSA demonstrates its commitment to excellence by utilizing resources that promote ethical and healthy lifestyle choices.

FAMU Establishes Institute for Hip Hop and Music Industry Studies

Florida A&M University (FAMU) Professor Kawachi Clemons, Ph.D. is bringing icons of the hip-hop movement to class so students can learn first hand from industry professionals.

Hip-hop icon Christopher “Play” Martin, of Kid ‘n Play fame, currently serves as a professional-in-residence with the Institute for Hip Hop and Music Industry Studies that Clemons directs.

The Institute is housed in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC).

“The idea came out of an initial desire to develop programming that would appeal to the interests of students,” said Clemons. “My background in music education, arts management and curriculum development gave me the necessary tools to bring this idea to fruition. The collection and dissemination of artistic and linguistic representations of a culture is vital to its preservation.”

As part of the institute’s curriculum, a senior level special topics seminar on hip hop is being offered. The course examines the cultural phenomenon of hip-hop through its development, history, communication style, dance form, music and artistic process.

Martin co-teaches the course and assists in the development of original programming for FAMU TV-20.

Throughout the semester, Clemons seeks to encourage students to debate and explore the dynamics of race, gender, youth and class. The course will employ various sources for critical analysis and information including: videos, commercials, movies, songs and other multimedia sources.

Keeping in line with existing institutes such as: Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies, The Thelonious Monk Institute at Loyola University and The Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago, FAMU’s Office of Academic Affairs has developed an institute to further the pursuit of academic research in hip-hop arts and culture.

The goal of FAMU’s institute is to present hip hop in a cultural context where students are encouraged to become critically charged to actively participate in a dialogue that addresses the political, social and economic issues impacting their generation.

Martin stressed that he wants students to fully understand the history of hip hop.

“In addition to the rich heritage of the music [hip hop], I want students to gain the knowledge and appreciate the stories behind the music,” said Martin. “I am very appreciative to be here at FAMU. I commend FAMU for hosting this kind of endeavor.”

Speaking of appreciating stories behind the music, Martin shared that hip-hop music started out by individuals expressing their pain, a struggle, loss or joy they may have experienced.

“People like the song “Through the Wire” by Kanye West, which is a sample of Chaka Khan’s single “Through the Fire,” said Martin. “What some people do not realize is that Kanye almost lost his life in a car accident.”

In this song, West expressed how almost losing his voice, his life that at any given time your world can be taken away from you.

“With Martin’s experiences as a pioneering hip-hop artist and actor, he brings a wealth of knowledge as an international award-winning director, writer and producer,” said Clemons.

Martin, a native of Queens, New York, is no stranger to hip hop. Martin has recorded three successful albums and starred in four hip-hop based comedy films: House Party, House Party 2, Class Act and House Party 3.

Now, Martin is the founder of Hp4 Digital Works and Solutions, a multimedia company that provides pre- and post-production for film and digital productions. Hp4 produces Brand Newz, a multimedia online news organization focusing on positive community leaders and events. He was an artist-in-residence at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. Martin and Christopher Reid, known as “Kid,” are currently on a tour as part of Salt-n-Pepa’s Legends of Hip-Hop Tour featuring Slick Rick, Whodini, Naughty by Nature, Rob Base and more. The duo also is working on a national cable television sitcom.

“The School of Journalism is delighted to partner with Dr. Clemons and the FAMU Hip-Hop Music Institute in bringing Chris to campus,” said SJGC Dean James Hawkins. “We expect he will help our students gain a fuller understanding of the entertainment industry.”

Students enrolled in the hip-hop course are delighted as well to have Martin teach the class.

Lanauze Hollis, a junior majoring in jazz studies, expressed his thoughts about seeing Martin in class.

“Wow, we have a celebrity in our class,” said Hollis. “He [Martin] makes everything come to life because he has experience in the hip-hop industry. It’s great to get his insight. This class is a good addition to the curriculum.”

Pagie Moore, a broadcast journalism student, echoed Hollis’ thoughts.

“I am extremely excited to have him teach me,” said Moore. “I am a big fan of hip hop. He [Martin] shares his experiences with us, which is wonderful because he experienced first hand the hip-hop industry.

Moore said that some of her peers cannot wait to enroll in the class next semester.

FAMU Journalism Professor appointed to the Florida Virtual School Board of Trustees by former Governor Charlie Crist

Former Gov. Charlie Crist, in one of his last acts in office, appointed three women to the Board of Trustees for the Florida Virtual School (FLVS). Dhyana Ziegler, a journalism professor in the Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, (SJGC) is the only reappointed member of the board. This is her fourth consecutive term, which ends in 2014.

“I am thrilled to continue my service”, said Ziegler. “The school has been a phenomenon with its continued success and I am sure the next four years will be filled with more innovation and students having the opportunity for virtual education.”

FLVS board members work to help fulfill the school’s mission to provide students with technology-based educational opportunities through the development and delivery of online and distance learning education. The school was founded in 1997 as the country’s first state-wide Internet-based public high school. Today, the FLVS is an option for students in grades K-12 worldwide serving more than 200,000 students last year.

“We are extremely pleased that Dr. Dhyana Ziegler has been reappointed to the Florida Virtual School Board of Trustees,” said FLVS President and CEO Julie Young. “Dr. Ziegler brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences to help further our success.”

About Dhyana Ziegler
Prior to joining FAMU in 1997 as the Garth Reeves Eminent Scholar in SJGC, Ziegler spent 14 years at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. While there, she became and remains the only African-American elected as president of the Faculty Senate; where she recently spoke at the university’s 50th anniversary of African-American undergraduates. She has held several administrative positions at FAMU including: assistant vice president for Academic Affairs and Instructional Technology, acting vice president for Research, and acting director for the Office of International Education and Development. Throughout her academic career, she has received several honors and awards for her achievements, including being knighted as a Dame of Justice by Chivalric Order of the Knights of Justice at the University of Cambridge in England; named Top 50 African-Americans in Technology by; and Top 100 in The Black Engineers and Information Technology magazine.

Four New Anchors Named for News 20 at Five

Four new anchors have been selected for the Florida A&M University (FAMU) TV-20 live newscast. The newscast will air at 5 p.m. every Monday through Thursday beginning Tuesday, Jan. 18. The anchors are: Jessica Green (weather), Kyle Marcil (sports), Chantale Glover and Nicole Brooks (co-anchors on the main news desk). Students enrolled in the Advanced TV News class offered in the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) will also produce “Week in Review” shows airing Fridays at 7 p.m.

News 20 at Five also will offer daily news updates via Twitter at FAMU-TV 20 is an educational access channel operated by the SJGC. It reaches more than 80,000 households via Comcast.

Jessica Green, a senior broadcast journalism student from Quincy, Fla., said she knew she wanted to become a television personality after Carmen Cummings, a former anchor for local CBS affiliate WCTV, spoke to her elementary school class.

“I felt so blessed to be chosen as an anchor for the spring 2011 newscast,” said Green. “It was a goal I’ve had since I arrived at FAMU.”

Kyle Marcil, a fifth-year broadcast journalism and Spanish double-major student from Jacksonville, Fla., is a 2009-2010 NCAA Freedom-Forum Sports Journalism Scholarship recipient.

“I am excited to be the next sports anchor because it brings me a step closer to reaching my dream of becoming a nationally recognized sports journalist,” said Marcil.

Nicole Brooks, who currently serves on the executive board for the FAMU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, is a senior broadcast journalism student from Philadelphia, Pa. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in media entertainment and eventually earn her master’s degree in film.

“I am excited about this semester and I’m anticipating the success of the show,” said Brooks.

Chantale Glover, a senior broadcast journalism student from Miami, Fla., is ecstatic about her new responsibility. She plans to delve more into film production and mass media marketing post graduation.

“After being chosen…I continued to say ‘Wow!’ I felt really accomplished because I went after something I wanted and got it,” said Glover.

“This year, we are getting back to the basics,” said Leonard Horton, news director for News 20 at Five. “The Advanced TV News class will focus on good, balanced writing and storytelling. Students need to be able to justify their salaries in a job market where layoffs are looming, and the general public is getting a lot of its news content from bloggers.”

For more information about News 20 at Five, contact Leonard Horton at (850) 599-3102.

National Alumni Association to host Annual Convention

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) National Alumni Association (NAA) Annual Convention is scheduled for May 18-22, 2011 in Orlando, Fla. The theme for this event is “Back to the Basics: Energizing that ‘ole Rattler Spirit.”

"The conference is a time to plan for the upcoming year," said FAMU's National Alumni President Thomas L. Mitchell Sr. "It’s important to get alumni to rally beyond this conference so that we may get more support for the university. The focus is membership. We need our alumni to stand up and give our university the support it needs."

The FAMU-NAA National Convention Committee, under the leadership of first Vice President Greg Clark, Florida Region Vice President Seabon Dixon and Orlando Chapter President Charles Lewis have worked diligently to orchestrate a high quality, informative and enjoyable set of workshops and activities that will remind the FAMU community of their responsibility to the future of the university.

“The excitement is truly building for the 2011 Convention in Orlando,” said Director for Alumni Affairs Carmen Cummings-Martin. “Orlando has so much to offer and is a convenient and economical travel hub for many of our alums in the sunshine state and other points around the country who may be journeying there for the big meeting. National Alumni President Mitchell, first Vice President Clark and Florida Region Vice President Dixon have taken the lead to develop what is sure to be an interesting atmosphere of dialogue aimed at building a stronger FAMU. Tributes to our legendary Dr. William P. Foster are planned as well as panel discussions featuring key university administrators who will shed light on the vision for sustaining this great institution in an ever-changing economic climate.”

An array of events have been planned to ensure that guests have the opportunity to reconnect with friends and take pleasure in the many offerings of “The City Beautiful.”

The tentative schedule for the 2011convention is as follows:

Wednesday, May 18

1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Convention Golf Tournament

6 p.m. - Midnight Hospitality Suite

Thursday, May 19 – Rattler Sports Day

9:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Convention Kickoff Celebration honoring William P. Foster featuring The Marching “100”

10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Coaches Forum and Panel Discussion

Noon - 2 p.m. Rattler Sports Luncheon honoring the Rattler Hall of Fame Inductees Keynote Speaker: Derek Horne, FAMU’s athletic director

2:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Regional Meetings

6 p.m. - Midnight Welcome Reception 8 p.m. - Midnight Hospitality Suite

Friday, May 20 – Rattler Academic Day 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Dean’s Breakfast and Panel Discussion

9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Convention Job Fair and Business Expo (free and open to the public)

10:50 a.m. - Noon Alumni Affairs Workshop

12:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Presidential luncheon honoring past FAMU presidents

2:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. FAMU NAA Executive Board Meeting

6 p.m. - Midnight Hospitality Suite

7 p.m. - Midnight Life Members Night Out at B.B. Kings Blues Club

7 p.m. - Midnight Alumni Social Event

Saturday, May 21

8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Breakfast and General Body Meeting

9 a.m. - 6 p.m. FAMU Recruitment Fair and Business Expo Admission is free and open to the general public.6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Scholarship Gala Reception

7 p.m. - Midnight Scholarship Gala

In an effort to foster a spirit of loyalty, fraternity and scholarship, the mission of the FAMU-NAA is to promote the continuous active interest in and support of FAMU, to effect united action on behalf of and for the general welfare of FAMU as an educational institution of higher learning. With more than 60 chapters located throughout the country, the FAMU-NAA has provided more than $1 million in scholarship money and other financial support to the university.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

FAMU Plays a Major Role in Welcoming Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll

Florida A&M University (FAMU) played a significant role in welcoming Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll to their newly elected seats this week.

At the inaugural prayer breakfast on Jan. 4 in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium, Gov. Rick Scott ushered in his administration with prayer, affirming his faith in God.

“My faith has been important to me all my life,” said Scott. “Jesus Christ has been with me all my life.”

Guests from across party lines attended the annual the prayer breakfast. Charles Colson served as the keynote speaker. Colson is the founder and chairman of the Wilberforce Forum, participates in Prison Fellowship, has a daily radio broadcast show and has written several books. Among the participants were Rabbi Moshe Scheiner, who read Psalm 23; Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin of the Potter’s House in Jacksonville, Fla.; and Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Fla. Scott’s pastor, Kurt Anderson of Naples Community Church, presided over the breakfast.

“What a way to start 2011,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “FAMU stands ready to assist the Scott-Carroll Administration in its efforts to make Florida a much better place to live and work.”

In addition to the breakfast, on Jan. 2, FAMU and Lawson & Associates honored Carroll during a black tie reception.

“Lt. Gov. Carroll, we at Florida A&M University look forward to establishing a genuine friendship and partnership with you and Gov. Scott to create the kinds of new jobs that Florida needs in this new decade,” said President Ammons, who also attended a private breakfast with Gov. Scott. “Over the next few days, the eyes of Florida will be focused firmly on the events in Tallahassee watching as our great democracy engages in the peaceful transition of power.”

Lt. Gov. Carroll received special presentations from Tallahassee Mayor John Marks, the Black Caucus of the Florida Legislature, the Delta Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and FAMU.

“I have the distinct pleasure to introduce one of my dearest friends who I’ve always considered like my little sister,” Lawson said of Carroll. “She is someone you can count on. She is one who was always willing to stay into the wee hours of the night to make sure her constituents were well taken care of. I can guarantee that she has already hit the ground running.”

Carroll said on Nov. 2, 2010, she received a phone call from former Florida Senator Alfred Lawson, D-Tallahassee, showing his support for her in the election.

“I could feel the excitement in him that he felt what I felt and that this was going to be a reality,” said Carroll, Florida’s first woman and first African-American lieutenant governor about Lawson. He told me, ‘We have to do something. This is historic. We have to throw you a party.’”

Carroll is a legislator, small business owner and United States veteran who served the Florida House of Representatives’ District 13 prior to her election as lieutenant governor.

“I want to thank Rick Scott for saying this is the person I want by my side to help lead Florida out of this economic condition that it is in,” said Carroll, a native of Trinidad at the reception. “You are about to see great things.”

FAMU’s Director for Governmental Relations Tola Thompson said it was an honor for FAMU to open its doors to the community for these memorable events.

“It was a historic moment in our state and as the state’s largest historically black university, we would be remised if we did not recognize this historic opportunity and commemorate it,” Thompson said.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Maya Angelou to Speak at FAMU

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.