Friday, April 29, 2011

ARMY ROTC Said Farewell to One Officer and Welcomed Another

Gathered at the Eternal Flame, Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Army ROTC hosted its Change of Command ceremony, as the Rattler Battalion said farewell to the outgoing commander Lt. Col. Jeffery Williams and welcomed incoming commander Major Joseph Kelly.

The cadets of FAMU Army ROTC, the Marching “100,” along with friends and family of both officers shared an emotional moment with Lt. Col. Williams as he reflected on the dedication and passion innate in the college cadets he has worked with throughout his tenure at FAMU.

Williams came to FAMU in July 2008 as the professor of military science. After serving a three-year term and passing the FAMU ROTC commanding torch to Major Kelly, Lt. Col. Williams, his wife and three sons will relocate to Washington, D.C. for a position at the Pentagon.

“This is emotional for me because it deals with lives and changing lives,” said Lt. Col. Williams. “When I see young people come into the destiny that God has for them and the purpose, it makes me emotional. We have some young people who are doing some great things, and being able to watch that brings me to tears.”

During the ceremony, FAMU President James H. Ammons thanked Lt. Col. Williams for his leadership, passion and dedication to not only the FAMU Army cadets, but also the country.

“This ceremony is a proud and honored tradition of the U.S. military. Although this historically signifies the transfer of leadership from one officer to another, this moment at FAMU signifies a moment of great pride,” said Ammons. “I want to congratulate Lt. Col. Williams for the outstanding work he has accomplished during his duty here on the “Hill,” and you will always be cherished by Rattlers.”

Receiving the Rattler Battalion, Major Kelly’s wife was given a dozen yellow roses representing friendship and a warm welcome from the battalion, his daughter was given a single yellow rose and two sons were given a coin.

“This is an honor and privilege,” said Major Kelly. “Lt. Col. Williams has done an outstanding job building up what we have here today, that is why he was so emotional during his presentation; he really put his heart and soul into these cadets and they returned the favor by producing, exceeding and excelling in what they do.”

In 1987, Lt. Col. Williams enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves as a personnel management specialist. In 1991, he was commissioned into the Signal Corps and branched detailed into the Field Artillery Corps as a Distinguished Military Graduate from Lamar University located in Beaumont, Texas with a bachelor’s of science in criminal justice. He also was assigned to the 36th Signal Battalion in Camp Walker, South Korea. In November 2002, he was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division Support Command located in Fort Hood, Texas as the brigade S6 and deputy G6 for support. From August 2005 through June 2008, Lt. Col. Williams served in a joint assignment as the systems branch chief of USSTRATCOM JFCC-ISR where he was the recipient of the U.S. Strategic Command Field Grade Officer of the Year Award in 2006.

Major Kelly, a native of Washington, D.C., has traveled across the country as a military dependent including Germany, Korea and Eustis, Va. His first assignment was to Mannheim, Germany as a platoon leader and company executive officer in the 68th and 70th Transportation Companies within the 28th Transportation Battalion. After completing his initial assignment he attended the Combined Logistics Officer Advance Course located in Fort Lee, Va. Later he was tasked to be the 7th Provisional Battalion S3, which comprised more than 2,000 soldiers. Further along in his military career, he was selected to become the executive officer and support operations officer of the 536D Aviation Support Battalion, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade.

Lt. Col. Williams closed his remarks with a final chant to the cadets, “Committed to excellence.”

“Second to none,” replied the cadets.

Mother and Daughter Scheduled to Graduate

Susan Dunbar will share a significant milestone with her daughter, Ayonna Dunbar, as they both graduate from Florida A&M University (FAMU).

On Saturday, April 30 nearly 1,400 candidates will join the Dunbars to receive their diploma during the Spring Commencement ceremony in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.

Atlanta Mayor M. Kasim Reed will serve as the keynote speaker for FAMU’s 9 a.m. Spring Commencement ceremony and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will serve as the 2 p.m. speaker. Doors will open for the public at 8 a.m. for the 9 a.m. ceremony and at 1 p.m. for the 2 p.m. ceremony.

Susan Dunbar, 50, stated that it was a little tough coming back to school, juggling her family and church; however, she does not regret her decision.

“My family and friends supported me throughout my tenure at FAMU,” said Susan Dunbar. “When I thought that I could not do it, they encouraged me.”

Susan Dunbar, a nursing major, graduated from FAMU 28 years ago with a bachelor’s of science in nursing before enrolling into the master’s program in 2009; two years after Ayonna Dunbar started her first semester and the same semester her son Darius Dunbar, 20, started classes at FAMU.

“The three of us attending FAMU was an advantage,” said Susan Dunbar. “We would check on each other to make sure we completed projects and papers, and often compare our GPA’s [grade point average].”

Ayonna Dunbar, 23, who is also excited about graduating alongside her mother, plans to get her master’s degree in mental health at FAMU. Her passion for health derives from her mother’s community outreach.

“My mother is known for always helping someone,” said Ayonna Dunbar, a senior psychology major. “She’s naturally an humanitarian.”

Last year, Susan Dunbar coordinated a health fair in the Housing Community in Tallahassee where she educated residents and facilitated a variety of health screenings.

“This is really exciting because I thought I was going to experience the excitement of graduation alone,” said Ayonna Dunbar. “I’m glad to have my mother to share this moment with me.”

Susan Dunbar, who is graduating with honors, is scheduled to receive her diploma during the 2 p.m. ceremony, and Ayonna Dunbar will receive her diploma during the 9 a.m. ceremony.

“This is the greatest Mother’s Day gift I could ever receive,” said Susan Dunbar. “Having my daughter and myself graduate at the same time is awesome.”

Velencia Witherspoon Named Recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

When Florida A&M University (FAMU) student Velencia Witherspoon was told she was selected as the recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), she ran up and down the hallways of the FAMU-Florida State University College of Engineering building while doing her “happy dance.”

This is the most prestigious award a graduate can receive to pursue his or her doctorate in the sciences and engineering. As a recipient, Witherspoon will receive a $30,000 annual stipend, a $10,500 cost-of-education allowance and international research and professional development opportunities.

“I was really excited; it was elating,” said Witherspoon, a Jacksonville native. “I didn’t think life could get any better. I had just got accepted into the University of California-Berkley. It was really competitive. I was up against people from Georgia Tech and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I did my happy dance and then I had to go back to working on my design project but it lasted about 20 minutes.”

Witherspoon, who has a 3.91 grade point average, is a Life-Gets-Better scholar. She is scheduled to graduate on April 30 with a degree in chemical engineering.

Witherspoon’s research proposal was regarding highly functionalized polymer membranes for fuel cell application.

This study would be applied towards the formulation in the production of hybrid composite materials for fuel cell membranes. It also enhances the current understanding of the interaction between ionic liquids and polymer nanocomposite systems. Witherspoon said the combination of these dissimilar materials would help to create a more economical, environmentally friendly, energy efficient and sustainable membrane for electrochemical applications.

“I believe that a true scientist is not only one who pursues knowledge, but one who shares it and encourages its pursuit by others,” Witherspoon said. “A fiery passion for the pursuit of knowledge, a love of the potential applications, and a belief that we all have the potential to contribute to this amazing journey for humanity is what I have to offer. I cannot tell what my future holds because it is not defined by my present state; it is defined by my actions and decisions of tomorrow. I do desire to serve as an inspiration to other young African-American females who not only possess great potential but dream of becoming scientists. I will continue to strive for excellence until I can make the dreams of others as tangible as my own.”

The NSF’s GRFP helps to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

“I think that FAMU taught me how to speak, how to market myself and what about me makes me so different,” said Witherspoon, who was a freshman senator in FAMU’s Student Government Association. “The university also taught me to manage my time and gave me the willingness to risk it all. I don’t think about the risk of losing—I just try! The mentoring has been great. The older students and FAMU professors take it upon themselves to push you. FAMU has given me a lot of opportunities.”

FAMU Makes List as a Princeton Review Green College

Florida A&M University (FAMU) was selected as one of The Princeton Review’s “311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition.” The university was the only historically black college or university (HBCU) to make the list, which focused solely on colleges that have demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

“This accolade is indicative of the work of many,” said FAMU Environmental Health and Safety Department Senior Environmental Specialist Ryan Mitchell. “Our sustainability efforts include input from facility operations, academics and administrative oversight from the Environment and Sustainability Council. However, the real impetus here is in providing our students with a healthy, eco-positive space within which to work, study, live and thrive.”

This was FAMU’s first year on the list.

“Our Rattlers are leading the charge for clean energy and sustainability in the nation, in HBCUs and in frontline communities like ours,” said Mitchell, who added that his goal is to see FAMU become the No. 1 HBCU for sustainability. “Increasingly, students are making their choice of college based on that school’s commitment to the environment and being green. As students become more eco-conscious, so do their choices.”

FAMU Green Coalition student leader Ariana Marshall said she is appreciative of the university community’s hard work toward making FAMU a “green” school.

“Being the largest HBCU, we always knew we were capable of driving the momentum of the ‘green’ movement on campuses similar to ours,” said Marshall, an Environmental Sciences Student Organization (E.S.S.O) member and a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Sciences Institute. “By exemplifying our inherent methods of sustainability and through this ranking, we hope to continue to focus our campus and other HBCUs on the necessity of sustainability.”

To view the full list of the “green colleges,” visit

TV 20 Debuts New Political Show, The Washington Report

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) TV20 has added a new political show to its weekly programming, “The Washington Report.” This show is a 30-minute program that analyzes the politics and policy decisions that lead to new legislation at both the state and federal level. Anchored by John Washington, attorney and director of the FAMU Pre-Law Program, the program airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

“The program offers viewers an understanding of how politics and policy concerns influence legislation,” said Ernest Jones, general manager, FAMU-TV 20. “We believe our viewers will appreciate the informed discussion and analysis this program will provide.”

Janeia Daniels, an attorney and assistant dean of the College of Law at Florida State University, and the Dean of the FAMU College of Law LeRoy Pernell join Washington as highly regarded panelists on the program.

“This is a different kind of program from the personality driven programs we often see,” said James Hawkins, dean of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. “We are so fortunate to have such a highly regarded team to share their perspectives about legal matters of the day.”

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FAMU TV-20 is an educational access channel operated by the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University. It reaches more than 80,000 households via Comcast Cable in Northern Florida. Its diverse program schedule includes student-produced newscasts, educational programming, cultural events, business and celebrity lectures, FAMU football and basketball games, as well as university graduation and convocation ceremonies.

Monday, April 25, 2011

FAMU TV 20 to air Interview with Chancellor Frank T. Brogan

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) TV20 announces the airing of “An Interview with the Chancellor.” The 30-minute program features an interview with Frank T. Brogan, Chancellor for the State University System of Florida. The program will air on FAMU-TV 20, Tuesday, April 26 at 8 p.m.

Taped earlier this month, the program offers insight into the chancellor’s views and vision for higher education. Ericka Anderson, FAMU-TV20 producer, asked the chancellor his thoughts about higher education in the state in the midst of pending budget reductions for state agencies including the State University System.

For more information on the program, “An Interview with the Chancellor,” contact FAMU-TV20 at (850) 412-5426.

FAMU TV-20 is an educational access channel operated by the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University. It reaches more than 80,000 households via Comcast Cable in Northern Florida. Its diverse program schedule includes student-produced newscasts, educational programming, cultural events, business and celebrity lectures, FAMU football and basketball games, as well as university graduation and convocation ceremonies.

Office of Counseling Excellent Practice Leads to Re-Accreditation

After being evaluated by the International Association of Counseling Services, Inc. (IACS) against high standards of counseling practice, Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Office of Counseling Services was re-accredited and found to offer competent and reliable professional services to students.

The approval by IACS depended upon evidence of continuing professional development as well as demonstration of excellence in counseling performance, which traces back to FAMU’s practice of excellence with caring.

“Our ongoing accreditation is due to the professionalism and dedication of the counseling staff in providing a host of services that far exceed what one would expect for an office our size,” said Yolanda Bogan, director of the Office of Counseling Services. “The ongoing collaboration we have with student organizations and departments in student affairs and academic affairs insures that we are responsive to the mental health needs of our students through prevention and treatment efforts.”

The Counseling Office offers individual, group, and couples counseling along with community outreach, emergency, and psychiatric services for FAMU students. Counseling benefits students by assisting them in gaining and improving social and emotional skills that contribute to retention. Counseling allows students to address a variety of concerns in a confidential, professional environment so that they can work toward their goals including college graduation. Learning adaptive ways of coping is a skill that benefits students life-long, contributes to a stronger student body, and enhances the safety of the college environment.

The IACS was established in 1972 to encourage and aid counseling agencies to meet high professional standards through peer evaluation and to inform the public about counseling services that are competent and reliable.

Counseling is free to all FAMU students for up to twelve sessions per semester. Counseling Services is a department within the Division of Student Affairs.

For more information on the FAMU Office of Counseling Services, contact Bogan at 850-599-3745.

FAMU Launches Online Store,

President Ammons (at the podium) announced the launch of FAMU's new online store during a press conference. FAMU students participated by modeling some of the specially designed apparel.

Today, Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced the launch of its new online store, The new online store, powered and supplied through Cintas, will afford Rattler students, faculty, alumni and supporters the opportunity to purchase specially designed apparel online.

“Today, Florida A&M University is proud to partner with Cintas in launching the,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “ will allow our campus community and alumni from all over the world as well as our friends and supporters to purchase FAMU attire with the click of a mouse on their computers. This is a great opportunity for FAMU and our supporters.”

FAMU receives 17.5 percent from Cintas for all online sales. Proceeds from the online sales will be used to support the university.

“Cintas is very excited that we have collaborated with FAMU to further expand our relationship through the exclusive launch of,” said J. Phillip Holloman, president and COO, Cintas Corporation. “We want to be a buyer-friendly experience that showcases Rattler pride – today, tomorrow and forever.”

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types throughout North America. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom supplies, promotional products, first aid and safety products, fire protection services and document management services to approximately 800,000 businesses.

A fashion show, “Collegiate Couture: FAMU Swag with an Ivy League Tag,” was held to showcase the various apparel. Some of FAMU’s student modeling troupes modeled the apparel.

As part of the promotional celebration, individuals were provided with scratch off tickets that provided special discounts on their first purchase. Several restaurants in the Tallahassee community participated in the kick off of by distributing tickets to their patrons. The participating restaurants included Zaxby’s on Apalachee Parkway and West Tennessee Street; Lindy’s Fried Chicken on South Monroe Street; Wendy’s on S. Monroe Street; Burger King on South Monroe Street and Kentucky Fried Chicken on Paul Russell Road.

For more information, call (850) 599-3413 or visit

FAMU Announces Collaboration with the Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology

From left to right — Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons and the Rt. Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya and Professor Crispus M. Kiamba, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, prepare to sign the Memorandum of Understanding as FAMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Hughes Harris (standing) looks on.

Today, Florida A&M University (FAMU) President James H. Ammons met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya Raila Amollo Odinga and signed an agreement that would launch a new partnership in Africa that would benefit FAMU students and faculty.

Odinga was part of a 25-member delegation that helped to pen the agreement that would seek to develop a process for implementing engineering and health sciences training systems at the Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology in Kenya.

Among the group accompanying the Prime Minister were Professor Crispus M. Kiamba, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology; and Elkanah Odembo, the Kenya ambassador to the United States.

“Florida A&M University is proud to sign this memorandum of understanding between the government of Kenya,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “We are looking forward to exposing our faculty and students to this beautiful country. We believe that through this agreement Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology will become a stronger institution and help FAMU as we strive for excellence in a new era as we develop the millennial FAMUan, a Florida A&M University student who is a citizen of the world.”

FAMU and RIAT agreed to work collaboratively to contribute toward mitigating the national/regional inadequacies in human resource capacity. The selected areas of interest include curricula development and training in engineering, pharmacy, nursing and allied health sciences, environmental science; environmental research collaboration; joint medicinal research; joint grant writing; staff and student exchanges; and funding for facilities development.

“I am very humble and delighted to be here today,” said the Rt. Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga, who is a mechanical engineer by profession. “It is honor to sign this agreement with FAMU.”

Florida State Senator Anthony C. "Tony" Hill Sr., District 1, was in attendance and expressed the importance of the partnership.

“I was glad to have the opportunity to participate in the program today where this historic and important agreement between one of our own great universities---Florida A&M University--- and the Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology in the Republic of Kenya,” said Florida State Senator Tony Hill, District 1. “This is a great opportunity to provide some of Florida’s and this nation’s best and brightest students to become fully immersed in a true global partnership.”

About the Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology
Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology (RIAT) is one of the pioneer Technical Training Institutes in Kenya. RIAT was founded in 1968 and the first cohort of students was admitted in 1976. Since then, the institute has trained middle-level professionals in various business fields. RIAT is managed by a Board of Governors (BOG) appointed by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology.

RIAT is located in Kisumu, the third largest town in Kenya and one of the fastest growing urban centers in the country. The town is uniquely positioned on the shores of Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water body. Also, the town is close to countries in the lake basin, which presents the potential for becoming the leading commercial and administrative center and the opportunity to serve as a transportation hub linking the East African Region by air, rail, water and road.

FAMU Wins National Championship at the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

Florida A&M University (FAMU) won the 22nd Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) Monday, April 11 becoming the 2011 champions.

Averaging more than 455 points per game, the most of any team, FAMU won the top prize of $50,000 in university grants for their national championship win.

FAMU won the national championships in 2005, 2003, 1999, 1998, 1996 and 1991.

“We were very excited to be able to bring the seventh championship home to FAMU,” said Atty. Chuck Hobbs, who served as head coach of the FAMU team. “Out of 22 years of having the tournament, we have won a third of the awards under my mother’s leadership and this year under my own. One of the highlights was the fact that this turned into a FAMU weekend. At the opening banquet, Honda honored my mother’s six national championship wins.”

Vivian Hobbs, a retired FAMU professor who coached the team for 21 years, received the “Coach of the Year” award. As the first recipient, she received the award for her commitment to coaching young men and women for the competition.

“This championship is another example that Florida A&M University has some of the best and brightest students in the nation,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “I applaud Atty. Hobbs and our students for doing such an outstanding job. This win is a testament to their hard work, character and commitment as well as the academic preparation they are receiving at FAMU.”

The Annual HCASC is the largest academic competition of its kind, bringing students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) from around the country together to participate in the two-day tournament that tests their knowledge, skills and ability to quickly and accurately answer questions on world history, science, literature, and popular culture.

FAMU’s All-Star team included Trenton J. Johnson, the team’s captain, who is a senior majoring in computer engineering; Dwight Williams II, a junior mathematics major; Stefan Jenkins, a junior biomedical engineering major and Paul Kayemba, a junior English major.

During the annual two-day tournament in Orlando, Fla., 48 HBCU teams competed in a modified round robin format. Each school showcased their skills and intellect by quickly and accurately answering questions on world history, science, literature, religion, the arts, social sciences, popular culture and African-American history and culture. The top teams from the events eight divisions advanced to the "Elite Eight Playoffs” and went head to head in a round single elimination. The final two teams then competed for the National Champion title in a best 2- out of 3- final series.

“The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is one of Honda’s largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives here in the United States, and we are proud to be able to give more than $300,000 each year to deserving Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Steve Morikawa, assistant vice president, Corporate Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Maintaining this program allows us to invest in one of the country’s largest pipelines for professional and academic talent, and even in these tough economic times, it is important that we continue to support our nation’s future leaders.”

Since 1989, HCASC has brought together the nation’s best and brightest academic competitors from America’s top HBCUs. Throughout its history, HCASC has been the only annual academic competition between the nation’s HBCUs, touching more than 50,000 students and awarding more than $6 million in grants.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Board of Trustees Unanimously Approves the University Restructuring and Reinvesting Plan

Today, before a standing room only audience comprised of faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community, the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Board of Trustees approved of FAMU President James H. Ammons’ Restructuring and Reinvestment Plan.

The goals of the plan are to strengthen academic programs and academic structure while contending with fiscal constraints; increase academic and administrative efficiencies and productivity; and reinvest in focused areas of strength.

“What Florida A&M University will look like years from now will be the result of the hard work of faculty, staff, students and campus leaders who developed a bold, brilliant and progressive course for FAMU for this decade and years to come,” said Ammons. “We are proud of this restructuring and reinvestment plan because it has helped us to align the strategic plan with the comprehensive restructuring decisions to ensure that FAMU is an environment that nurtures the Millennial FAMUan.”

According to Ammons, the Millennial FAMUan is someone that thinks critically, solves complex problems and is conversant in global issues.

The Restructuring Plan outlines a new academic structure as follows:

* College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
* College of Law
* College of Engineering
* School of Journalism and Graphic Communication
* School of Nursing
* School of Allied Health Sciences
* School of Business Industry
* College of Health Professions
* College of Education
* School of Environmental Sciences
* School of Public Health
* School of Architecture
* College of Agriculture
* College of Science, Technology and Mathematics
* College of Behavioral Sciences, Arts and Humanities

The notable changes are that the Colleges of Pharmacy, Law and Engineering and the Schools of Journalism, Nursing and Allied Health will remain in tact. The School of Business and Industry will remain as stand alone, but will add a Division of Economics. The College of Education will now house all the teacher education programs. The two institutes will be elevated to become the School of Environmental Sciences and the School of Public Health, which will increase their national visibility and prominence. The School of Architecture will incorporate the Engineering Technology Program from the College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA). The College of Agriculture will be reorganized which will allow the University to focus on this important aspect of the University’s mission and work. The College of Science, Technology and Mathematics was created from programs in the College of Arts and Sciences as well as CESTA. The College of Behavioral Sciences, Arts and Humanities is made up of programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The newly created University Programs will provide non-degree granting units that are essential to the work of retention, distance education, international studies and the Honors Institute. The University created this organization to create an academic environment that will be nurturing. Also, it is relevant for modern education to prepare our students to work in a collaborative manner. Implementing this structure will take a few years.

The academic units that will lose some of their programs are as follows: College of Education; College of Arts and Sciences; School of Journalism and Graphic Communication; School Architecture; and the School of Business and Industry.

Ammons noted that most of these programs will continue for another one to two years in order to “teach out” currently enrolled students.

“We will permit those students with more than 60 hours in their major to complete these programs,” said Ammons. “Incoming freshmen will not be permitted to declare these programs as a major.”

The unfortunate part of the plan is that 242 positions will be terminated. Of the 242 positions, 109 employees are on federal stimulus money, which these individuals are scheduled to lose their jobs on June 30, 2011. These individuals were given a year’s notice. Of the 242 positions, 44 are vacant.

FAMU will re-engineer its business processes by using the T3E (Transformation Through Technology Enhancements) process, which will re-engineer 15 administrative processes to reduce manual processes. The University also will develop a centralized unit called Administrative Services Assistance Program or “ASAP,” which will eliminate repeatable processes across the campus. This unit will handle business processes such as travel, purchasing, hiring and payroll.

“This is a painful but necessary process,” said Richard A. Dent III, vice chair of the Board of Trustees.

As the University moves forward, the future steps for FAMU will be to reduce the operating budget by 10 percent, generate revenue by increasing tuition and use any cost savings to reinvest in critical areas such as manage current and future reductions, support academic success initiatives, optimize technology, and increase faculty and staff compensation.

FAMU to Offer Distance Learning Courses in August

Today, Florida A&M University (FAMU) Board of Trustees unanimously approved the one-year contract with the Tom Joyner Online Education (TJOE) for its distance-learning program.

The online program will offer master’s degrees in nursing, public health and business. These programs will commence in August 2011 and university officials are expecting 271 students during the first year of the program. The courses will be hosted on

“The need for distance education programs is first and foremost because of student demand," said Director for Instructional Technology Franzetta D. Fitz. “Many students are seeking educational opportunities outside of the traditional campus environment in order to qualify for advancement in their careers while continuing to fulfill their daily obligations. An online distance education program allows FAMU to compete with other institutions to provide the same quality of education online that our traditional students receive. In addition, it allows us to increase our global presence as a 21st century, state-of-the-art institution.”

The three graduate programs were selected as the pilot programs because they are in high demand. According to Fitz, the university plans to start with these graduate programs as the university builds its infrastructure to prepare to offer more online degree programs.

“Once we launch these online programs, we will move to the second phase of our plan which is to offer more graduate degree programs as well as undergraduate degree completions,” said Fitz. “The online degree completions program will initially be developed for previous FAMU students who have stopped out of school for various reasons to have the opportunity to complete their degrees online.”

Over the past two years, FAMU has created a comprehensive distance education program. The university solicited information from companies that could provide the technological infrastructure, costs and marketing support necessary for the successful delivery of online degree programs. TJOE was the most qualified company to take on the task.

FAMU will be provided with marketing and recruitment assistance, student enrollment services, non-academic student support, consulting services and academic program development by TJOE.

TJOE will provide 50 hours per year of consulting assistance during the Term of the Agreement to the university, in an effort to better prepare students for success with distance education programs. These consulting services include technology support, academic program and faculty management, academic distance education quality control, and administrative and student support issues.

For admission requirements or further information, contact Franzetta D. Fitz in the Office of Instructional Technology at (850) 599-3460 or by email at

FAMU Cuts Orange and Green Ribbon for the Hansel E. Tookes Sr. Student Recreation Center and Recreational Fields

Florida A&M University (FAMU) hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Hansel E. Tookes, Sr. Student Recreation Center and Recreational Fields. The ceremony celebrated the opening of Phase Two and Phase Three of the three-phase project. Construction for Phase Two began in spring 2010 and Phase Three began in summer 2010.

The Phase Two additions, which cost approximately $2.7 million, include two indoor multi-functional basketball courts, two racquetball courts, a wellness suite and a 36-foot indoor rock-climbing wall.

Wilson Blue, a senior criminal justice major from Miami, Fla. expressed that he is excited that the recreation center now has a rock-climbing wall.

“This is something that the university needed to move forward,” said Blue. “The rock-climbing wall is my favorite addition. I am excited about trying it out.”

The Phase Three additions, which are outdoor add-ons, include three basketball courts, two turf flag football fields, a softball and baseball field, a soccer field, two sand volleyball courts, a field house and a pavilion. Phase Three was approximately $5 million.

The recreation center was first opened in 2006 as part of a three-phase project that promotes the wellness and overall health of the FAMU campus community. Part one of the project was completed in 2006 and is a mostly student-run operation and funded through Student A&S Funds. The 40,000 square foot building houses a 16,500 square-foot workout area, a bicycle spinning classroom, a massage area and an exercise and aerobics room on two floors.

“These amenities will aid in our constant pursuit of ‘Excellence with Caring’ to improve our students’ educational and recreational experience at FAMU,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons.

The Recreation Center was designed by JRA Architects, Inc. David Vincent, senior vice president of JRA Architects, Inc. and a FAMU alumnus, was present for the ribbon cutting ceremony. The Cook Brothers, Inc. constructed the recreational fields and Childers Construction Co. built the recreation additions.

The center is named after Hansel E. Tookes Sr., who was on the 1942 Florida A&M College (FAMC) football team. The team had an unprecedented season going undefeated, untied and won the national championship. Tookes was also captain of the FAMC basketball team that won a national championship. He received a B.S. degree from FAMC.

Tookes was later hired as an assistant coach and rose to the ranks of athletic director at FAMU. During his tenure, he became the co-founder of the Florida Classic football game and founder of the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame. He also started the National Summer Youth Sports Program in Tallahassee.

In 1960, he was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He was the first African-American member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Executive Rules Committee and the NCAA Golf Committee.