Tuesday, August 9, 2011

FAMU Alumnus Alvin Davis Named Florida 2012 Teacher of the Year

For FAMU alumnus Alvin Aureliano Davis, there is no greater or more honorable profession than being a teacher. Davis, a music teacher at Miramar High School in Broward County, describes education as the cornerstone of the “American Dream” and teachers have the rewarding opportunity to not only make a difference, but also change lives.

Davis’ commitment to his craft has not gone unnoticed. In July, he was named the 2012 Macy’s Florida Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year.

“It is an honor and humbling experience to be chosen by my peers and fellow educators to be their voice for the next year,” Davis said. “People forget sometimes that educators are preparing generations not to just appreciate and imbibe a liberal art, but learn how to live and be successful in whatever becomes their chosen profession. We are preparing students to be the leaders, doctors, CEOs and even presidents of tomorrow.”

Each year is a new and exciting adventure in Davis’ classroom at Miramar High School. As a music educator for the past 11 years and current director of bands at Miramar High School, he believes that it is not enough to just teach music, he believes it is his duty to reinforce the skills learned in other classes to not only to achieve in his classroom, but in life. By actively encouraging students and keeping them engaged on obtainable goals, his students find success that permeate the entire classroom, which not only creates high moral standards and quality of character, but musical and academic achievement. Davis said he makes sure that his students receive one-on-one counseling to ensure that a successful academic pathway has been set for each of his students.

“He was a great teacher and when it came to music and school, he meant business,” said James Alcine, a 2008 Miramar High School graduate and one of Davis’ former students. “Mr. Davis cares about us and really wants what’s best for the students. To this day, he continues to push us and asks, ‘How is school going?’ or ‘How are your grades?’ He really deserves this recognition.”

Davis earned his bachelor’s degree in music in 2000 from FAMU and was a member of the Marching “100” during his time at the university.

“’Excellence With Caring!’” Those simple three words describe my experience at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University,” he said. “Under the leadership of Dr. William P. Foster and Dr. Julian E. White, I had the opportunity to be a member of the incomparable Marching “100” where the simple yet important ideals that resonate through the historic walls of the Foster-Tanner Complex were imbedded into my persona.”

White, FAMU’s director of bands, said Davis was one of the finest students he has ever taught.

“Alvin was a very fine student when he was at Florida A&M University,” said White, FAMU director of bands. “He was very scholarly. I was proud to have him as a student. After he graduated, he blossomed. He really cared for the students— not just musically but academically and personally. His care and concern for the total student is why I believe he was named teacher of the year.”

Davis was selected from thousands of public school instructors for his outstanding teaching skills and will be awarded $10,000 from Macy’s and an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He will also serve as an ambassador to education, representing teachers throughout the state and conducting workshops and conference during a sabbatical year of service.

“Due to the award, I will be taken away from the classroom for a year to be the Florida Department of Educations’ ambassador for education,” Davis said. “ I am sure my students will miss me; however, I now have the opportunity to make a difference on a larger scale.”

FAMU Host Fourth Annual President's Cup Golf Tournament to Raise Scholarship Funds

Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Turner Construction Company will host the fourth annual President’s Cup Golf Tournament at the Killearn Country Club located at 100 Tyron Circle, Tallahassee, Fla., at 1 p.m. on Thursday, September 1. Proceeds from the golf tournament will benefit the FAMU Presidential Scholarship Program.

The cost of the tournament is $125 per person. This includes green fees, cart, breakfast, complimentary on course beverages, lunch, a framed photo keepsake, an official tournament polo, a post event DVD and a tournament gift. Checks should be made payable to the FAMU Foundation, Inc. and mailed to: 2011 President’s Cup Golf Tournament, Florida A&M University Foundation, Inc., P.O. 6562, Tallahassee, Fla. 32314.

For more information on the President’s Cup Golf Tournament, call (850) 599-3860.

Great Grandmother of Eight to Earn Her Master's Degree in History at FAMU

In August 2008, Juanita Isom, 69, was encouraged by her daughter, Leesa, to go back to school and attain her master’s degree in history. After the death of her daughter, just two months later, Isom continued and earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern University. Now, she is on her way to earning her master’s degree from Florida A&M University (FAMU) in a field she and her daughter both loved, history.

“When we started this, Leesa said, ‘Mama, don’t quit! Promise me that you will keep going,” Isom said. “We weren’t thinking anything was going to happen to her. After she passed away, I could have done a lot of things, but I didn’t. I had to keep my promise to her. She told me to go as far as I could go.”

On August 5, more than 450 candidates will walk across the stage in the FAMU Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium during FAMU’s 2011 Summer Commencement Ceremony. Isom has kept her promise she once made to Leesa —she earned her master’s degree in history this summer.

The mother of four, was born in Tampa, Fla. At the age of 11, she said, is when education really took a front seat into her life. Her foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Charles Monford, were two of her biggest inspirations. In the early 1960s, she and her husband moved to New Orleans, La., where she worked as a nurse for 35 years.

“My family has always stressed education and that you are never too old to achieve your goals,” Isom said. “When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a nurse. My grandmother was a diabetic and I would love to give her shots and take care of her. As I went on, history grew on me.”

Isom, who had interned with the Meek-Eaton Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum, said she has met some great people during her years at the university. From her church family, to the teachers and the students, she thanks the historically black institution for its friendly atmosphere. She added that the young people seemed to be drawn to her and would ask questions about morals, principles and other advice.

“The students are very nice and respectful,” said Isom. “I was sitting outside Tucker Hall one day and a group of young boys walked by. One had used a little profanity. After he and his friends saw me, he came over and apologized and hugged me. He said, ‘I am so sorry; I will do better.’”

Isom plans to go back to New Orleans “to rest and recuperate for awhile.” Following that, she hopes to work part time in archival and museum management.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading books by Helen Steiner Rice, sewing and restoring antiques.

For those who do not believe that college may be right for them, Isom suggests they just give it a try.

“They should give it their all,” said the grandmother of 12. “Once they do that, they will know ‘This is what I need to be doing.’ Education is the key for African-American children. They need to keep going as far as they can. If they are not educated, then they are not going to make it.”

Great Grandmother of Eight to Earn Her Master's Degree in History at FAMU

In August 2008, Juanita Isom, 69, was encouraged by her daughter, Leesa, to go back to school and attain her master’s degree in history. After the death of her daughter, just two months later, Isom continued and earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern University. Now, she is on her way to earning her master’s degree from Florida A&M University (FAMU) in a field she and her daughter both loved, history.

“When we started this, Leesa said, ‘Mama, don’t quit! Promise me that you will keep going,” Isom said. “We weren’t thinking anything was going to happen to her. After she passed away, I could have done a lot of things, but I didn’t. I had to keep my promise to her. She told me to go as far as I could go.”

On August 5, more than 450 candidates will walk across the stage in the FAMU Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium during FAMU’s 2011 Summer Commencement Ceremony. Isom has kept her promise she once made to Leesa —she earned her master’s degree in history this summer.

The mother of four, was born in Tampa, Fla. At the age of 11, she said, is when education really took a front seat into her life. Her foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Charles Monford, were two of her biggest inspirations. In the early 1960s, she and her husband moved to New Orleans, La., where she worked as a nurse for 35 years.

“My family has always stressed education and that you are never too old to achieve your goals,” Isom said. “When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a nurse. My grandmother was a diabetic and I would love to give her shots and take care of her. As I went on, history grew on me.”

Isom, who had interned with the Meek-Eaton Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum, said she has met some great people during her years at the university. From her church family, to the teachers and the students, she thanks the historically black institution for its friendly atmosphere. She added that the young people seemed to be drawn to her and would ask questions about morals, principles and other advice.

“The students are very nice and respectful,” said Isom. “I was sitting outside Tucker Hall one day and a group of young boys walked by. One had used a little profanity. After he and his friends saw me, he came over and apologized and hugged me. He said, ‘I am so sorry; I will do better.’”

Isom plans to go back to New Orleans “to rest and recuperate for awhile.” Following that, she hopes to work part time in archival and museum management.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading books by Helen Steiner Rice, sewing and restoring antiques.

For those who do not believe that college may be right for them, Isom suggests they just give it a try.

“They should give it their all,” said the grandmother of 12. “Once they do that, they will know ‘This is what I need to be doing.’ Education is the key for African-American children. They need to keep going as far as they can. If they are not educated, then they are not going to make it.”

Tickets for 2011 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Classic Now on Sale

Tickets for the 32nd Annual Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Classic (BCBS), the traditional showdown between historically black institutions Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) and Florida A&M University (FAMU), are now on sale to the general public. Tickets to America’s preeminent HBCU football game may be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, at the Amway Center box office, by telephone at (407) 839-3900 or any Ticketmaster outlet. This year’s game will be played on Saturday, November 19, at 2:30 p.m. in Orlando’s Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium while being televised nationally on ESPN Classic.

Tickets are available for as low as $10.75 (3rd level, corner), while other seats are available at great price levels ($27 end zone, $37 goal line or lower-deck corner). Priority seating for the game is available with season ticket packages purchased through either B-CU or FAMU. For Wildcat ticket information, call (386) 481-2202 and for FAMU, call (850) 599-3141.

Student tickets are available for $27 and may be purchased through the student’s respective school.

Group tickets (20 or more) may be purchased through Florida Citrus Sports by calling (407) 423-2476 or at the FCSports Box Office, located in the South end of the stadium which is open Monday and Wednesday, from noon to 4 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Parking is on sale and available by visiting www.ClickandPark.com.

Fans should purchase their tickets at one of the approved locations listed above. Buying from any alternative source increases the risk of receiving a counterfeit ticket.

Proceeds from the BCBS of Florida Classic and all official ancillary events support the participating institution’s mission of providing educational opportunities through scholarships for all students.

FAMU Alumna Named National Press Secretary for the Democratic National Committee


Melanie Roussell, a 2001 graduate of the Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC), has been named the National Press Secretary for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for the upcoming presidential election cycle.

The honors graduate begins her new assignment this week. In addition to serving as chief spokesperson, she will help direct the rapid response unit for the committee.

“We are so proud Melanie has been entrusted with this responsibility,” said James Hawkins, dean of SJGC. “Melanie is an exceptionally talented person. It’s no surprise that her talents have earned the attention of the DNC.

Roussell was the committee’s Southern Regional Communications Director for Obama of America in 2008.

A native of New Orleans, La., Roussell received her M.A. in public communication from American University.

Last year, Roussell was a recipient of the FAMU Young Alumni Award for her significant career achievements.

The Educational Research Center for Child Development Awarded Three Grants

The Florida A&M University New Beginnings Educational Research Center for Child Development (NB-ERCCD) has received three different grant awards this year from three different funding sources.

“NB-ERCCD is very excited about all of the program enhancements that we anxiously anticipate completing for our families, staff and the FAMU community,” said Reva Myers, director of FAMU’s NB-ERCCD.

NB-ERCCD was awarded $10,000 for The Home Depot’s “Retool Your School” initiative. The competition, among historically black colleges and universities, was part of The Home Depot’s long-standing efforts in support of the black community. Grants were awarded to colleges and universities for school improvement projects. The panel of judges for this competition also scored and heavily weighted the narrative section of all the applicants.

NB-ERCCD intends to use The Home Depot’s funding to install outdoor playground lighting for the evening care program, enhance the outdoor learning environment and make interior building repairs and upgrades that promote energy conservation.

The second grant awarded, the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) initiative, is a multi-year grant awarded by the United States Department of Education (USDOE). The primary purpose of this grant is to provide incentives for attracting and retaining low-income students/parents that wish to pursue a post-secondary degree. Funding is used to subsidize the cost of childcare tuition fees for Pell grant students.

The CCAMPIS initiative also allows NB-ERCCD to plan and implement programs and activities that are based on low-income students/parents “needs assessments” and “customer satisfaction,” which were compiled from survey responses.

The Early Learning Coalition (ELC) of the Big Bend Region awarded the final grant. The ELC award will allow New Beginnings to establish an outdoor classroom that would extend the indoor classroom to a naturalistic environment. The outdoor classroom enhances children’s natural curiosity about nature, but allows children to engage in specifically designed developmentally appropriate learning activities that keep them actively involved and excited about learning.

The Center provides services for 93 families in the pre-school program and 20 families in the after-school program. The center is staffed by 17 well-trained individuals with operating hours from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for pre-school children, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for school age children and 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for evening care students during fall and spring semesters.

For more information on FAMU’s New Beginnings, call (850) 599-3267.

FAMU Announces its Football Season Host Hotels

TALLAHASSEE,Fla. - Florida A&M University (FAMU) announces the host hotels for the 2011 football season. The hotels listed below include hotels for games in Tallahassee as well as travel games for the Rattlers. Interested individuals can download the listing by clicking here.

September 3, 2011
Sports Hall of Fame Weekend
Tallahassee, Florida
FAMU vs. Fort Valley State
Bragg Memorial Stadium - 6 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn
1330 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
Phone: 850-893-8300
Rate: $139
Cut-off date: September 1, 2011


September 8, 2011
Hampton, Virginia
FAMU vs. Hampton University
Armstrong Stadium - 6 p.m.
Springhill Suites
1997 Power Plant Parkway
Hampton, Virginia 23666
Phone: 757-310-6333
Rate: $89 single/double occupancy
Cut-off date: September 1, 2011


September 17, 2011
Tampa, Florida
FAMU vs. South Florida
Raymond James Stadium - TBD
Renaissance Tampa International Plaza
Hotel
4200 Jim Walter Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33607
Phone: 813-877-9200
Rate: $99 single/double occupancy
Cut -off date: September 1, 2011


September 24, 2011
Atlanta Classic
Atlanta, Georgia
FAMU vs. Southern University
Georgia Dome - 3:30 p.m.
Atlanta Marriott Marquis
265 Peachtree Center Avenue, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Phone: 404-521-0000 or 1-800-266-9432
Rate: $123
Cut-off date: September 13, 2011


October 1, 2011
Prince Hall Shriners Diabetes Classic
Tallahassee, Florida
FAMU vs. Delaware State
Bragg Memorial Stadium - 6 p.m.
Hotel Duval
415 North Monroe
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
Phone: 850-224-6000
Rate: $109
Cut-off date: September 15, 2011


October 8, 2011
FAMU Homecoming
FAMU vs. Howard University
Bragg Memorial Stadium - 3 p.m.
Aloft Hotel
200 North Monroe
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
Phone: 850-513-0313
Rate: $199
Cut-off date: September 20, 2011
(Call the Office of Alumni Affairs for additional hotels at 850-599-3707)


October 15, 2011
Savannah, Georgia
FAMU vs. Savannah State
Ted A. Wright Stadium - 7 p.m.
Hampton Inn & Suites Savannah Midtown
20 Johnston Street
Savannah, Georgia 31405
Phone: 912-721-2305
Rate: $109
Cut-off: September 23, 2011


October 22, 2011
FAMU vs. South Carolina State
Oliver C. Dawson Stadium - 1:30 p.m.
Embassy Suites
200 Stoneridge Drive
Columbia, SC 29210
Phone: 803-252-8700
Rate: $119
Cut-off date: October 7, 2011


November 5, 2011
Youth and Community Day
Tallahassee, Florida
FAMU vs. North Carolina A&T
Bragg Memorial Stadium - 6 p.m.
Spring Hill Suites
1300 Executive Center Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
Phone: 850-325-1103
Rate: $79
Cut-off rate: October 25, 2011


November 12, 2011
FAMU vs. North Carolina Central
O’ Kelly -Riddick - 2 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn Durham Southpoint
7007 Fayetteville Road
Durham, North Carolina 27713
Phone: 919-544-6000
Rate: $104
Cut-off date: October 26, 2011


November 19, 2011
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida
Florida Classic
Orlando, Florida
FAMU vs. Bethume-Cookman University
Citrus Bowl - 2:30 p.m.
Hilton Orlando
6001 Destination Parkway
Orlando, Florida 32819
Phone: 407-313-8400
Rate: $112
Cut-off date: November 4, 2011

Donald Palm Named American Council on Education Fellow

Donald Palm, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs at Florida A&M University (FAMU), has been named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow. Molly Corbett Broad, president of the ACE, announced that Palm is an ACE Fellow for the academic year 2011-2012.

“I am truly honored to be nominated and selected as a 2011-2012 American Council on Education Fellow,” said Palm. “The ACE Fellows Program provides a wonderful opportunity for my personal growth as a leader and to network with national figures in higher education. This transformational experience will ultimately benefit Florida A&M University.”

The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutional capacity and build leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. Fifty Fellows, nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions, were selected this year in a national competition.

“We are extremely proud of Dr. Palm’s accomplishments and I anticipate that his role as an ACE Fellow will be of benefit to him as well as to Florida A&M University,” said FAMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Hughes Harris.

Sharon A. McDade, Ed.D., director of the ACE Fellows Program, noted that most previous Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Of the more than 1,700 participants in the first 46 years of the program, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents or deans.

“We are excited to welcome the new class of Fellows,” said McDade. “The program offers individualized, accelerated learning that advances leadership readiness while building institutional capacity. We are eager to embark on this transformational leadership journey with the members of the class of 2011-12.”

Palm earned his doctorate in pharmacology from Pennsylvania State University (Hershey Medical School) and his B.A. degree in chemistry from Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. He completed his training as a post-doctoral research fellow at Brown University Medical School/Rhode Island Hospital, Department of Neurosurgery/Neuroscience. A professor of basic pharmaceutical sciences in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences with a research focus in the area of neurodegeneration, Palm has garnered several million dollars in funding and has received many research and teaching awards. In his current position, he provides academic administrative oversight to the schools, colleges, institutes and ancillary service departments that report to the office of Academic Affairs. He is also heavily involved with new program development in which he is currently spearheading, along with several national experts, FAMU’s quest to develop a College of Dental Medicine.

Each ACE Fellow will focus on an issue of concern to the nominating institution while spending all or part of the next academic year working with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution. The ACE Fellows Program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits, and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single semester or year. The Fellows are included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities and learning about an issue of benefit to Florida A&M University.

Fellows attend three week-long retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE, read extensively in the field, and engage in other activities to advance their knowledge about the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education today.

About the American Council on Education
Founded in 1918, ACE (www.acenet.edu) is the major coordinating body for all of the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy.

FAMU to Host its Inaugural Executive Leadership Summit

Florida A&M University (FAMU) will host its inaugural President’s Executive Leadership Summit on Thursday, July 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium. The theme for the summit is “Facing Extraordinary Challenges: Collaborating to Produce Extraordinary Outcomes.”

More than 100 business executives from Tallahassee and the region have agreed to attend.

The purpose of the President’s Executive Leadership Summit is to bring regional and local executives and business persons together to dialogue with FAMU leadership regarding current trends and key issues that are impacting business and educational institutions alike.

The agenda for the Summit includes university presentations from Dean Shawnta Friday-Stroud, School of Business and Industry; Dean Rodner Wright, School of Architecture; and Delores Dean, director of the Career Center. Devoe Moore, owner of the Tallahassee Antique Car Museum, will serve as chair of the Summit. Other participants on the program include Sue Dick, president of Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce; Alfred “Al” Lawson Jr., president of Al Lawson & Associates, Inc.; Steve Ghazvini, president of Premier Commercial Development; and Lawrence Saunders, senior vice president and diversified commercial manager for SunTrust Bank. David Blanding, tech fellow, Subsystems Technology for Boeing Corporation, will make a corporation presentation.

FAMU will host its next summit on August 25, 2011 on health care. For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (850) 599-3860.

William Hudson Jr. Named Vice President for Student Affairs


Florida A&M University (FAMU) President James H. Ammons has appointed William E. Hudson Jr. as vice president for Student Affairs

“I am confident that Dr. Hudson will provide strong leadership for the Division of Student Affairs,” said Ammons. “He has the experience and the background in higher education to help us achieve a level of excellence in the area of student support services. We look forward to him implementing initiatives that will help our students to become well-rounded citizens and leaders.”

Hudson shared his thoughts on how honored he is to lead the Division of Student Affairs.

“I feel very honored in my selection as the vice president for Student Affairs by President Ammons,” said Hudson. “It has always been my desire to give back to the institution that assisted in my development. I have many mentors that helped me to mature and transition as an undergraduate to graduate student. It is because of those influences I am passionate about helping students and parents of this generation.”

Hudson said some of his goals in this new position include developing university-wide collaborations to improve customer service by leveraging technology, improving retention, progression and graduation rates. He also plans to continue the strong tradition of developing leaders and promoting positive critical thinking in students.

“To create the atmosphere of a global community, all stakeholders, students, faculty and staff must be involved; we definitely support a team approach,” he said.

Hudson received his bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in counseling education from FAMU. He went on to earn a specialist degree in counseling and human services and a Ph.D. in rehabilitation counseling from Florida State University.

He has extensive experience counseling students with academic, personal and career issues. He is a specialist in the recruitment and retention of minority students and provides consulting to small colleges and universities. As an adjunct professor at FAMU, he educates students on rehabilitation, disability, vocational training and services, community transition and empowerment.

He is a certified rehabilitation counselor, a member of the American College Counseling Association, National Association of Academic Advising Association (NACADA), and the Florida Association Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (FAEOP), among other professional organizations.

“I will work hard and encourage input from students, faculty and staff,” said Hudson. “Positive change does not occur overnight, but in time you will definitely see improvements that will ultimately produce significant results.”

FAMU will Host the CEO Experience - A Music and Entertainment Industry Conference


The former president of Motown Records joined Florida A&M University (FAMU) officials during a press conference to announce the Creativity Education Opportunity (C.E.O.) Experience, a music and entertainment industry conference scheduled for November 3 and November 4, 2011 on the campus. The conference will offer new artists, producers, journalists, graphic designers, public relations and business students direct access and inside information on launching and sustaining a successful career in the music and entertainment business.

“As Florida A&M University moves toward its 2020 vision with courage, we are charged with providing pedagogical experiences that appeal to the interests of the current and future FAMUans,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “This new Music Industry Studies program addresses the industry’s need for technically qualified, socially and liberally educated individuals who are trained to work in interdisciplinary settings in a fast-changing global workplace.”

At the press conference, music industry executive Al Bell announced plans to establish a partnership with the university, which will provide resources for the FAMU Institute for Hip Hop and Music Industry Studies as well as scholarships for students pursuing careers in music and entertainment industries.

Bell will be the keynote speaker for the C.E.O. Experience conference. Bell, who started in the entertainment business as a radio broadcaster, became owner and chairman of Stax Records and former president of Motown Records. He is recognized as one of the “Most Influential African Americans in Radio” and was recently honored with the Grammy Trustee Award for his significant contributions to the recording field.

“History will record that Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University embraced, with informed intellectual commitment, the broad and diverse asset value of America’s hip-hop culture, its music, and it unparalleled multi-billion dollar music, fashion, technological, and diverse business industries,” said Bell. “And history will show that Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University educated – for the positive future benefit of America – the music, social, cultural, educational, economic, political, and business leaders of tomorrow. I wholeheartedly applaud President James Ammons and FAMU for having the vision and the courage to address today’s dire and critical leadership needs of our American society, American culture and the American music industry.”

Conference session panels will include discussions on the following: career development, the digital age of media, video production, record companies 101, and public relations. The Professional Networking Fair allows participants the opportunity to meet and greet representatives from various music and media companies.

Nina Packer, general manager of Bryant Management, the company behind Lil’ Wayne, Drake and Lil’ Twist, will facilitate a workshop on artist management. Music executive Amir Windom will give participants an inside look into the role of A&R in records and music supervision in television and film.

“The C.E.O. experience will provide our students with an incredible educational opportunity to learn from key entertainment industry insiders,” said Kawachi Clemons, Ph.D., who serves as the director of the Institute. “Having someone like Al Bell put his name and reputation behind this type of programming is a true blessing.”

James Hawkins, dean of FAMU’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, expressed how this will be a wonderful opportunity for students.

“The School of Journalism and Graphic Communication is excited to partner with Dr. Clemons on this project,” said Hawkins. “Bringing leaders from the music and entertainment industry to campus will foster the cultivation of internships and other opportunities for our students.”

Hip-hop icon Christopher “Play” Martin, of Kid ‘n Play fame, who currently serves as a professional-in-residence with the Institute for Hip Hop and Music Industry Studies, stated how honored he is to be a part of the conference.

“I am very excited and honored to not only be a part of an event like this, which is long overdue, for the advancement of the music industry,” said Martin.

About the Institute for Hip Hop and Music Industry Studies
The Institute for Hip Hop and Music Industry Studies was created to actively promote and advance the knowledge about hip-hop arts and culture and its relational position as an extension of black and African-American artistic cultural traditions. The Music Industry program major within the bachelor of science in music degree is designed to acquaint students to the concepts and methodologies of the music and entertainment industry. The four-year program combines studies in music and business.

About the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication
The School of Journalism and Graphic Communication was founded in 1982. Its Division of Journalism was the first journalism program at a historically black university to be nationally accredited by the ACEJMC. It offers four journalism sequences: newspaper, magazine production, broadcast (radio and television) and public relations. Its Division of Graphic Communication offers instruction in graphic design and photography.

CBS News Senior Producer Kim Godwin will Deliver Keynote Address for the Summer Commencement


Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumna and CBS News Senior Producer Kim Godwin will be the keynote speaker for FAMU’s 2011 Summer Commencement. The ceremony is scheduled for Friday, August 5 at 6 p.m. in the Alfred L. Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.

Doors will open for the general public at 5 p.m. and the line of march will commence at 5:30 p.m.

Godwin joined CBS News as senior producer in April 2007. In her current role on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, she is exclusively in charge of planning future CBS News editorial coverage of day-to-day and major news events, both domestically and internationally, including most recently, the launch of the final Shuttle mission from Kennedy Space Center. In her previous role on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, Godwin was in charge of domestic news, overseeing editorial coverage and story production for all CBS bureaus in the United States, excluding Washington, D.C.

Recently, Godwin received a 2010 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast” for her groundbreaking series “Financial Family Tree.” The unique series provided viewers with an in-depth, analytical look at the immediate and long-term ripple effects of the recession.

Prior to CBS News, she worked at WCBS-TV as the assistant news director. At WCBS-TV, Godwin was second in charge of more than 200 staff members, oversaw day-to-day editorial direction and newscast production, and hired all new producers and writers for the station. She also directed and managed news internships and apprentice programs.

Prior to WCBS-TV, Godwin served as interim director for the Division of Journalism in FAMU’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. In that role, while directing the academic programs of the school, she also helped in planning the design of the current journalism facility, which includes two television studios and a multimedia newsroom.

Prior to FAMU, Godwin served as vice president and news director of KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, and vice president of News Operations for NBC Television Stations for Atlanta and New York. Prior to those appointments, she was vice president and news director of KXAS-TV in Dallas; news director for the Duopoly at WOIO-CBS 19 and WUAB-UPN 43 in Cleveland, Ohio; assistant news director for WCAU-TV in Philadelphia; executive producer at WNBC-TV in New York; news producer for WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, Penn.; anchor, investigative reporter and producer for WPTV-TV, West Palm Beach, Fla.; and executive producer of WTXL-TV in Tallahassee.

Godwin began her career as a midday disc jockey and evening news anchor for WAMF-AM at FAMU, and moved on to be a news writer for the morning drive at WTNT-AM in Tallahassee.

She is the recipient of two New York Association of Black Journalists Awards for producing “Conquering Cancer” and “The Changing Face of AIDS.” She also received an Emmy nomination for “Conquering Cancer.” In her prestigious career, she has won numerous awards for excellence in journalism, including a Los Angeles area Emmy for Investigative Journalism for the report “One Gun,” in which one handgun was linked to multiple violent and deadly crimes.

Godwin was born in Panama City, Fla. but grew up in Queens, New York. She graduated from FAMU with a bachelor of science degree in broadcast journalism. Godwin currently resides in New York City and in the Poconos, Penn. with her two children Kimberly and Kirsten.

New Superintendent Named to Lead the Development Research School


Patricia C. Hodge is the new superintendent of Florida A&M University Developmental Research School (FAMU DRS).

“I am very excited about the opportunity,” said Hodge, a Pompano Beach native. “This school has a long history of educating African-American students and I am excited to be a part of that.”

Hodge, who previously served as the principal for Florida Atlantic University Schools, said some of her goals include increasing the research opportunities for FAMU faculty and FAMU DRS faculty; expanding the educational opportunities for students at DRS, such as dual enrollment; increasing advanced placement type programs; and increasing the early education programs for the school’s pre-K and elementary students.

“Dr. Hodge will be a remarkable addition to FAMU DRS,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Hughes Harris. “She is very driven and dedicated to education. Her commitment to students makes her a perfect match for the research school. We are fortunate to have her leadership and look forward to working with her to take FAMU DRS to the next level.”

Hodge earned her bachelor’s degree in 1986 from the University of Florida in Gainesville; her master’s in 1989 from Atlanta University in Atlanta, Ga.; a specialist degree in educational leadership in 2000 from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Fla; and her doctorate in 2008 from FAU.

Prior to serving as the principal for FAU Schools, she worked as the assistant principal for the school system. While working with Lloyd Estates Elementary School in Broward County, her major functions were administration, supervision, fiscal management, grant writing and parent and community involvement.

During her tenure, from 2002-2004, the school achieved an A school rating, achieved AYP annually and created the Targeted Assistance Program, which helped students who were having difficulties with their academics. She also supervised all expenditures, authored various competitive grants and served as the interim chair of transition for the School Advisory Board.

She is a member of the Education Law Association, Florida Association of School Administrators, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Laboratory Schools, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Kiwanis Club International.

Founded in 1887, FAMU DRS, formerly known as Lucy Moten, was established as a Teacher Training School for FAMU. The mission of the K-12 school is to conduct research, demonstration and evaluation of the management of teaching and learning. FAMU DRS places curriculum emphasis on mathematics, science, technology and foreign languages. The faculty and staff are committed to providing a quality education for students by promoting rigor and innovative strategies for teaching and learning.

“I will be calling everyone on campus as soon as I get the opportunity,” she said. “I hope they can speak with me so we can begin to work to make FAMU DRS the school I know it can be.”

FAMU Researcher Receives Patent to Treat Cancers


Nazarius Saah Lamango, an associate professor of medicinal chemistry in the Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, received a patent to treat cancers using compounds that block the activity of a unique enzyme. The activity of this enzyme is elevated in some tumors. Specifically, inhibiting the excess amounts of this enzyme would diminish its ability to process the target protein into the forms that promote tumor cell growth.

Lamango further explains how this patent can benefit society.

“The patent describes compounds that can be used to inhibit the activity of an enzyme that we have found to be abnormally high in the tumors of some patients,” said Lamango. “By being able to use these compounds to bring the abnormally high enzyme activities in the tumors down to normal physiological levels, their ability to spur tumor growth will also be inhibited. When further developed into drugs, these compounds will constitute a new class of anticancer drugs with a novel mechanism of action.”

Lamango’s work was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH is the agency of the U.S. Federal Government tasked with managing the biomedical research budget.

According to Lamango, this enzyme, which is the target of the compounds described in the patent, is a member of a biochemical pathway for processing proteins, some of which regulate cell growth. Some of these proteins have been known for over a decade to play roles in some cancers and are said to be oncogenic, the potential of a gene to cause cancer.

Lamango explained that while conducting research on Parkinson’s disease, he found that this pathway may be involved, albeit in an opposite fashion, in degenerative disorders.

“It was astonishing that researchers have not paid more attention to the fact that degenerative disorders may share some common biochemical pathways with cancers,” he said. “Suspecting that this key enzyme may be suppressed in degenerative disorders, we began making inhibitors that could be used to inhibit it and see if cultured nerve cells will degenerate in a similar fashion as in degenerative disorders. The thought that these inhibitors could be useful in anticancer treatment solidifies what we have been pursuing ever since.”

What inspired Lamango to pursue this patent? He expressed that any research that will contribute to diminish cancer needs careful attention.

“I know people who have had cancer and passed away from the disease,” said Lamango. “The thought of being diagnosed with a cancer is always scary. The statistics that more than 12 million people were diagnosed with cancer worldwide in 2008 and that more than 7 million people actually died from it is a daunting statistic. According to the American Cancer Society Cancer Facts and Figures for 2010, 1.5 million cancer diagnosis and almost 600,000 cancer deaths were estimated to have occurred in the United States last year. Although Florida is only the fourth largest state in the U.S., population wise, it comes second only to California in the number of cancer diagnoses. Therefore, no matter how you look at it, cancer is never far from the mind. As a researcher, any thought or research finding that could lead to a contribution in diminishing the impact of cancer on society is always worthy of careful attention.”

Lamango is an individual that is no stranger to securing patents. He has one patent that is licensed by a private biotechnology company.

In 2002, he received a patent (US patent number 6,372,793) regarding a method for treatment of a neurological disease characterized by an impaired neurological function. In 2006, it was licensed to Signum Bioscience, Inc.

Lamango received his bachelor of science degree in agricultural chemistry and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. He also received postdoctoral training from Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans, La.

He holds memberships with the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the America Association for the Advancement of Science.

General Counsel Featured Among Florida's Legal Elite for Fourth Consecutive Year


Florida A&M University (FAMU) General Counsel Avery McKnight was selected by his peers as one of the top government/non-profit attorneys in Florida Trend Magazine’s 2011 Florida Legal Elite for the fourth consecutive year.

“I am overwhelmed to be once again recognized by Florida Trend among so many outstanding barristers in this great state,” McKnight said. “As a graduate of FAMU, it reaffirms the university's powerful legacy of nurturing the best and brightest to serve with great distinction. It is also a testament to President James H. Ammons' battle cry that ‘our best work is yet to come!’”

In addition, McKnight was selected by Tallahassee’s LIVE Communications, Inc. as one of Twenty-five Leaders You Need to Know.

McKnight is charged with the responsibility of providing legal advice and counsel to the Board of Trustees, president and administration. A 1987 magna cum laude FAMU graduate and former SGA attorney general, he gained experience in misdemeanor prosecution at the state attorney's office and served in various capacities in FAMU's Office of the General Counsel between 1992 and 2005. Prior to returning as FAMU's General Counsel in 2007, he honed his litigation skills as a senior associate with the labor and employment law firm of Allen, Norton & Blue, P.A., and successfully represented both public and private entities.

He has been recognized as a 2002 NAACP Achiever and was a Virgil Hawkins Fellow at the Florida State University College of Law from 1989 to 1992.

FAMU Alumnus Makes History at Vanderbilt


Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus Larry O. Rivers became the first African American to successfully defend a doctoral dissertation in Vanderbilt University’s Department of History. Rivers, who currently teaches history at Augusta State University in Augusta, Ga., recently returned to Nashville, Tenn. to participate in his graduate alma mater’s commencement ceremony.

“My FAMU education really helped me refine my skills as a researcher, writer and critical thinker,” Rivers said. “That solid foundation prepared me to excel in the rigorous environment of a top-level national research university.”

Larry’s parents watched proudly as he received his doctoral hood and crossed the stage. His mother, Betty H. Rivers, formerly worked in administrative positions for the City of Tallahassee and finished her career as business services manager for the Tallahassee Regional Airport. His father, Larry E. Rivers, taught history at FAMU and served as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. He is now the president of Fort Valley State University. Larry also has one younger brother, Linj√©, who is a legal counsel for the Florida Department of Financial Services.

“Vanderbilt provided me with many phenomenal educational experiences,” Rivers said. “Not only did this institution give me an opportunity to work with leading national experts in the field of African American religion, it also permitted me to study with living legends of the struggle for educational equality and civil rights.”

One of those “living legends” was former FAMU President Frederick S. Humphries, who served as a Distinguished Visiting Research Professor at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College in 2007-2008. Another was the Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr., a Distinguished Visiting University Professor who was one of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s lieutenants during the Civil Rights Movement.

Rivers, a recipient of the prestigious Harold Stirling Vanderbilt Fellowship, wrote his dissertation on the late Rev. Dr. James Hudson, a former professor of philosophy and university chaplain at FAMU from 1946 to 1973. The biography focuses on Hudson’s role in launching the 1956 Tallahassee Bus Boycott and setting the foundation for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s rise as the premier spokesman of the Civil Rights Movement.

Vanderbilt Professor Dennis C. Dickerson, who holds the James M. Lawson, Jr. Chair in History and also serves as the Historiographer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, advised Rivers’ research.

“The Rivers dissertation, done at Vanderbilt University, will be a book and a scholarly statement about engaged African-American intellectuals and their connection with those less fortunate than themselves,” Dickerson said. “Dr. Rivers, at his young age, has already distinguished himself as a scholar to watch in coming years.”

Throughout the course of his research, Rivers relied heavily upon the James Hudson Papers Collection compiled by FAMU Professor E. Murell Dawson, director of the Carrie Meek-James N. Eaton, Sr. Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum.

At FAMU, Rivers majored in public relations. He was a National Achievement Scholar, Presidential Distinguished Scholar, and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Journalism Scholar. The School of Journalism and Graphic Communication named him the “Outstanding Student in Journalism” (2003), “Outstanding Student in Public Relations” (2004), and “Outstanding Public Relations Writer” (2004). Additionally, Rivers was elected FAMU student body president for the 2003-2004 school year. In 2003, he won Seat IV on the Ochlockonee River Soil & Water Conservation Board with 28,870 votes, becoming the youngest elected official in Leon County, Florida. Rivers was also a member of the Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. As a college freshman, he authored a book chronicling the history of the FAMU College of Law which was published by the FAMU Foundation, Inc.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

FAMU Board of Trustees Meeting

During the Florida A&M University’s Board of Trustees Committee and Board meetings, there were two important items that were discussed and presented.


Item One

President Ammons Provided Update regarding Budget Cutting Exercise




During a Florida A&M University (FAMU) Board of Trustees Committee meeting Wednesday, FAMU President James H. Ammons provided an update on how the university would account for a 10 percent reduction if implemented for the 2012-2013 academic year.

According to Ammons, the Governor’s Office and Legislature has asked state agencies and universities to identify recurring budget reductions that can be made for the fiscal year 2012-2013 in an event that budget reductions are necessary. 



“The reduction should total at least 10 percent of the 2011-2012 recurring revenues which is $7,858,247 and 10 percent for recurring trust funds or lottery which amounts to $1,195,588,” said Ammons. “All reductions should be recurring, program/issue specific and cannot be across-the-board percentage reductions. All programs must be fully evaluated. As you are well aware, any reductions to our budget will require looking even closer at each and every unit on campus.”

Ammons also told Board members that reductions of this magnitude would again require a layoff of personnel. The other possibilities, he said, include looking at combining or eliminating functional areas, reviewing non-academic/non-credit generating units, analyzing the next level of low productivity programs with the goal of cutting total programs and seeking alternative arrangements for students to complete their degrees at other institutions. 


“Such cuts may have to be “deep” and would also interfere with enrollment goals,” said Ammons. “Nothing is off the table. However, any potential reduction will harm recruitment of the best and brightest students and the retention of great faculty. We would eliminate current less than critical vacancies within each administrative and academic unit, and consider additional administrative cuts, across the university, with an accompanying increase in shared resources.”

FAMU has been asked to send this information to the Board of Governors by August 19, 2011.







Item Two

Board of Trustees Approves of the Proposal to Establish at Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree Program at FAMU




The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Board of Trustees unanimously approved the proposal to offer a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at FAMU. This proposal now goes before the Florida Board of Governors for consideration.

The proposal addresses the need for a new college of dental medicine in Florida and addresses the disparities regarding access to dental services, workforce diversity, dental education models, including operating and capital costs, and plans for creating a College of Dental Medicine. On Wednesday, the committee head from President James H. Ammons, FAMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Hughes Harris; Donald Palm, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs at FAMU; and Howard Bailit, the consultant for the project who is professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and former chair of the Department of Health Administration and Policy at Columbia University.

Bailit noted during his presentation the community-based model would place students in community clinics and in real care systems, where the students would gain more clinical experience. The faculty would teach and practice in the clinics. According to Bailit, this model is less expensive than the traditional model, where students gain experience in teaching labs.

Balit emphasized that this model will have a positive impact on providing dental services, especially in the rural communities. The proposal envisions that a large number of potential students would be from disadvantaged, low-income families, rural communities and underrepresented minorities. The proposal also addresses estimated costs of the College and potential funding opportunities.



Because of its innovative, community-based clinical education model, the College of Dental Medicine will require much less State support than traditional schools. An annual operating subsidy of about $10.3 million will be needed. This is substantially less than state support for dental schools of this size nationally and in Florida.

The next step in the approval process is the submission of the proposal to the Florida Board of Governors at its next meeting in September 2011.