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Monday, July 28, 2014



AAMU Alumnus Among White House and USDA “Champions of Change”


An Alabama A&M University alumnus and noted farmer will be among 15 “Champions of Change” to be recognized by the White House and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tuesday, July 29, at 10 a.m. (Eastern).


Billy B. Bridgeforth, a 1980 soil science AAMU graduate, will be distinguished as Bridgeforth.jpg

a trendsetter during a program recognizing leaders from throughout the U.S. who are making significant positive impacts on the next generation of farming and ranching


Bridgeforth is a fourth-generation farmer in Tanner, Ala., whose Darden Bridgeforth & Sons operation grows cotton, corn, wheat, soybeans, and canola using a variety of cutting-edge agronomic techniques and land conservation practices.   As Chairman of the National Black Growers Council, Bridgeforth advocates on behalf of Black farmers in the United States and abroad.


The program Tuesday will feature USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, who will discuss efforts to ensure that beginning farmers and the growing ranks of agriculture—women, young people, immigrants, socially disadvantaged producers, returning veterans and retirees—have access to the programs and support they need. The event will include a discussion about how to continue growing and supporting the next generation of America’s farmers and ranchers.


The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals, businesses, and organizations doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.   


To watch this event live, visit  To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and nominate a Champion, visit  For more information on opportunities to support new and beginning farmers, visit



Research for the AAMU Alumni Directory Under Way!


Work on the upcoming Alabama A&M University Alumni Directory is well underway, and we are trying to reach everyone by mail and/or phone to update alumni information.


Designed to be a definitive reference for Alabama A&M alumni, this publication will make it easy for you to reconnect with friends and former classmates.  Complete listings for each respondent will include academic, professional and personal information - sorted alphabetically by last name.  Alumni will also be listed by city and state of residence, and a special editorial section about Alabama A&M University will give you a look at the past and glimpse into our future.


The first post card was slated for mailing on July 18.   The post cards request alumni  call the specific dedicated toll free number for your organization to update and verify their information.   Subsequent post cards (both hard copy and e-mail) will be sent approximately every two weeks, and the fourth and fifth broadcasts will contain the link to the on-line questionnaire.  Alumni  will have until October 20th to update their listing and reserve a directory. The toll-free number alumni  will call to update is: 1- 800-546-3767, and it will be available beginning Monday, July 21.


To help make the publication as complete as possible, please update your biographical profile and submit a photo and note about your activities since graduation.



More Fire Drills Scheduled


Starting Wednesday, July 16, 2014, the Department of Public Safety will commence mandatory fire drills at all occupied campus buildings.


To prevent disruption of your business operations, please review the attached information and plan accordingly. Please make note of the following:


·         Upon the sounding of a fire alarm, all occupants must immediately  proceed to the nearest exit.

·         Everyone must exit the building!

·         Security will be provided but you should still take all personal valuables (purse, wallet, cell phone) when you leave.

·         Proceed to your evacuation assembly area immediately.

·         Once out of the building no one should re-enter without approval.

·         Remain at the assigned assembly area until released to re-enter the building.

·         Police Officers will be stationed inside all buildings during these drills, please follow all instructions.


If there is anyone in your office or building unable to exit without assistance, please notify us (256-372-5555) prior to your fire drill date.  Please remember these drills are a mandatory component of our State fire safety requirements. 




(Secure Your ID Badges Before Exits)


Tuesday, July 29

9-11 a.m.             College of Business, Human Resources

2-4 p.m.               ROTC, Print Shop, Elmore Gym


Wednesday. July 30

2-4 p.m.               Engineering Building, Carver Complex


Thursday, July 31

9-11 a.m.             Irradiation Center, Agribition Center


Monday, August 4

9-11 a.m.             Wellness Center, McCain Health & Counseling Center


Tuesday, August 5

9-11 a.m.             University Services Building




Alum Among $50K Paid Wedding Finalists


A 2009 electrical engineering alumnus have been afforded an opportunity for the wedding of a lifetime. 


Sergio Hicks and his fiancée Brittany have been selected as one of the four finalist couples in an expense paid (up to $50,000) wedding giveaway.   


“Now we need the help of our family and friends to go the website and vote for our love story video for our chance to win,” says Hicks, appealing to the Bulldog Nation.  The couple whose video receives the most votes will win the contest.  Individuals can vote once every 24 hours  through August 15. 


Voting is easy:   


1) Click on the link below 

2) Watch our video if you choose to 

3) Scroll to the bottom of the page and vote for BRITTANY and SERGIO.

Here is the link:



Professor Receives AAFCS Distinguished Service Award


Cynthia Smith DSA pic2.JPG

AAFCS 2013-14 President Peggy Wild, CFCS (left) and AAFCS 2014-15 President-Elect Beverly Card, CFCS (right), present Dr. Cynthia Smith with the AAFCS Distinguished Service Award during the AAFCS 105th Annual Conference in St. Louis, Mo.

A revered Alabama A&M University professor has received a national award from the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) during its 105th Annual Conference & Expo in St. Louis, Mo., recently.


Dr. Cynthia Smith, chair of AAMU’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, received the organization’s coveted Distinguished Service Award for her “extraordinary, dedicated, and steadfast engagement” with AAFCS and other professional organizations on national, regional, and local levels throughout her career.

Smith was also cited for “significant accomplishments in higher education resident instruction span the range of curriculum development, teaching innovations, publications, and mentoring.”

“To make any kind of impact globally and to sustain it, we must embrace and mentor our students and young professionals to boldly carry out our mission whether in the community, state, national, or international arena, commented Dr. Smith.  “Our students and young people are indeed our future.”


Based in the Washington, D.C., area, AAFCS serves family and consumer sciences students and professionals across multiple practice settings and content areas. For more than 100 years, AAFCS has focused its mission on providing leadership and support for professionals whose work assists individuals, families, and communities in making more informed decisions about their well-being, relationships, and resources to achieve optimal quality of life. 



A&M Engineering School to Award a Dozen Full Scholarships 


Thanks to generous support from the Department of Energy and Alabama Power, Alabama A&M University's College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences (CETPS) will award full scholarship packages to 12 high-performing freshmen at noon on Tuesday, July 29.


Alabama A.jpgThe awards will be distributed as part of the college's STEM Star Scholars Presentation in Arthur J. Bond Hall, Room 233.  The public is invited.


The new STEM Star Scholars will receive packages that include full tuition, room, board, fees, and a $1,000 book stipend each year for four (4) years. The STEM Star Scholarship program aims to support the growth of the College, as well as to prepare the scholars for leadership roles in STEM-related fields.  


CETPS' STEM Star Scholars initiative provides full educational support to high-performing first-time and continuing freshmen entering into one of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) academic majors that the college offers. The scholars must maintain a 3.15 GPA and complete 30 hours each year in addition to having opportunities for summer industry and academic internships, early entry into participating graduate degree programs, mentoring/tutoring, professional development and leadership training, potential induction into the Honors program, as well as undergraduate research opportunities. 


The 2014 STEM Scholars are: Kwandjhia Hamilton, civil engineering (Tuscaloosa, Ala.); James Houston Kirby, chemistry (Madison, Ala.); Kyana Imani McKay, chemistry (Madison, Ala.); Christina Rachelle Morris, computer science (Montevallo, Ala.); Derrius Deshanti Plair, mechanical engineering (O’Fallon, Mo.); Robert Earl Norwood, Jr., electrical engineering (Thomaston, Ala.); Jameria Tierra Slaughter, mechanical engineering (Birmingham, Ala.); Darrien M. Barron, computer science (Tuscaloosa, Ala.); Charles Baker, mechanical engineering (Phenix City, Ala.); Amira Hyder, mechanical engineering (Huntsville, Ala.); Michael Land, mechanical engineering (Millry, Ala.); and Quinton Land, mechanical engineering (Millry, Ala.).



Upcoming Events from the Small Farms Research Center (AAMU)


August 6th, 2014 - Vegetable Production, Management and IPM Field Day and Workshops held at the Alabama A&M University's Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station, 372 Walker Lane, Hazel Green, AL 35750 from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - MORE Farm Field Day Info


August 16th, 2014 - Hopewell Women-In-Agriculture Conference held at the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, 4817 Jefferson Avenue SW, Birmingham, AL 35221. - MORE Women in Ag Info


August 20-22nd - Agricultural Risk Management and Business Development Training Workshop held at the Jon Archer Agricultural Center, 1070 Schillinger Rd. North Mobile, AL. ( Only a few scholarships are currently available). - MORE About Workshop in Mobile


Upcoming Activity:  Save the Date! October 2-3, 2014- New and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program held on the campus of Alabama A&M University 4900 Meridian Street, Normal, AL 35762. - MORE New & Beginning Farmers/Ranchers 



AAMU Athletics Director Appointed to NCAA Council


Alabama A&M University Athletics Director Bryan Hicks has joined the NCAA Division I Leadership Council as the Southwestern Athletic Conference representative. 

Comprised of representatives from every Division I conference, the Leadership HicksBryan2.JPG
Council supports the NCAA Board of Directors in identifying issues critical to the future of the NCAA, and shapes the legislative agenda for the coming year.

The group also oversees a number of other NCAA committees, including the Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee, the Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Committee, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Committee on Women's Athletics and all NCAA cabinets.

Hicks is entering his third year at the helm of the AAMU Athletics program. During his first two years, he has overseen key capital improvements in campus athletic facilities, and student-athlete graduation rates and Academic Progress Rates (APR) have steadily improved.  This past spring, the first conference championship of his tenure was brought home to "The Hill", as the Lady Bulldog bowling team captured the 2014 Southwestern Athletic Conference.  



Summer Work Schedule to End


AAMU's four-day and 10-hour workweek schedule will come to an end Friday, August 1.  The regular eight-hour work schedule will resume on Monday, August 4.  For additional information, contact the Office of Human Resources at (256) 372-5835.  



Crop Production Workshops & IPM Field Day Set for August 6

by Wendi Williams


The Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University’s Small Farm Research Center and Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, along with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System are hosting the "Vegetable Crop Production, Management and IPM Field Day and Workshops" on Wednesday, August 6, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Center located at 372 Walker Lane in Hazel Green, Ala.  


This event features nine outdoor sessions on several areas of vegetable production and pest management, and one indoor culinary demonstration.  For program details, please visit  Although this event is free to the public, participants must register to ensure that enough materials and resources are available. To register, contact Jamarkus Crowell at (256) 372-4424 or via e-mail at by August 1, 2014.  


For additional information or inquiries, please contact Dr. Rufina Ward at (256) 372-4244 or Dr. Karnita Golson-Garner at (256) 372-8331.



AAMU Scientists Using Standoff Laser Technique to Detect Food Contamination 


AnupSharma2.JPGA group of Alabama A&M University researchers have been awarded a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant to conduct research on novel ways to detect food contamination.   MORE



Freshman Convocation and Torch Lighting Ceremony Attendance 


On Thursday, August 14, 2014, at 12:30 p.m. in the T.M. Elmore Gymnasium, Alabama A&M University will hold its Freshman Convocation and Torch Lighting Ceremony to formally welcome new students into the beginning of their academic career. This ceremonious event will closely resemble the University Commencement and will afford incoming freshman the opportunity to witness the size and strength of their class; to gain an understanding of the values, history and tradition of this institution; and to receive a special charge from Dr. Terrance Vickerstaff, keynote speaker and University alumnus.


It is requested that all administrators, staff and faculty attend the Freshman Convocation, and that faculty dress in full regalia. Faculty will line up at 12:10 p.m. and will march in at 12:20 p.m. for the ceremony.


Thank you for your support of this transitional event and experience for our students.



Rehabilitation Students Take Annual Tour


Rehabilitation Counseling Vocational Assessment and Case Management graduate students recently went on their annual tour.   The students toured Blind Industries, a large facility that makes ties for the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as many other items for its numerous government contracts.


The students then toured the E.H. Gentry Facility, which is the evaluation and rehabilitation training center. Within this center, blind and deaf individuals are trained on the use of technology in state-of-the-art laboratories.  Tour guide Jack Harrison informed students about the importance of the rehabilitation counselor and the evaluation of individuals with disabilities. 


The last phase of the tour was with the Regional Library for the Blind, where all reading matter for blind children is converted to Braille. Textbooks that cost as much as $1500 due to the complexity of converting traditional print matter and graphics to Braille are made available to any legally blind student in the school systems in the state of Alabama.  Moreover, other states also contact the Regional Library for similar services. Additionally, this regional library provides free reading matter to the blind, providing patrons with written books, journals or magazines electronically via technology that allows them to explore the world of reading without sight.


The rehabilitation students view the annual tour as a plus in their AAMU experiences. Trip expenses for approximately 20 students and faculty members were defrayed by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the Rehabilitation Services Administration Long-term Training.  



Three Massey Brothers, Students Return Home from Afghanistan


See moving STORY

The Massey Brothers include Eddie, Everett and Exavier







AAMU Signs Agreement with University of Curacao

 SU14 Math Enrichment_ High School(1).jpg





Freshman Convocation and Torchlighting Ceremony 2014

Alabama A&M University student leaders will join administrators, faculty, staff and alumni at the official presidential welcome for the Class of 2018 scheduled Thursday, August 14, from 12:30-2 p.m. in the T.M. Elmore Building.  AAMU President Andrew Hugine, Jr., will preside. 


The Class of 2018 will participate in an Alabama A&M traditional ceremony of receiving  the Torch of Excellence and Education.  The activity appropriately symbolizes reception and the carrying forward of the torch of learning.


Dr. Terrance Vickerstaff, associate minister of First Baptist Missionary Church and a 1998 and 2001 AAMU alumnus, will serve as the keynote speaker.   Vickerstaff also serves as the Alabama Regional Vice President for the AAMU  National Alumni Association, Inc.


The University family and the public is invited to attend.  For additional information, contact (256) 372-5287.



Chemistry Professor Named ACE Fellow


The American Council on Education (ACE) recently announced that the coordinator and associate professor of chemistry at Alabama A&M University has been named an ACE Fellow for academic year 2014-15.


The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and Gilmore2.JPG
preparing emerging leaders, such as Dr. Malinda Wilson Gilmore and others, for senior positions in college and university administration. Gilmore will join 31 Fellows, each nominated by the senior administration of their respective institutions, and selected following a rigorous application process.


Some Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program since its inception, with more than 300 Fellows having served as chief executive officers of colleges or universities and more than 1,300 having served as provosts, vice presidents and deans.


“For nearly 50 years, the ACE Fellows Program has transformed lives and grown future leaders,” said Joan Wodiska, ACE vice president and chief leadership officer. “The ACE Fellows Program is unique. The program immerses Fellows in learning experiences to gain insight and understanding into the changing environment of higher education.”


Gilmore earned her B.S. in chemistry from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, and obtained her Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis in agricultural and environmental chemistry. She completed her postdoctoral experience at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the area of environmental health sciences.  Just recently, Dr. Gilmore earned tenure and was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor of chemistry. 


Additionally, Gilmore works to enhance the academic and research skills of students from disadvantaged backgrounds so they can thrive in STEM programs and, ultimately, STEM careers. Toward that end, she serves as the campus advisor for the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) and also the American Chemical Society.


As Co-Principal Investigator, she has been a part of several successful grant proposals to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Science and Engineering Alliance, the United States Department of Agriculture and Title III. She has been honored in the AAMU’s Research Magazine as a “Rising Star”, and by the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences as the “Most Effective Young Faculty.” In 2013, she received the “Faculty of the Year Award for Service” by the College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Science.


For more information, please visit or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.





 Sealed Bids will be received by Alabama A&M University at the University Services Building, Physical Facilities Office, 453 Buchanan Way, Normal, Alabama 35762 (on the campus of A&M University) until 10:00 a.m. CST, Monday, July 28, 2014, for the Alabama A&M University Bulldog Transportation Program Bus Maintenance & Wash Renovation, Alabama A&M Project Number AAMU-005-2013, at which time the bids will be opened and read.  Only on-time, hard copies will be accepted.  Faxed, e-mailed, or late submittals will not be accepted.  Attendance at the mandatory pre-bid conference (on Monday, July 7, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. at the University Services Building, Physical Facilities Office, 453 Buchanan Way, Normal, Alabama 35762) is required and a mandatory prerequisite for prime contractors to bid on the project.  Drawings and specifications may be examined at the University Services Building, Physical Facilities Office, Conference Room, 453 Buchanan Way, Normal, Alabama 35762 and REED Construction Data Plan Room,


Bid Documents may be obtained from the Architect (Engineer) upon deposit of $200.00 per set, which will be refunded in full on the first sets issued to each general contract bidder submitting a bonafide bid, upon return of documents in good condition within ten days of bid date.  Other sets for general contractors, and sets for subcontractors and dealers, may be obtained with the same deposit, which will be refunded as above, less cost of printing, reproduction, handling and distribution.  The entire project shall be completed in Two Hundred Twenty-Five (225) working days.   Attention of Bidders is particularly called to the requirements of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which pertain to this project, and conditions of employment to be observed and minimum wage rates to be paid under the contract.  Bids must be submitted on proposal forms furnished by the Architect (Engineer) or copies thereof.  Alabama A&M University has a 29% Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), participation (GOAL)/obligation requirement for this project.  All bids must be based upon the Drawings, Specifications, Clarifications and Addenda.


Revised Open Enrollment Flyer for PEEHIP.jpg


AAMU's Most Viewed Event Photos

Ever wonder which AAMU events have attracted the most viewers?  Well, the Office of Marketing and Public Relations has pulled together a Top 30 list, using stats from, that spans from September 1, 2013, through May 31, 2013.  See any surprises?


AAMU’s 30 Most Viewed Photo Collections of the Year (2013-14)

September 1, 2013-May 29, 2014)

Office of Marketing and Public Relations


 1)  High School Senior Day 2013 - 150,865

 2)  Fall Commencement 2013 - 135,224

 3)  Coach James Spady Welcome Reception 2014 - 132,899

 4)  Magic City Classic 2013  - 111,580

 5)  AAMU On-Campus Parade 2013 - 109,632

 6)  President’s Bus Tour Send-Off 2014 - 106,247

 7)  Dancing with the President and First Lady 2014 - 103,803

 8)  Spring Commencement 2014 - 84,982

 9)  First Lady’s Scholarship Luncheon 2014 - 76,533

10) AAMU Coronation 2013 - 70,961

11) Homecoming Parade 2013 - 57,945

12) YMTF 2014 - 50,708

13) Crews Classic 2013 - 49,053

14) Open House 2014 - 43,359

15) Honors Center Open House - 43,196

16) Cadet Ball 2014 - 42,350

17) Retirees Holiday 2013 - 41,164

18) Ella Byrd McCain Center Naming - 39,400

19) Miss AAMU Tea 2014 - 37,608

20) Homecoming 2013 Football Game - 34,401

21) Founder’s Day Convocation 2014 - 33,995

22) Athletic Hall of Fame 2013 - 31,778

23) Career Fair 2013 - 30,484

24) Career Fair Spring 2014 - 29,878

25) Honors Convocation 2014 - 29,651

26) Administrative Professionals Day 2014 - 28,395

27) Pavers Ceremony - 27,288

28) Black Tie Gala 2014 - 27,202

29) Bone Marrow Walk and Drive - 22,795

30) Grad School OPEN HOUSE - 21,546



Children’s Book Highlights “The Classic”


An accomplished attorney who has been long fascinated with the appeal and energy of the annual Magic City Classic has now channeled here excitement into a children’s book. 


In Magic City Classic Game Day Rules, Sherri Graves Smith invites four- through six-year-olds on a fun-filled adventure, guided by none other than Bulldog and Hornet.  All during the eventful game day, the children experience the pageantry of the yearly Magic City Classic parade, the unbelievable tailgating that seems to extend for miles, as well as attend the exciting football game between Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University.


But the gridiron contest between the two schools isn’t the only highlight.  Bulldog and Hornet also teach worthwhile lessons in manners, civility, and good sportsmanship, along with some child safety tips, as well.   Of course, the Magic City Classic comes with a healthy dessert in the form of the Battle of the Bands!


The Magic City Classic piece is the author’s first extension of her “Game Day Rules” series into the realm of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The series introduces children to good sportsmanship and manners in MCCBook.jpg
a game day format.  Moreover, Smith has a series of alphabet and counting books that use college mascots. All books are licensed by college or professional teams. The current list of titles can be found at


Prior to becoming an author of children’s books, Smith was part of The Coca-Cola Company’s Legal Division as an attorney in November 2000. After taking an assignment as Assistant Division Counsel for Coca-Cola Ltd. in Toronto, Canada, Smith was being considered for a three-year position in Vienna, Austria.  However, her career came to an abrupt halt after a routine visit to the doctor revealed that she had cancer.  In November 2007, at the age of 36, she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and immediately began an aggressive course of treatments that included chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.


In 2010, Smith’s former manager at The Coca-Cola Company suggested reading to his children at their school as a way of being able to work with children.  She SmithSherriGraves.jpg
began reading to children again, and it motivated her to become an author. Today, Smith has more than 40 titles licensed by professional and college sports teams that teach good sportsmanship.


In addition to writing, the University of Alabama graduate participates in philanthropic work. She noticed that many of the cancer patients were facing dire financial straits as a result of undergoing treatments. Problems ranged from filing for bankruptcy to skipping treatments due to the inability to pay for gas and parking. Working with the Legal Department of The Coca-Cola Company, she has helped raise over $400,000 for the Atlanta Cancer Care Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) organization that helps cancer patients in the Atlanta metropolitan area who are in need of financial assistance. 


In March 2014, Smith was honored as the first winner of the Tuscumbia Education Foundation Hall of Fame. This award is for graduates of the Tuscumbia, Ala., school system who have exemplified excellence in their careers and in the community.



Photography from Past AAMU Events


Looking for photos of past events and activities at Alabama A&M University? If so, then simply check out the PHOTO ARCHIVES located on the webpage of the Office of Marketing and Public Relations.  There you will find a range of digital photos of events dating back several years.                    - Shirley Alexander


Alabama A&M University
P. O. Box 1027 (303 Patton Hall)
Normal, AL 35762-1027
(256) 372-5654
(256) 372-5034 (Fax)
Jerome Saintjones,, (256) 372-5607
Shirley Alexander,, (256) 372-5607
Interns/Bi-Weekly Students: (256) 372-5625