Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Scenes from SOAR – June 2015
Alumni Help Sought for “141 Points of Pride”
In an effort to enhance the production of next year’s “141 Points of Pride”—a document that will highlight the best of AAMU over the past year—AAMU is requesting the assistance of alumni and University faculty and staff in providing brief one- or two-sentence descriptions of noteworthy achievements that can become part of the “Points of Pride” publication in 2016.
Also wanted are any important state, regional or national distinctions received by Normalites. Submissions should be channeled through Sandra Stubbs, director of alumni affairs, at Sandra.firstname.lastname@example.org through January 31, 2016.
Funeral services will be held Gari “GiGi” Mitchell Johnson, sister of Dr. Sherrell Price, former Staff Senate president and staffer in the Office of Institutional Planning, Research and Effectiveness. Services are scheduled Thursday, July 2, at 12 noon at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, 1101 Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive SW, Birmingham, AL 35211. Arrangements are being coordinated by Davenport & Harris Funeral Home, (205) 252-2103.
The AAMU Family mourns the death of Sadie R. Watts, maternal grandmother of Carla Draper Holloway of the Honors Center. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 1, at Lily Baptist Church, 2247 Treadwell Road, Tarrant, Ala., with interment at Zion Memorial Gardens. Arrangements are being coordinated by Smith & Gaston Funeral Services, (205) 322-3581.
Student to Participate in Intense Summer Program in Oregon
Taurus Richardson, a Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Scholar at Alabama A&M University, has received the Rehabilitation Counseling with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Adults Program (RCDHHA) scholarship at Western Oregon University.
The RCDHHA program is a nine-credit, month-long summer academic certificate program. Scholarships include tuition for the program plus nearly $3,000 in grant support. Richardson will strengthen his skills in American Sign Language, deafness orientation and vocational rehabilitation services to better serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing population as a future rehabilitation counselor.
Last Day to Drop Courses/Withdraw from Summer Session
The last day to drop classes or withdraw from the University for the 2015 Summer semester Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Students who wish to withdraw from the University (drop to zero hours) must obtain a withdrawal form from the Registrar’s Office, Room 204 Patton Hall. Withdrawal forms must be returned to the Registrar’s Office no later than 5 p.m. July 1. Students can not withdraw (drop to zero hours) from the University through Banner Self-service.
If there is a balance on the student account, the student will not be able to drop courses through Banner Self-service, but will have to present a drop form signed by the advisor to the Registrar’s Office no later than 5:00 p.m. July 1.
CDC Neighborhood Center Reopens
The Edmonton Heights Family Life Center, under the auspices of the Alabama A&M University Community Development Corporation, recently held a reopening and awards ceremony that attracted local officials and appreciative members of the neighborhood. Special presentations were made by long-time Edmonton Heights resident Jimmie Malone and Meka The Poet. PHOTOS
AAMU Medicinal Plant Conference July 11
Alabama A&M University will host the Alabama Medicinal Plants Growers Association conference on Saturday, July 11, at AAMU’s Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station in Hazel Green, Ala.
The conference is open to anyone interested in medicinal plants. The $35 registration fee includes tours, refreshments and lunch.
For additional information, call Dr. Srinivasa Rao Mentreddy, professor of crop science, at (256) 372-4250 or (256) 457-8552.
Banquet Provides Scholarships to Area Students
Supporters and scholarship advocates attended the Dr. James Strong Scholarship Banquet presented by the Fountain of Life Community Development Corporation on Friday, June 19, at the Ernest L. Knight Reception Center on the AAMU campus.
Dr. Vernessa M. Edwards, assistant professor in the Department of Physics at AAMU, was the keynote speaker. Music was provided by the Fountain of Life Ensemble.
Among the scholarship recipients were Kwaishawn Albritton, an AAMU junior majoring in civil engineering; Martha Collins, a student at J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College, who is studying to become an Licensed Practical Nurse; and Akela Hankins, a sophomore at Alabama State University.
Photo: Dr. Vernessa Edwards addresses banquet.
Dayton Alumni Hold Successful Fundraiser
People came from miles around to participate in the annual fish fry facilitated by AAMU alumni in the Dayton, Ohio, area.
The yearly scholarship fundraiser has been in existence for more than three decades, hosted by retired educators Tom and Eliza Webb. Alumni raised $6,500 from the activity, attended by AAMU Marketing, Communications and Advancement staffers Archie Tucker, interim vice president, and Reba Jasmin, interim director of development.
8th Annual Small Ruminant Conference Set
Alabama Extension’s Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Program at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) and the Department of Agricultural Sciences at Tennessee State University (TSU) will present “Goat Production: the Basics” as the focus topic of the 8th Annual Small Ruminant Conference July 24-25. The conference will be held at Lakepoint Resort State Park in Eufaula, Ala.
Dr. Maria Leite- Browning, an Extension animal science and forages specialist said, “This program has been held nearly every year over the last decade in Alabama or Tennessee to assist prospective, new and experienced producers alike. Various topics concerning nutrition, health, genetics, economics and other aspects of small ruminant management are covered during these conferences.
At this year’s conference, data will be presented from collaborative ongoing integrated research and Extension activities at TSU and AAMU aimed at helping landowners to enter or enhance sustainable meat goat production.”
The deadline to register for the 8th Annual Small Ruminant Conference is Wednesday, June 30. There is no cost to attend; however, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, contact Maria Leite-Browning at MLL0002@aces.edu or (256) 372-4954.
Winrock International Honors Extension Specialist
Winrock International awarded 73 of its volunteers with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national honor offered in recognition of volunteer service. Urban Regional Extension Specialist Robert Spencer was among the recipients.
Established in 2003, the President’s Volunteer Service Award is issued by the
President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers make on behalf of America. As one of thousands of certifying organizations participating in the Award program, Winrock International confers the award to its worthy volunteers.
Spencer was honored for his 2014 assignments in Myanmar (Burma) in Southeast Asia. His initial visit to Myanmar focused on food security through improving small ruminant and marketing practices, while his second visit focused on value-added soap-making opportunities for women in agriculture.
“Not only am I proud to be of service to people in need throughout the world,” stated Spencer, “but working with different cultures and languages improves my program delivery and interaction skills for work with Alabama Extension.”
Spencer is a member of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Animal Science Team in the Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs unit at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University.
Visit www.winrock.org/volunteer to learn more about volunteering for Winrock International.
Tune in to WJAB 90.9 FM at 2:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month to learn more about Urban Extension programs and services throughout Alabama.
Small Farm Research Center (Save the Dates)
Cottage Food Law Training, July 9, 2015. beginning at 2:00p.m. -4:00p.m. held at Project Hopewell Inc., 4817 Jefferson Ave SW. Birmingham, AL 35221 . Event sponsored by Hopewell Women-In-Agriculture ( Initiative of SFRC). Pre-registration is required. Registration fee $25.00. Please register through the link below: https://ssl.acesag.auburn.edu/…/cottag…/registrationForm.ph...p.
Alabama Medicinal Plant Growers Association (AMPGA) Conference, July 11, 2015, beginning at 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., held at the Alabama A&M University's Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station, 372 Walker Lane, Hazel Green, AL 35762. P.O.C. Rao Mentreddy, (256)-372-4250 or email@example.com; Limited scholarships are available through the Small Farms Research Center (please contact JaMarkus Crowell, (256)-372-4424 or firstname.lastname@example.org). There is a $35 registration fee that will be taken; however, there will be on-site registration the day of the event.
Hydroponic Farm Tour, July 29, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m., J. Sparks Farm, 312 Esslinger Drive Gurley, AL 35748. There is online registration available at www.aamu.edu/sfrc under Quick Glance with title, "Hydroponic Farm Tour - Registration" Please note everyone will meet at J. Sparks Farm the day of the event. We advise everyone to PRE-REGISTER.
2015 Agricultural Risk Management and Business Development Training Workshop, August 19-21, 2015, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Jon Archer Agricultural Center, 1070 Schillinger Rd., N Mobile, AL 36608. There is online registration available at www.aamu.edu/sfrc under Quick Glance with title, 2015 Ag. Risk Management & Business Development Workshop - Registration. More information will follow regarding this event. Please note there is a $20.00 fee that reserves your spot, limited scholarships available and optional transportation provided. Please inquire about the limited scholarships by calling (256)-372-4424 or (256)-372-4970.
Admissions Offers New App
The Office of Admissions at Alabama A&M University is offering prospective students a new smartphone app to help them navigate the admissions process.
According to Venita Clisby King, admissions director, the app will provide students "unprecedented" access to their respective admissions assistant. Students will also be able to monitor their application status, learn about campus events, and chat with their admissions assistant through their smartphones.
"The app is completely free and is the perfect tool to help students navigate the admissions process," King says. "Never again will they have to wonder where their application stands. They simply check the app and stay informed."
To sign up, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Download our school admissions app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
Apple App Store Link
Google Play Store Link
Step 2: Click "OK" when the pop-up window appears to "Allow Push Notification Alerts" to receive important alerts each time we update your admissions checklist and/or send you a message.
Step 3: Click "Admissions Access" under the For "Prospective Students" Tab
Miss AAMU Among Students Assisted by John Stallworth Foundation
Small Ruminant Tour Touts Success
A tour aimed at exploring current marketing channels used by sheep and goat producers in the Northeast United States brought together nearly 80 participants from Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.
The five-day Marketing Small Ruminants Educational Tour was held May 22-26 to help producers learn more about different marketing channels. Some 75 producers from Alabama, Tennessee and producer members of the Mississippi Meat Goat Producer Cooperative, along with five Extension educators comprised the group. The educational tour was sponsored by a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (AFRI) that was awarded to Dr. Maria Leite-Browning, Alabama Cooperative Extension System-Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs, and the co-PI institutions represented by Dr. Cassandra Vaughn, Alcorn State University, and Dr. Richard Browning, Jr., of Tennessee State University.
The participants learned how to improve live grading skills and evaluate the condition of their animals to satisfy targeted markets. They also had the opportunity to network with buyers, auction barns, and livestock haulers in the Northeast.
The first stop of the educational tour was in Tazwell, Tenn., at a 600-plus purebred Katahdin sheep farm owned by James and Joann England. James England provided the group with the benefits of raising Katahdin sheep and discussed risks, along with his marketing strategy. An in-depth discussion of mortality composting was also provided. While the meat goats are sold to local markets, his lambs are sold at an auction in Columbia, Tenn.
Next, the group visited the Tennessee countryside near Tazwell to tour the Katahdin/Dorper cross hair sheep operation owned by Rodney Fugate and Sons. Fugate discussed the benefits of sun hemp as a forage choice. Fugate sells lamb directly to local restaurants in Tennessee.
On Saturday, the group spent the day at the Vanguard Ranch in Gordonsville, Va., a commercial Kiko and Myotonic goat operation managed by Renard Turner. The tour included an outdoor lunch of Turner's famous goat kabobs from his food truck. Turner explained how he built a niche market for goat burgers, kabobs, and curry by using his food truck where ethnic festivals and fairs are held. He further provided members with valuable information on holistic farming practices, organic farming methods, breed selection, culling, and forage production.
On Sunday, group members were offered a free day of rest or a chance to tour Skyline Caverns and Manassas National Battlefield Park. As the group traveled into rural Pennsylvania, members were amazed at the widespread diversity and scope of agricultural practices in the countryside.
Upon arrival in New Holland, Pa., on Monday the group spent the evening attending the New Holland Sales Stables goat and sheep auction, one of the largest in the northeast United States, with over 225,000 head sold annually.
The New Holland Sales Stables tour was coordinated by Levi Geyer, supervisory market news reporter for the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Geyer also took the group to a nearby goat holding and buying facility and explained the goat grading process. Geyer explained how it took careful strategic planning, coupled with excellent access for shipping to major U.S. cities (e.g., Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Providence, Boston, Philadelphia and New York City), to make the buying yard and sales stables profitable due to close proximity to those diverse ethnic markets.
The tour ended on Tuesday with an 18-hour bus ride home. A key benefit to members was the opportunity to network with their peers in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, coupled with the expertise of the extension specialists and farmers visited. Members left with renewed enthusiasm, a plethora of ideas, and shared interest in pooling resources to increase small ruminant production goals.
By Maria Lenira Leite-Browning, Extension Animal Scientist Alabama Cooperative Extension System at Alabama A&M University; Jeff Posey, Ed.D., President, MS Meat Goat Producers Cooperative; and Elizabeth B. Myles, Marketing Specialist, Alcorn State University Mississippi Small Farm and Agribusiness Center
AAMU Tantamount in Production of Nation's Black Foresters
A recent research study conducted by Multicultural Workforce Strategic Initiative (MWSI) Liaison Stephanie Love and the Alabama A&M
University (AAMU) Forestry Department has revealed that AAMU, the country's only Society of American Foresters-Accredited HBCU, has been almost single-handedly responsible for the African American professional forester workforce within the USDA Forest Service for more than two decades.
More than half of these professional foresters have been retained within the U.S. Forest Service to date. This success, in part, is due to recruitment and development of the students-turned-professional foresters through apprenticeship programs conducted by the partnership between the AAMU Forestry Department and the USDA Forest Service MWSI Program.
A need was identified to create a recruitment and career development program to engage interest in and to expose incoming freshmen, which are intended forestry majors, to all the facets of forestry. The result is increased marketability during the application process which has resulted in an increased pool of diverse candidates for intern, temporary, and permanent positions with the USDA Forest Service.
From this need, was born the Forestry, Ecology, Wildlife and Fire Summer Research Apprenticeship program. This program enables AAMU to attract quality students and to continue to be a leader in the diversity inclusion of African Americans in the professional forestry series.
AAMU Bulldogs Will Take on Wildcats in Cincinnati
On Saturday, September 5, the mighty Alabama A&M University Bulldogs will play the University of Cincinnati Bearcats in Cincinnati, Ohio. The game time is 6 p.m. CST.
Among the available lodging arrangements is one coordinated by the Huntsville/Madison County Alumni Chapter and Slay Teague VIP Express. The two have a block of rooms at the Millennium Hotel, located at 150 W 5th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. The rate is $100 per nights for September 4-6.
For additional information, contact (513) 352-2100 or call Clarene Teague Johnson at email@example.com. Also visit www.aamusports.com.
AAMU Graduate Social Work Program Ranked #2 in Nation
Graduateprograms.com has announced its Spring 2015 “Top Social Work Grad Programs for Value.” Graduateprograms.com defines “value” by posing the following questions to students: How satisfied are you with your graduate program? Did you make the right choice? Would you choose this program again?
Program rankings, compiled using data gathered between September 1, 2012 and March 31, 2015, encompass reviews posted by more than 7,500 social work students participating in over 500 social work programs nationwide. Ratings are based on a 10-star system (with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best).
The Top 25 Social Work Programs for Value are listed below:
1 Boise State University
2 ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY
3 Simmons College
4 Texas State University
5 Florida Atlantic University
6 University of Minnesota
7 Boston College
8 Florida International University
9 California State University Los Angeles
10 California State University San Marcos
11 Fordham University
12 University of Arkansas at Little Rock
13 Michigan State University
14 New Mexico State University
15 Springfield College
16 Hunter College
17 University of Kansas
18 Baylor University
19 Widener University
20 California State University Northridge
21 Delaware State University
22 University of Houston
23 CUNY Lehman College
24 The University of Texas at Arlington
25 Washington University in St. Louis
Methodology. Graduateprograms.com reaches current and recent graduate students through scholarship entries as well as social media platforms. These program rankings cover a period from September 1, 2012 to March 31, 2015.
Graduateprograms.com assigns 15 ranking categories to each graduate program at each graduate school. Rankings cover a variety of student topics such as academic competitiveness, career support, financial aid and quality of network.
For a given graduate program, rankings are determined by calculating the average score for each program based on the 15 ranking categories. These scores are then compared across all ranked schools for that program and are translated into a final ranking for that graduate program, i.e., “business and management”. A given graduate program is not ranked until a minimum threshold of graduate student surveys is completed for that program.
For additional information, contact John Karageorge, firstname.lastname@example.org of Graduateprograms.com, or call (201) 321-9931.
USDA Secretary Appoints AAMU Ag Professor to Serve on Land Tenure Subcommittee
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has appointed an Alabama A&M University agricultural economist to the distinguished Subcommittee on Land Tenure.
Dr. Duncan M. Chembezi serves as professor of agricultural and applied economics in addition to his post as director of the Small Farms Research
Center. Chembezi will sit on the 13-member subcommittee comprised of experts from the private sector, government and academia and will review the wide range of USDA programs and provide recommendations on the topic of farm business transition and land tenure in the United States.
Moreover, the Subcommittee will provide a detailed report and draft recommendations to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (ACBFR), which will subsequently develop and deliver final recommendations to the Secretary.
“The charge of the Subcommittee is to provide technical input to ACBFR on matters of land tenure to advise the Secretary and potentially influence the direction and outcomes of legislative and USDA administrative actions to better serve the needs of young, beginning, and small farmers in the United States,” said Chembezi, who is serving his second term on the Secretary’s ACBFR.
Dr. Chembezi believes the appointment reflects the confidence the Secretary has in people on the ground who tirelessly execute and implement his vision and USDA’s mission of meeting every producer’s farming need, including needs of socially disadvantaged beginning farmers and ranchers.
Dr. Chembezi currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-FARE), a non-profit national organization dedicated to strengthening the national presence of the agricultural and applied economics profession.
He previously has served on the Advisory Board of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG), Advisory Council of the Southern Region Risk Management Education Center, and Advisory Committee of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association (SAEA). In recognition of his outstanding professional work, Dr. Chembezi received several awards including the Excellence in Extension and Public Service Award from the Southern Rural Sociological Association (SRSA).
Birmingham Chapter Awards Scholarships
The Birmingham Alumni Chapter of Alabama A&M University held a reception for 13 high school seniors and their families on May 17 at the JCCEO Building. The honorees were Celeste Macon and Kean Williams of Center Point High School; Bria Harris of Holy Family High School; Amber Fletcher of John Carroll High School; Tikera Yancy of Ramsay High School; Reianna Knight Huffman High School; Edward Turner, Jefferson County IB; Miranda Jeffrey of Carver High School; Alecia Wilson of Shades Valley High School; and Jarrell Langford, KaDarrius Watson and Taylor Perkins of Fairfield High School.
Special guest Christie Cline was on hand to present the Mary Cline Bentley Award to Mikel Packer of Fairfield High School. Four scholarships were presented from the Estate of Ronald Steele. A maroon and white repast was prepared by hospitality chairperson Camelia Holmes. The Scholarship Selection Committee was chaired by Rhonda Jones Warren. Committee members include Annie Keith, Barbara Merkerson, Mary Hudson, Iris Davis and Karzetta Bester. The chapter president is Carol Ann Watkins.
Athletics Administrator Elected to MOAA Board
The associate athletic director for business and senior woman administrator at Alabama A&M University has been elected to the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) Board of Directors.
The term of Dr. Renae Myles began at the National Association of Collegiate
Directors of Athletics Convention June 11-19 in Orlando, Fla. Myles has been an active member of MOAA since 2006. She is a member of the Symposium Planning Committee and Education and Professional Development Committee.
A group of minority professionals in athletics formed MOAA out of concern for the lack of diversity in sports administration. The Association was formed in 2000 as a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and will hold an annual symposium in conjunction with the NACDA convention, develop a resource center that identifies programs and supports diversity, conduct research to find solutions to athletics problems and provide postgraduate scholarships for ethnic minority college graduates who will pursue a graduate degree in athletics administration.
For the second year, Dr. Myles facilitated the Speed Networking session at the MOAA Symposium. In addition to her work with MOAA, she is also a member of the College Athletic Business Management Association and led a session titled "Value-Based Budgeting in the New Era of Intercollegiate Athletics."
Alum Hopes to Inspire Youths with Story of AAMU Physicist
The director of the local non-profit 4SIGHT is on a mission to build up the interest and confidence of minority junior high school students when it comes to the field of physics.
Dr. Cydale Smith believes he can accomplish this by sharing the inspirational story of Howard J. Foster, a long-time Alabama A&M University physicist, at the Howard J. Foster Physics and Mathematics Education Symposium on June 19 at a local Huntsville junior high school. Although Smith never met Dr. Foster, as a graduate of AAMU’s physics program, he believes he is definitely a beneficiary of the program founder’s great work.
“I started to hear about how he was forward thinking, talented and committed to education for the ‘underrepresented’ students, as the term is applied today,” said Dr. Smith. “The more research I conducted on Dr. Foster, the more I realized this story had to be told.”
4SIGHT will host the Symposium Ronald E. McNair Junior High School from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dr. Foster, he said, mentored some of the leading physicists in the country, including the late Ronald E. McNair, who he encouraged to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Physicist Stephen McGuire will be the keynote speaker at the event. A panel will discuss methods to develop pipelines to schools, the community, industry and the academy. Among the list of participants are Lewis Wooten, Space Launch System (SLS) Avionics Element Manager; Carl Holden; James “Jim” Jennings; Sylvia Bozeman; William Jackson-UC Davis; David J. Ernst; and Eugene Collins. Students in college, junior and high school will have the opportunity to interact with physicists at the event.
“While researching Dr. Foster, I began developing science laboratories in some of the housing communities in the city,” said Smith. “My goal during this time was to
see what was wrong with the kids. I wanted to know why they were not interested in science and why they seemed so lost and aimless.”
However, Smith soon realized that the kids were not the problem. The students needed an opportunity to succeed. “All the while I kept thinking that these kids needed to hear the Howard J. Foster story for inspiration and honor. We must inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.”
Foster was dropped out of school in the seventh grade. After serving in the armed forces, he returned to the seventh grade at the age of 23. He later attended college at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., where he graduated magna cum laude and earned the M.S. degree in physics. In 1964, he received a Ph.D. in physics from Catholic University of America with a special citation for academic performance.
Before AAMU, Foster held a position as solid state physicist in the Institute for Material Research at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards. He also held consulting and part-time professional positions with NASA and the Atomic Energy Commission. He held a visiting professorship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and visiting lectureships at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the University of Georgia.
Dr. Foster’s past work activity also included teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels in physics and mathematics; consulting in environmental sciences; work in atomic energy; environmental control (space program); missile vibration shielding; prospecting for mineral resources from outer space; defense against sophisticated missile attack (Safeguard); laboratory director for high-temperature studies of missile nose-cone materials and nuclear fuels; electron microscopy and diffraction; thin films and crystal growth, and theoretical and experimental studies of Fermi surfaces in metals.
Foster’s culminating work activity included quantum theoretical and experimental studies of Fermi surfaces and electronic properties of metals; work in crystal growth and purification of metals and alloys, all while consulting in some of the areas.
When he died on January 23, 1973, Howard Jerry Foster, then chair of the department of physics and mathematics at AAMU, sat on the advisory board of the Danforth Foundation, was a trustee for the Roxbury Medical-Technical Institute of Boston, Mass., and was a member of the American Physical Society’s Committee on Minorities in Physics.
“Dr. Howard did everything out of love for his students and the love he was given during his rise from dropout to accomplished physicist,” said Smith. “Now it is our turn to inspire and develop students within our communities; we have an excellent model to guide us, if we are willing to slow down and listen to the voices of those that have gone before.”
Noted physicist Dr. Stephen McGuire will be the keynote speaker at the event. There will be panel discussions on developing pipelines to schools, the community, industry and the academy that will include local and national leaders in physics. Other noted participants will be Mr. Lewis Wooten serves as the Space Launch System (SLS) Avionics Element Manager; Carl Holden; James “Jim” Jennings; Sylvia Bozeman: William Jackson-UC Davis; David J. Ernst; Eugene Collins among others.
There will be a platform for visiting universities. Students in college, junior and high school will have the opportunity to interact with physicists at the event.
Dr. Smith who received his Ph.D. in physics from AAMU will present a paper on the work of Dr. Foster at AAMU. For more information about the Symposium, call (256) 682-9681 or e-mail email@example.com.
Caption: The late Dr. Howard J. Foster
Lodging for 125th Anniversary Celebration in DC
The premier events for the 125th Anniversary of the 1890 Morrill Act will take place in Washington, DC on July 13-16, 2015. The host hotel for the anniversary is the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001.
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hyatt for July 13-17 under the name of 125th Anniversary of the 1890 Morrill Act at $209.00 per night for a king or double room plus 14.5% tax. Rooms are available on the night of July 16th for those who will not be able to depart Washington until the morning of the 17th. To make reservations, please click on the link below or call 1-888-421-1442. The cut-off date for making reservations is June 15, 2015.
For those persons who will be staying in Washington for only two nights, arriving on July 14 and departing on the 16th, we have reserved a block of rooms at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel DC, 415 New Jersey Avenue; NW., Washington, DC 20001. The room block is listed under the name of the 125th Anniversary of the 1890 Morrill Act. The Liaison is located directly across the street from the Hyatt and the rate is also $209.00 per night plus 14.5% tax. Additionally, for group arrivals of 10 or more at the same time using the same transportation (like a tour bus) there is a one-time $8.50 per person bag handling fee. To make reservations, call 1-866-233-4642 or the hotel direct at 202-638-1616. The cut-off date for making reservations is June 15, 2015.
Pageant Contestants Wanted
Contestants are being sought for the Rocket City Miss Heart of the USA Pageant. Contact Davina Patterson, preliminary director, at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Staffer Selected for NPI
A Student Affairs staffer at AAMU has been selected to participate in a coveted professional institute.
Jarvis Lane, a residence hall director for the Office of Residential Life and Housing, was selected from a pool of hundreds of applications to be part of the New Professionals Institute (NPI), one of the preeminent professional development opportunities for student affairs professionals in the South.
Co-sponsored by National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Region III and the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA), NPI is an intensive, interactive week of learning, sharing, and professional and personal development. This unique opportunity allows professionals to draw on their first years of experience to improve their effectiveness and to learn from others. It is a time of professional and personal renewal and assists new professionals in the development of their careers.
Many institutions have used this Institute not only as a training ground for promising personnel in the profession, but as a form of recognition for outstanding new professionals on their respective campuses. Participants come from all areas of student affairs: student activities, orientation, career services, residential life, recreation, judicial affairs, admissions, Greek affairs, counseling, international services, and more!
Two Students Receive Scholarship Support from Monsanto
Two logistics and supply chain management students from Alabama A&M University’s College of Business and Public Affairs will receive scholarship funds from the Monsanto Corporation, owing in part to collaborations among the College, AAMU advancement staff and Career Development Services.
Ashlyn Downing and Tia Patterson will each receive the $10,000 2015 Monsanto Fund 1890 Student Scholarship after submitting an essay and meeting other requirements. Ten students representing 1890 land-grant universities shared the $100,000 scholarship monies allotted by the company.
Grad Students Attend Mental Health Conference
Counseling Rehabilitation, Counseling Psychology, and Clincial Counseling Psychology graduate students from Alabama A&M University participated in the Second Annual Children’s Hospital Mental Health Conference held earlier this month in Birmingham, Ala. The discussion focused on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within the child and adolescent population. (Above, l-r: Andrea Kennedy, Kenneth Hogan, Adrian Williams and Steven Sanders).
AAMU Staff Senate Officers Elected
President - Eugene Tasie
Vice President - Malcolm Brasher
Secretary - Deborah Boglin
Assistant Secretary - Delorise Pruitt
Parliamentarian - Malcolm Williams
AFC Awards Scholarship to AAMU
Agricultural students attending Alabama A&M University will divvy up $5,000 in scholarship monies this fall, thanks to officials with Alabama Farm Credit (AFC), based in Cullman, Ala.
AFC President/CEO Ben Gore and Wendy Thysinger, executive assistant and director of marketing and public relations, recently presented the check to AAMU President Andrew Hugine, Jr., and Dr. Lloyd Walker, dean of the College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences, during a brief meeting on the AAMU campus.
In addition to making loans and providing other assistance to area farmers, AFC supports students who are pursuing agriculture-related degrees. The organization has had a lengthy and mutually beneficial relationship with AAMU, said Dean Walker.
AFC Presentation: (L-R): Dr. Lloyd Walker, dean, College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences; AAMU President Andrew Hugine, Jr.; Ben Gore, president/CEO, Alabama Farm Credit; and Wendy Thysinger, AFC executive assistant and marketing/public relations director.
AAMU Workshop Focuses on Subsurface Water Movement
Alabama A&M University’s College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences conducted a mid-May workshop designed increase participants’ awareness about how subsurface water measurement has evolved over the years.
The Borehole Infiltration Workshop was held at the Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station in Hazel Green, Ala., “to provide hands-on experience in measuring saturated hydraulic conductivity in the field,” according to Dr. Dedrick D. Davis, assistant professor of soil physics for the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences.
Expertise on the subject was provided by David Radcliffe of the University of Georgia and Thomas Macfie of Soil Science, Inc. In addition to showing how water moves through soil, workshop organizers discussed a number of permeameters used for submeasurement. See PHOTOS
For additional information about upcoming workshops, contact Dr. Davis at (256) 372-4187 or e-mail email@example.com.
Intramurals Gets New Pontoon
It's a dream come true for the Alabama A&M University intramurals program, says Franky Smith.
The program now possesses a 2013 200 Fish Bentley Pontoon powered by a 60-horsepower Mercury 4/Stroke outboard motor, equipped with a drive-on Marine Master trailer, mooring cover and depth finder.
With an eight-foot, six-inch beam, the boat spans an even 20 feet. See PHOTOS
APEX Toots Own Horn During NSF Showcase
Alabama A&M University’s Alliance for Physics Excellence program shared its successes during the week-long National Science Foundation 2015 Teaching and Learning Video Showcase (May 11-15). In 2012, AAMU was awarded an $8 million, five-year grant from the NSF to boost physics education in Alabama’s high schools and potentially reach 40,000 students.
The quality APEX video footage was shot by AAMU’s Telecommunications Center and pared down for the NSF submission by AAMU physicist Marius Schamscula. The NSF showcase allowed scientists, researchers and the general public to interact and “join the conversation” about the methods institutions like AAMU are using to enhance STEM and computer science teaching and learning.
“Not only is it innovative,” commented AAMU President Andrew Hugine, Jr., on the video and its content, “it has been and is being implemented in an exemplary fashion. The statewide and national exposure being received is commendable.”
Persons visiting the video showcase were also able to search for other videos by content, grade level, and institution, as well as to pose questions to presenters and vote for the three-minute video that best communicated “cutting-edge research and its impact.”
Since the posting of the APEX video, responses on the APEX webpage has been overwhelmingly positive. Moreover, many of the comments relate to the enthusiasm and engagement of the teacher-participants.
Dr. Mohan Aggarwal is the PI for the APEX project, and co-PI include Dr. Marius Schamschula, Dr Vernessa Edwards and Dr. Barbara Cady. Diane Kirnes serves a project manager.
Persons can view the APEX video submission to the NSF showcase at http://resourcecenters2015.videohall.com or http://resourcecenters2015.videohall.com/posters/546,
GRA Member of Fund Council
A graduate research assistant in AAMU’s Department of Community and Regional Planning has been accepted as a member of The Bill Anderson Fund Student Council, formed by 20 students this year from various universities.
Lady Franciscar Nicolas-Kassama is a new addition to the council on The William Averette Anderson Fund, which was created to expand advanced studies in the field of disaster and hazard research and mitigation within minority communities, with the initial focus on increasing the number of African American scientists, practitioners, and policymakers.
Hazard and Disaster Mitigation is designed to make communities in the U.S. and around the world safer in the face of hazards and disasters of all kinds, from naturally-occurring events like Hurricane Sandy to accidents involving technology, like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Fund seeks to ensure that these activities, which aim to reduce the impacts of future disasters and preparing for, responding to, and recovering from these kinds of events take into account the needs of communities of color, women and children.
The website is http://billandersonfund.org/about-the-memorial-fund/
AAMU No. 24 Among HBCUs
College Choice’s recent “2015 Rankings of Historically Black Colleges and Universities” places Alabama A&M University in top quarter of the institutions.
The CollegeChoice.net website ranked AAMU as No. 24 among the more than 100 HBCUs in the nation. Private sister institution, Tuskegee, topped the list at No. 1. CollegeChoice.net claims its list is “based exclusively on factors actual college freshmen said were most important to their college decision.”
Those equally weighted factors include, noted the site, include academic reputation, financial aid offerings, graduate success and overall cost, says Jenny Castro, College Choice’s associate editor.
AAMU’s SFRC Receives Funding to Help Goat, Sheep Producers
Alabama A&M University’s Small Farms Research Center and Tennessee State University have jointly received $499,998 for three years to assist goat and sheep
producers in Alabama and Tennessee. The project seeks to expand market access for small limited resource farmers by developing and implementing an accessible online marketing tool for small goat producers.
The long-term goal is to help small goat and sheep farmers expand their market opportunities in the Tennessee Valley. The project is funded by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Goat production provides supplemental income for limited resource farmers. This enterprise is ideal for small producers with meager land and limited capital.
For additional information, contact E’licia L. Chaverest, assistant director of the Small Farms Research Center, at (256) 372-4958.
Four Inducted into AAMU Alumni Hall of Fame
The Alabama A&M University inducted four individuals into the prestigious Alumni Hall of Fame Thursday, April 30, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Huntsville, Ala. The group was honored for university support, public service and career success of its respective individuals.
The four included Dr. Taylor Byrd, Jr., retired educator; Mrs. Georgia S. Valrie, institutional advancement professional and Alumni Affairs director emeritus; Mr. Langston J. Walker, businessman; and Gadsden City Councilman Deverick Williams.
Dr. Taylor Byrd, Jr., Education Alumni Hall inductee, is a native of Greene County, Ala. In 1959, he enrolled as a student at Alabama A&M University and earned the Bachelor of Science degree in 1963 with a major in agricultural
education and general science. He pursued further graduate studies at Tuskegee University and earned the Master of Science degree in 1969 with a major in agricultural education and extension, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in agricultural education and economics in 1972 from Pennsylvania State University.
Byrd began his career in education as a high school science teacher and coach, and an agribusiness instructor in the public school systems of Alabama. Following the attainment of the doctorate degree, he was employed at AAMU as an associate professor and chairman of the Department of Agribusiness Education. Under his leadership as chairman, the programs and the faculty expanded. He traveled as an educational specialist on an international USA developmental team to the West African country of Burkina Faso (Upper Volta). He also traveled as an USDA economic development specialist to Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Hawaii, Honolulu and Rome, Italy. He was also elected as a two-term National Alumni Association President. After serving eight years at the University, he worked within industry and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). At TVA, he was regional manager of minority economic development in Muscle Shoals, Ala.; and regional manager of community diversity development in Huntsville, Ala. In 1996, Dr. Byrd returned to Alabama A&M University with a three-fold position as TVA liaison and director for distance learning development; director of recruitment and retention; and instructional technology outreach and research professor, Department of Agribusiness, College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences. Dr. Byrd established a $60,000 Endowed Scholarship for students majoring in agribusiness or agricultural sciences.
Mrs. Georgia S. Valrie, the Community Service Alumni Hall of Fame inductee, received the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1971 with a major in sociology and the Master of Science degree in adult and continuing education in 1977, both from
Alabama A&M University. In 1983, she earned the Executive Development Program Certificate from Pennsylvania State University. During her tenure as the Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at AAMU, she garnered the respect and admiration of alumni throughout the United States. When Alabama A&M University was the HBCU of the Month for the Tom Joyner Foundation in November 2001, she helped raise over $590,000. After serving 31 years of dedicated and exemplary service at AAMU, she retired in August 2003, only to join Technology Management Training Group, Inc, and to serve five years as vice president of outreach programs. She later served as the Director of Development for Union Chapel Christian Academy, establishing the UCCA Foundation to provide financial support for scholarships and to enhance the academic programs. She is and has served as a member of numerous professional, civic and community organizations.
Mr. Langston J. Walker, the Business and Industry Alumni Hall of Fame
inductee, is highly recognized among his colleagues, peers and constituents as an extraordinary business man. He has a wealth of experience in accounting, auditing, business and finance, investment and management. Langston is a 1972 honor graduate of Alabama A&M University where he received the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in accounting. He pursued graduate studies at Harvard Graduate School of Business and earned the Master of Business Administration in 1980. Additionally, he holds certification as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and he was the first AAMU graduate to become a CPA in 1975.
Mr. Deverick Williams, the Government and Law Alumni Hall of Fame inductee, is an energetic member of the City Council in Gadsden, Alabama. Currently, he is serving his second term representing District 2, and he is the City Council President. When he was elected City Council President, he became the
youngest and first African American to serve in the position. One of the contributions that Councilman Williams made in the City of Gadsden was to ably lead the committee to change the name of Meighan Boulevard to Martin Luther King Memorial Parkway. The Gadsden, Ala., native is a proud 1994 graduate of Alabama A&M University, where he received the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in accounting. During his matriculation at AAMU, he was a member of the Bulldog football team. Currently, he is the President and CEO of the Leira Group, Inc., a consulting services provider serving the business community. Additionally, he has twenty (20) years of professional experience in human resources and has served companies in the automotive industry, such as Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC.
Mathematician Receives MIT Faculty Fellowship
An associate professor of mathematics at AAMU will participate in a faculty fellowship program sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Dr. Israel Ncube, Nonlinear Dynamics Research Laboratory in the College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences, has been awarded a fully funded faculty fellowship entailing research collaboration and the teaching of graduate and undergraduate students at MIT and Harvard.
For additional information about the visiting scholars program, visit http://mlkscholars.mit.edu.
Did You Know?
The Teachers’ Retirement Systems of Alabama (TRS) is available to guide you through the process to ensure you receive the necessary information regarding your eligible retirement benefits. A member is eligible to receive retirement benefits under either of the following conditions.
- He or she has at least 10 years of service credit with and has attained the age of 60. Or
- After accumulating 25 years of service credit at any age.
If you are:
¨ Within five (5) years of retirement eligibility, it is time to focus on the finish line! TRS full-day Retirement Preparation Seminar gives you the opportunity to hear from the experts as you plan your retirement with confidence.
¨ You must register to attend seminar. Complete a Registration Form and view the 2015 Seminar Schedule online.
Note: Retirement application must be filed with TRS no less than 30 days and no more than 90 days prior to the selected date of retirement.
How to educate yourself about your TRS benefits and PEEHIP healthcare coverages:
1. If you have not already, access your account through the Retirement System of Alabama (RSA) Member Online Service (MOS) at http://www.rsa-al.gov/. You can view your TRS account online as well as your PEEHIP coverages. While viewing your online account, you may utilize the retirement calculator for retirement benefits and PEEHIP health insurance premium estimate.
2. Contact TRS at 1-877-517-0020 to request an official retirement benefits estimate.
3. Log onto the available “STEP BY STEP Retirement Videos site at http://www.rsa-al.gov/index.php/members/trs/planning-for-retirement/step-by-step-retirement-videos/.
Should you have questions or concerns, please contact Brenda Hughes, Benefits Manager at 256-372-5845.
AAMU Holds Grand Opening for Confucius Institute!
The AAMU Family was joined by friends and community leaders at the Grand Opening activities for the Confucius Institute at Alabama A&M University on Thursday, April 16, at the VBC.
Attendees witnessed Chinese folk songs, dances and performances by the AAMU Choir, University of Alabama-Huntsville student singers and students from Providence Elementary School. See PHOTOS
AAMU Student Featured on ABC Affiliate
A sizeable, inspiring and heartwarming story on Alabama A&M University student Cameron Dangerfield was aired on WAAY-TV 31, the ABC affiliate located in Huntsville, Ala.
The piece focuses on the hardships Dangerfield, a Chicago native, has overcome to tear himself away from a depressive environment and to cling to his dream of becoming a chef, boosting himself along the way through social media.
To see the uplifting story, please click on or copy and paste the following link:
Professor Will Head National Honor Society
An Alabama A&M University professor and department chair has been elected as president of a well-known national honor society.
Dr. Cynthia M. Smith, chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, has been named the 2015-17 national president of Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society. Dr. Smith was elected to this position on March 28 during the business session of the 63rd National Convention hosted by Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Ga. Prior to assuming this position, Dr. Smith served as the Director for Region IV, the Alabama-Florida Region.
Dr. Smith has been an active participant in AKM since her junior year at Tuskegee University. After joining the faculty at AAMU, she served as an
assistant advisor, and as a co-advisor of Kappa Sigma Chapter under Dr. Barbara Anthony. Upon the retirement of Dr. Anthony in 1991, she became the chapter advisor and has remained in that position until the present. Under her leadership, the chapter has inducted two honorary members and approximately two thousand undergraduate/graduate students. In 2013, Dr. Smith was instrumental in Kappa Sigma serving as the host chapter for the 62nd National Convention and 75th Anniversary Celebration of AKM at Alabama A&M University.
As the national president, Dr. Smith will work closely with the national Executive Secretary/Treasurer, Dr. Mollie Brown. She looks forward to continuing and enhancing the legacy of this prestigious organization, founded by Dr. George W. Gore in 1937.
New G&C Staffer Announced
Lillie Hughes has been named as the new assistant director of grants and contracts accounting. She will continue to manage grants and contracts for Cooperative Extension and for the College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences, in addition to acting on behalf of the director (Darcy Wolff) in the latter’s absence.
Public Safety Encourages Review of Tornado Safety Information
As spring approaches, it is important that members of the AAMU Family prepare for the tornado season at home and at work. Please also review your AAMU Emergency Procedures Manual (see link below), so that you are prepared to respond in an emergency.
- Campus Tornado Safety Information -
What should I do during a tornado watch?
A tornado watch means that severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornados are possible. Continue your normal activities but monitor weather conditions and be prepared to seek shelter. Remain weather alert. Stay tuned to local radio/television stations and check your AAMU emails for further information.
What should I do during a tornado warning?
A tornado warning indicates that a tornado has been spotted or radar indicates there is a likely tornado. When you hear outdoor tornado warning sirens and/or receive a Bulldog Alert tornado warning you should seek shelter immediately and remain in a protective area until you receive an all-clear message through Bulldog Alert or a building emergency contact representative.
How much advance notice will a tornado warning give me?
Tornados can strike without warning -- that is why it is important to remain weather alert during severe weather and be prepared to seek immediate shelter.
How will I be notified of a tornado warning?
Two tornado warning sirens are located on/near campus. They are activated whenever the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning for any portion of Madison County. Seek shelter immediately when you hear the siren.
AAMU will utilize the Bulldog Alert emergency notification system and the campus email system to alert the campus community of a tornado warning. The University will issue an emergency warning alert and mass email message whenever the National Weather Service issues a warning for Madison County. Seek shelter immediately when you receive a Bulldog Alert or email tornado warning message, even if you cannot hear the campus warning sirens.
Department of Public Safety Officers (when possible) will also ride through the campus with the sirens from squad cars activated. They will use PA systems in the vehicles to advise you to seek immediate shelter.
· If, after the warning is issued, the University determines that there is no immediate tornado threat to the campus (the tornado warning is only for a specific segment of the county and does not include nor is likely to later include the AAMU campus) an "All-clear" message will be issued. Remain alert to changing weather conditions and be prepared to seek shelter should conditions change.
Where should I seek shelter during a tornado warning?
We recommend that you identify in advance the location(s) of protective areas within your building(s). At AAMU, many protective areas are identified by yellow signs with black lettering, and are also indicated on building evacuation maps.
· In buildings, go to the best available protective area. Basements are best, but interior locations on the lowest level also offer protection. Stay away from windows, exterior doors, exterior walls, and other hazards inherent to the building.
· If outdoors, quickly seek shelter within a building. If unable to do so, take shelter in a ditch or ravine away from possible sources of heavy debris. Be alert for rising waters and flying debris.
How long should I remain in a campus protective area?
You should remain sheltered until the University issues an all-clear message. There may be situations where one tornado warning has just expired but it is anticipated that an approaching storm cell will result in the issuance of an additional warning within a short period of time. The University will not issue an all-clear until the approaching threat has passed.
Where can I get additional weather safety information?
Go to the Department of Public Safety homepage or contact us at ext. 5555.
Emergency Procedures Handbook
AAMU Business Students Place 3rd in TVA Investment Challenge
A team of sudents from the Department of Finance and Economics of Alabama A&M University's College of Business and Public Affairs recently placed third in the annual Tennessee Valley Authority Investment Challenge Program.
TVA's Investment Challenge is a unique, innovative partnership between TVA and 25 universities in its service territory. The program aims to provide real-world experience in portfolio management. The Challenge gives teams of students hands-on experience in managing real stock portfolios. AAMU students actively managed TVA funds by designing long-term investment strategies, placing trades and providing performance reports to TVA.
"The results of the TVA Investment Challenge shows that Alabama A&M students can perform exceptionally well in highly competitive environments," said Dr. Del Smith, dean of the College of Business and Public Affairs.
The AAMU's TVA Investment Challenge team earned 16.33 percent return, compared to 13.69 percent for the S&P 500 Index. That placed AAMU third out of the 25 participating schools, outperforming such participants as Vanderbilt University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
"This was a great performance for our portfolio and rewards the hard work of our students," said Dr. Mohammad Robbani, faculty advisor of the TVA Investment Challenge program and chair of the Department of Finance and Economics. "We believe that students benefit from the authentic experience they receive through this program." (Photo by J. Saintjones)