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Friday, October 2, 2015


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 AAMU Funded to Help Vets and Disadvantaged Farmers


Alabama A&M University’s Small Farms Research Center (SFRC) in the College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences has received over $180,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide training and technical assistance to Alabama’s veterans and socially disadvantaged beginning farmers and ranchers.


The project aims to recruit veterans and increase their awareness of and participation in farming opportunities; assist producers in owning and operating successful farm businesses, and in accessing capital, markets and other resources; provide need-based assistance and education in a wide-range of need areas; foster communication between farmers/ranchers, mentors, and those entities designed to support them; and develop, assemble and distribute appropriate training material.


According to SFRC, most veterans starting businesses are not able to develop or use a business plan, suggesting the urgent need for education and training.   Returning servicemen and women in Alabama have often expressed interest in farming opportunities.


Further, nearly half of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are from rural areas and would like to start farming careers. Farming and agricultural activities can fulfill veterans’ sense of service, provide a healing atmosphere to reenter civilian life, as well as support rural communities in need of young farmers and economic revitalization.


The project’s approach is holistic in nature, delivering products and services through workshops, group meetings, farm field days, on-farm demonstrations, farmer-to-farmer mentoring, farm and home visits, and one-on-one consultations.



For more information, visit SFRC’s web portal at or call us at (256) 372-4970 or 1(866) 372-4970.




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Funeral Services Held for Retired Physical Education Professor 


Funeral services were held on Thursday, October 1, at Northwest Church of Christ in Huntsville, Ala., for Mrs. Willie Mae Pearson Butler, who served Alabama A&M University as an assistant professor of physical education for more than 40 years.


ButlerWillieMae.jpgBorn in Hamlet, North Carolina, Butler studied at Spelman College, Oberlin College and the University of Wisconsin.  She was also a distinguished member and first woman inductee of the Alabama A&M University Athletic Hall of Fame and had been accorded numerous awards and honors throughout her professional career.


She held life-memberships in the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance--the national and southern districts; Wisconsin Alumni; Spelman Alumnae; as well as in Kappa Delta Psi, (the physical education sorority) and in the American Association of University Professors. She held lifetime certificates in physical education in both Alabama and Georgia. She was listed in The World Who’s Who of Women in Education, Outstanding Educators of America, and Personalities of The South.


Butler led a life of “firsts”: the first female physical education major to be hired to teach the subject in north Alabama; first physical education teacher to organize regional play-days for the Girls’ Athletic Association; first  football “spotter” and color commentator with play-by-play announcer Paul White for Councill Training School and for the Alabama A&M Bulldogs over the newly-founded WEUP radio station; first female script-writer, drama coach and continuity-coach  at WEUP radio (after all, she had  also “minored” in English while at Oberlin); first female to be inducted into the Athletics Boosters Club Hall of Fame; and the first black female to be inducted into the Huntsville/Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame.


Butler’s name has been inscribed on the University of Wisconsin’s Women’s Gymnasium Wall (1998) and at Oberlin college’s Heritage Society Wall (1999). Plaques and accolades have come her way  for dedicated Service at Alabama A&M during Women’s History in 1999; by the Golden Girls of Spellman Alumnae Association in 1999; and by the Physical Education Majors Club of Alabama A&M in 2002.



Funeral Services Held in Shreveport for Retired English Professor


Funeral services were held Thursday, October 1, in Shreveport, La., for a retired AAMU English professor who was also instrumental in the formation of the AAMU MorrisJo.jpg
Poetry Club and the continuance of the departmental literary publication.


JoAnn Morris, who was one of 16 Southern University students expelled in 1960 for participating in sit-ins at local restaurants and also was subsequently barred from attending other Louisiana schools, died last Wednesday.  After decades, Southern University awarded Morris and the other students their degrees.  


Funeral arrangements were held at Winnfield Funeral Home, 3701 Hollywood Avenue, Shreveport, LA  71109.  For more information, call (318) 631-0203.



Alum Honored by ADCOLOR


An Alabama A&M University alumnus was among a distinguished list of 11 honorees at the recent 2015 ADCOLORr Awards.  In New York City.  The activity Adu 3.jpg
recognizes “the best and brightest” in advertising, marketing and public relations, as well as those who simultaneously “go out of their way to help others and make an impact on their peers.”


Alum Justin Adu, creative lead of Open Channels Group PR, received AdColor’s “Rising Star” award, which is presented to a young professional who stands out among his or her peers as a person who raises the bar of excellence while advancing career.


ADCOLOR® is a not-for-profit 501(c) (6) organization whose mission is to celebrate and champion diversity in the advertising, marketing, media, PR and entertainment industries. ADCOLOR champions diversity and inclusion in the creative industries.



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NASA Administrator  Charles Bolden’s Visit to AAMU

“This Week@NASA”



AAMU Freshman Enrollment Sets Record


If the campus of Alabama A&M University seems to have more bustle lately, there’s very good reason.  According to the preliminary fall enrollment report the University recently submitted to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE), AAMU’s overall Fall 2015 enrollment is 5,628, up 5.5 percent over last fall’s enrollment of 5,333 and up some 13.8 percent over three years ago.


One of the biggest pluses came in the category of first-time freshman enrollment, which is reported as a record-breaking 1,483, 22.2 percent over Fall 2014.  The previous first-time freshman record was etched in 2003 with the figure of 1,302. 


The significant increase in the freshman figures, said President Andrew Hugine, Jr., shows a trend that began in Fall 2013, when freshman enrollment edged upward to 4.9 percent and then again in Fall 2014, when it settled at 12 percent.  Since Fall 2012 figures of 1,033, first-time freshman enrollment has increased by 43.6 percent.


Although Fall 2015 graduate student enrollment of 1,123 remained the same compared to Fall 2014, it also shows significant gains (44.7 percent) over Fall 2012, when the figure was 776.


“Kudos are extended to the Enrollment Management Division, Retention and all of the areas of the campus that assisted in recruiting, enrolling, and retaining our students,” commented Hugine.  The President also noted that enrollment increases could have also been impacted by enhanced marketing efforts, such as the annual President’s bus tour encompassing numerous high schools in cities and towns throughout the state of Alabama, television ads and billboards statewide informing students that at AAMU they can “Start Here, Go Anywhere.”



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Aerojet Rocketdyne Highlighted as HCBU Mentor


Aerojet Rocketdyne (AR) was a featured participant at the NASA 2nd Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBU) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI) Partnership Meeting held in Huntsville, Ala., on September 16.  NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr., attended this event, co-sponsored by the NASA Office of Education and the Marshall Space Flight Center Small Business Office).


A portion of the meeting agenda featured discussion of the benefits of Mentor Protégé Agreements (MPA).  The MPA relationship (started in 2012) between Aerojet Rocketdyne and Alabama A&M University (AAMU) was highlighted as a success story.  Toward that end, the meeting’s agenda included presentations from Aileen Yates (AR Supply Chain Management in Huntsville, Ala.) and Dr. Larry McDaniel, chair, Department of Management and Marketing, AAMU College of Business and Public Affairs.


In further support of this event, AR was one of several (industry and NASA) organizations who managed an informational table during networking breaks.  Carol Rice and Andrey Volpendesta (both of AR, California) managed the AR table and engaged with interested HBCU and MSI representatives.

Following the half-day Partnership meeting, Administrator Bolden visited AAMU for a briefing and a tour of the University’s facilities and laboratories.  Forty percent of the AAMU engineering students are women, placing AAMU in the top 10 nationally for graduating women engineers.  As well, AAMU is in the top 5 for graduating black engineers.



AAMU Band, Cheerleaders Help Honor Grad Trent Griffin on ABC's "Good Morning America"


NASA Administrator Bolden Visits Alabama A&M



Miss AAMU Coronation Held


The Coronation for Miss Alabama A&M University was held Friday, September 18, at the T.M. Elmore Building.


Joi1B.jpgJoi Nicole Miller is a native of Saint Louis, Missouri.  She is the daughter of Mr. Nicholas Miller and Mrs. Ronnette Miller, and she is the older sister of Daja Miller, who also attends Alabama A&M University, and a little sister, Londyn Whitlock.


Miss Miller is a senior studying biology pre-med.  She aspires to become a pediatric oncologist, which will allow her the opportunity to help victims of childhood cancer.  Her passion for helping others is a self-determination for success.


Miller has a special quote that guides her in her future endeavors.  It comes from the great Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in this world.”  She plans to initiate programs on the AAMU campus to affect change and foster success by narrowing the gap between students and the campus community—“Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow.”


Miss Miller has been active in various organizations.   For instance, she served as junior class senator for the Student Government Association; holds membership in the Southern Belles and the Inter-Residential Hall Council; as well as enjoys affiliation with MAPS.  Prior to becoming Miss AAMU, she served as a residential assistant in the Department of Residential Life, once again using her self-determination to make campus living exciting for her fellow peers.


Academics to Miller has been important to her future goals.  She has been listed on the Dean’s List for three consecutive years, and she has interned at Meharry Medical College for two years, studying and preparing for her future.  She plans to attend medical school overseas after graduation.


Her love for Alabama A&M University is unsurpassed, and she believes it is an honor and a privilege to have been a part of this prestigious university, which has prepared her to achieve her goals in life.


As Miss Alabama A&M University, she will be the student ambassador and spokeswoman, giving her a voice to challenge the campus community to join her in spreading the word and calling for continued support of AAMU.


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- Strategic Plan Implementation Underway: Volunteers Sought -


Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU) has launched a 10-year Strategic Plan called “Into the Future.” The new strategic plan will provide the framework for guiding the direction of AAMU through 2025. The AAMU’s 2015 – 2025 Strategic Plan represents a four prong approach to academic excellence through 1) a quality and distinct educational experience; 2) the promotion of excellence, innovation and creativity University-wide; 3) infrastructure upgrades; and 4) a diverse financial base.


A Strategic Plan Implementation Committee has been appointed to lead the implementation of the initiative within the new strategic plan. The committee includes administrators, faculty, staff, and students. Each member of the implementation has been assigned to one of the six strategic priority groups to serve on. The strategic priorities are below:


1)      Enhance AAMU’s Distinctiveness and Competiveness

2)      Strengthen Structures, Operations and Systems to promote and support Organizational Excellence and Stewardship

3)      Upgrade University Infrastructure and Facilities

4)      Secure the University Financial Future

5)      Enhance the University’s Image and Recognition

6)      Enhance University Engagement through expanded Outreach


The task of the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee is to:



Establish timelines from working groups

Coordinate, as needed, working group activities

Receive, review, and aggregate the implementation and progress



Develop an Outcome Evaluation Plan

Conduct the evaluation

Monitor progress on self-study recommendations from SACSCOC accreditation requirements



Advise on needed adjustments and next steps


The members of the implementation committee are shown in the table below:


Additional members include President Andrew Hugine, Malinda Gilmore, Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning and Initiatives, and James Walke, Director of the Institutional Planning, Research and Effectiveness.


Working groups will be developed to identify, arrange and carry out specific initiatives, using defined plans, people, timelines and assessment metrics for the top-priority objectives. In addition, the working group will propose action steps to accomplish the objectives stated in the Strategic Plan.  Last, but not least, the working group will ensure that all initiatives are in line with requirements from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 


Volunteers are needed to serve on the Strategic Plan Working Group. If you are interested in serving on one of the Strategic Plan Priority Groups please feel free to contact the Chair of the Priority Group. We look forward to your stewardship and continued service to Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University.


- Andrew Hugine, Jr., Ph.D.





MBA Team:  A team of AAMU MBA students recently attended the National Black MBA Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla.  This marked the first time AAMU College of Business and Public Affairs has been represented at the conference and has participated in the case competition.  The team competed in the MBA Case against 34 other schools, including MIT, Cornell, John Hopkins, Howard, and Hampton.

The team members also attended the career fair and interacted with companies such as Amazon, FedEx, Intel, AT&T, and Delta.  Above, team members (l-r) include Maceo Caudle, Brandon Beal, Camille Green and Danny McDaniel.  The team is joined by Dean Del Smith.



NOVEMBER:  AAMU Tom Joyner School of the Month


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Dean Visits Google


Chance Glenn Google.jpgIn an effort to find more opportunities for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors within his college, Dr. Chance Glenn, right, dean of the College of Engineering, Technology, and Physical Sciences at Alabama A&M University recently visited Google, based in Mountview, Calif. 


Google has launched a new diversity outreach program.




UNITED WAY KICKOFF:  AAMU's United Way campaign drive is in full swing and will continue in earnest through September 28.  All employees of the University are asked to make a contribution, and campus campaign representatives will be canvassing their respective areas..  Contributions can be made by check, payroll deduction, credit card or cash.  A successful campaign indicates AAMU's commitment to the Huntsville community.  Above, the members of the United Way Steering Committee  include (l-r) Tarsha Lockhart, ITS; Dr. Delores Price, Education Leadership; Dr. Barbara Jones, Finance and Economics; Ursula Brooks, Title III; and Rhondo Scott, Chemistry.  Not Shown:  Angela Strickland, Office of the Comptroller.  AAMU's campaign goal is 100% participation.



AAMU Holds 9-11 Tribute 


In honor of the many lives lost during the tragic incidents of September 11, 2001, the Alabama A&M University Community Development Corporation and Americorps Vista hold a brief tribute on The Quad on Friday, September 11.


As part of a National Day of Service and Remembrance, the AAMU-CDC and Americorps honored the men and women whose lives were lost during the tragic incidents, as well as commemorated the spirit of compassion and generosity of the American people.


Organized by Vista's Joyce Robinson Ward, the 30-minute tribute include the presentation of the colors of the flag, the singing of the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, and reflections from a representative of the campus’ Department of Military Science.  PHOTOS




Engineering Dean Speaks in Dothan


Dr. Chance Glenn, dean of the College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences, was invited to his hometown of Dothan, Ala., recently by the Southeast Alabama A&M University Alumni Chapter.


Glenn spoke to students at Dothan High and Northview High Schools during his  September 4 visit.





Chinese Artist Takes on "The Hill" ... One Painting at a Time


Tiecheng Wang surely isn't the first artist to become captivated by the Alabama A&M University campus; however, he's probably the first to make a painting of many of its building. Tiecheng is the father of AAMU visiting professor Nan Wang (in the lab of Dr. Yong Wang), and he is scheduled to have an exhibit of his various paintings of "The Hill" in early October. (Photos by J. Saintjones)





Nobel Laureate for 2015 Announced


The 18th Annual Putcha Venkateswarlu Memorial Lecture is scheduled for Friday, November 20, at the Dawson Building auditorium at 3 p.m.  Nobel Laureate (Chemistry) Dr. Martin Chalfie from Columbia University will deliver the lecture.  The public is invited.





Alum Among Detroiters Making a Difference


A recent Alabama A&M University graduate has been cited as a young person that The Huffington Post says is making a difference in a metropolitan city desperately in need of his spirit and innovation.


Ronald Norwood (3rd, 2nd row) was listed among nearly a dozen Millennials who are making a positive impact on the city of Detroit and who are working feverishly to assist in its revitalization efforts.


Norwood was noted for his work in facilitating programs under the Neighborhood Service Organization’s youth initiatives project, which empowers young people to take stands against bullying and gang violence.  For more, click on the link below:





NEA Rep Will Take Part in 2016 Summit


Dr. Brown On The Hill.jpgDr. Susan C. Brown, National Education Association Board of Director, was elected to represent Alabama during program and policy making deliberations that effect colleges and university faculty, students, and staff throughout the United States.  


Among the critical issues the Board of Directors addresses are funding of higher education; historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); student financial aid assistance; and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.  She has made presentations at the Higher Education Conference on Leadership Communication and regularly briefs congressional members and staff on issues that affect higher education, HBCUs, and student concerns, such as the Pell Grant Program.  (Below, Brown and members of Senator Jeff Sessions staff)


This summer, Brown was chosen by NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia to serve as a delegate to the Education International 7th World Congress in Ottawa, Canada, to debate issues relevant to world concerns.  Education International is Senator Session's Office, Washington,DC.jpg
the voice of teachers and other education employees across the globe.  It represents 32.5 million educators and support professionals, from early childhood to university level, in 171 countries and territories.


Additionally, Dr. Brown was appointed to be a member of the National Leadership Summit Design Team for NEA that plans professional development in various areas of expertise, such as communications, leadership styles, emerging media, presentational skills, among others.  The 2016 National Leadership Summit will be in Dallas, Texas, at the Hilton Anatole, February 26-28.  The Summit’s theme is: “UNITE, INSPIRE, LEAD,” and it will focus on six leadership competencies and 31 themes in high quality sessions for participants.



Former Professor to Be Honored by UA


A retired social worker professor at Alabama A&M University will be among three persons next month to be inducted into the University of Alabama School of Social Work Hall of Fame.


Fraser.jpgDr. Edith C. Fraser will join prestigious organization during an Oct. 2 ceremony scheduled for the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Tuscaloosa at 11:30 a.m.  Admission is $25.


Founded by the Social Work Society at The University of Alabama School of Social Work, the Alabama Social Work Hall of Fame honors the accomplishments of some of the state’s most distinguished leaders in the field of social work.  The Alabama Social Work Hall of Fame honors social workers in the areas of education/research and practice/administration, retired or deceased, who are acclaimed by their peers and colleagues for their professional status and exemplary leadership, creativity, contribution to the knowledge base and practice of social work, and influence in the life of the community.


Prior to her service at AAMU, Fraser served at Oakwood University from 1985 to 2009 as the director of field instruction and chair of the social work department.  While at Oakwood, she had a dual-appointment as professor in the school’s social work department and as director of faculty development and research.

Fraser has been a Fulbright Scholar to Egypt, China, Thailand, Myanmar and the Republic of Georgia.  She has also visited both South Africa and Tanzania on mission trips.


The native of Louisville, Ky., received the B.A. degree from the University of Louisville, Master of Social Work from Boston University and the doctorate from Smith College School for Social Work.





ORAU VP Addresses Partnerships


A key administrator with Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) addressed AAMU faculty and researchers about opportunities at the organization Tuesday, September 1, in the Dawson Building auditorium in two sessions.


Dr. Arlene A. Garrison, vice president of university partnerships at ORAU (above), talked with designated faculty and scientists at 10:30 a.m., and she delivered a presentation on scientific research opportunities and expanding partnerships at ORAU at 1 p.m.


Oak Ridge’s University Partnerships office identifies and promotes funding opportunities by facilitating inter-institutional relationships.



DIVERSE Publishes 2015-16 HBCU Band Calendar


Diverse Issues in Higher Education has published the 2015-16 edition of the "HBCU Marching Bands Calendar."  The calendar features 11 HBCU marching band units.  The AAMU Marching Maroon and White Band is featured for the month of November 2015.


Persons interested in obtaining a calendar may visit the Office of Marketing and Public Relations, 303 Patton Hall.



Marching Maroon and White Band Joins Rankings recently released its listing of the preseason Top 15 HBCU bands for 2015.  AAMU is ranked 8th.  The list includes:


1. Southern
2. North Carolina A&T
3. Bethune-Cookman
4. Jackson State
5. Tennessee State
6. Texas Southern
7. South Carolina State
8. Alabama A&M
9. Florida A&M
10. Alabama State
11. Grambling
12. Alcorn State
13. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
14. Miles College
15. Talladega College


For more information, visit:




Small Farmers, State Representative Learn about Ethnic Vegetable Crops 


A group of enthusiastic small farmers and other interested persons, along with State Representative Laura Hall, attended a workshop promoting the medicinal benefits of ethnic vegetable crops.   PHOTOS


The all-day public workshop was funded by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry. AAMU hosted the session at the Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station in Hazel Green, Ala.   Dr. Srinivasa Rao Mentreddy showcased more than 30 organically grown ethnic vegetable crops of Indian, Chinese and Hispanic origin. 


His presentation was offered in addition to a cooking demonstration and lunch prepared with the featured vegetables.  The workshop also featured invited speakers, a panel of farmers, as well as vendors and restaurateurs.  See PHOTOS


For more information about future workshops, contact Dr. Mentreddy, professor of crop science, at (256) 372-4250 or e-mail



AAMU Student, Professor Will Attend Paris Conference on Climate Change  


The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) at Dillard University, in partnership with the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University, has put together a delegation of HBCU students and faculty mentors to participate in the United Nations Framework Climate Change (UNFCCC) Convention Conference of the Parties 21st, convening (COP21) in Paris, France, from November 30, 2015 through December 11, 2015.


The event is a project of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Climate Change Initiative. Antionette Fowlkes, a senior environmental science major at Antoinette.jpg
Alabama A&M University, is one of the student delegates selected to attend, while Dr. Elica M. Moss, AAMU assistant professor of environmental microbiology/environmental health science, will serve as faculty mentor.


This year, in preparation for the UNFCCC conference, the initiative conducted a comprehensive COP 21 training for selected delegates at Dillard University in New Orleans, La., prior to embarking on the road to Paris in November.  Fowlkes was one of 22 HBCU student delegates attending sessions on climate change, climate policy and environmental injustices led by the "father" and "mother" of environmental justice--Dr. Robert Bullard (an AAMU alumnus) and Dr. Beverly Wright.


In this three-day conference, students were trained on the COP21 Treaty Language, the COP21 Conference Process, Media Training, and how to engage HBCUs in the climate justice initiative. In addition to participating in the Gulf Coast Rising Hurricane Katrina 10th Anniversary Commemoration Climate Justice Youth Convergence.

CAPTION:  Fowlkes with Dr. Robert Bullard, AAMU alum and "Father of Environmental Justice"




Athletics Holds Kickoff Luncheon


The Department of Athletics held a August 28 kickoff luncheon to introduce football season with the theme, "Smart. Fast. Physical."   PHOTOS


Announcer Ted Dixie served as the master of ceremonies for the activity, while key program participants included Rev. Troy Garner, pastor, Fellowship of Faith Church; Bryan Hicks, director of athletics; and Coach James Spady.


The football staff and team captains were also introduced, along with family members and other team supporters.  PHOTOS  



Honors Center Hosts Induction Program


Several men and women representing the four colleges, as well as four continents, officially became the advocates of scholarship, leadership and service on Wednesday, August 26.  Alabama A&M University’s Honors Center inducted nearly 60 students from throughout the United States, as well as the countries of Ecuador, Mexico and Yemen, to name a few.  See PHOTOS


According to Dr. Kyla Pitcher, the Center’s interim director, the largest concentration of the new honors group is made up of students from the STEM disciplines within the College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences. 


Dr. Terrance Vickerstaff, regional vice president of the Alabama A&M University Alumni Association, was the guest speaker.


The 2015-16 inductees include:  Indigo Askew, Joshua Baker, Precious Baker, Tomaris Baker, Shannon Baldwin, Marvin Battle III, Mar’Kayla Bethea, Jeremiah Biggs, Jasmine Church, Sarilyn Cobb, Monique Collins, Kennedy Copeland, Kadia Cosby, Imani Crawford, Johntavius Dailey, Requsha Dailey, Eboni Dancy, Amberly Davis, Caroline Dyrdek, Ivan Embden, Ivan England, Rupert Egland, Autumn Estridge, Kayla Exford, Joseph Fantroy, Monique Ford, Pierra Grahahm-Blanchard, Julian Griffith-Battle, Shanice Hardy, Kayleh Hartage, Elizabeth Hughes, Portia Hunt, Ayana Ingram, Aldrishon Jones, Indonesia Jordan, Kayla Lang, Krystin Loman, Janna Marshall, Jessica Mattocks, Taylor McCurdy, Trevaughn Nettles, Josceline Parmer, Shelby Reaves, Gewell Richardson, Steven Roberts, Carlos Salas, Anesah Sharif, Sara, Shearer, Patience Smith, Ayana Taylor, Craig Taylor, Quinton Thomas, Tiaira Trammell, Darian Turner, Edward Turner, La’Teasha Watkins, Kyra West and Brandon Xzavier.


AAMU Former Grad Student Writes Book on Trials


Breaking.jpgFormer Alabama A&M University graduate student Darrius Snow has written a book detailing his various life's hardships, with the assisance of Amoi Savage, CEO of A. Savvy Entertainment, LLC.  


Snow's story is one of perseverance, courage, strength and faith. "Breaking The Cycle: The Story of Darrius Snow" chronicles the life of the 2009 TeeNick H.A.L.O (Helping Snow2.jpgAnd Leading Others) Award recipient who was selected by Lebron James.  Snow received this award due to his dedication to spark change in his community by creating a team-based organization to help kids in underserved neighborhoods with academics and extra curricular activities.



Snow’s story shows that "even if you don’t come from much, you still have the ability to make a difference and help those in your community. You don’t have to give much in order to fulfill your requirements." 


Snow was born into a cycle of poverty and despair in one of the worst neighborhoods in Atlanta, Ga., but that didn’t stop him from attaining his goals. As a first generation high school graduate, he went on to finish graduate school receiving his master’s from Alabama A&M this summer.  For additional information about the book, contact


Part-Time Job Fair - PHOTOS

Fan Day - PHOTOS

ROTC Fall 2015 Welcoming Reception - PHOTOS

Service Is Sovereignty/Retirees Celebration - PHOTOS



Retirees and 30-year service employees pose for a group photo with President Andrew Hugine, Jr., during the Sixth Annual "Service Is Sovereignty Society" Dinner Celebration at the Knight Center on Thursday, August 20.  See photo link above.

Hugine Addresses Optimist Club


Optimist.jpgAAMU President Andrew Hugine, Jr., recently spoke with the Optimist Club of Huntsville, a group led by AAMU alumnus Alfred G. Adams.   Adams is also affiliated with the North Alabama African-American Chamber of Commerce. 


During his presentation, Hugine shared happenings on “The Hill” and emphasized the significant economic impact AAMU has on Huntsville, Ala.





McIntoshes Continue Long Giving Streak


Ron and Pat McIntosh donated $14,000 to President Andrew Hugine, Jr., to assist the Marching Maroon and White Band and the men’s and women’s basketball programs during a presentation August 19 in the Office of the President. 


The McIntoshes donated $10,000, accepted by Director of Bands Carlton J. Wright, to assist in the purchase of new band equipment.  Coaches LaShaundra Jones and Willie Hayes also accepted $2,000 each to support their respective basketball programs.


“If we don’t pull each other along,” commented Ron McIntosh, an AAMU philanthropist and 1970 graduate, “we will remain stagnant.  To whom much is given, much is expected.”  McIntosh said the programs have needs that he and his wife Pat can identify with. 


PIctured (l-r) above:  Archie Tucker II, interim vice president for marketing, communications and advancement; athletics director Bryan Hicks; director of bands Carlton J. Wright; women's basketball coach Semeka Randall; Patricia McIntosh; men's basketball coach Willie Hayes; Ron McIntosh; and President Andrew Hugine, Jr.





CETPS Visits NASA Propulsion Facility


Dr. Chance Glenn, dean of the College of Engineering, Technology, and Physical Sciences (CETPS), and Dr. ZT Deng, professor of mechanical engineering, were invited by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Propulsion Department to discuss research and education collaboration between AAMU and MSFC on August 18.   


Glenn2.jpgGlenn presented an overview of CETPS and AAMU RISE Foundation research and education activities, focusing on propulsion system, image processing, materials, and additive manufacturing.  Glenn called the meeting productive and stated that collaboration action items were planned.


Fifteen NASA MSFC technical leads, engineers and administrators attended the meeting (above).  Later, Glenn and Deng toured the hot gas supersonic thermal protection testing facility, where Glenn was given the honor of hitting the start bubble for testing (second photo)



Councill Federal Credit Union

 Now Offers Free Notary Service

Monday - Friday
9:00 - 11:30 A.M.
Please Call To Confirm
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Councill Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 267
Normal, AL  35762
Office:  256.372.5379
Fax: 256.372.5765 
"A Part of What You Earn Is Yours To Keep"
Dr. A. G. Gaston




Alum Named VP at Georgia Power


AAMU alumnus Mark Simpson Berry was named vice president of environmental affairs for Georgia Power.


Berry joins Georgia Power with more than 20 years of experience working in various capacities within utility industry, including 17 years with the Southern Berry.png
Company.  Most recently, Berry served as director in the generation sector at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), where he led research and development efforts in renewable energy, water management, carbon capture and storage, and advanced fossil generation areas. He holds four patents regarding technical approaches to control emissions from coal-fired power plants.

“Mark’s deep technical experience and understanding of the complex environmental issues will help Georgia Power navigate through this era of increasing rules and regulations impacting our business,” said Chris Cummiskey, executive vice president of external affairs.  “He is a true thought leader for our industry and brings an incredible amount of insight and expertise to the role.”

Berry will assume his new position September 14, replacing Ron Shipman, who was recently named vice president of Georgia Power’s central region.

In his 17 years at Southern Company, Berry served in various capacities of increasing responsibility, including manager of Environmental Assessment for Southern Company’s Research and Environmental Affairs organization where he managed the company’s regulatory response to federal rulemaking activity and the environmental science research program. He also served as director of Research and Technology Management, where he managed a portfolio of research for emission controls, energy efficiency, renewables, power delivery, central station generation and carbon-capture utilization and storage. Prior to joining Southern Company, Berry attained the rank of lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare officer. He also previously served as director of energy and environment at Southern Research Institute.

Berry holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Alabama A&M University, as well as a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in interdisciplinary engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He also earned a master’s degree in public and private management from Birmingham Southern College and is a registered professional engineer.




CMG - Poster.jpg

Physicist Completes Editorship


An Alabama A&M University physicist and former dean has completed his summer assignment as a guest editor for an internationally noted scientific publication.


MatthewEdwards1[1].JPGDr. Matthew E. Edwards, respected physicist, researcher and former dean of AAMU’s School of Arts and Sciences, was chosen by California firm Scientific & Academic Publishing to be a guest editor for the highly respected American Journal of Materials Science.  The online site for the current issue edited by Matthews is:   


(Volume 5, Number 3A" in the Archive, scroll down the page)


Edwards played an integral role in the summer 2015 publication of the Journal, which focuses on nano-particle doped organic thin films and crystals. Edwards currently heads AAMU’s pyroelectric and dielectric materials laboratory.  He is a recognized proponent of the development of innovative ways to teach fundamental physics courses. 

For additional information about Edwards’ unique accomplishment, please call (256) 372-8104.



Sponsored Programs Head Announced


Alabama A&M University has announced the interim executive director for the Office of Sponsored Programs. 


Qian2.jpgDr. Cathy Qian holds a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering and a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee.  Prior to joining Alabama A&M University (AAMU), Dr. Qian worked seven years at an engineering research firm as a research engineer and in the private industry as a senior system engineer.


In 2000, Dr. Qian joined AAMU as a faculty in the Mechanical Engineering Department. She is currently a tenured professor. Throughout her AAMU career, Dr. Qian has been serving AAMU in various capacities through teaching undergraduate and graduate engineering courses, developing research proposals, and conducting externally funded research projects from government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, National Science Foundation (NSF), and private industries at various levels (i.e., program manager, principal investigator and co-principal investigator).  From 2006-2012, she was a program director for the U.S. DOE Computational Science Scholarship Program and a NSF-funded STEM Scholarship Program at AAMU.



Freshman Convocation


College of Business and Public Affairs

Back to School Celebration


Organization Fair on The Quad


The Pinnacle Schools MOA


Business & Finance Info Session Photos


Faculty-Staff Fall Conference Photos


Scenes from Freshman Move-In Day





Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Know What to Do After a Disaster


CERT classes will be conducted two nights per week for 4 weeks, from 5:30pm until 8 p.m.  Classes must have at least 15 persons pre-registered before they will be held.  The first 20 people to register will receive a free emergency preparedness kit.


CERT Training includes Disaster Preparedness; Fire Safety; Disaster Medical Operations—Triage & Life Threatening Injuries; Disaster Medical Operations—Assessments, Treatment & Hygiene; Light Search & Rescue; Team Organization; Disaster Psychology; Terrorism & CERT; and Final Exercise.


Participants will be able to:   

- Understand the types of hazards most likely to affect their homes and communities and take steps to prepare themselves for disaster.

- Recognize the function of CERT and its role in immediate response.

- Work as a team to apply basic fire suppression strategies, resources, and safety measures to extinguish a burning liquid.

- Apply techniques for opening airways, con-trolling bleeding, and treating shock.

- Conduct triage under simulated conditions.

- Perform head to toe assessments.

- Select and set up treatment areas.

- Employ basic treatments for various wounds.

- Identify planning and size up requirements for potential search and rescue.

- Apply the most common techniques for searching a structure.

- Use safe techniques for debris removal and victim extraction.


Complete registration by Oct 2, 2015.  To register for classes, visit the AAMU Public Safety website and click the CERT Registration link, or call AAMU Department of Public Safety

At (256) 372-5555.  Classes are FREE and open to all faculty, staff and students.

Class Schedule:  October 6 & 8, 13 & 15, 20 & 22, 27 & 29 (Tuesdays & Thursdays), from 5:30—8 p.m.

Participants must attend all classes to receive certification. 


CERT training is taught by professionals from the following agencies in our community: Emergency Management; HEMSI; Huntsville Fire/Rescue; Madison Fire/Rescue; and Volunteer instructor assistants. CERT training for Local Community Preparedness is sponsored by Alabama A&M University Department of Public Safety & FEMA through the Huntsville—Madison County Emergency Management Agency.



AAMU Launches Strategic Plan - Read More



AAMU, The Pinnacle Schools Sign MOA


Officials from Alabama A&M University, The Pinnacle Schools and the Save the Youth Organization signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Wednesday, August 12, at the Agricultural Research Center on the AAMU campus.   PHOTOS


Coordinated by AAMU’s Office of Global Social Service Research, the public event acknowledged the relationship between the entities, a partnership that exists to provide at-risk students an opportunity to attend college, boost retention and offer sufficient support to meet the needs of these at-risk students.


The Pinnacle Schools provide academic and therapeutic programs for local middle and high school students who have difficulty in traditional classroom settings for various reasons. In fact, AAMU’s fall 2015 freshman class includes six recipients of a scholarship program newly established by AAMU and The Pinnacle Schools.  The students were selected from The Pinnacle Schools 2014-15 graduating class by committees representing A&M and The Pinnacle Schools.


The Alabama A&M University Office of Global Social Services Research (GSSR) promotes global citizenship and professional action among students, faculty and professionals to foster the improved well-being of the most vulnerable individuals, families and communities around the world.  The office also aims to improve global and community health by fostering partnerships that promote student engagement, continuing education, community service, collaborative and community-based research.


For additional information, contact Selina Mason at (256) 518-9998 or e-mail




The Tom Joyner Allstate HBCU Challenge


Fall camp flyer 2016-1.jpg


BTS Usage Requests Now Online


Persons can now submit BTS Bus Usage Request forms and Customer Surveys electronically.  Since April 6, 2015, all bus requests should be submitted through the AAMU Bulldog Transit website.


BTSLogo.jpgNavigating the website:


-   Go to myAAMU then click Administrative Offices

Scroll down, click Bulldog Transportation Service, and you’re there!

Then click on the Bus Usage Request Form, fill it out and you are done!


For additional information, call (256) 372-RIDE (7433).  Thank you for your patronage!  Go, Bulldogs!







Indy Chapter Presents $10K


Members of the Greater Indianapolis Area Alumni Chapter of the Alabama A&M University Alumni Association, Inc., this summer celebrated the chapter's 25th anniversary by presenting AAMU a check for $10,000 for student scholarships.   


Attendees from the University included AAMU President Andrew Hugine, Jr.; Sandra S. Stubbs, director of alumni affairs; and Reba Jasmin, interim director of development.  


Raymond Young, Jr., serves as president Greater Indianapolis Area Alumni Chapter at (317) 459-0797 (cell).



English Major Attends Harvard Trial Program


Alabama A&M University English major and political science minor Jazmine Adams attended Harvard University’s five-week Trial program this summer in Cambridge, Mass.  The Trial program is a partnership between Harvard Law School, New York School of Law, and the Advantage Testing Foundation.


AdamsJazmine.jpgThis is an all-expense paid study program for students of modest means whose backgrounds are currently under-represented at the nation’s top law schools. Senior instructors prepare the students for the LSAT, the standardized law school admission test that one must take and pass in order to be accepted into law school.


Adams was among nearly 2,000 students throughout the United States who applied for this opportunity. She was selected for an interview and offered one of only 20 spots available.  The  Atmore, Ala., native was the salutatorian for the 2012 class at Escambia County High School.  She is a University Echo Student Ambassador (president, 2014-2015), AAMU Southern Belle (VP, 2014-2015), a member of Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society and a Presidential Gold Medallion recipient.  Adams has maintained a 4.0 GPA since her freshman year.




 Accounting Course Seniors Get Boost


Photo:  Spring 2015 Accounting Information Systems 472 class with adjunct professor Michael Jones and department chair Roderick Posey (center) and IT’s Roderick Harris, far right.


Michael Jones, adjunct professor of accounting at Alabama A&M University, secured private funding to supply graduating seniors of the Accounting Information Systems 472 course with complimentary copies of Quickbooks accounting software, along with instructional manuals.   Jones also facilitated the integration of the software into the course.


“These young accountants will now graduate with the initial skills necessary for success in the profession of accounting,” said Jones, who thanked Dr. Roderick Posey, chairman of the Department of Accounting, and IT professional Roderick Harris for facilitating the process.



CLEAN-UP TIME:  A crew of students, faculty and staff joined Dr. Del Smith (c), dean of the College of Business and Public Affairs, in a facility clean-up prior to the onset of fall 2015.




AAMU Student Passes CRC


Recent rehabilitation counseling program graduate Cokilius Keontra Marshall passed the National Certified Rehabilitation Counseling Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam.


According to the agency, certification designations indicate a higher level of specialized education and training, a thorough understanding of key competency standards based on current practices in the field, adherence to the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors, and an ongoing commitment to continuing education.



New MBA Director Named



Students Caught on Twins Game Camera in Minneapolis 


Twins.jpgThree College of Business and Public Affairs students were caught by the camera enjoying a Minnesota Twins baseball game after a full day of work.  


Hal Nichols and Kyle Little are Logistics & Supply Chain Management interns with Land O’Lakes. 


Julian Clayton, although an accounting intern with Cargill based in Cardova, Tenn., was flown in to Minneapolis to see the corporate headquarters.  




Preschool Children Learn Importance of Fresh Fruits


Preschool children in Alabama A&M University’s Child Development Center are 1PhotoNutritionCDC.jpg
learning the importance of producing and eating fresh fruits and vegetables this summer.  The project, “Innovative Use of Fruits YoungAllison.jpg
and Vegetables to Enhance the Health and Well-Being of Preschool Children,” is funded by the Evans-Allen Research Program of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and is being facilitated by Dr. Allison Young in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.  (Photos by Sylvette Parker-Monroe)   PHOTOS




AAMU Choir Travels to Colombia 


"Partners Achieving Success" (PAS), a group of professional musicians and business persons, has selected the Alabama A&M University Choir as one of three choirs to form a joint international choir performance in South America beginning in late July. 


PAC was also responsible for initiating the first national 105 Voices of History in which AAMU has participated for five years.  The other two chosen HBCU schools are Prairie View A&M University and Central State University.  Each school will send 10 choir members to form the 30-voice international choir.  The choir will perform in Medellin, Colombia, from July 30-August 6.  


HCarney.jpgThe performance will mark the first overseas trip for the AAMU Choir, according to Dr. Horace Carney, interim choir director.  "They are excited about blending their vocal talents with two other HBCU (historically black college/university) choirs and each member will purchase a passport."


Carney said the opportunity would not have been possible without the financial and moral support of AAMU President Andrew Hugine, Jr.  In April 2014, Hugine and his administration financially assisted the AAMU Choir in attaining the national honor of being the first HBCU choir to perform on the national stage of New York’s Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall.  


For this summer's trip, the University will fund airline tickets to Colombia.  Additionally, Carney has been chosen as one of the three international conductors for the scheduled five performances in Medellin.  The other two conductors are Dr. Jan Taylor of Prairie View A&M University and Jeremy Winston of Central State University.  


"Being chosen for this international performance and honor is a credit to the continuing choral excellence of the AAMU Choir and the excellence of the entire music program faculty," said Carney.  


For more information, go to the choir’s website;  contact Dr. Horace Carney at (256) 372-5512 or 372-5513, or e-mail



New Track Coach Announced

     LaShaunda Jones, Alabama A&M’s first Southwestern Athletic Conference track champion, is returning to The Hill to head the Bulldogs’ cross country and track and field programs, Alabama A&M Director of Athletics Bryan Hicks announced. 

     Jones has been an assistant coach with the Alabama State men’s and women’s track and field teams for the past 11 seasons, including the 2015 SWAC jones_lashaunda_web.jpg

Champion women’s team.


    After graduating from A&M in 2001, she was a graduate assistant for the Bulldogs from 2001-02 and an assistant coach from 2002-05. Jones also has master’s degrees from A&M and Alabama State.

     “Coach Jones brings a wealth of experience as a coach and student-athlete,” Hicks said. “She succeeded in the classroom and on the track at Alabama A&M and as a coach.

    “Her enthusiasm and knowledge of track and field will only enhance our ability to return the track program to the heights it had once achieved.”

    Jones, an honor student, was the team captain in 2001 and won the SWAC 60-meter indoor championship. She was also named Huntsville Athlete of the Year.

    “I’m grateful to Mr. Hicks and (Alabama A&M President) Dr. (Andrew) Hugine for gi ving me the opportunity to come back home and build the program,” Jones said. “I also thank my family and friends for their support while a student-athlete and during my career.”

    At Alabama State, Jones was a part of 17 SWAC championships and has coached a SWAC MVP. She has also coached numerous Hornet record holders, SWAC indoor and outdoor individual champions and NCAA regional and national qualifiers, along with nationally ranked athletes and relay teams.

    “I’m very excited about the future,” Jones said. “I’m excited to see the group of student-athletes we have at Alabama A&M.

    “I’m ready to get started.”

by Bernard McLaughlin



AAMU Receives Continued Funding for Statewide Physics Education Project

A landmark National Science Foundation program administered by Alabama A&M University that is designed to augment physics education throughout Alabama has received its fourth year allotment of nearly $1.9 million.

In 2012, AAMU announced it had been awarded a five-year, $8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to boost physics education in the state’s high schools.  NSF would fund through September 30, 2017 a proposal by AAMU physicists to transform secondary physics education through the implementation of the “Alliance for Physics Excellence” (APEX). 

The fourth year, 2015-16, award release date of $1,893,966 is scheduled for July 29, according to NSF program officer Elizabeth VanderPutten.  That award will bring NSF support of the project to a total of $4,860,934.

Conceptualized by the late Dr. Mostafa Dokhanian, professor of physics, APEX integrates the latest teaching practices into the secondary physics programs, ultimately impacting a quarter of the physics teachers in the state’s school systems and more than 40,000 students.  

APEX also coordinates efforts to meant to transform the work of pre-service and in-service physics teachers as they gain a deeper content knowledge of physics, infusing effective teaching strategies based on physics education research. The teachers then go on to apply that knowledge within their own classrooms, sparking a catalyst for teacher experimentation and sharing of their findings with other physics educators.

Moreover, the massive project is expected to increase the number of qualified secondary physics teachers; improve teachers’ subject knowledge and instruction techniques; boost undergraduate physics teacher education programs at AAMU and the University of Alabama; enable the sharing of best teaching practices; and distribute lab equipment to schools through the Alabama Science in Motion program.


VP Addresses Chamber U. Series

Clayton A. Gibson, AAMU's Vice President for Business and Finance, recently addressed why "It's All about the Numbers" during a two-hour Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce workshop held in the Chamber Briefing Room (225 Church Street), part of its Chamber U series.

GibsonClayton2014New.jpgGibson's workshop was part of the extended "Creative Budgeting for the Small Business Owner" series.  The series topics include the importance of budgeting, task simplification, common pitfalls, effective cost cutting, slack time factor and budget flexibility in a tough economy.

The series is open to any business seeking growth, any staff member who works with a business budget and any small business planning for its future, according to Dr. Teresa M. Orok, AAMU coordinator of the series.


For additional information, contact Beverly Pike, small business coordinator, at (256) 535-2089 or e-mail  Admission:  Pre-Registration:
$5 Member; $10 Non-Member; On-Site Registration: $10 Member; $15 Non-Member.  
This Chamber U offering is in partnership with Alabama A&M University.


Interim Associate Provost/Grad School Dean Appointed

Colmore S. Christian, Ph.D. has accepted the appointment of Interim Associate Provost and Dean for Graduate Studies at Alabama A&M University beginning July 1, 2015.  Dr. Christian has recently served on the Graduate Council and ChristianColmore.JPG
chaired the university’s Promotion and Tenure Committee.  Dr. Colmore Christian will serve as the executive administrator for the School of Graduate Studies and report to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.


Prior to joining the AAMU family, Dr. Christian served for many years in the public sector in the Caribbean island-nation of Dominica, where he held senior positions such as Permanent Secretary, Director - Forestry and Wildlife, and National Park Superintendent.


Dr. Christian joined the faculty in the Department of Forestry, Ecology and Wildlife at Alabama A&M University as an Assistant Professor of Forestry and Outreach in January 2007. He received tenure and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2012.  He currently serves as Faculty Advisor to AAMU’s Chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS). Dr. Christian is Secretary to the 1890 Agroforestry Consortium, an association of forestry and natural resource professionals based at land grant institutions in the Southeastern US.  He is also the current President of the Caribbean Association of North Alabama (CANA), a social group whose mission is to unite and empower the Caribbean Community of North Alabama


Dr. Christian earned his doctorate and master’s degrees in Parks Recreation and Tourism Management from Clemson University and his Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also holds an Associate Degree in Forestry from the Cyprus Forestry College, Prodromos, Cyprus.  


Impact Huntsville Interview with Business Dean Del Smith


Professor Address Design Education at HBCUS


Scenes from NACEE’s Summer Awards Program


Top HBCU Alumni Starting Salaries


Scenes from SOAR – June 2015




Statista Flyer.jpg


AAMU Student Appreciative for Participation in AAUW Conference


An Alabama A&M University secondary education major is calling her recent participation in the 2015 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders Conference (NCCWSL) at the University of Maryland an awesome opportunity.


"I was blessed to to join six other University of Alabama in Huntsville students at Jefferson1.jpg
the conference," says California-native Monique Jefferson. "Everything was great--from the scholarship, the airline ticket, conference and workshops to the Washington, D.C. tour and connections."


Her participation was made possible by the diligence of Dr. Molly Johnson of the UAH history department, who serves as director of the women’s studies program.


"We had awesome women who have pressed onward inspite of cultural, physical, gender identification and other barriers," said Jefferson. "They showed us, through their testimonies, that you can be what you dream of if you press on and never stop dreaming."


Participants navigated the city by bus and train and met with other women from diverse backgrounds, even from Qatar and the island state of Hawaii. According to Jefferson, all of the women seemed to have the mindset that anything is possible with the right tools and help.


Conference organizers also set up a job fair and graduate school fair. Jefferson had been considering graduate school, along with the Teach for America program. Fortunately, she was able to interact with Teach for American representatives and the graduate program of Temple University.



 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 through January 31, 2016. 


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.  



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


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.


Strong.jpgDr. 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.


Dayton.jpgThe 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.



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 Spencer.jpg

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 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.



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.  


VanguardRanchVA.JPGOn 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. 


JKSTour.JPGThe 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 group photo_first day.jpg

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 Graduate Social Work Program Ranked #2 in Nation has announced its Spring 2015 “Top Social Work Grad Programs for Value.” 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


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. 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. 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, of, 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 Chembezi2015.jpg
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 DrMylesPhoto.jpg

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. 


Cydale2.jpgDr. 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 Foster.JPG
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

Caption:  The late Dr. Howard J. Foster


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








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 or,



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



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.


AAMUgoodoverallLowRes.jpg - Copy.jpgThe 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. 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 Goats.jpg
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 TaylorByrd.JPG

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 HOFValrieGeorgia.jpg

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 Langston.jpg

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 theDeverickWilliams.JPG

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



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 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



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


Camerron.jpgA 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 SmithCynthia.jpg

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)  



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(256) 372-5034 (Fax)
Jerome Saintjones,, (256) 372-5607
Shirley Alexander,, (256) 372-5607
Interns/Bi-Weekly Students: (256) 372-5625



















Content Type: AAMU Content
Version: 1791.0
Created at 7/11/2013 11:45 AM by JEROME SAINTJONES
Last modified at 10/2/2015 10:04 AM by JEROME SAINTJONES