The National Council for Black Studies Finds a New Home

The National Council for Black Studies (NCBS), which was established in 1975, is moving from Georgia State University to a new home in the department of Africana studies at the University of Cincinnati.

Terry Kershaw, vice president of the NCBS and chair of the department of Africana studies at the University of Cincinnati was instrumental in achieving the move. Dr. Kershaw noted that the establishment of a graduate program, the recent hiring of new black studies scholars, and a partnership with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, made the move the right fit for NCBS.

Dr. Kershaw is a graduate of the State University of New York at Cortland. He holds a master’s degree in black studies from Ohio State and a Ph.D. in sociology from Washington State University. Prior to coming to the University of Cincinnati in 2009, Dr. Kershaw lead the Africana studies program and was the director of the Center for Race and Social Policy at Virginia Tech.


Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Maryland’s HBCUs Put on Hold So That Settlement Talks Can Be Held

A lawsuit filed on behalf of four historically black colleges and universities in Maryland has been put on hold for at least six months as the parties work to achieve a settlement in the case. The suit charges that the state of Maryland has not lived up to its agreement to end racial segregation in its higher education system.

All of the historically black universities have student bodies that are at least 80 percent black. At the flagship campus of the University of Maryland, only 12 percent of the student body is black. African Americans make up nearly 30 percent of the Maryland population.


Son of a Black College President Is the First African American to Earn a Ph.D. in History at Vanderbilt University

Larry O. Rivers, son of Larry E. Rivers, the president of Fort Valley State University in Georgia, recently became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in history at Vanderbilt University. Rivers’ dissertation was on the late Rev. James Hudson, who was a professor of history and chaplain at Florida A&M University. Rev. Hudson was a leader of the 1956 Tallahassee bus boycott.

Dr. Rivers earned his undergraduate degree at Florida A&M University, where he was elected student body president for the 2003-04 academic years. He currently holds a faculty position in the department of history at Augusta State University in Georgia.



Cheyney University Expands Its Call Me MISTER Program

Only 2 percent of the teachers in the nation’s public school systems are black males. The Call Me MISTER Teacher Leadership Program offers college scholarships to black men in return for a pledge to teach in the public schools once they earn their college degree. MISTER is an acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models. The program was founded and is headquartered at Clemson University in South Carolina but several universities around the country are partner institutions.

The chapter at historically black Cheyney University in Pennsylvania recently announced that it is expanding its program from 24 students to 45 students. Participants will receive a $5,000 scholarship and a $400 book allowance.



University of Michigan Scholars Are Assessing the Effectiveness of an Effort to Reduce Maternal Mortality in Liberia

A majority of all births in the African nation of Liberia now occur at home. Under a $1.75 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development, six maternity homes are being built in rural areas where women can stay in the days before they are due to have their babies. The homes are near health clinics that are staffed by professional nurses and midwives. The goal of the project is to reduce the high maternal mortality rate in Liberia.

Scholars at the University of Michigan’s School of Nursing are conducting research on the effectiveness of the program in reducing infant mortality.


CalTech Joins the LEAD Program

The Leadership Education and Development Summer Engineering Institute recently was held on the campus of the California Institute of Technology. This is the first time that CalTech has participated in the LEAD program.

A group of 23 college high school sophomores and juniors from diverse backgrounds spent three weeks on the CalTech campus taking courses in computer science and neuroscience. The classes are taught by graduate students and CalTech faculty. Students in the program conduct a neuroscience research project and do some computer programming. In addition, field trips were scheduled and there was a full social agenda as well.

The goal of the LEAD engineering program is to increase the number of students from disadvantaged groups who study in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Other Summer Engineering Institutes are being held this year at Georgia Tech and Villanova University.


Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

Lonza Hardy Jr. was appointed director of athletics at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Since 2007 he has been athletics director at Hampton University in Virginia. Previously, he held a similar post at Mississippi Valley State University.

Hardy is a graduate of the School of Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

China Jude was named assistant vice president of athletics at Queens College, part of the City University of New York system. Jude has been serving as director of athletics at Cheyney University in Pennsylvania.

Jude is a graduate of Alabama State University. She holds a master's degree from the United States Sports Academy and is currently studying for an educational doctorate at North Central University.

This August Michelle Martin will join the faculty at the University of South Carolina as the inaugural holder of the Augusta Baker Chair in Childhood Literarcy. Augusta Baker worked in the New York Public Library for 37 years and later founded the Augusta Baker Collection of African-American children’s literature at the special collections library at the University of South Carolina.

Professor Martin has been serving as a professor of English at Clemson University. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and holds a master's degree from Northern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in English from Illinois State University.

Agbai Agwu Nnanna was named to the Francis and Elsie Professorship for the Purdue Water Institute at the university’s Calumet campus. Dr. Nnanna is the director of the institute and also a professor of mechanical engineering at the university.

Dr. Nnanna is a graduate of Texas Tech University. He earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Cato T. Laurencin, who recently stepped down as dean of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine to concentrate on teaching and research, was given the title of University Professor by the University of Connecticut board of trustees.

Dr. Laurencin is a 1980 graduate of Princeton University. In 1987 he earned a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering/biotechnology from MIT and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School.

Corey Bradford was named senior vice president for business affairs at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. He was assistant vice president for finance and administrative affairs for the Southern Illinois University System.

Dr. Bradford holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Southern Illinois University.

David Harris was named senior associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University. Dr. Harris holds a tenured position as professor of sociology at Cornell. But he has spent the past year as deputy assistant secretary for human services policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Professor Harris holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University.



A three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the ban on race-sensitive admissions at state universities in Michigan, which was approved by voters, was unconstitutional. In your view what will be the eventual outcome of the legal proceedings?
Ruling will be allowed to stand by the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ruling will be overturned by the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ruling will be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ruling will be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.


Charles Drew University No Longer on Probation From Accrediting Body

The Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles received some good news from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The accrediting body announced that, based on a 24-month investigation of its finances, academic offerings, and governance, the university was no longer on probation or in danger of losing its accreditation. An infusion of funds from the University of California and a new governing board with leaders of the healthcare community in Los Angeles were cited as factors in the favorable ruling.



HBCU Goes on the Offensive Against Sexual Assault

Bowie State University, the historically black educational institution in Maryland, has developed a new sexual assault awareness initiative. The Partners in Peace program was created to train the campus community on issues relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. The program includes mandatory training classes for all incoming students. Sexual violence workshops will be held during the fall semester as part of first-year seminars and in classes dealing with issues of human sexuality. A video presentation on sexual assault will be prepared in conjunction with students at the University of Maryland College Park that will be shown to students on both campuses.

In addition to the educational effort, Bowie State created a Campus and Community Response Team task force to deal with incidents of sexual assault on campus. The university's wellness center has developed sexual assault and bystander intervention training programs for students and staff.

The program is funded in part by a three-year, $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women.


Sharon White Named to Lead the Stamford Campus of the University of Connecticut

Sharon White was named director of the Stamford campus of the University of Connecticut. She has served as interim director for the past year and has been employed by the university for the past 30 years. The Stamford campus has about 1,700 undergraduate and graduate students and employs 100 faculty and staff.

Dr. White holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Connecticut. She earned an educational doctorate at Columbia University.


University of Wisconsin Program Looks to Cut the Black Infant Mortality Rate in Half

Infant mortality for African-American babies in Racine, Wisconsin, is at a very high rate of 20.4 for every 1,000 live births. In Milwaukee the rate is 14.2 per every 1,000 live births. Infant mortality in Racine is higher for college-educated African-American women than for white women who didn’t graduate from high school.

A new effort has been launched with the goal to reduce the infant mortality rate in Racine by 50 percent. The effort is being led by Teresa Johnson, an associate professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

To reach its goal, the initiative plans to strengthen health care for black women before, during, and after pregnancy. The effort also will include programs to educate fathers and other family members on support and care for pregnant women.

The program is funded by a $180,000 grant through an initiative at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Delaware State University Expands Its Global Focus

Historically black Delaware State University has announced cooperative agreements with universities in China and Mauritania.

Delaware State will send faculty members to teach at Ningbo University of Technology, Sanming University, and Zhaoqing University in China. About 100 Chinese students will come to Delaware for the fall semester. About 60 students will concentrate on English studies and 40 students will be enrolled in regular degree programs at Delaware State. Students at Delaware State will be able to participate in study abroad programs in China.

Delaware State also signed an agreement with the National School for Agriculture Training and Extension in Kaedi, Mauritania. Under the five-year agreement, the two universities agree to collaborate on research projects and participate in student and faculty exchanges.

The University of Southern California’s Summer Outreach Program for Attracting African-American College Students to Its Medical School

This summer 12 minority college students are participating in an eight-week program at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. The Bridging the Gaps; Bench to Bedside Summer Research Program aims to increase the number of minority, and particularly African-Americans students, who apply to the medical school or to graduate programs in the biological sciences. Students in the program will study and conduct research in fields such as physiology, oncology, neuroscience, immunology, and hematology. In addition, students will take courses on biostatistics and health disparities. Also, there are workshops on test-taking skills, financial aid, career planning, and time management. Students in the program are paired with current USC medical or graduate students who act as mentors and campus hosts.


Two African-American Women Named to High-Level Interim Posts at the University of Mississippi

Carol Minor Boyd was appointed interim dean of the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Boyd, a professor and chair of the department of social work, joined the faculty at Ole Miss in 2004. Previously she taught at Delta State University.

Dr. Boyd holds bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Delta State University. She earned a master's degree at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Fannye Love was named interim dean of the Desoto campus of the University of Mississippi in Southaven. Professor Love has served on the School of Education faculty at Ole Miss since 1994. Previously she taught at Kansas State University, Jackson State University, LeMoyne-Owen College, and Trevecca Nazarene University.

Dr. Love is a graduate of Mississippi Valley State University. She earned a master's degree in reading education from the University of Mississippi and an educational doctorate at Kansas State University.

Honors and Awards

Dorothy Inghram received the Lifetime Achievement in Educational Justice Award from University of Redlands in California. Inghram, now 105 years old, was was the first black teacher and the first black school principal in San Bernardino County. In 1953 she became the first African-American school district superintendent in the state of California.

Inghram is a 1936 graduate of the University of Redlands and 22 years later earned a master’s degree in education from the university.

She is the author of five books and is working on another. An elementary school and a branch of the public library in San Bernardio are named in her honor.

Tonea Stewart, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Alabama State University in Montgomery, will received the Living Legend Award at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on August 1. Dr. Stewart has appeared on stage, screen, and television. She is perhaps best known for her role on the television drama In the Heat of the Night.

Dean Stewart is a native of Greenwood, Mississippi. She earned a bachelor's degree at Jackson State University and a master's degree at the University of California at Santa Barbara. In 1989 she was awarded a Ph.D. in theater arts from Florida State University. She was the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate from the School of Theatre at Florida State.


Grants and Gifts

Historically black Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, received a $150,000 grant from the Hewlett-Packard Catalyst Initiative. The university will participate in program that seeks to transform the teaching process in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. At Fisk, the money will be used to enhance online teaching resources.

Tennessee State University, the historically black educational institution in Nashville, received a $301,679 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The grant will be used to develop an education and research initiative aimed at protecting key elements of the nation’s infrastructure.

Fort Valley State University, the historically black educational institution in Georgia, received a grant from the Georgia Peanut Commission to develop an environmental friendly method of eradicating the burrower bug, a major pest to peanut farmers.

The research will be under the direction of George Mbata, a professor of biology at Fort Valley State University.


Copyright © 2011. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.