Research conducted many years ago by Claude Steele at Stanford University, and later confirmed by Professor Steele and other researchers, has shown that black students perform poorly on standardized tests because they fear mistakes will confirm negative stereotypes about their group. When efforts to alleviate these concerns are made, black students’ scores improve.
A new study at Stanford has shown that this “stereotype threat” can also hinder black students in learning new material. In an experiment, groups of black and white students were asked to study the meanings of 24 obscure words. One group was placed in a threatening environment by being told that they were participating in an experiment to see “how well people from different backgrounds learn.” Another group was simply told the researchers were examining different learning styles and there was no hint of any racial undertones.
One to two weeks later, the students were quizzed informally about the words they had studied. The results showed that black students who were initially in the group that was told racial differences were being examined, scored 50 percent lower than black students who had studied in the nonthreatening environment. But when an actual test was administered, the stereotype threat kicked in and both groups of black students performed poorly.
The lead author of the study is Valerie Jones Taylor who was a graduate student at Stanford and now is conducting postdoctoral research at Princeton. The paper was published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
Higher Education in the World’s Newest Nation
Last month the world’s newest nation, Southern Sudan, declared its independence. The mostly black southern Sudanese have suffered from years of war with the predominantly Arab Sudanese in the northern part of the African country.
Due to the war, many of the academics in the southern part of the country decided to teach at foreign universities. Some of the universities in the southern part of Sudan moved to campuses in the north to avoid the conflict.
Now efforts are underway to reestablish Juba University in the capital city of Southern Sudan as well as Upper Nile University in Malakal and Bahr el Ghazal University in Wau. All three universities had moved operations to Khartoum in the north.
But the campuses of the universities are in bad shape due to the war and there is almost no laboratory space or facilities for students at the university’s medical schools. Furthermore, there are very few faculty members who are willing to return to Southern Sudan.
Officials in Southern Sudan hope that United States, Europe, and nonprofit foundations will funnel research funds to universities in Southern Sudan in an effort to attract faculty. South African and Zimbabwe have offered to send lecturers to teach at universities in Southern Sudan.
FOUNDATION FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Young Scholars Program
Researchers - Call For Proposals
The Foundation for Child Development: Changing Faces of America’s Children - Young Scholars Program's goals are to:
Stimulate both basic and policy-relevant research about the early education, health and well-being of immigrant children from birth to age 10, particularly those who are living in low-income families.
Support the career development of young investigators—from the behavioral and social sciences or in an allied professional field—to attain tenure or who have received tenure in the last four years from a college or university in the United States.
Eligible researchers will have earned their doctoral degrees within the last 15 years, and be full-time, tenure-track, faculty members of a college or university in the United States. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or its equivalent in one of the behavioral and social sciences or in an allied professional field (e.g., public policy, public health, education, social work, nursing, medicine). Three to four fellowships of up to $150,000 for use over one to three years (and in rare cases, up to five years) will be awarded competitively. Please note tenure equivalent positions are not eligible for the fellowship.
At the University of Michigan, Minority Applications Are Up, But the Number of Minority Students Accepted for Admission Is Down
The University of Michigan has announced that it received a record number of applications for the 2011 entering class. The number of applicants rose 25 percent from a year ago to 39,570. Just over 40 percent of all applicants were accepted for admission
The university reported that 4,265 minority students applied for admission, a 15 percent increase from a year ago. Therefore, minority students make up nearly 11 percent of all applicants. However, the university announced that 1,576 minority students were accepted for admission, a 3.7 decrease from a year ago. Just under 37 percent of minority applicants were accepted for admission.
Because of state law the University of Michigan did not consider race in its admissions decisions during this election cycle. That law has been ruled unconstitutional by a three-judge panel of a federal appeals court. That ruling is being appealed.
Washington University Study Examines Racial Differences in Glaucoma
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans. And the disease is six times more common among blacks compared to whites. And blindness resulting from glaucoma is 16 times as likely among blacks than is the case for whites.
A new study by researchers at Washington University sheds some light on the racial disparity. The research, published in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology, found that oxygen levels in the eyes of black glaucoma patients are significantly higher than is the case for whites with the disease. The authors of the study believe that more oxygen in the eye may damage the drainage system resulting in higher pressure which can damage the optic nerve.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DIABETES & DIGESTIVE & KIDNEY DISEASES
Program Director, Senior Scientific Advisor of Kidney and Urologic Epidemiology
Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases (DKUHD)
National Institutes of Health
Department of Health and Human Services
THE POSITION: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is seeking exceptional candidates to serve as Senior Scientific Advisor of Kidney and Urologic Epidemiology in the extramural Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases (DKUHD). The incumbent will serve as a Program Director and a senior scientific advisor within and outside the NIDDK. The successful candidate will join a group of highly interactive scientists and clinicians directing research programs in all areas of kidney, urologic and hematologic disease. S/he will be expected to evaluate and administer extramural research projects, using the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) and the Urological Diseases in America (UDA), comprehensive sources of national information on the prevalence and public health burden of end-stage and chronic kidney and urological disease in the U.S., with the goal of building and implementing a cutting edge epidemiologic, clinical, and translational research program in kidney and urologic disorders.
The incumbent will also be responsible for assisting in preparing and reviewing disease incidence and prevalence information provided by the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, a mandated activity of the Division to provide accurate and current medical information to the general public on diseases of the renal and urologic system.
Maintaining active communication with the professional and lay communities as well as program staff from other institutes and agencies is considered an integral part of this appointment. The NIDDK seeks candidates who have a significant track record of scientific research achievement and outstanding communication skills.
QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: Applicants must possess an M.D. or equivalent degree, with sub-specialization in nephrology or urology, national recognition for scientific research, and administrative experience. In addition, familiarity with United States Renal Data System (USRDS) or Urological Diseases in America (UDA) will be extremely valuable.
SALARY/BENEFITS: Salary is commensurate with experience and a full package of Civil Service benefits is available, including: retirement, health and life insurance, long term care insurance, leave and savings plan (401K equivalent). This position is subject to a background investigation.
HOW TO APPLY: Curriculum Vitae, Bibliography, and three letters of recommendation must be received by September 2, 2011 Application packages should be sent to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), 31 Center Drive, MSC 2560, Building 31, Room 9A-47, Bethesda, Maryland 20892. For further information, please call Janice Balin on (301) 594-7772. All information provided by candidates will remain confidential and will not be released outside the NIDDK search process without a signed release from candidates.
DHHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers
Recent Books That May Be of Interest to African-American Scholars
The JBHE Weekly Bulletin regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. Here are the latest selections.
• Kathy Burlew, a professor of psychology at the University of Cincinnati, received the 2011 Kenneth and Mamie Clark Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Professional Development of Ethnic and Minority Graduate Students from the American Psychological Association.
Professor Burlew holds bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees, all from the University of Michigan.
• Elizabeth Tshele, a lecturer in the department of English and the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University, won the Caine Prize for African writing for her short story, “Hitting Budapest.” The story, published in the Boston Review, is about six children from a shantytown in Zimbabwe who wander into an affluent white suburban community. Tshele uses the pen name, NoViolet Bulawayo.
The Caine Prize, which comes with a £10,000 cash award and the opportunity to serve a term as writer-in-residence at Georgetown University, is considered Africa’s leading literary honor.
Tshele is a graduate of Texas A&M University Commerce. She holds a master’s degree from Southern Methodist University and a master or fine arts degree from Cornell University.
Professor Gerald Early Solves a Mystery
In 2006 Gerald Early the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters and director of the Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, purchased a copy of a 1950s comic book on eBay. The title of the comic was Negro Romance.
Professor Early notes that “blacks appeared in comic books and comic strips during this era largely as savage ‘jungle natives’ or as racially demeaning characters.” He was determined the find out more out these 1950s comics about African Americans that were not overtly racist.
Professor Early turned for help to the producers of the PBS television show History Detectives. In a segment that was broadcast recently, researchers went to the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in New York City and the Geppi Entertainment Museum in Baltimore.
They discovered that the comic was the second of a three-part series published by Fawcett Publications in Greenwich, Connecticut, a major comic publisher of that era. The author was Ray Ald, a white editor at Fawcett who was looking to expand the company’s market to African-American readers. But the artist turned out to be an African-American named Alvin Hollingsworth who started working at Fawcett when he was in high school as a go-fer. He continued to draw comics until the mid-1950s and then became an abstract artist. Hollingsworth died in 2000.
Howard University College of Pharmacy Now Stands Alone
Howard University has announced the formation of a free standing College of Pharmacy. Previously, pharmacy programs were housed in the College of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Health. The reorganization brings the number of colleges and schools at the university to 13.
Anthony K. Wutoh has been named dean of the College of Pharmacy. Dr. Wutoh holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a second bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Maryland.
The Granddaddy of Summer Science Camps
This summer more than 1,500 middle school students will attend one of 25 sections of the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp. The camps are open to students from underrepresented minority groups and preference is given to students from low-income families. Students must have a B average in school, score high on standardized tests, and write a 250-word essay on why they want to attend the camp.
About 50 students attend each two-week camp. The camps are free for students. Students study science, mathematics, and other disciplines and participate in a wide range of social activities, field trips, and counseling sessions.
Bernard Harris Jr. is a former astronaut who is now president of the Bernard Harris Foundation. Harris was the first African-American to walk in space.
After growing up in San Antonio, Harris earned a bachelor’s degree at Baylor University. He earned a master’s degree at the University of Texas at Galveston, an MBA from the University of Houston, and a medical doctorate from Texas Tech University. He is currently an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas and an assistant professor at the Baylor College of Medicine.
Black Youth’s Large Media Appetite
A recent study by researchers at Northwestern University found that blacks and other minority students ages 8 to 18 spend 13 hours a day consuming media content through electronic devices including television, computers, cellphones, and other electronic gadgets. This is 4.5 hours more than young whites.
The study found that black and Latino youths spend one to two hours more watching television than whites and up to 90 minutes more on computers and cellphones. Some 84 percent of black youths reported that they had a television in their bedroom compared to 64 percent of white youths.
While television and online media can be used for education and learning, some educators believe that the heavy media consumption of black youth hinders their academic achievement. Also, there are concerns that spending so much time with television, computers, and cellphones contributes to higher rates of obesity.
WOODROW WILSON INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOLARS
Fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson Center
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is pleased to announce the opening of its 2012-2013 Fellowship competition. The Center awards approximately 20-25 academic year residential fellowships to individuals from any country with outstanding project proposals on national and/or international issues. The Center accepts non-advocacy, policy-relevant, fellowship proposals that address key challenges of past, present, and future issues confronting the United States and the world. Applicants must hold a doctorate or have equivalent professional experience. The Center also supports projects that intersect with contemporary policy issues and provide the historical and/or cultural context for some of today's significant public policy issues.
Fellows are provided stipends (which include round trip travel), private offices, Windows based personal computers, loan privileges with the Library of Congress, and part-time research assistants.
Two African-American Women Join the Predominantly Male Club of Athletics Directors at Division I Universities
Nationwide less than 10 percent of all athletic directors at the NCAA's Division I colleges and universities are women. But recently two historically black universities named women to lead their athletics programs.
Keshia Campbell was named director of athletics at Hampton University in Virginia. She will be the first woman to serve as athletic director at the university. The appointment is effective on August 15. She was director of business affairs at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Campbell holds bachelor's and master's degrees from South Carolina State University.
Vivian Fuller is the new director of athletics at Jackson State University in Mississippi. She was dean of the Cambridge campus of Sojourner-Douglass College in Maryland. She has previously served as athletics director at Tennessee State University, Northeastern Illinois University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Dr. Fuller is a graduate of Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. She earned a master's degree from the University of Idaho and an educational doctorate from Iowa State University.
Frank W. Hale Jr. (1927-2011)
Frank W. Hale Jr., civil rights activist and vice president emeritus at Ohio State University, died last week from cancer. He was 84 years old.
Hale was a native of Kansas City, Missouri, but grew up in Topeka, Kansas. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of Nebraska and a Ph.D. in communication and political science at Ohio State University. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of London.
Hale’s career in higher education spanned 54 years. He taught English at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, from 1959 to 1966. He was then appointed president of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama. He served in that capacity until 1971.
In 1971 he began a long tenure at Ohio State University as associate dean of the Graduate School. From 1978 to 1988, he served as vice provost for minority affairs. Dr. Hale was instrumental in establishing a Black Cultural Center on campus. When the new center was opened in 1989, the building was named in Hale’s honor.
Hale came out of retirement in 1999 and served for six years as “distinguished university representative and consultant.”
In 2010, Dr. Hale was inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony can be seen in the accompanying video.
Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations
• Michael Dawson, the John D. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science at the University of Chicago, was named director of the university’s Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. Dawson joined the university faculty in 1992. He taught at Harvard from 2002 to 2005 before returning to the University of Chicago.
• Bernadine Duncan was named director of counseling at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. She has been serving as an assistant professor in the department of educational leadership and counseling at the university.
Dr. Duncan is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. She holds a master’s degree from Jackson State University and an educational doctorate from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
• Herman Frazier was appointed deputy director of athletics and chief of staff to the athletic director at Syracuse University. He was senior associate athletics director at Temple University in Philadelphia. He previously served as athletics director at the University of Hawaii and the University of Alabama Birmingham.
Frazier was an all-American track athlete at Arizona State University and won an Olympic gold medal in 1976.
• Sandra DeLoatch was appointed interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Norfolk State University in Virginia. DeLoatch has been on the faculty at Norfolk State for 30 years serving as chair of the department of computer science and dean of the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology.
Dr. DeLoatch is a graduate of Howard University. She holds master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and the College of William and Mary. She earned her Ph.D. at Indiana University.
• Cornelius Graves was named interim director of government and community relations at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina. He was serving as an administrative assistant for a North Carolina state senator.
Graves is a graduate of Howard University and the Southern University Law Center.
• Mark Coleman was named director of athletics at Western New Mexico University in Silver City. He has coached the men’s basketball team at the university for the past eight years.
Coleman is a graduate of St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.
• Patricia C. Hodge was named superintendent of the Developmental Research School at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. She was principal for the Florida Atlantic University Schools.
Dr. Hodge is a graduate of the University of Florida. She earned her master’s degree at Atlanta University and a doctorate at Florida Atlantic University.
Grants and Gifts
• Ashland University in Ohio received a three-year, $1,580,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the recruitment and retention program aimed at increasing the number of minority students in its undergraduate nursing program.
• The University of Virginia School of Education received a four-year, $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to study the effectiveness of the WINGS for Kids afterschool program in four elementary schools in Charleston, South Carolina. The program, seeks to teach children how to make smart decisions and build healthy relationships. Almost all of the children in the program are from low-income families and most of them are black.