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University Archaeologists Unearth African-American Village in Central Park

Students and faculty members in the archaeology department at Columbia University, New York University, and the City University of New York have found the remains of Seneca Village, a 19th century African-American settlement in what is now Central Park in New York City. The village was located between what is now 81st and 89th Streets just east of Central Park West.

The village was founded around 1820. At the time it was about three miles north of the densely populated areas of Manhattan. In 1857, the 300 or so inhabitants were evicted so that Central Park could be constructed. There was a school and three churches in the community.

The accompanying video gives more details:

New Scholarly Journal on the Black Male Experience

Indiana University Press has announced the launch of a new scholarly, peer-reviewed journal on the black male experience in the United States. Spectrum: The Journal on Black Men will be published twice a year, beginning in March.

The journal will be produced under the guidance of the department of African American and African studies at Ohio State University, chaired by H. Ike Okafor-Newsum. The editorial board includes faculty from colleges and universities across the country who teach subjects ranging from English and sociology to education policy and leadership.

The general editors of the new journal are Judson Jeffries, professor and director of the African American and African Studies Community Extension Center at Ohio State University and Terrell L. Strayhorn, associate professor and senior research associate at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity at Ohio State.

Marshall University School of Medicine Seeks Minority Students

Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, has established a new program aimed at increasing the number of undergraduate students who apply to the university’s medical school. Project PRE MED (Providing Real World Experiences for Future Marshall Educated Doctors) will invite black and other minority college students to campus for a weekend this October.

Students accepted in the program will attend medical school classes, meet with faculty and current medical school students, tour the school’s facility, and attend seminars on preparing for the Medical College Admission Test and on applying to medical school.

Students who are interested in the program can apply through September 9th. Lodging and meal are provided free of charge and transportation assistance is available. More information is available here.

Duke University School of Nursing Looks to Increase Diversity

This summer, 10 undergraduate students participated in a six-week program at Duke University designed to increase the number of minorities in nursing. The Making a Difference in Nursing Scholars program admits students who are currently pursuing degrees in non-nursing fields but who have an interest in possibly switching course and concentrating in nursing.

The students work with faculty, counselors, and student mentors to explore alternative academic and career paths. They also participate in teamwork and leadership training exercises.

Understanding Diversity in a Veterinary Medicine Setting

Ronnie G. Elmore, associate dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University teaches a course, "Practicing Veterinary Medicine in a Multicultural Society." Professor Elmore believes that studying cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity can help veterinary students better serve the pets of an increasing diverse population. Dr. Elmore observes that race, gender, ethnicity, and other characteristics can affect how pet owners relate to their animals. The professor also invites to class handicapped people who use animals such as seeing-eye dogs to cope with their handicaps. He believes that better understanding the relationship between these clients and their animals will make his students better veterinarians.

Record Number of Black Freshmen at the University of Georgia

The University of Georgia announced that a record number of new students will be on campus for the fall semester. There are 5,500 freshman students this year, an increase of 10 percent from a year ago.

There are 480 African American students in the freshman class. This is an all-time record. The previous record was in 1995 when there were 440 black freshmen on campus.

This fall, African Americans make up 8.9 percent of all first-year students. While considerable progress has been made at the state’s flagship university, it is important to point out that blacks make up more than 30 percent of the college-age population in Georgia.

Pulitzer Prize Winner Cynthia Tucker Now Teaching at the University of Georgia

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Cynthia Tucker has left the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to become a visiting professor at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Tucker has been based in Washington, serving as a political columnist for the newspaper.

Tucker, a graduate of Auburn University, received a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for political commentary. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer in both 2004 and 2006.

Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• Mercy Eyadiel was appointed executive director for employment development in the Office of Personal and Career Development at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was director of alumni and career services at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Previously she was the director of alumni relations and development at Vanderbilt University.

• Charles E. Jones was named director of the Public Services Center at Fort Valley State University in Georgia. The center serves as a liaison between the university and the local community. Jones has been providing legal services to Georgia’s Crisp County.

Jones earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Missouri. He also is a graduate of law school at Georgia State University.

• Harvey Hollins III, vice president for government and community affairs at Wayne State University in Detroit, was appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to the position of director of the Michigan Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives. Hollins has been an administrator at Wayne State since 2004.

Hollins is a graduate of Kalamazoo College. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

• F. Michael Higginbotham was appointed interim dean of the University of Baltimore School of Law. He is the Wilson H. Elkins Professor of Law at the school. He joined the faculty at the law school in 1988. He is the author of the textbook, Race Law: Cases, Commentary, and Questions.

Professor Higginbotham is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School. He also holds a master of laws degree from Cambridge University.

• Elizabeth A. Dooley, associate provost and professor of special education and curriculum and instruction at West Virginia University, has been named interim dean of the College of Human Resources and Education at the university. Professor Dooley will continue in her previous roles while taking on the additional duties of dean. Dr. Dooley has been on the faculty at West Virginia University since 1991. She has served as director of the Center for Black Culture and Research on the WVU campus.

Dr. Dooley is a graduate of Alderson Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia. She earned a master's degree and an educational doctorate at West Virginia University.

• Joe Ricks Jr., the J.P. Morgan Chase Professor of Sales and Marketing at Xavier University in New Orleans, was named chair of the Division of Business. Dr. Ricks has been on the faculty at the university for 14 years.

Professor Ricks holds a Ph.D. in business from Louisiana State University.

• Arnetta C. Girardeau was named assistant director for public services in the library at the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She will also serve as an adjunct professor in legal research at the law school. She was a librarian at the public library in Jacksonville, Florida.

Girardeau is a graduate of Harvard University. She holds master’s degrees from Duke University and Florida State University. She is also a graduate of the law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


In a recent interview with Spiegel, Rev. Jesse Jackson stated:

"Now the Republicans feel they can keep pushing and Obama will keep giving. They have not seen a stiff resistance on his part. The American people on the ground need a clearer, stronger, Lyndon B. Johnson-type voice from their president."

How do you feel about Rev. Jackson's statement?

He is right on the mark.
I agree somewhat with what he says.
He is wrong.

Langston University Responds to Politician’s Criticisms of Its Research Project

In the recent debate over the debt extension, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, issued a report on what he considered wasteful government spending. The report featured a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant that had been awarded to historically black Langston University in Oklahoma. The grant sponsored research on developing a better electric fence for goat farmers.

Langston University issued a response showing the importance of the research. Goats are used by some cattle ranchers to control brush and weeds on pastures. The use of goats for this purpose is cost effective and environmentally friendly. But traditional barbed-write fences used for cattle are not sufficient to keep goats enclosed. The grant provided funds to research the most effective means of keeping goats enclosed at a low cost.

The university response stated that the research will provide great benefits for the economy.

Football Star Who Sends Inner-City Kids on College Tours Finds a New Home in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League recently signed Nnamdi Asomugha to a five-year, $60 million contract. Asomugha, a cornerback, was widely considered the best free agent available this year.

While the Eagles will benefit from the skills of this great performer on the football field, the people of Philadelphia, particularly college-bound African Americans, will also be rewarded. The All-Pro defensive back is the founder of Asomugha College Tours for Scholars (ACTS). This foundation provides funds for low-income, inner-city youth to visit the nation’s best colleges and universities. To be eligible, students must have a 3.2 grade point average and be involved in community service and extracurricular activities in school.

For his philanthropic efforts, Asomugha was nominated for the NFL’s Byron ‘Whizzer” White award five times before winning in 2010. The award is given to the player who has shown a strong commitment to outstanding community service.

Historically Black Stillman College Ends Its Four-Year Nursing Program

Stillman College, the historically black educational institution in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has announced that it will close its four-year nursing degree program. The decision came after the Alabama Board of Nursing issued a ruling that it no longer approved of the Stillman program. In its statement, the board cited “several deficiencies, including a lack of sufficient financial support and resources, inadequacies in equipment, learning aids, and instructional personnel.” The board requires an 80 percent passage rate for first time test takers on the national licensing examination. The rate for Stillman students was 66.7 percent.

Stillman had reinstated its nursing program in 2006 after not offering a nursing degree for the previous 60 years.

Harvard School of Public Health Fights AIDS in Tanzania

The Harvard School of Public Health in conjunction with the Tanzanian government has opened a new clinic in Dar es Salaam for AIDS patients. The new facility is for patients who have not benefited from initial drug treatments that are routinely given to patients with HIV/AIDS.

The new center will house up to 3,000 patients who will be given a new regimen of drugs that require close monitoring and strict adherence to a dosage schedule.

Langston University President to Step Down: Will Take Post at Hampton University

JoAnn W. Haysbert, president of Langston University in Oklahoma, has announced that she will step down at the end of the year. President Haysbert is the first woman to lead the historically black university. She has served as president for six years.

In announcing that she was leaving the university, President Haysbert stated, “When I came to Langston in 2005, I called it ‘Oklahoma’s Hidden Treasure.’ Now, I can truly say that we did a great job in uncovering this ‘gem’ by telling its story around the state and across the nation. I leave with the assurance that the university is poised for continued success."

Haysbert will return to Hampton University in Virginia where she previously served in several administrative positions over 25 years including provost and acting president. She will become executive vice president at Hampton.

Dr. Haysbert earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. She holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in administration and supervision in higher education from Auburn University.

In Memoriam

John Q. Taylor King Sr. (1921-2011)

John Q. Taylor King, Sr., the longest-serving president of what is now Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, died earlier this month. He was 89 years old.

A native of Memphis, King earned bachelor’s degrees at Fisk University and Huston-Tillotson. He held a master’s degree from DePaul University in Chicago and a Ph.D. in mathematics and statistics from the University of Texas.

Dr. King served in World War II and remained in the Army Reserves and the Texas National Guard until 1983. He retired as a major general.

Dr. King joined the faculty at Huston-Tillotson in 1947 and was named president in 1965. He served in that role for 23 years.

Honors and Awards

• Billy C. Hawkins, president of Talladega College in Alabama, received the Omega Century Award for Excellence at the centennial celebration of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hawkins has been president at Talladega since 2008. Previously, he was president of Texas College.

Dr. Hawkins is a graduate of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. He earned a master’s degree from Central Michigan University and a doctorate in educational administration at Michigan State University.

• Cynthia Downing, assistant director at the Office of Career Services at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, was given the Campus Liaison of the Year Award at the National Urban League’s Black Executive Exchange Program Leadership Conference in Orlando.

• Willie Jennings, associate professor of theology and black church studies at the Duke University Divinity School, has been selected to receive the Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion from the American Academy of Religion. Professor Jennings will be honored at the academy’s annual meeting in San Francisco in November for this book The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale University Press, 2010).

Dr. Jennings is a graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He holds a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and a Ph.D. from Duke University.

• Bea Awoniyi, assistant dean of students and director of the Student Disability Resource Center at Florida State University, received the Ronald E. Blosser Dedicated Service Award, the highest honored bestowed by the Association of Higher Education and Disability.

Below is a video of Dr. Awoniyi discussing her work:

Grants and Gifts

Historically black North Carolina A&T State University and North Carolina Central University are participating in a five-year, $25 million research project to understand and prevent noroviruses, the most common form of food-borne disease. About 5 million cases of norovirus disease are reported each year in the United States.

The grant is the largest ever given out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for food safety research.

• Fort Valley State University, the historically black educational institution in Georgia, received a $151,306 grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration for financial assistance for students in the university’s master’s degree program in rehabilitation counseling.

Historically black Mississippi Valley State University received a donation of software from Microsoft Corporation valued at $107,926. The software will be used by students, faculty, and administrators.

• Rust College, the historically black educational institution in Holly Springs, Mississippi, received a three-year $150,000 grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to strengthen the colleges programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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