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Two African-American Scholars Elected to the Institute of Medicine

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970. Its mission is to serve as adviser to the nation to improve health. The institute provides unbiased, evidence-based, and authoritative information and advice concerning health and science to policymakers, professionals, leaders in every sector of society, and the public at large. Election to membership is an honor but carries with it a commitment to public service.

There is no official data on the race of the institute’s 1,649 active members. In both 2008 and 2009, JBHE research showed that each year five of the 65 new inductees were African Americans. This year only two of the 65 new members are black.

Benjamin S. Carson Sr. is professor of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. In 1987 he performed a revolutionary surgery on Siamese twins who were joined at the head. He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan medical school.

Kevin B. Johnson is professor of pediatrics and vice chair of the department of biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt in 2002 he served on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins University medical school. A graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Dr. Johnson holds a master’s degree in medical informatics from Stanford University and his medical degree is from Johns Hopkins University.

Oxford University’s Poor Record in Admitting Black Caribbean Students

Last year there were 3,200 first-year undergraduate students at Oxford University in England. The Equality and Human Rights Commission announced that only one of these incoming undergraduates was a black student with Caribbean descent. In 2008 there were five black first-year students with Caribbean backgrounds.

Only 10 percent of all Caribbean black students in England qualify for admission to the nation’s top universities compared to 25 percent of all white students. About two tenths of one percent of black students score at the highest levels on university admissions criteria.

Georgetown University Study Finds That Moderate Exercise Can Significantly Decrease Black Women’s Risk of Developing Breast Cancer

Medical researchers at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University have found that black women can decrease their chance of breast cancer by 64 percent by exercising for as little as two hours a week. In addition, the study of black women in the Washington, D.C., area found that black women who exercised less than two hours per week also were at less risk of breast cancer compared to women who reported little or no physical activity.

The lead author of the study is Vanessa L. Sheppard, an assistant professor of oncology at the university.

New Minority Scholarship Program Launched by the NBA and Bacardi Distillers

The National Basketball Association and Bacardi U.S.A. have announced the establishment of a new college scholarship program for African Americans and Hispanics. The Gold Standard Scholarship Program will be offered to black or Hispanic undergraduates or graduates who are at least 21 years old and have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Applicants must have a permanent address or attend school in one of the following metropolitan areas: Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, or New York City.

Twenty-four students will receive a $10,000 scholarship. Four of the students will receive an additional $30,000 in scholarship funds.

For more information or to apply for this scholarship, click here.

HBCU Adds Three New Degree Programs

South Carolina State University, the historically black educational institution in Orangeburg, has announced the establishment of three new degree programs. There will be a new bachelor’s degree program in civil engineering technology with an emphasis in design. This program will be a joint effort with the University of South Carolina.

Master’s degree programs in energy and environmental science and biorobotics and biofabrication will also be added to the university’s offerings.

Race Relations on Campus Database

Periodically, JBHE Weekly Bulletin will publish a selection of racial incidents that have occurred on the campuses of colleges and universities. Here are the latest incidents:

• The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a federal race discrimination lawsuit against Chapman University in Orange, California. The suit alleges that the university denied tenure to and subsequently fired a black woman because of her race. The suit, filed on behalf of Stephanie Dellande, who holds a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of California at Irvine, states that Dellande was denied promotion despite recommendations from all four external reviewers while whites with less stellar qualifications were promoted. (Orange County Weekly, 9-20-10)

• Two students from Nigeria were verbally abused and assaulted on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder. According to police, the students were confronted by a group of whites who called them “monkeys” and told them to “go back to their country.” One of the black students was punched in the face. (Colorado Daily, 9-20-10)

• After throwing four interceptions in a game against Ohio State, University of Miami quarterback Jacory Harris received a message on his Twitter account which read, “They don’t want a black quarterback here.” Harris is an African American. (Orlando Sentinel, 9-20-10)

• The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a federal lawsuit against New York University. The suit claims that an African-born employee faced a hostile work environment because of his race. The suit claims that a mailroom supervisor at a campus library referred to his assistant as a “monkey” or “gorilla.” The assistant was told to “go back to the jungle” and “go back to your cage.” According to the suit, the assistant complained repeatedly to management but superiors took months to investigate the claims and then did nothing to stop the harassment.

• A cartoon appearing in the student newspaper at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti caused an uproar on campus. The cartoon showed a couple wearing Ku Klux Klan robes standing near a tree with a noose hanging from one branch. The caption read, “Honey, this is the tree where we met.” The newspaper posted a statement on its Web site saying that it was sorry if anyone was offended. (Detroit News, 10-4-10)

• A white male student at the University of Minnesota-Crookston admitted hanging a wooden three-foot statue from a campus building. The figure was painted so it resembled an African American. The administration and police concluded that the incident was a prank and said it was not racially motivated. But a university spokesman said that the student showed “incredibly poor judgment.” (Grand Forks Herald, 10-3-10)

• Racist graffiti was found written on a white board in a residence hall at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. In a statement, the university president said that such actions are “unacceptable behavior.”

Blacks are 5 percent of the undergraduate student body at RIT. (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 10-5-10)

Honors and Awards

Curtis Everett Powell, director of choral activities at Delaware State University, received the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Medallion for his service as conductor of the 105 Voices of History National Concert Choir.

Blake D. Morant, dean of the Wake Forest University School of Law, won the John R. Kramer Outstanding Law School Dean Award from Equal Justice Works.

Dean Morant holds bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Virginia.

Jim Floyd, the first African-American mayor of Princeton, New Jersey, and a 30-year member of the foundation board at Mercer County Community College, was honored with the establishment of a scholarship at the college, named after him and his late wife Fannie.

Connia Nelson, senior vice president for human resources at Verizon Telecom, received the Distinguished Alumna Award from Indiana State University. In addition to her bachelor’s degree earned at Indiana State, she holds a master’s degree from Dallas Baptist University.

Aaron Walton, senior vice president for corporate affairs at Highmark Inc. in Pittsburgh, received the Jennie Carter Leadership Award from California University of Pennsylvania. The award is named after the university’s first black graduate.

Albert W. Gray Sr. received the Distinguished Service Award from the Wofford College National Alumni Association. Gray, a retired businessman, was the first black student at the South Carolina college and later served for 12 years as a member of the college’s board of trustees.


Given the poor record of Oxford University in admitting black students (see story in this issue), do you think a certain number of spaces at the educational institution should be set aside and reserved for black students?

Black Freshmen in the Ivy League: Columbia Far Out in Front; Brown Leaps From Last to Second; and Princeton Is at the Bottom

Data from the 18th annual JBHE survey of black freshman students at high-ranking colleges and universities shows that, once again, Columbia University in New York City is far ahead of its seven Ivy League rivals. This fall there are 202 first-year black students on the Columbia campus. They make up 14.5 percent of all freshman students. This is the largest percentage of black freshmen at a high-ranking university in the history of the JBHE survey. The number of black freshmen at Columbia is up 6.3 percent from a year ago.

Brown University ranks second in the Ivy League with a freshman class that is 9.7 percent black. The number of black freshmen at Brown this year is up a whopping 57 percent from a year ago. In 2009, Brown ranked last in the Ivy League in percentage of blacks in its first-year class.

Elizabeth Hart, director of minority recruitment in the Brown University office of admissions, told JBHE that the improvement was the result of “a lot of hard work by the admissions staff as well as from undergraduate students and alumni. Some new outreach initiatives and attempts to grow contacts with prospective students paid off.”

Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania also had freshman classes that were at least 9 percent black. At Yale, 8.4 percent of all freshmen are black this fall.

Cornell, Dartmouth, and Princeton are at the bottom of the Ivy League in black freshman enrollments.

African-American Professor at Carnegie Mellon University Nominated for National Book Award

Terrance Hayes, professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University, is a finalist for a National Book Award in the poetry category. Hayes was nominated for his collection entitled Lighthead.

Hayes’ nominated work is his fourth book of poetry. His previous work, Wind in a Box, was named one of the best 100 books of the year by Publishers Weekly. An earlier work, Hip Logic, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award.

Hayes is a native of Columbia, South Carolina. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina, and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh.

The winners of the National Book Awards will be announced at a New York City ceremony later this month.

African-American Scholar Is One of Four Finalists for Provost at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale

Robert L. Hampton, professor of sociology and social work at Tennessee State University in Nashville, is one of four finalists for the position of provost at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Dr. Hampton served as provost and executive vice president at Tennessee State from 2006 to 2008. Previously he was president of York College, a division of the City University of New York.

Dr. Hampton is a graduate of Princeton University. He holds master’s and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from the University of Michigan. He has written extensively on domestic violence in the African-American community.

An announcement on the provost appointment is expected later this month.

Sailors Around the World Can Earn Bachelor’s Degrees From Historically Black Norfolk State University

Norfolk State University, the historically black educational institution in Virginia, has entered into an agreement with the United States Navy to establish a distance learning program for sailors around the world. Under the Navy College Program Distance Learning Partnership, students can work toward a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.

Norfolk State is the only historically black college or university participating in the Navy’s distance learning program. The largest naval base in the United States is located in Norfolk, Virginia.

GOP Candidate States Black Men Prefer Drugs to Education

At a recent political debate in Champaign, Illinois, sponsored by the NAACP and the League of Women Voters, candidates for the state Senate were asked for their ideas on how to increase black enrollments at the University of Illinois. GOP candidate Al Reynolds of Danville stated, “Minority women are motivated more so than the minority men. The minority men find it more lucrative to be able to do drugs than to do education. It’s easier.”

In Tuesday’s election, Reynolds lost to Democratic incumbent Mike Frerichs.

Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

Michelle D. Hill was appointed director of alumni relations at Norfolk State University in Virginia. She was director of alumni relations at the University of Maryland College in Adelphi.

Hill is a 1996 graduate of Norfolk State University and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Howard University.

Michael Cunningham, an associate professor of psychology at Tulane University who holds a joint appointment in African and African diaspora studies, was named executive director of the university’s Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching.

Professor Cunningham, who has taught at Tulane for the past decade, is a graduate of Morehouse College. He holds a Ph.D. from Emory University.

Xuri Maurice Allen was appointed director of admissions/recruitment at the University of the Virgin Islands. He formerly served as director of admissions at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.

Dr. Allen holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Virginia and a doctorate in counseling and counseling education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Claude Joseph-Phillip Poux was named business/operations manager at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Waves Observatory Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.

Poux is a graduate of Brandeis University. He holds an MBA and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. He also holds a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism.

Anthony C. Nelson, dean of the College of Business at Bowie State University in Maryland, was elected president of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Business Deans Roundtable.

A graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, Dean Nelson holds master’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and the Dallas Theological Seminary. He earned a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Kimberly S. Brown was appointed director of academic advising in the division of undergraduate education at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. She was serving as interim associate vice provost for academic support services at the university.

Dr. Brown is a graduate of the University of Richmond. She holds a master’s degree from Radford University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

Grants and Gifts

Historically black LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis received a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration for a program to train and provide technical assistance to minority entrepreneurs.

Portland State University in Oregon was awarded a $3.3 million grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration for a program to increase Internet and computer literacy among low-income and minority populations.

Florida A&M University, the historically black educational institution in Tallahassee, received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to build a Center for Public Computing and Workforce Development. The center will have 65 broadband workstations available for people who don’t have access to computers or the Internet at home.

Michigan State University received a five-year, $14 million grant for research to identify risk factors for breast cancer in young women. The research will include the largest study of black women younger than age 50 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Winston-Salem State University, the historically black educational institution in North Carolina, was awarded an $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a program to support new and emerging companies with an environmental focus.

Historically black Spelman College in Atlanta received a three-year grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to build a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system that will use lasers to study the atmosphere.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities received a grant from the National Science Foundation to support a new project entitled Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future. The new program will provide professional development services for women faculty of color at historically black colleges and universities.

Bowie State University, the historically black educational institution in Maryland, received a $500,000 grant from NASA to support university research in aeronautics and aerospace engineering.

MentorNet, a nonprofit educational association that provides mentors for women and minority students in the sciences and engineering, received a $375,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to create an online social network for women of color.

Historically black North Carolina Central University in Durham received a $100,000 grant from Piedmont Investment Advisors to establish an endowed scholarship program. Isaac H. Green, CEO of Piedmont Investment Advisors, is the great-grandson of James E. Shepard, the founder of North Carolina Central University.

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