Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Jury has reached a Decision

Florida A&M has scheduled a 3:30 p.m. press conference for Wednesday afternoon to respond to inquiries regarding the status of the university’s athletic program.

The FAMU press briefing will respond to Wednesday afternoon’s press conference scheduled by the NCAA in Indianapolis,regarding recent allegations of rules infractions at FAMU.

The FAMU press briefing will take place in the in the conference room at the Gailmore-Powell Fieldhouse at Bragg Stadium.

The pulbic pronouncement of the NCAAs decision comes on the first day that football players can formally sign letters of intent to attend the university of their choice.

End of An Era

Correta Scott King has passed.

The civil rights icon and widow of Martin Luther King Jr., never fully recovered from a stroke and heart attack last August. This morning on Today, Andrew Young made the official family announcement in a telephone interview. He said that Mrs. King passed quietly at around 1AM: "She was asleep last night and her daughter went in to wake her up and she was not able to and so she quietly slipped away. Her spirit will remain with us just as her husband's has."

King's presence was striking. In the days after her husband's assasination, she lead a march in Memphis and her work spearheaded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and the federal holiday. Even more memorable was Coretta Scott King's quiet grace and dignity. In an era when mediocrity passes for average, her lifetime of extraordinary achievement is benchmark. "I think you rise to the occasion in a crisis," she once said. "I think the Lord gives you strength when you need it."

Coretta Scott King was 78 years old.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Give that Band, I mean Man, A Grammy!

The Florida A&M Marching 100 has been invited to the Feburary 8, Grammy Awards to perform LIVE with Grammy Award winning artist Kanye West. About 20 uniformed members of the 100rd are slated to perform on stage with Mr. West on what is arguably the music industry's biggest night.

Mr. West is riding high following the release of this critically acclaimed sophomore album "Late Registration" (named Rolling Stone Magazine "Album of the Year"). His freshman album "the College Dropout' earned him three Grammy's and sold more than three million copies.

The Grammy's will be broadcast to over 200 million television viewers around the world from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.

The FAMU contingent will be in LA for a week. Mr. West's choreographer is currently on campus going over dance moves and other details with the band.

This Just In...

Mens Tennis Team gets four wins against Kentucky
Florida A&M completed the final day of the USF Tennis Invitational at the University of South Florida with four individual wins during their match with the University of Kentucky.

No. 1 Frank Green, No. 3 Jarrel Williams and No. 4 Artiom Podfani won their singles matches for FAMU. Williams teamed with sophomore Cliff Malivert for an 8-6 win at the No. 2 doubles over Greg Johnstone and Marcus Sundh.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Carter's Rattlers to have a Florida Flavor

Emphasis on prospects from Florida
The Tallahassee Democrat today reported: "In an effort to strengthen FAMU's recruiting presence in Florida, Rattlers coach Rubin Carter and his staff have blanketed the state this winter, leaving no county or high school unvisited. With National Signing Day coming on Wednesday, FAMU's is banking on a large haul of in-state recruits."

From Lakeland to Ft. Pierce, Miami to Mims, and Pensacola to Jacksonville, FAMU coaches have fanned out across the state to meet coaches and evaulate talent.

Fort Pierce Central High School football coach Chris Hutchings said FAMU defensive coordinator Charles Huff has made more than one visit to his school. While Lakeland H.S. assistant coach Dan Tabolt noted for the first time in three years at the school he has talked to a FAMU coach.

''We'll go north maybe one to two hours into Georgia and maybe Alabama, but it has to be a great player because of the cost of out-of-state tuition,'' Carter told the Democrat. ''Our base philosophy is to recruit within our core area."

Carter wants to stop the exodus of Florida athletes to our out-of-state competition. He noted last year there were 17 players from Florida selected to the All-MEAC first and second team (in football). Of those players, five came from out-of-state schools. One of those players, that got away was Hampton offensive lineman Nevin McCaskill, is a (Tallahassee) Godby High graduate.

''We have to stop the madness,'' Carter said. With National Signing Day coming up Feburary 1, Carter will find out if the strategy pays off.

FAMU men and women fall to Del. State
The Rattlers brought the league's top-scoring offense (67.7 ppg) into Dover, DE Saturday afterron and dropped 61-50 decision to Delaware State before 1,333 at DSU's Memorial Hall. DSU extended its win streak to eight games, and remained unbeaten in the MEAC.

The Rattlers were held to their fewest points in a game (47) since a December loss at the University of Florida.

The Rattlers fell to 10-10 overall(6-3 MEAC). DSU improved to 10-10 overal (8-0 MEAC).

Del State holds off Lady Rattlers
The Lady Rattlers lost to Delaware State 55-48 Saturday. The Hornets had led by as much as 17 points but survived late rally by the Lady Rattlers who cut the lead to three in the final minutes.

The loss dropped the Lady Rattlers to 8-10 (4-5 MEAC). The win moved DSU into second place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference at 5-3 (11-6 overall).

Entering the game, only one game separated the second through eighth spots in the MEAC standings. Undefeated Coppin State leads the conference.

100rd Wows Crowd in ATL Battle

Does marching band season ever end? Doesn't seem that way. Yesterday a much learner and meaner Marching 100, the likes of which we haven't seen in many many years (I mean Whitney Houston small) showed Atlanta why they are the band that everyone loves to hate. When you are consistently as good as the Marching 100 is you are bound to pick up more than a few "haters".

But with a unique entrance, unmatched clarity and a sound as strong as ever, the 100rd brought the sold out Georgia Dome crowd of 68,440 marching band fans to their feet. As band announcer Joe Bullard declared, the 100rd is indeed "the standard for the world!"

Interestingly enough, nearly one half of all the 10 bands invited had FAMU graduates as directors.

Also of note, because event organizers arranged bands by size, the 100rd which usually is the last and final band to perform was next to last this year. This only seemed to motivate the 100rd who pulled out all the stops to claim victory in this non-judged event.

Note to the FAMU Administration: "budget crisis" resolved, make the 100rd whole again!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Rattler is a Dreamgirl

FAMU graduate Anika Noni Rose will star in the upcoming film adaptation of the Broadway hit musical "Dreamgirls". Ms. Rose (first from left) will play the part of Lorrell Robinson opposite Beyoncé Knowles (Deena Jones) and former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson who has the legendary role of Effie White.

Rose won Broadway's 2004 Tony Award as Best Actress (featured Role--Musical) for the hit play "Caroline, or Change." Rose has been described as "a perfect size one with the voice of much larger gospel or R&B star."

Dreamgirls, which is currently in production, hits theatres in December. Playbill has just announced that the release date will be December 22, which is a perfect time for the holidays and the upcoming awards shows. The show is being directed by Bill Condon, the Oscar-winning screenwriter/director who also directed the screenplay for Chicago. For the official Dreamgirls movie website chocked full of neat and fun cts click here--->Dreamgirls

Friday, January 27, 2006

I'm Outta Here...

I'm outta here for the weekend. Will be on travel and may update the site, "if the spirit moves me". More likely than not, we probaly will do some updates. Have a great weekend.

Oh yeah, the computer's fine. It just had a cold, not THE VIRUS. Everybody at FAMU needs a sophomore computer geek in their pocket. Thanks homie!

Mark Your Calendar...

2006 FAMU Day at the Legislature

This year's FAMU Day at the Legislature is scheduled for Thursday, March 23. Rattlers are encouraged to show up in large numbers for the event, which allows university officials to share information about various programs offered by the school with legislators, suporters and friends.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Public Service Annoucement...

As the weekend approaches, we offer the following reminder for our friends who will be taking to the roads this weekend. If you're going to drink and drive this weekend, please drive on the sidewalk because all accidents happen in the street!

NCAA may Postpone Press Conference

Maybe, the Capitol Outlook should start using our sources. That way they won't be sending out conflicting "Breaking News" emails! As was previously reported in "Today's Buzz" (see below), The Outlaw/Outlook/mullet wrapper, indicated that the NCAA would likely be making a statement regarding scanctions against the Florida A&M athletic program tomorrow.

Well, this afteroon they sent another email rescinding their previous email. Click here--->Outlook Breaking News Dammitt! Get your facts straight the first time and spare us all the red face!

FAMU researchers get $9 Million from Congress

FAMU raked in $9 million in new federal research grants from Congress last year. The grants were contained in congressional budget bills which were approved by Congress in December.

All-in-all, Florida universities received some $90 million in special projects. A quick review of the federal budget indicates, FAMU will receive $3 million to develop affordable combat vehicles of the future, $1 million from the Agriculture Research Service for the Center for Biological Controls, $ 4 million to develop standoff sensors, and $ 1million for Gulf Coast composite research.

FAMU, and other Florida universities, benefited from the clout and seniority of former Appropriations Committee chairman U.S. Rep. Bill Young, Tampa, who now chairs the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and is vice chair of the full committee. The chairmanship of the Appropriations (read money) Committee is a roatating assignment. Also, all 11 state universities submit a consolidated budget request.

Today's Buzz...

Normally, the NCAA holding a press conference wouldn't be news. However, the Capital Outlook ---which has a desk in 400 Lee Hall--- is speculating that tomorrow's NCAA Press Conference will include long awaited discussions about possible scantions against FAMU's athletic program (i guess it would have to much like right for them to wait for football recruits to sign on Feb. 1).

Truth be told, we have heard from the "Street Committee" that FAMU had long ago received the findings of the NCAA report and that it wasn't as bad as we were led to believe it would be. That our self-imposed scantions exceed what the NCAA had recommended. Further, you know the "Street Committee's" moto: "Not too far from the truth!" We'll wait and see.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Here come the (New) Rattlers...

photo: Victor Gaines
As national signing day approaches, FAMU footbal fans are clammering for insights on the new talent we have coming in this year. I'll be the first to tell you that I don't have any such "inside knowledge", but the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that, "Rubin Carter's team added a pair of offensive-minded recruits led by Titusville Astronaut QB Eddie Battle who passed for more than 1,700 yards this year. The other new Rattler is OL Leon Daniels (6-7/275) from Live Oak Suwanee." Click here---> FAM-tastic additions for the article.

The O' Sentinel also reported on Jan. 18, that Apopka DB Derric Tarver (6-0/175) will be a Rattler next year.

One or two committment does not make a recruiting class, and all the talk of new Rattlers is just that until names or signed on the dotted line on national signing day. However, its still fun to speculate isn't it?

Moving on Up...

Today we achieved 2,000 hits in less than three weeks. We are exceedingly grateful to all of you for helping Rattler Nation surpass even our wildess expectations. We've learned to celebrate each of our successes, however small, and to always say thank you. Grandma taught us a long time ago, that yes ma'am and yes sir will open more doors than a Ph.D. ever will. So thank you our loyal readers.

We'll be back this evening with more updates. If anybody got any tips they want to share email me at: AnMRattler@yahoo.com I think my computer has HIV (a virus, i hope not THE VIRUS) and I got one of them computer science geeks looking at it trying to straighten it out. Right now, i'm in Coleman Library and had to wait to get online.

So, in a tip of the hat to JRE Lee III and his whack a$$ sloganeers who came up with this "Were Movin' On Up!!" theme for the 2003 football season, let the celebration begin! (click on the forward motion button in the bar below the TV set above to start video)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bryant Spends $50,000 of FAMU Funds to Promote Self

In case you missed it, we thought we'd call this to your attention again. While SGA looks for money to bring quality speakers to campus to enhance the learning experience of students, the administration spends $50k to promote itself.
Self Promotion

Board of Trustees Appointments

This is what we are hearing...
R. B. Holmes and Pam Duncan were reappointed by Jeb. While FAMU grad Corey Alston, of Tallahassee, was appointed to replace Barney Bishop who did not seek to be reappointed.

The Board of Governors is expected to reappoint Challis Lowe and Leery Jenkins to our Board when they meet on Thursday. Stay tuned.

Trustees Dragging out Search

To many, FAMU's search for a new president is moving at a snails pace.

It has been a little over a year since Fred Gainous was unceremoniously dismissed as FAMU's 9th president. While the BOT moved with all deliberate speed to remove Mr. Gainous it has been notoriously slow in engaging in a process to find the next permanent leader of FAMU. It took the Board six months just to appoint a search committee. To date, the trustees have yet to hire a search consultant (executive search firm) or advertise the position and begin accepting nonminations or resumes.

Now, the search committee is holding public forums to gain input into some of the qualities our next leader should have, nevermind the fact that the committee has already crafted a list of its own expectations. If this process seems a little disingenuous it is.

So far, the following forums have been scheduled:

Alumni forum, during the National Alumni Association winter meeting, Jan. 5-7, Miami.
Faculty forum, at Faculty Senate meeting, Jan. 17.
There also will be a January forum for students. An exact date has yet to be assigned for the forum, which will be hosted by FAMU's student government. And there will be one with community leaders as well, sometime early in 2006.

The presidential search committee, led by the Rev. R.B. Holmes Jr., intends to present a final snap shot of the requisite skills and qualifications FAMU's next leader should have at the March 2 board of trustees meeting.

What's expected from the next president
The vision and expected qualifications of the next FAMU president, as suggested by search committee chairman, The Rev. R.B. Holmes Jr.
* An earned, terminal degree (the highest degree in given academic field)
* Five or more years as a successful president in higher education
* Proven leadership in higher education, including research
* Strong budget, finance and managerial skills to include a record that is clearly documented
* Exceptional leadership, organizational and communication skills
* Evidence of being a student advocate and motivator
* Proven record of successful fund-raising
* Knowledge of Florida's university governance system
* Recorded history of positive and outstanding community and civic involvement
* An avid connection and understanding of the historic and scholastic significance of HBCU's (historically black colleges and universities)
* A positive and current relationship, or ability to establish a relationship, with key officials and leaders in the federal government, foundations and corporations
* Documented, successful experiences of working with students, faculty, administrators, staff and alumni
* Must have impeccable integrity, an abundance of energy, a competitive spirit and a winsome personality
* Must be thoughtful and transparent, a global thinker and a visionary
* Proven commitment to excellence at all levels within the university community
* Ability to separate personal and professional needs and relationships from what is best for the university
(Source: FAMU presidential search committee.)

The committee hopes to present three to five candidates for consideration at a later date. Exactly when? "I don't have an idea when we would have a new president seated," Holmes said.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Black Tuesday?

photo: flags at half mast

There's much speculation that Governor Bush and the Board of Governors will either reappoint or make new appointments to the FAMU Board of Trustees today. There are five terms that expired January 6th. Rumor has it that we won't be happy. The disfunctionalism, we are told, is about to continue. Let's prepare for the worst and hope and pray for the best.

Allied Health Sciences Awarded $6 Million Grant

The FAMU School of Allied Health Sciences received a $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD). The project will establish a Center for Health and Health Care Disparities at FAMU that uses research, training, community partnerships, coalition building and social transformation to create models for eliminating health disparities.

The grant meshes perfectly with the School's ongoing efforts to affect health disparities in underserved communities of color. The Allied Health program at FAMU offers bachelors and masters degrees in several disciplines.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

We interrupt this Broadcast...

Lets get this straight, Rattler Nation is about all things FAMU. So, lets hope that this is one of the few times that we deviate from our editorial philosophy to post information about a rival institution. But, this is significant.

We learned that that hybrid band (in our best Little Richard voice, "they steal from everybody) from Central Florida, over by coast, will be featured in an upcoming TV ad campaign by Cadillac. Worst of all, we are told, the ad is supposed to premier during this year's Super Bowl. We'll never hear the end of this! You can view the commercial by clicking here -->: The Commercial

Given GM's well published financial woes, I suspect that they couldn't afford to hire the No. 1 band in America. Anyway, kudos to them folks from down state.

Rattlers Strike Hawks in OT

FAMU won a close 96-92 overtime decision in Gaither Gym last night to beat Maryland Eastern Shore and improve to 9-9 on the season (5-2 MEAC). The Hawks fell to 4-12(1-5 MEAC).

The Rattlers got 26 points from Tony Tate. Joe Ballard (not to be confused w/ Joe Bullard!) had 18, while Rome Sanders and Jonathan Kelly finished with 17 and 10, respectively.

Saturday's bout was a thriller with eight lead changes and 15 tie scores during the evening.

Here's the back story on the game provided by "Rattler 52"
...the game tonight in Gaither was off the chain. Gillespie is one strategic coach. I say that because our guys were ice cold in a major portion of the first half. Gillespie put them in a press and it resulted in some layup opportunities.

UMES had some great outside shooters.

The sixth man of the game and probably co-MVP was the Marching 100. UMES coach tried to take his team outside of the gym for a timeout because he was complaining his team couldn't hear him over the band....then came Townsend's first good move as AD. He saw what happened and told our announcer to shorten the announcements during timeout so the band could play more. AWESOME thinking. Dr. White and the boys blew it out with everything from "I'm Sprung" to 'Spongebob Squarepants" to "Got to be Real". They were extra loud. I'll bet Townsend requests a larger band for bigger games.

In the second half we grinded back from a deficit behind the shooting of Tony Tate and Rome Saunders. We took the game in an overtime thriller. It felt like old school FAMU. Everybody from the team to the band to the AD worked together to make this a victory. Coach Carter and all of his coaches were there with recruits. That was a great game to bring them to. Looking at the co-ed population at the well attended game, the recruits looked very pleased.

Lady Rattlers break three game Losing Streak
The Lady Rattlers dropped the the UMES Lady Hawks 65-53 in the afternoon game, to snap a three-game losing streak. The Lady Rattlers improved to 7-9 on the season (3-4 MEAC), while the visting Lady Hawks fell to 5-9 (3-3 MEAC).

The two schools played dead even in the first half, as FAMU rallied from an early 9-1 deficit, to take a 12-10 lead, only to see UMES surge ahead 28-16 with 5:24 left.
Florida A&M outscored UMES, 37-25 in the second half, as the Lady Rattlers opened the period with an 11-0 run in the first five minutes.
The Rattlers and the Lady Rattlers host Howard on Monday night.

On the Sidelines Pam Oliver is One of TV's Best

FAMU grad Pam Oliver, and featured sideline reporter on Fox Sports NFL broadcast is one the best in the business, hands down. The 1984 grad is hardworking, attractive, professional, and knowledgeable. USAToday Newspaper ranked her among the Top 3 sports reporters in the business.

The Tallahassee Democrat's Heath Smith recently did a nice profile on this former Rattler Track star. You can read it here: Pam Oliver

Friday, January 20, 2006

Vanity Is Thy Name!

A Rattler Nation Exclusive

Castell leads FAMU out of the darkness

We have just come across a new publication touting the first year successes of our Interim President called "300 Days Into the Light." As the title implies, the publication details how Castel V. Bryant led FAMU from the darkness "into the light." (Oh, really now? We ain't making this up!)

We reviewed the slick 18+ page publication, which we are told cost over $50,000 to produce. Here's a sample of what is inside. Click on the photos below to make page bigger.

The publication is long on beautiful photos of the campus and short on cold hard facts. Also, the writing is just plain atrocious! Overall, we found "Into the Light" to be a great piece of fiction.

What really puzzles us, though, is why an interim president(read temp) needs this kind of PR capital? Especially someone who claims they want to return to retirement. Also, was it financially prudent to spend this kind of money on such?

Strikers Win on BET's 106 & Park

Ok, it's a sloooooooow news day. But we do think we'll pass a long this bit of information while we work on the story we've been teasing you with, the FAMU Strikers (If you don't know who they are, you're probably on the wrong page cause you didn't go to FAMU) won the dance competition on BET's 106 & Park's Wildout Wednesday earlier this week.

The FAMUAN did a nice pre-event story on the group which you can read here:Strikers The Strikers were founded in 1989 by dance impresario Shepiro Hardemon. Shepiro is also the choreographer of the famed Marching 100.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Coming Up...

Stories we are working on

+All the President's Women

FAMU J-School Settles into New Building

The School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) moved into its new 100,000 square foot, $25 million building this past October. The new building provides aspiring communications professionals a cutting-edge environment to hone their skills before they enter the workforce. The facility is digitally equipped and features smart classrooms, TV production studios and edit bays, digital press room, two television stations and five radio studios.

The FAMU J-School teaches its students about the importance and power of words, and how critical it is to have women and minorities participate in the telling of the human story in America.

"We had outgrown the Tucker Hall years ago," Dean James Hawkins said of the school's previous home. "We want to prepare our students for the journalism world that is changing rapidly. This building has been a long time coming, and what we're looking to do in this facility is to make sure our students have the skills to be competitive."

“We still have some finishing touches that need to be made, but this is a far cry from where we started 30 years ago,” Hawkins added.

The new facility was 10 years in the making and is the dream of J-School founding dean Robert Ruggles.

School has come a long way
The SJGC began in a small classroom in the basement of FAMU’s Tucker Hall, where Prof. Thelma Thurston Gorham taught journalism as part of the English course offerings in the 1970s. The Division of Journalism was the first journalism program at a historically black university to be nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications in 1982.

The Division of Graphic Communication began as a trades program by Prof. James Bruton, and was accredited in 2002 by the Accrediting Council on Collegiate Graphic Communication.

Since its humble beginnings, the SJGC has merged into two divisions providing eight major program tracks: newspaper, magazine production, broadcast (television and radio) public relations graphic design, printing production, printing management and photography. The school offers bachelors and masters degrees.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fired Law Dean to Get Hearing

Former FAMU Law Dean and tenured professor Percy Luney will finally get his day in court, seven months after his June 2005 suspension, and September 19, 2005 firing by Interim President Castell Bryant.

Luney and his attorney will go before an administrative law judge in Tallahassee on Feb. 7-8, who will determine whether Bryant had cause to discipline Luney. Luney's attorney Tom Broooks asserts that, "Luney doesn't think he did anything that deserves getting fired over."

FAMU placed Mr. Luney on administrative leave on June 7, 2005, and then terminated him after a payroll audit determined that a $1 million donor to the law school was given a $100,000 a year job that didn't require him to teach. Luney maintained at that time that Frederick Humphries and Fred Gainous, FAMU's former presidents, made the arrangement with the donor, not him. Mr. Luney stands by his story dispite the fact that Humphries had not been president since December 2001 and the $1 million donation was received in 2002, the same year that the law school received its first students.

In a June 10 letter to FAMU trustees, Luney wrote that his character was under fire and asked to present his side of the story to the full board as soon as possible. He never got that opportunity, because Bryant terminated him three months later.

The Orlando Business Journal details the entire affair beautifully (click here to read more -->)Law Dean to get his say

The administrative judge's recommendation will be presented to FAMU for a final order.

By not giving Luney a hearing prior to his dismissal, Bryant may have violated his constitutional rights.

Mr. Luney's is one of a growing number of wrongful termination lawsuits filed against the University under Bryant's watch. Former employees of the Institute of Urban Policy and Commerce have filed a class action law suit against the University.

100rd Marches its Way on to National News

The Marching 100 marched its way right on to ABC's World News Tonight, national news program yesterday. Click here to watch the clip: ABC News Marching 100rd clip The FAMU Band was in St. Petersburg, FL yesterday where it participated in that city's "Drum Major for Justice: MLK Day Parade". The St. Pete parade, in its 21st year, is believed to be the nation's largest ML King Day parade.

Rattlers down SC State on the Road

The Rattler Basketball team picked up a crucial road win last night beating South Carolina State72-65 in Orangeburg before 1,146 fans. The Rattlers improved to 8-9 on the season (4-2 MEAC), while the Bulldogs dropped to 4-22, 2-3. The victory moved the Rattlers into a three way tie for 3rd place in the MEAC.

FAMU shot 56 percent from the field and 8 of 13 from three-point range. Guard Tony Tate led the Rattler in scoring with 25 points. Rome Sanders, Michael Sams and Glen Elliott each added 12 points for the Rattlers.

Lady Rattlers drop another one

The Lady Rattlers didn't have it so good at SC State as they dropped their 3rd straight loss 62-54. FAMU women dropped to 6-9 (2-4 MEAC). The Lady Bulldogs led by as much as 16 points and forced 12 turnovers to turnback the Lady Rattlers.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Martin!

We couldn't get through this special day without remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who would have been 77 years old today.

FAMU students to engage in Semiconductor/IT Research

FAMU has been awarded a grant from INTEL to increase the number of undergraduate students interested in semiconductor and IT research. The grant will provide undergraduates a research stipend, travel to and from conferences and help to cover the cost of their projects. This is a pilot project that the University hopes to leverage into a much larger research grant.

The grant will bring together students and faculty from the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, Management Information Systems, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Chemical & Biomedical Engineering,and Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering.

Graduate Fellowships Available

The School of Graduate Studies and Research is seeking applications from minoritiy students for the Delores A. Auzenne Fellowship. All applicants must be fully admitted, full-time degree-seeking students. The deadline for applications is March 1. For more information, contact Stacey McCullough-Reese at stacy.reese@famu.edu

Delores Auzenne, an African American woman, was one of the first of her race to serve as vice chancellor of the State University System of Florida in the 1970s. She died way to soon of cancer. The SUS created a minority fellowship program in her memory to advance the lives and careers of promising minority students.

Women's Health to be discussed at Pharmacy Symposium

The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will host its 29th Annual Clinical Pharmacy Symposium: “The Contemporary Approaches to Women's Health Issues ... The Holistic Approach” on Feb. 24-26. For additional information or to request a registration form, call 599-3240.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Pharmacy researcher developing life-saving drug therapy for stroke victims

FAMU Pharmacy Professor Dr. Donald Palm and a team of five graduate students are working on research that could one day lead to a life-saving drug therapy for stroke victims.

For over 12 years, the 42-year-old, Dr. Palm has been working to understand the intricacies of dying brain cells after a stroke.

According to Dr. Palm, “Once the brain is injured, the mechanism on how it recovers or how it degenerates is unknown. Really understanding those mechanisms is a wide-open field.”

What is known is that once the brain is deprived of oxygen and stroke occurs, the cells don’t die instantly. They die off gradually, even after oxygen is restored.

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke affects upwards of 700,000 Americans a year and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Strokes are also a leading cause of disability.

African Americans are particularly prone to strokes and are twice as likely as whites to suffer from one.

Researchers in the FAMU Health Sciences Center ---which includes the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals Sciences, Institute of Public Health, School of Allied Health Sciences, School of Nursing, and Environmental Sciences Institute--- have a special interest in fighting disease which affect African Americans and minorities, including diabetes, stroke, and HIV/AIDS. Over the years, the FAMU College of Pharmacy has earned a national reputation and several patents for its groundbreaking research.

Dr. Palm became interested strokes after his mother and grandmother were stricken.

The Pennsylvania native was recruited to FAMU by former University President and now Regents Professor Frederick Humphries, the two had a chance meeting at a conference and the rest, as they say, is history.

To learn more about Dr. Palm go here ---> Donald E. Palm

The 100rd Marches through Florida this Weekend

The hardest working band in America, the FAMU Marching 100 will be appearing throughout the state this weekend -- Miami, West Palm Beach, and St. Petersburg.

Tonight the 100rd will face off against Bethune-Cookman in the 4th Annual Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union (dang that's a long name) Band Extravaganza at Florida International University South (in Miami). Show time is at 8:00 p.m.

On Saturday the 100rd travels northward to West Palm Beach to participate in a marching band festival at Suncoast H.S., before traveling to St. Petersburg to march in the 21st Annual M. L. King "Drum Major for Justice" parade on Monday at 1:30 p.m. The St. Pete parade has grown into one of the nation's largest ML King parades and festivals.

Here's the complete schedule (thanks Vic):

Friday, Jan. 13
Miami, FL - 7pm Performance at FIU South

Saturday, Jan. 14
9:00am - Parade (Miami, FL)
5:00pm - Suncoast HS (BOTB) (West Palm Beach, FL)

Sunday, Jan. 15
6:00pm - ML King Festival of Bands (St. Pete, FL)

Monday, Jan. 16
ML King Parade (St. Pete, FL)

As much as the 100rd travel on other folks dim, the University would be smart to send a recruitment team along with them, ala the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Former FAMU QB Signs 3-year pact with KC

Former FAMU Quarteback (2002)Casey Printers, a transfer in from Texas Christan University, today signed a three year deal with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs.

Printers, also an aspiring model, spent the last three years with the Canadian Football League's B.C. Lions and was the leauges most outstanding player in 2004.

The Lions had offered Printers, who was in the option year of his contract, a three-year, $1.2-million deal to stay.

Details of Printers deal with the Chiefs were not announced. As a rookie he would earn at least $235,000.

Check out Casey's website at: Casey Printers

With this kind of self promotion, I guess, it goes without saying that Mr. Printers studied Public Relations while at FAMU.

Printers started the 2002 season for the Rattlers before sustaining a high ankle injury in the third game. He missed the next three games and the Florida Classic after injuring his hand and wrist against Troy State. The injury plagued Rattlers were a virtual red cross unit that 2002 season and finished the year with a 7-5 record.

Jeb vows to clean up enrollment mess he created

There's an old song by the Canton Spiritual with the refrain, “…I gotta clean up, what I messed up…” Surely, Gov. Bush has heard this song, because that’s exactly what he aims to do with a new $52.2 million proposal to address the recent decline in minority enrollment at Florida’s universities.

In 1999, before Bush championed his “One Florida” plan to eliminate affirmative action in university admissions Black students made up 18.1 percent of the freshman accepted at state universities. In October 2005, Black students accounted for 13.7 percent of the freshman class (86.4 percent of whom attend Florida A&M).

Asked whether his new plan is an acknowledgement that “One Florida” had failed, Bush said, “Not at all. This is about the future of our state. This is a going-forward proposal. It’s not a looking-back proposal.”

State Senator Les Miller, D-Tampa, sharply disagreed. “The governor can’t seem to grasp reality. It reminds me of the president’s praise for the FEMA director as the people of New Orleans suffered.”

Interestingly enough, Mr. Bush, who campaigned on the promise to overhaul Florida’s education system, finds himself scrambling in his final year in office to preserve his image as Florida’s “education governor.”

Sort of make you wonder if One Florida, FCAT, and the FAMU Trustees were all a part of Jeb's "devious plan"?

It's our birthday (well sorta)

Rattler Nation is one week old! The past week has been wonderful. It's an honor and a privilege that so many folks have made Rattler Nation a part of their daily reading. We appreciate the love. Once again, many thanks.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Incredible Shrinking Surplus

In a much heralded announcement back in October, we learned that FAMU ended the 2004-2005 fiscal year with a $8 million surplus in its $397.5 million budget, according to a management report by KPMG.

To recap, the financial turn around by our interim president amount to a reported $11 million change in the Universities balance sheet ($3 million deficit + a reported $8 million surplus). A miraculous six month turnaround, achieved by a payroll which found (four known) non existent employees; a purchasing freeze; and restrictions on cell-phone use.

Now it seems that the much ballyhooed $8 million (unaudited) surplus has shrunk by $3 million since October. On January 8, Trustee Chair Challis Lowe wrote in opinion pieces which appeared in the Tampa Tribune and the Tallahassee Democrat that the suplus is only $5 million(see: Lowe's Op-Ed )

Perhaps, the Rev. R.B. Holmes, Jr. had it right when (in October) he correctly dubbed the $8 million surplus as "amazing"! Indeed. Because, now Trustee Chair Lowe, a Northwest University, MBA grad, tells us its only $5 million.

To be fair, any surplus is good considering that we haven't been able to balance our books since 2002-2003. And it was widely reported that we were as much as $23-$51 million in the red when the our interim president took the reigns (see: FAMU's woes deepen ) .

Ahhhhhhh, but wait the Tallahassee Democrat reported on October 7, 2005 that our reported $23-$51 million deficit was only $3 million.

Now it seems pretty clear that the extent of the financial crisis and the reported "surplus" have both been grossly exaggerated (yeah we've been lied to, hoodwinked, and bamboozled!). At any rate let's hope that by the time state audiors finish going over our books that the surplus is atleast $1.00.

Still #1

Everyone loves a top 10 list and we Rattlers are no different, particularly if we're #1.

So here goes, despite the recent enrollment drop of 900 +/- students this fall, FAMU remained the nation's largest single campus HBCU, based on information from this year's Peterson Guide. Information from the US Dept. of Education website verified this. According to the USDOE, FAMU has roughly 1,800 graduate/professional students for a total enrollment of about 12,876.

TOP 10 Largest HBCUs ( Undergraduate Enrollment Only)*

School/ Enrollment (04-04)
1. FAMU 10,576
2. Texas Southern 9,585
3. Southern Univ. BR 8,028
4. NC A&T 7,982
5. Tennessee St. 7,257
6. Howard U. 7,112
7. Jackson St. 6,605
8. Prairie View A&M 6,324
9. Norfolk St. U. 6,039
10. NC Central U. 6,028

*Peterson's Guide (04-05)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Four Trustees Up For Re-appointment

Four members of the FAMU Board of Trustees terms expired on January 6, 2006, and are waiting re-appointment. They are:Leerie Jenkins, Pam Duncan, R.B. Holmes and Challis Lowe. A fifth Trustee, Barney Bishop (who's term also expired Jan. 6) has already indicated that he did not wish to be re-appointed. Profiles of all current FAMU BOT members can be viewed here: FAMU Trustees

To date, Gov. Jeb Bush has yet to announce whether any of the current trustees will be re-appointed or if FAMU will have to get to know new trustees. Just so you know, Gov. Bush is not responsible for appointing or re-appointing trustees to our Board. He must split this duty with the Florida Board of Governors (who by-the-way are all Bush appointees).

Some may argue that of the 11 boards of trustees in the State University System of Florida, that FAMU's is by far the most disfunctional (see above photo) and has experienced the greatest amount of turnover. Thanks Jeb!

Who will be re-appointed and who won't has been a source of speculation for many FAMU watchers, and we certainly won't profess to have any inside knowledge. However, we do know that Challis Lowe has be the subject of an organized telephone and email campaign asking that she not be re-appointed.

Will Gov. Bush make the bold move and not re-appoint Mrs. Lowe, the Chair of the FAMU Trustees? There is precedent. Both Arthur Collins, the original chair of the FAMU BOT, and James Corbin, who followed Art as chair, were not re-appointed. So, it would seem, being chair doesn't bode well for being re-appointed.

More to come...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Students to get new $6.8 million recreation center

Florida A&M will open a new Student Recreation Center in late March/early April on the corner of Wannish Way and Osecola Streets (next to the old Dairy). The new $6.8 million, 39,000 sq. ft., facility will be seven times larger than the current student recreational space.

The new facility will house a juice bar and pro-shop, 16,000 sq. ft. fitness training area to include cardio machines, selectorized weight equipment, a rock-climbing wall, locker rooms, aerobic/martial arts/dance studios, meeting and office space for intramural and recreational programs. The Rec. Center had been scheduled to open this month but was delayed when the University decided to use $60,000 in construction savings to make further improvements to the new facility.

Phase II of the center which will add three indoor basketball courts, four racquetball courts, a floating indoor track, whirlpool, sauna, and additional office space is in the planning stages.

Challis Lowe fires back at Bishop

It didn’t take long for the Chair of the FAMU Board of Trustees, Challis Lowe to shoot back at former trustee Barney Bishop who fired a parting salvo on the eve of his departure (see Who’s in Charge?).

In a letter dated Jan. 6th, and widely circulated on the internet, Mrs. Lowe wrote: “It is unfortunate that Barney Bishop chose to complete his term as a member of the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees with a media campaign apparently designed to undermine a remarkable year of accomplishment by FAMU's interim president."

Mrs. Lowe then waxed on for the following four paragraphs about the achievements of the Interim President. Then used the next five paragraphs to trash Mr. Bishop. Here's a link to the full text of Mrs. Lowe's letter: Lowe's Response

If the adults are acting like this... (oh nevermind!)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

FAMU's new leadership

Front, Interim President Castell Vaughn Bryant; Second Row, Debra Austin, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; Gerald P. Dunn, vice president for Administration; Vincent G. June, vice president for Student Affairs; Back row, Rufus R. Little III, vice president for Compliance; Keith Jackson, vice president for Research and Ronald M. Joe, interim vice president for Development.(Photo credit: Mickey Adair)

FAMU Track @ Ed Temple Classic Today

NASHVILLE --- FAMU's men and women track teams will compete in the Fifth Annual Edward S. Temple Indoor Track and Field Invitational at Tennessee State University today (Jan. 8) in the Gentry Center.

The competition began at 8 a.m. and will continue throughout the day. The running events will be held on the five-lane Wilma Rudolph Track and the field events will be held on the floor level of the center. This year's event is expected to attract more than 800 student-athletes and unattached participants.

Along with host Tennessee State, collegiate teams committed to compete include Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Belmont, Clafin, Clayton State, Fisk, Florida A&M, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, Morehouse, Lipscomb, Savannah State, and Southern.

The meet is named in honor of the legendary TSU Tigerbelle and three-time United State Olympic team coach, Ed Temple. Temple coached track for 44 years at TSU and 29 of his Tigerbelle athletes captured medals in Olympic Games from 1952-84.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

FAMU downs Morgan in Basketball

The FAMU mens basketball team defeated Morgan State 75-42, before 575 fans in Gaither Athletic Center this afternoon. The Rattlers improve to 6-8 (2-1 in MEAC). Morgan State dropped to 0-12 (0-1 in MEAC).

FAMU hosts Coppin State, Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Lady Rattlers breezed past the winless Lady Bears of Morgan State 57-39 in the early game of today's doubleheader. The Lady Rattlers improve to 6-6 (2-1 in MEAC), while the Lady Bears drop to 0-9 (0-1 in MEAC).

FAMU gets nice bounce in doctoral degree production

Between 2003 and 2004 Florida A&M stepped up its doctoral degree production exponentially. FAMU went from awarding four doctorate degees in 2003 to 23 doctorate degrees in 2004.

FAMU's increase mirrored a national trend by HBCUs which recorded a 19 percent increase doctoral degree awards between 2003 and 2004. In 2004 HBCUs awarded a total of 350 doctoral degrees.

In case you were wondering, in 2004, Howard U. led all HBCUs in awarding doctoral degrees granting 88 such degrees (a 10 precent increase). Tennessee State awarded 45 doctoral degrees to hold down the No. 2 spot, up 25 percent from 2003. FAMU tied for the No. 3 spot, but experienced one of the largest jumps in total numbers.

Who's In Charge?

On the eve of his final day as a University Trustee, Barney Bishop wrote an insightful, some may say scathing, opinion piece "At Florida A&M, a cabal pulls the strings" sharing his thoughts about what's really happening at FAMU.

To recap, Mr. Bishop wrote, "There is a cabal that controls FAMU: Jim Corbin, former board chairman; Trustee R.B. Holmes; Capitol Outlook Publisher Roosevelt Wilson; Challis Lowe, current board chairwoman; and their instrument of control, Interim President Bryant." This cabal, he suggest, hates public scrutiny. In much the same manner as vampires hate light.

It's note worthy that Mr. Bishop included Capitol Outlook Publisher in this "cabal", does this explain why Mr. Wilson and the Outlook have unfettered access to University leaders? This could explain why Mrs. Bryant rarely grants interviews with any other media besides the Outlook.

Was Mr. Bishop right? Who's to say but he did raise some interesting points and publicly say what many FAMU observers have been saying for quite some time.

Mr. Bishop's complete opinion piece can be seen here:cabal

Ofcourse, it didn't take long for the Tallahassee Democrat to chime in with its own opinion piece make room for contrarians

Friday, January 06, 2006

Day 1 and counting...

As the sunsets on Florida A&M this evening, Rattler Nation has just completed its first day of publication. Check back with us over the weekend. We will no doubt continue to file new stories and photos about our beloved FAMU.

We hope to get some updates from the NAA Winter Meeting in Miami, if we do we'll certainly clue you in on what's going on. In the interim (ugh there's that word again), I'm off to Tampa to catch the NFL Bucs and the Washington team at the "Ray Jay". I'm taking the laptop and will file stories over the weekend.

Hope you all like the page and will spread the word. Let us know how we're doing shoot us some mail at: anmrattler@yahoo.com

We welcome your views and comments. We'd also be interested in posting opinion pieces from Alumni about the current happenings at FAMU. Holla.