Showing posts with label Grads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grads. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Kim Godwin named executive VP of CBS News

FAMU alumna Kimberly Godwin, a former member of the University's faculty, has been named executive VP of CBS news, with top editorial oversight of news gathering around the world.  Godwin, a 1984 graduate of the School of Journalism & Graphic Communications, joined CBS in 2007 and was VP of news. She was also CBS News' executive director for development and diversity since 2014.

At FAMU, Godwin was Director of the Journalism Division in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communications. Before then, she was the VP and news director for KNBC in LA.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Gilda Cobb-Hunter becomes "Dean" of SC House of Reps.

FAMU graduate Gilda Cobb-Hunter has become the “Dean” of the South Carolina House of Representative by virtue of her having earned the distinction of becoming the longest serving member in the House with 27 years of service.   By tradition, as the longest serving member of the state house she presided during the Dec. 4 organizational meeting, and became the first black legislator since Reconstruction to swear in new members.  

The only lesson you really need to learn is the one you learned in kindergarten. Be kind, be respectful, be civil,” Rep. Cobb-Hunter told the freshmen. “All of us have a right to our opinions and we should commit to agree when and where we can, but also agree to disagree but not be disagreeable.”

Cobb-Hunter, this year, also became the longest serving Black member, and next year will become the longest-serving female, in the history of the SC House. 

A native of Gifford, Florida, she has represented Orangeburg, SC, in the state house since 1992.

In December 2018, Cobb-Hunter was sworn in as President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators at its annual conference in Brooklyn, NY.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

1890 land grant HBCUs to receive $80M in new scholarship funding from Farm Bill

U.S. Rep. David Scott, GA-13 and U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, FL-5 worked to ensure that 1890 land grant Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) got a historic funding boost from the $867 billion Farm Bill. The bill includes $80 million in new funding to land-grant HBCUs for student scholarships. This will come from $40 million in discretionary authorization and another $40 million in mandatory funding.

Florida A&M University, Scott and Lawson’s alma mater, will get $2 million each year in new scholarship funding from the bill.

“I am especially proud of the $80M we have secured in funding for new scholarships for students attending the 19 African American 1890’s land-grant colleges and universities across the nation,” Scott said. “These scholarships will play a critical role in providing greater assistance for beginning farmers, and providing financial scholarships to bring more young people of all races who attend these outstanding universities for careers in the wonderful, and exciting, and growing world of agriculture businesses.”

“It is critical that our nation’s HBCUs have the resources necessary to succeed,” said Lawson, a member of the House Agriculture Committee and the HBCU Caucus. “This bill provides guaranteed funding for HBCUs and takes essential steps to create parity between the 1890 land grants and their 1862 counterparts.”

FAMU will be able to use the money to recruit new top flight high school seniors to its College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS). CAFS offers undergraduate majors in agribusiness, agronomy, animal science, biological & agricultural systems engineering, food science, entomology, and veterinary technology. It also offers a master of science degrees in most of those fields as well as an entomology cooperative Ph.D. with the University of Florida.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

SNAP benefits in Farm Bill critical to feeding 19.9M children in USA

Back on December 12, 2018, two Florida A&M University in the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of the Farm Bill. They were U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) and U.S Rep. David Scott (GA-13).

The Farm Bill is critical to feeding millions of children in the United States of America.

According to a statement by the Children’s Defense Fund in July 2018: “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, helps feed more than 40 million low-income Americans, including 19.9 million children—more than 1 in 4. Every five years Congress must reauthorize the Farm Bill, which includes provisions related to agriculture, conservation and food, including SNAP that fall under the U.S Department of Agriculture’s domain. SNAP prevents children and families from going hungry and improves their overall health. Research also shows children with access to food stamps are nearly 20 percent more likely to complete high school.”

Sunday, December 30, 2018

FAMUans make list of finalists for vacant Tallahassee City Commission seat

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that several candidates with ties to Florida A&M University made the list of nine finalists for the vacant seat on the Tallahassee City Commission.

A total of 93 people applied and each of the four current city commissioners picked three who they wanted to be considered.

Commissioner Jeremy Matlow and Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox placed FAMU sustainability coordinator Bruce Strouble Jr. on their lists.

Commissioner Curtis Richardson placed J. Byron Greene, associate director of the Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation at FAMU, on his list.

Mayor John Daily placed Gallop Franklin, II, a former FAMU Student Government Association president and current FAMU visiting assistant professor of pharmacy practice on his list.

Tabitha Frazier, a rental management company owner and environmentalist, had the most support. Her name was on the lists of three commissioners.

The full list of finalists will discussed during a special meeting of the Tallahassee City Commission is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 31, at 4 p.m. A live stream will be available on and

Saturday, December 22, 2018

NIKE, Inc. names FAMU Alum G. Scott Uzzell president & CEO of Converse, Inc.

NIKE, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) announced that effective Jan. 22, 2019, G. Scott Uzzell will become President & CEO of Converse, Inc. Uzzell comes to Converse from The Coca-Cola Company where he most recently served as President, Venturing & Emerging Brands Group (VEB).

Uzzell joins Converse at an exciting time as the brand sets the stage to move into new spaces by reconnecting to its heritage in sports. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Florida A&M University.

“Scott’s unique blend of experience driving both strategic business growth and strong brand development is well-suited to help unlock the full potential of the Converse Brand and lead its next phase of growth globally,” said Michael Spillane, President, Categories and Product, NIKE, Inc.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Numerous Rattlers express interest in vacant Tallahassee City Commission seat

The Tallahassee City Commission seat held by Scott Maddox became vacant last week after Gov. Rick Scott suspended him from office. Maddox was indicted on 44 federal charges that include bribery, racketeering, and bank fraud.

The commission is now accepting applications for the seat and numerous Rattlers have expressed interest. Two of them include Gallop Franklin, II and Vincent Evans.

Franklin is a visiting assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, where he earned his PharmD in 2012. He is also a clinical pharmacist and sterile compounding supervisor for Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Franklin previously served two terms as the FAMU Student Government Association president. He has formally applied for the City Commission.

Evans is a scheduler for U.S. Rep. Alfred “Al” Lawson. He also held staff positions with the Andrew Gillum for governor campaign, and City Commissioner Curtis Richardson. Evans recently told Florida Politics that he was thinking about submitting an application for the job. He holds a political science degree from FAMU.

Other applicants with FAMU ties include: J. Byron Greene, associate director of the Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation at FAMU and Bruce W Strouble, a sustainability coordinator at FAMU.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Adolphus “Al” Frazier (1935-2018)

Florida A&M University lost another of its’ great sports legends, record-setting, multi talented halfback, Adolphus “Al” Frazier, who played football for the Rattlers from 1953 to 1956.

Frazier passed away on Sunday in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Frazier was born on March 28, 1935. A FAMU, he was the All-American wingman to College Hall of Famer, Willie Galimore, teaming with the latter to baffle and terrorize opposing defenses, with their limitless combination of speed, power, quickness and shifty moves.

While Galimore was cast weekly in the role The Most Wanted Man, Frazier was often overlooked, a tendency which proved fatal to many Rattler opponents.

In his last two seasons (1955, 1956), Frazier rushed for 1,310 yards on 119 carries, averaging a sizzling 11.0 yards per carry – which remains a FAMU record.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Scott gets $95M for 1890 land grant HBCUs placed in conference Farm Bill

Back on September 6, 2018, U.S. Rep. David Scott, GA-13, thanked his colleagues on the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee for supporting his proposed funding boost for 1890 historically black colleges and university (HBCU) land grant schools.

“With the help of many of my friends on both sides of the aisle, we have included in this Farm Bill a pioneering historic effort to bring $95 million dollars to the Land Grant 1890 African American Colleges and Universities,” Scott said.

Scott said that the money will be a big help to the 19 schools that include Florida A&M University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1967.

“I appreciate now that the language is included in the Farm Bill and says this: that for each of the five years, these nineteen 1890 African American Land Grant Colleges and Universities will each receive $1 million dollars per year,” he added. “That means $5 million times nineteen colleges, which is $95 million dollars in total. I just know that the American people will say that this could not happen without Democrats and Republicans working together.”

Saturday, November 24, 2018

FAMU alumna wins “Woman of the Year Award” for leadership in tech

Florida A&M University alumna Diana Lee Caplinger, the chief administrative officer of consumer technology for SunTrust Banks, Inc., has received Georgia’s Woman in Technology “Women of the Year Award.” The November ceremony was presented by The Coca-Cola Company.

The “Women of the Year Awards” gathers top companies at the forefront of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) industries to recognize and announce women who demonstrate leadership and vision in business, and make a difference in our community.

This year, 37 women were honored by being nominated as a “Woman of the Year,” and 13 young girls were nominated as “Girl of the Year.” Each honoree holds a business or STEAM leadership role within an organization or has shown excellence in STEAM education studies.

Monday, October 15, 2018

FAMU alum appointed interim chair of Harvard Department of African and African American Studies

A Florida A&M University alumnus is the new interim chair of the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

Tommie Shelby, a 1990 graduate of FAMU, stepped in to lead the department effective October 1, 2018, following the promotion of former Chair Lawrence Bobo.

Previous chairs of the department include Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (1991-2006) and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (2006-2013).

According to the Harvard Crimson, “At Florida A&M, Shelby was certainly not the norm. Most students, he says, sought to gain admission to the School of Business Administration, a program that was successful in landing students business school positions and jobs after college. Shelby, on the other hand, embarked on a period of discovery that would eventually lead him to his calling: philosophy. He began flitting through departments—first psychology, then sociology. Finally, in a course on religion, one of his professors pointed him in the direction of philosophy.”

Friday, October 05, 2018

Keisha Lance Bottoms to keynote FAMU Homecoming Convocation

Keisha Lance Bottoms, the 60th mayor of Atlanta, and only the second woman to lead the city will return to Florida A&M University (FAMU), her alma mater, to serve as the 2018 Homecoming Convocation speaker.

The convocation will be held on Friday, October 5, at 10:10 a.m., in FAMU’s Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium. The free event will include performances by the Marching “100” and the FAMU Cheerleaders and presentations by students and returning alumni.

Bottoms, who shares her FAMU pride whenever possible, is celebrated for her commitment to Atlanta’s progress as a global business hub. Both during her years of service as a city council member and now as the leader of the city, she has developed and implemented numerous initiatives that have put the spotlight on Atlanta as a national model for equity, resilience and inclusion.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

FAMU grad Deidre Mathis has opened the first black-owned hostel in the U.S.

Deidre Mathis
Deidre Mathis, a 32-year-old, FAMU grad has opened the first black-owned hostel in the United States -- Wanderstay Hotels in Houston, Texas.  Wanderstay opened this past August.

A hostel is similar to a hotel, but more communal in nature. Instead of renting a room, you rent a bed, usually a bunk bed and store your personal items in a locker.

To get her business off the ground, Mathis raised $5,000 in crowd based funding in 31 days from members of the Houston community, who bought into her idea.

"It’s been exciting to see my vision come to life," says Mathis, who is planning to expand Wanderstay to other locations.  
The lobby of Wanderstay Houston.

Inspired by an experience she had at a hostel in Greece. "I’m a big solo traveler," says Mathis. "I met these fabulous women and we formed this amazing bond and continued to travel together for a year and a half, doing nothing but staying in hostels."

According to Mathis, there are over 400 hostels in the U.S., and collectively they earned more than $17 million in 2016. "It’s a profitable industry," she says. "But that’s not why I’m getting into it. I’m getting into it because I have a passion for traveling and for putting people together. So the money’s just a bonus."

Mathis is also the author of the book, Wanderlust: For the Young, Broke Professional, which she wrote after taking a post-graduation gap year. "I only had about $12,000 and I had to budget that money the best way possible," she says. "And that money lasted me for about a year and a half."

Read more here.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

From the "Set" to costume designer of HBO's "Insecure"

If you’ve ever watched HBO’s hit comedy "Insecure," you have no doubt seen the work of Florida A&M University grad Ayanna James Kimani who serves as the show’s costume designer. Kimani studied bio-chem while at FAMU.

While attending FAMU, like most of her peers she worked in retail ---becoming a store manager—at Governor’s Square. It was there that she realized that she had a sense of style, and even began a fashion and lifestyle blog. She used the blog to create opportunities that led to an assistant stylist job, and used that as a stepping stone to acquire her own clients.

According to Forbes, "Before joining the Insecure team in 2015, Kimani snagged styling gigs for Jidenna, Usher, Issa Rae, and Tiffany Haddish before transitioning to becoming a full-time costume designer for the likes of Ava DuVernay, Jay-Z and more."

“I would work on short films, commercials, student films, web series, and indie films, anything,” said Kimani. “I worked with Issa Rae on a quite a few of her projects, so when Insecure got the pilot order, she asked if I would join.”

“I knew from working with her, the show was going to be big. It was an immediate yes,” Kimani added.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Lawson hosts forum highlighting FAMU mayors at DC Legislative Conference

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) highlighted Florida A&M University’s success in producing outstanding graduates who have risen to leadership roles in their communities during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 48th Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

Lawson hosted “FAMU Made: From Mayor to Main Street,” on Friday, September 14. The issues forum examined the role that FAMU played in preparing the mayors for leadership.

“Mayors are leading the way at a time when politics have become divisive and require local leaders to find innovative ways to tackle America’s most difficult and pressing challenges,” Lawson said. “These men and women are strengthening our communities, building our economy and developing pathways for a brighter tomorrow. FAMU has distinguished itself from other institutions with its premier academic programs and set the foundation for individuals, like these mayors, to make their marks on the world.”

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

FAMU alumna appointed interim CEO of Prince George’s County Public Schools

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III recently announced the appointment of Dr. Monica Goldson as Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). A 27-year veteran of PGCPS, Goldson brings deep knowledge of PGCPS and a commitment to improving public confidence in the school system.

“I believe that Dr. Monica Goldson is the right person at the right time to lead our school system,” said Baker. “She believes that every child has seeds of greatness in them and that it is her job to lead and help those seeds grow. And I am confident that she will move us in the right direction. It is time for us to turn the page and start anew. With rising enrollment, growing specialty programs, expansion of Pre-K and reduction in truancy rates, we must continue our march forward and work to provide our children with a good education.”

Goldson has steadily climbed the PGCPS leadership ranks, most recently serving as Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. In this role, she oversaw initiatives in curriculum and instruction, special education, testing, college and career readiness, and student services. She previously served as Chief Operating Officer.

Monday, July 30, 2018

History-making nuclear scientist, FAMU grad to deliver summer commencement speech

This past year, Florida A&M University alumna Mareena Robinson Snowden, Ph.D., made national headlines after she became the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in nuclear science and engineering from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

On August 3, Robinson Snowden will return to the “Hill” to share her history-making journey with approximately 400 graduates during the University’s summer commencement exercise, which will take place at 6 p.m., at the Alfred L. Lawson Jr., Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium, located at 1800 Wahnish Way.

Her doctoral research at MIT focused on the detection of passive warhead signatures via a verification tool that could be used to support the U.S. in future nuclear arms reduction agreements. Warheads are explosive or lethal materials that are dispensed by a missile, rocket, torpedo, etc. Signatures are detectable, tangible properties that are helpful in determining if an item is a nuclear warhead or is a component of a warhead.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

David Scott leading fight to secure $95M for 1890 land grant universities in Farm Bill

U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Georgia, is leading a fight to secure $95 million for scholarships at historically black land grant universities in the Farm Bill.

There are 19 universities that are classified as 1890 land grant universities. Florida A&M University, where Scott earned his bachelor’s degree in 1967, is one of them. Each university would receive $1M per year for five years under the proposal by Scott.

Scott blasted the U.S. House of Representatives for cutting the money out of the Farm Bill in May.

“Mr. Chairman, let me make it very clear from the very beginning that this is a racist farm bill. Make no mistake about it,” he said.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

FAMUan elected president of African American Mayors Association

Florida A&M University alumnus Oliver Gibert, mayor of Miami Gardens, Florida, was sworn in, in Washington D.C., as the new president of the African American Mayors Association.

In 2012, Oliver was elected as the second Mayor of Miami Gardens and is currently serving his second term, having been re-elected in August and December of 2016. Gilbert received his law degree from the University of Miami.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

FAMU alumnus appointed president of Phoenix College

Florida A&M University alumnus Larry Johnson, Jr., Ph.D., was announced as Phoenix College’s next president.

Prior to joining the school, Johnson, served as the provost and chief academic officer at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park (STLCC) and the William J. Harrison Education Center. He provided leadership to the Early College Academies, a partnership with the St. Louis Public School District and The School District of University City.

Before working at STLCC, Johnson, served as associate dean for academic affairs at Broward College-South campus, division chair for arts and sciences and developmental Education, student concerns officer, and instructor at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. He is a member of the Presidents’ Round Table and the National Council on Black American Affairs.

Johnson is currently a member of the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on College Readiness.

He earned a doctorate in humanities, with an emphasis in English literature from Clark Atlanta University and a master’s degree in humanities with an emphasis in medieval to baroque studies from Florida State University. He received his bachelor’s degree in English literature from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.