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

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Former Secret Service agent to keynote Honors Convocation

Former U.S. Secret Service agent and FAMU alumnus Shaun West will return to The Hill tomorrow
to inspire FAMU students during the university’s annual Honors Convocation.

The convocation, which will be held in Lee Hall Auditorium at 10:10 a.m. on April 2, will celebrate the achievements of FAMU’s best and brightest students.

The event will also mark a milestone in FAMU history, as it will serve as FAMU President Elmira Mangum’s first official university-wide event. Mangum’s first day at the helm of the university will be April 1.

West, a Tallahassee native, received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and master’s degree in applied social sciences with a concentration in public administration from FAMU in 2005 and 2007 respectively. A former student government leader and drum major in the Marching ‘100,’ West has gone on to make a profound imprint in Washington, D.C.

Friday, March 07, 2014

FAMU alumnus Amir Windom makes the world “Happy”

If you've found yourself nodding your head and tapping your feet to the music in movies like Amir Windom.
“Despicable Me 2” or television shows like “Being Mary Jane” on BET, then you may have been listening to some of the music supervision work of FAMU alumnus

Windom is credited with helping create film and television soundtracks, original songs and scores for popular films and television shows such as "Despicable Me 2,” "Being Mary Jane", "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man,” “Takers,” “SWAT 2,” “Tyler Perry's: Why Did I Get Married 2,” and “Stomp the Yard 2.”

Windom's most recent work, “Happy,” a song performed by Grammy award-winning rapper, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams for the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, was nominated for an Oscar at the 2014 Academy Awards for the Best Original Song category.

"I arrived at FAMU thinking I wanted to be successful. I left FAMU knowing I wanted to be significant,” said Windom, a 2008 graduate, about the role the FAMU's School of Journalism & Graphic Communication played in shaping his career. “My success truly is a reflection of the unwavering love and support I get from my family, friends and of course the FAMU family.”

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

FAMU alumna wins Emmy for her work on CNN’s election special

FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication alumna, Rachael Shackelford, recently received a News and Documentary Emmy for her work on the CNN special “Election Night in America.”

Shackelford, who currently works as an associate producer for CNN’s “The Situation Room” served as producer for the 24-hour news network’s election night special, which received the honor under the category of “Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story (Long Form).”

Though she is not often listed on television credits or seen in front of the camera, Shackelford said that seeing her ideas and production work implemented on both a national and international scale is rewarding enough. More importantly, Shackelford said the Emmy recognition provides her with an opportunity to inspire future Rattlers to go after their dreams.

“I hope winning an Emmy sends the message that all of your highest goals lie within the power of your own perseverance,” Shackelford said.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

FAMU alum named EVP at Northern Trust

FAMU alumnus Shundrawn Thomas has been named an executive vice president at Northern Trust Corporation.

Northern Trust is a global leader in delivering innovative investment management, asset and fund administration, as well as banking solutions to corporations, institutions and individuals.

Northern Trust Chairman and CEO Rick Waddell announced Thomas’ promotion last week and applauded him for “consistently demonstrated extraordinary leadership and a strong commitment to accelerating our company's performance and to our enduring principles: service, expertise and integrity.”

“[Shundrawn’s] hard work, exceptional performance and ability to inspire others continue to have a significant impact on the success of our company,” Waddell said.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Frankie Rolle Rattler Basketball great dead at 89

Frankie Shannon Rolle 
Frankie Shannon Rolle who captained FAMU’s undefeated 1943 women's  basketball team and became only the fourth woman inducted into FAMU’s sports Hall of Fame in 1979 has died. She was 89 years old.

Rolle was a 1946 physical education graduate of Florida A&M, and earned her master’s in guidance counseling and school administration at Indiana University, at a time when southern universities would not admit blacks into grad school.

According to a Miami Herald article, Rolle is credited with transforming Miami's Coconut Grove community into a real-life CheersThe old TV sitcom’s theme song touted the fictional bar’s reputation for drawing people together, “where everybody knows your name.”

Rolle and her late husband, jazz musician Billy Rolle, also are responsible for bringing to life the Grove's famed Goombay Festival, along with a group of merchants from Grand Avenue and the Bahamas Tourist Office in the mid-1970s, the article said.

Read more here:

“She was like the matriarch of this community,” said Barbara Jordan, who served with Rolle on the board of the Helen B. Bentley Community Health Center in Coconut Grove.
“Whatever there was that needed to be done, Frankie would step in and do her share. She was like a mother to many people,” Jordan said. “You would be surprised at the number of people she helped with getting an education.”

Read more here:

Read more here:

Read more here:

Former FAMU cheerleader makes NBA All-Star Dance Squad

Shardia Washington, a 2008 and 2010 graduate of Florida A&M University earning bachelor's and master's degrees in occupational therapy, has been selected to Eastern Conference All-Star dance team for NBA All-Star Weekend.  Washington is a member of the Charlotte Bobcats squad.

While at FAMU, she was a member of the FAMU cheerleading squad, an experience the Jacksonville native holds dear to her heart.

“I never thought in a million years that I would make a professional dance team, especially for the NBA. So, just having the opportunity to come out here and represent FAMU and to represent myself, it just means a lot to me,” Washington said.

For several years, the “Lakers Girls” were considered the top dance team in the NBA, but over the last few years, that distinction has been shifted east as Charlotte’s squad was dubbed the league’s best. In a market that is not as big as Los Angeles, New York or Miami, it is quite an accomplishment to be considered the top team. With that comes a complex try-out process for the Lady Cats. It’s a process each dancer must endure annually to make the squad.

This year is only the second time in the history of the NBA All-Star Weekend, that the NBA has selected a spirit squad to perform at All-Star weekend.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

FAMU alumnus John W. Thompson succeeds Bill Gates as Microsoft board chairman

Yesterday, FAMU alumnus John W. Thompson was appointed the independent chairman of computer software giant Microsoft Corp., replacing company founder Bill Gates.

Thompson, a 1971 graduate of the School of Business and Industry (SBI), first joined Microsoft's board of directors in February 2012, serving as a lead independent director, a role he will continue in tandem with the appointment.

“Florida A&M University celebrates this achievement with John as he continues to excel in the world of business,” said FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson. “This is an excellent example of how the education our students receive at FAMU will propel them from the classroom to the boardroom and beyond.”

Thompson was inducted into the FAMU SBI Hall of Fame in 2011.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

FAMU alum to cater NFL Annual Player Networking Event

Derrick McCray, a former FAMU football player, will hit the road today to cater one of the most exclusive events in American professional sports. The NFL has asked him to serve up his famous family-recipe barbeque at its Annual Player Networking Event on Saturday in New York City ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII.

The FAMU alumnus, who owns McCray’s II Backyard BBQ, previously presented his flavorful menu to attendees at NFL events in 2007 and 2010.

“They kind of found us in 2007 and we became the poster child of the emerging business program of the NFL... where they select small businesses from around the area that they feel can handle the workload and that can meet the requirements,” McCray said in quote published by WPTV.

According to WPTV, McCrary plans to serve “ribs, chicken, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, smoked sausage and marinated chicken breast hors d'oeuvres.”

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Partial grand jury declines to indict Jonathan Ferrell’s shooter

On Tuesday, a partial grand jury in North Carolina declined to indict the former Charlotte police officer who shot and killed unarmed FAMU alumnus Jonathan Ferrell nearly four months ago.

According to NBC News, “in a handwritten note, Mecklenburg County grand jurors said there wasn't enough evidence to indict Officer Randall Kerrick, 28, for voluntary manslaughter and asked the state attorney general's to refile the case with lesser charges.”

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper released a statement confirming that he will resubmit charges against Kerrick to a full grand jury.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hardemon elected Miami’s youngest city commissioner under its district system

FAMU alumnus Keon Hardemon has made history. The Miami native was recently elected the
youngest member of the Miami City Commission since adopting a district system in the 1980s.

“It is humbling that the community provided me an opportunity to serve as commissioner at 30 years old when individuals who are much older usually hold the seat,” said Hardemon, a Miami-based attorney. “My election creates a unique opportunity to prove that young people in our community are dynamic and can provide transformational leadership when allowed to serve and solve the business and societal challenges that our community faces."

Hardemon, who represents approximately 80,000 constituents in District 5, says some of his goals include: creating affordable housing options for various income level residents, improving the city’s capital infrastructure and revenue stream, providing additional employment opportunities for residents and improving the services that the city renders to its constituents.

“I was aware that I was making history throughout my election,” he said. “It is well known that young people in the City of Miami rarely have an opportunity to serve as elected officials. Such a disappointing history and the community’s disdain for the lack of political progress encouraged me to believe that the community would support a young candidate if he was well-qualified to serve and could articulate their concerns effectively.”

Monday, January 20, 2014

Young Rattlers on a mission to complete 127 community service projects in honor of MLK

Students and young alumni from FAMU, in collaboration with Falling Black In Love and various community organizations, are setting out to complete the ultimate service project – Project 127.

Project 127 challenges FAMUans and service groups around the nation to complete at least 127 community service projects in their area.

According to organizers, the goal to complete 127 projects was set to honor FAMU’s upcoming 127th anniversary and its legacy of “Excellence With Caring” by completing one project for every year FAMU has been in existence.

The challenge kicks off on Jan. 20, the national observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

FAMU nursing graduate turns family tragedy to triumph

Four years ago, Chyanne Fletcher’s mother encouraged her to attend FAMU because she believed there was nothing quite like the experience of attending a prestigious historically black university.

For Fletcher, receiving her degree from FAMU yesterday was an opportunity to honor her mother.

“Graduating cum laude and receiving a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from the best nursing school in Florida is such a rewarding feeling,” said Fletcher, who has a 3.18 GPA. “My mother was a nurse and I always felt like she was actually more than just a nurse. She was the go-to person for every institution that she worked for. Not only did I want to make her proud, but I also wanted to do what made me happy.”

As she was growing up, Fletcher watched her mother, Authrine Fletcher, struggle with sickle cell anemia while continuing to care for others. Although the disorder hindered Fletcher’s mother from accomplishing some of her life’s goals, the struggle she watched her endure for so many years would later become a source of strength during a time of turbulence.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Nate Newton featured on NFL Network

Former FAMU All-American and All-MEAC Nathaniel “Nate” Newton was featured as a part of a special entitled “The Great Wall of Dallas,” on the NFL Network (

The feature was on the impressive offensive line of the Dallas Cowboys in the early 1990s, which paved the way for their success. Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones credits the linemen with being the foundation for the success of the entire team. While NFL Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin garnered most of the attention, the feature took another approach at understanding how their success came about.

Newton, a native of Orlando, where he was a standout a Jones High School, played for FAMU Head Coach Rudy Hubbard.  While large in size, Newton was known as one of the most personable on his team at FAMU. In addition to his picture-perfect football frame, he had incredible speed. He made his mark pulling around end-leading FAMU running backs Frank “Choo Choo” Middleton and Antonio “Body Heat” Barber. Newton earned All-MEAC at FAMU, as well as the nickname “Big Time.”

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Myles to keynote fall commencement

Sonia Jackson Myles, corporate executive and author of the NAACP Image Award-nominated book, The Sister Accord: 51 Ways To Love Your Sister, will serve as speaker at the Florida A&M University Fall Commencement Ceremony scheduled Friday, December 13 at 6 p.m. in the Lawson Center. Myles, a graduate of FAMU’s School of Business and Industry, will share pearls of wisdom from her career in Corporate America, and tips on how to follow one’s dreams and leave a legacy.

Myles is president and CEO of The Sister Accord, LLC, which is focused on female empowerment, leadership development for both males and females, and the importance of relationships in delivering exceptional results.  As the leader of a global movement that Myles has coined “The Revolution of Love,” she is committed to having one billion girls and women live the principles of The Sister Accord.

For the past seven years, she served in several key roles with Procter & Gamble, including director of Global Packaging Purchases, where she managed the spending of $6 billion.

Monday, December 02, 2013

K. Michelle wins “Best New Artist” honor from Soul Train Awards

FAMU alumna Kimberly Michelle Pate, now best known by her performing name K. Michelle, won the “Best New Artist” honor at the 2013 Soul Train Awards in Las Vegas.

Actor Bill Bellamy and actress Vivica A. Fox presented the Memphis-native with her statute, a replica of the iconic Soul Train locomotive.  

Pate thanked her parents, Atlantic Records, and especially her fans for all of their support.

“I want to thank you rebels for just having my back,” she said during her acceptance speech. “A lot of people counted me out. This is a second chance for me. I have to say I’m so grateful.”

Shortly after receiving the award, Pate returned to the stage of the Black Entertainment Television (BET)-produced event to perform her hit single “V.S.O.P.”

Friday, November 08, 2013

Packer forms new production company, inks two deals with NBCUniversal

On Wednesday, FAMU alumnus Will Packer visited “The Set” with actor Ice Cube to promote his new motion picture Ride Along. Ride Along, which stars Ice Cube and comedian Kevin Hart, is the first feature film from the newly formed Will Packer Productions.

Packer and his new company have entered into a three-year first-look production agreement with Universal Pictures, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal. Packer will develop movie projects for the multi-billion dollar studio.

“Will is driven by a boundless energy that drives his relationships and permeates his films. We’ve cherished our experience working with him on Ride Along and cannot wait to collaborate with him on more films in the years to come,” said Donna Langley, Chairman of Universal Pictures.

The formal announcement of Packer’s first deal with Universal Pictures came just months after he signed a two-year contract to produce scripted series for NBUniversal’s television division, Universal Television.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cleveland Browns sign Tyms to active roster

Brian Tyms at the 2012 FAMU Pro Day
The Cleveland Browns have signed former Rattler wide receiver Brian Tyms to their active roster. His jersey number is "85."

Tyms is 6-3, 204 pounds and in his first National Football League (NFL) season out of FAMU Originally signed by San Francisco as an undrafted free agent on May 4, 2012, Tyms spent all of 2012 and the first seven weeks this season on the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad.

He played two seasons at FAMU, where he registered 45 receptions for 661 yards and four touchdowns, after spending two years at Tallahassee Community College. Tyms is a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he attended Dillard High School.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

FAMU alumna makes strides in breast cancer research

FAMU alumna Morgan Carrington spends six to eight hours each day in a lab researching breast
cancer treatments and preventions in hopes to educate the community.

Carrington, a Baltimore, Md. native, is the first Rattler to be admitted into North Carolina Central University (NCCU)’s Integrated Bio Sciences (INBS), interdisciplinary Ph.D. program targeted to teach students how to solve medically related issues.

“Having the opportunity to make a difference was important to me,” Carrington said about her research.

Students in the INBS program receive education funding, which covers tuition and fees, health insurance and a living stipend. The program takes five to six years to complete. Its main goals are to develop students’ cognitive skills using relevant research to answer and solve scientific questions, increase career opportunities and to ultimately create more efficient biomedical scientists.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Gillum’s mayoral run could open opportunities for Williams, Alexander

In 2014, Tallahassee citizens will choose their third “leadership mayor” since the passage of the 1996 referendum that mandated the direct election of the city’s top leader. FAMU alumnus Andrew Gillum, who’s served on the city commission since 2003, is now the early frontrunner to succeed outgoing Mayor John Marks. His run might open big opportunities for two fellow FAMU alumni.    

Rep. Alan Williams (D-Tallahassee) is coming close to his eight year term limit in 2016. Even though many of his supporters want him to continue his service as chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus and House Democratic Whip, there are others who want him to throw his hat in the ring for Gillum’s vacant city commission seat.

“As state representative for this area, that’s going to be my main focus right now. As things move along, we’ll continue to look at the opportunity that is there as it relates to the city commission,” Williams told WFSU.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Alumna Staci Collins Jackson to keynote Homecoming Convocation

FAMU alumna Staci R. Collins Jackson, president and CEO of The Collins Jackson Agency, will serve as the keynote speaker for the 2013 Homecoming Convocation on Friday, October 18 at 10:10 a.m. in Gaither Gymnasium.

“We are excited to welcome back one of FAMU’s bright, young alums to share her success story of how she ascended from FAMU graduate to the youngest vice president at Ebony and Jet magazines, to publicist for Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios, and now spearheading her own PR firm,” said Sharon Saunders, executive assistant to the president for communications. “Staci has consistently excelled in entertainment and public relations through hard work and perseverance. We look forward to hearing her pearls of wisdom which will inspire students and the community alike.”

Prior to running her own firm, Jackson served as director of communications for Harpo Studios, Inc., where she developed and executed public relations strategy and provided communication counsel as a spokesperson for the company; Oprah Winfrey, and its business units and productions including: Oprah’s Next Chapter; Oprah’s Lifeclass; Oprah’s Master Class; Iyanla, Fix My Life; Harpo Films; O, The Oprah Magazine and The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, to name a few.