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

Friday, October 31, 2014

John Lewis joins Dream Defenders for early voting rally at FAMU

Yesterday, civil rights legend and U.S. Rep. John Lewis joined the Dream Defenders for an early voting rally on FAMU’s campus.

Lewis was among the nonviolent demonstrators who were beaten on Bloody Sunday in 1965 as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The protest helped lead to the passage of the Voting Rights Act later that same year.

Now the representative for the Fifth Congressional District of Georgia, Lewis urged the FAMU students in attendance to exercise the voting rights that were achieved through the struggle that cost many activists their lives.

The event, which took place in front of Lee Hall, also featured live music and food to complement the ongoing homecoming week activities. Along with Lewis, FAMU Student Body President Tonette Graham and Dream Defenders Director Phillp Agnew (a former FAMU student body president) also addressed the audience.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hepburn signs with Eagles’ practice squad

FAMU alumnus Brandon Hepburn, who was picked up by the Detroit Lions in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft, is now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad.

The 6’2, 240 lb linebacker was on the Lions’ practice squad throughout the 2013 season. The team released him in September.

Hepburn graduated from FAMU in 2013 with a baccalaureate degree in biochemistry.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Will Packer’s “No Good Deed” opens at #1 with $24.5M

FAMU alumnus Will Packer has yet another number one hit at the box office. “No Good Deed,” a Will Packer Productions film, took the top spot during its opening weekend with an estimated $24.5 million in ticket sales.

The thriller, which stars Iris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, knocked Walt Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” out of first place.

“No Good Deed” is another big financial success for Packer. According to the New York Times, the movie “cost less than $14 million to make.” That means it has already covered its full production costs and claimed a big profit.

Back during the summer another Will Packer Productions film, “Think Like a Man Too,” also took the number one weekend spot with $30 million.

Friday, September 12, 2014

K.Michelle stars in “R&B Opera” directed by Idris Elba

FAMU alumna Kimberly Pate, now better known by her stage name K.Michelle, recently starred in the first solo primetime television feature of her career.

On August 19, VH1 debuted her musical entitled “K.Michelle: Rebellious Soul - The Musical” in its 10:00 p.m. airtime slot. The “R&B Opera” told the fictitious story of a woman struggling to break the cycle of bad romance.

Idris Elba, who played Nelson Mandela in the 2013 film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” directed the special.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

FAMU alumnus named USTA Florida Volunteer of the Month

The Florida division of the United States Tennis Association has named FAMU alumnus Jerrell Lowery its “Volunteer of the Month.”

Lowery has spent the last five years connecting his tennis foundation and the university's varsity players in assisting at-risk inner-city youth in Tallahassee.

The executive director of the Venom Foundation (named as a take-off of the Florida A&M "Rattlers" mascot) for the past five years, Lowery turned lemons into lemonade when a proposed high school tennis team for FAMU's D.R.S. (Developmental Research School, a "laboratory school" for teaching and learning) fell through roughly five years ago.

"We started Venom as a fundraising booster club for FAMU's D.R.S., but it never materialized," he said. "There was a local tennis club, no longer in operation, that I retained membership with that had started to teach 10 and Under Tennis, but stopped. We then decided to turn Venom into a 501(c)(3) foundation, to serve the under-privileged kids with nutrition and fitness education, using tennis as our medium."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gillum, Richardson, and Williams pick up election victories

(L-R) Curtis Richardson, Andrew Gillum, Tallahassee Lobbyist Sean Pittman, and Alan Williams honoring Kopykat Copy Center
Andrew Gillum, Curtis Richardson, and Alan Williams all emerged victorious a set of primary elections held yesterday, August 25.

FAMU alumnus Andrew Gillum won the primary election for the mayorship of Tallahassee. Although a write-in candidate has filed to challenge him in November, it is unclear whether he will need to hit the campaign trail again.

“I don’t know the particulars around that,” Gillum said in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat. “My understanding is that in a nonpartisan election, if there are more than two candidates a candidate who gets 50 percent plus one is decided. But I’ll do what the process says.”

Richardson, who represented FAMU for eight years in District 8 of the Florida House of Representatives, won the race the succeed Gillum in seat two on the Tallahassee City Commission.

FAMU alumnus Alan Williams, who won the Florida House seat that Richardson left due to term limits in 2008, cruised to an easy victory in the Democratic primary for his current office. He will face a write-in candidate in the general election.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Google honors FAMU alumna Althea Gibson with Doodle

Yesterday, the world’s most popular internet search engine honored one of FAMU’s greatest legends.

The August 25 Google “Doodle” (a name the company uses to describe a specially modified front page logo) featured Althea Gibson, a 1953 alumna of FAMU. It paid tribute to what would have been her 87th birthday.

According to a TIME Magazine story on the Doodle, “Gibson, who was born on Aug. 25, 1927, was the first black person to take the title at Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals. The Harlem-raised Gibson was also the first African-American named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year in 1957; she won again in 1958.”

Gibson died in East Orange, New Jersey on September 28, 2003 at the age of 76.

Monday, August 25, 2014

FOX and VH1 ask Don P. Roberts to return as executive band consultant for Drumline sequel

After a 12-year wait, a sequel to the motion picture “Drumline” is finally near. Once again, fans will see the name of FAMU alumnus Don P. Roberts in the credits as the “executive band consultant.”

The 2002 film “Drumline,” released by 20th Century Fox, was a box office hit that made more than $57 million across the globe. According to Robert’s official biography, he was “responsible for training the actors, writing the precision drills, [and] rehearsing the band” in his role as executive band consultant for that film. He later created the traveling show “Drumline Live!” to bring the historically black college and university (HBCU) band performance experience to an even wider number of audiences.

The “Drumline” sequel will be a made-for-television movie that will debut on VH1 in the fall of 2014. Fox Television Studios is a partner in the production. With Roberts in charge of the drills and choreography, the Marching 100 legacy will be prominently represented again.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Three FAMU alums post numbers in first weekend of NFL exhibition action

Three former Rattler Football players posted numbers in their first weekend of National Football League exhibition action last week, as the regular season looms larger on the horizon.

Third-year receiver Brian Tyms, now with the New England Patriots, led the team with five (5) receptions for 119 yards and a 28-yard fourth quarter touchdown Thursday night’s loss against Washington.

Tyms’ post TD leap into the stands at FedEx Field in Washington, D.C. was one of the highlights of Thursday’s action, and was his first career touchdown in the NFL.

Second-year wideout Travis Harvey, a free agent prospect with the New York Giants, had two (2) catches for 23 yards, including a 13-yard gainer in Saturday’s win over Pittsburgh.

Harvey now has three (3) catches for 32 yards in two exhibition games so far.

Rookie defensive end Frank Mays saw some significant time for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Chicago Bears, totaling five (5) tackles (3 solos).

Monday, August 11, 2014

Humphries endorses Gillum’s bid to become mayor of Tallahassee

FAMU alumnus Andrew Gillum, who has served as a Tallahassee city commissioner since 2003, recently picked up a big endorsement in bid to become the city’s next mayor. Frederick S. Humphries, the eight president of FAMU, has officially placed his support behind Gillum’s campaign.

In the letter of endorsement, Humphries wrote the following:

Dear Alumni and Friends:

Commissioner Andrew Gillum is running for Mayor of the City of Tallahassee, Florida. Andrew is an outstanding alumnus of Florida A&M University (FAMU). It was during his tenure, as the student government association (SGA) president, that he served as our inaugural student representative on the FAMU Board of Trustees. Having worked directly with Andrew, I can attest to his leadership as a consensus builder, negotiator, collaborator and listener. He is an example of the leadership, dedication and drive we instill in our alumni. As the City of Tallahassee moves forward, it is important to have leaders like Andrew.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Elliott, Harvey shine during NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Game

Rattler football alumni Kevin Elliott and Travis Harvey turned in a double act Sunday, August 4
during the nationally-televised Pro Football Hall of Fame Game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants at Canton, Ohio.

The Giants won the NFL exhibition season opener, 17-13.

Elliott, who is in his second season with the Bills, made a 10-yard reception for a first down in the fourth quarter, while Harvey, in his first year with the Giants, made a nine-yard catch for a New York first down two series later in the final stanza.

The talented pair of former Rattlers will be battling over the next four weeks for opening day roster spots with their respective teams, Elliott who is returning from season-ending knee surgery after making the Bills 53-man regular season roster a year ago, and Harvey, who is out to latch on in the Big Apple after missing the final training camp cut with the Tennessee Titans in 2013.

They’ll be joined in pro camps around the NFL by a bevy of former Rattlers including fellow receiver Brian Tyms, who was with Cleveland during the offseason workouts but is now with the New England Patriots; linebacker Brandon Hepburn in his second season with the Detroit Lions, plus rookies Frank Mays, a defensive end with the Philadelphia Eagles, and Brandon Denmark, a linebacker with the Green Bay Packers.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

FAMU alumnus named CEO of St. Joseph Hospital

FAMU alumnus Kenneth Jones has been appointed chief executive officer of St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind. His official start date was July 28.

“Kenneth’s experience as a leader in both hospital and physician practice settings lends itself well to the opportunities he’ll encounter running a facility located in an area that’s expected to receive an influx of new residents in the very near future,” said Brian Bauer, chief executive officer, Lutheran Health Network. “His perspective as an administrator, husband, and father of two young children will be important to a growing hospital in a revitalized downtown.”     

Previously, Jones served as the CEO of The Orthopedic Hospital in Fort Wayne and the CEO of Heekin Orthopedic Specialists in Jacksonville, Fla. He also served in administrative and leadership positions at hospitals in Florida and Georgia, where he was responsible for overseeing multiple areas, including neurosciences, surgical services, orthopedics and ambulatory care. At the beginning of his professional career, Jones was administrator of the ambulatory surgery center at Duke University Hospital, where he was also part of the administrative fellowship program.

Monday, July 28, 2014

George E. Cooper to keynote FAMU’s summer commencement

FAMU alumnus George E. Cooper, executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), will serve as speaker for its summer commencement ceremonies scheduled Friday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m.

“We are excited to welcome home alumnus George Cooper to share his passion for higher education with the newest graduates of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University,” said President Elmira Mangum. “His career trajectory from ambitious student to university president to White House executive director demonstrates just how far our students can excel using the academic foundation they obtain here.”

As a part of the leadership team for the White House Initiative on HBCUs, Cooper works with the president-appointed HBCU Board of Advisors as a liaison between the executive branch and HBCUs across the country. He serves as the constant voice of the HBCU community at the Department of Education and helps to shape policy and deploy resources to better serve the students, faculty and families of the greater HBCU community. He also works with 32 federal agencies that support HBCUs through federal grants and contracts.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

FAMU engineering alumna receives big promotion at multi-billion dollar defense contracting firm

Tameika N. Hollis, an alumna of FAMU’s mechanical engineering program, is taking on a new set of responsibilities at one of the country’s largest defense contracting firms.

Northrop Grumman Corporation has appointed Hollis to the position of vice president, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics (EM&L) for the Advanced Concepts and Technologies Division (AC&TD) in its Electronic Systems sector.

In her new role, she will be responsible for the Electronic Systems sector's infrastructure operations, including facilities, capital administration, flight test, the sector affordability team and the Technology Underground activities at the sector's Baltimore Washington International Airport campus.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hepburn shares football tips with middle school students at Detroit Lions Camp

From The Voice newspaper in Michigan:

Brandon Hepburn could be relaxing in a tropical location, taking it easy with training camp lurking around the corner.

Instead, Hepburn, a second-year Detroit Lions linebacker, spent a gorgeous Thursday at L'Anse Creuse Middle School East, sharing his football knowledge with 35 young kids at the Detroit Lions Camp.

"The Lord put it on my heart that I should be able to help some of the kids," said Hepburn, from Florida A&M. "Coming into this offseason I wanted to be involved. I talked to my teammates and they let me know.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

FAMU alumna named MLB All-Star Teacher

FAMU alumna Rachel Blanks has been named a winner of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) 2014 Target Presents PEOPLE All-Star Teachers campaign.

Blanks, an educator at Wogaman 5-8 School in Dayton, Ohio, will represent the Cincinnati Reds at the MLB All-Star Game in Minnesota, which aired July 15 on FOX.

Fans nationwide were able to cast their votes online to select 30 winners, one representing each MLB team. The honor is an effort to celebrate teachers and raise awareness about the importance of education.

Blanks didn’t take the traditional route to teaching. While she was earning her bachelor’s degree in business administration at FAMU, Blanks thought she was well on her way to working for a major corporation and, eventually, opening her own business. Things changed while she was working part-time for Leon County Schools’ after school programs.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oliver maintains cool as FOX Sports demotes her from #1 NFL sideline reporter job

Erin Andrews, 36 (left), will replace Pam Oliver, 53 (right) as #1 FOX Sports NFL sideline reporter
Despite the fact that a FOX Sports press release said that she had been “elevated to senior correspondent,” FAMU alumna Pam Oliver is taking the company’s decision to move her out of its number one NFL reporting team in stride.

Erin Andrews, 36, (pictured left) is replacing Oliver, 53, as FOX Sport’s top NFL sideline reporter. She will work with Oliver’s former team members Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Andrews was a college football sideline reporter for ESPN before joining FOX Sports in 2012.

Oliver, a 19-year veteran that FOX Sports credits as its “longest-tenured NFL sideline reporter,” will spend her final year as a sideline reporter with the number two team where she will work with play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt and analyst John Lynch.

“To go from the lead crew to no crew was a little shocking,” Oliver said in a quote published by “I said I wanted to do a 20th year [on the sidelines]. I expressed to them that I was not done and had something to offer. Again, I think it was predetermined coming in. Not at that meeting, but two years ago it was determined that no matter what I did or did not do, a change would be made for this year.”

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Kevin Elliott seeks to make Buffalo Bills roster after battle with injuries

FAMU alumnus Kevin Elliott is back in contention for a spot on the Buffalo Bills roster after a preseason injury put him on the sidelines last year.

Elliot’s hopes of making the 2013 team came to abrupt end when he tore his left ACL in a preseason matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.

Scott DelleFave of Buffalo Lowdown writes that: “Kevin Elliott is a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills who has size, talent and enough upside to make the final 53 man roster in August. Elliott is 6-foot-3 and weighs 215 pounds so he provides much needed size to a smaller but incredibly fast wide receiver corps in Western New York. He was an undrafted wide receiver out of Florida A&M in 2012; however he had enough skills where he likely should have been drafted.”

Elliot began his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

FAMU releases online MBA ad featuring John W. Thompson

FAMU recently released a video advertisement for its online master of business administration program that features an alumnus who knows a thing or two about corporate America.

John W. Thompson, the FAMU alumnus who succeeded Bill Gates as the chairman of the Microsoft Board of Directors, takes center stage in the 30-second promo to brief viewers about the rich quality of FAMU’s School of Business and Industry. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business from FAMU in 1971.