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

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.

Monday, April 30, 2018

FAMU alumnus nominated to be federal district judge

On April 26, 2018, U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus Rodney Smith to serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The appointment will be subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Smith serves as a Circuit Judge in the civil and felony criminal divisions of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, where he has served since his appointment by Gov. Rick Scott in 2012. In this capacity, he also serves as co-chair of the Diversity Committee of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges. He previously served for four years as a Miami-Dade County Court Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit after being appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist in 2008, where Smith handled both civil and criminal cases.

Friday, April 13, 2018

FAMU alum’s dream comes true after landing role in “Black Panther”

By Katherine Brinkley-Broomfield
Florida A&M University

It is without question that Marvel’s “Black Panther” has reached milestones and made history with grossing more than $1 billion worldwide. And in the midst of the record-breaking impact of the film was the realization of a dream for Florida A&M University alum Darnell Jordan.

“This was the first film set I’ve ever stepped foot on,” said Jordan, who landed a role in the film as a warrior after his first-ever audition for a feature film.

In the film, Jordan starred as one of the Border Tribe Warriors, which guards Wakanda’s boundaries.

Although Jordan did not have a large speaking role, he said being a part of the film was inspiring and life-changing.

“In hindsight, I’m just in awe of all the talented people I had the privilege of working with. The set was like family,” said Jordan. “Seeing so many African countries and cultures being represented in arguably the biggest movie of 2018 was an experience.”

Friday, March 16, 2018

Rattler honored as MEAC Distinguished Alumna of the Year

Florida A&M University alumna Cheryl Harris was honored as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s “Distinguished Alumna of the Year” during the conference’s recent championship basketball tournament in Norfolk, Virginia.

Harris is senior vice president of sourcing and procurement solutions at Allstate Insurance Company, FAMU Industry Cluster chair, and a FAMU Foundation board member.

She serves as the senior executive sponsor for Allstate’s relationship with the University. Committed to supporting underserved youth and historically Black colleges and universities, Harris is also the proud spokesperson for Allstate’s Quotes for Education program which has raised more than $500,000 for scholarships.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Bottoms gets early victory in fight against proposed state takeover of Hartsfield-Jackson

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has led her city to an early victory in the fight against a proposed state takeover of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that State Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, has backed down from his call for an immediate transfer of control of the airport over to the state. He is now just asking for the issue to be studied.

“I sponsored this resolution which would create the Senate Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Operations and Authority Creation Study Committee,” Jones said in recent newspaper op-ed. “Our airport is a key piece of Georgia’s economic development and serves as a national and international means of transportation. With the use of this facility only increasing, it is in our best interest to create an authoritative body…”

Bottoms, an alumna of Florida A&M University, has pledged to fight on to make sure that the Atlanta mayor’s office remains in charge of the airport. Her lobbying campaign against the proposed takeover received support from Democratic lawmakers and the administration of Republican Gov. Nathan Deal.

Hartsfield-Jackson has been the busiest passenger airport in the world since 1998 and is the single largest employer in the state of Georgia.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

FAMU alumna Dee Rees gets historic Oscar nod

By Anqelique Beckford
Florida A&M University

FAMU alumna Dee Rees, who directed Netflix’s “Mudbound,” recently earned an Oscar nomination for her work adapting the film’s script alongside Virgil Williams. Although she did not take home an Oscar, Rees still managed to make history. She became the first-ever black woman director to be nominated in the competitive adapted screenplay category.

After attending Florida A&M University, Rees went on to graduate school at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts as a film student. During this time, she worked on a script for what would later be the feature film, “Pariah.” She also became a protege of acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee. Her graduate work played at more than 40 film festivals around the world, winning numerous accolades, including the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

FAMU alumna to be honored at Black Engineer of the Year Awards

During the HBCU Dean’s Breakfast today at the Black Engineer of the Year STEM Conference in Washington, D.C., Florida A&M University alumna Tokiwa Smith will be receive the Educational Leadership Award for K-12 Promotion of Education.

The conference selected Smith for the award in recognition of her work as the Founder and Executive Director of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Link Inc. (SEM Link), a non-profit organization that promotes student achievement and career exploration in math and science for K-12 students.

Under her leadership, SEM Link has grown from an organization that served one middle school in Atlanta, Georgia, to a national nonprofit organization that has enhanced the STEM educational experiences for thousands of youth in Atlanta, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, DC.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Bottoms leading fight against proposed state takeover of Atlanta International Airport

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks against human trafficking during an airport press conference
Keisha Lance Bottoms was a student at Florida A&M University back when President Frederick S. Humphries battled to keep budget control of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering at the school. Now, she is leading the battle to keep control of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with the city she leads.

State Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, doesn't want the Atlanta mayor’s office to continue running the airport, which is the driving force behind the Georgia economy.  

“We’re missing a good opportunity by not having state input over the biggest economic engine in the state,” Jones said in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article. “And right now it’s controlled by one elected official — the Atlanta mayor.”

The airport has a $70 billion impact on the state economy.

A fact sheet by Hartsfield-Jackson calls the airport, “the economic jewel of Georgia, generating a $34.8 billion economic impact for metro Atlanta.” It adds that “Hartsfield-Jackson is the state’s largest employer, with more than 63,000 airline, ground transportation, concessionaire, security, federal government, City of Atlanta and Airport tenant employees.”