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

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.”

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Thomas appointed director of public relations at Howard University

Howard University has appointed Florida A&M University alumna Alonda Thomas to serve as director of public relations. Recently named one of the “Top 25 African American PR Millennials to Watch” in the Huffington Post, Thomas will be responsible for the development and management of the communications and media relations strategies designed to enhance the university’s reputation and visibility internationally.

“We are excited to have a leader with Ms. Thomas’ level of experience in strategic planning and media relations join the team,” says Crystal Brown, Howard University Vice President of Communications. “Her depth and expertise in higher education communications will be invaluable as we manage reputation and move the university forward.”

Through her roles at North Carolina Central University and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, coupled with her work on campaigns for major networks and film studios, Thomas has been able to combine her PR skills with her passion to promote historically black colleges and universities.

“I’m excited to return to higher education PR at Howard University because of the rich history this institution has for cultivating diverse scholars, trained by world-class faculty, since 1867,” says Thomas. “That rich legacy of producing graduates who leave an indelible mark on society through their service continues today and I look forward to sharing Howard’s accomplishments with the world.”

Friday, January 19, 2018

Bottoms praises Atlanta’s selection for the Amazon HQ2 shortlist

Yesterday Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Florida A&M University alumna, praised her city’s presence on the shortlist for Amazon HQ2, the company’s second headquarters in North America.

“I am very pleased that Atlanta has been named as one of 20 cities selected for Amazon’s HQ2 shortlist,” Bottoms said. “I want to thank the many partners whose leadership made this possible: Governor Nathan Deal, Commissioner Pat Wilson, my predecessor Mayor Kasim Reed, Metro Chamber CEO Hala Moddelmog, and Invest Atlanta CEO Dr. Eloisa Klementich. This truly has been a collaborative effort and I believe our success is a direct result of our teamwork and willingness to focus on results.”

Amazon HQ2 will be a complete headquarters for Amazon, not a satellite office. The company plans to invest over $5 billion and grow this second headquarters to accommodate as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mona Humphries Bailey, first Miss Florida A&M University, passes

Florida A&M University alumna Mona Humphries Bailey passed on January 12, 2018.

“I lost my beloved sister today, Mona Humphries Bailey, former Miss FAMU and former President, Delta Sigma Theta,” said her brother, former FAMU President Frederick S. Humphries, in a post on his Facebook page. “I will miss her with all my heart.”

Beverly E. Smith, national president & CEO of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., released a statement that joined Bailey’s family in mourning.

“Our beloved Past National President transitioned peacefully early this morning after a long illness,” Smith wrote. “Please keep Soror Bailey’s family lifted in prayer.”

Bailey served as the first Miss Florida A&M University in 1953-1954. All the prior campus queens held the title Miss Florida A&M College. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1954.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The top 3 most popular news stories on Rattler Nation in 2017

We can never do enough to thank the regular readers of Rattler Nation. 2017 was a great year in terms of total site visits.

Three news stories stood out far above all the others in popularity. Our readers really helped to generate much of the interest in these posts by sharing the links across Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.

Here's the list:

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms should be appointed to FAMU Board of Trustees

At her inauguration as the 60th mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms proudly reminded the audience that she is “a graduate of Florida A&M University.” She also added that: “I am the first HBCU graduate to become an Atlanta mayor who is not a graduate of Howard or Morehouse. The streak has been broken.”

Bottoms’ win in the 2017 Atlanta mayoral election is the latest addition to her long record of public service. She was previously a judge (pro hoc) in the Fulton County State Court, executive director of the City of Atlanta and Fulton County Recreation Authority (AFCRA), and a member of the Atlanta City Council.

Her next big job should be serving on the Board of Trustees (BOT) of FAMU. Rattlers should begin lobbying the Florida Board of Governors, Gov. Rick Scott, and all of the gubernatorial candidates to appoint her to one of the seats.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Atlanta mayoral inauguration to be livestreamed on,, and @CityofAtlanta

The inauguration of Atlanta mayor-elect Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Florida A&M University alumna, will take place at 1:00 p.m. today.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “The inauguration will be streamed live by Channel 2 Action News on and The city also plans to livestream the event on Twitter via @cityofatlanta.”

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Three FAMU alumni set to be inaugurated as mayors in Georgia

L-R: Keisha Lance Bottoms, Deana Holiday Ingraham, and Booker Gainor
Three alumni of Florida A&M University will soon be sworn in as the new mayors of Georgia cities. Two are graduates of the School of Business and Industry and one is a graduate of the School of Journalism, Media and Graphic Arts (now the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication).

Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mayor-elect of Atlanta, Georgia
College: School of Journalism, Media and Graphic Arts
Major: B.S., Broadcast Journalism
Graduation Year: 1991
Inauguration Date: January 2, 2018

Deana Holiday Ingraham, Mayor-elect of East Point, Georgia
College: School of Business and Industry
Major: B.S., Accounting and Business Administration
Graduation Year: 1996
Inauguration Date: December 30, 2017

Booker Gainor, Mayor-elect of Cairo, Georgia
College: School of Business and Industry
Major: B.S., Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing
Graduation Year: 2012
Inauguration Date: January 8, 2018

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bottoms prevails in recount, set to be inaugurated as Atlanta mayor in January

Yesterday, the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections re-certified Florida A&M University alumna Keisha Lance Bottoms as the winner of the Atlanta mayoral election following a recount requested by her run-off opponent Mary Norwood.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “an official recount on Thursday requested by Norwood gave her an additional five votes and subtracted six from Bottoms. But Bottoms was still more than 800 votes ahead of Norwood in the race.”

Norwood’s campaign has expressed concerns about some possible legal issues related to the election process, but hasn’t announced any plans to file suit at this time.

CBS 46 reported that: “The final numbers show that Bottoms garnered 46,661 votes, or 50.44 percent; and Norwood got 45,840 votes, or 49.56 percent.”

Bottoms’ inauguration will take place on January 2, 2018.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Vote on Green’s impeachment resolution against Trump highlights divisions among Democrats

The vote count on Congressman Al Green’s, D-Texas, impeachment resolution against U.S. President Donald Trump highlighted how divided Democrats are over how they should address the problems they have with the current administration. This issue has now entered the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Florida.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted 364 to 58 in favor of tabling the resolution. All the votes against tabling the resolution, along with the four “present” votes, came from Democrats.

Green attended Florida A&M University from 1966 to 1971.

According to Newsweek, “while obstruction of justice impeachment articles have previously been filed against Trump by multiple Democrats, the articles put forward by Green Wednesday focused instead on the president's alleged discrimination and creation of a culture of a division. Those issues, argued Green, are not being given the attention in Congress that they warrant.”