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

Sunday, December 21, 2014

FAMU alumnus named deputy chief of staff for Pennsylvania governor

Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Wolf has selected FAMU alumnus Obra S. Kernodle, IV to serve as his deputy chief of staff and director of the Office of Public Liaison.

According to the Philadelphia Tribune, the appointment makes Kernodle, 36, “one of the youngest African Americans to hold such a position in the governor’s cabinet.”

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Kernodle is a graduate of Roman Catholic High School. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Education from FAMU in 2002.

Before serving in his current position as senior advisor for Wolf’s transition team, Kernodle played a key role on the Wolf campaign as both deputy campaign manager and political director.

Kernodle previously worked in Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s Administration as deputy of legislative affairs, helping to coordinate the city’s Actual Value Initiative. In 2012, he was part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s reelection effort as the Pennsylvania southeast political director. Kernodle also served as the political director for both Nutter’s 2011 reelection bid and District Attorney Seth Williams’ race in 2009.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

FAMU alumna named senior broadcast producer of CBS Evening News

FAMU alumna Kimberly Godwin, who is also a former member of the university’s faculty, has been named Senior Broadcast Producer of the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.

In this role, Godwin will report to Steve Capus, Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and Executive Editor of CBS News.

“Kim is an accomplished executive and proven leader who has performed brilliantly at the CBS Evening News for seven years and has successfully run many newsrooms across the country,” Capus said. “Kim is principled, dedicated and respected. She has helped shape some of the most important broadcasts of the CBS Evening News. I am delighted to have her as a partner as we continue to evolve the broadcast.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thompson to receive Technology and Business Award from BET Honors

John W. Thompson, a FAMU graduate who recently donated $5 million to his alma mater, will receive the Technology and Business Award during the 2015 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Honors ceremony.

Thompson is the former chairman/CEO of Symantec and currently serves as the chairman of the Microsoft Corporation Board of Directors. His four fellow honorees are: Johnnetta Betsch Cole (Education Award), Phylicia Rashad (Theatrical Arts Award), Usher Raymond (Musical Arts Award), and Kanye West (Visionary Award).

“The BET Honors” 2015 will be taped at the historic Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 24, 2015 and will premiere on Monday, February 23, 2015. Actor and comedian Wayne Brady will host the star-studded event.

Proceeds from the private sale of “The BET Honors” 2015 will benefit the National Cares Mentoring Program.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

K. Michelle featured in January 2015 issue of ESSENCE magazine

FAMU alumna Kimberly Michelle Pate, now known to millions by her stage name “K. Michelle,” had a banner year in 2014.

Back in August, VH1 debuted her musical entitled “K. Michelle: Rebellious Soul - The Musical” directed by Idris Elba. Now, she is star of her own VH1 reality series “K. Michelle: My Life,” which premiered November 3.

K. Michelle spoke about these achievements in her career and more in a feature article in the January 2015 issue of ESSENCE magazine.

Friday, November 28, 2014

FAMU president and alums make EBONY “Power 100” list

FAMU President Elmira Mangum has been named among the nation’s 100 most influential African Americans by EBONY Magazine.

“I am grateful to receive this prestigious recognition on behalf of the university. This honor represents FAMU’s long legacy of helping to foster transformative changes around the globe,” Mangum said.

Two FAMU alums will join Mangum on the “Power 100” list. Phillip Agnew will be honored as a “Community Crusader” for his work as the executive director of the Dream Defenders, Inc., and filmmaker and producer Will Packer will be honored as a “Cultural Influencer.”

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

FAMU alumna pledges to fight for freedom as new Florida Senate Democratic Leader

Sen. Arthenia Joyner, seated, being installed as the new Florida Senate Democratic Leader
Last week, FAMU alumna Arthenia Joyner took office as the new Florida Senate Democratic Leader. The Democratic caucus, which elected her to job in its 2013 leadership elections, made the decision official with a unanimous vote.

Joyner, 71, is the first black woman to hold the position and will serve until 2016. If the Democrats win the chamber back from the Republicans before her term runs out, then she will become the president of the Florida Senate. The Republicans currently outnumber the Democrats 26 to 14.

In her acceptance speech, Joyner pledged to continue the party’s fight against inadequate health care, unfair sentencing laws, declining state support for public education, joblessness, and harm to the environment.

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.