Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fundraising banquet will benefit FAMU athletics, honor community members

Tallahassee’s faith-based community is teaming up with the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Foundation for a unique fundraising effort that will benefit the University’s athletics programs and honor alumni and supporters who have contributed to FAMU’s rich legacy.

The Legacy Committee, founded and chaired by Rev. Dr. R.B. Holmes, pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, and consisting of local pastors and community members from across the Big Bend, will host its second Legacy Banquet on March 30, 2017 at 7 p.m. The banquet will be held in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium on FAMU’s campus and includes tributes to 15 honorees who have made a local and national impact in their respective fields, while supporting FAMU.

The focus of the banquet is to support the FAMU Athletics Department’s fundraising goals, which includes funding renovations to the historic Bragg Memorial Stadium.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Grable wins third term as FAMU Faculty Senate president

Earlier this week, The FAMUan reported that the Florida A&M University Faculty Senate had elected Bettye A. Grable to a third term as its president. She won election to her first term in 2014 and reelection in 2015.

Grable initially joined the Faculty Senate in 2011 as a senator representing the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication. She became vice-president of the senate three years later in 2014.

A member of the journalism faculty since 2006, Grable earned tenure 2012. She received her bachelor of science in journalism from the University of Florida, her master of science in journalism from FAMU, and her Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Public Affairs from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

As Faculty Senate president, Grable also serves as a member of the FAMU Board of Trustees.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

NCA&T controls millions at its COE, FAMU lost control of $12.9M at FAMU-FSU COE

NCA&T Chancellor Harold Martin listens as then-FAMU President Elmira Mangum speaks in 2015
North Carolina A&T University is not only the largest single campus historically black college or university (HBCU) in the nation, but its College of Engineering remains the #1 producer of engineering degrees on the undergraduate level awarded to African Americans.

The NCA&T College of Engineering continues to benefit from Chancellor Harold Martin’s decision to make it a central part of his vision for strengthening the university’s presence in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. Martin’s work to build his alma mater’s engineering programs goes back to his years of service as chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering and later dean of the college.

One big advantage that NCA&T’s engineering college currently has over Florida A&M University’s is that NCA&T controls millions of recurring dollars in legislative appropriations for its program. A study from 2011 estimated that the recurring appropriation for the NCA&T College of Engineering was about $5M per year.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Howard University College of Pharmacy #1 among HBCUs in first-try NAPLEX pass rates

Howard University College of Pharmacy students
The Howard University College of Pharmacy was number one among historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the first-try passage rates on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination, commonly referred to as NAPLEX.

88.1 percent of Howard’s test takers passed the 2016 NAPLEX on their first-try.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore was second with 79.6 percent. Xavier University had 77.9 percent. Chicago State University, which isn’t an HBCU but has a majority black student body, had 68.7.

Hampton was second to last with 59.4 percent. FAMU was last among all HBCUs and all schools in the nation with 59.3 percent.

Since Michael Thompson was named dean of the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in the spring of 2012, FAMU’s first-try pass rate on the NAPLEX has been among the bottom ten percent of all U.S. pharmacy colleges.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Alexander says changes to grad rate measure in performance funding are unfair to FAMU

Yesterday, State Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, cast a “no” vote against a bill that would change the preferred performance funding measure for public university graduation rates from six years to four years.

According to the News Service of Florida, “The Senate wants to measure university undergraduate programs on a four-year graduation basis. The House also would use a four-year measure, but would add a six-year measure with weighting for four-year graduations.”

Alexander opposed the bill (HB 3), which passed with an 11-3 vote during a meeting of the House Post-Secondary Education Subcommittee. He said: “this proposal in many respects will have a negative impact on Florida A&M University.”

Monday, March 20, 2017

Lawson slams Trump’s proposed budget, calls it “short-sighted”

Last week, U.S. Rep. Alfred “Al” Lawson released the following statement in response to the U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget:

“President Trump’s budget calls for extreme cuts to vital funding for job training, clean energy, medical research, and public education. It is a short-sighted plan that seeks to give tax breaks to the wealthiest while taking away lifelines for those who need it most.

We cannot reform our nation’s health care system while simultaneously cutting $12.6 billion from the Health and Human Services budget. If we want to ensure clean drinking water for future generations, we need to be investing more in the Environmental Protection Agency, not cutting $2.6 billion from its budget. Our international standing relies on our global development and diplomacy work, which cannot afford an $11 billion cut.

While I think we need to find innovative ways to make our federal government run more efficiently and save tax payer dollars, extreme cuts that will harm America’s seniors, children, and families is not the way to do it. I believe that our national budget is a reflection of our values as a society and this does not align with the values of Florida’s fifth Congressional district, and therefore I intend to strongly oppose it.”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

FAMU to conduct national search for new men’s basketball coach

Florida A&M University will launch a national search for a new men’s basketball coach following its decision to not renew Head Coach Byron Samuels’ contract.

Athletic Director Milton Overton, Jr. released a statement about change on Friday.

“After review and evaluation of the Florida A&M University men’s basketball program, FAMU Athletics has decided to take its program in a different direction,” Overton said.
Restructuring our program with a continued emphasis on academic achievement and competitive success will be key components in moving FAMU basketball forward.”

Overton added that: “We would like to thank Coach Byron Samuels for his contributions to our men's basketball program and student-athletes over the past three seasons. Assistant Coach Lamont Franklin will lead our program as the interim head coach while a national search is conducted for a replacement. Our focus continues to center around ‘Building Champions in the classroom, on the field and in life - with academic honesty and integrity.’”

Samuels headed the men’s basketball program for three years. His FAMU teams had a 17-71 record.   

Saturday, March 18, 2017

FAMU track teams perform well at 66th annual FAMU Relays

The Florida A&M men and women’s track and field teams fared well during the 66th installment of the FAMU Relays at the Robert “Pete” Griffin Track complex . 

On the women’s side, the Lady Rattlers began the defense of their two consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a solid performance. With a well-rounded squad, Head Coach Darlene Moore, now director of track and field for both teams, has put together what is sure to be a solid unit, vying for a three-peat

“The young ladies have been working hard and looking forward to outdoor season.  We didn’t quite finish where we wanted at the MEAC Indoor Championship, but I think that has inspired them all to train harder and do better.  We were all ready to perform at home, in front of our crowd at the FAMU Relays,” Moore said

Friday, March 17, 2017

Rattlers celebrate historic win and record-breaking coach

By Brian Lucas
Florida A&M University

Fans and supporters of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (FAMU) Softball Team gathered on the steps of Lee Hall Wednesday to celebrate the accomplishments of legendary Coach Veronica Wiggins.

Now in her 26th season as the team’s coach, Wiggins earned her 700th victory during the Puerto Rico Classic Softball Tournament this past weekend. The latest victory places Wiggins in uncharted territory. She is now the first historically Black college or university Division I coach to reach 700 wins.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

FAMU tops first weekly HBCU baseball Top 10 poll

Florida A&M University topped the first edition of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) regular season Top 10 baseball poll in the large school division as announced by Black College Nines on March 14, 2017.

The Rattlers have had some incredible come-from behind walk-off wins this season including a 9-run ninth-inning game tying 12-12 score which went into extras before a 13-12 walk-off win against East Tennessee State. FAMU received the most first-place votes and total points in the “large school” division which is made up of NCAA Division I baseball programs.  Right behind Florida A&M is the defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Bethune Cookman University (9-6).

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Black Television News Channel unveils plans for its FAMU-based headquarters

Owners of the nation’s first 24-hour video news network for African-American viewers, joined Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) administrators at the university for a ribbon-cutting to unveil plans for its new headquarters and launch date in 2018.

The Black Television News Channel (BTNC) will be the first 4K Ultra HD newsgathering and production infrastructure of its kind.

During the event, Byron Pitts, chief national correspondent and Nightline co-anchor at ABC News, announced that he will join the new network as a contributor while continuing his role at ABC.

“I am proud to be a part of this historic venture,” Pitts said. “And I want to thank the Black journalists that came before me and those that will come after me for creating a space to tell the truth and honor the truths of people of color that have often been ignored.”

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lawson criticizes Republican plan to repeal Affordable Care Act

Last week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) criticized the health care proposal introduced by the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is an exercise in smoke and mirrors,” Lawson said. “This proposal would give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans while burdening hard working families with higher health care costs. The Republican plan allows for soaring new health care costs for our seniors and shortens the life of the Medicare Trust Fund, endangering seniors and disabled Americans who depend on Medicaid coverage. This is completely unacceptable for Floridians.”

A study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimated that the Republican plan (which is called the “American Health Care Act”), “would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the coming decade and increase the number of people who are uninsured by 24 million in 2026 relative to current law.”

“I will continue to fight to ensure that Floridians with pre-existing conditions don’t have to worry about losing their health care, and that young adults can stay on their parents insurance until they are 26, and that we are doing all we can to make health care affordable and accessible for all Americans, not just a select few,” Lawson said.

Monday, March 13, 2017

FAMU out of MEAC women’s basketball tournament following 59-42 loss

The 2016-17 season ended for the FAMU women’s basketball team (13-19) as it was defeated 59-42 to the No.1 seeded Bethune-Cookman (21-9) at the Scope Arena.

Guard Florence Outtara led the Rattlers as the only player in double-digit scoring with 11 points. Senior forward Alicia McCray scored nine points, while Shakerrya Morrison chipped in eight.

“We’ve got an overall young team here,” Head Coach LeDawn Gibson said. “None of them have the experience of going this far and we saw firsthand how each team steps it up when it comes to the MEAC Tournament. We played hard today.”

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rattler football to hold first spring training period in 2 years

The FAMU Football team will hold its first formal Spring Training period in two years from Friday, March 24 through Saturday, April 15.

Head Coach Alex Wood and his staff will put the 2017 Rattler prospects through their paces during a 10-day schedule which will feature a number of early morning sessions in Bragg Stadium, along with mid-morning Saturday practices leading up to the Spring Game.

This is first formal spring training for FAMU since Spring 2015. The team was restricted from Spring drills in 2016 due to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Academic Progress Rate (APR) sanctions, which were lifted during the Fall.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Stoudamire named MEAC Rookie of the Week

Florida A&M University freshman Jamesia Stoudamire was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Softball Rookie of the Week, the conference announced Monday.

Stoudamire (INF, 5-9, Fr., Lake Wales, Fla.) went 6-for-12 at the plate in four games against Troy and Mercer. She hit two home runs in a doubleheader against Mercer. She also stole two bases and drew two walks.

Friday, March 10, 2017

FAMU cruises past Norfolk State in 80-73 MEAC quarterfinal win


Florence Outtara was one of the leaders for FAMU as it strolled past Norfolk State, 80-73
The No. 4 seeded Florida A&M Rattler women (13-18) won for the fifth time in six games Thursday, putting on a torrid fourth quarter scoring surge to eliminate No. 5 Norfolk State, 80-73 at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va.

Head Coach LeDawn Gibson said she had to fire up her team to get them going. 

“I had to use some choice words to jolt my team into action. They just came out flat. After challenging our spark plug, forward Shakerrya Morrison, it spilled over to the rest of the team. I never have to get Victoria (Nguyen) going, I actually have to calm her down most of the time. At some point I felt we were in sync and we began to play Rattler basketball,” Gibson said.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Rattlers out MEAC basketball tourney after 82-78 OT loss to SCSU

The Florida A&M Rattlers fought from down by 10 points in the first half to a tie at the end of regulation, before losing 82-78 to the South Carolina State University in the opening round of the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Basketball Championships at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va.

Desmond Williams, put on one of his most impressive displays to date, scoring 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line.  Marcus Barham scored 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field, while Justin Ravenel scored 12 points on efficient 4-of-7 shooting from the field.  Two of Ravenel’s baskets were three-pointers, while Barham chipped in one.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Brian Davis named MEAC Player of the Week

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) has selected Florida A&M junior Brian Davis as its Baseball Player of the Week.

Davis (5-10, 195, Jr., Pensacola, Fla.) hit .471 (8-for-17) in helping the Rattlers go 4-1 this past week, including a two-game sweep of Mercer and winning two of three against East Tennessee State. He drove in 10 runs for the week, including five in the second game against Mercer, and he hit a home run in the series opener against East Tennessee State. Davis had three multi-hit games, and he scored six runs.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Lawson says country “deserves better than a bunch of broken promises from” Trump

Back in January, U.S. Rep. Alfred “Al” Lawson (FL-5) denounced U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from the United States for 90 days.

On February 28, Lawson attended the president’s address before Congress and released the following statement in response:

“We heard a lot from President Trump tonight, but the numbers speak for themselves. Forty days after his inauguration, we still have yet to see President Trump and the Republican Congress lift a finger to create jobs or help hard-working Americans.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Ablordeppey continues $1.4M in NIH-funded research on antipsychotic drugs

Seth Y. Ablordeppey, a professor of Medicinal Chemistry and the Director of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Division of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), continuing a $1,411,289 research project funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

NIH awarded Ablordeppey four years of funding for a project entitled “A New Approach for the Development of Novel Antipsychotic Drugs.” The organization released $337,755 to him in the fiscal year ending (FYE) 2016 and $300,180 for FYE 2017.

The project focuses on developing better drugs to treat schizophrenia.