Monday, July 10, 2017

Mitchell appointed new director of academic support and bar preparation for FAMU Law

Reginald Mitchell, Sr. (far left) with Dean LeRoy Pernell (center) and others
Interim FAMU College of Law Dean LeRoy Pernell recently announced that Reginald Mitchell, Sr. will lead the office responsible for preparing students for the Florida Bar Examination.

“I am pleased to announce after consideration of all information that Reginald Mitchell, Sr. has been recommended as the new Director of Academic Support and Bar Preparation effective July 1, 2017,” Pernell said in a public statement.

The Office of Academic Success and Bar Preparation runs the Bar Exam Success Training (BEST) program. BEST is a 12-week, intensive training program that is available to free-of-charge to FAMU Law students and alumni.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

FAMU Law to share tools for success during new student orientation

When members of the incoming class arrive at the Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law for orientation on Aug. 1, they will be entrenched in an innovative program designed to equip them with the tools they will need to succeed during law school.

“Foundations for Law School Success” is a mandatory, 10-day orientation initiative intended to help new students build a strong foundation before the start of their rigorous law school journey. Set to run through Aug. 12, the program will focus on critical thinking, analysis and writing skills.

The FAMU College of Law expects an entering class of more than 150 students in the full-time day and part-time evening program as applications have increased more than 30 percent from 2016-2017. The 2017 incoming class will include students from across the country and from diverse backgrounds.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

FAMU Army ROTC travels to Vietnam

By LTC Edwin Escobar
ROTC Professor of Military Science

This year, the Florida A&M University Army ROTC had the honor of becoming a partner in the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, which also coincides with the Secretary of Defense’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.  The partnership has furthered FAMU’s globalization initiative, permitting students to experience the first major battle, learn timeless lessons on leadership, and take advantage of development opportunities that strategically teach preparation for complex and dynamic environments.

After learning about the battle of Ia Drang in the Vietnam War, four FAMU students, alongside Army ROTC professor of military science LTC Edwin Escobar, traveled nearly 10,000 miles to Vietnam this spring to participate in unique learning and engagement opportunities offered through the partnership.

Friday, July 07, 2017

FAMU Law honors Class of 2017 during annual hooding ceremony

Before more than 2,000 family members and guests, the Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law’s Hooding Class of 2017 took an additional step toward completing a major milestone.  The annual hooding ceremony took place at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, May 20, 2017, where more than 120 candidates ceremoniously received the doctoral hood for the juris doctor degree.

The ceremony recognized graduates and candidates from the fall 2016, spring 2017, and summer 2017 classes.  Candidates for spring 2017 had their juris doctor degrees conferred three weeks prior in Tallahassee, Fla. at the University’s commencement exercises on April 29, 2017.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Op-ed: All FAMU’s freshman classes for past 22 years have had 3.0+ average high school GPAs

Yesterday, the Tallahassee Democrat website posted an op-ed written by Larry O. Rivers, a former FAMU student body president. Rivers called attention to the fact that all FAMU’s freshman classes for past 22 years have had 3.0+ average high school GPAs. He also pointed out that FAMU is the #1 public university when it comes to preparing black undergraduate students for science and engineering Ph.D. programs.

From the op-ed: “FAMU a national model in preparing blacks for advanced scientific work”:

A question from the June Florida Board of Governors meeting asked why a minority student seeking “to get the best education” would select Florida A&M University.

The National Science Foundation’s data sheds light on one of the biggest reasons for FAMU’s status as a school of choice among thousands of minority students: FAMU out-performs all other public universities in preparing blacks for the highest level of academic study in science and engineering (S&E) concentrations.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

FAMU alumni to vie for National Arena League Championship with Jacksonville Sharks

The Jacksonville Sharks defeated the Monterrey Steel 43-32 in the National Arena League Playoffs for the right to go to the National Arena League (NAL) Championship on Monday, July 10 against the Columbus Lions. The Shark Tank was filled with 9,483 fans dressed in red as they cheered the Sharks to victory.

Three alumni of Florida A&M University will work to help the Sharks bring home the league’s championship trophy: Damien Fleming, Peter Tulloch, and Terry Johnson.

The game will take place at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, the Shark’s home stadium.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Happy Fourth of July!

Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in Gaither Gymnasium

Monday, July 03, 2017

NEA: Average salary for FAMU full professors is lowest in State University System of Florida

The National Education Association (NEA) reports that the average salary for FAMU full professors is the lowest in the State University System of Florida.

According to NEA Today: “Faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) also tend to be paid less than faculty at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs.) For example, full professors at Florida A&M University (FAMU) earn an average $92,000 a year, making them the lowest paid among the 11 state universities. In fact, even though FAMU is a “Research 2: Doctoral Institution,” putting it in the second highest grouping in the Carnegie classification system, its faculty earn less, on average, than the highest paid community college faculty in the state.”

The average salary for full professors at Indian River State College is $98,500.

Florida Polytechnic University, which NEA included in the count of the 11 state universities in Florida, doesn’t have any full professors yet.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Overton leads FAMU athletic department to first surplus since Ken Riley years

FAMU Athletic Director Milton Overton Jr. has led the department to its first surplus since the years of former AD Ken Riley.

Overton recently informed the FAMU Board of Trustees that the department finished the 2016-2017 fiscal year with a $9,500 surplus.

“We implemented several initiatives to reduce spending and increase revenues,” Overton said.  “Not the least of which was re-commissioning the department-owned bus which had gone unused for several years.  The instituting of this singular initiative realized a savings of over $100,000 in itself.  In addition, we increased revenues.  The department successfully raised over $1 million this fiscal year, contributing to the balancing of the budget.”

If the athletics department continues in its current direction, it could repeat the financial success FAMU experienced under Riley.

Riley, who started serving as FAMU’s athletic director in 1994, left the department with an estimated surplus of more than $3 million when he stepped down in 2002.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

FAMU School of Nursing holds 80th Anniversary Celebration

The School of Nursing hosted its 80th Anniversary Celebration during the weekend of June 16-17. The events included a welcome reception, the Rattler Nurses’ Breakfast and a commemorative banquet.

The FAMU School of Nursing is the oldest continuing baccalaureate nursing program in Florida, as well as the oldest program of its kind among historically Black colleges and universities. The illustrious school continues to make progress as it kicked off 2017 with its first male dean in the school’s history — Henry C. Talley, Ph.D.

Along with celebrating 80 years of success, the school was recently ranked among the nation’s “Top 20 Best Value Nursing Programs” by It was also listed as one of the top 25 schools in the Eastern region by the Nursing Journal.

In attendance was Helen Heathington, a 1949 alumna, one of the school’s oldest living graduates, who celebrated FAMU as a place “where you can become the most well-rounded nurse it is possible to be.”

Speakers for the weekend included the National League for Nursing Academy of Nursing Education inductee Georgie Labadie, a 1957 graduate, and Dionne Williams, a 2015 graduate, pursuing a nursing research doctorate through a partnership with FAMU and Case Western Reserve University.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lawson calls Senate GOP health care bill “heartless and reckless”

Last week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL), joined the House Democrats in criticizing the Republican “Better Care Reconciliation Act” introduced in the U.S. Senate.

“Just like the House bill, the Senate health care bill is heartless and reckless,” Lawson said.

Similar to its counterpart passed in the House last month, this legislation would reduce the tax credits available for purchasing health coverage, phase out the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, and allow states to remove basic protections on what insurance must cover.

“This bill will not be better for America. In fact, this cruel legislation confirms that Republicans have abandoned any guise of seeking quality and affordable health care for hardworking families,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY).

Lawson also voiced concerns about the effect the bill would have on the poor and the elderly.

“I will not stand idly by while Republicans try to wreak havoc with our country’s Medicaid and Medicare that so many rely on for health care, while also gutting key protections, and instituting a crushing age tax,” Lawson said.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

FAMU receives $550K grant from Intel to promote diversity in technology

Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced yesterday that it is receiving a grant from Intel Corporation to expand pathways for more women and underrepresented minorities to enter and succeed in tech fields.

The partnership is a part of the Intel Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Grant Program, which was developed to increase the number of African Americans who pursue degrees in electrical engineering, computer engineering and computer science. FAMU will be awarded $550,000 over a three-year period to offer two-year scholarships. Up to 26 junior to doctorate level students majoring in these areas will reap the benefits.

In addition, the partnership will help to support student tutoring and mentoring programs, labs, research experiences and workshops that will encourage collaboration between academia and the technology industry to equip students with the relevant skills needed to succeed in the technology sector.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

FAMU presents aggressive plan to enhance student success, university performance

Last week, Florida A&M University Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., presented the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) with plans to enhance student success, strengthen academic programs and improve University operations.

Robinson was among state university leaders presenting their 2017 Work Plans during the BOG’s June meeting. His presentation highlighted initiatives designed to improve student outcomes, including increasing retention and graduation rates. These efforts include enhancing the University’s student advisement system, restructuring recruitment and enrollment management, and expanding academic support services.

Robinson also pointed to FAMU’s recent success in acquiring external funding and leveraging partnerships to generate additional support to increase student success outcomes.  

Monday, June 26, 2017

Morton, Tripp should both be removed from BOG

Last week, comments by Board of Governors (BOG) member Ed Morton brought negative news coverage to the entire State University System of Florida.

According to the Capital News Service, “While discussing the pay gap between men and women graduates, Board of Governors member Ed Morton said this, ‘The women are given, maybe some of it is genetic, I don’t know. I’m not smart enough to know the difference.’”

The story made national news, with stories running in the Washington Post and USA TODAY. Gov. Rick Scott, who gave Morton his appointment to the BOG, denounced the statement and the Orlando Sentinel named Morton its “Chump of the Week.” Morton apologized. But the National Organization for Women said that’s not enough and has called for him to step down.

Morton should definitely leave the BOG and Norman Tripp should go with him.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

National Science Foundation awards FAMU $2M grant to enhance student success in STEM

L-R:  Desmond Stephens, Ph.D., Maurice Edington, Ph.D., and Lewis Johnson, Ph.D.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) has been awarded a four-year, $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) to help broaden the participation of minority graduates in the nation’s science and technology workforce.

The grant, which was effective June 1, supports FAMU’s HBCU-UP project titled “Science Community of Active Learners to Enhance Achievement and Retention.” The program is designed to significantly increase student success rates in FAMU’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree programs.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Rattlers propel Jacksonville Sharks to top playoff seed

FAMU alumni Peter Tulloch, Damien Fleming and Terry Johnson help propel the Sharks to the playoffs
The Jacksonville Sharks are the hottest team in the area, going undefeated to the last game of the season, where they rested players in preparation for hosting the first round of the National Arena League (NAL) playoffs.  The Sharks lost by a touchdown to the visiting Monterey Steel 44-37, the same team they will face today, June 24 in the first round of the playoffs at Veterans Memorial Arena, the Sharks' home field.

Former Florida A&M University (FAMU) four-year starter, Damien Fleming, has led the Sharks as the team's signal caller.  Fleming is right at home with the Sharks as the Jacksonville native who attended Ribault High School is playing in front of a true home crowd.  Fleming is excited about the opportunity to play in familiar territory.

“It's a blessing to be able to play right here.  To have my high school career at Ribault, college in Tallahassee at FAMU and to be here in Jacksonville with an opportunity to play the game I love, it's just all you could ask for,” Fleming said.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Lawson introduces bill to extend life of Social Security

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5) has introduced legislation that would extend the life of Social Security by 15 years to 2049.

“Social Security plays a critical role in our economy as it provides for over two-thirds of our nation’s retirees, and provides financial security to millions of disabled workers and their children,” said Lawson.

“However, as the program is currently operating, the Social Security trust fund will be depleted by 2034. That’s why I’m proud to introduce the Social Security for Future Generations Act of 2017, along with 17 co-sponsors and support from six organizations, including Social Security Works and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare.”