Monthly Archives: January 2021

The Huge Racial Gap in Graduate School Student Debt

African Americans who earned doctorates in 2019 had an average graduate student debt of $84,050. Nearly 21 percent of African Americans who earned doctorates in 2019, had graduate student debt of more than $160,000.

Miami Dade College Appoints Malou C. Harrison as Its New Provost

Miami Dade College is one of the largest educational institutions in the country with enrollments of more than 51,000 students. Dr. Harrison has served as president of the North Campus of Miami Dade College since 2013 after being the dean of students at North Campus for over a decade.

University of Minnesota Project Looks at How Interstate Highway Construction Affected Blacks

When constructing the system through urban areas, planners often chose routes that went through the poorest and predominantly Black neighborhoods. It was cheaper to obtain property in these neighborhoods and planners believed they would meet minimal resistance from residents and political leaders in these areas.

Leonard Adams Is the New Leader of Historically Black Knoxville College

At its peak in the 1960s, Knoxville College enrollments reached 1,200 students. The college lost its accreditation in 1997. By 2015, there were only 11 students enrolled for the spring semester and it suspended all classes for the next academic year. In 2018, the college once again began to offer classes, but only online.

Study Says Empathy Scores Should Be a Part of Holistic Admissions Process for Medical Schools

In a study sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, researchers surveyed 3,616 first‐year, 2,764 second‐year, 2,413 third‐year, and 1,958 fourth‐year medical students to determine their levels of empathy. African American students scored the highest on the empathy index, while Asian Americans scored the lowest.

The New Dean of the Business School at Historically Black Benedict College in South Carolina

Tracey H. Dunn has been serving as interim dean for the past three years. She has served on the faculty at Benedict College for 18 years. Previously, she worked in the corporate sector for IBM and AT&T.

Saint Augustine’s University to Debut Its First Graduate Degree Program

Despite being designated as a university in 2012, St. Augustine's has not offered any graduate programs until now. The university recently announced that it will now offer a fully-online master of public administration degree program.

Lori Martin Named Sternberg Honors Professor at Louisiana State University

Dr. Martin is a professor of sociology and a professor of African and African American studies. Dr. Martin joined the faculty at Louisiana State University in 2013, after teaching at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York.

Virginia Union University Creates the Center for the Study of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Center staff and affiliates will conduct rigorous, evidence-based research that aims to advance the research agenda, expand institutional capacities, transform institutions, eradicate institutional inequities, and ensure the future of HBCUs in the nation and beyond.

Creighton University Chemistry Scholar Honored by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation

Kayode Oshin, associate professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, has been named a Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, an award honoring young faculty in the chemical sciences. He will receive a $75,000 award to help fund his research.

The Episcopal Church Calls on All Members to Support HBCUs

At one time, there were 10 historically Black colleges and universities associated with the Episcopal Church. Only two remain: St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina. The Church is calling on all members to support the Absalom Jones Fund that will benefit the HBCUs.

New University Administrative Positions for Three African Americans

The three African Americans who have been appointed to administrative posts are Micah Griffin at Pennsylvania State University, Nontalie Morrow at the University of Georgia, and Keith Miles at Florida A&M University.

In Memoriam: Miriam DeCosta-Willis, 1934-2021

Nearly, a decade after she was not allowed to enroll at what is now the University of Memphis because of the color of her skin, Dr. Decosta-Wilis was hired as the university's first Black faculty member. She also taught at Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Howard University in Washington, D.C., George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Online Articles That May Be of Interest to JBHE Readers

Each week, JBHE will provide links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. Here are this week’s selections.

Recent Books of Interest to African American Scholars

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. The books included are on a wide variety of subjects and present many different points of view.

University of Mississippi Continues to Study the History of Enslaved People on Campus

The University of Mississippi Slavery Research Group was established in 2013. So far, the group has been able to name and identify only 11 enslaved people who labored on the campus.

Higher Education Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

University of North Florida to Offer a Major in Africana Studies

The new Africana studies program will be a interdisciplinary major in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students will be able to choose from concentrations including history, arts and culture, gender and sexuality, health, education as well as race and the environment.

Vermont Town Honors a Native Son and America’s First African American College President

In 1856, Martin Henry Freeman was appointed president of the all-Black Allegheny Institute and Mission Church in Pittsburgh, which later became Avery College. Freeman moved to Liberia in 1863 and taught at and later served as president of Liberia College.

University of Maryland to Name New Residence Hall for Two Black Student Pioneers

Whittle-Johnson Hall will honor Hiram Whittle, the first African American male to be admitted to the university in 1951, and Elaine Johnson Coates, the first African American woman to graduate with an undergraduate degree in 1959.

Racial Differences in the Age of Doctoral Degree Recipients in the United States

On average, Whites who earned doctorates were 31.6 years old when they received their doctoral degrees. For African Americans, the average age was 36.1. But when we break the figures down by age group, we see more pronounced differences.

Trevor Bates Is the New President of Wilmington College in Ohio

Dr. Trevor Bates was the vice president of academic affairs, dean of faculty, and professor of health sciences at Mercy College of Ohio, which has campuses in Toledo and Youngstown. He is the nineteenth president in the 150-year history of Wilmington College.

College Athletic Powerhouses Making Progress in Racial Equity in Leadership Posts

Of the 130 colleges and universities that make up the Football Bowl Subdivision of Division 1 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, nine have a Black or African American president or chancellor. This is up from five a year ago.

The New Dean of the Graduate School at Vanderbilt University in Nashville

Dr. Christie-Mizell is a professor of sociology and had been serving as dean for undergraduate education in the College of Arts and Science at the university. He joined the faculty in 2010. Previously, he taught at the University of South Carolina, the University of Akron, and Kent State University.

Fatalities From Work-Related Injuries Increasing for Black Americans

In 2019, 634 African Americans died as a result of work-related injuries. The number of African American fatalities has increased by 28 percent since 2015. This is more than double the increase for the population as a whole.

Ronnie Hopkins Is the New Leader of Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina

Dr. Hopkins has served as the institution’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, accreditation liaison, and is a tenured professor of English. Before coming to Voorhees College, Dr. Hopkins served in several positions at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina.

Small Business Administration Selects Two HBCUs to Host New Women’s Business Centers

Two of the Small Business Administration's 20 new Women's Business Centers will be on the campuses of historically Black universities: The Women’s Business Center at Jackson State University and the Winston-Salem State University Women’s Business Center.

Three Black Faculty Members Who Are Taking on New Assignments

Robin E. Dock was promoted to professor of rehabilitation counseling at Winston-Salem State University. Elwood Watson, a professor of history at East Tennessee State University, was named co-editor in chief of a prestigious journal and Ainsley LeSure is a new assistant professor of African studies at Brown University in Rhode Island.

Coppin State University Revamps College of Business Curriculum

The College of Business at historically Black Coppin State University in Baltimore has announced that it is revamping its curriculum shifting from a sole focus on business academic preparation to ongoing career planning and lifelong learning in the business profession.

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe Wins the Joanne Simpson Medal From the American Geophysical Union

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe holds the Falasco Chair in Earth Sciences and Geology and is associate dean of the graduate division at the University of California, Merced. The main focus of her research is to understand the effect of changing environmental conditions on vital soil processes.

Two HBCUs in South Carolina Partnering in Entrepreneurial Initiative

Historically Black South Carolina State University, historically Black Claflin University and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College have entered into a partnership to establish the Orangeburg Regional Innovation Center. 

Three African Americans Appointed to Administrative Posts at Colleges and Universities

Rebecca Armstrong-English has been named the director of alumni relations at Dillard University in New Orleans. Sherri Braxton was named senior director for digital innovation at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and Jacob Koon was promoted to dean of students at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina.

In Memoriam: James Carmichael Renick, 1948-2021

During a long career as a faculty member and administrator in higher education, Dr. Renick served as chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University and the University of Michigan-Dearborn and was provost at Jackson State University in Mississippi.

Utica College in New York to Debut an Africana Studies Program

The program has been developed to provide many perspectives and address four pillars of education, including Africa and sub-Saharan Africa; African diaspora in the United States; North Africa and Islamic histories in Africa; and Afro-Latinx experiences.

Higher Education Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

In Memoriam: Herman Wadsworth Hemingway, 1932-2020

Herman Hemingway, a lawyer, educator, civil rights activist, was the first Black graduate of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He taught for more than two decades at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

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