Monthly Archives: August 2021

Three Women Join the African American and African Studies Department at Michigan State

Three new scholars in the department of African American and African studies at Michigan State University - Trimiko Melancon, LeConté Dill, and Gianina K. Lockley - will help strengthen and broaden the base of expertise in the department bringing a focus on Black feminisms, Black genders studies, and Black sexualities studies.   

In Memoriam: Hardy T. Frye, 1939-2021

After earning a master's degree and a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Frye accepted an appointment at Yale as an assistant professor in 1976, where he taught for one year. He later served on the faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz for more than two decades.

Survey Finds Widespread Student Support for Diversity Initiatives in Higher Education

Nearly half of surveyed students believe that their school should require all students, faculty, and staff to participate in DEI training. An additional 46 percent of respondents believe that their schools should require all students to participate in a semester-long course on the history and root causes of the unequal distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges in society.

Laurie Shanderson Is the New Chancellor of Methodist College in Peoria, Illinois

Dr. Shanderson comes to Methodist College with more than 20 years of higher education experience, most recently as founding dean of the School of Health Sciences at Northcentral University, a private online university headquartered in San Diego, California.

Survey Examines the Views of HBCU Students on the Issues of Free Speech

HBCU students are much more likely than the national sample to favor limits on the press’ First Amendment rights to cover campus protests. Fifty-six percent of HBCU students — double the percentage in the national sample — think college students should be able to prevent reporters from covering campus protests.

A Legendary Figure In Black Higher Education Announces His Retirement

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County has announced his plan to retire at the end of the 2021-2022 academic year. Under his leadership, UMBC is now the nation’s top producer of Black graduates who go on to earn a Ph.D. in the natural sciences and engineering. 

Federal Reserve Bank Study Shows Black Businesses Suffered the Most in the Early Pandemic

A new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds that predominately Black communities have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of health outcomes and economic vitality. The report finds that mortality rates in Black communities were higher but so were job losses and business closures.

School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University Names Its Next Dean

Mira Lowe, a veteran journalist and editor, has been assistant dean for student experiences at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications since 2019. Before entering academia, Lowe enjoyed a successful career as a professional journalist.

Five Black Faculty Members Who Are Taking on New Assignments in Higher Education

Takin on new duties are Dennis Mitchell at Columbia University, Nandi A. Marshall at Georgia Southern University, Allison Leggett at the University of California, Los Angeles, Bryan Dewsbury at Florida International University in Miami, and Djamali Muhoza at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

Morehouse College in Atlanta Reports Its Largest Group of New Students in History

The 973 new traditional and online students represent an increase of 70 percent when compared with fall 2020. The 701 traditional residential students in the new student group is a 23 percent increase from fall 2020 and includes 637 first-time freshmen and 64 transfer students.

A Group of African Americans Taking on New Administrative Duties at Colleges and Universities

Taking on new roles are Bronté Burleigh-Jones at American University in Washington, D.C., Richard L. Lucas, Jr. at Clark Atlanta University, Monique Guillory at the University of the District of Columbia, Ebony Marsala at Boston College, William Jones Jr. at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and Richie Hunter at the University of Oregon.

Fort Valley State University to Launch a New Bachelor’s Degree Program in Nursing

Historically Black Fort Valley State University and Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc. have announced an educational partnership to launch a new bachelor's degree program in nursing that aims to address the critical need for nurses in rural Georgia.

Two Universities Bestow Honors on Civil Rights Icon James Lawson

Vanderbilt University in Nashville, which expelled Lawson in 1960 for his civil rights activities, will launch the James Lawson Institute for the Research and Study of Nonviolent Movements. The University of California, Los Angeles, where Lawson has taught for 20 years, is naming a historic building in his honor.

Howard University Teams Up With Biotechnology Firm Amgen to Boost Graduate Student Research

Howard University’s department of chemical engineering and Amgen, one of the world’s leading independent biotechnology companies, have designed an innovative academic-industry partnership meant to greatly expand opportunities for underrepresented minorities in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Four Universitiies Annouce the Appointment of African Americans to Diversity Positions

Taking on new roles as diversity administrators are Cerri A. Banks at Syracuse University in New York, Levon T. Esters at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, Wanda B. Knight at Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg, and Katrice A. Albert at the University of Kentucky.

In Memoriam: Twitty Junius Styles, 1927-2021

Dr. Styles taught at Union College from 1965 to 1997. In 1971, he was the first African-American faculty member to earn tenure. An immunologist by training, he specialized in infectious diseases, particularly parasitology and immunity to parasitic infections.

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: JoAnne Adams Lofton, 1937-2021

A native of Forsyth, Georgia, Lofton's grandfather was the founder of what is now Grambling State University in Louisiana. She served as a faculty member and administrator for the University of Nebraska-Omaha for more than 30 years.

New Center Named for the Founder of Africana Studies at Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, will name a new interdisciplinary academic center for teaching and research on Southern race relations, culture, and politics in honor of late professor of history emeritus Theodore “Ted” Carter DeLaney Jr.

Western Kentucky University Honors its First Black Student

The board of regents at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, has approved the renaming of Northeast Hall to Munday Hall. The change honors Margaret Munday, the first African American student to enroll at the institution. Munday Hall will be the first building on campus named after an African American.

Three African American Scholars Who Have Retired from High-Level University Positions

Retiring after long careers in higher education are Martha Lue Stewart, at the University of Central Florida, Rahim Reed at the University of California, Davis, and Roland Smith at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

2020 Census Data on Race and Ethnicity of the Population of the United States

The Some Other Race alone or in combination group (49.9 million) increased 129 percent, surpassing the Black or African American population (46.9 million) as the second-largest race alone or in combination group.

Mona Lisa Saloy Is the New Poet Laureate for the State of Louisiana

Mona Lisa Saloy is the Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Professor of English at historically Black Dillard University in New Orleans. A native of New Orleans, Professor Saloy holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing and a Ph.D. in English from Louisiana State University.

Study Identifies the Whitest Corner of the STEM World

There has been no progress in geoscience Ph.D. degrees in racial and ethnic diversity in 40 years. There has been an increase of racial and ethnic diversity at the bachelor's degree level but most of this is the result of a larger number of Hispanic graduates. Blacks make up just 3 percent of bachelor's degree awards.

Gloria Thomas Selected as the Next President of HERS

Dr. Thomas comes to HERS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she served as the director of the Carolina Women’s Center. Prior to her time at UNC, Dr. Thomas served as the executive director of the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan.

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.

Pew Research Center Reports Show a Great Divide on the Status of Racial Progress

The American public is deeply divided over how far the nation has progressed in addressing racial inequality – and how much further it needs to go. Nearly 60 percent of Black adults say that the nation’s laws and major institutions need to be completely rebuilt because they are fundamentally biased. Only 18 percent of White adults agreed.

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.

Two African American Who Have Been Named to Dean Positions

Ahkinyala Cobb-Abdullah is the new interim dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Virginia Union University in Richmond and Vincent Mumford was named Interim dean of graduate studies at West Liberty University in West Virginia.

A Trio of Black Faculty Members Who Are Taking on New Assignments

Dedric Carter, a professor of practice at Washington University in St. Louis, was named the inaugural vice chancellor for innovation and chief commercialization officer at the university. Kalenda Eaton, an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, will direct Oklahoma research for the Black Homesteader Project, and Bayo Akinfemi has joined the faculty at the University of Southern California.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore Enters Partnership With Frostburg State University

The cooperative undergraduate/professional program agreement will enable Frostburg students to earn a pharmacy degree at UMES by reducing instruction time by up to two years. Undergraduates majoring in chemistry who meet the requirements and have strong academic credentials may gain preferential admission to UMES' professional degree program after three years of undergraduate study.

New Administrative Positions in Higher Education for Six African Americans

Taking on new administrative roles are Boyd Copeland at St. Louis Community College, Alecia Shields-Gadson at Delaware State University, Reginald Wilson at Pasco-Hernando State College in Florida, Melissa Thrasher at Eastern Michigan University, Dawna Jones at Duke University in North Carolina, and Tammy A. Bagby at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.

National Park Services Supporting Preservation Projects on HBCU Campuses

The National Park Service has announced $9.7 million in grants to assist 20 preservation projects for historic structures on campuses of historically Black colleges and universities in 10 states. Most of the grants are for $500,000. Benedict College in South Carolina received two grants.

University of Pittsburgh Scholar Wins the Charles Horton Cooley Book Award

Waverly Duck, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, received the Charles Horton Cooley Book Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. Dr. Duck was recognized for co-authoring the book Tacit Racism, which examines the many ways in which racism is coded into the everyday social interactions of Americans.

Savannah State University Offering a New Degree Program in Information Technology and Logistics

Designed to introduce students to cutting-edge technology including a variety of systems, programming languages, financial technology approaches, as well as, data analytics tools and methodologies, the new program within the university’s College of Business Administration will prepare students for industry professions and future careers.

Three African Americans Who Have Been Assigned to New Roles Relating to Diversity

Taking on new duties relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion are Brooke Berry at Virginia Commonwealth University, Daniel Hastings at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Barbara J. Lawrence at Rider University in Lawrence Township, New Jersey.

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