Monthly Archives: February 2023

Columbia University to Acquire the Archives of Composer and Educator Tania León

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia University in New York has announced that it will acquire the archives of Tania León, the noted composer, conductor, and educator. Her orchestral work Stride, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic in celebration of the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Music.

NASA Teams Up With Eight Historically Black Universities for Data Science Research

The HBCUs participating in these research projects are: Bethune-Cookman University, Fayetteville State University, Florida A&M University, Lincoln University (Missouri), Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, and Prairie View A&M University.

The Persistent Racial Gap in Educational Attainment in the United States

In 2022, 27.6 percent of African Americans over the age of 25 had obtained at least a bachelor’s degree. For non-Hispanic Whites, the figure was 48.2 percent. Some 10.1 percent of Black adults held a graduate or professional degree compared to 15.7 percent of non-Hispanic Whites.

The New Leader of Prairie View A&M University in Texas

Michael L. McFrazier, dean of Prairie View A&M University’s College of Education was named acting president of the university. His tenure will be a short one. Dr. McFrazier will serve as acting president for three months until Tomikia P. LeGrande, the current vice provost for strategic enrollment management at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, will become president on June 1.

Dale G. Caldwell Will Be the First Black President of Centennary University in New Jersey

Dr. Caldwell is currently executive director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey, as well as president of the board of the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey. He also serves as chair of the Board of Education for the city of New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Study Shows How High Incarcertation Rates Among Black Men Impact Their Families

More than 1.1 million African American men are imprisoned in the United States, and about 500,000 are fathers. Many of their fathers also served time in jail or prison, and studies have shown that it is likely that many of their children will as well.

Three African Americans Who Have Been Names to Dean Positions

Alma B. Littles is the new interim dean of the College of Medicine at Florida State University. Cameron Rashad Thomas has been named dean of the chapel at Talladega College in Alabama and Ja’Wanda Grant was appointed dean of students at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee.

How Teacher Development Initiatives Can Increase Black Students’ Pursuit of STEM Degrees

A new study led by scholars at Rice University in Houston, Texas, found that when middle and high school teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pursue continuing professional development, their students benefit. The effect was particularly evident for Black girls.

Patrick Wade Named President of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Murfreesboro

Patrick Wade has been serving as vice president of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Knoxville, where he has worked since 2012. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and finance from Tennessee Technological University and a master's degree in management and leadership from Western Governors University.

Four Black Scholars Who Are Taking on New Assignments at Major Universities

Appointed to new positions or taking on new duties are Michelle Robinson at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Charles D. Brown II at Yale University, Patricia Smith at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University in New Jersey, and Angela Byars-Winston of the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin.

Howard University Expands Its Research Collaborations With Amazon

Under the agreement, Amazon will fund faculty research projects in the College of Engineering and Architecture at the university with an initial focus on machine learning and natural language processing.

New Administrative Roles in Higher Education for Five Black Americans

Taking on new administrative duties are Kafui Kouakou at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, Rashonda Austin at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Teriya Richardson at Texas Southern University in Houston, Troy Miller at the University of Southern Indiana, and Christian Mitchell at the University of Chicago.

Prairie View A&M University Now Offering Bachelor’s Degrees in Public Health

The bachelor of science degree curriculum is designed for students interested in pursuing a career as a public health professional and/or a graduate program in public health. The bachelor of arts program is for those interested in seeking admission into professional schools, such as medical school, dental school, or physician assistant programs with an interest in public health.

Penn State’s Denise Okafor Wins the Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences

First awarded in 2015, the Mason Award is a highly competitive award that attracts applications from the very best early-career female chemists across the country. Dr. Okafor's research focuses on understanding how protein function is regulated.

Historically Black Miles College in Alabama Is Partnering With Wallace Community College

Under the agreement, Wallace Community College students will be considered for admission to Miles College after earning an associate degree and maintaining at least a 2.0 grade point average. Up to a maximum of 64 semester hours could be transferred and credited toward a bachelor's degree at Miles College.

Three African Americans Women Who Have Been Appointed to Diversity Posts

Taking on new administrative roles relating to diversity are Vernese Edghill-Walden at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, B. Afeni McNeely Cobham at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Shawna Watkins at the Tulsa campus of the University of Oklahoma.

In Memoriam: Roslyn Elizabeth Pope, 1938-2023

While a senior at Spelman College in Atlanta, Pope along with a young Julian Bond wrote "An Appeal for Human Rights," which laid the groundwork for the formation of civil rights protests by college students in Atlanta.

Mellon Foundation Announces Support for University Research on Social Justice

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation invited proposals from institutions exploring three distinct topical categories — Civic Engagement and Voting Rights, Race and Racialization in the United States, and Social Justice and the Literary Imagination. Twenty-six grants totaling $12 million have been awarded.

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: Arthur E. Thomas, 1940-2023

In 1985, Dr. Thomas was appointed president of Central State University. He was the first alumnus of the school to serve as university president. Dr. Thomas served as president of the university until 1995.

African American College Students More Often Have Other Duties Compared to Their Peers

The new Lumina-Gallup Student Study finds that 22 percent of African American college students provide care to children, friends, seniors, or other relatives. One out of every five African American college students also has a full-time job. Both of these are about double the rate for bachelor's degree students as a whole.

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.

Paul Watson II Is the Seventh President of Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan

Dr. Watson has been serving as interim president since last April. Before being named interim president, Dr. Watson had been vice president for instruction at the community college since 2019. Before coming to Kellogg Community College, Dr. Watson served as director, assistant dean, and dean at the Pennsylvania College of Technology from 2011-2018.

High Levels of Depression Among College-Educated Black Americans Linked to Racial Discrimination

A study led by Darrell Hudson, an associate professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis, finds that there is a significant association between everyday discrimination and depressive symptoms among college-educated African American young adults. More than 15 percent of the sample reported that they had been diagnosed with depression by a health care provider at some point in their lives.

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.

Two African Americans Appointed Provosts at Historically Black State Universities

Frederick Evans was appointed provost and vice president for academic affairs at South Carolina State University and Dimetri Horner is the new provost and vice president of academic affairs at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

University of Pennsylvania-Led Study Finds Racism in Emergency Room Care

The study found that one of every 10 Black patients at emergency rooms believed that their race impacted the quality of care that they received. Black patients reported that race most heavily affected the quality of care, respect, and communication.

Four African Americans Who Have Been Appointed to Dean Positions in Higher Education

The new deans are Daryl Joseph Moore at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Jeanie C. Lucy at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Racquel Ingram at High Point University in North Carolina, and Jonathan Miller at the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick.

Four Black Faculty Members Who Are Taking on New Positions or Roles

Taking on new duties are Soyica Colbert at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Arisa White at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, Samuel Johnson at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, and Sherard Robbins at Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development in Nashville.

Fisk and Belmont Universities in Nashville Form the Social Justice Collaborative

Historically Black Fisk University in Nashville and predominantly White Belmont University in Nashville have announced the establishment of the Belmont-Fisk Social Justice Collaborative, a partnership between the universities designed to promote social justice through exposure to civil rights and social justice movements across Middle Tennessee.

New University Administrative Appointments for Five African Americans

Taking on new administrative duties are Michelle Garfield Cook at the University of Georgia, Tasha A. Carson at Tennessee State University, Anthony D. Henderson, Sr. at Hampton University in Virginia, Brenda Tindal at Harvard University, and Anna Ponder at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

The Ida B. Wells Society Finds a New Home at Morehouse College in Atlanta

The Society will prepare Morehouse students for ethical careers in journalism through skills building in investigative and social justice reporting. The Society, formerly at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will be based on Morehouse’s campus.

Princeton University’s Dan-el Padilla Peralta Wins Two Book Prizes

Dr. Padilla Peralta won the 2022 American Historical Association’s Herbert Baxter Adams Prize (given for an author’s first book in European history from ancient times through 1815) and was co-recipient of the 2022 Classical Association of the Middle West and South’s First Book Prize.

Tennessee State’s Aristocrat of Bands Takes Home a Grammy Award

The Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands made history recently when it became the first collegiate band in the history of the Grammy Awards to receive a nomination. They made further history by winning the award in the Best Roots Gospel Album Category, beating out Willie Nelson and three other nominees.

A Quartet of African Americans Who Have Been Appointed to Diversity Posts in Higher Education

Taking on new diversity roles are Joshua Quinn Tucker at the University of Mississippi School of Law, Lita Little Giddins at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, Steven Kniffley Jr. at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and Alicia Richardson at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York.

In Memoriam: Patricia Liggins Hill, 1942-2023

Dr. Hill joined the faculty at the University of San Francisco in 1970 as an instructor in English and ethnic studies. Dr. Hill retired as a full professor in 2015 after teaching at the University of San Francisco for 45 years.

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