Monthly Archives: March 2023

Four African American Scholars Who Have Been Appointed to New Faculty Positions

Taking on new roles are LaQuandra S. Nesbitt at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Jarvis Givens at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Nicole B. Burwell at North Carolina A&T State University, and Anthony Greene at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

Bowie State University in Maryland Adds Two New Master’s Degree Programs

Historically Black Bowie State University in Maryland has announced the establishment of two new master's degree programs. The new programs are in applied biotechnology and molecular biology and the internet of things and internet technologies. The latter program is offered completely online.

A Quartet of Black Women Taking on New Administrative Duties at Universities

The four African American women hired to new administrative positions are Marcia Walker-McWilliams at Tulane University in New Orleans, Felicia L. McMillan at South Carolina State University, Endia DeCordova at Morgan State University in Baltimore, and Melissa Hodge-Penn at North Carolina A&T State University.

Auditor Details Financial Shortcomings at Kentucky State University

Mike Harmon, auditor for the Commonwealth of Kentucky has released a report that found $2.7 million withdrawn from internal endowed funds to supplement cash balances, undocumented credit card transactions, wasteful spending on extravagant bonuses and benefits, and crippling budget and procurement failures all occurring in a chaotic accounting environment.

Spelman College President Helene Gayle Honored for Her Philanthropic Work

Before becoming president of Spelman College in July 2022, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations. Earlier, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of CARE, a leading international humanitarian organization.

American Council of Learned Societies Debuts New Grant Program for Faculty at HBCUs

The new program will seek to advance the scholarly contributions of humanities and interpretive social sciences faculty at historically Black colleges and universities. For three years, ACLS will award 12 grants of up to $10,000 each for research project development, and eight fellowships of up to $50,000 each to support deeper engagement with a significant research project.

A Quartet of Black Americans Who Have Been Appointed to University Posts Relating to Diversity

Taking on new duties relating to diversity at universities are Bi Awosika at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Nefertiti Walker at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dorothy Hines at the University of Kansas, Jai-Me Potter-Rutledge for the School of Public Health at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Cato Laurencin Creates Institute for Regenerative Engineering at the University of Connecticut

The institute will integrate biology, medicine, surgery, chemistry, physics, engineering, and artificial intelligence/machine learning to create a powerful platform for addressing scientific and medical problems in the regeneration and healing of complex tissues, organs, or organ systems. Its goal is to achieve limb regeneration by the year 2030.

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.

Scholars Enhance FBI Photographs From Bloody Sunday

Photographs taken by FBI photographers from the ground and in surveillance aircraft were declassified in 2015, but have never been enlarged and enhanced via hi-resolution scans until now. A major question is why these photographs remained classified for 50 years.

University of North Carolina Is Preparing to Launch Graduate Programs in Black Studies

In 2021, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill approved the establishment of graduate programs in its African American and diaspora studies department. The department is now developing the curriculum and searching for graduate faculty. The first students will enroll in these new graduate programs in the fall of 2025.

Attending an HBCU Can Have Long-Term Mental Health Benefits for Some Students

Researchers at the University of Minnesota tracked a large group of African Americans from their high school years until many years after they attended college. They found no overall association for lower symptoms of depression for HBCU students compared to their peers who attended predominantly White schools But for some subsets of HBCU students, there was a positive impact.

Dennis Rome Chosen to Lead Indiana University East in Richmond

Dr. Rome currently serves as assistant to the president for community engagement and strategic partnerships at Northeastern Illinois University. Earlier, served as dean of the College of Letters and Sciences at Columbus State University in Georgia and as associate provost and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

The Racial Disparity in Incarceration Rates Has Declined but Remains Large

In 2020, Black adults were imprisoned at 4.9 times the rate of White adults, down from 8.2 times in 2000. Much of the decline was due to a reduction in prison time for drug-related offenses. However, in 2020, Black individuals comprised approximately 13 percent of U.S. residents but accounted for 56 percent of homicide victims and 39 percent of those arrested for homicide.

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman to Lead the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman specializes in obstetric complications with a primary focus on preterm birth prevention. She became chair of the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the medical school in 2021. She holds the Samuel SC Yen Endowed Chair. Earlier, she was a professor at Columbia University in New York City.

Police Reports on Facebook Overrepresent Black Suspects Relative to Actual Arrest Rates

Researchers analyzed 100,000 posts from nearly 14,000 Facebook pages maintained by law enforcement agencies in the United States that reported on the race of individuals suspected of or arrested for crimes. Black suspects were described in 32 percent of Facebook posts but represented just 20 percent of all people arrested.

Three African American Women Who Were Appointed Deans

Neporcha Cone was appointed to serve as dean of the College of Education at Middle Tennessee State University. Letitia Williams has been named associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Morgan State University in Baltimore and Mary Hill is the new dean of students at Voorhees University in Denmark, South Carolina.

Prairie View A&M University to Offer the Peace Corps Prep Certificate Program

Through a combination of coursework and hands-on experience, students will develop four core competencies that are critical to intercultural fieldwork: foreign language proficiency, intercultural competence, professional and leadership development, and sector-specific skills in one of Peace Corps’ six sectors.

A Quartet of Black Scholars Who Are Taking on New Positions or Duties

Taking on new roles are Barnard A. Jones at St. John's University in Staten Island, New York, Artha Gillis, at the University of California, Los Angeles, Terry-Ann Jones at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and David Staten at South Carolina State University.

Fisk University and Vanderbilt University Team Up for New Postdoctoral Fellowships

These fellowships have been designed to offer opportunities for recent Vanderbilt Ph.D. graduates to build their teaching and scholarship portfolios, receive mentoring from faculty at both institutions and allow time for publishing their dissertations or preparing other research papers.

UCLA’s Kelly Lytle Hernández Wins the Bancroft Prize

Kelly Lytle Hernández holds the Thomas E. Lifka Chair of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Lytle Hernández is also the director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA.

University of the District of Columbia Partners With Michigan Technological University

According to the agreement, Michigan Technological University will provide mentorship in helping the University of the District of Columbia attain R2 status within the Carnegie Classification system for research universities. In return, UDC will provide cultural responsiveness mentorship to MTU.

Five African Americans Named to New Administrative Posts at Universities

Taking on new administrative roles are Greg Hart at Washington University in St. Louis, Brenda Murrell at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Todd Misener at Oklahoma State University, D’Andra Mull at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Khala Granville at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

Black Lives Matter Banner Vandalized on the Campus of Susquehanna University

Campus police identified the person responsible for the vandalism. He was a Pennsylvania State University student who was visiting friends at Susquehanna. The student admitted to being intoxicated when the vandalism occurred.

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.

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.

Black In-State Applicants to the University of California System Are Down Slightly

Systemwide 132,226 students from California applied to at least one of the nine undergraduate campuses. Of these, 8,519 students were African Americans, making up 6 percent of all applicants. The total number of applicants to the university system was down slightly from a year ago. That year Blacks were 7 percent of all applicants.

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.

Williams College in Massachusetts to Offer an African Studies Major

Williams College, the highly selective liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts, has announced that it will begin to offer an Africana studies major this coming fall. Africana studies will be the 37th major available to students at the college. Federal data shows that Blacks make up 5 percent of the 2,200-member student body at Williams College.

University of Iowa Agrees to $4.2 Million Settlement of Racial Bias Lawsuit Filed by Football Players

The former players alleged that they were demeaned with racial slurs, forced to abandon Black hairstyles, fashion and culture to fit the “Iowa Way” promoted by Coach Kirk Ferentz, and then retaliated against for speaking out.

Research Published in the Journal of the National Medical Association Is Largely Ignored

The National Medical Association was established in 1895 because physicians of color were not permitted to be members of the American Medical Association. Today, the National Medical Association has 30,000 members. A recent study finds that articles published in the association's medical journal are almost never cited in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Sean Edmund Rogers Named Dean of the College of Business at the University of Rhode Island

Currently, Dr. Rogers serves as vice president for community, equity, and diversity at the University of Rhode Island. He also holds two faculty appointments — professor of management and the Spachman Professor of Human Resources and Labor Relations. Dr. Rogers joined the university's faculty in 2018.

Many Black Americans Have a Very Dim View of Capitalism

In an August 2022 survey by the Pew Research Center, 54 percent of Black adults said they had a very or somewhat negative impression of capitalism, up from 40 percent in May 2019. Four-in-ten Black adults held a very or somewhat positive view of capitalism in 2022, down from 57 percent in 2019.

Ruth Simmons to Take on New Role as Senior Adviser to the President of Harvard University

Ruth Simmons, who recently stepped down as president of Prairie View A&M University in Texas, will advise the president of Harvard on efforts to support the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery. Her work will focus on engaging in meaningful and enduring partnerships with the nation’s HBCUs.

New Study May Help Reduce the Vast Racial Disparity in Prostate Cancer

Black men are more than twice as likely as other men to die from prostate cancer. A new study led by researchers at the University of Southern California identified nine new genetic risk factors for prostate cancer, seven of which are found either largely or exclusively in men of African ancestry. This new information can help patients understand their cancer risk and decide how early and often to get screened.

Edward Thomas Appointed Dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Auburn University

Dr. Thomas has been serving as interim dean since 2021. He is the first dean of the college that also holds a doctorate from Auburn University.

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