Sunday, May 30, 2010

Smithsonian Folkways Spotlights Black Appalachian Musician John Jackson's “Rappahannock Blues” Out June 15

Smithsonian Folkways is releasing “Rappahannock Blues,” a 20-track album by John Jackson, on June 15. Jackson (1924–2002) was the most important black Appalachian musician to come to broad public attention during the mid-1960s. The album is the latest addition to the Smithsonian Folkways African American Legacy Recordings series, co-produced with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Raised in a large, musical farm family in Rappahannock County, Virginia, Jackson got his first guitar when he was nine, bought from a catalog by his oldest sister Mary for $3.75. He learned a wide-ranging stock of songs from his father, his aunt Etta and from 78-rpm recordings by the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Blind Blake and Blind Lemon Jefferson, but after a fight at a house party in 1946, didn't touch an instrument for nearly 20 years.

John Jackson (1924-2002)

John Jackson (1924-2002) performing at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings will release Rappahannock Blues on June 15th, 2010. Culled from hundreds of live concert recordings in the Smithsonian Folkways archives, the twenty tracks of Rappahannock Blues highlight John Jackson the way he most wanted to be remembered—as a bluesman. 20 tracks, 57 minutes, 32-page booklet with extensive notes.

Copyright 2010 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Photo by Douglas Bell, courtesy of Ralph Rinzler Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Rediscovered at a gas station by folklorist Chuck Perdue, Jackson was quickly recorded by Arhoolie Records in 1964, laying down 90 songs in 12 hours during his first session. For the next three decades, he enthralled audiences with his vintage style and repertoire, though he worked day jobs his entire career, including a long stint as a gravedigger and cemetery caretaker.

Although black Appalachian music never received the attention given to the transition from Delta blues to Chicago blues and then to rock ‘n’ roll, a shared black and white string band tradition in the mountains served as the basis for American roots music, ranging from bluegrass to regional rockabilly. Emphasizing that shared heritage, Jackson toured Asia in 1984 with Ricky Skaggs, Buck White and Jerry Douglas. Two years later, he was designated a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Culled from hundreds of live concert recordings from the Smithsonian Folkways archives, the twenty tracks of “Rappahannock Blues,” which include Blind Blake's “Too Tight Rag,” “West Coast Rag” and “Diddy Wah Diddy,” Mississippi John Hurt’s “Candy Man,” and “Red River Blues,” recorded by Josh White as “Blood Red River” and by Blind Boy Fuller as “Bye Bye Baby,”
highlight John Jackson the way he said he most wanted to be remembered – as a bluesman. All but two of the tracks are previously unreleased.

The release of “Rappahannock Blues” will be celebrated at the 2010 Tinner Hill Blues Festival: A Tribute to John Jackson, from June 10-13, 2010 in Falls Church, Va. (Washington, D.C. area). For more information, visit

John Jackson – “Rappahannock Blues” (*denotes previously unreleased track)

Track Listing

1. Rocks and Gravel (John Jackson) *
2. Too Tight Rag (Blind Blake) *
3. Candy Man (Mississippi John Hurt) *
4. Truckin’ Little Baby (Blind Boy Fuller)*
5. Railroad Bill (traditional)
6. Nobody’s Business (If I Do) (traditional) *
7. Don’t You Want to Go Up There (trad.; arr. John Jackson) *
8. The Year Clayton Delaney Died (Tom T. Hall) *
9. John Jackson’s Breakdown (John Jackson) *
10. Red River Blues (traditional) *
11. Brown’s Ferry Blues (The Delmore Brothers) *
12. Cindy (trad.; arr. John Jackson) *
13. You Ain’t No Woman (Bill Jackson) *
14. John Henry (traditional)
15. Diddy Wah Diddy (Blind Blake) *
16. Just a Closer Walk with Thee (Kenneth Morris) *
17. Frankie and Johnny (traditional) *
18. Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down (trad.; arr. John Jackson) *
19. Step It Up and Go (Blind Boy Fuller; arr. John Jackson) *
20. West Coast Rag (Blind Blake) *

NOTE: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings retail distribution is through ADA (Alternative Distribution Alliance) at (800) 239-3232. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings releases are available through record and book outlets. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, as well as the original Folkways, Cook, Dyer-Bennet, Monitor, Paredon, Fast Folk, Collector, M.O.R.E., I.L.A.M. and A.R.C.E. collections, are available via mail order at (888) FOLKWAYS or (800) 410-9815 and via the Internet. Visit the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings website at and # # #

News Releases, Print Media Rob Krauser, Mark Satlof (718) 522-7171

Radio & Promotional Inquiries Mark Gustafson, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (202) 633-6457

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Following a two-day discussion of the problems faced by black students in public education, a group of 13 black leaders has issued an urgent call for a national meeting of "black stakeholders" to design a rescue plan for the nation's troubled public schools.

Their action comes on the heels of release of the federal Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) report, which found that urban school districts are struggling to improve students reading scores. In December the NAEP report on math tests also showed students in urban districts underperforming.

"We believe keeping kids in school and educating all of them should be an immutable national goal. We now educate only some black children, not all of them – and that is not good enough," the group said in a "Call to Action" it hopes will inspire a "national charrette on the problems of black schoolchildren."

Among those who signed the action call are the Rev. Al Sharpton; former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume; historian Dr. Mary Frances Berry; Baltimore City State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy, and Dr. James Ray, the Detroit Public School Districts' Superintendent of School Redesign.

"In the wake of the Brown ruling, the long-term, inferior education black children receive has been blamed on everything from teachers, to female-headed households, to poverty, to a lack of interest on the part of students and their parents," the group said in its statement.

"We believe this crisis can be described more broadly as a community problem. The stakeholders are not just students, parents and teachers, but also religious leaders, business owners, law enforcement officials, politicians and civic activists. We don't believe a comprehensive solution can be found without the active involvement of all of these stakeholders. Every one of these groups must assume some responsibility for failed schools, and must play an active role in the search for solutions to this problem."

The two-day meeting, which was held May 19 and 20 at North Carolina A&T Alumni-Foundation Event Center, was convened by the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies, a non-profit organization that works to increase the number of blacks employed in the journalism profession and does reporting and research on issues that affect blacks.

W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt) Du Bois"A century ago, W.E.B. DuBois, who was both an educator and journalist, held an annual series of meetings at Atlanta University to explore the problems of blacks. The Institute followed his lead in asking this eclectic group of blacks to come together to talk about the black education problem," said DeWayne Wickham, the Institute's director.

"From our perspective, this meeting was not unlike those held by the editorial boards of newspapers, which invite newsmakers in to discuss an issue. In this case the journalists on the other side of the table were me and some of the Institute's fellows – two students and three professional journalists," Wickham said.
N.C. A&T State University 1601 E. Market St., Greensboro, NC, 27411
336.334.7500 NEWS RELEASE May 21, 2010 Contact: Nettie C. Rowland (336) 256-0863

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MSU College of Law receives grant to assist with making law, arts connection

East Lansing, Mich. -- Hoping to more deeply connect faculty, students and alumni to the arts, Michigan State University College of Law has received a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council to support the first production of the college's Writer in Residence Program.

Written by MSU alumna Sandra Seaton, the play will make its debut in mid-November, focusing on African American students at a Midwestern university during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

The $15,000 grant marks the first time since 1978 that the Michigan Humanities Council has awarded a major grant to a law school.

Sandra Seaton

Playwright Sandra Seaton is the College of Law's inaugral writer in residence. Courtesy photo.
"We are honored to receive this Michigan Humanities Council grant to help support the activities of our first writer in residence," said Nicholas Mercuro, professor of law in residence. "The Council's financial support will be a great boost in our efforts to present Sandra Seaton's work as a unique lens through which the MSU law community can consider legal issues and engage in the arts."

The Black Law Students Association and other student groups will help facilitate the project. The follow-up symposium, which will be open to the entire MSU community, will examine the treatment of moral and legal issues in Seaton's plays and other dramatic works.

"I am energized by the prospect of sharing my understanding and love of the arts with the law college community and in turn drawing upon the knowledge and experiences of its faculty and students to inspire my own work," Seaton said.
The Writer in Residence Program launched this spring, inspired by a series of art exhibitions Mercuro has helped acquire for the College of Law throughout the past nine years. All pieces touch on themes involving law and justice.

Seaton's play will be jointly sponsored by the MSU College of Law, James Madison College and the MSU Department of Theatre.

The Michigan Humanities Council is the state's affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Michigan State University College of Law is a leading institution of legal education with a long history of creating practice-ready attorneys. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent institution, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources-all affirming MSU Law's commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers

Contact: Kristen Parker, University Relations, Office: (517) 353-8942, Cell: (517) 980-0709,; Erika Marzorati, College of Law, Office: (517) 432-6848, Published: May 26, 2010.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Heller study finds racial wealth gap has quadrupled since mid-1980s

Discrimination persists in housing, credit and labor markets.

The wealth gap between white and African-American families increased more than four times between 1984-2007, and middle-income white households now own far more wealth than high-income African Americans, according to an analysis released by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University.

IASP, in a research brief, also reported that many African-Americans hold more debt than assets and at least 25 percent of African-American families had no assets to turn to in times of economic hardship. The fourfold increase in the wealth gap, it said, reflects public policies, such as tax cuts on investment income and inheritances, which benefit the wealthiest and persistent discrimination in housing, credit and labor markets.

Thomas Shapiro"Our study shows a broken chain of achievement. Even when African-Americans do everything right -- get an education and work hard at well-paying jobs -- they cannot achieve the wealth of their white peers in the workforce, and that translates into very different life chances," said Thomas Shapiro, IASP director and co-author of the research brief.

"A U-turn is needed. Public policies have and continue to play a major role in creating and sustaining the racial wealth gap, and they must play a role in closing it," said Shapiro, author of "The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality" and the co-author of "Black Wealth/White Wealth."
Wealth, what you own minus what you owe, allows people to start a business, buy a home, send children to college and ensure an economically secure retirement. Using economic data from the same nationally representative set of families from 1984 to 2007, the IASP analysis found that the real wealth gains and losses over the time demonstrate an escalating racial gap.

Over those 23 years, it said, the racial wealth gap increased by $75,000 – from $20,000 to $95,000. Financial assets, excluding home equity, among white families grew from a median value of $22,000 to $100,000 during that period while African Americans saw very little increase in assets in real dollars and had a median wealth of $5,000 in 2007.

Summing up all assets and debt, one in 10 African Americans owed at least $3,600 in 2007, nearly doubling their debt burden in real terms since 1984, IASP said.

The growth of the racial wealth gap significantly affects the economic future of American families, it said. The current gap is so large that it would pay tuition at a four-year public university for two children, purchase or make a solid down payment on a house, or provide a nest egg to draw upon in times of job loss or crisis.

"The gap is opportunity denied and assures racial economic inequality for the next generation," said Tatjana Meschede, a co-author of the policy brief.

Notably, IASP's analysis found that by 2007, the average middle-income white household had accumulated $74,000 in wealth, an increase of $55,000 over the 23-year period, while the average high-income African-American family owned $18,000, a drop of $7,000. That resulted in a wealth gap of $56,000 for an African-American family that earned more than $50,000 in 1984 compared to a white family earning about $30,000 that same year.

Those figures, IASP said, make it clear that higher income alone will not lead to increased wealth, security and economic mobility for African Americans. Consumers of color face a gauntlet of barriers -- in credit, housing and taxes -- that dramatically reduce the chances of economic mobility, it said.

Indeed, the data indicate that the general trend in lending, in which consumers of color pay more for accessing credit, increases their debt and blocks opportunities to move forward, putting them at a severe economic disadvantage. These are concerns that must be addressed through the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, now being debated in Congress, and other policy changes, IASP said.

"The data suggests we need renewed attention to public policies that provide real opportunities for advancement by reducing barriers to mobility inherent in our tax system and increasing transparency, regulation and access in our housing and credit markets," said Laura Sullivan, another co-author.

Several factors help explain why improving targeted public policies would reduce the racial wealth gap and lessen the increased reliance on debt. One factor is that over the period studied there was an increasing dependence on credit markets to make ends meet. Among those with no financial assets, credit is often an emergency resource to help cover a job loss or medical emergency.

A second factor is that deregulation of the lending market brought a proliferation of high-cost credit, including securitized subprime and predatory loans, payday lending and check-cashing stores. Consumers of color were targeted in this market and resorted more frequently to credit cards and other forms of high-cost debt in the absence of assets or extended family resources to draw upon.

"The data make a critical contribution to the debate today about how to ensure greater economic security and opportunity for all our citizens. A racial wealth gap affects all of us because it means that a large portion of the population cannot contribute to building the wealth and strength of our nation, and that is a drain on us all," said Meizhu Lui, director of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development's "Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative."

The Institute on Assets and Social Policy is a research institute at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University dedicated to promoting a better understanding of how assets and asset-building opportunities improve the well‐being and financial stability of individuals and families left out of the economic mainstream. IASP pursues its mission through original research, policy analysis, program evaluation, technical assistance, community engagement, organizational capacity building, and leadership development.

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University 415 South Street • MS 035 • Waltham, MA 02454-9110 News Release Contact: Laura Gardner 781-736-4204

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ohio Wesleyan University Professor to Participate in National Seminar on Slave Narratives

DELAWARE, OH – Judylyn S. Ryan, Ph.D., associate professor of English at Ohio Wesleyan University, has been selected to participate in a seminar on Slave Narratives being offered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and The United Negro College Fund.

Twenty-eight participants were selected (from more than 100 highly competitive nominations) for the seminar, to be held June 13-16 at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

David W. Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale, will lead the seminar, which will be held for the third year in a row because of high interest in the subject matter among CIC colleges.

David W. Blight

David W. Blight Class of 1954 Professor of American History Director, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition Office: HGS 104, ALW 214 (GLC) Phone: (203) 432-8521, 432-3339 (GLC) POHTO CREDIT:
In announcing the selection of participants, CIC President Richard Ekman said, “This seminar provides a great opportunity for participating faculty members to gain a better understanding of the experience of emancipation and the 19th century events that were so important in shaping our world today.”

The seminar will examine the place of slavery and abolition in American history and culture, and participants will discuss the genre of slave narratives through some exemplary texts including biographies and autobiographies.

Autobiographies by former slaves were first published in the late 18th century and early 19th century and grew in scale as new texts were promoted and printed by the early abolitionist movement in Britain and the United States.

Participants will read both antebellum and postbellum narratives. Before the Civil War, approximately 65 narratives were published in English. The pre-emancipation narratives were often serious works of literature focusing squarely on the oppression of slavery.
The post-emancipation narratives, of which there are approximately 55 in existence, were more likely to be success stories – triumphs over the past and visions of a more prosperous future. The seminar will cover the most famous pre-war narrative, that of Frederick Douglass, and the most famous post-war narrative, that of Booker T. Washington, as well as narratives from Professor Blight’s recently published book, A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation.

“As a longtime admirer of David Blight’s genius, I am delighted to have been selected to participate in the seminar at Yale,” said Ryan, who specializes in African American literature, black feminist theory, black women’s cinema, and African diaspora literatures at Ohio Wesleyan. “This is an invaluable opportunity to engage in the kind of critical dialogue that will enhance my ability to provide students with an intellectually rigorous learning experience, consistent with the university’s commitment to offering a first-rate 21st century education.”

Blight is also the author of several other books including Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, for which he won the 2001 Frederick Douglass Prize and the 2002 Bancroft and Lincoln Prizes; Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory and the Civil War; and Frederick Douglass’ Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee. He was elected as a member of the Society of American Historians in 2002. Since 2004, he has served on the board of trustees of the New York Historical Society and on the board for African American Programs at Monticello in Charlottesville, Va.

Click here for more information about the CIC/Gilder Lehrman American History Seminar.

Ohio Wesleyan University. News Release: May 24, 2010 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, Ohio, 43015 ♦ Phone: (800) 922-8953 or (740) 368-2000

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Also Celebrated New Memorandum with 1890 Universities at Student Roundtable

NORMAL, Ala., May 21, 2010-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced, at a student roundtable on the campus of Alabama A&M University, that USDA is awarding $1.1 million in grants to three Alabama institutions through USDA's Outreach and Technical Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers or '2501' program.

"These grants will help develop programs to ensure that African-American and other minority landowners have access to a full range of USDA programs, to increase their profitability, and to keep farmers on the farm," said Vilsack. "They are a reflection of USDA and the Obama administration's committed to being an equal opportunity service provider that creates opportunities for Americans from a diversity of backgrounds."

Negro farmer plowing his field of four acresThe primary purpose of the 2501 program is to enhance the coordination of outreach, technical assistance and education efforts to reach socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and to improve their participation in the full range of USDA programs. The recipients of the grants announced today were:
* Alabama State Association of Cooperatives Outreach Program for Western Alabama Counties - $400,000
* Alabama A & M University "Intensive Southeastern Training Expansion Program (INSTEP) for African-American Landowners" - $300,000
* Tuskegee University "Small Farm Outreach Training and Technical Assistance Project" - $400,000

Also, at the event, Secretary Vilsack highlighted USDA's long history of working with the 1890 land grant universities to ensure they succeed in educating the next generation of leaders in food and agriculture. The Secretary announced that a week earlier he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the USDA and the 1890s Council of Presidents. The MOU reaffirms, engages, and sustains the partnership between the 1890 land grant universities, Tuskegee University and the USDA.

"Earlier this month I was proud to sign an MOU reaffirming the partnership between the USDA and the 1890's institutions that help train our nation's future leaders in the fields of food, agricultural, and natural resources," said Vilsack. "This document reflects our commitment to improving outreach efforts to the 1890 land-grant universities and the communities they serve."

The three Alabama schools participating in the conversation were Historically Black Land-Grant Universities, which were established by the Morrill Act of 1890. These institutions, which became known as the "1890 institutions," include 17 land-grant institutions plus Tuskegee University. For more than 100 years, they have provided educational opportunities for minority students.

Secretary Vilsack was joined at the roundtable event by Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as students from Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, and Lincoln University who participated via video teleconference. #

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

Release No. 0281.10 Contact: USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Springfield chapter of NAACP recognizes Drury at its annual Freedom Fund Ball

Springfield chapter of NAACP recognizes Drury at its annual Freedom Fund Ball

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 20, 2010 – The Springfield chapter of the NAACP presented Drury University with the Educational Partnership Award at their annual Freedom Fund Ball this past Saturday, May 16.

Drury University first teamed up with the local NAACP chapter in spring 2009, to provide office space for members in the Drury University Diversity Center at Historic Washington Avenue Baptist Church. Since then, Drury has continued its partnership with the organization through a variety of programs, including Drury University’s Summer Scholars.

Francine Pratt

Francine Pratt
“Drury was recognized because of its outstanding educational partnership with the NAACP,” said Francine Pratt, current president of the Springfield chapter of the NAACP.

Pratt went on to highlight several of the projects that the NAACP and Drury have collaborated. “At a ‘Gathering’ meeting we discussed the concept of exposing children to a college environment and Drury created the Summer Scholars Program. Through an e-mail exchange, we noted that we were looking for office space and Drury provided us office space and a telephone.
In preparing for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest, we were looking for someone to coordinate the effort and Drury's students, under the leadership of Peter Meidlinger, read over 300 essays during finals week. The NAACP hosted the first ever Religious Leaders luncheon and Drury provided lunch on the Drury campus for the event to educate religious leaders on issues in the community and working together in the future. Peter then led the effort for Springfield to enter the African-American Cultural Technological and Science Olympics at the national NAACP conference in Kansas City, Mo. this year - Springfield will have two representatives for the first time ever.”

Established three years ago and founded by Drury professors, Summer Scholars was created to provide a unique educational experience for African American students in Springfield Public Schools. This year, the Summer Scholars will be on Drury’s campus July 5-17.

For more information on the NAACP go to: ###

Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit

For Immediate Release: May 20 Contact: Mark Miller Director of Media Relations, University Communications (417) 873-7390 E-mail:


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Georgetown University School of Medicine Commencement to Honor 195 Graduates

Reed V. Tuckson, MD, executive vice president and chief of medical affairs at UnitedHealth Group, to deliver keynote address.

Washington, DC – In a time-honored tradition, 195 students from Georgetown University School of Medicine, class of 2010, will officially become medical doctors during the 158th commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Reed V. Tuckson, MD, executive vice president and chief of medical affairs at UnitedHealth Group, will deliver the keynote address.

“The class of 2010 represents the extraordinary service and commitment to patients that is at the core of our medical school training, with 42 percent entering primary care specialties, and all dedicated to improving the lives of their patients,” said Stephen Ray Mitchell, MD, dean for medical education.

Reed V. Tuckson, MD, FACP “These graduates believe deeply in Georgetown's motto of ‘'cura personalis,'’ or care of the whole person. While they face unprecedented opportunities to provide truly personalized care, they also are entering medicine during a highly uncertain time for U.S. health care. I am thrilled for these young physicians to hear from Dr. Tuckson, a Hoya whose career embodies Georgetown’s values and who is a leader in the field of health care.”

Reed Tuckson (M'78) is a graduate of Howard University, Georgetown University School of Medicine and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s General Internal Medicine Residency and Fellowship Programs.
He has served as senior vice president, professional standards, for the American Medical Association (AMA); is former president of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles; has served as senior vice president for programs of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation; and is a former commissioner of public health for the District of Columbia.

In 2009, Reed Tuckson was named to Black Enterprise magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America” He was also selected as one of Modern Healthcare/ Modern Physician’s 50 Most Powerful Physician Executives in Healthcare for 2009 and 2010. Last year, he was named one of Modern Healthcare’s “Top 25 Minority Executives” in Healthcare for 2008” and to Ebony magazine’s “2008 Power 150: The Most Influential Blacks in America” list.

Note: Media must RSVP to Tressa Kirby no later than Saturday, May 22, 2010. Complimentary media parking is available at 1800 G Street, NW.

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), home to 60 percent of the university’s sponsored research funding. ###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 18, 2010 CONTACT: Tressa Kirby 202-687-8865

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Rev. Junius Boyd Dotson to speak at baccalaureate

Baldwin City, Kan. — The Rev. Junius Boyd Dotson, senior pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita, will speak at the baccalaureate service at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 23, at First United Methodist Church in Baldwin City.

otson was ordained to the ministry of the United Methodist Church in June 1992. In 1996, he began a new and innovative church in the Silicon Valley, Genesis United Methodist Church. Dotson’s ministry has been featured in The San Jose Mercury News, The San Francisco Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, religious journals, and segments on CBS Radio’s “The Osgood File.”

Junius Boyd DotsonDotson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a concentration in economics at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he was also president of the local chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, the nation’s oldest African American fraternity. He began his postgraduate work at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif. ###
Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

NEWS RELEASE May 17, 2010 Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ohio State’s Dodge Georgina selected as UI chief diversity officer

Georgina Dodge, Ph.D., an assistant vice provost for the Office of Minority Affairs at Ohio State University, has been named the University of Iowa’s chief diversity officer (CDO) and associate vice president (AVP), effective July 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. In her new position, Dodge will also be appointed an adjunct associate professor of English.

“Inclusiveness and diversity -– of thought, expertise, culture and personal experience -– are hallmarks of a vibrant university campus,” UI President Sally Mason said. “Georgina Dodge brings to this key position a breadth and depth of experience that I’m confident will serve the university well in these areas.

Georgina Dodge, Ph.D.“I also want to thank Dr. Nicole Nisly for serving as interim chief diversity officer during this search,” Mason said. “Her dedication and work ensured continuity for this important office during the search.”

Wallace Loh, UI provost and executive vice president, said, “Dr. Dodge’s bicultural background in Asia and the United States will enable her to help integrate global diversity and domestic diversity." He added, "I very much appreciate the great work that Dr. Nisly did as Interim CDO.”

The search for the CDO/AVP was co-chaired by Keri Hornbuckle, professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the UI College of Engineering, and Mettie Thomopulos, health services administrator in the UI Department of Internal Medicine.
As CDO/AVP, Dodge will lead and coordinate the university’s efforts in all aspects of diversity, inclusion, educational and employment equity, affirmative action, cultural understanding and competency, and civil and human rights. As CDO, she will report directly to the president and is a member of the president’s cabinet. As AVP, Dodge will report to the executive vice president and provost, is a member of the provost’s cabinet and sits on the Council of Deans.

Dodge earned her B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of California, Irvine, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

As assistant vice provost of Ohio State University’s Office of Minority Affairs, a position she’s held since 2005, Dodge has provided leadership in support of the success of minority students, faculty and staff. In that role she identified and established new academic collaborations to promote diversity and excellence; convened and directed a campus Bias Assessment and Response Team; helped supervise about 80 staff members across the state to recruit and retain underrepresented minorities; and helped develop curriculum to establish majors and minors in African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Disability Studies, Latino/a Studies, Native American Studies and Sexuality Studies.

From 2002-2005, she served as director of Ohio State’s Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center, and from 1996-2002 she was an assistant professor in the Department of English. She also served in the Navy from 1979-1985, working as an electronics technician on communications, radar and meteorological equipment and as a liaison with the Japanese military and government while stationed at Atsugi, Japan.

She is a member of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the Modern Language Association, The Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the U.S., the Association of Asian American Studies, the American Studies Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.

view Dodge’s vita in PDF format

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,

Friday, May 14, 2010

Marching Toward Justice on display at Detroit Public Library May 15 to June 25

DETROIT (May 14, 2010) – The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights is pleased to announce that the Marching Toward Justice exhibit will be on display at the Detroit Public Library from May 15 to June 25, 2010. Marching Toward Justice is part of the Damon J. Keith Law Collection of African American Legal History, a central repository for the nation’s African American legal history. The exhibit will be displayed on the first floor of the library, in the Cass Concourse, and is free and open to the public.

The exhibit coincides with the groundbreaking of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights on Wayne State University’s campus. The May 17 ceremony will feature The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the United States, as the keynote speaker. It will also bring together a large number of dignitaries, including The Honorable Damon J. Keith, Governor Jennifer Granholm, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, A. Alfred Taubman, Edsel B. Ford II, WSU Board of Governors members, WSU President Jay Noren, Wayne Law Dean Robert M. Ackerman, and a number of additional judges and elected officials.

"We wanted to have the Marching Toward Justice exhibit available in Detroit at the same time as the groundbreaking for the new Keith Center,” said Wayne State University Law School Professor and Keith Center Director Peter Hammer. “The Keith Collection of African American Legal History is integral to the work of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. The historic challenges detailed in Marching Toward Justice help us define the present-day civil rights agenda.”

The Marching Toward Justice exhibit was created by the Keith Collection to inform the public about the fundamental importance of the 14th Amendment and our nation's ongoing quest to realize the high ideals of the Declaration of Independence. It tells the story of our government's promotion of justice and equality for some, while condoning the enslavement of others.

The 14th Amendment's ratification in 1868 created a dramatic and fundamental break from the past by promising full protection to all American citizens, regardless of race, social status, gender, or conflicting state laws. It was a significant step toward fulfilling the American Revolution's promise that all men are created equal and entitled to full and equal protection under the law.

Since the inaugural exhibition at the Thurgood Marshall Law Center in Washington, D.C., the exhibit has traveled to more than 30 sites, including destinations in San Francisco, Chicago, Topeka, Kan., Boston, Dallas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Please contact Holly Hughes, Keith Center program coordinator, at (313) 577-3620 or with questions or to schedule the Marching Toward Justice exhibit in your community.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.

For more information on Wayne State University Law School, visit

Contact: Kristin Copenhaver Voice: 313-577-4834 Email: Fax: 313-577-6081

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Graduation stories: Jazz legend's critique inspires graduating KU scholar

LAWRENCE – An impromptu critique by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis became a defining moment in high school for a University of Kansas senior who is graduating with two degrees on Sunday, May 16.

Earl Holmes Brooks is earning bachelor’s degrees in American studies from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and in saxophone from KU’s School of Music. The oldest of six children, he will become the first male college graduate in his family. He is headed to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a fellowship in a doctoral program to study American and African-American literature and jazz.

Earl Holmes Brooks

Earl Holmes Brooks (Photo by David McKinney/University Relations)
Earlier this year, Brooks defined jazz studies for a Lawrence Journal-World reporter: “It’s the soundtrack to the civil rights movement. It’s the soundtrack to the history of African-Americans in this country. It’s a philosophy. It represents, truly, what we see as our American identity.”

A McNair Scholar, a Dean’s Scholar and a Hall Center for the Humanities Scholar at KU, Brooks combined his passion for writing with his love of jazz through American studies.
In researching jazz history, Brooks realized the music was inextricably linked to his interest in social movements of civil rights era. It is a link that Marsalis had tried to point out when he met the Highland Park High School senior in Topeka a few years ago. As editor of the school paper and an aspiring saxophonist, Brooks had waited at the stage door after a Marsalis concert in Topeka with a group of Highland Park friends. They invited the jazz legend to their school. Instead of politely turning the teenagers aside, Marsalis accepted their invitation.

The next day, Marsalis listened to students play individually at the school. When Brooks began pumping out a tune, Marsalis stopped him, asking what he was trying to do. Later Marsalis took Brooks aside, saying he had talent but lacked a depth of understanding of jazz and its relationship to black Americans. Brooks is African-American.

The advice lingered. Brooks first enrolled at Kansas State University as a music major. After his second year, he transferred to KU to major in music and journalism. When his credits wouldn’t transfer for journalism, an adviser suggested American studies.

Five years later, Brooks is preparing for a career in research and teaching in literature at the university level – a field that is underrepresented by African-American scholars. He wants his work “to change how people think about the past so that the current issues we face in society can be better understood.”

Preparing for his teaching role, Brooks has given talks on jazz to inner-city students in KU’s Upward Bound Program and music lessons to students in his Topeka neighborhood.

He is in the University Honors Program and last fall was nominated to compete for both Rhodes and Marshall scholarships. This spring, he was named to KU’s Men of Merit roster. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean’s office selected Brooks to carry its banner at commencement on the basis of his outstanding academic record. He will lead the largest group in the Class of 2010 in the processional march into Memorial Stadium. He was vice president of the Black Student Union and is a member of three national honor societies including Phi Kappa Phi.

He calls his parents, Earl and Vanessa Brooks of Topeka, rocks of support. His father is employed at Hill’s Pet Nutrition Science Diet and his mother, who earned at degree at Washburn University, is a paraprofessional in the Topeka school district.

“My dad has over 30 years at Hill’s. He has really taught me what it means to be a man and to work every day.”

Brooks financed much of his college education with federal loans, but more than once considered joining the military as an option. His paternal grandfather, the late Charles Holmes, had served in Korea as an Air Force chief master sergeant.

His grandparents have been keys to Brooks becoming the first man in the Brooks family to earn a degree. His maternal great-grandmother, the late Edna Brown of Topeka, instilled his love of reading. “She had her own library of books and encouraged us to read aloud when we came to visit her.”

His paternal grandmother, Mary Jane Brooks, who lives with his family, imparted values that shaped her grandson. “She is the wisest and most hard-working person I have ever met. Her story of the struggles she faced in her life have instilled a lot of values in me. She raised nine kids by herself with only a grade school education and came to Kansas after being raised in the South.”

Beyond family and Marsalis, Brooks says a host of educators have encouraged his aspirations to write and teach about jazz.

His list includes a Highland Park media specialist, Ron Ferrell, who introduced Brooks to African-American writers. Ferrell’s reading list for an independent studies class began with Richard Wright’s “Native Son” and Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man.” It included American literary classics such as John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” and J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye.”

“I loved them all,” Brooks remembered, but “Native Son” was his favorite. He wanted to join the ranks of these classic writers.

At KU, faculty and staff members who have been there for Brooks include: Maryemma Graham, professor of English who offered to become his McNair mentor; Diane Fourny, associate professor in the Western Civilization and Humanities Program and also in French; Nicholas Shump, who directed the Dean’s Scholars Program; Pamela Scott in multicultural affairs; Vince Gnojek, professor of music; and Robert Rodriguez and Allyson Flaster, with the McNair Scholars Program staff.

“Every person gave me something unique to get where I am now,” Brooks said. -30-

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

May 12, 2010 Contact: Mary Jane Dunlap, University Relations, (785) 864-8853

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Study Suggests Sickle Cell Disease May Affect Brain Function in Adults

Research to Preserve Cognitive Abilities is Under Way

Sickle cell disease may affect brain function in adults who have few or mild complications of the inherited blood disease, according to results of the first study to examine cognitive functioning in adults with sickle cell disease. The multicenter study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, compared brain function scores and imaging tests in adult patients with few sickle cell complications with results in similar adults who did not have the blood disease.

Researchers report that the brain function scores in sickle cell patients were, on average, in the normal range. However, twice as many patients as healthy adults (33 percent versus 15 percent) scored below normal levels. Those who were more likely to score lower were older and had the lowest levels of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen in the blood, compared to sickle cell participants who scored higher. Findings from brain magnetic resonance imaging scans did not explain differences in scores.

Sickle Cell DiseaseResearchers at 12 sites within the NHLBI-supported Comprehensive Sickle Cell Centers conducted the study. Their results are published in the May 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. An editorial accompanies the article.

"This study suggests that some adult patients who have sickle cell disease may develop cognitive problems, such as having difficulty organizing their thoughts, making decisions, or learning, even if they do not have severe complications such as stroke related to sickle cell disease," said NHLBI Acting Director Susan B. Shurin, M.D."Such challenges can tremendously affect a patient’s quality of life, and we need to address these concerns as part of an overall approach to effectively managing sickle cell
Researchers tested cognitive functioning of 149 adult sickle cell disease patients (between the ages of 19 and 55) and compared them to 47 healthy study participants of similar age and education levels from the same communities. All of the participants were African-American.

More sickle cell disease patients scored lower on measures such as intellectual ability, short-term memory, processing speed, and attention, than participants in the healthy group. The sickle cell disease participants did not have a history of end-organ failure, stroke, high blood pressure, or other conditions that might otherwise affect brain function.

"We need to study whether existing therapies, such as blood transfusions, can help maintain brain function, or perhaps even reverse any loss of function," noted Elliott P. Vichinsky, M.D., of the Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, principal investigator of the study and the lead author of the paper. "These effects were found in patients who have clinically mild sickle cell disease, which raises the question of whether therapies should be given to all patients to help prevent these problems from developing."

Researchers involved in this study are recruiting patients with sickle cell disease into a clinical trial to determine whether blood transfusions may help preserve cognitive function. Participants will receive transfusions every three or four weeks for six months as part of the clinical study. Information about this study can be found at, search for NCT00850018.

Sickle cell disease affects about 70,000 Americans. At one time, many children died from the disease, but new therapies have enabled sickle cell disease patients to live well into middle age or beyond. As more people with sickle cell disease are living into adulthood, health care providers are uncovering previously unrecognized complications.

Studies of brain function in children who have sickle cell disease have suggested that some children with the disease, even if they have not suffered a stroke, have experienced silent brain injury. Others without obvious changes on brain scans may have some level of cognitive dysfunction that seems to worsen with age. Stroke is a common complication of sickle cell disease, and can lead to learning disabilities, lasting brain damage, long-term disability, paralysis, or death.

Sickle cell disease involves an altered gene that produces abnormal hemoglobin. Red blood cells with sickle hemoglobin that have too little oxygen become C-shaped in addition to becoming stiff and sticky. These crescent-shaped cells can clump to block blood flow, causing severe pain and potential organ damage. In the United States, the disease mainly affects those of African descent, but it is also found in other ethnic groups, including those of Hispanic and Middle Eastern descent.

To speak with an NHLBI spokesperson, please contact the NHLBI Communications Office at (301) 496-4236. To speak with Dr. Vichinsky, please contact Erin Goldsmith at 510-428-3367 or email

Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The Institute also administers national health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online at

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

For Immediate Release Tuesday, May 11, 2010 Contact: NHLBI Communications Office

Monday, May 10, 2010

Statement by the President on the Passing of Lena Horne

Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Lena Horne – one of our nation’s most cherished entertainers. Over the years, she warmed the hearts of countless Americans with her beautiful voice and dramatic performances on screen. From the time her grandmother signed her up for an NAACP membership as a child, she worked tirelessly to further the cause of justice and equality. In 1940, she became the first African American performer to tour with an all white band. And while entertaining soldiers during World War II, she refused to perform for segregated audiences – a principled struggle she continued well after the troops returned home. Michelle and I offer our condolences to all those who knew and loved Lena , and we join all Americans in appreciating the joy she brought to our lives and the progress she forged for our country.

The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release May 10, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

White House Drug Policy Director Visits Morehouse School of Medicine To Discuss Substance Abuse Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment

Atlanta, GA. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Dr. Sandra Harris-Hooker, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs and Vice President and Senior Associate Dean for Research Affairs at Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Gail A. Mattox, Director of the Center for Excellence, and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine, and Dr. Ileana Arias, Principal Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, met to discuss Morehouse School of Medicine’s efforts to train the next generation of medical providers to recognize and refer substance abuse problems, and its role in preventing drug abuse among 18-24 year olds through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Center for Excellence.

R. Gil Kerlikowske

R. Gil Kerlikowske Director White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
HBCUs have a rich legacy of preparing African American leaders who go on to make invaluable contributions to the professional and academic landscape of our Nation. Seventy percent of the Nation’s African American physicians and dentists have earned degrees at a historically black college or university.

"Morehouse School of Medicine is carrying forward the legacy of HBCUs by training the next generation of medical practitioners, who, through screening and early intervention, have the potential to save millions of dollars in healthcare costs. More importantly, they can save the lives of individuals and preserve families," Director Kerlikowske said.

Studies indicate that most healthcare spending related to substance abuse goes to addiction’s avoidable, catastrophic consequences, rather than to its treatment.
"The healthcare system can avoid enormous human and economic costs if care providers consistently screen and intervene with early-stage substance abuse, before it becomes acutely life threatening," Kerlikowske said.

In addition to training some of the country’s best medical practitioners, the Morehouse School of Medicine also houses the HBCU Center for Excellence. With funding from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this center facilitates coordination among HBCU institutions to support culturally appropriate substance abuse and mental health prevention, treatment, and student health and wellness needs on HBCU campuses.

"I applaud the Morehouse School of Medicine’s leadership in creating the HBCU Center for Excellence," said Kerlikowske. "The Center for Excellence has the opportunity to provide evidence-based substance abuse prevention programs to thousands of students attending the 105 HBCUs across the country."

For more information about the Office of National Drug Control Policy and its programs visit:

The Office of National Drug Control Policy seeks to foster healthy individuals and safe communities by effectively leading the Nation’s effort to reduce drug use and its consequences. ###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACTS: ONDCP Public Affairs 202-395-6618 Katherine Bush (Day of) 202-664-6695

Friday, May 7, 2010


The Shores at Wesley Manor hosted a concert featuring the world-renowned voices of the Wiley College A Cappella Choir in March. The tour was their first ever on the east coast. Wiley, located in Marshall, Texas, gained worldwide attention with the filming and release of The Great Debaters, which resulted in the choir receiving film credit and CD soundtrack credit for music research on the film.

Dr. James Batten, member of the Wiley College board of trustees and president of United Methodist Homes reflected, "I am proud to introduce and welcome these very talented students to The Shores and the Ocean City, New Jersey community."

The choir delivered an electrifying and moving concert conducted by Director of Music and Visiting Lecturer, Mr. Stephen L. Hayes. Mr. Hayes has conducted at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and The JFK Center for the Performing Arts.

The choir tour included concerts in Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, and East Tennessee. Prior to its concert in The Shores' Town Hall, the 28-voice choir performed three pieces in the Rotunda of the skilled nursing residence. Heaven came down—what a sound they made!

The musical repertoire for the tour included a diverse program which highlighted European composers, traditional Negro spirituals, show tunes and contemporary gospel. Mr. Hayes revealed the background on each Negro spiritual, including their origins in the churches and camp meetings in rural Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

Two special music presentations, introduced specifically for this tour, featured two of Wiley's very own internationally acclaimed composers: Mr. Edward Hammond Boatner, Dean of the Music Department during the 1930's, and Dr. Frederick C. Tillis, a 1956 graduate and former faculty member.

The concert ended with the Battle Hymn of the Republic, accompanied by Assistant Professor of Music Dr. JuYeon Julia Lee on the piano. She has performed widely as a soloist and accompanist in North America and Korea for the past 18 years.

The Wiley College A Cappella Choir has a rich history of singers and composers dating back to the 1800’s. Historical documents reveal the first group of singers, The Wiley Jubilee Singers, was organized in 1897 by R.E. Brown. Wiley College has been a center of learning for African Americans and other minorities for 137 years. Increasingly, students of other races, as well as international students, are finding Wiley an attractive place to acquire a college education.

The college is strongly affiliated with The United Methodist Church. Founded in 1873 by the Freedman's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church; it is the oldest, continuously operating accredited, historically black college west of the Mississippi River.

Released On: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 Wiley College Public Relations 903-927-3201

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pitt's African American Alumni Council Names Cochairs for Its Diversity Initiative Fundraising Campaign

New cochairs will lead fundraising efforts for next phase of campaign

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh African American Alumni Council (AAAC) has named Louis Kelly (EDUC '77, '78G) and Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew (NURS '76, MED '94) cochairs of the AAAC Scholarship Campaign Steering Committee. During Pitt's 2009 Homecoming, the AAAC publicly launched the $3 million campaign to support diversity initiatives at Pitt as well as for continued student scholarship assistance.

Appointed by AAAC president Linda Wharton-Boyd, Kelly and Larkins-Pettigrew will succeed Doug Browning (A&S '72), who led the AAAC scholarship effort during the initial phase of the campaign through its public launch in October. Kelly and Larkins-Pettigrew served as vice chairs of the AAAC campaign steering committee during Browning's tenure as chair.

The cochairs, along with the AAAC Scholarship Committee, are the primary alumni volunteers responsible for fundraising. In addition to fundraising, the campaign is focusing attention on the strides made in recent years by the University to strengthen support of diversity efforts across all Pitt campuses.

“Doug Browning's steady leadership gave a great start to this important project in its early stages,” said Wharton-Boyd. “I am personally grateful for his commitment to this effort. He dedicated more of his time than he initially set out to give, and for that, we say thank you. As we move forward, we are excited for the next phase of the campaign, and, with Louis and Margaret leading the way, I am confident we will not only achieve our goal for this second phase, but also surpass it.”

Browning is a senior vice president and general counsel at Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services Inc., where he helps governments and multinational businesses modernize their customs and security procedures. Named a Pitt Legacy Laureate in 2007, Browning also serves as a director at large for the Pitt Alumni Association.

Kelly has worked for the District of Columbia Superior Court for more than 22 years and currently serves as an educational specialist for education and training at the D.C. Court Systems Center. Licensed and ordained as a minister in 1998, he is currently on the ministerial staff of the Campbell AME Church in Washington, D.C.

Larkins-Pettigrew is a visiting assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University. Throughout her career, she has held numerous medical positions, including program director for global health and reproductive science in Pitt's School of Medicine; assistant director of student health at Tuskegee University; and critical care instructor at Brotman Medical Center. She is the recipient of many awards and honors and a volunteer with several nonprofit organizations worldwide.

The AAAC Campaign is part of the University's Building Our Future Together capital campaign, the most successful fundraising campaign in the history of both Pitt and Southwestern Pennsylvania. To date, the Building Our Future Together campaign has raised more than $1.46 billion.

For more information about supporting the AAAC or to make a gift online, visit or call 1-800-817-8943.

### 5/6/10/tmw/lks/jdh

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Patricia Lomando White 412-624-9101 (office); 412-215-9932 (cell)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Grambling State to Confer Honorary Degree on Commencement Speaker Muriel Howard

GRAMBLING, LA. --- Dr. Muriel A. Howard has been named commencement speaker for Grambling State University’s spring graduation ceremony. Howard will receive an honorary doctorate during the ceremony which is scheduled to take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 15 at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center on the Grambling State University campus.

“The honorary degree is the most impressive recognition one can achieve. It denotes that the institution has determined that the recipient possesses the academic and personal values that are consistent with its mission. It also denotes that the person’s accomplishments have exceeded a particular discipline and has excelled in numerous endeavors. Dr.

Dr. Muriel A. Howard Howard’s commitment to higher education and her accomplishments deserve university recognition”, said Interim President Dr. Frank G. Pogue.

Dr. Howard is the current president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). She is the first African-American to lead one of the six presidentially based higher education associations in Washington, D.C. She is also AASCU’s first female president.
An advocate for public education at the national level, Dr. Howard works to influence federal policy and regulations on behalf of the over 400 AASCU public colleges and universities. She is the former president of Buffalo State College of the State University of New York, which had an enrollment of over 11,000 students, over 1,700 faculty and staff, and an annual overall campus financial operation of over $214 million. # # #

For Immediate Release: May 5, 2010 Contact:Vanessa Littleton Director of Public Relations GRAMBLING STATE UNIVERSITY MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE 100 Robinson St.-Old Air Force ROTC Building Grambling, Louisiana 71245 (318) 274-2560 office (318) 533-5337 cell (318) 274-3330 fax

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ohio State Enrolls First "Match" Through National Registry

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) has achieved its first match through, the national, disease-neutral, volunteer recruitment registry.

The volunteer “match” will participate in research led by Dr. Robert Hoffman in pediatric endocrinology at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. Hoffman’s research is exploring metabolic and vascular differences in response to fat and insulin between African-American and Caucasian patients.

Ohio State’s CCTS is one of 51 participants in The not-for-profit Web site connects researchers from across the country with volunteers who are interested in participating in a research study.

Dr. Robert HoffmanCurrently, nearly 6,900 volunteers nationally are registered in ResearchMatch, with 850 residing in Ohio.

“The information we gain during this research will help us learn more about why African-Americans have higher rates of hypertension, stroke and Type 2 diabetes,” says Hoffman, who is also program director of the Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

ResearchMatch is the product of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium, which is led by the National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health.
The CTSA is a national network of medical research institutions working together to improve how biomedical research is conducted.

ResearchMatch ‘matches’ any interested individual residing in the United States with researchers approved to recruit potential volunteers through the system. After an individual has self-registered to become a volunteer, ResearchMatch’s security features ensure that personal information is protected until volunteers authorize the release of their contact information to a specific study that may be of interest to them. Volunteers are simply notified electronically that they are a possible match and then make the decision regarding the release of their contact information.

Ohio State’s CCTS was established in 2008 with a $34 million National Institutes of Health CTSA Award. It represents a partnership among Ohio State’s seven health sciences colleges, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and ten other colleges within OSU to synergize efforts in clinical and translational research, and improve the health of individuals and communities. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, professor of internal medicine and associate dean for clinical research, is the principal investigator for Ohio State’s CTSA.

To learn more about Ohio State’s ResearchMatch participation, visit or call (614) 293-4198. To learn more about the national effort, visit # # #

Contact: Doug Flowers Medical Center Communications (614) 293-3737

Monday, May 3, 2010

Director Of SBU's Center For Public Health And Health Policy Research Named To NYS Minority Health Council

Dr. Melody Goodman Recognized by Governor Patterson, Melody S. Goodman, M.S., Ph.D., Director of the Center for Public Health and Health Policy Research and Assistant Director of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center, has been named to the New York State Minority Health Council by Governor David Patterson.

The New York State Department of Health, Office of Minority Health, formed a Minority Health Council in1992. Fourteen members are appointed by the governor to a six-year term. The minority health council’s mission is to consider any matter relating to the preservation and improvement of minority health, and it may, from time to time, submit to the commissioner any recommendations relating to the preservation and improvement of minority health.

Melody Goodman, M.S., Ph.D.In an April 2010 congratulatory letter, Governor Patterson stated, “I am pleased that you are willing to accept this appointment as a member of the Minority Health Council for a term to expire on August 1, 2015. I am confident that you will serve the people of our state with dedication and distinction.”

Dr. Goodman says, “I am honored to be selected for such a position.
It is my hope that in my role on the council I will be able to speak to the needs and concerns of minority communities across the state so they can obtain the support and resources necessary to create the type of social change that improves public health and well being.”

Dr. Goodman, who received her Ph.D. in Biostatistics from Harvard University in 2006, has taught biostatistics at the Harvard School for Public Health, and worked as a statistical consultant at the Center for Community Based Research, Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She graduated from Stony Brook University with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics/Economics (Summa Cum Laude) in 1999.

One of Dr. Goodman’s objectives has been to uncover the reasons for the health disparities that exist in area communities. She works with community health centers, churches, and other community based organizations within African-American and undeserved communities on Long Island. Her main areas of interest are cancer incidence in minorities, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, asthma and behavioral changes that can reduce the risk of preventable diseases.

“My goal is to bridge the gap between community health needs and public health research by working directly with communities to better understand the health issues, problems or shortcomings they are experiencing, then develop research based on that,” says Dr. Goodman. “Community-based research is a tool that helps us target needed areas of health research for specific populations.”

Dr. Goodman lives in Jamaica, Queens, N.Y. -30-

May 3, 2010 - 2:33:35 PM Contact: Media Relations · 631.444.7880 · FAX: 631.444.8852
Stony Brook University Medical Center· Stony Brook, NY 11794-7755

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Rosenwald Exhibit Will Spotlight African-American Schools

Between 1912 and 1932, philanthropist Julius Rosenwald donated millions of dollars to help develop nearly 5,000 African-American rural schools throughout the South. Shelby County had the largest number of Rosenwald-funded buildings in Tennessee, with 61 schools, four teachers’ homes and three shop buildings.

An exhibit at the University of Memphis will spotlight some of these schools and celebrate the rich heritage of Memphis. “African-American Education in Shelby County: The Rosenwald Schools” will be on display April 26-May 14 at the Ned R. McWherter Library, in the rotunda and on the second floor. An opening reception will be held April 26 at noon on the second floor of the library. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

African-American Education in Shelby County: The Rosenwald SchoolsThe collection includes photographs and historical documents uncovered during research by Jenny Hornby, Chantal Drake and Michelle Williams, graduate students in art history at the U of M. Highlighting the historically black Manassas, Melrose, Wells and Cordova schools, the exhibit explores how these early 20th-century schools were cornerstones of local African-American communities, creating an enduring impact on Memphis and the surrounding area.
The exhibit also features contemporary images by Michael Darough, an MFA photography student in the Department of Art.

Born in 1863 in Springfield, Ill., Rosenwald was a noted businessman and philanthropist. He started his career as a clothing manufacturer and later became a part owner of Sears Roebuck and Co. The company prospered under his leadership, and he was named president in 1908. The millions of dollars he earned during his 16 years of service were returned in large measure to the American public.

Rosenwald began his substantial contribution to African-American education in 1911 when he formed a partnership with Booker T. Washington. Together they established the Julius Rosenwald Fund that aimed to provide a quality education to African-American children in the rural South.

The exhibit is made possible with the support of the Department of Art and the McWherter Library. Following the exhibition, the resource materials and historical information will be accessible to the public in the Special Collections Department of the library.

For more information, contact Jenny Hornby at 573-620-4709 or, or Tom Mendina at 901-678-4310 or