Monday, August 29, 2011

Exhibition at the BYU Museum of Art will feature 31 hand-made quilts created by African-American women of the Alabama region from 1945 to the present

African-American quilts at MOA show traditions, improvisations On display through Nov. 17

Quilting has been part of American culture for centuries. And although quilts were originally produced to provide warmth and protection, they have become regular features in art museums in the past several decades.

A new exhibition at the BYU Museum of Art will feature 31 hand-made quilts created by African-American women of the Alabama region from 1945 to the present. “From Heart To Hand: African-American Quilts from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts’ Permanent Collection” will explore the traditional patterns of African-American quilts and examine the improvisations distinct to regional quilt-makers. The exhibition will also feature many examples from the oeuvre of contemporary Alabama quilter: Yvonne Wells.

“From Heart To Hand” will be on view in the Warren & Alice Jones and Paul & Betty Boshard galleries on the lower level of the museum through Thursday, Nov. 17. Admission to this exhibition is free of charge. Free docent-led tours of this exhibition can be scheduled with at least one week’s notice by calling the Museum Education Department at (801) 422-1140.

“This is an exciting collection of hand-made quilts that range from vigorous versions of traditional patterns to unique story quilts with powerful messages,” said Museum of Art Curator Paul Anderson. “Many of these quilts are visually interesting because the women who made them improvised with cast-off fabrics from old work clothes or scraps from other quilts, creating unique variations of traditional patterns.”

African American quilts

Quilt photos courtesy of the BYU Museum of Art. Quilts by contemporary African-American quilt artist Yvonne Wells are highlighted in a new exhibit at the MOA.
In 2004, as part of its commitment to support and collect the work of regional self-taught artists, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts began a collection of African-American quilts with an acquisition of 48 quilts created by women between 1945 and 2001. In late 2008, the museum added ten more quilts of this same variety to its collection. This exhibition brings together examples from Montgomery MFA collection, along with several quilts on loan from featured artist, Yvonne Wells from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Quilt patterns were originally regional creations.Eventually, these patterns achieved national acceptance and became part of the larger quilt vocabulary. Proper execution of these patterns was something that many quilters strived for, and when achieved, it was a source of pride.

Patterns often evolve in style and material as they travel from region to region. As the pattern travels, the design may continue to change, taking on new names and meanings.

Colors may become more significant to one culture or region than another, and therefore become more predominant. Elements of the quilt square may be rearranged, while maintaining the same generalized pattern, and might take on new meaning with the variation.

Wells’ work is emblematic of the type of advances that quilters can make outside of the discipline of following traditional patterns. Although Wells’ mother had quilted, she had never taught her daughter the craft; as a result, Yvonne Wells’ early career quilts display a patient respect. Each one was pieced and hand-sewn according to the traditional pattern. Later in her career, Wells created quilts that took on a more narrative approach, dispensing with most of the pieced quilt restrictions.

Many of Wells’ techniques mimic those used by painters. Her compositions often exist in her head until they are cut out and laid on top of the fabric square that is destined to become the quilt top. From there, she adds fabric accents, findings, beads and other brick-a-brack to the quilts. When they are finished, the quilts become as much relief paintings as are they are quilts, because they are not intended to be placed on a bed, but hung on a wall and read like a narrative painting.

Media Contact: Cecelia Fielding 801-422-4377 Writers Christopher Wilson More information about this exhibition will be available on the Museum of Art web site:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dr. Kenneth “Ken” Coopwood Sr., has been named Missouri State University’s first permanent vice president for diversity and inclusion

Dr. Kenneth “Ken” Coopwood Sr., has been named Missouri State University’s first permanent vice president for diversity and inclusion. He begins his duties Oct. 1.

Coopwood comes to Missouri State after eight years at Indiana University Northwest in Gary, Ind., where he was director of diversity programming, assistant to the chancellor and an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education.

“We are very pleased Ken has accepted our offer to be our first permanent person in this role,” said Missouri State Interim President Clif Smart. “He has the right combination of talent, experience and interpersonal skill to help us achieve our diversity goals. We look forward to having him join our team.”

Coopwood will have responsibility for a reorganized unit that includes the office for institutional equity and compliance, multicultural student services (which includes TRIO Student Services), the Multicultural Resource Center and the Disability Resource Center.

Coopwood, who will be paid $112,000, replaces Dr. Leslie Anderson, who had served as the interim vice president since August 2010. Anderson will remain available until Dec. 31 as part of the transition and orientation before returning to the faculty full time Jan. 1, 2012.

Dr. Kenneth Coopwood

Dr. Kenneth “Ken” Coopwood Sr.

H. Wesley “Wes” Pratt

H. Wesley “Wes” Pratt
In a related move, effective Sept. 1, H. Wesley “Wes” Pratt will become the permanent equal opportunity officer and director of the office for institutional equity and compliance. He had served as interim since Feb. 1. Pratt’s salary will be $75,000.

“Wes has proven himself to be a valuable asset as the equal opportunity officer,” said Smart. “He has strong commitments both to Missouri State and to the community of Springfield, which is important. I am very pleased he has accepted the position on a permanent basis.”

Coopwood received three degrees from Indiana State University: B.S. in business administration in 1988; Master of Public Administration in 1992; and Ph.D. in Educational Administration, Leadership and Foundations in 2000. He is a product of the AASCU Millenium Leadership Institute and the Harvard University Institute for Higher Education.

Prior to joining Indiana University Northwest, Coopwood worked nine years from 1994-2003 for his alma mater in various roles in diversity, affirmative action, judicial programs, athletics marketing and the African American Cultural Center. Prior to that, he worked at Indiana Purdue University Fort Wayne.

During his career, Coopwood has received a number of awards, including the Shining Star of Leadership Award in 2009, the Diversity Advocate Award in 2000 and the Multicultural Program Award in 1998. His work has received national recognition by U.S. News and World Report and the Student African American Brotherhood for student retention and development of minority males. In 2010, IU Northwest was nationally recognized for its breadth of diversity programs.

“I was honored to return home and serve the community that provided my personal and professional foundation,” said Coopwood. “I trust that my presence was valuable to those I was privileged to serve.”

Pratt was named the diversity outreach coordinator for the office of the provost at Missouri State in 2007. He obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from San Diego Law School, San Diego, Calif., and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Drury University.

Pratt formerly served as deputy director of the Maryland Job Corp Centers, where he administered and managed a statewide career and youth development program. Prior to that, he served as director of the California Conservation Corps in Sacramento, Calif.; as a law partner in the firm of Kemp & Pratt in San Diego, Calif.; and on the San Diego City Council.

Both appointments are subject to formal approved by the Board of Governors, which is expected to occur at the Oct. 28 meeting.

Media Contact: Clif Smart (417) 836-8500

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Economic Factors Drive Smoking Decline Among Black Youth

PISCATAWAY, NJ - A new report in the American Journal of Public Health suggests that increasing cigarette prices combined with other social and economic factors appear to be behind the steep decline in smoking rates among African American youth that occurred between 1970s and the mid-1990s. The report argues that racial differences in parental attitudes, religious ties, negative health perceptions (and experiences), worsening poverty, increased food stamp use and price sensitivity were major factors contributing to the more rapid decrease and continuing lower rate of smoking among black youth than among other groups.

“Some have suggested that African American youth substituted other forms of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs for cigarettes,” said Tyree Oredein, the corresponding author of the report and a doctoral student at the UMDNJ-School of Public Health. “However, there was an overall decline in the use of both licit and illicit drugs among black high school seniors from the mid 1970s through the early 1990s alongside the fall of cigarette use.” Oredein is also an adjunct professor of health and nutrition sciences at Montclair State University.

In the early 1970s, smoking prevalence among black youth was similar to that of whites. Around 1976, smoking among both groups began to decline, but studies have shown that black youth experienced a much steeper decline. By the early 1990s, white students were more than four times more likely to have reported smoking cigarettes within the previous 30 days than their African American counterparts. Understanding the reasons behind this differential decline could help public health experts shape more effective tobacco prevention policies and programming.

Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D.“Some have questioned the validity of the statistics on the decline in African American youth smoking, but between 1992 and 2006, there was a marked drop in lung cancer incidence and death rates among 20 to 39 year olds,” Oredein added. “At the same time, a significantly steeper reduction in these same rates among African American adults mirrored the observed drop in African American youth smoking.”

Jonathan Foulds, PhD, a co-author of the report and professor of public health sciences and psychiatry at Penn State College of Medicine, added, “This provides strong evidence for an actual decline in smoking among African American youth during the 1970s through the 1990s. The reduction in young adult lung cancer cases in this group is highly likely to be due to the differential decline in smoking among African American youth 10-20 years earlier.”

The authors highlight a policy implication of the data, suggesting that, “Increases in cigarette price due to increased federal and state excise taxes have become and continue to be an effective tool in reducing cigarette use, especially African American youth.”

Journalists interested in interviewing the authors should contact Jerry Carey, UMDNJ News Service, at 856-566-6171 or at

The UMDNJ-School of Public Health is the nation’s first collaborative school of public health and is sponsored by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in cooperation with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and New Jersey Institute of Technology.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 6,000 students on five campuses attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and New Jersey’s only school of public health. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, which provides a continuum of healthcare services with multiple locations throughout the state.

Press Release: Date: 08-22-11 Name: Jerry Carey Phone: 856-566-6171 Email:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Michael L. Lomax president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund will serve as keynote speaker at Howard University’s 144th Convocation

WASHINGTON (August 19, 2011) – Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), will serve as keynote speaker at the University’s 144th Convocation, September 23 at 11 a.m. in Cramton Auditorium, President Sidney A. Ribeau, Ph.D., announced today.

“We are very pleased that Dr. Lomax has accepted our invitation to serve as our Opening Convocation keynote speaker,” Dr. Ribeau said. “We look forward to what we know will be an inspirational address from a distinguished educator.”

As head of the UNCF, Lomax leads the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to minority and low-income students. He oversees 400 scholarships, including the UNCF Gates Millennium Scholars Program, a 20-year, $1.6 billion project whose 14,000 low-income minority recipients have a 90 percent college graduation rate. Lomax also launched the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building, aimed at strengthening and sustaining the 39-member, private historically black colleges and universities around the country.

Additionally, Lomax co-chairs the Education Equality Project and serves on the boards of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of African American History and Culture and the Studio Museum of Harlem. He holds membership in numerous organizations, such as the Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind, the governing boards of Teach For America, the KIPP Foundation and the National Alliance of Public Charter schools. He is also a leading advocate for the importance of cradle-through-college education for all Americans.

Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D.Prior to joining the UNCF, Lomax was president of Dillard University in New Orleans and a professor of literature at Morehouse and Spelman colleges. He also served as chairman of the Fulton County Commission in Atlanta, the first African American elected to that post.

Opening Convocation is a time-honored tradition, officially signaling the start of the academic year at Howard University and welcoming the freshman class.

Dr. Ribeau is urging the Class of 2015 and the entire community to attend.

For more information, please contact the Office of University Communications at 202-238-2330.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Dr. Kerry-Ann Hamilton Dir. of Strategic Communications & Marketing 202.238.2332

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Amber Hunter has been promoted to director for admissions at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Amber Hunter has been promoted to director for admissions at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At 31, Hunter is UNL's youngest and first African-American director for admissions.

"It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the director for undergraduate admissions. I look forward to working with UNL faculty, staff, and alumni in my new role to share with prospective students why UNL is a high-quality and affordable choice," Hunter said.

With more than 10 years experience in higher education admissions leadership, Hunter understands how to enhance and diversify a student body. She came to UNL in 2002 from the University of Kansas Office of Admissions and Scholarships as the assistant director for diversity recruitment. The last five years, she has served as an associate director/dean working with freshman recruitment; her work has been integral part of UNL's nine-year increase in enrollment. UNL's fall 2010 enrollment of 23,573 was the highest since 1992.

"Amber Hunter is regarded nationally as one of the rising stars in the college admissions profession. It is a real coup for the university to have her leading our undergraduate student recruiting efforts at this time," said Alan Cerveny, associate vice chancellor and dean of admissions.

Amber HunterHunter also will continue her work as executive director of the Nebraska College Preparatory Academy, overseeing UNL's college access programs for low-income and first-generation Nebraska students. Hunter earned her bachelor's in communication studies at University of Kansas, a master's in leadership education at UNL, and is pursuing a doctorate in educational administration at UNL.

WRITER: Andy Schadwinkel University Communications, (402) 472-1683

News Release Contacts: Alan Cerveny, Dean, Admissions phone: (402) 472-9531

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Governor Pat Quinn today signed House Bill 1547, creating the Commission to End the Disparities Facing the African-American Community

Governor Quinn Signs Bill Creating Commission to Research Disparity in the African-American Community. Commission Will Explore Inequalities Across a Wide Variety of Areas

CHICAGO – August 13, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed House Bill 1547, creating the Commission to End the Disparities Facing the African-American Community. The commission will research the disparities facing African-Americans in the areas of healthcare, health services, employment, education, criminal justice, housing, and other social and economic issues. Its findings will be reported to the General Assembly.

“We know that disparities exist within the African-American community, preventing some from achieving their full potential,” Governor Quinn said. “In Illinois, we want everybody in, and nobody left out. We won’t shy away from examining the root causes of inequality, and working to correct them.”

The commission will be comprised of a bipartisan group of legislators from both houses of the General Assembly, the directors of the Departments of Human Services, Healthcare and Family Services, Children and Family Services, Public Health, Aging, Labor, Employment Security, Commerce and Economic Opportunity, State Board of Education, Board of Higher Education, Corrections, Juvenile Justice, or their designees.

Gov. Pat Quinn

It will also include the Executive Director of the Illinois African-American Family Commission, and up to 10 other individuals representing African-American communities around the state with backgrounds in the research areas. The president of the Illinois Senate and speaker of the Illinois House will name co-chairs for this Commission, and all members will serve without compensation.

The Commission must hold one or more public hearings, and report findings with recommendations to the General Assembly by Dec. 31, 2013. The Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago will provide staff and administrative support services.

House Bill 1547, which was sponsored by Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) and Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), goes into effect immediately.


TEXT CREDIT: State of Illinois

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

John and Eula Cleveland Chair in Black History Studies

WASHINGTON (August 9, 2011) –President Sidney A. Ribeau will host a naming ceremony for the John and Eula Cleveland Chair in Afro-American Studies on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. in Howard Hall on the University’s main campus.

The John and Eula Cleveland Chair in Black History Studies was established in March 2010 with a $1.2 million gift from the couple’s estate. The gift will support Afro-American Studies programs and continue Howard’s tradition of educating students in the dynamics of the African-American experience.

As Washingtonians, John and Eula Cleveland possessed a deep respect and admiration for the city, and were pioneers in the fight for better standards of living for black workers in the nation’s capital and across the country.

Together, the Clevelands helped create the Teamsters National Black Caucus and were active in civil rights and social justice issues. John Cleveland was also the first African-American international vice president of the Teamsters Union and was inducted into the Labor’s International Hall of Fame on May 20, 2010.

Howard University

For more information, please contact the Office of University communications at 202-238-2330.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Jo-Ann English 202.238.2330 e-mail: WEB:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Eighty percent of African-American women develop uterine fibroids by late 40s according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Women who experience heavy periods, cramping, pain during sex, an urge to urinate frequently and even infertility may have a common disorder that affects African-American women three times more often than other women. This condition, called uterine fibroids, occurs when benign tumors grow in the uterus. Eighty percent of African-American women develop uterine fibroids by their late 40s, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

“Fibroids are most common in women in their 30s through their 50s, but they tend to strike African-American women at a younger age,” said Kenneth Pierce, MD, a radiologist at Loyola University Health System (LUHS) and an associate professor for the Department of Radiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM). “Fibroids also grow more quickly and cause more symptoms in these women, so it is crucial that we manage them and prevent these women from developing debilitating conditions including anemia and pain-related lost-work days.”

No one knows exactly what causes fibroids or what makes them suddenly grow or shrink. However, risk factors like obesity, age, poor diet, having children or using contraceptives may play a role. For most women, fibroids tend to stop growing or shrink after menopause.

“The good news is women who suffer from the painful side effects of fibroid tumors may no longer need to undergo a hysterectomy to rid themselves of symptoms,” Dr. Pierce said. “Many treatment options exist to help women who are bothered by fibroids.”

Uterine fibroid treatments include hysterectomy, embolization and hormone therapy.

Interventional radiologists at Loyola University Health System now have access to minimally invasive technology that uses a catheter to cut off the blood supply to the tumors. Uterine artery embolization (UAE) has been used in the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) since the 1970s, but it is a relatively new option for the treatment of fibroids.

“Uterine artery embolization results in less bleeding, cramping and pain compared with alternative options,” Dr. Pierce said. “Patients also recover quickly and are home in less than 24 hours with no need for readmissions.”

Working through a small incision, the catheter is threaded through an artery in the leg until it reaches the arteries that supply blood to the uterus. Tiny acrylic particles are injected through the catheter into the uterine arteries and the particles subsequently block blood supply to the fibroids, which reduces the size of the tumors.

Dr. Pierce estimates that UAE, on average, shrinks tumors by more than one-half. Some women experience light cramping after the procedure and most resume regular menstrual periods shortly after UAE. This procedure also has the benefit of preserving fertility in women of childbearing age.

“Uterine artery embolization may spare women from having a hysterectomy and entering menopause prematurely,” Dr. Pierce said. “We are fortunate to have highly trained radiologists on staff to manage patients without surgery. Curing diseases through catheters is a benefit for our patients who are often young, active and eager to get back to their lives.”


Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, Loyola University Health System is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and 28 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald� Childrens Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-bed community hospital, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness and the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Care Center.

Contact: Nora Plunkett Media Relations Anne Dillon

Director, Media Relations (708) 216-8232