Sunday, June 26, 2011

Florida Atlantic University was ranked one of the top 100, four-year colleges in the nation conferring bachelor’s degrees on to minority students

BOCA RATON, FL -- Florida Atlantic University was ranked one of the top 100, four-year colleges in the nation conferring bachelor’s degrees on to minority students, according to a survey in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, a magazine published bi-weekly that informs leaders from academe, industry and public policy about current trends and issues that are going on in the United States.

The National Center for Education Statistics tracked the 2009-10 academic year from U.S. Department of Education reports submitted by the four-year institutions.

“To be ranked in the nation’s top 100 schools for minorities within several categories is a true indicator of FAU’s success in its mission to provide access to education,” said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. “The University takes pride in its diverse student population, proactively promoting cultures from all walks of life.”

FAU ranks 32nd in the nation for conferring bachelor’s degrees on to all minorities combined, a 3 percent increase compared to last year. The survey findings consist of four different minority groups: African-American, Native-American, Asian-American and Hispanic.

The newly released survey indicates that FAU ranks 12th in the nation for conferring bachelor’s degrees on to African-American students, an 8 percent increase compared to last year’s numbers. FAU is 28th in the nation for conferring bachelors’ degrees on to Hispanic students, who represent 18 percent of the total number of graduates, and is a 2 percent increase over the previous year.

Florida Atlantic University signThe report breaks down the data by academic disciplines as well, with the study focusing on minority students who have earned degrees in biological and biomedical sciences; business, management, marketing and related support services; education; engineering; registered nursing, nursing administration, nursing research and clinical nursing; and social sciences.

FAU ranks seventh in the number of education degrees conferred on to minorities, a 13 percent increase compared to last year’s numbers. For biological and biomedical sciences, FAU is ranked in 45th place for bachelor’s degrees conferred on to minorities, a 14 percent increase.

In the business, management, marketing and related support services category, FAU ranks in 21st place with a 12 percent increase. The University also ranks in 21st place in the nursing category.

FAU also ranks in 12th place among the top 100 degree producers among traditionally white institutions, an 8 percent increase from last year’s report.


About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites.

FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Metcalf 561-297-3022,

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hakim Weatherspoon encourages minority computer science students to build more than the Internet

Follow sookietex on Twitter ITHACA, N.Y. – The Sonic Workshop – an undergraduate clinic in Internet computing – brought five students from Howard University and one from the University of Puerto Rico to the Cornell University campus June 12-18 to learn about encoding digital bits for Internet transmission … and to learn a little bit about themselves.

In addition to teaching about fiber-optic networks and how Internet errors might be caused, Hakim Weatherspoon, Cornell assistant professor of computer science, offered an ulterior motive: He wanted to encourage the African-American and Hispanic students – mostly juniors and seniors – to consider pursuing high-level graduate work and a career in research.

“The whole time we were exposing the technical subject we were letting them know they can pursue research careers instead of just going into industry,” Weatherspoon said. He recruited minority students for his workshop because only about 3 percent of Ph.D.s in computer science and engineering are underrepresented minorities. About 1,500 students were awarded Ph.D.’s in the United States in 2008-09. Of those, of those 17 were African-American, 22 were Hispanic and three were Native American, according to most-recent Computing Research Association’s Taulbee Survey.

Hakim Weatherspoon

Hakim Weatherspoon
Throughout the week, the students heard many Cornell faculty presentations. After each presentation, Weatherspoon asked the presenters, “Why did you get a Ph.D.?”

Weatherspoon’s favorite answer came from Michael Spencer, Cornell professor of electrical and computer engineering, who said it was a “spiritual decision.” That spirituality arguably applies to Weatherspoon, who had planned to get a job at Microsoft or Intel after graduating from the University of Washington, but then started thinking about changing the world. He went to the University of California-Berkeley for graduate school and earned a doctorate.

“In an academic position, you can have tremendous influence and impact. You can affect the national agenda,” he said.

The Howard University students who attended the workshop were: Jay Jackson, of Roswell, Ga.; Qi’Anne Knox, of Chicago; Bathiya Senerinatha, of Sri Lanka; Wardell Samotshozo, of Annandale, Va.; and Keesha Joseph, of Severn, Md. (Joseph is pursuing her master’s degree at Howard University currently.) Also attending was Hector Tosado, an undergraduate student from the University of Puerto Rico.


Contact Blaine Friedlander for information about Cornell's TV and radio studios.

CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS OFFICE June 22, 2011 Media Contact: Blaine Friedlander (607) 254-8093 Twitter: @BlaineCornell

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Park University ranked in the top 100 of bachelor's degrees conferred to students of color in the United States

Park University has once again been ranked in the top 100 of bachelor's degrees conferred to students of color in the United States, according to Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine.

In its June 9 issue, DIHE ranked Park in the top 100 in 28 categories of race/degree major combinations, including Hispanic, African-American, Native American, Asian-American and all minorities combined, and degrees ranging from psychology, computer and information sciences and various business-related degrees.

Park ranked No. 78 in the nation in the "Total Minority-All Disciplines Combined" category with 991 degrees awarded. Of colleges/universities within the West North Central states of the Midwest region (among Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota), Park ranked No. 3 and was the only institution in Missouri or Kansas ranked in the top 100.

The University earned national top 5 rankings in three categories, including two No. 1s in the categories of "Hispanic-Human Resources Management and Services" and "Total Minority-Human Resources Management and Services." Park also was ranked No. 2 for "African-American-Human Resources Management and Services."

Other category rankings included:
• No. 6 — "African-American-Psychology"
• No. 10 — "Hispanic-Psychology"; and "African-American-

McKay Hall at Park University in Parkville

McKay Hall at Park University in Parkville
Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services"
• No. 11 — "Hispanic-Health and Medical Administrative Services"
• No. 12 — "Native American-Psychology"
• No. 15 — "Total Minority-Psychology"; and :Native American-Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services"
• No. 17 — "Asian-American-Human Resources Management and Services"
• No. 18 — "Hispanic-Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services"; and "Total Minority-Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services"

• No. 21 — "Native American-Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services"
• No. 22 — "African-American-Business Administration, Management and Operations"; and "Native American-Business Administration, Management and Operations"
• No. 23 — "Hispanic-Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services"
• No. 25 — "Hispanic-Business Administration, Management and Operations"
• No. 28 — "African-American-Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services"; and "Hispanic-Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services"
• No. 29 — "Total Minority-Business Administration, Management and Operations"
• No. 30 — "Total Minority: Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services"; and "Total Minority-Health and Medical Administrative Services"
• No. 43 — "African-American-Health and Medical Administrative Services"
• No. 55 — "African-American-All Disciplines Combined"
• No. 62 — "Hispanic-All Disciplines Combined"
• No. 68 — "Native American-All Disciplines Combined"

Park University • 8700 NW River Park Drive • Parkville, MO 64152 News Tel. (816) 584-6211 or (816) 584-6888 • E-mail: University Tel. (816) 741-2000 or (800) 745-7275 •

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Deliberate discrimination against job seekers based on their race, sex, age, national origin or other prohibited basis remains major national problem

WASHINGTON – Deliberate discrimination against job seekers based on their race, sex, age, national origin or other prohibited basis remains a major national problem, a battery of experts told the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at a Commission meeting today.

“Intentional discrimination in hiring remains a significant problem,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “The EEOC will continue to address this problem through enhanced education and outreach and through vigorous enforcement of the law.”

At the start of the meeting, EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez recounted a hiring case he litigated against WalMart when he was an EEOC trial attorney in Phoenix. The case arose out of a charge by two deaf applicants who were expressly denied by the company because they were deaf. As part of a negotiated settlement, the company aired a commercial on Arizona television stations featuring the two, telling viewers in sign language, with a voiceover, their story and educating the public about the nation’s equal employment laws. A video of that commercial was shown at the meeting.

“Unfortunately, discriminatory hiring practices such as conformity to discriminatory customer preferences, employing prohibited stereotypes about jobs, and targeted recruitment procedures aimed at only attracting certain racial or national origin group member applicants, continue to exist,” Lopez said. “Where necessary, the EEOC will use litigation to stamp out these practices and provide relief to the victims of discrimination.”

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Bill Lann Lee, a former U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, called on the EEOC to combat hiring discrimination as part of its systemic initiative. “Systemic discrimination in hiring today is particularly disheartening to communities where joblessness has put the American Dream on hold,” he said. “Hiring discrimination is a fundamental problem; it often denies more than one employment opportunity, cutting off future opportunities as well. It is impossible to climb the rungs of a ladder if an individual cannot get a foot on the first rung.”

Katherine Kores, the EEOC’s Memphis district director, told the Commission that “hiring cases can be extraordinarily difficult to identify and investigate.” Because applicants often have no information about who was hired, or the composition of the employer’s workforce, she said, they do not realize that they have been the victims of hiring discrimination.

Other EEOC officials cited recent agency lawsuits. Kate Boehringer, a supervisory trial attorney in the Baltimore Field Office, detailed the EEOC’s suit against Area Temps, a northeast Ohio temporary labor agency, which agreed to pay $650,000 in July 2010 for its systematic practice of considering and assigning (or rejecting) job applicants by race, sex, Hispanic national origin and age. The EEOC said that Area Temps used code words to describe its clients and applicants for discriminatory purposes, such as “chocolate cupcake” for young African American women, “hockey player” for young white males, “figure skater” for white females, “basketball player” for black males, and “small hands” for women in general.

Ana Lopez-Rodriguez, who worked for Area Temps, told the Commission that the company fired her for refusing to help it conceal evidence from the EEOC. Lopez-Rodriguez said she had left demographically coded cards, which the company used to discriminate, in her Rolodex, instead of cooperating with the company’s request to destroy them prior to the EEOC investigator’s visit.

In November 2010, Scrub, Inc., which provides janitorial services to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, agreed to pay $3 million after the EEOC sued the company for failing to recruit and hire African-Americans. Diane Smason, an EEOC supervisory trial attorney in Chicago who handled the Scrub case, said an economist’s report showed that “the statistical disparity in hiring rates between African-American applicants and non-African-American applicants was so high that there is effectively zero probability that Scrub’s failure to hire African-Americans occurred by chance.”

Jeanette Wilkins, one of the African-American discrimination victims in the Scrub case, told the panel how she tried to apply for a job at Scrub. Despite janitorial experience and 15 advertised openings, she said she was told she would be contacted if the company was interested. By contrast, a Hispanic woman who applied at the same time was asked to stay for an interview. Ms. Wilkins said an African-American friend “went to Scrub’s office later that same day. She told me that she had a similar experience. The receptionist took her application and told her that someone would call her if Scrub was interested in her. While she was there, there were four Hispanic women and one Hispanic man filling out applications. All five of the other applicants were asked to stay for an interview,” but she was not.

Rae T. Vann, general counsel of the Equal Employment Advisory Council, an organization of major employers, stressed the need to train staff involved in the hiring process. She urged the EEOC to update a 1998 “Best Practices” manual for employers to give more real-life examples from private companies. But she also cautioned the EEOC to allow flexibility in requiring employer training, rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all approach on a range of employers, to prevent hiring discrimination.

The Commission will hold open the June 22 Commission meeting record for 15 days, and invites audience members, as well as other members of the public, to submit written comments on any issues or matters discussed at the meeting. Public comments may be mailed to Commission Meeting, EEOC Executive Officer, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20507, or emailed to All comments received will be made available to members of the Commission and to Commission staff working on the matters discussed at the meeting. Comments will also be placed in the EEOC library for public review.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Information about this meeting, including witness statements and biographies, is available at

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Demographic factors significantly affect mental health concerns among black men

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Demographic factors significantly affect mental health concerns among black men, according to a study by the University of Michigan and University of Southern California that provides the first-ever national estimates of several mental disorders for black men.

Advanced age was linked to better mental health status, the research showed. Older men had fewer depressive symptoms, lower levels of psychological distress and lower odds of having 12-month major depressive disorder than their younger counterparts.

However, the study found that lower socioeconomic position—lower levels of education, being unemployed or out of the labor market and being in poverty—was associated with poorer mental health status.

Researchers used data from 1,271 African American men from the National Survey of American Life: Coping with Stress in the 21st Century. The study examined three types of mental health issues: depressive symptoms, serious psychological distress and major depressive disorders among black men.

Only one out of 20 respondents reported major depressive disorder during the previous 12-month period, and nearly 10 percent reported having had the disorder at some point over the course of their lives.

Robert Joseph Taylor

Robert Joseph Taylor
Roughly 3 percent of men indicated the presence of serious psychological distress, while 6 percent had significant levels of depressive symptoms. Overall, these prevalence rates are relatively low compared to non-Hispanic whites.

Other findings indicate that married men and Southerners had lower odds of 12-month and lifetime major depressive disorder than men in the North Central region and those who were previously married (separated, widowed or divorced).

The authors said that noted demographic differences indicate that life circumstances are meaningful for the mental health of black men.

U-M researchers are Robert Joseph Taylor, the Sheila Feld Collegiate Professor of Social Work; Daphne Watkins, assistant professor of social work; and Linda Chatters, professor of social work and professor of health behavior and health education.

Karen Lincoln is an associate professor of social work at USC and the study's lead author.

The study appears in Research on Social Work Practice.

WEB: University of Michigan Contact: Jared Wadley Phone: (734) 936-7819

Monday, June 20, 2011

Appointment of Marie Foster Gnage to the West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission

Parkersburg, W.Va. 6/20/11 – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Friday the appointment of five individuals to the West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. Of those five is West Virginia University at Parkersburg President Marie Foster Gnage, Ph.D.

The mission of the West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission is to promote awareness and celebrate the unique creation of the State of West Virginia, the role of its citizens during the Civil War era, and the continuing effect of the war on our people. The 13-member commission is comprised of representatives from the Legislature, key state agencies, historians and scholars.

“It’s an honor to represent our community in this commission to preserve the state’s Civil War heritage,” said Gnage. "The war played a significant role in the development of our Parkersburg, and it is important to continue educating people about our unique history.”

Gnage brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the commission with an extensive background in American literature and a research emphasis on early Southern African American writers. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Alcorn A&M College, a master's degree in English from University of Southwestern Louisiana and doctoral degree in English from The Florida State University. Gnage became the sixth president of WVU Parkersburg in 2004.

Marie Foster Gnage, Ph.D.

Marie Foster Gnage, Ph.D.
Always taking an active role in the community, she serves on various boards, including the Parkersburg Art Center; the Economic Roundtable of Ohio Valley; the West Virginia Humanities Council; the Black Diamond Girl Scouts; the United Way of the Mid-Ohio Valley; and the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

She has authored several publications including “Voice, Mind, Self: Mother and Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s Fiction,” in Women of Color, UP Press (Fall 1996), A Bio-bibliography of Southern Black Creative Writers, 1829 – 1953, Greenwood Press, Inc., (1988), and “Reconfiguring Self: A Matter of Place in Selected Novels by Paul Marshall,” in Middle Passages and the Healing Place of History: Migration and Identity in Black Women’s Literature, The Ohio University Press (2006).

CONTACT: Patsy Bee, executive assistant to the president, 304-424-8200

For additional information, contact: Katie Wootton WVU Parkersburg Director of Marketing and Communications 304-424-8203 E-mail

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO), the nation’s second-longest running voluntary school desegregation program

Expanding School Choice through METCO Non-partisan Research Groups Urge Lawmakers to Expand Minority Students’ Access to Proven Program

BOSTON, MA – Pioneer Institute, in collaboration with the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice (CHHIRJ) at Harvard Law School, two research institutes that are often on opposite sides of public policy issues, today published a review of the nation’s second longest running, voluntary, choicedriven, school desegregation program, the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity. METCO sends Boston and Springfield to public schools in the surrounding suburbs.

METCO Merits More: The History and Status of METCO, co-authored by Susan Eaton, research director at CHHIRJ, and Gina Chirichigno, a post-doctoral researcher at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, is the first comprehensive review of the program in nearly a decade. It includes data on student enrollment, performance, demographics, graduation and college attainment rates, waiting list, and funding.

The program serves over 3,300 students. Most live in Boston, though a much smaller program serves Springfield students. More than three-quarters are African American or Latino. Half of METCO’s students come from low-income families and one in four has special needs.

Charles Hamilton Houston Institute LogoState funding for METCO has declined from $20.2 million in FY 2008 to $16.5 million in FY 2011, despite growing waitlists that result in students waiting an average of five years to enter the program. MCAS data indicate that METCO students have outperformed their African-American and Latino peers in the school districts they come from, and enjoy graduation rates that exceed the state averages.

"In a context of vast, long-standing educational inequalities in the Boston and Springfield regions, METCO offers educational and life opportunities both to students who go from city to suburb and to the students in the suburban towns who participate in the program," said co-authors Susan Eaton and Gina Chirichigno. "Based on METCO's enduring popularity and its solid track record, educational leaders should seriously consider expanding METCO to students in other highly challenged districts and at the very least, provide adequate funding. Among national leaders concerned with educational equity, METCO is viewed as a model program. It deserves to be better recognized and more enthusiastically supported here at home."

The authors account for factors such as “self-selection” bias to avoid conclusively crediting METCO for increases in student achievement. Nonetheless, they find that between 2006 and 2010, METCO students out-performed their African-American and Latino counterparts on MCAS, and performed competitively in college preparatory settings. METCO students had a 93 percent graduation rate in 2009, compared with 81.5 percent for students statewide and about 61 percent in both Boston and Springfield.

The 2009 dropout rate for METCO students was only 2.8 percent, compared to 9.3 percent statewide. The students thrive despite facing the logistical and cultural challenges such as early risings and late arrivals home.

“METCO successfully offers a high quality school choice option for urban students, which should compel lawmakers to clear its lengthy waitlists and expand the program to other Massachusetts cities,” said Jamie Gass, Director of the Center for School Reform at Pioneer Institute. “The METCO students’ experiences and their performance data are quite clear—METCO works.”

According to internal surveys reported by METCO Inc., 90 percent of METCO graduates enroll in postsecondary education.

• Increase state funding to incentivize educational leaders to expand the program, and provide more funding to participating suburban districts, to bring the METCO reimbursement in line with per pupil expenditures.
• State leaders must provide incentives for suburban participation in METCO through school building funds or grant programs. Approximately 40 districts currently take part in the program, 90 percent of which are in the greater Boston area.
• Use public awareness to encourage suburban districts to enroll METCO students.
• Data like METCO student performance and improvement, educational attainment, attendance, graduation and suspension rates should be made public by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Pioneer has highlighted the need for expanded school choice for many years, advocating a menu of options that includes charter schools, private and parochial schooling, vocational-technical schools, and virtual learning. It has published a series of reports, opinion pieces, and events designed to build public awareness and a sense of urgency in ensuring that all students have access to excellent educational options.


Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, datadriven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.

The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School honors and continues the work of one of the great civil rights lawyers of the twentieth century. Litigator, scholar and teacher, Charles Hamilton Houston dedicated his life to using the law as a tool to reverse the unjust consequences of racial discrimination. CHHIRJ is committed to marshalling the resources of Harvard and beyond to continue Houston’s unfinished work.

Contact Micaela Dawson, 617-723-2277, ext. 203 or

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Marietta honors historical significance of Lemon Street School

Marietta mayor Steve Tumlin and Ward 5 City Councilman Anthony Coleman honored Lemon Street School in recognition of its importance to the city's history. They presented a proclamation to Louis Walker and his wife, Josetta. June 9.

Marietta built a wood school for black students on Lemon Street, which was completed in 1894. Until the 1920s, the Lemon Street School offered seven years of education. In 1947, Marietta City Council toured Lemon Street Elementary School and was shocked to find the school was in bad condition. The school lacked indoor plumbing, had poor lighting, and was heated by one coal stove in each room. The inside hadn't been painted in years, and the blackboards bulged. Embarrassed that the city still held class in a building regarded as a fire hazard, Marietta began construction on a safe brick building, and the new Lemon Street Elementary School opened in 1950.

In 1968, the school board changed the name of Lemon Street Elementary School to Eastside School. The next year, now known as Central Elementary, the school became home for the city's sixth grade classes. After Marietta Junior High School was completed in 1971 on Aviation Road, the school system no longer needed the Lemon Street facility and the school was closed. Since then, the building has been used for several purposes including the site of the Hattie Wilson Library.

Lemon St School 06082011 005

Lemon St School 06082011 005

Proclamation presented to Mr. and Mrs. Louis Walker for the Lemon Street School June 8, 2011.

This city of Marietta photograph is being made available for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, e-mails, products or promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the city of Marietta, its elected officials or staff. Publication of this photograph must include a credit: "Photo courtesy of the city of Marietta."

"It's been a labor of love for us to be here all these years in Marietta City Schools and also to have the opportunity to work in the old Zion heritage Museum and the Lemon Street School," Josetta Walker said.

More info: Mayor's Office, 770-794-5502

TEXT CREDIT: City of Marietta, Georgia

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Enemy at Home: Confederate and African American Women within the Missouri Wartime Household

QU History Professor Presents Paper at Conference.

Megan Boccardi, Quincy University visiting assistant professor of history, recently presented her paper, "The Enemy at Home: Confederate and African American Women within the Missouri Wartime Household,” at the 53rd Annual Missouri Conference on History. This year’s conference was held in Kansas City, Mo., on April 14 and 15.

The paper explores the relationship between southern sympathizing white women and African American women in the shared environment of the wartime household in Missouri during the Civil War. Boccardi argues that the household became a battleground during the war as women at home struggled over the contentious issues at the core of the larger war, most importantly the issue of slavery. White women tried to maintain the institution and the structure of the white household as African American women worked to break down those same institutions.

A link to the conference program can be found here:

Megan Boccardi

Megan Boccardi
Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University ( is a Catholic, co-educational, residential university offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Quincy University’s intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University office of communications by calling (217) 228-5275. --QUcjl230--

The News Releases are a service of the Quincy University Office of Communications. They are designed to keep you informed of all the latest happenings on campus, upcoming events, and coverage of activities, honors and accomplishments of our student body, faculty, and staff.

1800 College Avenue • Quincy, IL 62301-2699 Roman J. Salamon, Director of Communications Contact: 217-228-5275 / FAX: 217-228-5473

Monday, June 13, 2011

19th annual Black Issues Forum at Colorado State University on June 14-June 18.

FORT COLLINS - Dozens of African American high-school seniors will come together to research issues pertinent to the African American community during the 19th annual Black Issues Forum at Colorado State University on June 14-June 18.

The program brings together about 60 students from Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

The session involves four days of research and discussion that culminate in a formal forum where students present their findings. The program format also helps students strengthen their skills in public speaking, teamwork and leadership. Students will choose to study one of four topics pertinent to the African-American community:

• African Americans and Politics
• African Americans and the Environment
• African Americans and Technology
• African Americans and Society

Colorado State faculty, staff and graduate students will assist program participants in researching and presenting their topic areas.

Aerial View of Colorado State University Campus

“The purpose of the Black Issues Forum program is to expose high-school students to higher education and Colorado State University,” said Bobby Browning, forum coordinator and assistant director of Admissions at Colorado State University. “After spending a few days living and conducting research on a university campus, this experience should make the pursuit of a college degree a less daunting experience for the high school student participants.”

For more information about the Black Issues Forum, contact Bobby A. Browning at (970) 213-4032. -30-

For Immediate Release Monday, June 13, 2011 Contact for Reporters: Jennifer Dimas 970.491.1543 Jennifer.Dimas@ColoState.EDU

Saturday, June 11, 2011

University of Maryland uncovering rich haul of household materials from an historic African American home in Annapolis

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - An archaeological team from the University of Maryland is uncovering an unexpectedly rich haul of household materials from an historic African American home in Annapolis. The team has one more week to go in their excavation.

The archaeologists resumed work at the James Holliday House - a middle class home purchased in 1850 by one of the first African Americans to work for the U.S. Naval Academy.

The team says their finds detail how a well-off African American family adapted a middle class lifestyle to the realities of post-Civil War Annapolis. Also, they are exploring the family's marital ties to the city's Filipino community.

James Holliday - born a slave in 1809 and freed in 1819 - served as a messenger to the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy for almost 40 years. He took the job in 1845, and five years later bought the home at 99 East Street in Annapolis.

The excavation of the Holliday House is being conducted by the University of Maryland archaeological Field School in Urban Archaeology. They will complete this year's work on Thursday, June 16 and close up the site the next day.

UMD archaeology students

UMD archaeology students keep track of their latest finds in Annapolis
Time Sensitive: Photo-op at active, productive archaeological dig through June 16. Media may arrange for a tour of the site by contacting Mark Leone.


The team of graduate and undergraduate students began work in the summer of 2010, identifying an intact archaeological trove four feet deep at the site, and recovering large numbers of broken dishes and bottles, both whole and broken. Since then, these have been analyzed at the universitys Archaeology Laboratory. The findings are reported here for the first time.

The archaeology at the site reveals the Holliday family to have beeen well-off, especially after Emancipation in 1865, based on the quality of the dishes used for dining, the team concludes.

"African-Americans in Annapolis displayed the outward appearance of conforming to Victorian etiquette by buying and using fancy, up-to-date dishes, but uniquely, only in limited numbers," explains University of Maryland archaeologist Mark Leone, who created and directs the Archaeology in Annapolis program. "They bought them in small numbers, perhaps for financial reasons, perhaps to put their own unique stamp on their dining. Their table looked up-to-date, but the dishes did not have a single decorative pattern."

Leone and his students have found a similar approach only in other 19th century Annapolis African American households, such as the Maynard-Burgess House, excavated in the 1990s. White families do not appear to have set their tables in this manner.

"The absence of matching sets in African American assemblages in Annapolis is not an indication of African Americans being unaware of or being unable to look middle class," adds Kate Deeley, a University of Maryland archaeology graduate student co-directing the work at the site and the lab analysis. "Rather, it shows a conscious choice to acquire dishes in small quantities rather than in matching sets. Nineteenth century ceramics were marketed in etiquette books and newspapers as sets of complementary dishes. Mass production of these ceramics made them available even to poorer consumers."

Analyses of the dishes from the James Holliday House have shown a wide variety of different decorative techniques and a large number of different dish forms within the assemblage, which conforms to the trend among African Americans.

"Over time, the ceramics found at the Holliday House indicate a preference for the more stylish types of pottery, with a transition from creamware, to pearlware, then to whiteware," says Deeley. "The Holliday family was aware of the expectations of Victorian society and felt the need to conform, but with smaller numbers of dishes."

Medicine and mineral water bottles showed that the Holliday family used home remedies for self-medication, which frequently means they did not have access to professional medical care - a pattern in segregated Annapolis.

African Americans used the same brands of mineral water, according to work done by Justin Uehlein, an undergraduate student working with Dr. Leone.

Early in the 20th century the Hollidays married Filipinos from Annapolis. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, African Americans and Filipinos faced similar discrimination from the white-dominated city. Many Filipinos came to the United States through the U.S. Navy and settled in port cities, like Annapolis, after completing their service.

Students and Instructors are blogging from the site. Media may arrange for a tour of the site by contacting Mark Leone.

WEB: University Communications Newsdesk, University of Maryland:

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Neil Tickner Senior Media Relations Associate University of Maryland 301-405-4622

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jeremiah A. Brown

HON. JEREMIAH A. BROWN. Legislator—Carpenter and Joiner—Clerk—Deputy Sheriff—Turnkey and Letter-Carrier.

ON. JEREMIAH A. BROWN, or as he is familiarly called "Jere," was the. first child of Thomas A. and Frances J. Brown, Pittsburgh, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. In that city on the fourteenth of November, 1841, the subject of our sketch first saw the light of day. His younger days were spent in that city where he attended school, having among his classmates such men as the Rev. Benjamin T. Tanner, D. D.,Hon. T. Morris Chester, James T. Bradford of Baltimore, Maryland, and many other distinguished men, who are now prominently before the people.

He continued in the pursuits of knowledge with these until about his thirteenth year, when he accompanied his father as a^steamboatman on our Western rivers. This avocation engaged his attention until his seventeenth year, when he became very much imbued with the importance of the advancement of himself in such a particular as to secure to him the possibilities of a livelihood. To this end he learned a trade, choosing that of a carpenter and joiner. At the close of his seventeenth year he entered the shop of James H. McClelland, Esq., as an apprentice. This gentleman was the foremost builder in that city at the time, and a gentleman known far and wide for his interest in the advancement of the colored people.

Upon his entrance into this shop, it was the immediate signal for a number of the employees quitting work, such was the prejudice existing against a colored boy entering upon any of the trades; but Mr. McClelland promptly filled their places, with the remark: "that that boy will stay in this shop until he learns the trade, if I have to fill it with black mechanics from the South." Thus was the backbone of prejudice broken by this bold stand, and our young man remained and finished his trade with honor to himself, his race, and his friendly employer. After finishing his apprenticeship, his parents decided to remove to Canada West, believing that it would be beneficial to the children, of whofn they had six, to be under a government that did not sanction human slavery.

Jeremiah A. BrownThey desired to take their children away from its blighting and withering effects; not as practiced in its enormities, but as sanctioned by the laws of Ohio, which were then known as the "black laws," and against which he has had an opportunity to battle in the Legislature of Ohio. These black laws were very obnoxious to the colored citizens and have constantly provoked unlimited antagonism from them and their ardent white friends. Young Brown accompanied them to Canada and settled near Chatham, Ontario. Upon the inauguration of the Civil War he returned to the United States and located in St. Louis, Missouri, and again returned to steamboating, but from time to time paid visits to his parents.
January 17, 1864, he was married to Miss Mary A. Wheeler, of Chatham, Ontario, a sister of Hon. Lloyd G. Wheeler, of Chicago Illinois, and the Rev. Robert F. Wheeler, of Hartford, Connecticut. Returning to St. Louis, he remained there a short time and then he decided to settle in the State of Ohio. With that end in view he went there in 1869 or 1870, stopping at Wilberforce, Ohio, to which place his parents had removed for the purpose of educating their youngest children. After prospecting in several cities in the southern part of Ohio, he determined upon Cleveland as the place where he would locate and lay the foundation for a useful and happy life; and here he has remained ever since.

A few years' residence found him an active participant in the political field. His first political position was a bailiff of the probate court of that county; then he was deputy sheriff and turnkey of the county prison for four years, and clerk of the " City Boards of Equalization and Revision." Then he obtained a position in the post office as letter-carrier and remained in the employ of the general government until the fall of 1885, when he secured the nomination on the Republican ticket as representative in the Ohio Legislature from Cuyahoga county, being elected by nearly three thousand majority over the highest competitor on the Democratic ticket—an honor by no means small.

His career has been short, and yet long enough to show that he has made due effort to wipe out those prescriptive laws of the State which we have spoken of above. He made a telling speech on the subject March 10, 1886, a bill having been introduced by the Hon. Benjamin W. Arnett. Said he:

All the colored man desires, Mr. Speaker, is that he be given the same legislation that is accorded to other men. No man can deny that we have proven ourselves other than true, patriotic and honorable citizens. Going back to the early days of the history of our country, where the picture is presented of the black man, in person of Crispus Attacks shedding his blood, the first split in the great American war for freedom, we are forced to stand appalled at that country's ingratitude. When, again, I bring in this galaxy of bright lights, Benjamin Banneker, the great mathematician, and those brave men of my race who fought, bled and died for my country in the War of 1812, Iask you,gentlemen,is such ostracism the reward for that heroism and devotion? But when I contemplate the actions of the American Negro on the battlefield of the South—at the many scenes of carnage in which he was engaged during the late War of the Rebellion—with what heroism he performed deeds of valor, showing and demonstrating his ability even at the cannon's mouth, my very heart bleeds for the foul blot heaped upon the countless thousands of black men, who laid their lives upon their country's altar tor the establishment and the perpetuity of this government. In that Southland my race put on the blue, shouldered their muskets, and to-day their bones lie bleaching on dozens of battlefields, where they were massacred by those who sought to destroy this fair land. What, gentlemen, I ask you, is the reward Ohio gives those of her black sons whose bones are scattered there?

Further on, in reference to these black laws, he says:

Repeal them, and to your ensign will cluster the friendship of my race— redress our grievances with that power delegated to every American citizen. Defeat this bill, and the wrath of the colored voters will bury you beneath their ballots cast by as loyal citizens as the sun of Heaven looks down upon. Repeal them, and in after years when we show our children these obnoxious and pernicious laws, explaining to them the disadvantages we were subjected to, by and under them, we can teach them to love and venerate the memories of those who were instrumental in giving us equal facilities with our more than favored brethren.

Mr. Brown is connected with the Masonic fraternity of Ohio, by whom he is highly honored and respected, as is"readily shown by the numerous positions he has held. For a. number of years he has held, and is at this time holding, the grand secretaryship of the Grand Lodge F. A. A. M. of the Grand Chapter R. A. M.; Grand Recorder of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templars and of the order of High Priesthood; he is also a member of the Carpenters' and Joiners' Brotherhood of America; believing that organization, if good for white men, is equally, if not more, beneficial to the black men. His early education was acquired in the common schools of his native State, with a short course in the Avery College of Allegheny, Pennsylvania.

At that time the facilities and opportunities for acquiring an education were far below what are now in vogue. There were no opportunities for black men other than situations of a menial and degrading character to be obtained; but he, imbued with the firm determination to enter the race of life, succeeded in arriving at a point where he can be called a successful man, and has indeed risen from the carpenter's bench, and a common laborer on a steamboat, to the distinguished position of a lawmaker of the State of Ohio. His religious training was under the A. M. E. Church while a youth, but he is not connected with any denomination now, but attends the Congregational Church, the Sabbath school of which is and has been under the superintendency of his wife for about eight years. In financial affairs he has succeeded moderately, being worth probably five thousand dollars. May his life and success be some encouragement for those who find life hard and labor become unprofitable.

TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: Men of mark: eminent, progressive and rising

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

African American Women Triple Negative Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

ATLANTA – A subtype of breast cancer with limited treatment options that disproportionately affects young African American women will be the subject of a community town-hall educational gathering on June 23.

“Triple Negative Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know” will begin with light refreshments at 6 p.m. June 23, 2011, in the Glenn Auditorium at Emory University Hospital Midtown on Peachtree Street. An interactive panel discussion on triple negative breast cancer will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Women who would like more information about breast cancer will have the opportunity to interact with a panel that include physicians, breast cancer surgeons, survivors, nurses and other health-care professionals.

About one in five, or twenty percent, of breast cancers in the general population are believed to be this type of cancer, generally referred to as “triple negative.” A 2006 Emory University study showed that 39 percent of premenopausal African American women were diagnosed with this form of breast cancer. However, in post-menopausal African American women the number did drop to 14 percent.

Dr. Monica Rizzo“The reason we are concerned is because we see so much triple negative breast cancer in young African American women,” says Monica Rizzo, MD, director of Emory Breast Surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital, and because treatment options are fewer than with hormone-positive breast cancers. Researchers at Winship and other major cancer centers are studying why this is so. Answers are not yet clear, Rizzo says.

Triple negative breast cancer is so called because it isn’t fueled by one of three hormones commonly associated with breast cancer growth -- estrogen, progesterone or human epidermal growth factor (HER2). Instead, triple negative breast cancer has been identified as a distinct subtype called “basal-like subtype.”

Because its cells are not fueled by one of the three known hormones, it does not respond to newer drugs such as tamoxifen and herceptin that treat hormone-fueled breast cancers.

Customized Breast Cancer Treatment

Different molecular subtypes of breast cancer are now identified in breast cancer patients by gene-expression profiling before they are treated. The knowledge about whether breast cancer tests positive for the presence of estrogen, progesterone or HER2 gives doctors a tremendous advantage in knowing how to customize treatment for each patient.

Researchers are looking at risk factors other than race for triple negative breast cancer, and some include excess weight gain, lack of breast feeding and elevated waist-to-height ratio. Beyond such physical elements, some researchers are focusing on social and psychological factors, including social isolation and stress.

Rizzo says the screening guidelines for African American women are still the same – mammogram screenings beginning at age 40, unless a woman has a family history of a first-degree relative who was diagnosed with the disease prior to age 50.

For more information and to register, log on to


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Contacts: Lynne Anderson: (404) 778-5452

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hope and Destiny are not words typically associated with sickle cell disease but that’s the title of a new book on the illness

ATLANTA— Hope and Destiny are not words typically associated with sickle cell disease but that’s the title of a new book on the illness by an expert from Emory University School of Medicine.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that changes normal, round red blood cells into cells that can be shaped like crescent moons. Certified physician assistant Allan F. Platt Jr., P.A.-C., M.M.Sc., sees firsthand the agonizing grip the disease can have on patients. For more than twenty years he has provided compassionate care for his patients at the Georgia Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

Platt’s work inspired him to write a book to give patients and caregivers a comprehensive guidebook to manage sickle cell disease through the lifespan.

Hope and Destiny: The Patient and Parent’s Guide to Sickle Cell Disease and Sickle Cell Trait is a compassionate and informative guide and fact book for patients and caregivers to reduce symptoms, relieve pain and better understand the cause and growth of the disease. “I hope this book will raise public awareness about the disease and the issues patients face each and every day. This is a large underserved population in the United States and globally,” says Platt.

Hope and Destiny Helpful Advice for Patients with Sickle Cell DiseaseAccording to the National Institute of Health, sickle cell anemia is most common in people whose families come from Africa, South or Central America, Caribbean islands, Mediterranean countries, India, and Saudi Arabia. In the US, it's estimated that sickle cell anemia affects 70,000–100,000 people, mainly African Americans. The disease occurs in about 1 out of every 500 African American births. Sickle cell disease also affects Hispanic Americans occurring more than 1 out of every 36,000 Hispanic American births. More than 2 million Americans have sickle cell trait.

Platt co-authored Hope and Destiny with James Eckman MD and Lewis Hsu MD. Eckman is a Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute and Director of the Georgia Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Hsu is the Director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Program at Children’s National Medical Center.

In this third edition the authors offer new research findings and the latest updates in treatment options. The expanded content covers anti-sickling therapy with hydroxyurea, gene therapy, foods and supplements that help prevent sickle cell complications, pregnancy and issues surrounding reproduction, cord blood banking, bone marrow transplants and new hope for other options.

Hemoglobin is the iron containing oxygen transport protein in the red blood cell. Normal red blood cells contain hemoglobin A. People with sickle cell disease have red blood cells that contain mostly hemoglobin S, an abnormal type of hemoglobin. Normally, red blood cells live for about 120 days before new ones replace them - hemoglobin S cells only last about 16 days.

“Normal red blood cells move easily through blood vessels, taking oxygen to every part of the body,” Platt explains. Sickle shaped cells on the other hand can get stuck and block blood vessels, preventing the oxygen from getting through. The result is pain, for some excruciating. “Pain is a daily fact of life for those with sickle cell disease, so prevention and treatment methods need to be taught to families and caregivers," says Platt. Sickle cell disease can harm organs, muscles, bones and cause infections, anemia and stroke. Since many providers do not understand sickle cell, Platt says he hopes the book will help patients become experts in their disease and take an active role in their treatment.

Hope and Destiny provides helpful advice for finding the right healthcare team; how to manage the psychosocial aspects of living with a chronic disease; cope with pain and sickle cell “crises” and use faith and prayer in living successfully with the disease.

Hope and Destiny is available online and at local bookstores.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Contacts: Juliette Merchant: (404) 778-1503

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell - September 23, 1863 – July 24, 1954, daughter of former slaves, was one of the first African-American women to earn a college degree. She became an activist who led important associations and worked for civil rights and suffrage.

In all matters affecting the interests of the women of her race. Mrs. Mary Church Terrell, of Washington, D. C., is a leading spirit. Three times in succession she was elected President of the National Association of Colored Women by most flattering majorities. When, according to the provision of the constitution, which limits the term of officers, Mrs. Terrell could not be re-elected president, she was made Honorary President.

She has twice been invited to address the National Woman Suffrage Association at Its annual convention in Washington. Her public utterances have always made a profound impression on her hearers and no speakers associated with her have received more applause from audiences or higher praise from the public press than herself. Not many years ago when Congress, by resolution granted power to the Commissioners of-the District of Columbia to appoint two women on the Board of Education for the public schools, Mrs. Terrell was one of the women appointed. She served in the board for five years with great success and signal ability.

Mrs. Terrell is the only woman who has ever held the office of President of the Bethel IJterary and Historical Association at Washington, the foremost and oldest Lyceum established and controlled by colored people in America. Her splendid work as presiding officer of this organization had much to do with her other subsequent success in attaining similar positions in other bodies of deliberation.

Mary Church TerrellMrs. Terrell's life has been an interesting one. She was born in Memphis, Tenn., of well-to-do parents.

She graduated at Oberlin College in 1884 with the degree of A. B. In 1888 she received the degree of A. M. from Oberlin. She was for a while a teacher at Wilberforce University at Xenia, Ohio. In 1887 she was appointed teacher of languages in the Colored High School at Washington. She went abroad for further study and travel in 1888 and remained in Europe two years, spending the time in France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy.

She resumed her work in Washington in 1890. In 1891 she was offered the registrarship of Oberlin College, being the first woman of her race to whom such a position was ever tendered by an institution so widely known and of such high standard.This place was declined because of her approaching marriage. In 1891 she was married to Mr. Robert H. Terrell, who is a graduate of Howard College and who was recently appointed by President Roosevelt to a Federal Judgeship in the District of Columbia, being one of the two colored men first to receive this high distinction.

Mrs. Terrell has a daughter whom she has named Phyllis, in honor of Phyllis Wheatley, the black woman whose verses received the commendation of George- Washington and many other distinguished men of her time.

Mrs. Terrell is now engaged by a lecture bureau. She has traveled extensively in the West, speaking before large audiences and everywhere her talks have received the highest praise. The Danville, 111., "Daily News," speaking of her address before the Chautauqua of that town, says:

"Mrs. Terrell's addresses are the pure gold with less dross of nonsense than any lecturer that has come upon the stage at this Chautauqua. From the first word to the last she has something to say, and says it as a cultured lady in the best of English, which has no tinge of the high falootin or the sensational. Such speakers are rare. She should be paid to travel as a model of good English and good manners."

Mrs. Terrell's eloquent utterances and chaste diction make a deep impression, which must have influence in the final shaping of the vexed problems that confront the Negro race in this country. Her exceptional attainments and general demeanor are a wonderful force in eradicating the prejudice against colored women. She is making an opening for her sisters as no one else is doing or has ever done.

TEXT CREDIT: Twentieth century Negro literature: or, A cyclopedia of thought on the vital topics relating to the American Negro.

Title Twentieth century Negro literature: or, A cyclopedia of thought on the vital topics relating to the American Negro Editor: Daniel Wallace Culp. Publisher: J. L. Nichols & co., 1902. Original from: the University of Michigan. Digitized: Sep 17, 2008. Length: 472 pages. Subjects: Literary Criticism › American › African American, African American authors, African Americans, Afro-Americans, Literary Criticism / American / African American, Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies.

TEXT RESOURCE: Mary Church Terrell From Wikipedia

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blind Lemon Jefferson Black Snake Moan VIDEO

"Blind" Lemon Jefferson (September 24, 1893 – December 19, 1929)

Birth name: Lemon Henry Jefferson. Born: September 24, 1893. Origin Coutchman, Texas, U.S. Died: December 19, 1929 (aged 36), Genres: Blues. Occupations: Singer-songwriter, guitarist, Years: active 1926–1929.

Black Snake Moan, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Paramount Records.

Jefferson died in Chicago December 10, 1929, of what his death certificate called "probably acute myocarditis". For many years, apocryphal rumors circulated that a jealous lover had poisoned his coffee, but a more likely scenario is that he died of a heart attack after becoming disoriented during a snowstorm. Some have said that Jefferson died from a heart attack after being attacked by a dog in the middle of the night. More recently, the book, "Tolbert's Texas," claimed that he was killed while being robbed of a large royalty cash payment by a guide escorting him to Union Station to catch a train home to Texas.

Paramount Records paid for the return of his body to Texas by train, accompanied by pianist Will Ezell. Jefferson was buried at Wortham Negro Cemetery (later Wortham Black Cemetery). Far from his grave being kept clean, it was unmarked until 1967, when a Texas Historical Marker was erected in the general area of his plot, the precise location being unknown. By 1996, the cemetery and marker were in poor condition, but a new granite headstone was erected in 1997. In 2007, the cemetery's name was changed to Blind Lemon Memorial Cemetery and his gravesite is kept clean by a cemetery committee in Wortham, Texas


TEXT CREDIT: Blind Lemon Jefferson From Wikipedia

Granville T. Woods

GRANVILLE T. WOODS, ESQ. (April 23, 1856 – January 30, 1910), Electrician—Mechaiucal-Engineer-Manufacturer of Telephone, Telegraph and Electrical Instruments.

Some men are born great; some have greatness thrust upon them and some achieve greatness." To the last class belongs G. T. Woods, who was born in Columbus, Ohio, April 23,1856. He attended school until he was ten years of age, when he was placed in a machine shop where he learned the machinist and blacksmith trades. In the meantime he took private lessons and attended night school, and exhibited great pluck and perseverance in fitting himself for the work he desired to undertake. He pursued with assiduity every study which promoted that end. November, 1872, he left for the West, where he obtained work as a fireman and afterwards as an engineer on one of the Iron Mountain Railroads of Missouri. While in the employ of the railroad company he had a great deal of leisure, and as saloons had no attractions for him, he took up the study of electricity as a pastime.

In December, 1874, he went to Springfield, Illinois, where he was employed in a rollingmill. Early in 1876 he left for the East, where he received two years special training in electrical and mechanical engineering at college. While obtaining his special instructions, he worked six half days in each week in a machine shop, the afternoon and evening of each day being spent in school. February 6, 1878, he went to sea in the capacity of engineer on board the Ironsides, a British steamer. While a sailor, he visited nearly every country on the globe. During 1880 he handled a locomotive on the D. & S. Railroad. Since then he has spent the major portion of his time in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he has established a factory for the purpose of carrying on the business, as indicated at the head of this sketch. A company has been formed recently for the purpose of placing Mr. Woods' Electrical Railway Telegraph on the market.

Illustration of Granville T. Woods Born: Granville T. Woods April 23, 1856 Columbus, Ohio United States. Died: January 30, 1910 (aged 53) New York City, New York. Cause of death: Stroke. Resting place: St. Michael's Cemetery, Queens, New York. Residence: 201 West Third Street, Columbus, Ohio. Nationality: American Education: Elementary School, Occupation: Inventor. Home town: Columbus, Ohio
Spouse Loretta Woods. Children: Jake Woods. Parents: Tailer and Martha Woods
Mr. Woods says that he has been frequently refused work because of the previous condition of his race, but he has had great determination and will and never despaired because of disappointments. He always carried his point by persistent efforts. He says the day is past when the colored boys will be refused work only because of race prejudice. There are other causes. First, the boy has not the nerve to apply for work after being refused at two or three places. Second, the boy should have some knowledge of mechanics. The latter could be gained at technical schools, which should be founded for the puKpose. In this respect he shows good sense and really prophesies the future of the race, and these schools must sooner or later be established, and thereby we shall be enabled to put into the hands of our boys and girls the actual means for a livelihood.

He is the inventor of the "Induction Telegraph," a system for communicating to and from movingtrains, and is intended to diminish the loss of life and property, and produce a maximum of safety to travelers.

In the United States patent office, in the case of- Woods vs. Phelps' RailwayTelegraph Interference—L. M. Hosea, attorney for Woods, and W. D. Baldwin, attorney for Phelps—it will be shown that the patent office has decided that Mr. Woods was the prior inventor of this system.

The following appeared in the Cincinnati Sun:

Granville T. Woods, a young colored man of this city, has invented a new system of electrical motor, for street railroads. He has invented also a number of other electrical appliances, and the syndicate controlling his inventions think they have found Edison's successor.

The Cincinnati Colored Citizen, in its issue of January 29, 1887, says:

We take great pleasure in congratulating Mr. G. T. Woods on his success in becoming so prominent that his skill and knowledge of his chosen art compare with that of any one of our best known electricians of the day.

The Catholic Tribune, January 14, 1886, said of him:

Granville T. Woods, the greatest colored inventor in the history of the race, and equal, if not superior, to any inventor in the country, is destined to revolutionize the mode of street car transit. The results of his experiments are no longer a question of doubt. He has excelled in every possible way in all his inventions. He is master of the situation, and his name will be handed down to coming generations as one of the greatest inventors of his time. He has not only elevated himself to the highest position among inventors, but he has shown beyond doubt the possibility of a colored man inventing as well as one of any other race.

The following appeared in the American Catholic Tribune, April 1, 1887 (Cincinnati, Ohio):

Mr. Woods, who is the greatest electrician in the world, still continues to add to his long list of electrical inventions.

The latest device he invented is the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph. By means of this system, the railway despatcher can note the position of any train on the route at a glance. The system also provides means for telegraphing to and from the train while in motion. The same lines may also be used for local message without interference with the regular train signals.

This system may be used for other purposes. In fact, two hundred operators may use a single wire at the same time. Although the messages may be passing in opposite directions, they will not conflict with each other.

In using the devices there is no possibility of collisions between trains, as each train can always be informed of the position of the other while in motion. Mr. Woods has all the patent office drawings for these devices, as your correspondent witnessed.

TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: Men of mark: eminent, progressive and rising

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sissieretta Jones The Black Patti

Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, known as Sissieretta Jones, The Black Patti (January 5, 1868 or 1869 – June 24, 1933. Compared to the Italian soprano at the time, Adelina Patti, Jones was dubbed the "Black Patti".

Among the more recent singers, perhaps the most distinguished is Madame Sissieretta Jones. She was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1870. Her father was pastor of the local Methodist Church. When still a young woman her parents moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where her voice soon attracted public attention. She showed her talent as a singer as early as five years old. After making a number of public appearances in Providence, she was invited to go to New York and sing at Wallack's Theatre.

At age fourteen she was accepted at the now defunct Providence School of Music and also attended training classes at The New England Conservatory in Boston. She aldo met and married her husband "David Richard Jones" a well known gambler.

Her success was so great that she was immediately engaged to tour South America and the West Indies. In 1886 she sang with great success in Madison Square Garden.

She has sung with success in all the principal cities of Europe, and during recent years has had her own company, known as the Black Patti Troubadours at the head of which she has appeared in every important city in the United States. The groups performances included blackface minstrel and “coon” songs also featured acrobats and comedians toured the United States and abroad for 20 years.

Sissieretta Jones The Black PattiOn June 1892 Jones became the first African-American to sing at the Music Hall in New York (renamed Carnegie Hall the following year). Among the selections in her program were Charles Gounod's "Ave Maria" and Giuseppe Verdi's "Sempre libera" (from La traviata). The New York Echo wrote of her performance at the Music Hall: "If Mme Jones is not the equal of Adelina Patti, she at least can come nearer it than anything the American public has heard. Her notes are as clear as a mockingbird's and her annunciation perfect."

She first performed at the White House in February 1892 for President Benjamin Harrison and returned to appear before Presidents Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt. She also appeared before the British Royal Family.

In 1893 Jones met composer Antonín Dvořák, and in January 1894 she performed parts of his Symphony No. 9 at Madison Square Garden. Dvořák wrote a solo part for Jones.

At the age of 46, she returned home to Providence, devoting herself to church work, taking in homeless children, and caring for her ailing mother. To make ends meet, she sold three of her four houses and most of her medals and jewels, leaving her penniless when she died of cancer at age 74 in Rhode Island Hospital.

TEXT CREDIT: The story of the Negro: the rise of the race from slavery, Volume 2 By Booker T. Washington.

IMAGE CREDIT: The white side of a black subject: enlarged and brought down to date : a vindication of the Afro-American race : from the landing of slaves at St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565, to the present time.


Friday, June 3, 2011

The role of vitamin D in halting and reducing subclinical cardiac damage in African-Americans suffering from high blood pressure

The role of vitamin D in halting and reducing subclinical cardiac damage in African-Americans suffering from high blood pressure.

DETROIT - A Wayne State University School of Medicine physician researcher has received a $1.9 million National Institutes of Health grant to study the role of vitamin D in halting and reducing subclinical cardiac damage in African-Americans suffering from high blood pressure.

Phillip Levy, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of emergency medicine and resident of Farmington Hills, Mich., will use the five-year grant to determine how vitamin D affects cardiac structure and function, and vascular function in blacks with hypertension. The research could identify vitamin D as a safe, effective and inexpensive therapy to stop, and even reverse, cardiac ravages caused by high blood pressure.

"This project focuses on a vulnerable demographic subgroup at high-risk for hypertension, poor blood pressure control and, consequently, adverse pressure-related cardiovascular complications," Levy said. "Vitamin D is an inexpensive therapeutic intervention, which, if shown to be efficacious, could greatly enhance the existing approach to secondary disease prevention in a widely accessible, cost-effective manner."

Phillip Levy, M.D., M.P.H.

Phillip Levy, M.D., M.P.H.
High blood pressure affects the black population to a greater degree than other demographics. Blacks also have more difficulty absorbing sufficient amounts of vitamin D through exposure to sunlight because of skin pigmentation. Previous studies, Levy said, suggest a relationship between the degree of skin pigmentation and thickening of the muscle tissue in the wall of the heart's main pumping chamber - a condition known as left ventricular hypertrophy. Common in those with high blood pressure, left ventricular hypertrophy is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, especially heart failure. Importantly, the cardiovascular risks associated with left ventricular hypertrophy start increasing early in the process, often before the appearance of overt symptoms.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to high rates of cardiovascular disease in blacks but whether supplementation can reduce this risk is not known. It is thought that vitamin D deficiency may accelerate ventricular changes that occur with high blood pressure, thus serving as a potential point of intervention.

The study will include Detroit Receiving Hospital emergency department patients between the ages of 30 and 74, who come to the hospital with poorly controlled chronic hypertension but no prior history of secondary cardiovascular disease. Levy said 267 patients who agree to participate in the study will be screened, with the anticipation that 75 percent will have vitamin D deficiency. Those with vitamin D deficiency will then undergo cardiac magnetic resonance imaging to screen for increased left ventricular mass. Based on prior work funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Physician Faculty Scholars Program, Levy anticipates that 60 percent of those evaluated by MRI will have left ventricular hypertrophy resulting in a final sample of 120 patients. These study enrollees will be randomized to receive blood pressure control with additional placebo or vitamin D supplements for an entire year.

Levy said patients enrolled in the study will receive 50,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 every other week, an amount consistent with current therapeutic recommendations. The supplement will be provided in a liquid gel capsule. Most people who take vitamin D purchased over the counter ingest 1,000 IU daily.

Levy expects to find that individuals who receive vitamin D therapy will experience a regression in left ventricular mass beginning 16 weeks after they start taking the supplements. That regression should continue and increase in magnitude over the course of a year. Myocardial fibrosis, which comprises much of the increase of left ventricle mass in those with hypertension, should decrease. Other expected outcomes include improved vascular function with a decrease in central and possibly peripheral blood pressure.

"Vitamin D's effectiveness in further reducing left ventricle mass would decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease complications in African-Americans," Levy said.

Additionally, if serum markers parallel MRI findings in the study, Levy said, they could then serve as a screening and assessment tool.

Levy will serve as the principal investigator for the study. His research mentor, John Flack, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chair of internal medicine, and Rafael Fridman, Ph.D., professor of pathology, will be co-investigators.

"There are biologically plausible mechanisms through which vitamin D deficiency can cause or contribute to left ventricular hypertrophy," Flack said. "Populations, such as African-Americans, who manifest high rates of vitamin D deficiency also have excessive rates of left ventricular hypertrophy. The test of whether moderate- to high-dose vitamin D replacement can regress left ventricular hypertrophy is long overdue. Vitamin D is safe, reasonably cheap, and has enormous, but mostly unproven, therapeutic potential."

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Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit

Wayne State University Release Date: June 02, 2011 Contact: Julie O'Connor Voice: 313-577-8845 E-mail:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The University of Maryland is appointing Bonnie Thornton Dill dean of Arts and Humanities

Bonnie Thornton Dill: First African American Woman Dean of Arts and Humanities, Women's Studies Chair Serving Two-Year Term.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland is appointing Bonnie Thornton Dill dean of one of its largest colleges, Arts and Humanities.

Dill, long-time chair of women's studies, is expected to serve until June 30, 2013. She is the first African American woman to hold the post, and succeeds James Harris, who is stepping down after 14 years as dean. Dill's term begins August 1.

Internationally known for her cross-cutting scholarship on race and gender, Black and Latina women in higher education, as well as issues such as work, family and poverty, Dill has led women's studies at Maryland to national prominence - it is one of a select few universities in the United States to offer a doctoral degree in the field; it serves as the base for the National Women's Studies Association and editorial home of the pioneering journal, Feminist Studies.

Note: Bonnie Thornton Dill is the first woman to serve as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. Under an earlier organizational structure in the 1980s - before there were colleges or deans at Maryland - Shirley Strum Kenny served as "provost" of the division of Arts and Humanities.

Bonnie Thornton DillCourses on women and gender are now regularly offered by 26 departments and programs throughout the university, including African American Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Asian American Studies, Biology, Classics, Communication, Comparative Literature, Education, English, Family Sciences, French and Italian, Germanic Studies, History, Israel Studies, Jewish Studies, Journalism, Kinesiology, LGBT Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, U.S. Latina/o Studies, and Theatre.

Dill has spent two decades in the department, first as professor and later as chair. She is also the founding director of the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity at Maryland, which promotes "intersectional" research.

Her scholarship includes three books, most recently, Emerging Intersections: Race, Class, and Gender in Theory, Policy and Practice (2009), and numerous articles.

"Bonnie's scholarly life has been defined by intersections and cross-disciplinary work - excellent preparation for the challenges of leading such a diverse college as Arts and Humanities," says Senior Vice President and Provost Ann G. Wylie, on announcing the appointment. "Under her leadership, our women's studies program has grown in both size and stature. She is a pioneer in her field, and a number of colleagues in the college recommended her highly. President Loh and I are confident that she will bring further distinction to the invaluable work of the College of Arts and Humanities."

Professor Dill is recognized as an outstanding teacher and mentor, having received both the Jessie Bernard Award and the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award, given by the American Sociological Association, and the University System of Maryland Regents' Faculty Award for Mentoring.

Dill is also active in her profession. She currently serves as president of the National Women's Studies Association and chair of the Advisory Board of Scholars for Ms. Magazine. Formerly, she served as vice president of the American Sociological Association.

"Bonnie exemplifies the kind of educational innovation, as well as the interdisciplinary collaboration that marks our leadership team," says University President Wallace Loh, who is currently accompanying Gov. O'Malley on a trade mission to China. "More than ever, we must stress diversity and inclusiveness as the path to global educational excellence. Bonnie's outstanding accomplishments and talents will make a major contribution to this effort."


Dill promises to be a strong advocate for the arts and humanities, the college's diverse programs, and to enhance the university's reputation as a leader in "inclusive excellence" on matters of diversity and equity.

"We must promote an understanding of how essential arts and humanities disciplines are to human progress," Dill says. "Without education and research in these fields, we'll fail to learn from society's successes and its failures. I'll be a strong voice for the importance of our College's work in our rapidly changing world and in service to the State of Maryland."

Dill points, for example, to the College's ongoing mission of educating "global citizens who think creatively" about the challenges of the 21st century. "Our graduates are the measure of our success," she adds. "The yardstick is their ability to think critically, boldly and imaginatively."


During his 14-year tenure as dean, James Harris significantly raised the College's profile, describing it as "a wonderful period of growth," last fall, when he announced plans to step down.

"I congratulate Bonnie for agreeing to take this critical leadership position and wish her the best of luck," says Harris. "I will, of course, support her fully."

Harris will leave his post at the end of June, and Dill will begin in August. "Dr. Juan Uriagereka, associate provost for faculty affairs and professor of linguistics, has graciously agreed to serve as interim dean for the month of July," Wylie says in an announcement.

Wylie adds that a search will commence in fall 2012 for the next Arts and Humanities dean to serve at the conclusion of Dill's term in 2013.


Dill is a graduate of New York University, where she received her M.A (1970) and Ph.D. (1979). She received her B.A. from the University of Rochester (1965). Dill taught at the University of Memphis, and then came to Maryland as a professor in the women's studies department in 1991, where she currently serves as chair.

University Communications Newsdesk, University of Maryland For Immediate Release June 2, 2011 Contacts: Neil Tickner, 301 405 4622 or

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baltimore's festival of African American music and culture

Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined event producer greiBO Media to announce events and musical acts at the 2011 African American Festival. Taking place July 2-3, this free and family-friendly festival of African American music and culture has been held in Baltimore for three decades. Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors from up and down the East Coast converge on the city to enjoy African American food, music, art, crafts, and dance.

The star-studded extravaganza featuring Charlie Wilson, Noel Gourdine, and many other national musical acts will be held at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, July 2, 2011 from noon to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday, July 3, from noon to 9:00 p.m. Coca-Cola is the title sponsor. In addition to entertainment, the 2011 African-American Festival will feature health screenings, cultural foods, contests, giveaways, and much more. Additional musical acts will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The African American Festival brings together our community of families to honor our past, celebrate our accomplishments, and showcase our future,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “I believe that we live in one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the country, and I love any opportunity to show it off to people from out of town. I am grateful for the efforts of our sponsors and our Advisory Board members to make this the best festival Baltimore has ever seen.”

2011 African American Festival Photographer Credit: Mark L. Dennis

2011 African American Festival Photographer Credit: Mark L. Dennis
The African American Festival is the largest annual African American cultural event on the East Coast and has attracted over 300,000 visitors to the two-day celebration for more than 30 years. The African American Festival has become one of Baltimore’s most well-attended, premier attractions for citizens and tourists alike. The event includes a variety of world-renowned and local entertainment, arts and crafts exhibits, jewelry, sculptures, ethnic and American cuisine, educational resources, and an interactive children’s area. This year, AAF will continue to build on its legacy of promoting tradition, cultural awareness, and Baltimore’s rich history while inspiring the future of the African American experience.

“We are grateful for the hard work of the individuals responsible for making this year’s event a success,” said Shelonda Stokes, President and CEO of greiBO Media. “Our volunteer advisory board, Mayor’s Office staff, and sponsors are helping to breathe new life into a festival celebrating the history and culture of Baltimore’s African American community. Thanks to their commitment, Baltimore’s legacy will continue to thrive and grow for years to come.”

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Mayor, Baltimore City 250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202 (410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

CONTACT: Ryan O’Doherty (410) 818-4269

For more information, please visit, or follow the Festival on Facebook (AfricanAmericanFestival) or Twitter @BmoreAfram. ###

IMAGE CREDIT: African American Festival | July 2-3 2011, Baltimore, MD: Photographer Credit: Mark L. Dennis