January 2014, Issue 24 NORFOLK STATE UNIVERSITY ® MAKING WAVES A Newsletter for Faculty, Staﬀ, Alumni and Friends of Norfolk State University Achieving Excellence. Success Beyond Measure. 2013 Year in Review The year 2013 has come and gone—quickly for some and not quickly enough for others. Here is a look back at some of the stories that shaped the University over the past 12-month calendar year from awards to new initiatives. This is the year that was. Williams Receives Outstanding Faculty Award Dr. Frances Williams, NSU associate professor of engineering, was among the recipients of the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award presented by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and Dominion Resources. The Outstanding Faculty Award is the Commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities and recognizes superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service. Dr. Williams was one of 12 recognized statewide. It was the second consecutive year that a Norfolk State University faculty member received the award. A year before this distinction, Dr. Williams was named an Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education in 2012. She was recognized by Norfolk State University in 2010 with a Distinguished Faculty Award, receiving the University Award of Excellence—the highest University faculty award at that time. In 2012, Dr. Williams was recognized by the NSU Board of Visitors for her innovation. Norfolk State’s Spartan Success Center: Compass that Points Way to Achievement The year saw the beginnings of the Spartan Success Center. The Center was conceived as a new resource in the University’s efforts to help students improve their academic achievement and reduce time to degree completion. It serves as a compass to guide students in their academic journey to graduation. Housed in the James Bowser Building, the Success Center assists students in becoming more independent, self-confident and efficient learners through academic support systems. When the center was conceived, it was anticipated that this comprehensive effort would increase the fall 2012 freshman cohort retention rate by 1.5 percent by September 30, 2013, and decrease the attrition rate of the fall 2011 freshman cohort by 1 percent. Ultimately, by September 30, 2017, the major objectives were to increase the retention rate for the freshman cohort from 73 percent to 80 percent and increase the six-year graduation rate for freshmen who entered the University in fall 2011 from 34 percent to 40 percent.