HU Bison Beat November/ December 2021

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A Monthly Newsletter from the Office of the President

BISON BEAT GIVING BACK November/ December 2021

Marcus Coleman (BBA ’08), director of Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships

DEAR HOWARD UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY, When I ask Howard students to tell me about their

to give back, we are inclined to give more and

mission rather than their major, I want to adjust

more of ourselves. When we are grateful for the

how they think about their education. Studying,

world we have been given, we feel compelled to

preparing for exams and writing papers can be

make it even better for those who will inherit it

isolating activities. But it is vital that our students

from us.

learn to look beyond themselves when considering their personal academic pursuits. They have to

Service and social justice are distinct. But, at

look forward toward all the people who can benefit

Howard University, they are also inextricably

from their knowledge, their ideas, their creativity,

linked. Gratitude is the essential chord we

their passion. They have to look behind them, back toward all the people who blazed trails so they could end up where they are today. They have to understand not only what they are studying, but what they are studying for. Service ignites our education and sparks it into motion. Without a service orientation, Howard’s academic and educational offerings would remain inert. Without service, our University would be a boat without a rudder, without a sail or the wind to propel it. The principle of service is, undoubtedly, foundational to our institution. But it is eminently worth our time to consider what lies deeper than service. Before we can serve, we have to understand what drives us to serve and

must strike to ensure our acts of service are properly attuned to the needs of others. However, service is a symphony, one comprised of numerous instruments and sounds and tones. Amidst the service that emanates from the Mecca, one can hear notes of anger, indignation and frustration; inflections of sadness, pity and compassion. These feelings are not mutually exclusive. We can feel grateful and angry at the same time. We don’t have to stop feeling frustrated so that we may feel compassionate. The complexity of our service is what makes it so vital and worthy of endless pursuit.

Excellence in Truth and Service,

what conditions must be met for service and selflessness to outweigh and counteract feelings of selfishness. The force that drives service, more so than any other, is gratitude. When we are grateful for all that we have, we are moved to give to others who have less. When we are grateful for an opportunity


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W AY N E A . I . F R E D E R I C K , M . D . , M B A

Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery P R E S I D EN T



Alumnus Marcus Coleman, new director of the DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, on a service-based career with FEMA.


Nya Parker, student executive director of Alternative Spring Break, on why service is a way of life.


Senior Tymek Jones on why service forms the building blocks of society.


Taking Service Ahead Through Howard Forward In Howard Forward’s mission, service finds a home in the University’s strategic plan.


A Service Orientation: How Alternative Spring Break Made Service the Default at Howard How Howard honors truth and service through the years.




Karsh Stem Scholars Program

Cover: Marcus Coleman (BBA ’08), director of the Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships, meets with pastor and local volunteer organizations at the Tchoupitoulas Chapel in Reserve, Louisiana, to assist with supplies for those affected by Hurricane Ida. Photo by Keith Jones (FEMA)

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Campus Happenings Howard Welcomes Back Bison to Homecoming Howard University welcomed alumni back home for a week of in-person and virtual Homecoming activities in October, marking one of the first in-person events held on campus since the pandemic. Red, white and blue balloons filled the Yard along with lounge furniture, bouncy castles, photo booths, cornhole games, tunes and free food. Themed “Remember the Times,” this year’s Homecoming reminisced about Homecomings past while celebrating the fact that students could create their own memories on campus this year. Homecoming was kicked off with the crowning of the Royal Court in Cramton auditorium, followed by a roaring pep rally in Burr Gymnasium. Other popular and familiar events included the Greek Step Show and Yard Fest, both held in Cramton auditorium to manage crowd size and COVID-19 safety. The annual Day of Service was held the Saturday morning before the big game and included activities across the Washington metropolitan area, including community beautification, health, education and environmental justice. The game itself took place in Greene Stadium against Norfolk State, where Howard alumni and students together cheered the Bison. Homecoming weekend concluded with the annual fashion show in Cramton auditorium and a virtual Party on the Yard.


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Howard Renames Street to Lucy Diggs Slowe Way In honor of alumna and former Dean of Women Lucy Diggs Slowe, Howard renamed the 2400 block of 4th Street NW to Lucy Diggs Slowe Way on October 22, 2021. Slowe made an impact on education, women’s studies, organizational development, race politics, philosophy and sports. She graduated from Howard as class valedictorian in 1908, where she was also president and a member of the Howard University Women’s Tennis Club. She helped to transform teaching and learning wherever she worked. She created and led the district’s first junior high school while advocating for equity in higher education. Eventually, she joined the faculty at Howard University as the first dean of women in 1922. Slowe was the first Black woman to win a national title in any major sport and became a 17-time American Tennis Association champion. Additionally, she was a founder and first president of three national organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She also held leadership positions in several other national organizations. Dean Sandra Crewe, Ph.D., spoke at the unveiling ceremony about Slowe’s legacy. “At the School of Social Work, we have always stood on her shoulders,” she said. “Today, we get to stand on her street.”

PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship Established at Howard The PNC Foundation recently announced a five-year, $16.8 million grant to Howard University to create a center for entrepreneurship education and research. The grant is aimed at building resources and support for Black business owners across the country. The center will support expanded opportunities for Black entrepreneurship with enhanced educational, leadership and capacity-building resources and programs nationwide. The center will be located on Howard University’s campus, but will also include programming at four regional HBCUs. The center will use a regional structure with Howard University, Morgan State University, Clark Atlanta University and Texas Southern University. A major focus for the center and its regional HBCU partners will be to expand access to entrepreneurship opportunities by engaging students, business owners and communities of color in growing their enterprises, with a goal of increasing employment and wealth for students attending HBCUs. Another goal of the center will be to help build Black small business capacity by leveraging partnerships with local chambers of commerce and other institutions to provide mentorship and networking opportunities. The center will also partner with Black businesses to improve credit, increase access to capital, provide undergraduate and graduate students hands-on experience in working with Black businesses and entrepreneurs, provide access to technologies that can increase the success of Black businesses, provide access to universities’ procurement process, and assist in applying for loans and access to capital.

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Howard Distributes $11 Million in Funding to Students Through the COVID-19 related Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), Howard promised to distribute $11 million in need-based financial support to students. A total of 11,949 Howard students received an average of $834 through the action. HEERF funding is a component of the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Howard University said the funding will go directly to students who are facing urgent needs in affording tuition and fees, food, housing, technology, childcare, medical and mental health care, and other expenses. The Howard student body swelled to nearly 12,000 students this year, as the majority of students chose to return to campus to continue their education. With the HEERF funding distribution, Howard provided a total of $38 million in additional need-based financial support to students since March 2020. This amount does not include the $169 million that the University has provided in institutional and donor-funded aid this year. In August, Howard University announced that it would clear the debts of juniors and seniors facing financial hardships as a result of the pandemic. President Frederick announced that students who had an expected family contribution of $0 and an outstanding balance for the Spring 2021 semester would receive a credit to their accounts to completely eliminate their current debt at the time.

WHUR Hosts 43rd Annual Patrick Ellis Food2Feed Radiothon Radio station 96.3 WHUR hosted its signature event, the 12-hour Patrick Ellis Food2Feed Radiothon to raise monetary and nonperishable donations on November 16, 2021. Listeners were encouraged to make a donation online or drop by the WHUR studio to donate canned goods to fill the donation truck. All of the proceeds are split equally between the Capital Area Food Bank and Shabach Ministries, two nonprofit organizations working to provide equitable access to food for people struggling with food insecurity. This year, WHUR raised more than $40,000 in donations. “WHUR listeners have always answered the call to assist their neighbors in need. It is heartwarming to see that even in the midst of the lingering pandemic the level of caring for others is amplified,” said WHUR general manager Sean Plater. The event is a part of WHUR’s larger “Season of Giving Campaign,” which includes a children’s school supply giveaway in August, children’s coat drive in October, and the children’s toy drive in December. 2021 also marks the 50th anniversary of the heritage radio station. 6

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Vernon E. Jordan Jr. Fellowship In partnership with law firm Akin Gump, the Howard School of Law announced the launch of the Vernon E. Jordan Jr. Fellowship in honor of the late Vernon E. Jordan Jr. (J.D. ’60, H. ’72), a civil rights icon who was a partner at Akin Gump. The fellowship is a paid internship for two third-year law students to work in the firm’s public law and policy practice in Washington. In conjunction with the fellowship, the firm also made a commitment to donate $1 million in support of the Howard School of Law’s Vernon E. Jordan Jr. Law Library. Additional tributes to Mr. Jordan will include an endowed chair at Howard University’s School of Law in his honor to be announced at a later date.

Howard University Cathy Hughes School of Communications

CELEBRATES 50 YEARS Students, faculty and alumni of the Cathy Hughes School of Communications gathered at the National Press Club and online on November 13 for an evening of excellence, celebration and reflection on the past half-century. The future of CHSOC is currently in the hands of students focused on the changing landscape of the field. As the University moves further into interdisciplinary studies and research, Bison can focus on media studies, health, legal and strategic communications, film, radio, podcasting and television, and even more niche majors and minors and immersive curriculums. Funds collected from the 50th anniversary celebration will go toward the school’s scholarship fund and the establishment of a new building that will house the Cathy Hughes School of Communications and the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. For 50 years, the Howard University School of Communications has trained the nation’s top communicators and media professionals, from award-winning news anchors and journalists to filmmakers, public relations executives, and researchers. This year, school celebrated 50 years of disseminating truth through communication and providing community service through storytelling.



Alumni Profile A Career in Caring Marcus Coleman (BBA ’08) spent most of his career with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) developing public-private sector partnerships in disaster and special mission responses, receiving two FEMA Administrator’s Awards in 2016 – one for leading a national effort that engaged houses of worship in safety and security training and another for launching the first FEMA Partnership Day. Coleman was sworn in recently as the director of the Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships, an appointment made by the Biden-Harris administration.

Q: What are you most excited about accomplishing in your new position? A: A few things. We have a big focus on equity – from President Biden’s executive order on advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities to FEMA’s initiative on advancing equity. I’m excited to be part of the comprehensive effort of doing right and better by disaster survivors while also taking a systemic look at career opportunities, procurement & how we interact with people. Being a part of that is very exciting to me because a part of that focus is having more people making decisions in policy and movement and building the right kind of partnerships. We already have engaged faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, such as the great work from Howard’s Rankin Chapel and Alternative Spring Break (HUASB) program. We’re looking at the consequences of climate change today and what we can do to mitigate some consequences while striving for equity in the delivery of FEMA’s programs. As the increase in frequency of disasters from climate change occurs, this means we need more expertise.

Q: How did Howard’s motto of “Truth and Service” inspire your service-based career?

A: My mother, Maiola T. Coleman, is a major influence in my decision to pursue a service-based career. Howard’s motto of “Truth and Service” inspired me to expand my vision of what a service-based career could be. I continued to be inspired by how the motto is lived out by current students and fellow alum like my wife, Amber English Coleman (BBA ’07), who proudly serves as communications director for Congresswoman Nikema Williams.

Q: Why is service important? A: As Shirley Chisolm said, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” It is a grounding experience that keeps me focused on how I can be the best to myself and to others. Howard gave me the experience, language, mindset & role models to find ways to be of service in ways I didn’t expect, and doing this work out of DHS is one example. It provides opportunities to deepen relationships with other servants & people and learn from them.


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Q: What is one of the most memorable projects you worked on? A: Four weeks into my current role, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, which coincided with the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Its remnants would severely impact communities as far as Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. I have been humbled to be part of a team where many of our best people are survivors of Hurricane Katrina and other devastating disasters and choose daily to work on behalf of communities centering our core values of compassion, fairness, integrity and respect. I have been fortunate to work alongside organizations like the National Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Power Coalition for Equity & Justice to ensure we reach the people most in need in times of crisis. I am encouraged by the leadership and action of FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell to lead the way in ensuring we strive for equity in FEMA’s programs by making changes to policies that historically had a negative disproportionate impact on Black families in the South. Programs like HUASB play an outside role in helping those communities and others. A lot of people still have needs after disasters, and knowing that people are still there helping long after the news cameras are switched off is important.

Q: How can Howard students get involved with FEMA? A:

If you’re truly interested in a career in emergency management, I’d suggest connecting with the Howard

University Emergency Manager Ariel Triplett. Howard also convenes the HBCU Emergency Management Workforce Consortium under the leadership of Dr. Goulda Downer, who is working to help more students explore career opportunities in emergency management. Whether you are a student, a recent graduate, or hold an advanced degree, we offer employment opportunities through our Pathways Programs: Recent Graduates, Presidential Management Fellows and internships. Student and recent graduate programs offer invaluable, career-defining and preparation experiences, and range from paid Summer internships to career development programs that may lead to a permanent job. There are also a number of career opportunities besides just emergency management but also in DHS broadly. We need all those majors and backgrounds in the emergency management discipline and as climate change continues.

FEMA Corps Program FEMA Corps is a volunteer service program that provides young adults ages 18-24 a variety of hands-on opportunities in the field of emergency management. Over the course of 12 months, FEMA Corps selectees work around the country, helping communities prepare for and respond to disasters. The program is an excellent way to gain experience in emergency management and is one way that students can translate their community service in college into a career in emergency management. Many FEMA Corps alumni go on to become professionals at FEMA or other government agencies. Visit or to learn more. For questions, contact D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 1 B I S O N B E AT M O N T H LY N E W S L E T T E R


Student Profile Service as a Way of Life Nya Parker, a senior from Norfolk, Virginia who is majoring in biology with minors in chemistry and political science, is this year’s Alternative Spring Break executive student director.

Why is service important to you? Growing up, my grandmother – the matriarch of the family – taught us to be caring, giving and selfless. It’s always been instilled in me – the term “service” wasn’t what I thought of it as. It was always about being nice and being a servant to God. We always put God and family and the ones you love first. I’ve always been that way. When I heard of Alternative Spring Break and got involved, I was like, “Wow, this is what I needed to guide me through college.”

Why should service be important to everyone, especially at Howard? We’re right here near the center of D.C. and using its resources. It’s important that we always give back and show our appreciation to the natives of the city.

How do you make time for service? People make time for what they want to. Even if you go out and have fun, you can make time to do service. Service can be a simple act – like buying a cup of coffee for someone else when you get your coffee in the morning. People confuse service with helping someone who is in desperate need. It doesn’t have to be a desperate situation. We all can use an extra hand in life.

What skills/knowledge have you learned from service? Most of the skills I’ve gained since being at Howard I have to give credit to Alternative Spring Break for. First, it’s a confidence booster. As a site coordinator, I learned to make phone calls and ask [organizations], “Hey, do you mind donating food to 30 people for a week or [letting students stay] at your church and use your showers so we can give back to your community?” I also gained technical skills, like how to write a professional email and how to utilize all the components of Microsoft


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excel. I also learned how to be more personal when building relationships with others while also being grateful for the privileges I had in life.

What is your most memorable project? Freshman year, I was a site coordinator for Alternative Spring Break, which is not typical of freshmen. I got to plan a trip for 30 individual students and found housing and donated meals for us. I felt like I was at a full-time job while being a full-time student. We worked with schools during the day and spent time with the Girls & Boys Club after school. Alternative Spring Break is one of the greatest programs I’ve ever seen in my life. Before the pandemic, we had over 1,200 students sign up to go volunteer. That’s a huge percent of our student body. After reflecting on the process of planning the trip and then to actually see it come to life successfully was very rewarding.

How will service continue for you after Howard? I always want service to be incorporated in everything I do. Right after college I plan on focusing on medical school and preparing for MCAT, but as an OB-GYN I want to do pop-up clinics around the world to underserved communities and give prenatal care for those who don’t have access to regular care.

Building Society Through Service Senior biology major and Mr. Residence Life Tymek Jones sees service as more than just a project or two, but the building blocks of society. Actively involved in community service even before attending Howard, Jones is also a mentor with I-RiseDC, among other service activities.

Q: Why is service important to you? A: My passion is outreach and motivating and uplifting my peers and youth especially. The issue is not that certain people are incapable of greatness or success, but sometimes they simply do not have the resources, tools or knowledge for them to be successful. On top of that, because no one believes in them, they lose belief in themselves. I find pleasure in helping them rediscover that greatness. When I hear how I was able to help someone, it is just very moving to me. That’s the importance of service. We need each other.

Q: Why should service be important to everyone, especially at Howard? A: It’s important that we care and love for one another. The importance of service is to understand that we are meant to help one another and we simply cannot function by ourselves. Everything in our society is based off other people. We have privilege of attending this great University and we have privilege of being in the overall D.C. community. They foster and cultivated this atmosphere, and we are just visitors. Howard University is on the forefront of change; therefore, we set the standard for the communities around us. If we establish those high standards now, we are instilling values into the future leaders of the world.

Q: How do you make time for service? A: We’re all busy, but we make time for the important things in our life. In terms of service, it’s about finding a passion in service and the things you enjoy doing because there are some service projects we do not like. For instance, maybe picking up garbage or picking up weeds may not be my favorite community service project, but student outreach is. Make time for the things you truly value. I think what is lacking is the understanding of the importance of service. If you don’t have a good understanding, it is more difficult to value it if you don’t know how important it is to society.

What skills/knowledge have you learned from service? A: Organizational management, leadership. You lead a group and have to motivate and inspire the group to do work and plan a community service project. You have to be able to correspond with the team and the organization. You gain life lessons. Serving underprivileged communities broadens our eyes to the bigger world.

What is your most memorable project? A: We gave out blankets to the homeless and they were so appreciative of it. In this moment, it was reemphasized in real time to me that these individuals are no different than myself or my mother, uncle, father, aunt, brother or sister. The major difference is our current situation. And seeing that similarity and making that connection grows that passion and drive to want to serve. Seeing the impact of my service makes me want to do it more. D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 1 B I S O N B E AT M O N T H LY N E W S L E T T E R




Forward Taking Service Ahead Through Howard Forward The University’s strategic plan includes key service initiatives When Howard’s strategic plan, Howard Forward, was created, it included five strategic priorities, or pillars, each outlined with goals and purposes. The third one, “Serve the Community,” is focused on this mission: “We

will serve our diverse community with high impact outreach and collaborative partnerships across divisions and beyond campus borders, while cultivating an atmosphere of inclusivity, wellness and civility.”

Through this effort, the Howard Forward service pillar set forth six key initiatives that would encapsulate the culture of service and giving back at Howard. The pillar’s intention is to help more than just the Howard community, but D.C. and beyond. “It’s in our motto. We speak about it daily, and it’s who we are. It’s in the hearts and minds of our student body,” says Debbi Jarvis, senior vice president of corporate relations, who leads efforts to partner and fund various service initiatives. In partnership with Student Affairs, the programs are tracked and measured for student, faculty and staff participation. The data allows the Howard University Community Engagement Collaborative (HUCEC) to examine the impact in the community. Jarvis started the Howard University Community Engagement Collaborative (HUCEC), which brings the various community-facing campus groups and organizations to work together. The groups include the office of corporate relations, Rankin Chapel through Alternative Spring Break, external affairs, Howard University Hospital, student affairs, the HU Community Association, and WHUR and WHUT among others. The group meets monthly to discuss University-led service activities and to coordinate initiatives. Though the groups work together to develop community-based outreach, it’s the students who really bring the efforts to life. Creating such opportunities, Jarvis says, is “another way for us to validate how important it is for students to lead the efforts, because when they graduate, that’s what they’re going to be doing.”


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The key initiatives that support the Howard Forward pillar are as follows: Alternative Spring Break: By far the most popular program, the Howard University Alternative Spring Break (HUASB) program has continued to draw students to spend their break giving back to communities around the country and the world. Launched in 1994, HUASB has brought Howard students to help in schools, homeless shelters, churches and disaster relief sites, such as areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. Students organize several trip options around the country and sometimes internationally, working to find funding and donations for housing, food and transportation in exchange for their volunteer services. It has allowed students to be servant leaders, build confidence and interpersonal skills, and recognize the enormous and rewarding impact their work has on people and communities.

College of Dentistry Dental Clinic: This program provides Washington, D.C. residents with free or reduced-fee dental care at nearly 50 percent of average D.C. costs. Students and post-doctoral residents provide care under the guidance of professors and area dentists, some of whom volunteer their time. The college also travels to remote areas around the country to set up similar clinics, particularly in areas where dental care may be more difficult to attain due to location and/or costs.

HU Day of Service: This annual tradition, held during Homecoming week, unites the entire Howard community – including students, faculty, staff and alumni – to participate in service projects across D.C. The initiatives focus on seven service-learning areas: educational disparities, environmental injustices, health disparities, homelessness and poverty, violence, police and community relationships, and voter registration. In 2019 (pre-pandemic), nearly 700 participants were active at 29 different service sites. There is also another service day, held in August, which welcomes incoming students to Howard’s tradition.

Policing Inside Out Program: Offered as a 15-week course, the program takes students away from the traditional classroom setting and places them inside a correctional facility to learn alongside incarcerated individuals. Led by assistant professor of criminology Bahiyyah Muhammad, Ph.D., course participants have the opportunity to reexamine what they have come to know about law enforcement and social justice issues while gaining a deeper understanding of community-police relations in the 21st century. The semester-long academic course discusses contemporary policing and social justice issues, facilitates citizen-police dialogue to improve trust, tackles difficult issues such as use of force, and enhances cross-cultural knowledge of human diversity.

The Store@HU was created as a food pantry for students to reduce short-term food insecurity among the student body. Howard University’s Division of Student Affairs is responsible for managing The Store@HU and conducting drives throughout the year for faculty and staff donations. In addition, the corporate relations team develop partnerships with various companies to help provide donations as well, such as L’Oreal and Proctor & Gamble, Jarvis says. The Store@HU is located inside College Hall South on 2205 4th Street NW. D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 1 B I S O N B E AT M O N T H LY N E W S L E T T E R


WHUR-FM Food2Feed: For the past four decades, WHUR-FM – Howard University Radio has hosted an annual Thanksgiving food drive & radiothon to feed those in need around the Washington, D.C. region. Food2Feed is part of WHUR’s Season of Giving Campaign, in which the station provides new Winter gear for youth of D.C., during the month of October and toys & gifts for children during the month of December. Howard’s goal is to increase participation among students, faculty and staff to 1,200 by 2024 – a 25 percent increase from its current participation of 930 volunteers. Outside of the six initiatives, many other opportunities exist for the community to get involved, including the Truth & Service classic and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, among others. In addition to developing corporate partnerships for donations and service, the office of corporate relations focuses on developing other relationships to create internships and full-time employment opportunities for students. In 2020, the office of corporate relations developed 16 transformationl corporate partnerships; by 2024, it aims to have 45 more cemented. “We

want to help bring forward opportunities,” Jarvis says. “Companies come to Howard knowing they can connect with the best and the brightest talent. We look at these partnerships as intentional and impactful.”

A Service Orientation:

How Alternative Spring Break Made Service the Default at Howard Since 1994, the Howard University Alternative Spring Break program has been a prominent – and growing – presence on campus, offering students another means of reenergizing themselves ahead of the final month of the semester. To be sure, HUASB can be physically exhausting, with hours spent traveling and early wake-up times to get students out of bed before 6 a.m. But the program is designed to be just as restorative, if not more so, than a relaxing vacation or a week spent lounging at home. “Service is good for your mental health,” says Sandra Crewe, dean of Howard’s School of Social Work. She has been involved with HUASB for more than 20 years and has traveled with students through the program to places like New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She talks about the importance of serving in a manner that feels authentic and uplifting, not only for the people receiving support, but also for those who are giving it. “If service becomes a burden, then that’s no longer service,” Crewe says. “Service is given with a free spirit of wanting to help and wanting to make a difference in one’s life.” HUASB and other service projects organized by the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel are oriented around the rhythms of the academic year and in accordance with the students’ needs at those particular times. Howard University Day of Service (HUDOS), for instance, is held annually in August at the beginning of the Fall semester. “The intention is to expose incoming students to Howard’s tradition of service. This service-learning experience allows Howard University students to discover the power of ethical leadership and civic responsibility. HUDOS is held in collaboration with over 80 sites across the district and exposes students to the communities that surround Howard,” says Andreya Davis (B.A. ’14, M.A. ’23), assistant dean for faith-based and community initiatives. There are also service projects during Homecoming and around the holiday season. “We really have a well-oiled machine [that effectively introduces] students to Howard’s tradition of service.” 14

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Howard’s motto, “Truth and Service,” is emblazoned throughout campus, constantly reminding students of these foundational principles upon which the University was built. While Davis appreciated those words when she first encountered them at Howard, “Alternative Spring Break is the program that helped give those words meaning,” she says. “[It] took them off a sheet of paper and really actualized what the motto means.” As a freshman, Davis was a team leader for an initiative in her hometown of Detroit, where they worked to improve literacy in the Black communities and help Black students with college preparedness, including admissions essays. From very early on in her Howard experience, she was exposed to what made HUASB such a special program. As an entirely student-run operation, the students have the opportunity to select the communities they will help, to decide on the service projects and organize the logistics on the ground. While the program itself takes place during Spring Break, it is truly a year-long project for those most intimately involved. Bernard Richardson, PhD, dean of the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, often references a quote from Benjamin E. Mays, who helped lay the groundwork for the civil rights movement, in the context of student leadership: “Don’t seek greatness; seek to serve, and if you seek to serve, you will bump into greatness along the way.” Part of what distinguishes HUASB from similar programs at other institutions of higher education has to do with the leadership development component. Alternative Spring Break is not just designed to empower students to do good and feel good. It is training them for a life of leadership and service. Davis says she knows students that have been so affected by their HUASB experience that they emerge from the program completely transformed. “A lot of our students have changed their career pathways as a result of Alternative Spring Break. We’ve had students who chose to dedicate their life to teaching because [during HUASB] they were in the classrooms for a week and saw that there were more Black teachers, who were also dedicated, empathetic and engaged, needed in the communities we were serving,” she says. “One of our students decided to move to Ghana because he was able to travel there for the first time [during] Alternative Spring Break, and it changed his life and the lens through which he looked at the world.” For students at Howard, there is an element of gratitude and responsibility to their service. Crewe calls it a “Sankofa moment,” a word that comes from the Akan people of Ghana meaning “to go back and get it.” The term is often associated with the symbol of a bird who is flying forward with its head turned to look behind it. “We are always looking backward. [I’m] not just looking [forward] to what I can achieve, but [back to those] who paved the way for me to be here. Because there was a social injustice done to someone, I have an opportunity and a responsibility [to serve them],” Crewe says. “Service at Howard often has a social justice lens to it. [We] identify communities, not just in need, but communities who have had a history of oppression and marginalization. So, I think Howard service tends to bend toward the arc of injustice. … That’s in [our] DNA.”

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A NN O UN C EM E NTS Debra Bright, EdD, is the new associate vice president for student

affairs. She comes from Montgomery College where she was associate dean of student affairs. She was also director of admissions and student services for George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Bright is a passionate advocate for equity and empowerment for women and girls and served on the Steering Committee for the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) and the Montgomery County Commission for Women.

Robert Brooks, the digital solution specialist at WHUR-FM, was recently

appointed to serve on the Communications Equity and Diversity Council (CEDC) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He will chair the Innovation and Access Working Group. Previously, Brooks served on the Access to Capital Working Group of the Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE), the predecessor advisory committee to the CEDC, and was instrumental in developing the ACDDE’s “Advertising Best Practices for Diverse Broadcasters” report.

Princess Gamble is the new associate vice president and chief

operating officer (COO) of development and alumni relations. Gamble comes from the Smithsonian Institution where she was a member of the founding staff of the National Museum of African American History and Culture nearly 14 years ago. She most recently served on the executive team as director of advancement for strategic initiatives in the Smithsonian’s central Office of Advancement.

Kimberly Holmes-Iverson was named director of public relations in the Howard University Office of University Communications. Holmes-Iverson leads the University’s media relations and communications strategy. An Emmy awardwinning television journalist, Holmes-Iverson previously served as a morning anchor at the CBS affiliate on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She has also reported and anchored at stations in Orlando, Florida and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Benjamin Talton, PhD (B.A. ’96) is the new director of the

Moorland Spingarn Research Center (MSRC). Talton was most recently at Temple University where he was a professor of history. He replaces Clifford Muse, PhD, who retired recently after a long and respected tenure. Talton is an editor of African Studies Review, sits on the executive board of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) and is a past president of the Ghana Studies Association.


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Karsh STEM Scholars Program From developing medicines and vaccines to fighting climate change, companies and institutions that focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) play an outsized role in transforming society. But to ensure these industries aren’t leaving any communities behind, it is vital that the people who lead them and work for them represent the populations they serve. The Karsh STEM Scholars Program (KSSP) establishes a pipeline from within higher education to diversify STEM industries across the nation. The program was established in 2017 and endowed in 2020 by a $10-million gift from the Karsh Family Foundation, which, at the time, represented the largest-ever donation to the University. Among the ranks of professors, research scientists, policymakers and corporate leaders, African American and Hispanic individuals are tremendously underrepresented. KSSP identifies intellectually gifted and academically strong students who are interested in pursuing either a PhD or a joint M.D./PhD in STEM and provides them with the resources and support to ensure their success. KSSP Scholars participate in programs to prepare them for the rigors of their intensive academic paths, receive mentorship from leading professional in STEM fields, and participate in Summer research internships. Prior to the creation of the Karsh STEM Scholars Program, Howard was already responsible for sending more African American students to STEM PhD programs than any other institution. However, the University believed that, if it devoted more resources to sending its students to terminal degree programs in the STEM fields, it could do even more to diversify these critical industries and cultivate the next generation of STEM pioneers from minority communities. The gift from the Karsh Family Foundation provides funding for approximately 30 scholars to enter the program each year. In Fall 2021, the fifth cohort of Karsh STEM Scholars began their journey at Howard University. Already, the concept behind the program’s creation is beginning to come to fruition. The inaugural KSSP cohort graduated in Spring 2021, and these students have already published their scholarship in some of the country’s leading journals and have moved on to some of the most prestigious and reputable graduate and professional education programs in the world.

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