President's Bison Beat March 2016

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A Monthly N e ws l e tte r f r o m the O f f i c e o f the P res i d en t








Dear Howard University Community: This month, Howard University celebrated its founding, its promising future and its historic legacy. At Howard, we believe every day is an opportunity to observe and make history. Our history is alive in the hallowed halls of the academy, inspiring young minds to learn from the past, serve the community and create a better future. At Howard, we produce scholars who create history daily. History makers are the young men of color who study biology and move on to become medical doctors, increasing the stream of diversity in a largely monochromatic industry. History makers are the young women of color who become computer-coding experts and produce life-changing apps for mobile devices. History is made by the empowered men and women who leave the University to become entrepreneurs and rise to leadership roles in corporations and government. Every day, our students strive for academic excellence with the intent to serve and advance their communities. Recently, more than 500 students were deployed to 10 cities across the country and Haiti to participate in our annual Alternative Spring Break (ASB). This year included the new addition of Flint, Michigan to help many with the water crisis there. To read about their amazing work and to hear their stories, visit our students’ ASB blog at This is our history in the making. I invite you to enjoy this edition of the Bison Beat, which features the latest campus events, a recap of Charter Day, a photo gallery of historic moments at Howard, and the latest scholarly achievements. To learn more about Howard’s history and the Black diaspora, I encourage you to visit the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, one of the world‘s premier centers for the study of the Black experience, located at Howard University (http://library.howard. edu/MSRC). A repository of history-makers and resource to the history-makers of tomorrow. In Truth and Service, Wayne A. I. Frederick President


HOWARD UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF FACULTY DEVELOPMENT AWARDED $755,000 GRANT FROM THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION The Howard University Office of Faculty Development has been awarded a four-year, $755,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support programs that will stimulate leadership development and enhance scholarly portfolios in the arts, humanities and some disciplines in social sciences. “We are very pleased to receive this grant from the Mellon Foundation in support of our faculty development efforts in the arts and humanities and some disciplines in social sciences,” said Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., R.Ph. “It is our belief that by developing faculty capacity and pedagogy in the arts and humanities, our students will have a richer and more holistic understanding of how their skills and education prepare them to be global citizens and leaders.” Associate Provost Okianer Christian Dark leads the Office of Faculty Development and will oversee implementation of this project. The faculty development program was formally established in August 2015 to improve the quality of faculty life related to teaching and research, career development and professional satisfaction. The grant will make it possible for the University to undertake two initiatives. “The first initiative is to increase scholarly productivity, which in addition to articles and books, also includes the development of creative works like that produced by faculty in the arts, theater and music,” said Associate Provost Dark. “The Faculty Writing Initiatives will likely include monthly faculty workshops, a summer writing academy, and accountability groups. A second initiative will focus on leadership programming for departmental chairs who play integral roles in college, school and university instructional programs. Associate Provost Dark said that departmental chairs also “are essential to the development of and mentoring of junior faculty.” Howard University has a longstanding, collaborative relationship with the Mellon Foundation. By broadening the number and diversity of faculty who publish their scholarship and enhance their research agendas, students will be able to engage in critical thinking and writing across the disciplines.


COMPUTER SCIENCE MAJOR STUDIES CYBERSECURITY ISSUES AT CISCO Sophomore David Hill, Jr., has completed a mid-semester internship he was awarded by Cisco Systems to study cyber security at the company’s Columbia, Maryland, office. Hill, 17, is a computer science major. The internship, held during Howard University’s Spring Break, allowed him to shadow his mentor, Ivan Acosta, who works in Cisco’s Cybersecurity Sales Department. “My main interest in computer science lies in software development and cybersecurity,” said Hill. “My long-term goal is to contribute to the future direction of the technology sector.” At Howard, he studies under the direction of Department of Computer Science Assistant Professor Gedare Bloom, PhD., as part of a team conducting a unique research project.

HOWARD JUNIOR MIESHA MILLER WINS COLLEGIATE REPORTING PRIZE TRIP TO JAPAN Howard University student, Miesha Miller has been awarded the Collegiate Reporting Prize Trip to Japan for a nine-day journalism study program by the Scripps Howard Foundation. Miller, a junior studying broadcast journalism with a minor in electronic studio arts was among nine winners of the annual Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition, established in 1984 in cooperation with Indiana University Journalism, honors the memory of the journalist who led Scripps Howard Newspapers from 1922-1953 and United Press from 1912-1920. This year marks the 11th year that the Scripps Howard Foundation has awarded the study tour to Japan to competition winners.

Millers broadcasting career began in radio at age 15 on teen “I am working with these three students to investigate cyberse- talk show Generation Rap at Cater Broadcast Group 103.3 curity vulnerabilities and solutions for satellites using the Core FM. She worked for Kansas City’s Department of Civics and Flight Software, which is open-source flight software, available Community Engagement under Mayor Sylvester James and for KCPT Kansas City Public Television, and interned for Carter from NASA,” said Bloom. “This research is supported in part Broadcast before attending Howard University. Her special reby the Department of Homeland Security and Leidos.” porting interests are international affairs, politics and injustice. “One of the hallmarks of the Computer Science program is that In the future, she plans to own her own network. Miller is from Kansas City, Missouri. we try to prepare students to become socially-aware critical thinkers and problem-solvers who are able to communicate “When I found out that I was I selected, I was humbled. I have problems and solutions to a varied audience. A concentrated internship is an excellent venue for students like David to dem- had so much opportunity here at Howard’s SOC Journalism onstrate their preparation for a fast-paced professional environ- program, and it is an honor to be able to represent”, said Miesha Miller. ment.” Hill connected with Cisco at the October 2015 Howard Univer- IU Media School Associate Professor Emily Metzgar will lead the all-expenses-paid trip to Japan. Travel begins May 12 and sity Career Fair. includes excursions primarily in the Kansai region cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. Watch video of Hill’s internship experience at: https://www.


COATES PAYS HOMAGE TO HOWARD UNIVERSITY LEGACY AND ‘BEAUTY’ Ta-Nehisi Coates, the award-winning author and Howard University alumnus, delivered an empowering keynote address at the University’s 149th Charter Day Convocation in Cramton Auditorium on Friday, March 4. “There is no geographic quadrant, no place on the globe, nowhere in this world, that I’ve felt is more beautiful than Howard University,” Coates said. In his remarks, Coates expressed deep appreciation to his predecessors, and encouraged today’s students to revel in the beauty and the empowering aspects of campus life. “I knew that when I was here that I was not just experiencing a present beauty of an institution. I was experiencing the beauty of a heritage, going way, way back,” Coates said. “That put a pressure on me, a kind of responsibility. Beauty is not free.” Coates majored in history and studied at Howard from 1993 to 1999. Many of Coates’ siblings, extended family members and close friends have attended the University as well. Coates’, father, William Paul Coates, also worked for the Moorland Spingarn Research Center. A national correspondent for The Atlantic, Coates published a memoir, The Beautiful Struggle, in 2008, and his New York Times best seller, Between the World and Me, in 2015. Coates is the recipient of the National Magazine Award and the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism. He received the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story, “The Case for Reparations.” In addition, Coates was presented the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation MacArthur Fellowship in 2015. Coates also received the highly acclaimed 2015 National Book Award for Between the World and Me. This year’s Charter Day celebration marks the 149th anniversary of the charter enacted by the United States Congress and approved by President Andrew Johnson on March 2, 1867, that established Howard University.



HOWARD SCHOOL OF LAW In March, His Excellency Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, ORTT, SC, gave an inspiring lecture titled “The Transformational Role of the Judge and the Lawyer in Safeguarding Human Rights and the Rule of Law” at the Howard University School of Law. Howard students packed the Moot Court Room to hear His Excellency’s insight during day one of his three-day visit to the campus, which included a campus tour and attending Charter Day celebrations. His Excellency is widely known for his work as a judge on the International Criminal Court. He also served as judge of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago. He was

A CONVERSATION WITH U.S. SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT JULIAN CASTRO In February, U.S. Secretary Julian Castro, a former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, visited campus to discuss urban development with students. As part of this discussion, Howard faculty provided a presentation demonstrating the University’s historical and current involvement in urban development, followed by a student led question and answer session.

MAYOR BOWSER, HOWARD UNIVERSITY BREAK GROUND ON DC’S FIRST ‘INCLUSIVE INNOVATION’ HUB Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by representatives from Howard University and Luma Lab to break ground on the District’s first Inclusive Innovation Incubator on Tuesday, March 8. The new space will support entrepreneurs and businesses from underrepresented communities that provide products and services that benefit underserved communities. The groundbreaking came ahead of a trip by Mayor Bowser and District officials who traveled to South by Southwest to meet with national tech leaders to promote economic opportunities in the District. “Today, we take another big step towards building a tech ecosystem in the District that will make us a national leader in the fields of technology and inclusive innovation,” said Mayor Bowser. “This new incubator will support our growing technology and innovation sectors and ensure we address the needs of startups and entrepreneurs in the District. I look forward to working with Howard University and Luma Lab to foster innovation and equity in all 8 Wards.” Last month, Howard University and Mayor Bowser selected Luma Lab to operate the new DC-based incubator on Howard’s campus, which is expected to open in Fall 2016. Luma Lab will manage the new startup incubator space and manage the Hub’s programming. The District’s partnership with Howard University will focus on leveraging University resources

for venture capital firms to support medium to late-stage technology and innovation startups. “Howard University continues to be the catalyst for diverse and innovative thought-leaders and an opportunity for the underserved and underrepresented,” said Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, President of Howard University. “The Howard University Innovation Tech Hub provides tech entrepreneurs and startups access to affordable workspace, training, and other resources to help bring smart ideas to the marketplace.” In addition to offering technology and entrepreneurship training, the hub will offer affordable co-working space, networking events, mentorship, and strategic connections to Silicon Valley, investors, and partners. The hub will also provide tiered services and programs to its member companies, Howard students, staff, and faculty, as well as the broader community. The District contributed nearly $1 million in grant funds to construct more than 8,000 square feet of workspace within Howard’s Wonder Plaza retail center in the 2300 block of Georgia Avenue. Howard University provided retail space at 50% of market value, institutional support and resources to ensure the lab is successful.

NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION NAMES HOWARD UNIVERSITY’S THE FOUNDERS LIBRARY A NATIONAL TREASURE The National Trust for Historic Preservation has announced Howard University’s The Founders Library as a National Treasure. With this announcement comes a partnership between the two entities to revitalize Founders Library as a 21st century learning space, while preserving its history, culture and character. It is the only site at an historically Black college or university to be named a National Treasure.

National Trust experts will advise the University on best practices that guarantee the historical framework and significance of Founders Library is maintained for future generations.

“We are excited to partner with the National Trust for the restoration of the Library, as we continue to make strides in offering our students a preeminent education with the best available resources,” said Howard University president, Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick. Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation called the Founders project its “signature initiative.” She added that the National Trust maintains “a revolving portfolio of nearly 60 diverse and important places across America that face an uncertain future. Working to save Founders Library fits in very well with our expand the scope of historic preservation, so that it reflects the true diversity of our nation and works to save more overlooked places.”

Guided by the vision and talent of architect Albert I. Cassell, Founders Library’s cornerstone was dedicated in 1937, and its doors were officially opened in 1939. The library is also the home of the University’s museum and the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, one of the world’s largest repositories dedicated to the history and culture of people of African descent. To learn more about The Founders Library National Treasure project, visit

As the site of a National Treasure, the University will receive technical assistance on the use of federal and new market tax credits to fund future rehabilitation expenses from the National Trust Community Investment Corporation. Additionally,

Dr. Frederick stated the major goal of the partnership is “to embark on a designation and a project that we feel will restore The Founders Library to its full glory years.”

BISON ON THE MOVE Minnie Baylor-Henry, B.S.P. 1972, was added to YourEncore’s Strategic Advisory Board and its Regulatory Practice. YourEncore is a company that helps life sciences, consumer products and food companies solve complex product development and regulatory challenges. Gerard H. Breland, B.A. 1985, was appointed judge of the Superior Court by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Honorable Judge Gerard H. Breland previously served in the Family Court Division. Keith Perry, J.D. 1989, was appointed executive director of the National Bar Association. Brandi (Ferguson) Pitts, B.B.A. 1996, was selected as a 40 Under 40 honoree by Crain’s Chicago Business. As senior director of integrated marketing at Reynolds Consumer Products, she is credited with reinvigorating leading household brands Reynolds Wrap and Hefty with innovative digital marketing strategies. Before her time at Reynolds, Pitts was a partner at advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather and marketing director at Kraft Foods Group. Talitha L. LeFlouria, Ph.D. 2009, was elected to the Board of Directors for the Labor and Working-Class History Association and the Historians Against Slavery. Simone Missick, B.A. 2003, was cast to play “Missy Knight,” a fictional television character in Marvel’s Luke Cage series. Missick’s character is an ex-NYPD officer who developed superhuman strength after being given a bionic arm to replace the one she lost in the line of duty. Netflix has not announced a release date.


I wish to make a: Campaign Gift Campaign Pledge I am pleased to make/pledge the following gift to the Howard University Bridging the Gap Student Aid Campaign. (Please make checks payable to Howard University.) Enclosed is my gift of $ Name Title Company/Organization Address

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Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, author, psychiatrist and former assistant professor of Pediatrics at Howard University College of Medicine, died January 2, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

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Dr. Welsing was born March 18, 1935 in Chicago, Ill. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Arts from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1957, and her M.D. from Howard University in 1962. Her 1970 essay “The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy)” became a catalyst for national and international debates about global race relations and systemic cultural and institutional disparities between whites and racial minorities in the United States and around the world. A respected educator, researcher, theorist, and medical practitioner in the Washington, D.C. area for more than 50 years, Dr. Welsing practiced child psychiatry and served mental health patients in private practice since 1967. For nearly two and a half decades, Dr. Welsing worked as a staff physician for the Department of Human Services and served as the clinical director of two schools for emotionally troubled children in Washington, D.C. Dr. Welsing was 80.


Mr. Charles F. Harris, Sr., a publishing executive, entrepreneur, and former director of Howard University Press, died December 16, 2015, in New York City. Mr. Harris, was born January 3, 1934 in Portsmouth, Va. He graduated from Virginia State College (now Virginia State University), with a Bachelor of Science degree in History, in 1955. Mr. Harris began his publishing career in 1956 when he joined Doubleday & Company. In 1965, as editor of Doubleday’s Publishing Division, Harris launched the Zenith Book Series— the first series to present African-American history for elementary school students. In 1971, Mr. Harris was recruited to create and manage the Howard University Press, where he served as the first Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Publishing Operations, supervising all book publishing until 1986. Harris also established the Howard University Press Publishing Institute for students interested in pursuing careers in publishing. Mr. Harris was 81.

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