Howard Bison Beat March 2021

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A Monthly Newsletter from the Office of the President


March 2021


Photo credit: Lawrence Jackson for the White House


Dear Howard University Community, On January 20, 2021, when Kamala

the true nature of the progress we

work to ensure that the progress of

Harris became the first female

have achieved. As we celebrate

today is a prelude to even further

vice president in the history of the

Women’s History Month this

progress for women in the future.

United States, her inauguration was

year, we are obliged to remember

We can never feel secure enough

rightly heralded as a momentous

that the issue of women’s rights

to assume that history is past, and

victory for women as a community

has been met with fits and starts,

a new future is ahead. For equality

and a remarkable achievement

advancement and regression,

to be reality, it must be continually

for Vice President Harris as an

opportunity given, and opportunity

reclaimed, again and again.

individual. But it is important

taken away.

to contextualize this singular

Fortunately, the foundation for

achievement and remember that

Vice President Harris has said,

progress has never been sturdier. To

it was predicated on a legacy of

honor the memory of female leaders

role in our country, whether from

“I may be the first woman to hold this office, but I won’t be the last,” and I certainly believe

this to be true. Once glass ceilings

must secure the gains they fought

formal positions of power or from

are shattered, they can never be

so hard, and sacrificed so much, to

self-made perches of influence.

repaired. But they may yet be


All the progress we have made,


other firsts and a history of other achievements by American women. Women have always played a vital

culminating in Vice President Harris’

throughout American history, and to ensure that the election of a female vice president becomes an inflection point rather than an aberration, we

Tribute is given not only by eating

election, is a result of the women

Just as segregation has managed to

the fruits of a tree that preexisted

who toiled for equal rights, those

regain a stronghold in parts of our

us, but by pruning that tree and

whose vision and hope pushed

country despite being made illegal

planting another one by its side.

them onward, even when the

by Brown vs. Board of Education,

results of their labors did not live

now that we have a woman in the

up to their expectations. When we

White House, equal rights are not

celebrate Vice President Harris and

yet fully guaranteed.

this moment of national triumph, we cannot overlook their contributions.

Excellence in Truth and Service,

Wayne A. I. Frederick. M.D., MBA We cannot become complacent with what we have now or be distracted

But we would also do them a

by other priorities clamoring for

disservice if we failed to recognize

our attention. We must continue to

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




Campus Happenings


Awards & Recognition


Senior Fola Olunsanya on her recent science award and future plans in microbiology


Alumna Natalie Edwards on what it means to be a chief diversity officer


Dean Yolanda Pierce, Ph.D., talks about faith, church stories and women in her new book


Women Together Kamala Harris’ election marks a new wave in women’s unity


A New Vision A $1 million gift makes way for Howard’s new Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership


In Memoriam Michael Masch Saphronia Drake Florence A. Pendleton


Walker’s Legacy

MARCH 2021 | Bison Beat Monthly Newsletter | PAGE 3

Campus Happenings SHE’S HOWARD: OWN YOUR POWER In a first-of-its-kind program, a new partnership between Howard alumnae and The Estée Lauder Companies will support Howard women as they move through their careers. She’s Howard: Own Your Power provides alumnae with career coaching, professional training, mentorship opportunities, virtual networking events, lecture series and seminars. The program is tailored specifically for Howard alumnae. “She’s Howard: Own Your Power is our opportunity to double down on the support network that comes with being a Howard alum by strategically targeting our women graduates with opportunities that will help them advance both personally and professionally,” said Sharon Strange Lewis (B.A. ’84), director of alumni relations at Howard University. The program kicked off with a Bison Roundtable discussion on women’s empowerment featuring Nicole Monson (JD ’01), senior vice president and deputy general counsel for The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc.; J. Jarpa Dawuni, Esq., Ph.D., executive director for Howard’s new Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership; Andreya J. Davis (B.A. ’16), assistant dean for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the Office of the Dean of the Chapel; and Rachel Howell, president of the Howard University Student Association. She’s Howard is a part of Estée Lauder’s ongoing commitment to double recruitment of employees and interns from HBCUs, establish stronger partnerships with Black organizations, and meaningfully support external organizations and nonprofits pushing for systemic changes and racial and social justice.

HOWARD TO OFFER CLASSES THROUGH COURSERA Howard will launch two courses on Coursera, the massive open online course provider, as part of Coursera’s initiative to address systemic racism through learning. Howard’s course offerings are designed to build a jobrelevant course catalog that covers business, technology and data science. Howard’s initial courses, Information Systems for Business and Linear Algebra for Data Science, will lead to certificates. The courses are open to anyone world-wide for a nominal fee. Coursera has been focusing on elevating Black voices in its instructor community in an effort to create social justice and anti-racism content.

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HU WELCOMES MSNBC NEWS ANCHOR JOY REID AS VISITING PROFESSOR Howard welcomes award-winning political analyst Joy Reid to the school of communications as a Hearst Visiting Professor, where she is teaching a master class this semester for juniors and seniors studying journalism. Host of MSNBC’s “The Reid Out,” Reid introduces students to concepts of political media coverage in her class, titled Covering Race, Gender & Politics in the Digital Age. The focus is on issues of race and gender, including topics of digital disinformation and the racial roots of journalistic objectivity versus fairness. Reid expressed her excitement about teaching Howard’s students about how the journalism industry could “be better and do better.”

“Particularly in this era of virtual media and deep partisanship and political division, it’s never been more important that journalists incorporate a thorough and honest historical context in our coverage,” she said.

backgrounds in mentored research in cardiovascular disease. The hope is to encourage more students of color to pursue doctorates in nursing or related fields.

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS RECEIVES $100,000 GIFT FROM WOMAN-OWNED GROUP The philanthropic arm of the nation’s top-ranked minority-and woman-owned investment banking firm recently gave $100,000 to HU School of Business. The gift from Siebert Williams Shank Foundation, the charitable arm of Siebert Williams Shank & Col, LLC (SWS), was made possible by SWS chairman Christopher Williams and equity partner Gary Hall, both Howard alumni. It will support the school’s 50th anniversary strategic plan, which includes a variety of initiatives aimed at enhancing the school’s traditional practices and promoting excellence by enhancing technology, developing curriculum, providing scholarships and career advancement opportunities, and more.

MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVE In an effort to draw awareness to the importance of mental health among African-

HOWARD AND NYU NURSING COLLEGES FORM PARTNERSHIP In an effort to create a greater impact on improving health and health equity in urban areas and global communities, Howard University’s college of Nursing and Allied Health Science has teamed up with New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing. The partnership allows cross-school collaboration between researchers on existing projects and apply for grant funding together on new projects. Students in both schools will also be able to participate in educational exchanges, including NYU’s 10-week summer program

American women, Howard University partnered with Black Girl Health Foundation (BGHF) and others to present “Minds Matter DC” on February 20. As part of BGHF’s national Minds Matter Mental Health Campaign, the organization worked with Howard, HU’s Louis Stokes Library and the National Network of Library of Medicine Southeastern/ Atlantic Region to create this virtual workshop. Topics included combatting stress with yoga, examining how food affects moods, beating depression naturally and panel discussions on current issues.

designed to engage students from underrepresented MARCH 2021 | Bison Beat Monthly Newsletter | PAGE 5

HU SPEECH-LANGUAGE AND HEARING CLINIC REOPENS After closing its doors due to the pandemic, the Speech and Hearing Clinic reopened this Fall to provide speech, language and hearing services for its clients. The clinic, housed within the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, provides services by graduate students working towards their master’s degree in speechlanguage pathology with supervision of licensed speech-language pathologists. The clinic serves uninsured individuals who require therapy for communication disorders, as well as parents whose children require additional resources outside of school. Through much of the pandemic, students continued to provide therapy virtually and some patients have elected to continue this method out of caution. “We are proud of our students and staff for pushing through all the trials that accompany this

pandemic,” said Lauren Sweet, MS, CCC-SLP, clinical educator in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. HU ANNOUNCES INTERIM CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Annemieke S. Martinez will be serving as the interim chief financial officer until the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2021. Martinez is filling the role following the passing of CFO Michael Masch while a national search to find a permanent replacement will be conducted. Frank Bello will serve as interim treasurer. Previously, Martinez served as deputy CFO in close partnership with Masch. As interim CFO, Martinez is responsible for all aspects of the financial management of the University, including budget planning and resource allocation; accounting and financial reporting; oversight of accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, procurement, cash management, hospital financial management and investment management for Howard’s endowment; and planning for the University’s pension, debt management and capital.

DR. FREDERICK ON THE DANGER OF MISSING PREVENTIVE MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS Dr. Frederick recently penned an op-ed that appeared in The New York Times, entitled “What Happens When People Stop Going to the Doctor? We’re About to Find Out.” The piece discussed how, due to the pandemic, people have skipped their annual doctor’s visits and missed opportunities to uncover preventable illnesses or conditions. These missed visits is endangering minority communities, where people have higher rates of these diseases and lower access to quality care.

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Awards and Recognition HU ALUMNA ISABEL WILKERSON WINS LITERARY NONFICTION PRIZE Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson (B.A.’84), graduate of Howard University Cathy Hughes School of Communications, was recently awarded the inaugural NYU/Axinn Foundation Prize. The prize, administered by New York University’s Graduate School of the Arts and Science, recognizes distinguished work in the genre of literary narrative nonfiction. Wilkerson’s first book, “The Warmth of Other Suns,” won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. The book chronicles the Great Migration of African-Americans from the rural South to other parts of the United States over the course of the 20th century. Her second book, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” posits that racism in the United States reflects the sort of caste system that is also found in other countries. It was named an Oprah’s Book Club selection. The NYU/Axinn Foundation Prize, which will be given every other year, honors an American writer of literary narrative nonfiction whose published book or books are of exceptional artistic quality and societal import and is expected to produce additional highly significant work in subsequent years. The prize includes a cash award of $100,000. Wilkerson was the Chicago bureau chief for The New York Times when she became the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize. Among her other recognitions, she was also awarded the Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement Award from Howard University in 2007.

ACTRESS AND HU ALUMNA DEBBIE ALLEN RECEIVES KENNEDY CENTER HONORS Legendary actress, dancer, choreographer, producer, director and writer Debbie Allen (B.F.A. ’71) has been named one of the latest Kennedy Center honorees. The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes the careers of artists who have contributed to American culture through the performing arts. They are confirmed by the Executive Committee of the center’s Board of Trustees. Among many of Allen’s accolades include a Golden Globe for her role as Lydia Grant in “Fame,” a Drama Desk Award for her role as Anita in “West Side Story” and three Emmy Awards in choreography for “Fame” and “The Motown 25th.” She has also directed several network TV shows, including “Scandal,” “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Jane The Virgin,” “Empire,” “Insecure” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” In addition, she has choreographed the Academy Awards a record 10 times, created choreographies for many performing artists and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “Debbie Allen moves seamlessly between artistic disciplines and is a cultural ambassador for all while having a monumental impact on dancers of color everywhere,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. The annual celebration, originally scheduled for December 2020, was moved to May 2021 due to the pandemic. She joins singersongwriter Joan Baez, country singer-songwriter Garth Brooks, violinist Midori and actor Dick Van Dyke as part of the 43rd group of honorees.

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A Rising Star in the Microbial Universe SENIOR FOLA OLUNSANYA TALKS ABOUT HER RECENT SCIENCE AWARD AND FUTURE PLANS IN MICROBIOLOGY. Senior biology major Olufolakemi “Fola” Olusanya was recently named a Rising Black Scientist by Cell Press, the publisher of the journal Cell in the award’s inaugural year. Her award includes $10,000 and another $1,000 in scientific materials from Cell Signaling Technology. Olunsanya is a Karsh STEM scholar, Howard’s premier scholarship program for high-achieving students in the STEM fields.



A: I’ve been doing a lot of microbiology since my

A: It’s really exciting and kind of unexpected. It’s a really great

sophomore year, studying bacteria and microbes. I think

way to start your scientific career with that kind of recognition, and

they’re super cool. We really don’t talk about them outside

I feel like there is nowhere else to go but up. But I know I couldn’t

the context of them harming us, but there is an entire

do it without the mentors and peers and without Howard, which

universe. They’re so small but they impact us so much.

put me in the direction of research in the first place.

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUATION? A: I’m looking really heavily at pursuing academia. I love the idea of lecturing and running a lab, so I applied to microbiology Ph.D. programs. I’m hoping to stick with microbes because I think they’re really interesting, and, with COVID-19, we all know how important they are. I don’t think I’ll be out of a job anytime soon. I’m also looking in the direction of science communication and verging the gap between the scientist and the general public. COVID is a perfect example where what scientists were saying was being warped [by non-scientists]. We need actual scientists bridging that communication gap and expressing their science in an effective way, which I’m interested in doing.


The one thing that I can take away from my


Early intervention. We need to start creating programs and

Howard experience is the tribe I built with other

having female scientists go into elementary schools and show how this

women who are interested in science. I have a study

is something [girls] can do. We need to make a lot of these programs

group of 6-7 other women, and it’s tough because

and camps more accessible in terms of cost and location. It’s all about

we’re all apart this semester. We want similar careers

accessibility, communicating and representing women and black women

and goals, and we have each other’s backs. There are so

in science and making women and girls realize that this is something

many ways to find your village through social media and

they could do.

the internet.

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Inclusion Matters ALUMNA NATALIE EDWARDS ON WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHIEF DIVERSITY OFFICER Natalie Edwards (B.B.A. ’12) has spent her career immersed in workplace inclusion and diversity efforts. She’s led inclusion strategies at The Estée Lauder Companies; for the U.S. government as a consultant at Deloitte Consulting; for the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania during her MBA studies; and, most recently, as the chief diversity officer at National Grid, an energy delivery company. While at Estée Lauder, Edwards created the recently launched She’s Howard: Own Your Power, a partnership between Howard and Estée Lauder to mentor and empower Howard alumnae through their professional lives.

Q: WHAT IS A DIVERSITY OFFICER? A: To me, a chief diversity officer (CDO) is the primary leader advocating for all employees to feel seen, heard and valued for their uniqueness – and they partner with their executive peers to make sure policies and procedures uphold that culture of inclusion. They’re a truth teller – the person and the conscience when it comes to diversity and inclusion in an organization.


I’d say strategy, advocacy, connection and influence. You’re really a change agent within a large organization. You need to be

highly analytical, have to know how to invest in change over the long term, be able to present your case to other leaders who aren’t as close to the work and manage large budgets.

Q: MANY COMPANIES ARE NOW ADDING A CHIEF DIVERSITY OFFICER. WHAT’S YOUR REACTION? A: I love it! It is something that every company should have had a long time ago, but I welcome it as it is arriving now.

Q: HOW CAN COMPANIES START TO CHANGE THEIR HIRING PRACTICES AND ADDRESS THEIR HIRING CRITERIA, ESPECIALLY THEIR UNCONSCIOUS ONES, LIKE PRIORITIZING CANDIDATES FROM “BRAND NAME SCHOOLS”? A: It starts with those inside of a company to break down the assumptions they may carry in their minds as to what [being] “qualified”

Q: WHAT DO COMPANIES NEED TO DO TO ENSURE SUCCESS FROM THIS NEW POSITION? A: It is never too late, as long as the company has done the work to understand why they are in need of one, as well as the reflection required to be ready for what the CDO is going to do. Change is never easy, but it is easier to do when people are on board. The one mistake I see/hear about is companies hiring a CDO to look good, and as a result, they do not empower the CDO when they arrive to do the work that matters.

looks like. [In addition], we need to recognize that people bring diversity in many ways. That could be things like race and gender, but also, less talked-about things like generation, education level and years of experience.


Keep talking about it. Keep investing in it. Keep getting

uncomfortable – because that’s the only way we learn. And keep moving forward. MARCH 2021 | Bison Beat Monthly Newsletter | PAGE 9

The Legacy of Women DEAN YOLANDA PIERCE, PH.D., TALKS ABOUT FAITH, CHURCH STORIES AND WOMEN IN HER NEW BOOK. Yolanda Pierce, Ph.D., dean of the School of Divinity, recently published her book, “In My Grandmother’s House: Black Women, Faith and the Stories We Inherit.” Described as a series of essays about race and faith, Dean Pierce blends everyday womanist theology rooted in liberating scriptures, stories from the Black church and truths from Black women’s lives, including that of her own grandmother’s and of the church mothers with whom she grew up.


I describe a generational inheritance in my book;

faith and culture are shaped by older generations who “inherit” a legacy they often do not appreciate until they are older. Grandmother theology is generational


I’m a womanist theologian and scholar of the Black Church

tradition, but I am also a daughter of the Black church. I wanted

wisdom, rooted and grounded in liberating practices of the generations who precede us, including our ancestors.

to offer the larger public academic and personal insight into the beauty and complexity of the Black church tradition.



A: Within my book, I discuss how something as simple as music becomes a mechanism for connecting

A: The book is written for people interested in the intersections of race, faith and gender; those who want to learn more about

the generations. The hymns of my childhood, many of which are no longer sung in churches, still inspire me and

the African-American religious experience; and those who value

motivate me. Something will be profoundly lost if we do

the unique role of storytelling inherited from the kitchen tables of

not have another generation that respects and upholds

their elders and ancestors.

the stories, traditions and faith practices of the elders.




My book describes the role of the “church mother,” a

unique office within African-American churches. It argues that the theology of these women is the sustaining feature of a faith


The realities of race, racism and white supremacy

tradition, even if these women are not normally considered

cannot be divorced from religious practices in America.


Part of why I wrote the book was to lament how sexism, patriarchy and other oppressive forces have shaped Black faith. But I also celebrate the survival of Black faith in hostile territory, thanks in no small measure to Black women who taught us to make a way out of no way.

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As women continue to call for equality – in the workplace, in the home, in their government – in the wake of #MeToo, many rallied around the election of Vice President Kamala Harris as a source of pride, hope and proof that this change is possible. “It’s been a movement – a call for women to come together and really unite,” says Jennifer Thomas (B.A. ’88), associate professor and journalism sequence coordinator in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film in the Cathy Hughes School of Communication. “She represents women of color, as an Indian-American and AfricanAmerican; as someone with a background in law; and especially for those of us who attended and graduated from an HBCU.” Here are the ways Kamala Harris’ election unified women.

Women banded to support and push the Biden-Harris ticket Across the country, many women assembled to get Joe Biden and Harris elected. The efforts highlighted many other influential women who led the push, including Stacey Abrams, DC Councilmember Janeese Lewis George (J.D. ‘14) and Biden’s press secretary, Symone Sanders – further solidifying Harris’ support among women of color. Women who were active in Black sororities mobilized their sisterhoods to get voters to the polls. Harris’ own sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and the other Divine Nine historically Black Greek letter organizations, received a lot of national media attention during the election, particularly as an example of what happens when women do band together for the greater good. What it showed, Thomas points out, is how “Black women came together… to turn the tide of this election and make a difference.” This was an example of women making a difference for a fellow woman, knowing the outcome would change things for all women, says Msia Kibona Clark, Ph.D., associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of African Studies. “I know some of the people involved in the campaign felt that [Harris’ election] was something bigger than just being the first woman, first woman of color, from an HBCU, who was in a Black sorority. The depth of symbolism of her election is really hard to understate.”

MARCH 2021 | Bison Beat Monthly Newsletter | PAGE 11

Supporting women as senator at a 2017 healthcare protest

Virtual roundtable with women’s leadership groups (PC: Lawrence Jackson)

Harris is seen as personable, and therefore, is “one of us” Harris has also been described as a personable individual, from her wide smile to the Chuck Taylors she wears on her feet. She grew up with immigrant parents and lived the immigrant story, straddling two cultures and communities: Indian and Black. For that reason, a lot of women, particularly women of color, feel they can relate to her. “When you strip away all the different titles and adjectives around her, at the core, she is just a very capable and able leader,” Thomas says. “This has allowed the world to see Kamala Harris walks through the halls of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House. PC: Lawrence Jackson

what happens when you allow a person just to be.” In her work, she has fought for women’s access to proper health care, reproductive rights and equal pay and treatment in the workplace. She has also fought to help children, families and the LGBTQ community. In a recently penned op-ed in the Washington Post, she argued for more support

“When we lift up women, we lift up families, we lift up communities and all of society benefits. This is true in the United States and around the globe,” she wrote. around working women during the pandemic.

After her debate with former Vice President Mike Pence, Black and Asian viewers jokingly tweeted how she reminded them of a caring, disapproving “auntie” – meaning they could Harris swears-in Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. PC Lawrence Jackson

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envision her as a member of their family – a position that few candidates have been described as being.

Janeese Lewis George Photo by Aimee Custis

Stacey Abrams

Photo by Marla Aufmuth

Janeese Lewis George and Stacey Abrams both led get-out-the-vote efforts for the Biden-Harris ticket.

Harris’ election encourages other girls and women in new ways Harris’ placement on the national podium as second-in-command, experts note, will undoubtedly push a new wave of other women, especially of color, to pursue leadership positions, whether in politics or elsewhere. “How can you not look at her and be a political science student or law school student thinking: ‘Here’s another option, another realistic option’?” Clark says, noting the rise in Black politicians since Barack Obama became president. “I definitely think that Kamala Harris is going to be someone who encourages more women, especially women of color, to enter politics.” Harris’ election is bolstered by the emergence of other prominent women leaders in politics, including “the Squad,” made up of mostly women minorities in the House of Representatives. Women in Congress, including Harris herself, have made national headlines during Congressional hearings, “giving the people they were interviewing hell,” Clark says. These women showed the country that they could “be tough” — and that they were to be taken seriously. Harris has regularly given credit to women, both in her life and elsewhere, for her career success. She credits many Black women activists who helped pave the way. For example, she used yellow, red and blue in her presidential campaign colors as a nod to Shirley Chisholm, who used the same colors in her 1972 presidential run. She often cites her mother as a role model as well as someone who encouraged her to look beyond the preconceived expectations of women at the time.

“I’m thinking about her and about the generations of women – Black women, Asian, white, Latina and Native American women – throughout our nation’s history who have paved the way for this moment tonight,” Harris said in her victory speech. “Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality, liberty and justice for all, including the Black women, who are too often overlooked, but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy.”

MARCH 2021 | Bison Beat Monthly Newsletter | PAGE 13

A New Vision A $1 MILLION GIFT MAKES WAY FOR HOWARD’S NEW CENTER FOR WOMEN, GENDER AND GLOBAL LEADERSHIP Ask political science professor J. Jarpa Dawuni, Esq., Ph.D., why she’s excited about leading Howard’s new Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership, she’ll tell you it’s about the possibilities. “The possibilities are endless,” she says. “We are connecting Black women wherever they may be located on the African diaspora to Howard and creating a space where we can have discussions about Black women globally.” Through a $1 million gift from philanthropists and business people Heather and Jim Murren, Howard has launched the center with the vision to “prepare future leaders who are gender-conscious and grounded in Black feminist consciousness through collaboration with faculty on research, service learning and global engagement,” Dawuni says. The gift establishes a multimillion-dollar fundraising effort to grow the center.

The new center will focus on four areas. 1.

Student-centered teaching and learning A new minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality studies will be offered through the center, which Dawuni says is important because Howard has a high percentage of female students as well as an active LGBTQ population. The minor is designed for students who are eager to learn about the issues and want the expertise to engage in related activism and other job opportunities after graduation.

J. Jarpa Dawuni, Esq., Ph.D. Photo Credit: Justin Knight

The center will also introduce student collectives in which students can engage and learn from one another, Dawuni explains. One will be for undergraduates and one for graduate students. Within these collectives, students will have the opportunity to organize their own events, engage in activism, participate in study abroad programs and Alternative Spring Break options, as well as partake in internships and extension programs offered by the center.

“These are opportunities for students [not only] to be active, but also to be the ones who benefit from the center,” Dawuni says. In addition, there will be opportunities for student roundtables, faculty panel discussions and lecture series, featuring guest speakers from outside of Howard. 2.

Faculty research, publications and grant-making Faculty will benefit greatly from the new center as well. Dawuni describes creating interdisciplinary faculty research collaborative networks, which will bring faculty together from different disciplines across the University with interest in specific topics so they can collaborate on their research. In addition, the connected faculty can apply for research and grants together while also forwarding the mission of the center.

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J. Jarpa Dawuni, Esq., Ph.D. with trustee Heather Murren and Pres. Frederick PC: Justin Knight


Community-centered service learning

The new center will also include women-focused community-based activities. Dawuni says she is currently working with the School of Social Work, the College of Medicine as well as other schools and departments to develop programs. In particular, Dawuni says emphasis on women’s health will include not only physical health, but also mental health, and any other issues specific to women. The center will also engage with the greater Washington, D.C. community and collaborate with the mayor’s office to help fill any existing gaps in the city’s programming. 4.

Global advocacy

Working beyond the national scope of issues is also important for the center, Dawuni explains. The center will establish a council of faculty from across the University to act as an advisory board to help develop strategic plans for the center, including those on a global level. At the very core, the center will focus on law and social justice, politics and public policy, women’s health and wellness, and business and capital ventures. Each of these issues are being examined on a local, national and global perspective while highlighting the works of women leaders worldwide. “Black women [are] taking their spaces within the global space and having an impact in their communities at a local and global level,” Dawuni says. She notes how more of these women are gaining top leadership positions, including Vice President Kamala Harris and the new directorgeneral of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria. Both are the first women and first of African heritage to take these roles, and both have spoken at Howard before with open invitations to return again.

“If we're going to be a center that focuses on women, or Black men's issues, we want to be able to link up with institutions, universities and partners in all parts of the world,” Dawuni says. “Most importantly, [we want] to be able to have these kinds of conversations that would also impact young girls, young black girls, wherever they may be.” Dawuni says that even though the pandemic has limited some of the center’s initial program offerings, having a virtual presence is also a way to connect people who may not be able to participate in person.


MARCH 2021 | Bison Beat Monthly Newsletter | PAGE 15


Michael Masch’s leadership and stewardship during his more than six years have evolved into a lasting and most impactful legacy. As Howard University’s senior vice president and chief financial officer and treasurer, Michael has been a tremendous asset to and advocate for our University. He played an instrumental role in guiding our institution toward achieving greater financial sustainability, one of the key pillars of the Howard Forward strategic plan. His efforts and dedication will continue to benefit the University and all the students, faculty and staff who come to Howard for many years to come. Throughout his tenure at Howard, Michael used his vast knowledge and experience in the education landscape to guide our University forward so we could reach even greater heights. He understood the unique role that Howard plays as an institution of higher education. He had a passion for helping elevate our University and enhancing our prestige and reputation across the country and throughout the world. Michael joined Howard in 2015 after serving as vice president for finance and chief financial officer at Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York. He had previously worked as the chief financial officer of the School District of Philadelphia, and he also served as the secretary of budget and administration for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Prior to working with the commonwealth, he held the position of vice president for budget and management at the University of Pennsylvania. Michael was a man of impeccable integrity and humility. He was kind and gentle with everyone. He was a family man who was very proud of the recent additions to his family of his two grandsons. As it is said in the Jewish tradition, “May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”

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She was called a “shadow senator,” but she hardly stayed in the shadows. Florence A. Pendleton (B.S. ’49, M.S. ’57) was many firsts. Along with Reverend Jesse Jackson, she became the first senator to represent the District of Columbia in 1991, and she was the first AfricanAmerican female elected to the Senate. As a shadow senator, she did not have a vote in the Senate nor in a committee; her position was unpaid as well. However, she made it her mission to see that D.C. would reach full statehood, and she spent three terms in office advocating for it. Pendleton was born in Columbus, Georgia, and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Howard. Prior to her years in office, Pendleton spent more than 40 years working as an administrator for DC Public Schools. Pendleton lived long enough to see the U.S. House of Representatives pass a bill approving statehood for Washington, D.C. on June 26, 2020. She passed away at the age of 94 in September at her home in Columbus, Georgia.


For more than two decades, with boundless generosity, an engaging sense of humor, professionalism and an unparalleled commitment and dedication to students, Saphronia Drake served as the senior administrative assistant to the Department of Political Science, the graduate program administrator and as the administrative assistant to the political science chair. Drake began her service in the Political Science Department in 1995. Her ability to master tasks with efficiency and precision became legendary. She was a rare gem, a personification of motherly love and humanity. She worked assiduously to foster the vision and mission of the department of political science, especially in so far as the students are concerned. She managed to maintain the responsibilities of the department in lean and difficult times of unprecedented departmental changes, doing so with unflappable resilience and dignity. Her work for the department was less a job and more a calling. Drake transformed her office into a vineyard for good, an office of advocacy and guidance for students. Her office was also an oasis for faculty and students alike to smooth out the rough edges of a tough day or situation. She was deeply dedicated to producing mature, educated, service-oriented and ethical young women and men. She believed deeply in the mission of Howard and conveyed that to the thousands of students she mentored and cared for over the years. She earned the title of “mother” as so many students embraced her as such and viewed her as close to family as possible. Like great mothers everywhere, she had the highest expectations of our students and would not accept them doing less than what she knew they were capable of accomplishing.

and the other needs of the faculty and department were met. She passionately loved her children, grandchildren and her husband Paul down to her very core. She was a gifted cook who often brought treats to the office, but she also brought desperately needed food to students who were struggling financially. She would take students grocery shopping or give them funds out of her own pocket. No one starved around her. She touched every community associated with the University, from the custodial staff and the campus police to retired faculty and staff, from administrators and managers to cafeteria workers, from alumni and donors to mail deliverers and salespeople. Not only did they all know her, but she knew them and their stories. Her warm personality and ready openness to friendship will be missed.  With our love and deep appreciation, Ravi Perry, Ph.D. Chair of the Political Science Department

She met the challenges of the job with creativity, ingenuity and a fierce determination to always do the right and moral thing. Her ethical compass always pointed north. Her efforts translated into exceptionally long hours and sacrifice to ensure that graduations, graduate acceptance, financial aid

MARCH 2021 | Bison Beat Monthly Newsletter | PAGE 17

Walker’s Legacy Scholarship for Enterprising Women Walker’s Legacy is a digital platform designed to empower multicultural women in business. The organization was founded in 2009 by Howard alumna Natalie Madeira Cofield and named after Madam C. J. Walker, an African-American female entrepreneur recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first self-made female millionaire in American history. In the spirit of Madam Walker and Cofield’s mission to empower and encourage women in business, Cofield partnered with the HU School of Business to launch the Walker’s Legacy Scholarship for Enterprising Women. This $25,000 fund is designed to support enterprising students in the business school over the next five years. Each year, two students receive a one-time award of $2,500 and a lifetime membership to Walker’s Legacy, which includes complimentary access to all Walker’s Legacy programming for that award year and mentorship by Cofield.

“My time at the Howard University School of Business molded me into the woman that I am today,” said Cofield. “We look forward to supporting women from the nation’s most prestigious HBCU this school year and beyond.” Walker’s Legacy was founded when Cofield was starting her first venture and was looking for female mentors and role models. She discovered other women were also looking for accessible examples of multicultural women in business, and thus, Walker’s Legacy was born. Since its founding, Walker’s Legacy has grown into a global professional collective that works to promote career advancement, skill sets and networks of multicultural women in business and women entrepreneurs. Qualified applicants must be a rising senior who identifies as a woman or nonbinary entrepreneur in the school of business, currently running a legally registered business and can demonstrate financial need.

For more information, visit

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Enclosed is my gift of $

A Conversation with President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA

Name: _____________________________________________________________ Title: ______________________________________________________________ Company/Organization: _____________________________________________ Address: ___________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip: ______________________________________________________ If new address, please check: ¨


“The Journey” Last month’s guests on the podcast “The Journey,” hosted by Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, included Dr. Ravi Perry, chairman of the Department of Political Science; Michael Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland and the former chairman of the Republican National Committee; Dr. Maureen Bell, the chair of emergency medicine at Howard University Hospital; and Roy Dunlap, the director of environmental and guest services at Howard University Hospital.

Home Phone: _______________________________________________________ Office Phone: _______________________________________________________ Mobile Phone: ______________________________________________________ Email: _____________________________________________________________ Class Year:__________ College/Program:________________________________ PLEASE CHARGE MY CARD: Visa


American Express


Name on Card:_____________________________________________________ Credit Card Number: _______________________________________________ Exp Date:_______________ Security Code:______________________________ Address: __________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip: _____________________________________________________ If same as above, please check:

The conversations covered the new White House

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administration’s tasks in the midst of a pandemic, economic

Date: _____________________________________________________________

downturn and Capitol siege; Washington, D.C. and Maryland politics; and vaccinating against COVID-19.


My and/or my spouse’s employer will match my/our gift. For online giving, visit: DIVISION OF DEVELOPMENT & ALUMNI RELATIONS HOWARD UNIVERSITY 2225 GEORGIA AVENUE NW, ROOM 901 WASHINGTON, DC 20059

Will you answer the call? MARCH 2021 | Bison Beat Monthly Newsletter | PAGE 19

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