Howard Bison Beat September 2021

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September 2021

Dear Howard University Community, The coronavirus pandemic has made our world feel both bigger and smaller. In today’s age, we don’t have the luxury of global ignorance; we must concern ourselves with events that take place far from where we live. Yes, we can try to restrict travel into and out of our local communities. But we must reckon with the fact that the policies and practices of one small city have the power to affect an entire continent halfway across the planet. We witnessed how a highly contagious virus can circumnavigate the globe in hardly any time at all. We have seen how a ship stuck in the Suez Canal can send shockwaves through the global supply chain. In many ways, it is difficult to come up with localized policies when our society is so interconnected. We can no more shut ourselves off than we can turn back time. On the other hand, for many of us, the pandemic was defined by a feeling of constriction. For so long, especially before the vaccine was prevalent, we had to restrict where we went and the people we could see. When so much of our lives before the pandemic revolved around social interaction, the shrinking of our personal worlds could feel claustrophobic. In addition, experiencing personal difficulty, like health problems or financial challenges, can make us feel cut off from those around us, as if we have to bear or burdens completely alone without troubling anyone for help. In this moment in history, we must find a balance between adopting a globalized perspective and feeling beholden to

beneficial. Most importantly, we must relearn and rediscover our responsibility for one another.

We should care very deeply about what is going on around the world and what will happen far into the future. However, we should also be cognizant of what is taking place now in our local communities and in the life of the person sitting near us in our classrooms or standing in front of us in line to get tested for COVID-19. The actions we take as individuals matter a great deal in the lives of those around us. The consequences of the risks we take are not just ours to bear but must also be borne by our neighbors and our communities and our world. That is why we must all wear our masks and keep our distance. Why we must fill out the Bison Safe app selfassessment every day and get tested frequently. We must follow the safety precautions that have been put in place. To flout the rules at this particular time not only risks the continuance of our in-person presence on campus but threatens the health and safety of those around us, the entire community we live in and even in countries around the globe. Being a part of a community requires sacrifice, to be sure. But there are also tremendous benefits that we could never attain in isolation. I know that our return to campus will remind us of the benefits of community and reinforce our responsibility for each other’s wellbeing.

Excellence in Truth and Service,

our local communities and immediate surroundings. The Fall 2021 semester marks the first time in more than a year and a half that the majority of the Howard community is back on campus. It is vital that we reacclimate to interacting and engaging with one other in a manner that is mutually


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

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



Campus Happenings


Awards & Recognition


Professor Tyish Hall Brown, Ph.D., MHS

on how to take care of one’s mental health this pandemic year 14

Alumna Marie Plaisime, Ph.D., on her

research about health disparities 15

Senior Kylie Burke, HUSA President, on

what to expect in this pandemic school year 16

Back to School

What to expect this year on campus. 18

Moving Howard Forward

Howard continues to ascend by leaps and bounds in its five-year strategy. 20

New Bison Appointments

Howard welcomes many new and familiar faces to its leadership and faculty 22


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Campus Happenings Howard University Day of Service 2021 Students kicked off the ninth annual Howard University Day of Service (HUDOS) on Friday, August 20, 2021. Due to poor weather, the activities were held virtually. The event has been a rite of passage for thousands of incoming students since 2013. Modeled after the University’s nationally recognized Alternative Spring Break program, HUDOS provides service-learning opportunities as a part of incoming students’ orientation to the University. The event allows students of all faiths and backgrounds to embrace the Howard University motto: “Truth and Service.” Designed as an introduction to the University’s commitment to service for all incoming students, HUDOS focuses on community-building through eight service-learning initiatives that address:

Educational disparities;

Community protection and violence;

Environmental injustices;

Political empowerment; and

Community health disparities;

Youth/elderly outreach.

Housing and food disparities;


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School of Social Work Offers Online Master’s Degree

The Jerome L. Greene

The Howard University School of Social Work will offer its

important part of the

Master of Social Work (MSW) degree online in partnership

foundation’s Racial Equity

Foundation grant is an

with 2U, Inc., a global leader in education technology.

Initiative, which invests in the future of American society

Scheduled to launch in January 2022, with a full-time online

by providing support to highly qualified Black lawyers

degree in September 2022, the program aims to equip more

committed to public service. Recipients of the Greene Public

aspiring social workers from all backgrounds to serve Black

Service Scholars Program will receive a three-year, full-tuition

and marginalized populations in a range of contexts and

scholarship. The program also will feature a full program on

transform oppressive systems into ones that sustain and

public interest law, including lectures and other programming,

uplift their communities.

as well as mentoring by prominent public interest lawyers. The Greene Scholars also will receive training through

Through the partnership with 2U, Howard will build, scale

Summer placements at large

and sustain the online program through an integrated digital

law firms, such as Paul,

transformation infrastructure called 2UOS that brings

Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and

together a comprehensive set of technology-, data- and

Garrison. Four students will

people-enabled services to deliver an online education and

receive the Greene Public

create excellent learning outcomes for students.

Service Scholarship each

“In Washington D.C. and beyond, our communities, particularly communities of color and lower-income communities, are in desperate need of social workers who are specially trained and empowered to break the cycles of oppression operating throughout our current social welfare, health care, criminal justice and education systems, while improving and expanding the overall quality of life for all citizens,” said Sandra Edmonds Crewe, Ph.D., MSW, the dean of the Howard University School of Social Work and

year. The grant will help to further address the need to expand the number of Black public interest lawyers. According to the American Bar Association, 5 percent of all attorneys across the U.S. are African-American. While many law students enter law school with the intent of pursuing careers in public interest lawyering, many change their minds over time, often because of the staggering price of a legal education.

professor of social work. For more information and to apply to the Howard School of Social Work’s online master’s in social work, visit online.

The inaugural Greene Scholars are:

Ashley Tamia Dominique Beckles from Baltimore

Howard Law Launches Greene Public Service Scholars Program

Ashtyn DeWalt from Houston

The School of Law welcomed its first cohort of the Green

To read the full Green Scholar student bios and learn more

Public Service Scholars program. This $10 million grant

about the Howard University School of Law, visit http://law.

from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation helped created the

Crystal Bush from Pascagoula, Mississippi Yvette Lopez from Simi Valley, California

program designed to support students committed to a career in public service law.

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Dental Students Volunteer Services in Underserved Areas Forty students, three faculty and five professionals (including

“We are excited to be aligned with a financial institution that will work with us to find ideas and solutions beyond traditional banking,” said President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA.

two alumni) from the College of Dentistry traveled to Hidalgo,

“We recognize that talent is distributed equally, but

Texas to volunteer at two clinics with Remote Area Medical

opportunity is not, which is why we are so proud of our

(RAM), a nonprofit provider of free health care in underserved

expanded partnership with Howard University,” said JPMorgan

areas. This year, the students went to two sites to treat more

Chase & Co. Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. “Together, we

than 300 patients in late July.

will empower a whole new generation of leaders and create

Adel Rizkalla, DDS; Gillian RobinsonWarner, DDS; and Gail Cherry-Peppers,

new opportunities to serve our country and expand our global economy.”

DDS, accompanied the students, along

The expanded relationship will be twofold. The first integrates

with five other dentists, including alumni

the banking relationship into Howard’s day-to-day processes.

Dr. Sharon Long-Stokes and Dr. Wendy

Howard will implement JPMorgan Chase’s technology and

Wardlaw. This is the 10th year in which

digital banking solutions to simplify processes, including

the College of Dentistry has participated

digital payments technologies that enable Howard to deliver

in these clinics. Students helped perform

refunds to students faster and facilitate more seamless donor

numerous extractions, fillings, periodontal services, dental

transactions. Business continuity and prevention measures

cleanings and screenings on adults and children, many of

around fraud and cybersecurity will also be a significant area

whom rarely or never have opportunity to visit a dentist nor

of focus. The new banking relationship is expected to reduce

have insurance to cover

costs to the University, with savings totaling the equivalent of

the costs.

more than 20 full-time scholarships.

By bringing students to

The second part of the relationship is based on providing

these areas, the hope is that the graduates will one day return to those underserved and remote areas to treat patients who cannot otherwise afford adequate dental care. It is part of the larger mission of the College of Dentistry to eliminate health disparities locally and nationally.

Howard Expands Relationship with JPMorgan Chase

academic and career success to Howard students. In 2020, JPMorgan Chase announced a $30 billion commitment to help advance racial equity and provide economic opportunity to underserved Black and Latinx communities, building on the firm’s Advancing Black Pathways (ABP) initiative. ABP, which launched in 2019, expands on the bank’s existing efforts to help the Black community chart stronger paths toward economic success and empowerment, and focuses on careers and skills development, wealth creation and

In a recent announcement, JPMorgan Chase will now be

education. The firm has

Howard’s primary operating bank. The move is built on many

committed to hiring

years of successful collaboration between the two institutions

4,000 Black students

focusing on academic development and recruitment of

in apprenticeships,

Howard students. The banking relationship is directly aligned

internships and post-

with Howard’s five-pillar Howard Forward strategic plan and

graduation roles by 2024, with 86 percent of its goal already

supports the University’s goals of improving efficiency and

met. This is directly aligned with the University’s strategic goal

effectiveness and serving the community.

of serving the community through workforce training.


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Continued collaboration and programming highlights include: • Hiring and recruitment: JPMorgan Chase has been actively hiring full- and part-time positions in its branches as it continues to expand into new markets, including Greater Washington. This is in conjunction with the ABP Fellowship, where Howard sophomores can apply for a pre-internship program at JPMorgan Chase that bridges into internship roles across the firm’s professional groups focused on asset and wealth management, consumer and community banking, commercial banking, corporate and investment banking, and corporate strategy and technology. • Career and professional development: An ABP relationship manager hosts on-campus office hours to coach students on resume and cover letter building, interview preparation and other professional skills. ABP also works in conjunction with Howard’s administration to support curriculum development that aligns with JPMorgan Chase’s hiring needs to better position students and graduates to excel in entry-level careers in finance. • Financial health and education: JPMorgan Chase and ABP host ongoing programs dedicated to combatting the racial wealth divide by creating pathways to financial health for students through education on topics such as budgeting, credit use and managing student expenses.

Awards & Recognition Jami Ramberan Assistant professor in the School of Communications Jami Ramberan won an Emmy for her video, “VOTE.” She was awarded by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the public service announcement (single spot) category. The project is based around the poem “Vote” by Suzen Baraka, a spoken word artist and lawyer, who stars in the video. “Visually, I wanted to illustrate the historical and current injustices faced by marginalized communities in a creative way. I sought to complement Suzen’s explosive voice with galvanizing archival and stylized images,” Ramberan said. “I wanted viewers to see faces that looked like them, eyes that remind them of their family, friends and neighbors. As a result, I included portraits of everyday people wearing masks to reflect our current condition with messages of activism and hope that support diverse and underrepresented communities.” To watch the full VOTE video, visit

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Farhana Ferdous Architecture assistant professor Farhana Ferdous, Ph.D., received the Graham Foundation Grant for a new research project that takes an in-depth look at the history of racial disparities and environmental epidemics and how this has impacted minority health through history. The research, titled “The (pathogenic)-CITY: A Segregated Landscape of Urbanization, Urbanicity and Wellbeing in American Landscape (the 1900s to present),” examines the city of Baltimore as a case study to explore the impact of urbanicity and residential segregation from the city design and planning perspectives. “‘The (pathogenic)-CITY’ is a chronological history of racial disparities in American landscape by focusing on how urbanization and planning movements have transformed the minority health and well-being from post-industrial society to the present,” Ferdous said. She will look at the impact of planning movements and racism on the development of infectious and manmade diseases among African-Americans.

Clive O. Callender Howard University transplant surgeon Clive O. Callender, M.D., was honored by the 2021 American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) with its Pioneer Award, the most distinguished award bestowed by the organization upon an individual. The award was presented in August during National Minority Donor Awareness Month. “One of things I learned early on [in my career] was that there was a shortage of donors and a complexity in this shortage of donors, and that minorities and African-Americans were rarely donors,” Callender said. “This then became the quest for me because I had a rich experience as a church person, and I thought that this was something I should try to do. Yes, it was an impossible dream. But then, in my life, the impossible often became possible. So, this became the challenge that I took up.” In the early 1970s, Callender began developing the first minority-directed dialysis and transplant center in the country at Howard University Hospital. In 1991, Callender conceptualized and founded the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP) for the purpose of increasing minority donation rates nationally. The organization has been widely heralded for its public awareness campaigns directed at minority communities. Through the years, such efforts have proved to be extraordinarily effective.


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Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Howard University Center for Sickle Cell Disease September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and on this particular year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Howard University Center for Sickle Cell Disease. Sickle cell disease can cause debilitating pain and complications in those who suffer from it and greatly affects people of African descent, particularly African-Americans. It affects nearly 100,000 Americans. In the past 50 years, centers like the one at Howard have helped provide sickle cell patients a higher quality of care and have a higher quality of life. It was in 1971 when the late Dr. Roland B. Scott, a pediatrician, an expert on allergies, and an authority on sickle cell disease, helped champion the Sickle Cell Anemia Control Act, which was passed by Congress in order to establish research and treatment centers around the country. One such center was founded here at Howard University in September of that year. Dr. Scott became passionate about sickle cell as he treated numerous children experiencing complications from the disease at Howard University Hospital in the 1950s. Knowing how little understood and often misdiagnosed sickle cell was at the time, Dr. Scott knew that our country needed to enhance education about the disease and revitalize the medical system’s ability to care for patients suffering from it. As a result of the sustained advocacy from the center and other organizations dedicated to the fight against sickle cell, the federal government invests around $100 million annually in sickle cell research in an effort to continue enhancing treatment options and hopefully discovering a cure for the disease. The Howard University Center for Sickle Cell Disease has participated in every major clinical trial that has led to FDA-approved medications for the treatment of sickle cell disease.

“Not only has the center helped countless numbers of patients like me, but it has also played an instrumental role in improving sickle cell research and treatment,” said President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA, who notes that he is also celebrating his 50th birthday this year alongside the center. “The sickle cell center was one of the primary reasons I decided to attend Howard University in 1988. My experience with sickle cell disease motivated me to become a physician, so I enrolled in Howard’s bachelor’s/M.D. dual degree program at the age of 16. But just as importantly, I knew that I needed to learn how to manage my own disease, and I knew that the center was the best place for me to do so.”

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Moving Home

“I’m so excited to be a Bison because this has been my dream school.” Kaila Anderson, freshman business major, St. Louis

Students and families were welcomed to the Mecca for the first time in over a year. For freshmen and sophomores, it was the first time they had arrived on campus; for juniors and seniors, it was a warm return to a place they once called home. Howard prioritized safety in its move-in process, staggering the students’ arrivals over a 10-day timeline. In addition to requiring that students be fully vaccinated and confirming their

“It’s kind of surreal. I feel like a freshman because this is my first time on campus, but really I’m a sophomore.” —Lalah Allen, sophomore nursing major, Chicago

vaccination status prior to move-in, the University also enforced mask wearing, three-foot social distancing rules, and set up sanitizing stations throughout campus buildings. Student leaders conducted temperature checks at the entrance of the residence halls. Dorm rooms were sanitized and sealed prior. Each student was limited to two guests to accompany their move-in and the number of people in elevators at any one time was restricted. Much of the move-in process was facilitated by juniors and seniors, including dormitory residential advisers, who helped check students and coordinated the flow of individuals into and out of the building.

“This has been a long time coming.” —Langston Locke, sophomore chemical engineering major, Fort Lauderdale

“As an RA, you’re basically a liaison between the residents and the hall managers and the staff, so

we’re confidants, mentors, and we oversee all the residents in the building,” said Taimera Johnson, a junior marketing major from Miami, Florida, who was responsible for taking people’s temperatures as they entered College Hall South. “I know that so many students were robbed of their experience because of COVID and the pandemic, so I’m really happy that they’re actually able to come back on campus in a safe way, and they’re able to actually get their full Howard experience.”

“I feel like they’ve been doing a good job with the safety measures. Especially with wearing the masks and making sure they’re pulled up and cleaning the rooms. I’m glad they’re taking the precautions.”— Tamia Stott, freshman political science major, Indianapolis


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Watching Your Well-Being Tyish Hall Brown, Ph.D., emphasizes mental health care during this Fall semester During the pandemic, mental health has moved to the forefront of people’s minds along with physical health and well-being. As students transition back to campus, everyone should expect an adjustment period, says Tyish Hall Brown, Ph.D., child and adolescent psychologist and director of the School-Based Behavioral Health Program in the Howard University College of Medicine. Her clinical experience in working with children and young adults who have been exposed to trauma has shown that people may not necessarily just bounce right back to the way things were before the pandemic. We asked her how the Howard community can and should take care of themselves mentally as everyone adjusts to “the new normal.”

Q: What are some lingering pandemic challenges that might be causing continued isolation or depression or anxiety? A: Many students have expectations that things should be back to “normal”; however, trying to recreate how things “used to be” before the pandemic can cause feelings of distress. Some students may continue to feel sadness or grief over the losses they have experienced. These losses may have been in the form of deaths but may have also included friendships, independence, income, etc. I have also found that many teens and young adults are still experiencing high levels of anxiety related to the uncertainty that the pandemic creates. Worries about COVID outbreaks, student safety, and interruption of classes have now been superimposed on top of typical worries that students may have at the start of a new school year.

Q: What are some signs that people should notice with regards to their own mental health? A: Students should pay attention to how they feel throughout the day. If they are persistently feeling overly tired, rundown or overwhelmed, this is an indication that they may need to seek professional help. Other signs to be aware of include low frustration tolerance, difficulty sleeping, decreased motivation and drastic changes in appetite. One extremely important sign is if they are having suicidal thoughts or any thoughts of hurting themselves.


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Q: What signs should students notice in a friend who might be struggling?

A: Signs that a friend may be struggling with a mental health issue include drastic changes in mood or habits. For example, a friend who is normally the life of the party may become less active or sullen. Or someone who is usually more quiet and reserved becomes argumentative and is easily frustrated. Dealing with a friend who is struggling with a mental health issue can be challenging for students. If a student suspects that their friend is going through a mental health crisis, the student should reach out to their friend in a supportive way or tell a trusted adult who may be able to help.

Q: How can students take care of their mental health?

A: Students should acknowledge their limits and be okay with where they are. Prioritize what is important rather than try to manage 20 things at once. They should take time for themselves. Make sure they engage in activities that they enjoy throughout the day and schedule it in their calendar, like a 10- to 15-minute walk, reading or listening to music. They should also try to identify a relaxation technique that works for them. Guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and mindfulness can help students prepare for the day or decompress when faced with stress.

Q: What about freshmen and sophomores who are leaving home for the first time? What feelings might they be experiencing? A: Freshmen and sophomores are in the same boat this year given the move to virtual learning last year. As they integrate into campus life, these students might be anxious about making friends, “fitting in” and managing their academic requirements. They may feel sadness or melancholy because they are away from their family members, particularly after quarantining in close quarters for most of last year. It’s important to schedule a call with family and friends from home and keep those close bonds that they formed during the pandemic.

Q: How can students learn to adjust to living in this new situation?

A: Students should feel free to ask questions, take advantage of social activities and make a concerted effort to connect with new classmates. They should try to reduce stringent expectations and learn to be flexible within this time of uncertainty. My hope is that they can enter this time period with optimism as opposed to focusing on thoughts about how hard this year will be. They should go into it with more positive thoughts: “It might be difficult, but I got this. There will be challenges, but nothing I can’t handle.”

RESOURCES: University Counseling Service (UCS) offers individual and group appointments as well as medication management. Email for an appointment. HUR&R project, made possible through the HU COVID Resilience grant, offers short-term services for shortterm problems, and can refer out longer-term ones for further treatment. Email

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Diagnosing Racism in Medicine Howard alumna Marie Plaisime, Ph.D., tackles racial bias in health care Marie Plaisime (Ph.D. ’21)

quality. My research investigates the mechanisms through

is a medical sociologist

which health is racialized by examining racial bias, race-

who was recently awarded

based medicine, algorithmic bias, social movements and

the National Science

health policy. My work assesses the complex interactions

Foundation (NSF) Social,

among physicians, nurses and patients in shaping health

Behavioral and Economic


Sciences Postdoctoral

Q: What does this entail?

Research Fellowship. She completed her doctorate in medical sociology at Howard University and is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholars program. She is pursuing her postdoctoral fellowship jointly with the NSF and the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. Plaisime is studying structural racism, racial bias and race-based medicine in medical education and clinical settings.

Q: What sparked your interest to pursue racial bias in medicine? A: As an interdisciplinary health scholar and medical

A: My study includes two phases to assess medical providers’ perceptions of structural competency pedagogy, race-based medicine and structural racism in medical education. Phase 1 examines medical students’ and residents’ training on racial bias and race-based medicine, especially among those identified as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), women and persons with disabilities. Phase 2 assesses structural factors that impact provider recommendations. I hope that this research can dismantle the structural barriers that impact diverse communities.

Q: Why is this important to you?

sociologist, I believe that it is critical to assess racism’s

A: As a first-generation Haitian-American woman, and as

impact on the treatments, diagnostic tools, algorithms and

an interdisciplinary health scholar and medical sociologist,

assessments we use to evaluate marginalized patients’

I believe that it is critical to assess racism’s impact on the

health. My training at Howard has well prepared me for the

treatments, diagnostic tools, algorithms and assessments

next steps of my career.

we use to evaluate marginalized patients’ health. Howard

Q: Explain your research examining medical education and race.

A: I am principal investigator on an NSF-funded project entitled, “Moving Beyond Bias: Structural Competency in Medical Education,” which seeks to enhance theories and

University is the only historically Black college and university (HBCU) in the United States with a doctoral program in sociology.

Q: What do you hope you or the greater community will gain from your research?

methodological approaches on structural competency, bias

A: I recognize the need for holistically healthier

and patient-provider interactions to reduce bias and race-

communities, and I am committed to being a part of

based learning across medical institutions. I apply critical

systematic change that will result in inclusive and equitable

quantitative, computational and mixed methodological

health care. I firmly believe that by investigating the social

tools to detect, examine and quantify how structural racism

dynamics that condition the culture of medicine, we can

in medicine jeopardizes health care delivery, access and

develop solutions to achieve optimal care for all.


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Students Leading Students Q&A with Kylie Burke, HUSA President

for students, contribute to a safe and engaging campus environment, and pursue meaningful student-centric policy changes.

Q: What are some of your top goals you hope to accomplish this year? A: We have three main goals for the year:

Kylie Burke, president of the Howard University Student

Association for the 2021-2022 year, is a senior prelaw,

internally connected, accessible to students and effective in

honors political science major from the San Francisco Bay

large-scale advocacy projects;

1. Optimize student government to become more

Area. She plans to pursue

a J.D./MPP program post-

meaning we must work to acclimate the first-time college

graduation and to become

students to being on campus and set positive social examples

a lawyer and policy

for what “being a Bison” is; and

advocate. She reflects on

the pandemic and how it

representation on advisory committees and continuing

changed Howard students

to advocate for all stakeholders to be heard by University

and its governance as well


2. Transition to an improved on-campus community,

3. Restore student power by increasing

as how they can become active and involved.

Q: What’s it like to be back on campus for you?

Q: How can students help get these goals accomplished? A: An easy way for any and everyone to help is by doing

their part to keep campus safe. That means wearing a mask,

A: The entire D.C./Shaw area feels more familiar now – like

social distancing and treating each member of the Howard

you can’t go anywhere without seeing someone you know

community with respect. Students can also apply to join

or at least someone in Howard apparel. And I love that,

HUSA! We have applications out for freshmen and first-year

especially when you end up meeting new people who reach

transfer students currently available on our social media @

out just because they see you wearing a Howard t-shirt. Last


year, I really missed that community and family feel a lot. As a student leader, I would occasionally be called to campus, but visiting and seeing the Yard so quiet/empty felt unnatural.

Q: What do you think is different between your year in office and prior years?

Q: What do you want students coming to campus for the first time to take away? A: This is YOUR TIME, use all of it! Please take advantage

of everything, from all the people you can connect with and the places you can go around D.C. to the professional or

A: Almost everything is different. I think student government

academic opportunities available through Howard. One day

and University leadership have always had to sustain an

very soon you’ll look up and be a senior like me, so do all that

implied level of flexibility, but these are unprecedented

you can now to ensure you get to walk across the stage with

times. Everyone has to be prepared to (quickly) make

no regrets, lots of memories, lifelong friends and, of course, a

drastic changes based on new information. But even with

well-earned degree!

the unprecedented times, I feel the goal is still the same for the Howard University Student Association: advocate

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Healthy Howard The University is proactively ensuring the safety of its campus for a successful semester. As students, faculty and staff settle into the Fall semester, many concerns and questions still linger as news and updates about COVID-19 continue to shift and change. Howard remains proactive, staying a step ahead to maintain the safety of the community’s health while ensuring a cohesive learning environment and supportive atmosphere.

Staggered move-in process To avoid a crunch of people coming to campus all at the same time from all parts of the country and the world, Howard stretched out its move-in time over 10 days this August. Students were welcomed to their dorm rooms with sealed stickers to indicate their space had been cleaned and sanitized. Each individual had their temperature checked at the entrance of residence halls, and students were limited to two guests to accompany their move-in. Elevator capacity was restricted, and mask-wearing was enforced as well as three-foot social distancing rules. “The staggered move-in was one way to help families feel safe and welcome, especially as so many of them are arriving on campus for the first time,” says Cynthia Evers, Ed.D., vice president of student affairs. “We’re striking a balance

Testing and vaccination All students on campus are required to be vaccinated and to submit proof of vaccination prior to coming on campus. Over the Summer, Howard received feedback from faculty, staff, parents and students and extended the requirement to include faculty and staff who work on campus. The reasons for this requirement were several. Data indicate that the majority of those entering hospitals for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, and nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the United States are among unvaccinated individuals. The safety record for vaccines have also been highly encouraging. In addition, the spread of variants also framed the decision. Based on this data, the University saw that the best way to fully protect the Howard community was through vaccination. Those with medical and/or religious exemptions were required to submit a form and granted in accordance with federal and local law. Dr. Frederick has offered to have a conversation with students, faculty or staff, or anyone’s family members or friends, who might have hesitancy or concerns about the vaccine as well.

by taking measures to ensure everyone’s health and safety

The University also opened several COVID-19 testing

while also coordinating an effective and efficient move-in

locations outside the Student Health Center as well as

process. But everyone I’ve encountered understands the

in dormitories, the Blackburn Center, the Undergraduate

complexity of the environment we’re in, and they appreciate

Library and the Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library. All

the mechanisms we’ve put in place.”

faculty, staff and students are required to be tested at least once a week and as soon as possible after a potential exposure to someone who has COVID-19.


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Masking Everyone on campus is required to wear a mask indoors and outdoors regardless of vaccination status. Masking not only protects the mask wearer but also the people around them. Masks are a simple barrier that prevent respiratory droplets (released when a person talks, coughs or sneezes) from traveling into the air and to other people. Masking is a part of the process known as source control. Students are still allowed to gather in groups under 50, so long as they adhere

of Student Safety Ambassadors who will help implement public health guidance and assist in monitoring for compliance with safety measures. Students are also looking out for one another, Evers says. “Their peers are the

to the masking requirement.

ones that are just really on them to make sure that they are

“The mask is a tool to protect yourself, so we don’t want to be afraid of our masks. We want to use our masks liberally,” said Rodger Mitchell Jr., M.D., chair of

she said on a recent episode of “The Journey.”

pathology at Howard University College of Medicine, on a recent episode of “The Journey.” Larger classes have been reassigned to provide greater physical distancing, and portable air purifiers have been added to various classrooms. Sanitizing stations are available throughout campus buildings as well.

Bison SAFE app and Student Safety Ambassadors

doing what [they are] supposed to do as it relates to safety,”

If someone has been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, the University has outlined a specific protocol that they should follow. This includes, but is not limited to, instructions on quarantining, when to test, and the process for contact tracing. It also details what a student may do during quarantine, such as where they can quarantine, where to order food and resources they may need during this time. Evers says students have expressed wishing things were different. “They talk to us about how they miss the time that they can do a lot of close proximity, face-to-face activities and so forth,” she noted. “But right now, they understand.”

The Bison SAFE app has been expanded to include COVID-19 related information. All who come to campus need to fill out the self-assessment on the app daily. The self-assessment requires people to monitor themselves for symptoms and is upheld by the honor code. People are expected to provide truthful and complete information. If any student who refuses or fails to comply may be in violation of the University’s Student Code of Conduct. The “approved to enter” indicator must be displayed to access buildings, and faculty may also request that students display the indicator before entering classrooms. In partnership with HUSA, the University is creating a corps

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Catapulting Howard Forward, Full Steam We are proud to welcome students back to campus and are well into rounding out the second year of Howard Forward, the University’s five-year strategic plan. While we all are responsible for managing the impacts of COVID-19 and continuing to adjust to the new normal, the University community has not slowed its progress. Despite a global pandemic, we have collectively scored significant wins on our 2024 goals. This semester, we welcomed the largest class in University history, with 12,049 total students, including 2,920 first-timein-college students. This accomplishment has set a University record! Howard surpassed its 2024 goal to enroll 10,000 students four years ahead of schedule, when in Fall 2020 our enrollment reached 10,859 students. Our new goal is to enroll 12,500 students by 2024, and we are already on our way to achieving it.

Enhance Academic Excellence The transition to online learning during the pandemic provided the opportunity for us to accelerate the academic renewal phase of our Campus Master Plan. Our teams used this time to begin necessary repairs and renovations across campus while the footprint was minimal and there would be limited disruptions to the University community. As we continue to “enhance

academic excellence,” we are proud of our integration of distance learning options. Last

year, we quickly pivoted to offering all courses remotely and surpassing our distance learning goal of 20 percent while embracing hybrid options this semester. We are actively engaged across campus to ensure state-of-the-art facilities to support the highest learning and working outcomes for our faculty, staff and students. These efforts include the nearly completed renovations of Frederick Douglass Memorial Hall, the Undergraduate Library and the Armour J. Blackburn University Center. Our teams are also working diligently to create a look book that will provide a more extensive overview of every major investment we made in infrastructure on the University’s campus. For a status list of our ongoing facility renovations, visit We are in the pre-development phase of our new Academic Health Sciences complex, which includes a new hospital and education facilities for our health science disciplines. Howard trains more than half the Black doctors, pharmacists and dentists in the country. Without Howard, the robust pipeline of diverse health care professionals serving in historically underserved communities would fail and growing health care disparities would widen. The COVID-19 pandemic and response reemphasize the critical and positive impact of Howard in our communities as we’ve performed over 55,000 COVID-19 tests and administered over 40,000 COVID-19 vaccinations as of June 2021. In fact, the mortality among patients who were ventilated from COVID-19 at Howard University was under 20 percent, much lower than the rest of the nation. The cost of a new 225-bed hospital is $600 million, and the total project is expected to take three years. To learn more and to lend your support for the Academic Health Sciences complex, visit


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Inspire New Knowledge The second pillar of our strategic plan, “inspire new knowledge,” seeks to increase the amount of grant-funded research awarded to the University. We are well on our way to surpassing the $100 million mark in sponsored and awarded research, a key objective of our plan. The Office of Research with support from the Office of the Chief Strategy Officer (OCSO) is implementing a pilot initiative that will improve the number of submitted proposals and increase the number and dollar amount of research revenue. This supports our efforts to obtain an R1 designation, constituting “very high research activity,” as identified by the Carnegie Classification. When achieved, we will once again be the top Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in research as Howard was the only HBCU to have previously attained this classification.

Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness Our fourth strategic pillar, “improve efficiency and effectiveness,” has been focused on deploying a new enterprise resource planning system. We are proud to have launched Workday as the official HR and finance system of record. Our teams have accomplished a Herculean effort, and they are working to prepare for the additional project streams associated with the full Workday transition. This initiative improves Howard’s operational excellence and compliance delivery, and we will soon begin planning for the student-focused interfaces that include records, advising and core enrollment functions. Moving forward, the OCSO will be launching a five-part training series that gives insight into strategic planning and supports professional development for faculty and staff. Participants will learn essential principles around strategic planning, developing key performance indicators to measure the efficiency of their programs, and address organizational culture and change management. The Howard Forward Initiatives and Operations Working Group (HFIOWG) has also worked to create a rubric to evaluate existing college- and school-level strategic plans for their alignment with Howard Forward. The Howard Forward Data and Technology Working Group (HFDTWG) has created a data dashboard, comprised of infographics that support each Howard Forward pillar, to increase transparency and convey our progress against Howard Forward. This dashboard will be updated periodically. While you have some free time, browse the improved strategic plan website for more information about our implementation of Howard Forward. As we continue to score major wins, we want to collectively celebrate our success. Our success is seen through the collective Bison pride of our students, faculty and alumni who continue to positively change and impact the world. Our continued work and focus will lay the foundation for our continued progress. Happy Fall semester, and we look forward to updating you all in the Spring on our progress to move Howard ahead.





Research Revenue: Target.......................................................... $100M 2021.............................................................. $92M

first-time in-college students

FY19...............................................................$56M S E P T 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


New Bison Appointments Keith L. Alexander, Howard

and Family Medicine within the College of Medicine. Copeland is

alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winning

fellowship-trained in adolescent

crime and courts reporter for The

medicine and completed her

Washington Post, has been named The Hilltop’s new technical editorial adviser. He has also worked as an adjunct journalism professor at various Washington-area colleges, including Howard University, the University of Maryland and Trinity College. He is a three-time winner of the National Association of Black Journalists’ annual writing awards, finalist for the 2002 Livingston Awards, and contributor to the team at The Post for its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage

residency in family medicine in Chicago. Most recently, Copeland served as director of adolescent medicine at Morris Heights Health Center in the Bronx, New York, where she was responsible for the clinical and programmatic aspects of the Young Adult and Adolescent Health Unit.

Cynthia Evers, Ed.D, has been named vice

of the Virginia Tech mass shooting.

president of student affairs. Evers has

Kenneth Anderson, Ph.D., is the new

senior leadership positions at Howard

progressively served in responsible University, including, most recently,

associate provost for undergraduate studies in the

interim vice president of student affairs

Office of the Provost. As a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education, Anderson has served in roles of increasing responsibility, including most recently as associate dean of research and sponsored programs in the School of Education.

and dean of students. Evers provides more than 20 years of higher education experience. Previously, she was appointed to serve on several committees instituted by the University System of Georgia’s vice chancellor, including Complete College Georgia, Guided Pathways and Hispanic Latino College Completion

Anderson is also a former middle school teacher.


Ta-Nehisi Coates, award-winning author and

Nikole Hannah-Jones joins the faculty of the

journalist, joins as faculty member in the flagship College of Arts and Sciences as the Sterling Brown Chair in the Department of English. Coates previously attended Howard and is author of “Between the World and Me,” a New York Times #1 bestselling novel and winner of the National Book Award.

Cathy Hughes School of Communications, filling the newly created Knight Chair in Race and Journalism. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist will also found the Center for Journalism and Democracy, which will focus on training and supporting aspiring journalists in acquiring the investigative skills and historical and analytical expertise needed to cover the crisis our

Ebony Rose Copeland, M.D., MPH, is the new director of the Howard University Student Health Center and assistant professor in the Department of Community


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democracy is facing. She is the inaugural Knight Chair in Race and Journalism. Hannah-Jones is the creator of The New York Times’ 1619 Project, an examination of the repercussions of the slave trade.

Andrea A. Hayes, M.D., FACS, FAAP, was

Sean Plater has been appointed

named professor and chair of the Department of Surgery

the new general manager of public

at Howard University College of Medicine and Howard

television station WHUT-TV. Plater

University Hospital. Hayes is the first female chair of

will retain his role as general manager

surgery at Howard University and just the second Black

of 96.3 WHUR-FM, which he has

woman to serve as the chair of surgery at an academic

led to become the No. 1 music radio

institution in the nation. Hayes will also serve as the

station in Washington, D.C. Plater

associate director of the Cancer Center at Howard.

earned a bachelor’s degree from the Howard University School of Communications in 2007.

Hayes joins Howard after serving as the surgeon-in-chief and division chief of pediatric surgery at the University

Phylicia Rashad is the new dean of the

of North Carolina Children’s Hospital, where she also

reestablished Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.

served as a professor of pediatric surgery and surgical

Rashad graduated from Howard with a bachelor’s in fine

oncology. She specializes in refractory and resistant

arts. Rashad is one of many Howard University alumni who

tumors in children, specifically soft tissue sarcomas in

have transformed the arts and entertainment industry


through legendary careers on screen and behind the

Olga Osaghae is the

scenes, in front of the microphone and from within the boardroom.

interim chief information officer and head of Enterprise

An accomplished actor and stage

Technology Services (ETS).

director, Rashad became a household

Osaghae most recently served

name when she portrayed Claire

as the director of enterprise

Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” a

applications and deputy project

character whose enduring appeal

manager for the Workday

has earned her numerous honors and awards for over two

human capital management (HCM) system. She has

decades. More recent roles in television and film include

worked with leaders from across campus to launch

appearances as Carol on “This Is Us”; Diana Dubois on

Workday finance and payroll systems as well as HCM.

“Empire”; Dr. Woods-Trap in “David Makes Man”; Libba

For the past 13 years, she has worked at Howard in a

Gardner in “Soul”; and Dr. Jones in “Between the World

variety of capacities, including manager of database

and Me” as well as extensive onstage performances

administration services, project manager, senior

including Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” and

functional analyst and senior IT auditor.

Aunt Ester in August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean.” Rashad has also served as adjunct faculty at several universities and arts schools.

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The Robert P. and Sally G. Sands Fifteen to Finish Scholarship The Fifteen to Finish Scholarship was established in 2017 for new Howard University students to complete college on time and without debt. Created by Sally G. Sands, a retired schoolteacher, and her husband, Robert P. Sands, a retired lawyer, the scholarship is applicable to residents of California, Missouri and Minnesota. Students are expected to register for at least 15 credit hours each semester in order to graduate within four years and receive $20,000 a year. The scholarship is student-centered and developed around the idea of providing cohort support. High-achieving, first-generation and/or limited-income students are eligible for the scholarship. They benefit from and receive community support and enrichment, programming with a group cohort and advisers, career development, and group engagement from scholar peers and staff advisers through the Center for Honors and Scholar Development. To receive information on applying to the Sands Scholars Program in the future, please contact Theon GruberFord at Interested in contributing to the Fifteen to Finish Scholarship? 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” This month’s guests will include Vice President of Student Affairs Cynthia Evers, chair of pathology at Howard University College of Medicine Dr. Rodger Mitchell and Howard University Director of Athletics Kery Davis, among others. Topics to be covered include returning to campus, COVID-19 concerns and the role of athletics at HBCUs.

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: Signature: _________________________________________________________ Date: _____________________________________________________________ My and/or my spouse’s employer will match my/our gift.



Will you answer the call? S E P T 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



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