2019 Winter FS&U Magazine

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“I would like to help elevate FSU to heights never seen before. I am proud to be a part of the Bronco family.” – Dr. Peggy Valentine, Interim Chancellor

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Winter 2019

The Chancellor

Dear Broncos and Friends,


Welcome to another issue of the FS&U magazine! I am excited about this publication, because it is filled with articles that share the stories of the people and events that make Fayetteville State University (FSU) such a great place. Aren’t we fortunate to be here at such a time as this? As of this date, I am celebrating my fifth month at this great institution, and please allow me to say that it has been a major highlight of my professional career. Fayetteville State University is such a remarkable university, and one of my top goals is share the great news about our institution with our alumni, friends, and stakeholders. We have begun to carry out this initiative by launching monthly webinars for students and alumni. Our desire is to exhibit total transparency and offer students and supporters an opportunity to ask questions about what’s really going on at FSU. We began the webinars in September, and these public forums have been very well-received by the greater FSU community. An additional highlight experienced during my first few months at FSU was the memorable 2019 Homecoming that took place in October. I enjoyed the honor and pleasure of serving as your Grand Marshal; it truly was an ‘ expérience géniale’; I will cherish for a lifetime. Very few things will ever compare to riding down Murchison Road and seeing all of the community supporters, alumni, and students enjoying themselves as they honored the legacy of Fayetteville State University. This truly was a sight to behold. It was during our Homecoming that several classes were in reunion, and many of our alumni and friends donated significant financial contributions to our university. For example, the classes of 1965 and 1974 gave monetary presentations in the amount of $25,000 each. I appreciate their loyal support. Quite notably, Dr. Clarence Lloyd, Class of 1965, set Jeralds Stadium abuzz when he made a gift to FSU in the sum of $500,000. This particular donation marks the second major monetary gift provided by Dr. Lloyd. In 2015, he donated $100,000. In response to Dr Lloyd’s unselfish gift, the FSU Board of Trustees voted to name the College of Health Science and Technology in his honor. Dr. Lloyd symbolizes true examples of loyalty and dedication; we appreciate all that he has done for his alma mater. As the calendar year comes to a hasty end, please know how much I appreciate your support, and I have felt your love ever since my arrival at Fayetteville State University. May you enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season, as we look forward to excitement and new FSU Adventures in the new year of 2020! In the Bronco Spirit,

Peggy Valentine, Ed. D Interim Chancellor


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Fayetteville State University’s official publication The FS&U is published by the Fayetteville State University Department of Communications. Address: 1200 Murchison Road Fayetteville, NC 28301 Phone: 910-672-1377

Interim Chancellor Peggy Valentine, Ed. D Editor Jeffery M. Womble Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications Associate Editor La’Won D. Williams Director of University Publications


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Fayetteville State University is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students, or employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, or disability. It is the policy of Fayetteville State University to create diversity among its student body by recruiting and enrolling students without regard to race, gender, or ethnicity. Applicants of all races, gender and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply for enrollment.

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Ways to Give A Lunch to Remember FSU Students Visit SAS Institute FSU’s MBA Students Aid NCDOT through MBA Certification Program FSU Wins Third Straight CIAA Women’s Cross Country Championship Scenes from Homecoming Dream BIG - Dr. Peggy Valentine A Family Affair ONE Man’s Vision FSU Grad’s Play to be Featured in NYC Festival The Blue and White - Alumni Updates RISE Scholar Wins Presentation Award at 2019 Annual Biomedical Research Conference FSU Alumna Recognized by L’Oreal Paris as 2019 Women of Worth Honoree Going Solo: FSU Student Discovers Himself in Global Travels

Fayetteville State University is proud to be a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina.





We want to hear from you! Please send your comments to ldwilliams@uncfsu.edu. We reserve the right to edit letters. 1500 copies of this public document where printed at a cost of $5.16 per copy.

Winter 2019



Ways to




From annual giving to planned gifts, from endowed scholarships to faculty chairs, opportunities for giving to Fayetteville State University are numerous. Your gifts support student aid, faculty research and facilities improvements. They also help programs such as honors, band and athletics. So, whether you’re a student, an established professional or about to retire, there is a giving option that’s just right for you to make a difference at FSU.

A class reunion is a great time for alumni to give back to FSU. Your reunion year provides an excellent opportunity to support the University in a way that is personally meaningful to you. Most reunion giving takes place over a five-year period which is the maximum number of years to fulfill pledges for endowed gifts, there’s no better time than a class reunion year to establish a fund and complete it by the next reunion. For more information please contact YaKima Rhinehart at yrhinehart@uncfsu.edu or 910.672.1287.

MAJOR GIFTS & ENDOWMENTS Endowed gifts provide ongoing benefits for FSU by earning a market rate of interest while keeping the principal investment intact to fund future years of scholarships, or whatever efforts the donor sought to fund. In some instances, a percentage of the principal is allowed to be used each year. An endowment allows FSU to be less reliant upon volatile funding sources such as government and sponsored programs. Major Gifts and Endowments allow for donors to partake in naming opportunities, those who wish to make a gift in honor or in memory of an individual, may name buildings, rooms, scholarships, professorships, departments and programs. For more information, please contact Jalisha C. Pone, Associate Director of Development at jpone@uncfsu.edu or 910.672.1682.

Through the years, Fayetteville State University has adapted its curriculum and teaching methodologies to ensure that all of our students receive an education that allows them to be competitive in a changing world. Your investment in FSU helps to ensure that our university and our graduates are continually able to demonstrate strength and potential by sustaining major programs in nanotechnology, leadership and community development, logistics and transportation systems, and public health. For more information please contact Jalisha C. Pone, Associate Director of Development at jpone@uncfsu.edu or 910.672.1682.



Funds received through the annual giving campaign are an essential supplement to Fayetteville State University’s current basic operating needs. Because support from the state has decreased over the years, annual gifts allow the university to renovate facilities, upgrade technology, purchase new equipment and provide student scholarships, among other things. Gifts to the annual giving campaign may be designated for a specific college/school/department or they can be unrestricted for use where the need is greatest. In addition, some employers match their employees’ charitable contributions. For more information, please contact Jasmin B. Sessoms, Assistant Director of Development at jsesso3@uncfsu.edu or 910.672.1681.

Planned giving sometimes referred to as gift planning, may be defined as a method of supporting universities that enables philanthropic individuals or donors to make larger gifts than they could make from their income. While some planned gifts provide a life-long income to the donor, others use estate and tax planning techniques to provide for charity and other heirs in ways that maximize the gift and/or minimize its impact on the donor’s estate. Thus, by definition, a planned gift is any major gift, made in lifetime or at death as part of a donor’s overall financial and/or estate planning. By contrast, gifts to the annual fund or for membership dues are made from a donor’s discretionary income, and while they may be budgeted for, they are not planned. Whether a donor uses cash, appreciated securities/ stock, real estate, artwork, partnership interests, personal property, life insurance, a retirement plan, etc., the benefits of funding a planned gift can make this type of charitable giving very attractive to both donor and charity. For more information please contact the Division of Institutional Advancement at 910.672.2348.

STUDENT GIVING Some individuals give to FSU while they are enrolled as undergraduate and graduate students. The student giving program supports the annual giving campaign. Participation is optional, but those who do say they feel a greater sense of school pride that results in a tradition of giving that continues long after their matriculation at the university has ended. For more information, please contact Jasmin B. Sessoms, Assistant Director of Development at, jsesso3@uncfsu.edu or 910.672.1681. 4


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Effective January 1, 2017, Fayetteville State University and the Fayetteville State University Foundation imposed a minimal fee on certain kinds of gifts made to these entities. All private cash gifts are subject to a five percent (5%) gift management fee.

Endowments… Today. Tomorrow. Forever. Endowments are vital resources committed to the University’s future. They provide the flow of capital necessary to promote educational innovation, foster scientific research, and enhance academic programs at Fayetteville State University. Endowments encourage exploration of new ideas and fuel technological advancement. They stimulate educators and researchers to expand the frontiers of knowledge and improve our well-being. Indeed, endowments are the foundation of America’s great universities and research centers. While the University seeks annual contributions from its alumni, friends and faculty, corporations and foundations to support its ongoing educational and research activities, Fayetteville State’s continued development depends significantly on the growth of its endowment portfolio.

WHAT ARE ENDOWMENTS? Endowments are permanent funds established by a Donor whereby only the interest each year is used for the specified purpose of the fund. The principal amount of the gift can never be spent and is invested for long-term growth. Donors establish endowments to ensure that their charitable purposes are accomplished in perpetuity. A Donor may contribute a gift or several gifts to establish an endowment in his or her own name, or to honor or memorialize someone else. Contributors who are interested in supporting an endowment but do not wish to establish their own may contribute to the University’s general endowment, which advances the institution’s core mission of teaching, research and public service. Private and public universities, like Fayetteville State, seek to build their endowment as a major resource for the future. Efficiently established and managed, an institution’s endowment is an important source of funds for new initiatives, creative projects, and innovative ventures that would be impossible without a significant source of flexible support. Not only can an endowment provide capital from its investment income but, as an entity, it can attract additional support from those interested in the specific purpose of the endowment as well as the educational mission of the institution. While a donor may contribute cash, stock or other gift to the University for immediate use, a gift designated to an endowment is an investment in the future. Endowments tend to increase in value over time as the funds are invested.

WHAT CAN ENDOWMENTS DO? Endowments may be established for almost any educational or related purpose at the University. In considering the value of an endowment and its purpose, the donor should keep in mind that the size of the endowment is directly related to what it can accomplish.

Winter 2019


A Lunch to Remember

Music and dancing punctuate the first ‘Food Truck Corral’ for faculty and staff Story by Janet Gibson Photography by Cindy Burnham


ometimes a lunch break isn’t just a lunch break. Flashback to Tuesday, August 13, in Cook Quad. DJ Spaceage Timmy is blasting “Wobble Baby” as dancers take to the lawn and showcase their best moves – including an orange pig mascot who towers over the crowd. Lines have formed in front of various food trucks, dispensing such tasty fare as pork barbecue, fried fish, tacos, wings, Philly cheesesteaks and collard sandwiches. The first-ever “Food Truck Corral” was part of Bronco Kickoff, several days of festivities ushering in a new school year and the promise of exciting times ahead. To show their appreciation for about 900 faculty and staff, the university hosted the free event from noon to 2 p.m. “It’s hot out here, but I love it!” said Sandra Hughes, perusing the menu at the Bowls on a Roll food truck in the 95-degree heat. “This is all about togetherness,” added Sandra, who works in accounts payable in the business and finance department.


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“I love the energy! The anticipation that something great is about to happen. It gives me butterflies.” – Lorna Ricotta, Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement

Some took refuge from the heat under white tents decorated with white balloons. Tables covered in Bronco blue linens set a refined tone as hundreds gathered to eat and chat. Phyllis Hunt, from the housekeeping department, sat with three of her co-workers, Frances Tucker, Sandra Davis and Mary Wortham. Together, they have about 35 years of service to the university. “FSU is all about teamwork,” Phyllis said, “and we feel like our work is appreciated here.” Just prior to the “Food Truck Corral,” a T-shirt giveaway brought crowds of faculty and staff to Seabrook Auditorium. The Bronco blue shirts, emblazoned in white with “I Am Opening Doors,” send a message of strength, opportunities and growth to those who give so much to FSU. “We appreciate them and all their support to the university, for all they do,” said Jalisha Pone, Associate Director of Development, as she handed out T-shirts at lightning speed.

“There’s a lot of Bronco pride here,” said John Brooks, an Associate Professor of History who’s been teaching at FSU for 20 years, as he gladly accepted a T-shirt. Dr. Peggy Valentine, the Interim Chancellor who assumed her position just days earlier, also got into the act, speaking to the crowd about her goals for the year. (See more in the story on page 12.) Dr. Valentine also put on a Bronco blue T-shirt over her dress and happily posed for a photo with the Institutional Advancement team. As the new Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, Lorna Ricotta said she was experiencing her first official kickoff with students moving in and a slate of spirit-filled activities. “I love the energy!” Ricotta said. “The anticipation that something great is about to happen. It gives me butterflies.”

Winter 2019


FSU Students Visit SAS Institute

About SAS

Giving you The Power to Know® Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence.

FSU Students Visit SAS Institute To foster career readiness of its graduates, Fayetteville State University (FSU) faculty and students from the Broadwell College of Business and Economics (BCBE) and the College of Arts and Sciences had an exciting day at SAS Headquarters in Cary, N.C., as part of the SAS HBCU STEM Connect 2019. SAS HBCU STEM Connect Event provides opportunities for students to join employees from SAS’ Black Initiatives Group (BIG) and networking with Black Excellence at SAS. BCBE’s commitment to educate more business graduates with analytics skills is endorsed by a joint SAS Certification for Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. With the support of the Career Path Initiative of FSU, 20 students from BCBE and four students from College of Arts and Sciences, along with 3 faculty members, attended an exclusive event to learn about analytics, SAS products, customers, and internship and full-time opportunities. Throughout the day, students and faculty attended seminars to learn about machine learning and artificial intelligence; Data for Good Initiative of SAS as part of serving the 17 UN Global Goals; and obtained introductory SAS training. BCBE students were highly interested in turning data into goods using SAS. Mary Osborne’s engaging presentation about using analytics to help disaster victims and animals in danger of extinction attracted students’ attention. Following the seminars, participants had networking opportunities with SAS employees as well as other HBCU participants. About SAS Institute, Inc. SAS Institute is a developer of analytics software based in Cary, North Carolina. SAS develops and markets a suite of analytics software, which helps access, manage, analyze and report on data to aid in decision-making. “A trusted analytics powerhouse for organizations seeking immediate value from their data. A deep bench of analytics solutions and broad industry knowledge keep our customers coming back and feeling confident. With SAS®, you can discover insights from your data and make sense of it all. Identify what’s working and fix what isn’t. Make more intelligent decisions. And drive relevant change.”

SAS is proud to be part of the Data for Good movement, which encourages using data in meaningful ways to solve humanitarian issues around poverty, health, human rights, education and the environment. From preventing life-threatening illnesses to protecting endangered species to rebuilding after natural disasters, organizations across the globe are harnessing data to make a difference. Applying data for social good has led to new and creative ways to address global issues, and we’ve gathered a few of these stories here.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION It’s not about fitting into the culture, it’s about adding to it. We believe a diverse workforce brings unique talents and inspires teams to create software that can change the world. Great minds don’t always think alike, so we make it a priority to promote an environment where varied perspectives are encouraged. Big ideas ignite when everyone is treated with fairness and respect. – Jim Goodnight CEO of SAS


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FSU’s MBA Students Aid NCDOT through MBA Certification Program Fayetteville State University’s (FSU) MBA Concentration in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics (BIDA), in collaboration with SAS Institute, Inc. provides an opportunity for receiving a SAS Joint SAS Certificate upon the completion of all required courses for BIDA Concentration. One of the courses, BIDA 670 Advanced Analytics Project, has been offered for the first time in spring 2019 and course outcome made a difference at the state level. A team of three students, Matthew Rogers, Puneet Kumar and Rajeshwar Dutt worked with Dr. Majed AlGhandour (Ph.D., PE, CPM, M.ASCE, Assistant Director, Division of Planning and Programming, North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Adjunct Professor at FSU) and Dr. Burcu Adivar (Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Management) to help NCDOT find the best location for the new DMV facilities based on the increased demand for Real IDs. Federal agencies will enforce tougher security standards at airport check-ins, federal buildings, military installations and nuclear sites at the beginning in October 2020. This requirement is posing a challenge against the NCDOT

to plan enough locations to handle the increased workload in all parts of the state including urban and rural areas. One of the most important decisionmaking processes is to optimally locate new physical and mobile locations to address the demand of prospect customers. This is an important concern as these locations will face influx of ID conversion applications to meet the NC Read ID deadlines. FSU BIDA team provided an integrated approach for selecting the optimal DMV locations using expert knowledge, data mining, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), Geographical Information System (GIS) and SAS Software. The proposed approach identified potential new locations according to sixteen criteria through experts’ input as part of the AHP process, yielding demographic attributes, flexibility, efficiency, cost and access to public facilities. The outstanding results of the study has been presented in a special government section at the SESUG 2019 conference in Williamsburg, VA between October 20-22. The presenters, Matthew Rogers and Dr. Al-Ghandour, were allocated onehour session to share their paper, research methodology, findings and demonstration of using SAS software.

It was a great experience for MBA students to network, publish research papers, to see other papers. Matthew Rogers summarizes his experience: “The SESUG 2019 conference was very enlightening. The ODS graphics workshop did an impeccable job explaining how to write procedures for scatter plots, pie charts, and other graphs, including many visualization options and appearances. I was able to network with other SAS users and the presentations I was able to attend were riveting as well.”Rogers also noted that being able to present the capstone project at the conference was an honor that he won’t soon forget. Presenting the results and explaining how their subsequent locations were derived provided a great deal of pride in what we were able to accomplish. He noted that Williamsburg, VA, with its rich history, is a beautiful city and the Williamsburg Lodge provided an excellent venue for the conference. He said he felt lucky to have been a part of this capstone team and hopes that future projects prove as rewarding. For more information about Business Intelligence and Data Analytics graduate certificate and MBA concentration, visit www.uncfsu.edu/ bida. For more information on the SESUG 2019 conference proceedings, see www.sesug.org/SESUG2019/index. php. The SouthEast SAS® Users Group (SESUG) is a Regional Users Group (RUG) for users of SAS Software. SESUG’s mission is to serve and support users of SAS software in the southeastern United States through ongoing education, professional development opportunities, and facilitating communication with SAS. These goals are most directly supported by SESUG’s annual multiday conference.

Winter 2019


Fayetteville State University Wins Third-Straight CIAA Women's Cross Country Championship SALEM, VA – Fayetteville State University captured it third consecutive CIAA Women's Cross Country Championship title on Thursday at Green Hill Park in Salem, Virginia. The Broncos head coach Inez Turner was named the 2019 CIAA Women's Coach of the Year for the third time. Broncos runner Mercy Chemutai was named the CIAA Women's Cross Country Female Athlete of the Year, as voted upon by the league coaches and sports information directors. The Broncos placed all five scorers among the top 15 runners to cruise to victory with 35 points. The top 15 runners are also recognized as All-CIAA performers. Nelly Kandie finished 16.5 seconds behind the individual champion Kyla Frank of Virginia State University with a time of 20:32.5. Mercy Chemutai led the team all season and finished third in 20:36.1. Aleena Cruz was seventh overall in a time of 21:26.6 with Sierra Beasley on her heels finishing eighth (21:30.4). Charisma McKoy rounded out the All-CIAA list with a 15th place crossing in 22:11.6. Virginia State University was second with 66 points and three finishers within the top 15. Winston-Salem State University was third with 88 points. The remaining order of finish was as follows: Shaw (110); Lincoln (117); 10

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Livingstone (159); St. Augustine's (158); Bowie state (224); Virginia union (231); Elizabeth city State (258); Johnson c. Smith (286); and Claflin (287). Frank and last year's champion Nelly Kandie of Fayetteville State raced head-to-head until the final mile when Frank began to pull away opening up a 16-second gap en route to winning the race. Frank completed the 5,000-meter course in 20:16.7. Fayetteville State has the past three Runner of the Year honors. Runner-up Nelly Kandie represented the Broncos last year and Aleena Cruz won it her freshman year in 2017. The All-CIAA team includes Frank, Kandie and Chemutai along with Nazirah Purnell (LU); Tamia Mclean (WSSU); Kaydi Ann Wint (SU); Aleena Cruz (FSU); Sierra Beasley (FSU); Jordan Burzynski (VSU); Alandina Hyppolite(VSU); Hannah Pealstrom (SU); Amber Glenn (LU); Gabrielle Glasco (LC); Luisa Curry (SU) and Charisma McKoy (FSU). The Fayetteville State men finished ninth out of 11 team field.Charles Pumba was shy of All-CIAA honors by two positions. He finished 17th in an 8K time of 29:40.6.

Homecoming 2019

Winter 2019


Dream Dr. Peggy Valentine is passionate about the power of FSU to help shape the next generation of global change-makers

Story by Janet Gibson Photography by Cindy Burnham


t’s early afternoon on a recent Monday, and Dr. Peggy Valentine has just returned from having lunch in the campus cafeteria with a group of students. “The rotisserie chicken was very good,” she announces, as she enters her office as the new Interim Chancellor of Fayetteville State University. But it’s the conversation that really has her pumped. “I feed off the students’ energy,” she says. “I want to know their stories and why they came to Fayetteville State. “I tell them, ‘Set your goals high. Dream BIG. The sky’s the limit! Don’t settle!’”


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Winter 2019


Dream BIG

Valentine knows a bit about making dreams come true through hard work and determination. As the oldest of eight children of sharecroppers in southern Virginia, she learned earlyon the value in a day’s work – and how an education would be the ticket to a life filled with opportunities and adventures. On this day, somehow her soft yellow leather jacket and matching high heels are fitting examples of her personality – equal parts sunny and strength – although she lately admits to adding a bit more Bronco Blue to her wardrobe. She moves with grace and purpose. Her eyes are attentive, making each person believe that they’re the only one in the room. Soft ringlet curls frame her face, complete with a 100watt smile. Her perfectly manicured nails are painted aqua, conjuring images of a favorite place to relax and recharge: the beach. Albeit, probably not anytime soon. At FSU, Valentine has hit the ground running and is enjoying every second of the journey. Whether she’s addressing faculty and staff, shining on-camera for a TV interview, throwing out the first pitch at a Fayetteville Woodpeckers game, or sharing lunch and conversation with students, she thrives by keeping active. And keeping it real. THE EARLY YEARS Peggy Ann Valentine, who simply states her birthday as mid-October, is the firstborn of Odessa and Nelson Valentine. Seven siblings would follow. The family were sharecroppers who lived and toiled on a farm in Ringgold, in south-central Virginia,


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just a stone’s throw from the North Carolina border. “I hated that way of life,” Valentine says. “I hated tobacco. But it gave me such a strong work ethic.”


Valentine recalls that her family used most of the money they earned to buy staples such as cornmeal and sugar, along with school clothes for the children. Killing hogs for meat was a common practice in lean times. She knew that she wanted more for her life – and the way to achieve it would be through education. “My father told me, ‘If you want to go to college, you’ve got to do it on your own.’” Growing up, Valentine says one of the most influential people in her life was her pastor, Bishop Lawrence Campbell Sr., of Bibleway Church in Danville, Va. Campbell was a civil rights leader in the 1960s. His recently released book, “1963: A Turning

Pastor Lawrence Campbell was an eyewitness who participated in a massive struggle to attain equality and justice nationwide and in Danville, Virginia in 1963. The year 1963 was a monumental year and a turning point in civil rights history. What transpired in 1963, which was described as "the long, hot summer," has left an enduring impact that still resonates and is noted in his riveting historical saga, "1963 - A Turning Point in Civil Rights."

Point in Civil Rights,” chronicles how a prayerful protest in Danville turned violent after police and deputized city workers reacted with night sticks. Among those beaten was Lawrence’s wife. The date, June 10, 1963, became known as Bloody Monday.

support her family. “I learned that what little bit I was sending home was making a huge difference,” she says. “My Dad was coasting on gas fumes. How happy they were to be able to put gas in the car and get some things that they needed.”

Valentine learned so much about overcoming adversity growing up during that era – and because of mentors and change-makers such as her pastor.

Valentine was frugal and saved enough money in a year so she could take the next step toward fulfilling her dream. Her higher education journey was about to begin.

“He encouraged me every step in my youth,” she says of Campbell, with whom she keeps in touch.


Campbell also helped ease Odessa Valentine’s fears about her 17-year-old daughter going to live and pursue her dream in Washington, D.C., just after high school. “My Mom took me to the pastor’s office, and he spoke nothing but words of encouragement. I believe that made my mother feel better, knowing that I wasn’t going to go up there and change.” She adds, “He also told me to make sure to join Bibleway Church in Washington, which I did on my first Sunday there.” Valentine stayed with an aunt briefly before striking out on her own in D.C. To make ends meet, she secured a position as a “Girl Friday” at Capital Credit Corporation, a collection agency. “It was mostly a filing job,” she says. “I also learned that you can’t trust everyone,” she adds, after discovering that someone had stolen money from her purse. That was the first, and last, time that she would leave the room without taking her pocketbook. It was the 1970s, and Valentine says it felt good to be able to send half of her $120 weekly paycheck home to help

Valentine enrolled in the nursing program at the University of the District of Columbia, where she juggled her classes with work as a cashier at a Peoples drugstore. In three years, she had earned her associate degree and became a registered nurse. An offer followed from Sibley Memorial Hospital in the District’s upscale Palisades neighborhood. “There were not many black nurses in those days,” Valentine recalls. “Maybe one or two others in the hospital.” While working at Sibley on weekends, Valentine enrolled at Howard University, so she could take classes during the week. “That’s when my life really changed,” she says. The Dean invited her to join national organizations and attend conferences, which sparked Valentine’s passion in health issues affecting the homeless and minorities. “I also learned the importance of networking,” she says. Valentine would go on to earn her bachelor’s degree to become a physician assistant. She kept working – and kept earning degrees. In 1983, she was awarded a master of arts degree in adult

Winter 2019


Dream BIG

education and community service from Howard University. That same year, she was promoted to Chair for the Department of Physician Assistants at Howard. In 1987, she was awarded her doctorate in education from Virginia Tech University after attending the satellite campus in Northern Virginia. Valentine says her eyes were first open to the homelessness issue in the early 1980s. While serving as Chair of Howard’s PA program, she partnered with a homeless service agency to receive a grant from the American Academy of Physician Assistants to study the homeless population in the District. Part of the plan included a van to transport the PA students to various areas to interview homeless men and women, including many veterans, to give them a voice. “I’ll always remember one student describing the experience of tasting a homeless man’s soup as, ‘It’s like eating out of a trash can on a hot summer day.’ I think the experience gave him more compassion – and taught him that anyone can fall on hard circumstances.” The van also contained basic medical items, such as aspirin and cold remedies, along with coats, hats and socks. “I think it’s important for students to not just learn from textbooks, but also from real-life experience,” Valentine says. “I think that’s what education does. It opens our hearts and minds to make a difference.”


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In 1989, Valentine decided to make a difference on a more global scale. She traveled to Malawi in Africa – the first of many trips – to educate nurses in the country on best practices to treat AIDS and HIV patients. She learned more about grant writing and together with a colleague helped secure a $5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fight the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in Africa. Along the way, she also became the founding Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Best Practices in Health “I think Professions. As for her private life, Valentine prefers to keep that sacred. A marriage ended in divorce. She is the “proud parent” of a son, now 31, and has two young grandsons.

it’ s important for

students to not just learn from textbooks, but also from real-life experience. I think that’ s what education does. It opens our hearts

and minds to make In 2005, Valentine received a call difference.” from a headhunter regarding an opening as Dean for the School of Health Sciences at Winston-Salem State University. A move would mean influencing a new generation of healthcare change-makers – and Valentine also would be just 75 miles from her mother in Danville, Va. (Valentine’s father passed away in 2001.) Valentine captured the position at WSSU. Her responsibilities and influence were far-reaching: oversight of educational programs in clinical laboratory


Greeting students.

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At Fall Convocation.

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Dream BIG

science, exercise physiology, health care management, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy and rehabilitation counseling. She also had administrative responsibility for the Center of Excellence for the Elimination of Health Disparities and the Rams Know H.O.W. mobile clinic. Her work didn’t escape the attention of fellow academics, including those involved with the University of North Carolina System. ‘THE CALL’ Back in July 2019, an email subject line immediately caught Valentine’s eye: Interim Chancellor at FSU. The sender was Pete Brunstetter, an attorney who served as a state senator from Forsyth County and is also a former Chairman of Winston-Salembased Novant Heath, Inc., of which Valentine had served on the board. Brunstetter also is the Acting Chief Operating Officer for UNC. Brunstetter called Valentine connected, and she recalls, “Something inside of me leaped, and I said, ‘I would love if you nominated me.’” Dr. James A. Anderson, FSU’s Chancellor since 2008, had resigned citing personal reasons on June 13. Dr. Pamela Jackson, FSU’s Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, had been filling in as the Interim Chancellor. Valentine says she was honored to begin talks about the job with members of the University of North Carolina Cabinet, including Dr. Bill Roper, who was the Interim System for the UNC System. Valentine remembers where she was when she got “The Call”: Dulles


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Airport, about to board a plane to Africa in one of her many missions to promote better health in the country through collaborative partnerships. “It just felt right,” Valentine says of the FSU opportunity. In the July 15 press release, Roper cited Dr. Valentine’s “great leadership capabilities during her tenure as a Dean of Winston-Salem State University. “While at WSSU,” Roper said, “she has transformed the School of Health Sciences.” “Dr. Valentine was instrumental in WSSU’s offering of its first doctoral degrees in physical therapy and nursing practice. In addition, WSSU’s School of Health Sciences has expanded under her leadership and now offers programs in clinical laboratory science, exercise physiology, healthcare management, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, rehabilitation counseling, social work, and therapeutic recreation. These indemand programs have consistently experienced high licensure exam pass rates.” Roper also praises Valentine for overseeing “the development of early assurance agreements that guarantee admission into high-demand graduate programs for WSSU undergraduates who meet certain requirements. The school expanded its work toward eliminating health disparities among the residents of Winston-Salem under her leadership.” (See achievements sidebar.) Valentine says her contract is for one year. The process for selecting a Chancellor typically involves a nationwide search. Her first day at FSU was Aug. 7. She immediately felt at home. “You can walk on campus and feel the warmth

of the people,” she says. “It feels like home.” ‘BOLDLY MOVING FORWARD’ “There are so many success stories coming out of FSU that need to be told,” says Valentine, with her signature smile. From students who intern at NASA or the FBI to those who go on to graduate programs at Ivy League schools, it’s all good news. She also points out the 95 percent state exam pass rate for the School of Nursing and the distinction of being one of the most affordable MBA programs in North Carolina. “And did you know that five of our coaches at FSU have been named CIAA Coaches of the Year?” Valentine asks. Better storytelling and communications are among two of her biggest goals moving into 2020. “I want the world to know about the great things at FSU,” she says. “That’s why I’m committed to boosting communications and telling those great stories.” To that end, Valentine is hosting both student and alumni webinars to get the pulse of what’s needed and what’s working – and to be transparent in matters of budget and other issues. She’s making the rounds as a speaker to community groups, including those affiliated with the military. She also is committed to boosting the graduation rate, which hovers at just under 30 percent. “It’s hard to imagine,” she says, “that we have Senior students who are nearing graduation and may not make it; not because of academic performance, but because they owe less than $1,000 to pay for their course work. As a community, we

must change this narrative. The local alumni chapter has already blasted the urgent need to assist on social media, and we’re hoping to save 158 students at risk of dropping out this semester. One of my top goals is to raise scholarship funds to help these deserving students cross the graduation finish line.” The reviews on Valentine have been impressive. Flashback to Aug. 30 and FSU Night at Segra Stadium before the Fayetteville Woodpeckers game. Five busloads of Broncos, complete with cheerleaders, arrive to show their spirit for the new hometown baseball team. And who’s throwing the first pitch? Dr. Peggy Valentine. Watching from behind the stands is the Provost, Dr. Peggy Jackson. Even with a look of determination on Valentine’s face before the pitch, Jackson observes: “She has this peaceful presence.” It’s a fact that hasn’t escaped the students, who feel Valentine’s warmth. “She always has a smile,” says Casey Jones, the assistant director of admissions. “She wants to know what’s going on with the students.” “She’s genuine and for the students,” says Student Body President Kiante Bennett. “She’s about deeds, not words, Res Non Verba, the FSU motto!” At Fall Commencement on Sept. 10, similar sentiments were voiced about Valentine. “She’s incredibly interesting and incredibly sweet,” says Caylin Moore, the 25-year-old author and inspiring storyteller who was tapped to be guest speaker at the commencement.

A bevy of achievements Dr. Peggy Valentine has worked for decades to make her mark in academia and global health care. Here are just some of her most notable accomplishments:

* Prior to becoming FSU’s Interim Chancellor, she served as Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Winston-Salem State University. * Who’s Who of American Women. * Honored as Educator of the Year by the American Academy of Physician Assistants. * Fellow, Association of Schools of Allied Health Professionals. * Honored for“Outstanding Contributions to the African Diaspora,”by the Howard University Faculty Senate. * Founding Editor-in-Chief for the Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity. * Served on the boards of Novant Health, the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research and the Consortium on International Management Policy and Development. * Paul Harris Fellow for Rotary Club of Winston-Salem. * Earned her doctorate in education from Virginia Tech University and master of arts and bachelor of science degrees from Howard University.

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Dream BIG

“She’s relatable, and real,” says Dr. LaWanda Miller, an assistant athletics director and head cheerleading coach. “She’s eloquence,” says Asia McNeill, the reigning Miss FSU, “while upholding a standard of sophisticated.” “She’s passionate and really cares,” says Stuart Augustine, Chairman of FSU’s Board of Trustees. A year goes by quickly, and Valentine says that she’s determined to make the most of her time serving the FSU community. On a recent visit to the Chancellor’s office, a contingent of doctors and educators from Malawi was ushered in to discuss a future partnership with FSU. “We’re talking with them

about sharing their cutting-edge work with us about such important issues as climate change and water quality,” Valentine says. “I would like to help elevate FSU to heights never seen before,” she says, with a fierce determination. “I am proud to be a part of the Bronco family.”

“I would like to help elevate FSU to heights never seen before. I am proud to be a part of the Bronco family.”

Valentine’ s Favorites How well do we know our Interim Chancellor at FSU? In the spirit of fun, we asked Dr. Peggy Valentine to name a few of her favorite things: * Books: “The Shack,”and autobiographies such as“Becoming,”by Michelle Obama, and “My American Journey,”by Colin Powell. * Color: Pink * Flower: Orchid * Food: Jamaican * Hobby: Downhill skiing * Holiday: Christmas * Movie: “Black Panther” * Personal motto: “Believe that all things are possible.” * Personal style (or fashion choice): “Feminine. I like to dress up, and I like high heels!” * Subject in school: "Biology, because it promotes critical thinking." * Vacation destination: Cape Town, South Africa


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Winter 2019


From left: Majeste’ Graves, Kelisha B. Graves, Tamri D. Graves, Carletta Wright Graves


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Mother and 3 daughters reflect Bronco Pride

“Coming to work at FSU doesn’ t feel like a job. It’ s a joy.” – Kelisha B. Graves Story by Janet Gibson Photography by Cindy Burnham


all them FSU’s Fabulous Foursome. Meet the Graves women, an accomplished mother and her three daughters who all work in various departments at Fayetteville State. The daughters also are FSU graduates who are now pursuing advanced degrees at the university. Each has a compelling story – making a difference in myriad ways – while also supporting each other in their dreams and goals. Together, they embody Bronco Pride.

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A Family Affair

Carletta Wright Graves Mom Carletta (pronounced CarLEE-tuh), 52, is the office manager for Cumberland International Early College on campus. Her passion for children harkens back to her days at E.E. Smith High School (Class of 1986). “I must give credit to a teacher named Ms. Hooper who taught the childcare class,” says Carletta, noting she learned early-on that tending to children meant helping shape future lives and leaders. For more than 25 years, Carletta worked in early childhood education. She owned two Fayetteville learning-focused childcare centers called The Lord’s Day Care I and II, of which her daughters attended. The centers would become among the first in the state to earn the highest 5-star ratings from then Governor Jim Hunt. Carletta took classes at FSU and ultimately earned an Associate’s degree in early childhood education from Fayetteville Technical Community College in 1999. Growing up in Fayetteville, Carletta’s beloved grandmother Suzanna Shaw Wright was a source of strength and believed in the power of a great education, even though she was not afforded the opportunity. Carletta’s youngest uncle, Samuel Wright, was an FSU graduate who would take his niece to the Homecoming games. She recalls the electric energy of the band, the players and the fans. She also remembers visiting the office of Chancellor Charles Lyons Jr. in the


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1980s while her mother Gloria Jones served as his secretary. After high school, Carletta met and fell in love with “a handsome guy from the Bronx” who arrived in Fayetteville via Fort Bragg. Kelvin, her husband of 30 years, graduated from Fayetteville State with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Kelvin is a disabled veteran and is a recent survivor of stage II intestinal cancer. He serves as an elder at Family Fellowship Worship Center, where all the family members are involved in various aspects of serving. “We’re a faith-centered family, and all of our accomplishments are because of God,” says eldest daughter Kelisha. The youngest, Majeste’ (pronounced Majesty) adds, smiling, “We love us some Jesus.” Carletta and Kelvin say they believe their daughters have inherited traits from both – namely, a management style from their Dad and a nurturing spirit from their Mom. Before their FSU days, all three girls graduated from Reid Ross Classical School. Carletta describes Kelisha as “social, giving and focused,” middle child Tamri as “even-keeled and friendly,” and Majeste’ as “a fun-loving free spirit.”

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Kelisha B. Graves

Kelisha, 29, holds several leadership positions at FSU. She works in the University College as a Retention Coordinator and Freshman Seminar Instructor. In addition, she is the Program Coordinator for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Fleischer HBCU Scholars Program. The pilot program at FSU is a joint initiative of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Strada Education Network with a focus on entrepreneurship and business. She also assists in co-curricular planning and program development for the Honors and Undergraduate Research programs. She is Vice President of the Doctoral Student Association and the co-advisor of the Black History Scholars Association. “My goal is to help students reconceptualize themselves as THINKERS who have the capacity to contribute to the critical conversations of our day,” Kelisha says, adding, “Coming to work at FSU doesn’t feel like a job. It’s a joy.” Clearly, Kelisha’s star is on the rise. She is the editor of a new book, Nannie Helen Burroughs: A


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Documentary Portrait of an Early Civil Rights Pioneer, 1900-1959, which was published by the University of Notre Dame Press in May. “I was one of those kids who was always reading and getting lost in the bibliographies and footnotes,” Kelisha says. She was struck by educator and activist Burroughs, who “had a big vision for her race and a special responsibility to women and girls.” After receiving approval for her proposal to the University of Notre Dame Press, Kelisha spent about a year working on the book. Kelisha discovered that Burroughs’ manuscript collection exceeds 110,000 items at the U.S. Library of Congress. Her book, the first major work that compiles Burroughs’ writings, is being used as part of the research for an episode in an upcoming PBS documentary series on the Black Church by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Kelisha told columnist Myron Pitts of The Fayetteville Observer. In mid-August 2019, it was announced that the book is nominated for The Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc. (BCALA) literary award in the non-fiction category. A second book on Coretta Scott King is in the works. Mrs. King intrigued Kelisha from an early age. At 15,

Kelisha wrote a letter to Yolanda King, the eldest King daughter, which resulted in an invitation to meet Ms. King personally in Atlanta. In 2015, Kelisha was invited to speak at the 47th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service in Atlanta. She shared the stage with such notable figures as Dr. Bernice King (the youngest child of MLK), Dr. Christine King Farris (the oldest and only living sibling of MLK), Georgia Congressman John Lewis, former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd (the former President of Alabama State University) and David Oyelowo, who portrayed Martin Luther King in the Oscar-nominated film Selma.

Kelisha, who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from FSU and her Master’s in Theology from Liberty University, is currently in FSU’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education and is scheduled to graduate in spring 2021. Kelisha speaks for the Graves women when she says one of their ultimate goals as a family is to endow a scholarship at Fayetteville State, geared to those in financial need who are the first in their families to attend college.

Tamri D. Graves Tamri, 26, works as the Project Manager and Student Specialist at the Broadwell College of Business and Economics in the Office of the Dean. She previously served as the Outreach Marketing Coordinator for FSU’s Comprehensive Integrated HIV Prevention Program. She’s also been involved in planning several events on campus.

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A Family Affair Tamri says the choice was logical when she was contemplating colleges. “I saw my friends picking faraway and expensive schools,” she says, “and I had to ask ‘Why?’ … I’m a midsize-city kind of girl, so naturally Fayetteville State was my first choice. I want to bring that passion to my hometown and our campus. I’m here to serve.” Tamri says the Graves girls are known for collaborating on campus events and “just hanging out together.” “People think we’re best friends before they think we’re sisters,” she says. And both are true. Tamri graduated Magna Cum Laude to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and is currently pursuing her Master’s of Business Administration. So is her younger sister Majeste’. Both are on-track to graduate in spring 2021. Also, noteworthy: Both were inducted into Phi Eta Sigma, the freshman national honors society.

Majeste’ Graves

Majeste’, 22, works as the Supplemental Instruction Peer Coordinator with the Supplemental Instruction Resource Center. That is, she coordinates all the SI tutors in various departments, as well as assist in training SI leaders. This past summer, she was with the Upward Bound program as an English Supplemental Instruction Leader. Majeste’ says her passion is in helping students grow in character, as well as their understanding of core subject areas. While an undergraduate student, she served as a Philosophy Supplemental Instruction Leader and completed a marketing internship with the United Way. This fall, she takes on a new role as the Peer Coordinator for the Supplemental Instruction Resource Center. A 2019 Summa Cum Laude graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing, Majeste’ was on the Chancellor’s List for all four years of her undergraduate studies. She also received the Outstanding Tutor Award from the University College in 2019. Now she is pursuing her MBA. “I feel like it’s a big accomplishment when my sisters are proud of me,” says Majeste’. “They are professionals.” Spend any time around the Graves women and it becomes immediately obvious that they’re all proud of each other. They have an unwavering commitment to cheer each other on. That support grows along with their accomplishments and a focus on servant leadership starting in their own backyard – FSU. Or, as Mom Carletta puts it so succinctly, “Bronco Pride is real.”


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Winter 2019



Man’s Vision Blind since 2006, Thomas Bass advocates a brighter future for all students with disabilities

Story by Janet Gibson Photo by Cindy Burnham


severe allergic reaction to penicillin robbed Thomas Bass of his sight at age 31, but nothing can steal his vision of a

brighter future for those with disabilities. “Every student should and must be given an equal opportunity to be successful and receive an education,” says Thomas, a Fayetteville State University social work senior with a 3.8 grade point average. “I know working to make that happen for anyone with a disability – not just for the blind – is my God-given purpose.” Dressed to immaculate perfection and displaying a penchant for bold jeweltone cross necklaces with matchingstone ear studs and bracelets on each wrist – and glitter-covered dress shoes – the 44-year-old Thomas sees himself as “a sparkly person.” What? No bling on his round, reflective sunglasses? “I thought that might be a little too much,” he says with wry humor and a wide smile. Thomas has become known on campus for his connections with fellow students, for being a friend, confidante and encourager. He beams at the recent memory of walking out on the field at Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium after being voted the firstever visually impaired Homecoming King finalist. “I made history!” he


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says. He’s even inspired his friend, note-taker and guide Dorinda “DeeDee” Carthens, who’s frequently by his side, to begin plans for pursuing a degree in social work. Thomas sees himself as an advocate. He is a wealth of knowledge about legislation protecting the disabled in employment and education. He’s a keen listener – and a polished speaker who doesn’t shy away from meeting with elected officials and college administrators about the needs and rights of the disabled – and accountability. He’s long been active in educating and encouraging his peers at Fayetteville’s nonprofit Vision Resource Center, where he’ll do his field work in spring 2020. He also plans to enter FSU’s Master of Social Work program and is well on his way to achieving his goal to become a social worker for the visually impaired in Cumberland County. “Thomas is responsible for bringing in 10 new members whose lives have been enhanced because of the services of the Vision Resource Center,” says executive director Terri Thomas, who met him nine years ago. The agency advocates on behalf of the visually impaired and provides life skills instruction – from doing laundry to mastering cell phones and computers – plus a walking club, yoga classes and field trips to concerts, art galleries, bowling and more.

Chapter of Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society, of which Thomas was recently inducted, making him only the second visually impaired member during the organization’s long history. “He’s a very committed student who gives 100 percent,” says Dr. Tamara Woods, faculty advisor for the School of Social Work. “He inspires us each and every day.” The staff of Charles W. Chesnutt Library echo those sentiments. They are accustomed to seeing Thomas almost every day. “He is an awesome man, dedicated to being a Bronco and his studies,” says library technician Patricia Flanigan. “I’m hungry for the education,” he says.

“People cross our paths for a reason. Sometimes it’s because we need to give them a word or a message so they can see the vision. To understand what they’re not seeing.” – Thomas Bass

“He’s fearless, he’s inspirational, he’s a lot of fun – and he’s very stylish,” she adds. Thomas Bass says he’s learned a lot from Terri, including networking and communication skills. As part of World Sight Day on Oct. 10, Thomas, stationed in the foyer of Rudolph Jones Student Center, handed out literature and answered questions about his journey. His appearance also coincided with Blind Awareness Month. Representatives from the North Carolina Division of Services for the Blind joined Thomas to provide activities such as walking with a cane, along with introducing new technology for the visually impaired. The event was organized by the School of Social Work and the Nu Phi

Originally from Gibson in Scotland County, Thomas says his childhood was normal. He was the only boy with five sisters, and a loving father and mother. He says he also had great schoolteachers who believed in him even when he didn’t believe in himself. Thomas says his story is one of loss and gain.

On Halloween 2006, he was experiencing what felt like particles of sand in his eyes and “a scratchy throat.” It was a windy day, but he thought he’d go to the emergency room just in case. He says he developed an adult allergy to penicillin, which he had taken as a child with no adverse effects. What transpired was both horrific and heartbreaking. Almost immediately, his skin began peeling off from head to toe. “I was nothing but pink flesh and blood, and the pain was unbearable,” Thomas tearfully recalls. He also started going blind. Thomas says he repeatedly called out to God: “I do want to live!” He felt an epiphany that his purpose was to help people who also had lost their sight.

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One Man’s Vision

Thomas spent a month in the hospital, slowly recovering. After being released, he set about on a mission to advocate for himself by contacting various agencies. At times, it felt like he had hit a brick wall. But ultimately, he was on his way to the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh. Over six months, he would learn about how to live independently, including mobility training and how to use a modified computer for communications. But there was still something lacking over the next few years. Before he lost his sight, he worked as a community support specialist for a mental health organization.

“Even all the negative

Determined to forge a future for himself, Thomas enrolled at Fayetteville Technical Community College in 2012. He began researching the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provisions for services such as transportation. He also became friends with fellow student DeeDee things Carthens, who is sighted, and now works to help her friend navigate FSU.

I’ve been through, I’ve

turned into a positive.” - Thomas Bass

“She is strong and dedicated and has truly been a blessing,” Thomas says. “She is the most powerful tool that FSU has given me.” “I don’t look at it as a job,” DeeDee says. “Thomas is my friend, and he has helped me more than I’ve helped him.” “People cross our paths for a reason,” Thomas says. “Sometimes it’s because we need to give them a word or a message so they can see the vision. To understand what they’re not seeing.” He adds, “Even all the negative things I’ve been through, I’ve turned into a positive.” A condition forced surgeons to remove Thomas’s right eye on Valentine’s Day 2015. But he just came back stronger. “He keeps going and never gives up,” says sister Thomasina Bass McRae, who recently attended his honor society ceremony with their mother Annie. “He’s strong-willed, always.” Thomas Bass will simply tell us that we never know who is looking and who we can inspire. He believes in the power of knowledge and good works. And in one more thing. Or, as he likes to sign off on his email, “Love is blind.”


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Thomas Bass with guide/notetaker DeeDee Carthens before his honor society induction. Photo by Janet Gibson

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The Blue and White

FSU Grad’s Play to be Featured at Festival in New York City Fayetteville State University graduate Breana C. Venablé always knew that she wanted to be a performer. Originally, she planned to become an actress, performing on stage, but while at FSU, she began writing plays, and has now found her passion as a playwright. Venablé was recently chosen to showcase her work as a playwright at a festival in New York City, where her play will debut on stage in August. Venablé graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Theatre. After graduating, she continued her education at Hollins University in Virginia, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting. She currently lives in Charlotte, NC and works as a middle school theater teacher but with a passion for writing, she focuses much of her spare time on writing plays and continues to act as well. Venablé was involved in numerous activities during her time at Fayetteville State. She was involved in student government, was a Bronco cheerleader, a Bronco ambassador, was in the Black Millennium Modeling Club, and was also a part of the Future Alumni Association. Originally a Psychology major, she spent a lot of time in the theater department working on productions and averaged three or four productions a year. Eventually she switched her major to theater. “My time at FSU was the best time of my life. It was a wake-up call for me. I say that because I went to a predominantly white high school so I was the only black female in my senior class,” Venablé said. “I didn’t see myself. At FSU everyone looked like me and that was exciting. My professors were driving forces to push me and encourage me.” Several of Venablé’s professors played a pivotal role in her development as a performer and specifically as a playwright. Professor Phoebe Hall told Venablé that she was a great actor but that she was gifted in writing and should consider playwriting. She also encouraged her to attend graduate school for playwriting. The rest fell into place. Professor Susan Pascal (now Herrick) also played an important role in Venablé’s time at FSU. Venablé continues to draw encouragement from those who invested in her at FSU. 34

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“When I was in graduate school, my computer broke and Professor Herrick sent me a new computer,” Venablé said. “The message said, ‘Keep writing, kid!’– I think about that all the time when I write and use it now.” Venablé is constantly writing and working on getting her plays performed through different companies and festivals. She came across an application for the New Perspectives Theater Company in Midtown in New York City and put in an application to write a play for a summer festival which would feature submissions of plays, all from female playwrights and directors. “This was an environment of all women artists. Normally, if I am not the only black woman in the room, I might be the only woman, so this was exciting. I would be valued and heard and that was appealing,” Venablé said. She submitted her application for the festival and received a call before the finalists were chosen and interviewed asking if she would be willing and able to commit to a monthly meeting in New York City until the festival this summer. She agreed, went for an interview, and was selected to be part of the festival. The festival runs from August 5-10th. Venablé has been to New York City each month since she was chosen to be part of the working group of those selected to workshop their plays, update drafts, and get feedback from the others in the group. She will be assigned a director and will audition actors. “The festival’s theme is, approval pending, her play The Abundance of the Heart focuses on the racism in the healthcare system. The pain we as black women are going through is not listened to. One big issue we face right now is black mothers and their mortality rate is double than any other race,” Venablé said. “My play is about a mother who is having a heart attack

but isn’t being listened to – there are studies that show black women are not getting fair or proper treatment. It is systemic racism.” Being a part of this festival has given Venablé confidence as a playwright and has also given her confidence to share her voice. “It is the most joyous moment. I don’t have to shy away from talking about women or black issues. I get to do both at the same time,” Venablé said. “In grad school I shied away from telling black stories – I was in a loving environment and respected and supported there but there weren’t a lot of people who looked like me. There weren’t a lot of black actors to do my work. Sometimes I felt like I had to whitewash my work. To be able to share this experience, about black women, the most disrespected group, I feel honored to be able to do this. It is an amazing feeling.”

than cinematic stereotypes and I want to be in a position where I am creating space and defying stereotypes and allowing young people to come up and become the next actors, directors, and screenwriters to come up and make space for them to share.” Venablé has encouraging words for current students at FSU and in the theater department. “I want them to know it is OK to pursue their dreams. I didn’t think I could. I want them to know and believe it is OK to give your all to your dreams, to make your dreams a reality and to give yourself permission to do it,” Venablé said. “You don’t have to fit into societal norms and if that is pursuing dreams as an actor, then do it. Pursue your dream – Full steam ahead.”

The festival includes six women playwrights and will also include women involved as producers and directors. Venablé said it is a diverse group of women of different ethnicities and ages, each telling different stories from different perspectives. Venablé is excited to share her work during the festival and said family and friends will travel to New York City to see it in August. Venablé will be stepping down from her teaching role and plans to move to New York City or Los Angeles to pursue playwriting and screenwriting full time. She is currently applying for fellowships. “I want to be a filmmaker. I want to give space for black writers and artists and I want to continue to share and write the black experience where our stories are being told from the proper perspective,” Venablé said. “If you only see black people in a certain role, you will only write what you know, and our community is so diverse. We are more

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Armstrong to be Inducted into Magic Hall of Fame FSU alumnus and former basketball player Darrell Armstrong will be inducted into the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame at Amway Center. Armstrong, an assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks, will be honored with a ceremony on February 21 prior to the Magic’s game against the Mavs. Armstrong becomes the ninth inductee into the Magic HOF, joining Nick Anderson, Pat Williams, Shaquille O’Neal, Rich DeVos, Penny Hardaway, Jimmy Hewitt, Tracy McGrady and David Steele. Armstrong went undrafted out of Fayetteville State University and played overseas before being signed by the Magic in 1995. He spent nine years with the Magic during his 14-year career in the NBA, averaging 11.7 points and 5.1 assists with Orlando. His breakout came during the 1998-1999 season when he


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averaged 13.8 point and 6.7 assists off the bench and was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year AND Most Improved Player. He led the beloved “Heart & Hustle” team in scoring at a career-high 16.2 points per game, nearly guiding a team that wasn’t expected to win 20 games to a 41-41 record, just missing the playoffs. Among Magic career leaders, Armstrong ranks second in steals (830), third in assists (2,555) and fifth in games played (502), and sixth in three-point field goals made (654). “It is an honor to be recognized for the things I did in Orlando, and I am especially proud as a player who wasn’t drafted,” Armstrong said in a statement. “I am not only excited that the organization is rewarding me, but I am also thankful to the fans there as well. Magic fans always had my back and supported me. It is a great honor and I share this with them.”

FSU Alum Named President of Coppin State University Fayetteville State University alumnus Dr. Anthony Jenkins has been appointed president of Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Jenkins’ appointment is effective May 26, 2020. Jenkins has served as President of West Virginia State University (WVSU), a historically black landgrant research university near Charleston, W.V., since July 2016. He will succeed Maria Thompson, who was appointed to the CSU presidency in 2015 and announced in January that she would be retiring at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. Mickey Burnim has been leading the institution as interim president since Dr. Thompson stepped down. Under Jenkins’ leadership, WVSU has experienced enrollment growth at the undergraduate, graduate, and online levels. He fostered this growth through the university’s first nursing and engineering programs, the “WVSU Loyalty Program” and the “Straight 2 STATE” initiative. These innovative programs promoted partnerships with state high schools, community colleges, and technical colleges to boost enrollment. To bolster student success, Dr. Jenkins created the “Yellow Jacket Bridge to Success Program” and the “Registration Celebration” initiative, driving WVSU’s retention rate to a five-year high. Jenkins’ leadership at WVSU also focused on expanding the institution’s research portfolio, which has resulted in millions of additional dollars in federal and state grant funding annually. To further cement this growth in research activity, during his tenure the university completed a $9 million project creating its first Integrated Research and Extension

Building. In addition, over $1.3 million in structural and technological upgrades were made across campus.

he participated in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He retired as a colonel after 20 years.

Jenkins began his path to higher education first as a United States Army veteran and first-generation college graduate of FSU. He earned a master’s degree from North Carolina Central University and a doctorate from Virginia Tech University. His higher education administrative experience includes service at institutions such as UNC-Wilmington, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and the University of Central Florida.

Also, at homecoming, the class of 1965 and 1974 both donated $25,000 each to their alma mater.

Alumnus Donates $500K, Classes of ’65 and ’74 Make Contributions Dr. Clarence Lloyd, Class of 1965, donated $500,000 to FSU at its Homecoming on October 5. For his generous contribution, the FSU Board of Trustees voted to name the College of Health Science and Technology in his honor. A dedication ceremony will be held in the immediate future.

Alumna Rosa I. “Ma Rosa” Paschall celebrated her 100th birthday on May 16. A celebration was held for her May 18, 2019 at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. Ms. Paschall received her bachelor’s degree from FSU and taught for 40 years in the Warren County Schools.

This is the second major gift to FSU by Dr. Lloyd. In 2015, he donated $100,000 to FSU.

Dr. Lloyd retired in March of this year as a radiologist at the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in WinstonSalem. A native of Williamston, N.C., Dr. Lloyd earned a bachelor’s degree from FSU. He taught high school for a year before going to North Carolina Central University in Durham, where he earned a master’s degree in molecular biology in 1968. For two years, he taught at Livingstone College in Salisbury, and then went on to earn a medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1974. From 1975-78 he specialized in radiology at Bowman-Gray School of Medicine where he was the first minority to finish the program at the school. Dr. Lloyd also served in the United States Army Reserves where

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The Blue and White

Tercel Walker, owner of Crown Fried Chicken on Murchison Road, opened a new location on Ramsey Street. The business is in the former Baldino’s building across from Dunkin’.

Cynthia-Reuben Gillians, a Fayetteville State alumna appeared on the Department of Veterans Affairs site, “I Am Not Invisible” which features pictures of women who served in the military. Gillians is a United States Army Disabled Veteran.

Ed Mitchell, one of North Carolina’s most famous pitmasters, is ready to open a new barbecue restaurant. The currently unnamed project will move into the former Carolina Ale House at 512 Creekside Drive in Raleigh. Owners are projecting an opening next spring. Through his restaurants and television and documentary appearances, Mitchell became North Carolina’s best-known pitmaster, championing whole hog barbecue. Mitchell provided the food for FSU fans during this year’s Down East Viking Classic in Rocky Mount.

Christopher Foy is the new football coach at Andrew Jackson High School in Jacksonville, Florida. Foy graduated from Andrew Jackson High in 1990 and he played football at Fayetteville State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. He started his coaching endeavor at Landmark Middle School in 1998 and later transitioned to Duncan U. Fletcher High School in 2013.

Mitch Colvin and Carlton Stevens, Jr., have been re-elected and elected mayor of Fayetteville and Wilson, respectively. Sherri Allgood currently serves as mayor of Troy, N.C., in Montgomery County. She is the first African-American woman to serve in this role. 38

Alumna Yvonne Kinston won a seat on the Fayetteville City Council. She represents District 9.

The FS&U Magazine

Alumna Alease Arizona Timbers has been named a Teaching Artist Fellows at The Rose Theater Group in Omaha, Nebraska. Timbers grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and graduated from Fayetteville State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Dance in 2015. Then received her lateral entry licensure from UNC Asheville. She’s spent the last 5 years directing, teaching and choreographing in North Carolina, Up State New York & Pennsylvania. She has most recently directed “Footloose” at South View High School, “Disney’s Frozen Jr” and "School House Rock Live" at Temple Theatre and “Anansi and Friends” at Fayetteville State University. She has also worked Bristol Valley’s Theater as their “Children Program coordinator” for summer 2019.

RISE Scholar Wins Presentation Award at 2019 Annual Biomedical Research Conference Sasha Richardson, a junior math and computer science major at Fayetteville State University (FSU), was selected as a winner for her poster presentation at the 2019 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). The event was held November 13-17, in Anaheim, California. Richardson’s presentation from her summer research training at the College of Pharmacy and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas was entitled, “Identifying Metabolite Biomarkers in NonHuman Primate Screening Study of Acute Radiation Syndrome Following Partial Body Exposure.” She received a $300 cash award and a year membership to the Computational and Systems Biology Society. Richardson is a second-year FSU Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (FSU-RISE) Scholar. She was among 14 FSU students who presented their research work at ABRCMS. A total of 20 FSU students attended the conference along with four faculty, Drs. Danielle Graham, Justin Graham, Subir Nagdas, James Raynor; and Ms. Mallonee Clay, staff from the FSU Honors program. More than 5,100 students, faculty, administrators and 350 exhibit booths attended ABRCMS this year with more than 2,735 research presentations in 20 areas of biomedical and behavioral research. The FSU-RISE program is federally funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. The overall goal of the program is to increase the number of well-prepared underrepresented (UR) biology, chemistry, math and computer science majors entering and completing Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical sciences. Applications are currently being accepted for spring participation. For more information on the program, visit https:// www.uncfsu.edu/academics/colleges-schoolsand-departments/college-of-health-science-andtechnology/department-of-biological-and-forensicsciences/fsu-rise contact Dr. James Raynor, Director at Jraynor@uncfsu.edu.

Winter 2019


The Blue and White

"Being a L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth means having access, opportunity, and community to make foster-involved youth visible to a broader network of peers, so we may all contribute to ensuring this population of young people fulfill their potential and manifest their dreams."

FSU Al by L'Ore Women

– Shanté Elliott, founder of TasselTurn Fayetteville State University (FSU) alumna Shanté Elliott has been selected as one of the 2019 Women of Worth Honorees by L'Oréal Paris for her outstanding work with TasselTurn. The non-profit improves the lives of youth in foster care through personalized support and college and career technology based educational coaching and social-emotional curriculum. Elliott is one of 10 women in the country to receive the prestigious Women of Worth award this year, for her charitable efforts that bring to life the L'Oréal Paris mission of uplifting and inspiring self-worth in others. Elliott graduated from FSU in 2012 with a double major in English Language and Literature and communications. Beginning today, the public is invited to support the 2019 Women of Worth by voting for one woman to become this year's "National Honoree", and receive an additional $25,000 to support her cause, for a grand total of $35,000. Each Honoree will also automatically receive $10,000, along with support via national paid media, educational and training opportunities, and a large-scale platform to share her story. To support Elliott and her important cause, vote for her to become the National Honoree by visiting www. WomenofWorth.com, and registering with an email address to vote once a day, now through November 15, 2019. As a young girl, Elliott was thrust into independence due to two absentee biological parents. With no blueprint for success her situation changed at the age of 13, when she received her forever family. Thanks to encouraging teachers and family members, she became the first in her family to graduate college,


The FS&U Magazine

pursue a doctoral degree and start a company. Shanté quickly realized that she was no anomaly - given the proper resources and education, other youth in foster care could succeed the same way she had. In response, she founded TasselTurn, a technology-based social impact organization to help homeless and fosterinvolved students through educational attainment. TurnTassel meets youth where they already are: on the internet. The organization utilizes a unique, hybrid virtual academic coaching model, combined with social-emotional curricula and innovative technology products, to connect students to their own Education Coach. This Education Coach then provides personalized support, beginning in high school and continuing through graduation, to help teenagers transition to college or kickstart meaningful careers. In just two years, TasselTurn has worked with 160 youth to date - and has seen an 80% improvement in school attendance. More than 74% have shown an improvement in one grade level or more, and 100% of youth re-enrolled with the organization for the following year. Though the organization is still new, it is already making a powerful impact in the lives of children in foster care nationwide. For more information about Women of Worth and the 2019 Honorees, visit www.WomenofWorth.com, and L'Oréal Paris on Facebook and Twitter. Join and follow the conversation by using the hashtag #WomenofWorth.

lumna Recognized eal Paris as 2019 n of Worth Honoree

Winter 2019


From The Chancellor

Going Solo: FSU Student Discovers Himself in Global Travels Story by Jared James

A 20-year-old Jared never thought he would have seen as much of the world as he has to date. As my first international experience began back in 2015, I have since visited 15 countries, eight of which were solo. And for the record, a layover does not count unless you get out to the city! During my recent excursion to the Far East (Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Philippines) l had a few epiphanies relating to solo traveling. To summarize, they were Heightened levels of self, Varying Perspective, and Personal Comfort. Self – (n) a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action, Perspective – (n) a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view, and; Comfort – (n) the easing or alleviation of a person’s feelings of grief or distress. As a thrill seeking adventure junkie who’s mastered planning trips and country hopping— I’ve always viewed myself as a soloist, so to me, traveling alone has never presented a question of safety, companionship or boredom. It’s funny when I tell coworkers or friends that I’m traveling alone and their facial expressions change to one of confusion and curiosity followed by statements such as: “I could not imagine doing that alone”, or, “Oh my goodness!

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The FS&U Magazine

Just be safe and let someone know where you are”, or, my all-time favorite, “Just make it back”. I never let these sentiments discourage me or raise doubt. I try to always use this time to provide reassurance of two things: 1 — something could happen anywhere and 2 — everything will be just fine. For me, solo travel is a time for: Self-laughter (as you are going through your rollerdeck of comedy you find yourself in the memories of your laughter and begin to relive those moments and hear those funny jokes once more) Self-reflection (thinking back on decisions, lefts vs rights in your life and the what should have, could have, and would have been) Self-evaluation (from relationships, family/friends, to career and even additional destinations of interest) Solo travel allows you to find more of yourself in an uncommon place and experience life through a foreign lens... one I wish to temporarily adopt through my 3-5 year international sabbatical. Here are a few of my self-realizations from solo travel. From them, I hope you are inspired to take a solo trip and contribute to your experience by having the following impact: Heightened Levels of Self:

Varying Perspective: Solo travel will definitely change your perspective in all aspects of life. From the inspirational piece viewed at the museum, random conversation with a stranger, observance of a religious practice, or bearing witness to living conditions in some countries (here in the USA too) — it’s relatively difficult not to find yourself questioning or hosting a higher level of appreciation, thriving with new motivation, or furthering your religious understanding and ideals after fully immersing yourself in another culture. For me, this perspective has ignited a lifestyle of minimalism and sustainability. Witnessing the litter and accumulation of trash in countries abroad has led me to take action personally and professionally by championing recycling and sustainability initiatives. Personal Comfort: The trip is what you make it and you have to be willing to get out on your own and experience it. As a selfstarter, it is relatively easy for me to set an agenda and stick to it while abroad (through rain or shine). This also takes an extreme amount of courage and self-discipline. Without, I’m sure the view would be nice from the window of your Airbnb or hotel. Make yourself uncomfortable and find that new level of comfort. Try on the new experience and if it does not work, try on another until you find the right fit.

Self-awareness. There is no one to influence your decisions or actions. You become more cognizant of your actions and thoughts. Even your words (if your language is not their native), as you’re dealing with communication barriers and want to express yourself as clearly and respectfully as possible.

In conclusion, solo travel is such an enriching experience that will promote your personal development through heightening your levels of self (awareness, discovery, security), allowing you to adopt a varying perspective that will contribute to your outlook on life and increase your personal level of comfort.

Self-discovery. On any trip by yourself, you learn more about you than any other time. You begin to realize interest in things and have conversations with yourself that would surpass any with another individual. For me, I always strive to obtain or reach a higher level of self through experience. As we all have our personal challenges and psychological battles, this area allows me to pinpoint how previous experiences have shaped my life and decisions.

I challenge you to take your first solo international excursion, explore the globe and find more of who you are, challenge norms, and most importantly – have fun while doing it.

Self-security. There’s no other way to test your sense of security than to venture thousands of miles across the ocean to a location where you barely understand a language and take the city head on (riding the public transportation, engaging with the locals, etc.) all alone!

Winter 2019


Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID Fayetteville, NC Permit No. 247

1200 Murchison Road Fayetteville, NC 28301 www.uncfsu.edu

Display your Bronco Pride with an official North Carolina Specialized license plate. A portion of your registration fee will benefit university programming and scholarships.


Bronco Pride

To order a customized plate, please visit ncdot.gov.

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