VOLUME I 2007
Bioremediation Research at MSU â€“ Growing Plants that Help Clean the Environment
M O R G A N
S T A T E
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U N I V E R S I T Y
activities events schedules
alumni calendar of events: Alumni Day 2007—Saturday, May 19, in the University Student Center. Alumni Authors—Book Signing will take place in the University Student Center, Room 316, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with a reception to be held from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Alumni Awards and Class Reunion Luncheon— The luncheon will start immediately after the reception at noon in the Tyler Ballroom. The cost for the luncheon is $40.00 per person. Please call the Alumni Relations Office at 443-885-3015 for tickets, or for more information. Mailers were sent to members of the graduating classes ending in “2” and “7.” Commencement—May 20 – 10:00 a.m., Commencement Speaker –Catherine L. Hughes, Founder, Chairperson and Secretary, Radio One, Inc.
2007 choir concerts:
Homecoming Host Hotel—“The Inn at Cross Keys” formerly the Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys. The rate is $149.00 Single/Double for all Morgan State University Alumni and friends. Please call 410-532-6900 to make your reservations. The group name is “Morgan State University Homecoming Weekend.” The cut-off date for discounted reservations is Sunday, August 12. Homecoming Business Meeting—Friday, October 12, MSU President Earl S. Richardson will give his State-ofthe-University Address in the Murphy Fine Arts Center at noon. A reception will follow. Homecoming Candlelight Memorial Service—Sunday, October 14. Each year, the National Alumni Association honors recently deceased alumni, faculty, staff, and students who were a vital part of our Morgan family. Our annual Candlelight Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, October 14, at 11 a.m. at the Morgan Christian Center. There will be a repast following the service in the University Student Center. We invite those family members to come and light a candle in remembrance of their loved one. Please call the Alumni Relations Office at 443-885-3015 for more information.
Please contact sponsor or venue regarding ticket information.
Apr. 28, 8:00 PM - Concert at Mercy High School, Baltimore, MD.
Apr. 29, 4:00 PM - Concert for Philadelphia Chapter of the Morgan State Alumni Association.
May 6, 4:00 PM - Annual Spring Concert, Murphy Fine Arts Center, 2201 Argonne Drive, Baltimore, MD 21251Open to public - tickets: $25, $20, $10 through ticketmaster.
murphy fine arts center upcoming events: MSU Modern Dance Ensemble Spring Concert and Dinner Theater, Dr. Iantha Tucker, Director, Sat., April 28 at 6:00 PM. Please call 443-8853210 for more information
MSU Choir Annual Spring Concert; Dr. Eric Conway, Conductor, Sun., May 6 at 4:00 PM, Tickets: $25, $20, $15 MSU Jazz Ensemble Concert; Melvin N. Miles, Director, Sat., May 12 at 8:00 PM, Tickets: $10; $5
“Kiddie” C.A.T.S. Performing Arts Series for Children presents The Youth Theater Festival; Sat., May 26; 10:00 AM- 6:00 PM, Theatrical performances from youth theater organizations from around the region. Call the CATS office for more information or for submission/selection criteria: 410-433-5383, Tickets: $11.
Dear Alumni and Friends, The Spring Season brings new beginnings and optimism here at Morgan State University. We are completing one of our most productive decades in Morganâ€™s history. New construction and renovation has revitalized the campus and made it one of the metropolitan areaâ€™s most attractive institutions. On your next visit to the campus, make it a point to stop in and tour the new University Student Center. I am convinced that you will come away impressed and happy for the current student body. This issue of Morgan Magazine has an article, which details some of the remarkable research being conducted in our biology department. For a university to be a great university, it must be engaged in various disciplines. Our research in bioremediation, which holds tremendous promise for a cleaner environment for future generations, demonstrates that Morgan is moving forward in these and other sciences. As part of our spotlight on Alumni Authors, we feature William Rhoden, a liberal arts graduate who began his journalism career as a news reporter here in Baltimore. Rhoden is now an internationally known sports columnist for the New York Times who recently wrote a bestselling book (carried in our bookstore). He discusses issues pertinent to the fair treatment of Black athletes in professional and collegiate athletics. Also in this issue, I hope you will take the time to read about Morgan women who are mastering their professions. Ramona Riley-Bozier, a highly-successful volleyball coach, and Dr. Iantha Tucker, a director with a passion for the art of dance. The value of a Morgan education continues to resonate with our graduates and within the walls of this great university. As you read the magazine, please join me in honoring our alumni who are making outstanding contributions throughout the nation and indeed the world.
Earl S.Richardson President MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
Ta b l e o f C o n t e n t s
Morgan Magazine is published by the Division of Institutional Advancement of MSU for alumni, parents, faculty, students and prospective students. Morgan Magazine is designed and edited by the Office of Public Relations. Opinions expressed in Morgan Magazine are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the University. Unsolicited manuscripts & photographs are welcome, but will be returned only if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Letters are also welcome.
Morgan State University Magazine Volume I 2007
Correspondence should be directed to: Morgan Magazine, Morgan State University, 1700 E. Cold Spring Lane, Truth Hall, #109, Baltimore, Maryland 21251 • 443885-3022 office • 443-885-8297 fax • email@example.com
Save the date
What’s in a Name?
Make Your Own Shot!
2007 n activities n events n schedules
The Talmadge L. Hill Field House
Photos and 2007 Homecoming Schedule
Indigenous Plants help Clean the Environment
William C. Rhoden, Alumni Author
Three Tireless Workers
My Dream My Way:
Glory Days Provide a Lifetime of Memories
Navasha Daya of Fertile Ground
Guides the Lady Bears
Boost MSU’s Annual Golf Tournament
Dr. Iantha Tucker
Marie Johnson Calloway, Artist
A “Dance Treasure” is Celebrated
Barbara Williams, Oldest Graduate, Plans to Mentor Youth
Center for Continuing and Professional Studies
Morgan Mentors Winston Winners
M A G A Z I N E Assistant Director of PR and Communications
Cheryl Y. Hitchcock
Jarrett L. Carter
Director of Public Relations and Communications
Clinton R. Coleman
MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
S TA F F
Vice President Institutional Advancement
Women’s Volleyball Team
A Visionary’s Celebration M O R G A N
Photographer (Magazine Cover)
P. A. Greene firstname.lastname@example.org
Sr. Graphic Designer
David E. Ricardo email@example.com
Additional Staff: Contributing Writers
Monica Chambers Sarah Mariner C. T. Goodman Welford McLellan Contributing Photographers
The Talmadge L. Hill Field House By Sarah Mariner While the headlines of political and social transformations during the 1970’s included the resignation of President Richard Nixon, the fall of South Vietnam, and the election of the first African-American woman to the U.S. House of Representatives, Morgan State University made its own mark in 1974 with the dedication of the Talmadge L. Hill Field House. Named for one of Morgan’s finest coaches, Hill Field House was originally constructed in 1953 to serve as a multipurpose structure for sports and classes. Renovations completed in 1999 turned the building into a contemporary facility that hosts Homecoming concerts, career fairs and sporting events. Hill Field House is approximately 118,000 square feet and aligned with the north to south campus walkway. The renovations resulted in new racquetball and handball courts, a multipurpose room, dance studios and administrative offices. Existing facilities such as locker rooms, a therapy/ training room and a laundry room were also updated. The field house now boasts team, concession and public amenities, new scoreboards and additional seating and Hill Field House has state-of-the-art sound and lighting. Talmadge L. Hill graduated from Morgan State College in 1928. He earned a Master’s degree at Columbia University before returning to Morgan as a teacher and assistant coach in 1930. The team of Coach Hill and Coach Edward Hurt was well respected in intercollegiate athletics and created championship teams in basketball, football and track. Hill was offensive/defensive line coach of 13 C.I.A.A. championship teams, two national championship basketball teams and head coach of C.I.A.A. tournament winning track teams. The men’s AllSports Award (MEAC) is named for Coach Hill, who was Chairman of the MEAC Steering and Planning Committee and the league’s first president. Joe Black, Jr. delivered the keynote speech at the dedication ceremony. Black gained fame as a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and went on to become vice president of special markets at the Greyhound Corporation. He is credited with helping Coach Hill to inspire the athletes to achieve academic as well as athletic success.
Hill leading the Bears on the field.
Talmadge Hill, Joe Black, and Edward Hurt, share the stage at the dedication ceremonies for the Hill Field House in 1974. MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
HOMECOMING 2006 From the gala to the game, the 2006 Morgan State University Homecoming was one to remember. By day, Morganites past and present converged on the campus to enjoy the sights and sounds of the University’s annual celebration, which was marshaled by members of the 1979 Morgan State Bears football team, winners of the University’s last football Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title. By night, the stars shined at events like the Morgan State University Foundation’s annual Homecoming Gala. Hundreds of alumni joined luminaries of local business and government to dance, reminisce and celebrate the accomplishments of prominent classmates such as Earl G. Graves, a 1957 Morgan graduate and well-known entrepreneur whose likeness was unveiled at the Gala and will be on display in Baltimore’s Great Blacks in Wax Museum.
MSU MEAC 1979 Football Champions—Grand Mashals Donates $3,000 Foundation Scholarship Fund
MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
MSU Homecoming Events, Oct. 12–14, 2007 Fri., Oct. 12 12:00 p.m. – MSUNAA Annual Meeting, Recital Hall, Murphy Fine Arts Center 8:30 p.m.– Gala XXIII, Martin’s West, 6817 Dogwood Rd., Baltimore, Md, Tickets: $125.00 per person Earl Graves likeness unveiled for Great Blacks in Wax Museum.
Sat., Oct. 13 9:00 a.m.– Homecoming Parade 1:00 p.m.– MSU Bears vs.. Howard University Bison, Hughes Stadium 4:00 p.m.– All Classes Reunion 10:00 p.m.– Morgan Memories, Student Center
Sun., Oct. 14, 11:00 a.m. – Memorial Service, Morgan Christian Interfaith Center, (Repast following the service.) MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
Bioremediation Research at MSU: Using Indigenous Plant Species to Help Clean the Environment
Bridging chemistry and genetic engineering into bio-environmental science is just one of the ways that Dr. Arthur Williams, professor and chairperson of the Biology Department and Dr. Saroj Pramanik, associate professor of biology, are expanding science research at Morgan State University. One of the department’s graduate level classes explores heavy metal toxicity and the effects of pollution on humans and the environment. “It is just one of the ways in which we are encouraging our students to become visionaries in the 22nd century,” says Dr. Williams. Anna Duzs-Moore, one of the former graduate students with a background in geology initiated this project. She has chosen to examine the indigenous Serpentine Chickweed for its ability to live
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and thrive in soil toxic to most other plants. Named for its capacity to flourish in serpentine soil, and how it grows prostrate along the ground. Its ability to absorb some of the serpentine soil’s heavy metals such as chromium, cobalt, and nickel has intrigued her. “We call it affectionately, the ‘hairy chickweed’,” says Anna. Dr. Pramanik wants his students to develop interest in developing a ‘designer’ super plant to live in hazardous waste dumps and absorb toxic heavy metals. The plants would both cleanse the dumps and then be ‘mined’ by industry for reuse. “Our long-term research goal is to learn exactly how these plants selectively absorb heavy metals such as Nickel (Ni), Chromium (Cr), Manganese
(Mn), etc. from the soil, and then isolate the gene or genes responsible for their absorption abilities. Dr. Pramanik believes introduction of those genes would be beneficial for construction of genetically engineered plants, which would facilitate phytoremediation – the use of green plants to clean up the environment. Those super plants could be grown in toxic waste landfills, their leaves chopped off and incinerated, with the heavy metals ‘remined’ during the incineration process. Serpentine soil is found in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as other East Coast states, and is a product of magma from sub oceanic volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, laden with heavy metals from the earth’s core. “If you know about geology and specif-
ically about those rocks, then you know where the plants are growing. You put two and two together,” says Anna, adding that there are currently about 300 plants worldwide that are known to grow in soils laden with heavy metals. Some tolerate the heavy metals without absorbing them, but others actually absorb the metals. “They don’t eat the metals,” she is quick to point out, “but rather they absorb the metals through transporter or carrier proteins, which ‘carry’ the metals through cell membranes into the plant’s cells. The metals provide no nutritional value to the chickweed and the chickweed does not ‘digest’ the metal, but the metals stay within the plant’s cells.” Dr. Pramanik says he is excited about
the potential benefits of Morgan’s research. “The plant does the mining job so that toxic areas can become clean.” According to Dr. Williams, initial destruction of the serpentine barrens in this area occurred in the early 1800s when the first chromium mines were started. Since then, the serpentine barrens have been paved over, built upon, and played on, disrupting the ecosystem’s delicate balancing act. The Serpentine Chickweed, also known as the Cerastium arvense var. villosissimum Pennell, is extremely drought resistant, and can be found in other serpentine habitats in Alabama, Georgia, South and North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Vermont and in Quebec and Newfoundland in Canada. The serpentine areas along the
East Coast occur at elevations from near sea level to nearly 5,000 feet above sea level. Plate tectonics underneath the oceans created serpentine rocks eons ago. The rocks were worn down over time into soil. “The conservation efforts related to this ecosystem are really important,” Moore emphasizes. “It is important that it be preserved because urban sprawl displaces the plants, and only we can protest; the plants have no say.” “Plants are very adaptable,” Dr. Pramanik explains. “Look at Chernobyl [the 1986 nuclear reactor disaster in the Ukraine]. Plants are growing everywhere there. The Union Carbide accident in India [a 1984 industrial accident in Bhopal, India]. Same thing.”
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Our students learn about heavy metal toxicity, especially mercury on humans and the habitat. At Morgan for nearly 3 years, Dr. Pramanik is an associate professor of biology and Director of Greenhouse. Previously, he was a research associate in the biology department at Howard University, in Washington, D.C., and a research scholar at the Henry Ford Hospital, in Detroit, MI. He is currently overseeing the research work on metal absorbing plants and working on PCBs bioremediation using plant: microbial interactions. He was also a research associate at the Medical University of South Carolina, and a professional
Zygotic &Somatic Embryo
scientist/senior research associate at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada. He received his Ph.D. from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India. He has done extensive research on the conversion of cellulose to glucose using fungi and bacteria, as an alternate form of energy production. He has expertise on somatic embryogenesis of plants, which is also known as artificial embryos. Glimpses of somatic (artificial embryo) and zygotic embryos (natural embryos) are shown below from Dr. Pramanik’s previously published work.
Left Side: Zygotic Embryo of Alfalfa plant; Right Side: Somatic Embryo generated from petiole (1 cm in length) of alfalfa plants. The arrow represents the cotyledons of somatic embryos.
Dr. Arthur L. Williams, Professor and Chairperson of the Biology Department leads a dynamic team of research scientists, students and support personnel for the biological sciences, in exploring all facets of the Academy. Prior to joining Morgan, Dr. Williams was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biology at Howard University, Washington, D.C. Over the years, he has devoted substantial efforts to the education and training of minorities across biological disciplines. Dr. Williams received the Ph.D. Degree from Purdue University in 1975. The links between chemistry and bioengineering enhance the quality of instruction and laboratory training for both undergraduate and graduate students as well as an increase in the competitiveness of Morgan’s stu- Dr. Arthur L. Williams, Professor and Chair, Department of Biology, Dr. Erika Whitney and Dr. Saroj Pramanik examine a serpentine chickweed plant in the Dixon Research dents on the national level. Center greenhouse.
Morgan’s Estuarine Research Center (ERC) also plays a role in the expanding role of the university in aquatic and marine applications. The ERC’s proximity to major metropolitan centers and the nation’s capitol provide an excellent site for marine and terrestrial investigations. The lab is currently used by faculty and students from and other regional universities and is available for a broad range of research and educational activities.
Estuarine Research Center
MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
With over 30 full-time faculty members and stateof-the-art research facilities, the Department of Biology is home of a vibrant research community located in Baltimore. MSU provides an exceptional opportunity for students seeking both undergraduate and graduate training, both of which are at the forefront of biology. Morgan students use experimental and theoretical approaches in the
laboratory and, the field, to study a wide range of complex issues in bio-remediation, aquatic eco systems and applied research directed to issues of public health and public health disparities in the urban community. The department offers two primary areas of specialization: Molecular/Cellular Biology and Environmental Biology.
Richard N. Dixon Research Center
MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
MAKE YOUR OWN SHOT! WILLIAM C. RHODEN By Ferdinand Mehlinger
William C. Rhoden has been a sportswriter for since 1983 and has written the Sports of the Times column for more than a decade.
Times-Square, New York 10
MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
> Make Your Own Shot!
World TIME 4th QTR
It’s a cold but sunny winter’s day in New York City as It is here, in this old office where he spends untold hours William Rhoden (’73), stands on Sugar Hill near his West producing his most creative work. He spent the last eight 115th Street apartment building overlooking Yankee Stayears in the room that he calls his ‘sanctuary’ researching, dium. meditating and writing--day and night--to complete his He is recalling fond memories of playing football in the recently released book: Forty Million Dollar Slaves. The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete. stadium in his youth. It is a memory that, in part, brought In describing the underlying theme of the book, Rhoden him back to this section of New York to live and work. For says, “The book is really about power, and about getting Bill Rhoden, the sight of the stadium is a constant power.” reminder of his love and dedication to athletics and is an Rhoden believes that the Black athlete serves as a icon that helps fuel his drive that has made him one of the metaphor of hope and that leading sports authorities sports has provided a vehicle on Black athletes. for their vision of triumph Yankee Stadium is also against the odds. the ballpark where Bill “Sports for us has been Rhoden, as a young Morgan much, much more than just State University football running and jumping, it has player, participated in the been a means of expressing first football classic what couldn’t be expressed. between MSU and GramIn fact the element that links bling College of Louisiana. Black athletes through time is It was an experience that the legacy of hope. This has would drive his passion for been the Black athletes primary reporting and analysis of contribution to the journey of Black athletes to a level of African Americans, providing a insight and intensity that is source of hope, a beacon of rarely achieved in sports light.” He continues, journalism. “Jack Johnson gave the comBill didn’t make the promunity joy and defiance. Joe fessional football ranks Lewis gave the community after his days at Morgan as a defensive back, but he “Take advantage of all the resources, hope with knockout boxing victories. Jackie Robinson prohas become one of whatever institution you’re at. vided the metaphor of access America’s most outstanding You’re the fuse and the institution is and opportunity. Muhammad sports writers, developing the match, and it will launch you.” Ali provided inspiration columns for the venerable through his convictions and New York Times, one the gave us a sense of hope with knockout boxing victories. nation’s most prestigious newspapers. The dominance of Serena and Venus Williams in tennis As Bill leaves 115th street, he drives down Amsterdam provides a glimpse into the power of self definition.” Avenue and enters a gated church cemetery. Once there, he Viewing the world of the Black athlete through the eyes parks his truck in the semi-circular drive and starts walking. He strides past the worn historic gravestones surrounding of William C. Rhoden is indeed a singular experience that comes across in his reporting and writing. MSU Print JourHarlem’s Church of the Intercession. As he enters a neo nalism Professor Frank Brown describes William Rhoden as gothic courtyard of the former monastery of the church that a “brilliant storyteller” and says that his articles are reflechouses his office, the peeling plaster in the alcove, the tive of “the best traditions of journalism and particularly to weathered windows and the arched oak doors with cast people of color and to the Crusading Black Press.” iron hardware remind one of post war Europe. MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
... the element that links black athletes through time is the legacy of hope.
“Know your history. Know where you fit in.” — William Rhoden Rhoden has always had a love for history and gave some consideration to being a historian earlier in his career. “I wanted to be a historian but I didn’t have the discipline or the temperament, so I became a journalist.” “When you study history you can figure out where you fit, and then you can begin to figure where you go from here. If you don’t study history then you may not really understand where you fit.” Besides being an accomplished writer, Rhoden is an excellent teacher. He taught a course at Morgan about the history of Black journalists. He has the ability to take something that appears two-dimensional and turn it over to show you three or four new dimensions that you may have missed. He does this partially through his knowledge and love of history and being a quick study in many subject areas. He also has concrete ideas about the approach young African Americans should take to be competitive in today’s world of journalism. William Rhoden sees writing and journalism as a crossroads for all academic disciplines, like a crucible that cooks everything down to a common denominator or departure point. “Journalism is everything. You could be a theologian and be a journalist or an economist and bring that credential into journalism.” Reflecting on how the world of journalism has changed over the years, Rhoden commented: “When I came up there was print, print, print, and you graduated and went out looking for a job. Now print is shrinking but the Internet is growing. Now you can be your own job. You can basically make your own shot. And, you can be published now without necessarily having to be hired by anyone.” “That is why understanding your individual power as an athlete or a student is 12
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Muhammad Ali Jack Johnson
Jimmy Winkfield riding Alan-A-Dale in 1902
Serena and Venus Williams Jackie Robinson
so important and why I have spent so many years in sports and beginning at Morgan playing football at a Historically Black College… and how that began to be the gateway of a certain understanding of black culture. “Standing in Hurt Gymnasium and seeing photos of all those great Black athletes, teams from the 1920s, 1930’s and 40’s, and the pride that they represented. Not just in athletics but in the institution and how the institution helped carry the hopes of people.” Recalling his years at Morgan State, Rhoden said: “They had a heck of an English department then, and Frances Murphy taught us. Terry Edmunds (’73) was in my class and he went on to become President Bill Clinton’s speechwriter. Terry is just a great writer.” Daughter of Afro American newspaper founder, Carl Murphy and former chairman and publisher of the Afro, former Morgan English professor, Frances Murphy, recalled, while reading from her class notes of 1969, that Bill Rhoden was an enthusiastic young man who was “an outstanding student destined for great things.” As a mainstream, syndicated sports writer, one would expect William Rhoden to have a keen sense about competitiveness, but his wisdom has a
special spin that he shares with young African American graduates entering the job market: “The mainstream operates as an eliminator, and particularly for African Americans. You’ve got to know that when you’re competing against everyone else, globally, the people you are competing against are being judged like figure skaters where they start with a 10 and then when they screw up, they lose points. We’re being judged like basketball players, where you start with zero and you’ve got to make points. And if the people you’re competing against screw up enough and you make enough points then maybe you can meet somewhere in the middle”, he said. Bill Rhoden is a true believer in the continued mission of HBCU’s and thinks that they remain a guiding force for young African Americans: “I just think that a Black college helped me in shaping a perspective that Black really is beautiful that Black can be powerful and that it’s ok to be powerful. There’s nothing wrong with having power.” Bill Rhoden’s advice to all students: “Take advantage of all the resources, whatever institution you’re at. You’re the fuse and the institution is the match, and it will launch you.”
The Morgan Bears – 1971 M.E.A.C. Champions In 1971 the Morgan Bears were in a new league, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. William Rhoden (Number 24) played defensive back as the Bears met Grambling, Jackson State, Rutgers and Virginia State in non-league games and North Carolina, Central, and North Carolina A&T in league games.
“Morgan was the beginning of a certain understanding of the African American presence through athletics, and that is what launched me on my journey.” — William Rhoden
Short Biography on William C. Rhoden William C. Rhoden has been a sportswriter for the New York Times since 1983 and has written the Sports of the Times column for more than a decade. The Times online readership has grown to 1.5 million readers a day with 1.1 million subscribers for the print edition. Before joining the Times, Rhoden was an associated editor of Ebony magazine from 1974-1978 and worked with the Baltimore Sun for more than three years as a columnist and jazz critic. Mr. Rhoden’s latest book Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete, was released in 2006. He attended Morgan State University and while there served as assistant sports information director. Mr. Rhoden is married and has a daughter. Mr. Rhoden has just released another book Third and a Mile: The Trials and Triumph of the Black Quarterback and is currently working on the biography of baseball hall of famer, Willie Mays. MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
Three Tireless Workers Boost MSU’s Annual Golf Tournament
Binx Watts Morgan alumni and Varsity “M” Hall of Famers Tim McCready, Binx Watts and Al Wilson have helped raise thousands of dollars for MSU students.
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By Welford McLellan
Each spring, The MSU Foundation holds its annual golf tournament as a fund raising event for scholarships and other University activities. This year will mark the University’s 18th consecutive visit to the superb golf course at the Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center in Ellicott City, Md. The tournament, scheduled for May 14, attracts more than 200 golfers—of various skill levels—each year. Golfers can attend a first class luncheon and some will win high-end prizes. Former Maryland governor Robert Ehrlich and lieutenant governor Michael Steele have participated in MSU’s tournament, as well as the current governor and former mayor of Baltimore, Martin O’Malley. Joe McIver, the Assistant Athletic Director for External Affairs, said “The MSU Golf Tournament is successful because we have an 18 member committee which volunteers numerous hours of planning and managing the event to ensure that the days events are consistent with our plans.” “Also, I have to add that we have a secret weapon, three Morgan alumni who have a 150 years of experience in the world of golf. They play, they teach and they have developed excellent rela-
tionships with the top golf sponsors in this area. They make a world of difference,” McIver said. For the past five years they have devoted their time and energy to making the tournament one of the best area golfing attractions. The three are Rodney “Binx” Watts (’67), Al Wilson (’70) and Tim McCready (who attended MSU for over 3 years). The three won Morgan’s only CIAA Golf Championship in 1967, for which they were recently inducted into the University’s Varsity “M” Hall of Fame. “We were brought into the tournament circle because of our experience in Golf. We consult and advise the MSU Golf Committee on various golfing issues. We train students and volunteers on the operations of a tournament,” Wilson said. Aside from the training the group brings in sponsors, provide certificates, gifts and merchandise, and the larger prizes. Watts, who turned pro in 1995, is a major participant in the “Beat The Pro Contest.” Frank Laber and Coleman Plecker are other PGA Pros that were convinced to join in with Watts for the contest.
Tournament prizes this year include the $100,000 Hole-InOne Contest, a trip for four to Las Vegas, and a 50-50 raffle. Together they have formed a limited corporation, which they plan to use as a conduit to spread the word about the advantages of learning and playing golf. The corporation, launched in 2003, is called Tee Mac Golf. Each partner has an area of responsibility: McCready handles operations, Wilson leads on community affairs and Watts oversees legal matters. They have developed a sports center in one of the city’s noted communities. It’s called the Park heights Community Golf Range and Family Sports Center. Watts said, “We want to bring golf to the inner city and tell young people the advantages of golf and how it is a stepping stone into the corporate world. Also, I will not be happy until Baltimore’s high schools reintroduce golf as a sport for students. I also want Morgan to bring back golf. This sport can take you places you never dreamed of going.” MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
Bertha Goodman Takes Advantage of New Tax Program to Help MSU Students
“If you have it, you should be more than willing to give.” —Bertha Goodman
It is the end of the Morgan State University Foundation’s Annual Scholarship Luncheon, but the attention is just beginning for one of the day’s most well-known and well-liked benefactors. Bertha Goodman sits and smiles warmly as scholarship recipients, faculty and other donors take a moment to offer a hug or kind words. A short line has formed, as they all wait their turn to greet a woman who values time more than most, and takes pride in making it, and sharing it with others. Patiently and softly, she responds in kind with a question about family or school work for each individual. Time has been good to Goodman since she graduated from Morgan nearly 60 years ago, and she believes that now, more than ever, it is her duty to be good to the University where so many were good to her.
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“You have youngsters dropping out because they are working many hours a week, trying to make ends meet,” says Goodman. “I help Morgan because Morgan helped me.” Goodman’s help has come through a recent federal program for donors aged 70 and older. Through the Pension Act of 2006, she has been able to contribute a portion of her Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to the Morgan State University Foundation without tax complications. She is the Foundation’s first donor in this unique program, which expires at the end of 2007. Financial aid for students is always an issue of timeliness, as gifts from alumni and other donors are often the difference between a student remaining enrolled in classes or having the ability to purchase books. It is particularly important to Goodman, whose fondest memory of
attending Morgan was running a considerable distance to make it to class on time. “I remember we had to run to chemistry class, rushing to make it on time before they shut the door,” Goodman says, laughingly. Ms. Goodman’s ties to the University run even deeper than her philanthropy and her memories. She works part-time in the University’s Institutional Research office as an assistant, and is an active member of the Morgan Women. “Some people may ask how much is enough,” she says. “What is enough? If you have it, you should be more than willing to give. When you see that the students are doing well, it makes you feel good that you had a part in helping them along.”
Glory Days Provide a Lifetime of Memories They were campus heroes, making a name for Morgan State College across the country and beyond. Josh Colbreath, George Williams—just a couple of the athletes that won national track meets, set world wide records and whose framed, black and white photos still grace the walls of Hurt Gymnasium. One of the most familiar names of the era is Ammons “Bob” Barksdale, a high jumper who not only set and broke records throughout his illustrious career at MSU, but one who also incited awe in track meets whenever he participated. The excitement was generated because of Barksdale’s own special moves that set him apart from his competitors and always kept him in the public eye. “At that time, most people high jumped using one of two methods,” explained Barksdale, “The straddle, where you approach facing the bar, or western style where you jump sideways. In my move, the ‘Barky Roll,’ you approach the bar backwards.” “I created it by accident actually— trying to jump sideways but turning too far once but getting more height than I expected. So I tried it again, and again and thought, ‘hey, I should keep this.’ Sports Illustrated described it, ‘like a man slipping over a bar of soap,” he added. Morgan State College built an impressive reputation in college track and field in the early 50s--setting records, dominating national competitions like the PENN Relays, and graduating a number of athletes qualifying and appearing in the Olympics Games.
Attending MSU from 1953 – 57, Bob Barksdale, came to Morgan State as a track star from Norristown High School in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Known for setting high jump records at Norristown and holding the state high jumping record at 6’ 4” when he enrolled at MSU. He continued to set and break records during his tenure at MSU. Today, at 72 years of age and retired, Barksdale looks back on a proud career in college sports with humility, humor and affection. “The Penn Relays were a big thing, the best athletes would come from all over,” he recalls. “You would win a wristwatch for each event each with a different letter on it and you would try to get all the letters. Guys would come back to campus and stop you just to show off, ‘Hey Barksdale, what time is it?’ I won my event two years out of three at Penn Relays. Years later, I was a judge there and served in that capacity for quite a while.” “I continued in track and field, hoping to go to the Olympics one day.” And he would have. He won all the titles and broke the necessary records but a hamstring injury prevented that achievement. Still, he was able to travel the world, high jumping in international competitions, facing the best athletes in other countries and almost always prevailing victorious. Barksdale recalls what a significant impact world travel had on the young Norristown boy. “What I mainly remember is how, over
By C.T. Goodman there, no one saw color. People treated you like it didn’t even matter,” he says quietly. “Men and women alike were just colorblind.” Barksdale returned to the US to a rude awakening, however. In his early twenties, he decided against becoming a physical education teacher and moved into professional sales. His first position was with Colgate-Palmolive, a major corporation, and Barskdale became one of the first African Americans to be a regional manager for the company. He enjoyed his work and was very successful at it, his region regularly surpassing planned company goals. Yet, he still would feel the racism in the office amongst his co-workers. On one occasion, overhearing being called ‘the company’s house nigger’ while on the elevator, is still an emotional memory for him. Barksdale gives all credit of survival during the trying times to his wife and his God. “I called on the Lord many times and he saw me through every time,” he pauses. “You also have to have a supportive wife to come home to after days like that.” Continuing an active role in Morgan’s athlete efforts, Barksdale has also been a national fundraiser for the Varsity M Club. For the past eight years, Barksdale has worked diligently, connecting with MSU alumni, corporations and others to raise needed funds for the MSU athletic program. Stepping down from his position just last year, he is responsible for raising close to $150,000 during his tenure.
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MY DREAM MY WAY: A Former Ms. Morgan Sets Her Own Path Q8 By C.T. Goodman Brains, beauty and extraordinary talent—the triple threat so often looked for but only occasionally realized—is evident in vocalist, Navasha Daya. As the lead singer of Baltimore’s most popular and original music ensemble, Fertile Ground, Navasha Daya (real last name Collins) has been a familiar face throughout the metropolitan area for many years. With a smooth and full-bodied voice giving life to meaningful lyrics and inspiring rhythms, this Morgan alumnus is currently reaping the rewards of setting early goals and staying true to her plan. Attending Morgan State University from 1993 – 1998, Collins remembers choosing Morgan for its exceptional music program.
of Fertile Ground
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“ I already had a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music at the time. But I was very impressed by the wonderful choir at Morgan and also the wonderful food.” While at Morgan, Collins participated actively in the music program and gained her most beneficial experiences with the choir under the direction of the late Dr. Nathan Carter. She says she never once regretted the decision to relinquish the full scholarship to the more prestigious and well-known music school in Boston. However, it was another decision at Morgan that she remembers fondly. She decided that she would run for the position of the campus queen, Miss Morgan State University. It was during her senior year in 1997-98 that she won the crown and fate took over. Friends and wellwishers had nothing but praise for Collins and the attention boosted her confidence and encouraged her to expand her horizons. “After winning Miss Morgan, I thought I could be successful running for Miss Baltimore. I won that title the following year (1998-99),” she recalls. “I was the first Miss Morgan to go on to win other pageants.” The Miss Baltimore title and a year of representing the city inspired Collins to continue on the pageant track, although not your traditional pageant type by her own admission. Unlike many pageant participants who start young and run annually, Collins only registered for those contests that moved her closer to her professional goals and those she believed she could win. Her musical talents were a strong asset. With two wins to her credit, she set her sights on the Miss Black Collegiate Pageant and then
Miss Maryland. But unfortunately, the next year, the former was cancelled and in the months to come, the latter yielded an unfortunate loss. Undeterred, Collins used the loss as a personal defining moment which helped to more clearly set her path. “It wasn’t in my heart,” Collins says reflecting. “I don’t think I wanted Miss Maryland the way the other girls wanted it. They were more career pageant types, used to the atmosphere and people telling them what to say and how to act. I thought I could be independent. There wasn’t a place for me there.” Collins used the experience to help her to find her place. With a Music Education degree in hand, she realized her interest in healing others and began researching ways to combine the two. With a focusing on assisting young people, Collins worked regularly within the Baltimore Public School System with elementary and middle school students using music to help children find their own talents and abilities. She has been an artist in residence for the past four years, finding great success with African American boys especially—helping them to get past preconceived notions of the arts and their own creative abilities. Collins has also found great success as a performer. Fertile Ground has been a leading ensemble in the Baltimore/Washington area and beyond for many years, performing at Artscape, downtown festivals, private parties, regional clubs and more. Founded by her husband of five years, James Collins, as a performance vehicle for his wife, Fertile Ground has provided the singer with the unique and rewarding opportunities.
“My husband composes for the group and that has allowed me to be more original,” she explains. When music is written for you, it’s raw. You have no one to copy from. You give it your own personality.” Difficult to classify, Fertile Ground has built ongoing success in the area as a band with its own personality. Combining tight instrumentation, diverse and intricate R&B, jazz and African rhythms, heartfelt vocals, spoken word, dance, meaningful lyrics, the band’s CDs can often be found in the Urban Contemporary and Neo-Soul areas of record stores. More than a musical ensemble, Fertile Ground has been credited with creating a visual world on stage. It has been successful in taking an audience beyond the usual auditory experience, with Navasha as the focal point. “I’ve had audience members tell me that our performances are healing,” says Collins. “Like testimony—experiencing Fertile Ground has been like a spiritual work. “Although we perform regularly here in Baltimore and throughout the east coast, I know that what we do is not popular music. It’s world music. James and I have been building this for ten years and I know, because it’s original, we have a harder road to go. It’s not my path to do what Beyonce’ does. I’m not trying to sacrifice myself for that life. I want to uplift folks with my music, change humanity, if I can, survive and above all, be comfortable.” At 29, still beauty pageant lovely, happily married and fulfilling personal and professional dreams, Navasha “Daya” Collins continues to be a triple threat wherever life takes her.
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“Mona Magic” GUIDES THE L ADY BEARS Women’s Volleyball Team Gains National Stature
Coach Ramona Riley-Bozier - MSU women’s volleyball By Monica Chambers
If you’re looking for an athletic team to boast about, look no further than the Morgan State University “Lady Bears” volleyball team. This stellar team is coached by an equally stellar head coach, Ramona RileyBozier (‘ 87), one the most accomplished coaches in the history of Morgan athletics. She has 322 wins, 5 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships, and 5 MEAC Coach of the Year honors. She won her fifth Coach of the Year award for the 2006 season. After graduating from Morgan in 1987, Coach Bozier pursued a career in sociology. The following year, Ramona Riley received an unexpected call from her former track coach and then-Director of the Athletic Department, Leonard Braxton, requesting that she join the department as head coach of the Lady Bears volleyball team. She accepted the position, inheriting a losing team with one of the lowest rankings in the nation. Within four years, Coach Bozier led the Lady Bears to their first MEAC championship, with additional championships coming in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.
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In addition to winning the MEAC championship in 1997, Coach Bozier and the Lady Bears made history when they earned the distinction of being the first team from a Historical Black College or University to earn a trip to the NCAA Division I tournament. Although the Lady Bears were defeated by the 8th ranked University of Southern California’s “Women of Troy,” Coach Bozier and her team were honored to have the opportunity to play and make a name for volleyball at Morgan. Coach Bozier’s winning spirit and coaching skills extended beyond the game of volleyball, serving as head coach of the Morgan women’s softball team for seven seasons. In 1999, Coach Bozier led the Lady Bears to an appearance in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference softball championship game. When asked of her tenure as head coach of the Lady Bears and why she remains in the position, she is quick to say, “I love the challenge of competing, which has been my drive since I was an athlete in high school and college. In high school I ran track. People would tell me how fast I was, but I had no idea that I could compete in track and get a scholarship to attend college, especially out
of state.” “I won a track scholarship and enrolled at Missouri State University. I wanted to play on the volleyball team, but the college would not allow students to play more than one sport. I soon grew bored with the track team at Missouri State University, and was encouraged by a friend to transfer to an out of state college.” Her competitive spirit is what helped Ramona Riley obtain the title “Mona Magic.” Upon transferring to Morgan, she was a powerful force as the first leg on the 4x100 relay team that set a school record of 44.47 seconds in 1986, a record that still stands today. Her diverse athletic abilities also enabled her to join the Lady Bears volleyball team as a walk on, where she became only one of nine players in program history to register one thousand career kills. Her former high school volleyball coach inspired her coaching style. “She was very competitive. Off the court she would do anything for you, but on the court she was tough. I believe in being tough and focused during game time.” Understanding the importance of education, Coach Bozier inspires her players to give their best to their academic studies, as well as athletics. She expects each player to be com-
mitted to herself and her goals by successfully pursuing her education. Working closely with Mr. Carson of the Academic Development Center, Coach Bozier gives students homework assignments, and requires them to attend all campus job fair activities. “We always stress that there is life after college, and we offer job and interview preparation to our ladies so that they are comfortable meeting with job counselors.” Although Coach Bozier speaks modestly of her athleticism and winning ways, she encourages her Lady Bears to recognize their outstanding abilities, to set goals for improvement, and to never let their success on the court seduce them into becoming complacent. “I tell my players that they must find a way to compete with themselves to make their games better.” When Coach Bozier speaks of her latest Lady Bears team, she glows with pride. Although 2006-07 brought eight new recruits, she is extremely confident that she has a winning team. Having a winning team tops Coach Bozier’s wish list, and while the wish list is long, it has critical components that the coach feels would contribute to having a winning team. “I really wish that I could get more Maryland kids on the team. It’s not that we cannot draw Maryland
players, but the high school programs in Baltimore City are rather weak,” she says. “The players have a difficult time competing on the high level of players from other states. I would also like to have full scholarships for all twelve positions on the team, something that all coaches wish for.” To increase the enrollment of talented volleyball players from Maryland, Coach Bozier along with her staff, have established relationships with local high schools. “I have relationships with many of the high schools because many of the coaches played for me. We offer free clinics and a variety of outreach activities during the school year and throughout the summer to local high school students.” Coach Bozier encourages all Morgan alumni to offer their support of the Lady Bears Volleyball Team. As an incentive and a benefit to team training, the Coach hopes to raise funds to take her team to the Bahamas for the 2008 spring break tournaments. “This will be a great opportunity for the team to play against players from around the world.” A world-class opportunity for a world-class team, led by an out-ofthis-world coach.
Johnson Selected for MEAC All-Conference Team 2006.
Esther Johnson (No. 5) Position: Outside Hitter Height: 5'7 Class: Junior Hometown: Ft. Collins, Colorado Junior volleyball player and tricaptain Esther Johnson, is a native of Fort Collins, Colorado, Johnson was born January 26, 1986, in Cameroon, Africa. She graduated with honors from Rocky Mountain High School, and was a member of the National Honors Society. As a junior, she entered the season ranked ninth all-time in career kills at Morgan State with 1,030 and became Morgan’s all-time career kills leader this season after recording 12 kills against Delaware State (11/3), giving her 1,310 kills. She currently has 1,361 for her career. and ranks third all-time at Morgan with 1,106 career digs. Johnson, who is a psychology major, is also a two-time honoree of the MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic Award, for maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
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Exhibit: Homecoming—Marie Johnson Calloway ‘52 O
C T O B E R
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A Visionary’s Celebration Mama’s Room, installation
“As a Black woman artist, I wished to look beneath the misconceptions with which history had covered my people and me.” —Marie Johnson Calloway
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The Artist Marie Johnson Calloway was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1920, and grew up in a home with the strong influences of religion and creativity. Her father was a preacher and her mother was a seamstress who studied with a couturier. In addition, she was a child of the Harlem Renaissance—a time when the common belief among African Americans was that equality could be achieved by teaching racial pride with an emphasis on literature, the arts, and African cultural heritage. After graduating from Frederick Douglass High School, Calloway earned certification in teaching in 1939 from Coppin State Teacher’s College and, in the same year, married Arthur Johnson, M.D. In 1952, she earned a B.A. in art education at Morgan State College and in 1954, she moved from Baltimore to San Jose, California where she decided to further her education by attending San Jose State University for her M.A. She also pursued graduate studies at Stanford University. Ms. Calloway taught at San Jose State University, California College of Arts and
Crafts, and San Francisco State University until her retirement in 1983. Interwoven through all of her years of pursuing an education and being an artist/educator, Calloway gave birth to two children, participated in the civil rights movement, had, at least, seventeen solo exhibitions, numerous
Bright Moment, acrylic on paper
group shows (both national and international), commissions, and received many honors and awards. She currently lives in Oakland, California with her husband.
The Exhibit “Marie Johnson Calloway has really represented herself well in the visionary arts over the past years,” said Gabriel Tenabe, curator and director of the James E. Lewis Museum of Art.” It has been a pleasure watching her work expand in volume as well as in technique and quality.” For Mr. Tenabe, and the greater Morgan community, the exhibit was a celebration and the culmination of a long-term vision. “It was one of our most successful exhibits ever. More than 850 people visited the museum during the shows first three days,” the museum director said. “The fact that she is an alum with a significant body of work, and our second graduate from what was then the school of visual arts, located in a two story house, is all very appealing.”
Church Ladies, mixed media
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Synthia St. James
Synthia Saint James, Artist Along with Ms. Calloway’s exhibit, Morgan hosted the appearance of internationally renowned visual artist Synthia Saint James, who conducted a workshop/lecture for students of the Visual Arts Department. Ms. Saint James is noted for her lively and colorful paintings and for her
design of the U.S. Postal Kwanzaa stamp, issued on October 18, 2006. Limited edition prints of her work were donated by Ms. Saint James to benefit the Visual Arts Department at Morgan State University.
A SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY TO COLLECT A LIMITED EDITION PRINT BY RENOWNED AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTIST
PAPER SIZE 20” X 27” SIGNED & NUMBERED LIMITED EDITION OF 1000
PROCEEDS WILL BENEFIT THE morgan State university visual arts department
Each reproduction retails for $125.00 (Plus $9.50 shipping & handling) All prints are signed and numbered by the artist, and come with a Certificate of Authenticity.
YES, I WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT THE morgan state university visual arts department AND ADD “stilt walkers” TO My art COLLECTION.
Name:___________________________________________________________________________________ Address:____________________________ City:__________________ State:______ Zip:________________ Telephone:______________________________Quantity:_________ Amount Enclosed:__________________ Email:___________________________________________________________________________________ We accept personal checks and money orders. Make all checks payable to:
msu foundation/ visual arts Mail to: Morgan State University, Visual Arts Department, 1700 E. Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251 (443) 885-3020 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Iantha Tucker A “Dance Treasure” is Celebrated
By C.T. Goodman
One by one, faculty members from Morgan State University’s Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance move slowly down the aisle to the stage of the Murphy Fine Arts Center, each holding a single, red, long stemmed rose. Once on stage, the rose is offered with a kiss on the cheek and a few quiet words to a diminutive woman, whose cheeks are beginning to stain from a steady flow of tears. Rows of students stand behind her looking on, prideful and excited that a public recognition for their beloved instructor is taking place. The tribute is brief but elegant, and from the affection showed by the participants, it’s truly heart felt. Dr. Iantha Tucker, Director of Dance at Morgan was honored on Sunday, November 19th immediately following the annual performance of the Morgan State University Dance Ensemble. The well-attended performance, and a series of dance related activities throughout the prior week, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the annual Dorothy P. Stanley Dance Scholarship Festival. The festival provides thousands of scholarship dollars to Morgan students who want to attend the Alvin Ailey Summer Dance School, Bates Dance Festival and other renowned summer dance programs. Although there has been no dance program at Morgan for the past 30 years there are always students who want to study the art form. Dr. Tucker has long been known as “the force” behind dance at the university, keeping the artform alive and thriving, attaining national recognition with ongoing activities for students, performers and audiences alike.
The November tribute was orchestrated by colleagues of Dr. Tucker’s, as well as outside groups like Dance Baltimore, a dance service organization. Dance Baltimore presented Dr. Tucker with its second annual Baltimore’s Dance Treasures Award 2006 during the ceremony, acknowledging a lifetime of achievement in dance. A Morgan State University alumnus, Dr. Iantha Tucker has been on staff in the Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance since 1976. Obtaining both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in the HealthPhysical Ed Department, with a concentration in Dance Education at Morgan, Dr. Tucker later earned a Ph.D.. in dance at New York University. Originally hired by Dorothy Phelps (Stanley), Dr. Tucker began her tenure at the university serving not only as the primary dance instructor in the department but also serving as the artistic director and principle choreographer for the Modern Dance Ensemble at Morgan. A noted dance historian and a sought after speaker on black dance, Dr. Tucker has received numerous accolades and recognition for her achievements in dance education over the years. As co-writer of the State of Maryland Curriculum Framework for Dance in Public Education and a member of the Maryland State Department of Education Task Force for the Arts in Education, Dr. Tucker regularly
contributes to dance publications, conferences and school programs. During the summer of 1991, she was the recipient of the Fulbright Hayes Fellowship and studied dance in Africa. “She is the hardest working faculty member I know of,” says Dr. JoAnn Rodenhauser, Department Chair, when describing Dr. Tucker. “Very focused. When putting a dance event together, that’s all she’s about.” Rodenhauser says that because the university offers only a Physical Education major with a concentration in Dance Education, Dr. Tucker serves as the lead voice in keeping the university visible in the regional dance scene according. “She has, almost single handedly, rebuilt the university’s dance group—changing it from a casual group of students who like to dance to a much more serious and committed ensemble.” Dr. Tucker’s dedication to dance has been matched only by her continued dedication to her alma mater. An active alumnus, she has served as Vice President and President of the Howard County Chapter of the Morgan Alumni Association and Second Vice President of the national organization. Dr. Tucker was named Alumnus of the Year at Morgan State University in the spring of 1992 and Distinguished Alumnus by NAFEO in 1993. “It was an easy decision selecting Dr. Tucker as the Baltimore Dance Treasure,” says Dance Baltimore Board Chairperson, Maria Broom. “Dr. Tucker has been such an ongoing presence in dance in the African-American community, there was no other as deserving.” MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
Barbara Williams Oldest Graduate Plans to Mentor and Advise Youth
By Welford McLellan
In May, when the 2007 graduating class will don robes to participate in commencement, Williams, at age 75 years, will be the oldest graduate to accept the proverbial sheepskin. “I will probably be the oldest and the proudest,” she said, with a full laugh. Since the year 2000, Barbara J. Williams, has been walking the Verda Welcome Foot Bridge with other students. Sometimes her slower gait would hamper the progress of her younger schoolmates. On one occasion, a younger female coed was disrespectful, uttering a profanity at Williams as she urged her to “get out of the way.” That was a mistake. Students came to the aide of the sprightly, grandmother, telling the rude coed to apologize. Williams said, “I don’t think she apologized but I felt good about the other youngster who mentioned my age as they scolded her. It’s good to know that most of our young people still respect adults and senior citizens. Many of the students called me grandma and they would listen to me when I spoke. I love Morgan and I love the students,” she added. Williams, who works 25 hours as a research assistant in MSU’s Office of Planning and Evaluation, says for the
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most part her student life has been satisfying. “I was nervous about my age and competing with younger people but for the most part other students treated me normally after realizing that I had the same goal as they. I just started a little later in my life,’’ Williams said. She has four siblings who are Morgan Alumni, one who went on to earn the Doctors of Philosophy degree. Their college experiences were more traditional, graduating with contemporaries. They are: Dr. Delores Thomas of New Jersey; Lorraine Washington, George Wicks and Laura Ladson who continue to live in the Free State. Williams initially majored in Social Work but changed that to Family and Consumer Sciences. She says for most of her adult life she has worked with young people and felt the urge to go back to that. “I want to work with young people who have problems. We need to reach out to our children. Sometimes it’s drugs, but it can be anything. They need to know that someone cares,” she added. Professionally, Williams worked at Johns Hopkins University and the former Coopers and Liebrand CPA firm, serving in clerical and administrative
positions. In her spare time, she coached girl’s basketball and softball, and worked with students putting on theatrical productions. Her volunteer work was at her church where she still serves diligently. She attends St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in East Baltimore, the “oldest black Catholic church in the United States”. She even finds time to write poetry and she is accomplished. The Library of Congress published one of her poems and she won first place in a church poetry contest four years ago. She has praise for Dr. Richardson, MSU’s president. “He has done a wonderful job. When I introduced myself to him during my first year, he called me his “Senior Freshman, and that’s how he greeted me from then on.” “Dr. Richardson’s assistant, Dr. Cecil Payton, has been especially helpful to me. Whenever I had a problem he was always there to work with me. I couldn’t have done it without him,” she said. Williams lives in a complex near the campus, where she enjoys entertaining her five grand and six great-grand children. She had four children, two boys and two girls with her first and only husband.
C ONTINUING & P ROFESSIONAL S TUDIES :
Changing the Landscape Olellian Hill had heard about emailing, surfing the Internet, and all of the other exciting aspects of owning a computer, and decided she would no longer be a pedestrian on the information superhighway. She went out and purchased one, certain that instruction and assistance would come from somewhere. But some time later, an unopened computer and an owner who didn’t know the first thing about turning it on, sat waiting for direction. All of that changed in January of last year, when on the recommendation of her daughter, Ms. Christine Robertson, the 76-year-old Hill enrolled in Introduction to Computers for New and Adult Learners in the Morgan State University Center for Continuing and Professional Studies. The eight week training she received in Power Point, Publisher and other programs helped transform Hill from novice to nerd. “I’m so grateful for everything about the class,” says Hill. “The teacher’s patience and personality made all the difference, and everyone in the class always felt comfortable.” Other non-credit offerings such as American Sign Language and Conversational Spanish embody the Center’s mission of meeting the educational
needs of traditional and non-traditional students, and exceeding their expectations and goals of the learning process. “We try to expose the students to a wealth of experiences, and the growing need for adults to utilize a lot of the technology that is now readily available,” says Shantell Saunders, instructor for the computer course. The Center also is a Certified Testing Administration Site for the Test of English as a Foreign Language program (TOEFL i BT) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) through a partnership with the Educational Testing Service (ETS). With candidates coming from several surrounding states to take these examinations at Morgan, this initiative is one that specifically addresses community outreach, and is a first for Continuing Studies. Derrick Bullock, a Graduate Research Assistant, works extensively with this project. “We continually strive to develop a seamless approach to serving a culturally diverse community and empowering individuals through education, job enhancement and training, and professional development,” says Dr. Willie A. Bragg, Assistant Dean of the Morgan State University School of
Graduate Studies and Director of the Center for Continuing and Professional Studies at Morgan State University. Along with these courses, CCPS manages the Academic Recovery Program for academically suspended students, as well as the Improved Opportunities for Parents Program, (IOP) which provides services and resources for parents pursuing a bachelor’s degree. The Center also offers summer programming, winter mini-mester and weekend university to accommodate students with various working and family responsibilities. “My hat goes off to the CCPS,” says Robertson, a former employee in the University’s Office of Human Resources. “Morgan’s offerings are educating individuals in the community, and they deserve kudos for all of their efforts.”
Dr. Willie A. Bragg, Assistant Dean of the MSU School of Graduate Studies and Director of the Center for Continuing and Professional Studies. MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
CHANGE FOR THE GOOD
Christopher Cash (‘06) and Dr. Estelle Young
MORGAN MENTORS & WINSTON WINNERS By Monica Chambers Under the leadership of Christopher Cash (‘06), students at Morgan State University are participating in a unique mentoring program that exemplifies the slogan “Each One Teach One.” Through the Morgan Mentors Winston Winners program, MSU students volunteer as mentors to students at Winston Middle School in Baltimore City. The mission of this program is to meet middle school students “where they are” and to introduce them to educational and vocational opportunities that will better prepare them for the professional and academic roads that lies ahead. Winston Middle School is a perfect choice for this mentoring program. It is a federally funded Title I school, with a majority of the students living in lowincome households. Many of the students are being raised by relatives or by a single parent who heads the household, or are residents of group homes. In many cases, they have parents who are incarcerated or spend much of their time in the streets.
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They are young impressionable minds that are vulnerable and available to the persuasions of street culture. With unstable households and a lack of strong support systems, many of the students experience academic and behavior problems. Cash, founder and Director of Morgan Mentors, counts his blessings for having both of his parents in his life and home while growing up. “I am truly blessed to have both parents in my life who served as a guiding force. I am the youngest of five children and was also able to learn from my brothers and sisters while growing up.” As an intern student teacher at Winston Middle School, Cash soon realized, that not all young people have family support systems to rely on for proper guidance. He was inspired to start the mentoring program as his relationship with the students at Winston became overwhelming.
“I inherited over 500 children who looked up to me. They could not see themselves as students at Morgan, but thought I was special to be there. As I began to help one, there was another. I soon realized that I could not help them all alone.” With the realization that “it takes a village” to raise a child, Christopher reached out to his fellow students at MSU for help. The Morgan Mentors program began in January 2005 with 50 Morgan students as mentor volunteers.
the transformative power The program now has over 200 volunteers. With the belief that they can make a difference, MSU students volunteer their valuable time to be matched oneon-one with a student from Winston Middle School. Volunteers are expected to meet with their mentee bi-weekly serving as a big brother or sister, educator, guide and friend. The Winston students have the
opportunity to discuss concerns they are experiencing in school or at home with someone who cares to listen and can provide a new prospective on ways to approach choices in life. To enhance the one-on-one sessions, the mentors and their mentees also participate in-group events. In 2006, students and their mentors participated in a father and son basketball game at Winston. Students, who did not have fathers available, had their mentors stand-in as fathers. Other events included a group
gram are from numerous organizations on the Morgan campus. In a collaborative effort, the participating organizations practice two Kwanzaa principles, Unity (Umoja) and Collective Work and Responsibility (Ujima). Participating organizations include; Golden Key, Morgan State Athletics, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Student Government Association, NCNW, the YWCA and Operation Potential. Operation Potential mentors young males housed in the Baltimore Juvenile Detention Center. Currently, the mentoring program has only one off campus support group at Towson University. Future plans include developing the same match of college organizations and a local middle school. Currently, the program operates without funding, relying solely on volunteer support. Cash plans to establish the program as a nonprofit organization by
of community service Bowling Day, an academic enrichment assembly, a Morgan basketball game, and a Mentor Shadow Day. The Mentor Shadow Day offered students an enriching opportunity to experience a day in the life of a college student. Middle school students attended class with their college mentors, and tour the expansive, east Baltimore campus. Volunteers in the Morgan Mentors pro-
applying for 501c3 status. Cash said, “Our children are our future, and they need our help. If not us, then who? This program is an ideal way for the individual or organizations to give support to young people.” Dr. Estelle Young, assistant professor in the department of sociology and anthropology, at Morgan State and one who works closely with Winston Winners calls the commitment of students like Christopher Cash critical to the development of adults who retain a social purpose as they advance their careers. “Chris’s amazing story shows the transformative power of community service. Chris never intended to work in Baltimore City, but within a week of interning at Winston he could no longer consider leaving those children behind.”
MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 2007
DREAM. The biggest impact on my decision to attend Morgan was receiving an honors scholarship. Name: Year: Birthplace: Major:
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