Page 1

Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:51 PM

Page C1

MORGAN MAGAZINE

VOLUME II 2014

Return to Greatness C o a c h o f t h e Ye a r L e e H u l l a n d t h e B e a r s M a k e G a i n s i n F o o t b a l l a n d A c a d e m i c s


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:51 PM

Page C2

1

2 – Cover Story

7

10

President’s Letter

Return to Greatness

Travelers EDGE at Morgan

The true measure of Morgan’s greatness

Seeking higher achievements in football and academics

Supporting a pipeline to STEM careers

Enrollment and Student Success Rise at Morgan

12

14

16

18

Extreme Science

Unexpected Treasure

Faculty Gifts Benefit Students

Intercollegiate internship program is a winning experiment

A friend bequeaths a major gift to the Morgan family

Three funds raise the standard for campus philanthropy

Artist Kel Spencer, Class of 2014

Statistics improve, against statewide trends

Empowering youth with ‘Pens of Power’

20

21

22

24

Lights, Camera, Sound

Alumnus Helps Youngsters ‘Beat the Streets’ through STEM

Shanna Green

An Interfaith Mission

Morgan Magazine is published by the Division of Institutional Advancement of MSU for alumni, parents, faculty, students, prospective students and friends. Morgan Magazine is designed and edited by the Office of Public Relations and Communications. Opinions expressed in Morgan Magazine are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the University. Unsolicited manuscripts and photos are welcome but only with a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Letters are also welcome. Send correspondence directly to: Morgan Magazine, MSU OPRC 1700 E. Cold Spring Lane 109 Truth Hall, Balto., MD 21251 443-885-3022 office public.relations@morgan.edu

MORGAN ADMINISTRATION Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Cheryl Y. Hitchcock

An alumnus wins Emmys for his work behind the scenes

Wrestling, academics prep students to be winners

26

28

Globe-trotting Enhances ‘the Morgan Experience’

Designing for the Future, in Liberia

Faculty and staff pass on knowledge gained abroad

Morgan students apply their talents to design of an “e-brary”

Nurturing dreams of former foster care youth

MSU benefits from its chapel’s religious pluralism

Director of Public Relations and Communications

Clinton R. Coleman Assistant Director of Web Communications

Henry McEachnie MORGAN MAGAZINE STAFF Publications Manager

Ferdinand Mehlinger Contributing Editor

Eric Addison Art Director

David E. Ricardo Senior Graphic Designer

Andre Barnett Graphic Designer

Kirian Villalta Photographers

P. A. Greene John Moore Contributing Writers

Cover Photo: MSU

Head Football Coach Lee Hull, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year

Will Arenas Cindy Atoji Steward D. Beckham Jr. Kevin M. Briscoe James Michael Brodie Wiley A. Hall III Donna M. Owens Peter Slavin


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:51 PM

Page 1

President’s Letter Morgan Family and Friends, After a 35-year absence from the top, Morgan’s football team is sharing the 2014 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA playoffs. Go Bears! For those of us of a certain age, the image of the Morgan football player will forever be joined to greatness. From the 1930s through the early 1970s, the gridiron achievements of Morgan Bears teams coached by Edward P. Hurt and, later, Earl C. Banks were a source of pride for all black Baltimoreans, not only Morganites. Morgan football also spurred envy and admiration in African-American communities elsewhere. In June 2013, when we launched the Return to Greatness initiative in Morgan’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, we were, of course, inspired by the on-field victories of those glory years. But a greater inspiration was an often-overlooked aspect of that time, which was the stellar record of academic successes that Morgan compiled, as the football team was adding to its tally of victories. As MSU graduate, NFL Hall of Famer and MSU Foundation Chair Willie Lanier states eloquently in the article about Return to Greatness in this magazine, the success of the initiative will ultimately be measured not by wins and losses on the field but by the focus of the players on academic excellence. A photo of Morgan Head Football Coach Lee Hull, MEAC Coach of the Year, represents Return to Greatness on the cover of this issue, but the graphs on pages 10 and 11 do so equally well. The recent rise in Morgan’s student enrollment, retention and graduation rates, discussed in detail in the article, are a clear indication that MSU is headed in the right direction. And the success stories emerging from programs such as Travelers EDGE and Extreme Science Internship, recounted in this issue, are confirmation of that.

Return to Greatness means well-executed handoffs, but it also means giving back to Morgan, as faculty members are doing in unprecedented numbers through programs such as those outlined in the article on page 16. Return to Greatness means giving back to community, through programs run by Morgan alumni and highlighted in these pages, programs such as the Beat the Streets STEM Wrestling Camp, Pens of Power and Project D.R.E.A.M. And it means giving to Morgan by friends of the University, such as William R. Lee, whose large gift is reported on page 14. Return to Greatness means long passes completed but also the increase in Morgan’s influence around the world, through the international work of faculty and staff, such as those profiled on page 26, and through the contribution of our School of Architecture and Planning to the rebuilding of Liberia, reported on page 28. Return to Greatness means the continuing support of Morgan by alumni such as you, for which Morgan’s students, faculty and staff are ever grateful. I look forward to 2015 and the opportunity to see and work with all of you, and I hope you enjoy this issue of Morgan Magazine. Sincerely,

David Wilson President

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

1


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:52 PM

Page 2

MEAC Champions! With a 69-7 home win against Delaware State on the last regular game of the season — and a season-ending loss by North Carolina A&T — the Morgan Bears became Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Champions for the first time since 1979. Five teams share the MEAC title with 6-2 records, but only Morgan advanced to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs, by virtue of tiebreakers rules, with a chance of becoming champions of the 124team FCS. The Bears fell to their first-round playoff opponent, the University of Richmond Spiders, in Richmond on Nov. 29. MSU President David Wilson, Morgan Vice President for Student Affairs Kevin Banks and MSU Athletic Director Floyd Kerr joined Morgan’s football team and coaches, the MSU Marching Band, Morgan’s MEAC Champion cheerleading team and other Morgan students and staff at the University Student Center on Nov. 23, to celebrate the Bears’ historic victory over Delaware State and watch the playoff bracket selection on ESPN. “Everybody sticking together and staying with the plan” was the biggest factor in the Bears’ success in 2014, said first-year Head Football Coach Lee Hull, who was named MEAC Coach of the Year in December. “This (championship) is just a steppingstone to (our) Return to Greatness.” “I think (all Morgan students) feel as though they’re part of something great, because at the end of the day, we’re all Bears,” said MSU senior and Bears Team Captain Christopher Robinson, a defensive end from Baltimore. “If we win, the whole university wins.” 2

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:52 PM

Page 3

T

he late G. Beatrice Hurt, widow of Morgan coaching legend Eddie P. Hurt, recalled her husband’s interview for the head coaching job in 1929. “Do you smoke?” asked Dr. John Oakley Spencer, president of what was then Morgan State College. “No,” answered Hurt.

John O. Spencer, Ph.D. “Do you cuss?” asked the president. Morgan President, 1902 to 1937

Return to Greatness A Morgan Initiative Seeks Greater Success in Football and Academics By Wiley A. Hall III

“No,” answered the coach. “Do you kick your players?” “No.” “Then you’re hired.” And just like that, a football dynasty was born.

Coach Eddie P. Hurt 1929 to 1959

Coach Hurt went on to compile a 173-51 record and win 14 championships between 1929 and 1959. During one period in that stretch, his teams went 51 consecutive games without a loss, including 47 games without allowing a point. Coach Hurt was succeeded in 1960 by Earl C. Banks. Banks’ teams compiled a 96-31-2 record and won seven championships between 1960 and 1973.

MSU & Delaware State Game Photos: Carroll Smith

Coach Lee Hull 2014 MEAC Coach of the Year

Together, the two men built one of the Coach Earl C. Banks most storied programs in black colle1960 to 1973 giate football history, a program that won 72 percent of its games and 23 championships in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Morgan produced 18 AllAmericans and, when racial barriers were finally lifted in the 1960s, scores of professional football players, including NFL Hall of Fame members Willie Lanier, Len Ford, Roosevelt Brown and Leroy Kelly, as well as perennial standouts such as Mark Washington and Raymond Chester. Continued on page 4 MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

3


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

Coach Eddie P. Hurt compiled a record of 173-51 and took Morgan to 14 championships between 1929 and 1959. Continued from page 3 But the victories were only part of the Morgan story. “Hurt was proudest of the way his boys turned out,” recalled Mrs. Hurt in a 1998 interview with Morgan Magazine. Mrs. Hurt, known to thousands of athletes as “Mother Hurt,” died in 2004 at age 102. “Hurt’s philosophy was to turn out men rather than football players, and that’s what he did,” she continued. “If one of his boys didn’t do what he was supposed to do in the classroom, Hurt wouldn’t let him play. He didn’t fool around about that. He used to tell his boys that they had to think about what they wanted to do with their lives after football. “And in the end,” Mrs. Hurt said proudly, “all of his boys turned out to be somebody.” Coach Banks had a similar philosophy. In a 1993 tribute, the late Eddie Robinson, longtime head football coach at Grambling, described Banks as a role model and a friend. “Earl Banks was more than just wins and losses. Earl Banks was about people,” said Robinson, who is the winningest coach in college football history. “Earl Banks was about influencing young black men and helping them to make a positive contribution to society.” Known as “Papa Bear,” Banks is remembered by his players as a master motivator, often quoting people such as Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Plato and Knute Rockne. Reconnecting to Legend Now, Morgan President David Wilson has launched a new initiative to resurrect those glory days. And true to Morgan tradition, the president is putting as much emphasis on what happens off the field as on it. 4

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

12:53 PM

Page 4

Coach Earl C. Banks’ career at Morgan spanned from 1960 to 1973. His Bears teams were 96-31-2 and won seven championships. “I would like to see them successful on the field, but it is equally important to see them successful in life,” Dr. Wilson said. “To me, we’ll have a successful season if all the seniors on the team graduate on schedule, if all the players can look back and say they received a solid, world-class education and the grounding they need to be a solid citizen.” Dr. Wilson has christened his initiative “Return to Greatness.” During the summer of 2013, he established a Return to Greatness Steering Committee made up of administrators, faculty and staff, alumni and, most important, former Morgan players. The committee is co-chaired by MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Kevin M. Banks, Ed.D. and NFL Hall of Famer Willie Lanier, chairman of the board of Morgan State University Foundation, Inc. Other committee members include Raymond Chester, a star tight end at Morgan who played 12 seasons with the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Colts; Ivis T. Forrester, Ph.D., director and associate professor of the Nutritional Sciences program in Morgan’s School of Community Health and Policy; MSU Cheerleading Coach Theresa Gibson; Edward “Fast Eddie” Hayes, four-time All-CIAA defensive back at Morgan and a fourth round NFL draft pick by the Denver Broncos; Shaun Hester, president of Morgan’s Varsity M Club; Cheryl Y. Hitchcock, MSU vice president for Institutional Advancement; Jacqueline L. Lawson, president of Morgan’s National Alumni Association; William Rhoden, sports columnist for The New York Times and a Morgan alumnus; Craig Spencer, former standout defensive back and member of Morgan’s 1979 MEAC champion football team; Ivory Tucker of the MSU Foundation,


1973. s.

Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:53 PM

Page 5

(left to right) Dr. Kevin Banks, Morgan VP for Student Affairs; MSU Head Football Coach Lee Hull; Morgan President David Wilson and MSU Athletic Director Floyd Kerr Inc. Board of Directors; Mark Washington, who played 10 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots; and MSU alumnus Roland White. This summer, Dr. Wilson took steps to implement some of that committee’s early recommendations, even while the group was still deliberating: enhancing academic enrichment for scholar-athletes to ensure their success at Morgan; establishing a training table for nutritional guidance during meals; and renovating coaches’ offices and meeting rooms. Working with Dr. Banks and MSU Athletic Director Floyd Kerr, the school also launched a program to connect current athletes with legends the past. Many of those past stars had not had a formal relationship with the University since they graduated. Culture of Excellence For Lanier, as for Dr. Wilson, the Return to Greatness initiative is not so much about win-loss records but establishing what he calls a “culture” of excellence in the classroom and getting scholar-athletes to embrace it. “It is a culture where the student-athletes truly understand that we’re not trying to provide a route to the National Football League. If the skills are there, they will be seen,” says Lanier, who played with some of the dominating Morgan teams of the late ’60s. “We’re trying to provide a culture of academic accountability and quality that comes from an institution that, for example, is one of the top producers of African Americans with engineering degrees.” Dr. Wilson says the idea for the initiative

Morgan and NFL great Willie Lanier (right) with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in 2013

had been germinating since he took over as Morgan’s 12th president in July 2010. “The more I learned about Morgan’s athletic history, the more I fell in love with it,” Dr. Wilson says. “Our number of players in the NFL Hall of Fame is incredible. Yet, I didn’t see the level of excitement, the level of engagement one would expect, given the school’s history, and I couldn’t understand why. “I began musing about why we couldn’t restore that greatness going forward,” Dr. Wilson continues. “I’m not naive. I have no illusions. I realize those great Morgan teams existed during a time when star athletes had very few options but to attend HBCUs like Morgan. But there’s no reason we can’t walk into Hughes Stadium and hear roaring crowds and see a product on the field that’s at least reminiscent of the successful programs of the past.” Adds Dr. Banks: “Sometimes it doesn’t take money. Sometimes it takes peoplepower: bringing back the stars of the past to rally around the program, reengaging and reigniting the alumni, enhancing the game-time experience for students on campus and for fans off campus.” Morgan’s leaders expect success on the football field to have repercussions throughout the campus. “It’s well-known throughout higher education that successful athletic programs elevate the entire campus in the minds of the students,” says Dr. Wilson. “Winning athletic programs boost enrollment,” agrees Dr. Banks. “Potential students identify with winners.”

Morgan State College — Willie Lanier 1965 Associated Press, Little All-America “Ask prominent Morgan graduates from the 1940s, ’50s or ’60s why they chose to attend their alma mater, and an answer you’ll often get is that they were attracted by the success of the football team,” said Athletic Director Kerr in a news release. ‘A Morgan Man’ “Morgan was the Notre Dame of black football,” said an alumnus who played under coaches Hurt and Banks, in a 1998 interview. “Man, opponents hated to see us come, and they were glad to see us leave. If you beat Morgan, that would make your whole season. “Man, it was something to be a Morgan man,” he continued. “Whenever we went into the community — at the barbershop or wherever — when people found out you were a Morgan man, they’d look up to you. At the barber’s, they’d wave you in Continued on page 6 MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

5


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:53 PM

Page 6

“Winning athletic programs boost enrollment. Potential students identify with winners.” — Dr. Kevin M. Banks, MSU Vice President for Student Affairs

MSU senior Nathan Ayres on the field and in Morgan’s Richardson Library. Ayres is an accounting major, and a defensive back for the Bears. Continued from page 5 and say, ‘A Morgan man! Come in and sit down, Mr. Morgan man!’ ” To give current players a sense of what it meant to be a Morgan man, the team brought in past stars such as Mark Washington and Bill Rhoden to talk about the school’s legacy and teach them the school’s fight song. “We wanted the team to understand what it means to put on the Morgan uniform, to understand the legacy and to treat that legacy with care and respect,” says Dr. Wilson. Morgan’s dominance on the football field faded in the 1970s, as blue-chip high school athletes abandoned small colleges and Historically Black Institutions in favor of larger institutions that could offer full scholarships and national television exposure. The decline of black college football is directly related to the pre-

6

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

cipitous loss of top talent, said sport historian Calvin Hewitt in an interview last year with ESPN.com.

For Dr. Wilson, “Return to Greatness” speaks of what’s happening throughout the campus.

“In the late ’60s and ’70s, colleges like Grambling and Southern had top-five talent nationally,” Hewitt said. “By the late ’80s, most HBCUs looked like real good high school teams with shaky uniforms and facilities.”

“This is a university that can boast of solid academic programs, a first-class faculty and students who go on to do great things in a very wide variety of fields,” he says. “This is a university that is constantly building and rebuilding. In the next five to seven years, you will see more than a half-billion dollars in new buildings on this campus.

Potential recruits took note, and the plunge to mediocrity — and worse — gained speed. Reversing that plunge will take more than lip service, and Dr. Wilson says he believes the shift is occurring. “I saw an impressive group of young men: competitive, confident. They played their hearts out. I came away really impressed,” he said after the Morgan Bears lost their season opener to the Eastern Michigan Eagles, 31-28.

“We are expanding our national footprint, our global footprint,” Dr. Wilson continues. “The more we put Morgan on the national radar, the more successful we will be.” 


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:53 PM

Page 7

Travelers EDGE at Morgan A Pipeline to STEM Careers By Eric Addison

High school students Kristin Weathersby, from Raleigh, N.C., and Ephraim Alfa, from Bowie, Md., participated in Morgan’s Summer Academy of Mathematics and Science (SAMS), a program funded by the Travelers EDGE program.

EDGE Program

D

uring a break from their studies at Morgan State University, Kristin Weathersby, from Raleigh, N.C., and Ephraim Alfa, from Bowie, Md., answer questions from a reporter about their participation in Morgan’s Summer Academy of Mathematics and Science (SAMS). Calculus class, a two-day case competition in actuarial science, and learning to get up earlier than they are used to for breakfast are among the experiences they recount, before talking about their future careers. “I don’t know exactly. I know that I want to have a career that involves a lot of numbers,” says Ephraim, whose favorite subject is math. “…I can see myself as an accountant.” “I see myself as a textile engineer,” says Kristin, “hopefully working in the

medical field or the military field….” If looking the part is half the battle, the two high school scholar-athletes — tall, poised and neatly dressed — are well on their way to winning as college students next year. SAMS brings 35 to 50 high school students and recent graduates to Morgan each summer — after a highly competitive application and interview process — to reside on campus; take classes in math, English, computer science, SAT preparation, career exploration and professional development and get used to the rhythms of college life. The program seeks students who are motivated to excel academically and have a strong interest in pursuing mathand science-based careers at the university level.

As participants in SAMS this year, Ephraim and Kristin joined a long list of beneficiaries of Morgan’s partnership with The Travelers Companies, Inc. Travelers has provided major funding for SAMS since the program’s launch in 2009. The funding for SAMS comes from a program called Travelers EDGE (Empowering Dreams for Graduation and Employment), which has a goal of preparing students for careers in the insurance and financial services industry. By providing funding for SAMS, the Travelers EDGE program helps pre-collegiate students enter the “pipeline” to those careers, but it also helps Morgan undergraduates continue the journey.

Continued on page 8

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

7


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:53 PM

Page 8

EDGE Program Continued from page 7 Financial Support, Professional Development Abena Adusei is an actuarial science major from the Ashanti Region of Ghana. She came to Morgan with an Honors Scholarship and became a Travelers EDGE Scholar after her freshman year. “Anybody who has a chance to be a part of Travelers EDGE should seize that opportunity….” she says. “It’s a once-in-alifetime thing, and it helps you in many aspects of your life.” Travelers EDGE supports students in a wide range of majors in Morgan’s School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences and Earl G. Graves School of

Business and Management. The program provides select applicants with scholarship grants covering up to four years of tuition and fees, as well as individualized mentoring, coaching and on-campus services; internship and job shadow opportunities; networking sessions and professional development workshops. “I am very grateful, because Travelers EDGE is not just about the money that you get for your fees, but it’s a network with so many resources to offer,” says Adusei, who is now in her junior year. “When I started looking for internships, it was difficult (as an international student),” she recalls. Her Travelers EDGE mentor, Scott Shannon, checked with his

Travelers branch, in Hunt Valley, Md., and connected her with staff members who were conducting interviews. Adusei got an internship at the Hunt Valley office this past summer. She recently passed her first professional actuarial exam. Travelers EDGE Scholar Kori Dean, from Baltimore, Md., was working as an intern for The Boeing Company in Seattle, Wash., when she was interviewed this past summer. “One of the things I’ve noticed about the Travelers EDGE program is that it’s focused on giving back,” Dean says. “Of course, it’s meant so they can have a better workforce to choose from, but (it

Mariyah Bryant

Kori Dean

Morgan Leads in Actuarial Science Morgan has had great success recently in producing graduates in actuarial science, one of the degree programs supported by Travelers EDGE. Long a lucrative field, actuarial science is gaining even more attention from academic institutions and students now because of a rising demand for actuaries. Climate change and its impact on insurance companies is a major cause of the increase in demand. “We had seven students who received bachelor’s degrees in actuarial science in the 2013–14 academic year,” reports Asamoah Nkwanta, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of Morgan’s Department of Mathematics, 8

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

Abena Adusei

“five at the December 2013 Commencement and two in 2014 in the May Commencement. So that’s a total of seven black actuaries…. And of the seven, four are African Americans.” Traci Allotey, Ph.D. is the director of Morgan’s Actuarial Science Program and MSU’s Summer Academy of Mathematics and Science (SAMS). “The exposure to the actuarial profession that is afforded to high school students who participate in the SAMS program is invaluable,” Dr. Allotey says. “Students spend a rigorous week learning basic actuarial mathematics as well as fundamental principles of risk management and insurance. Without question, that week strengthens the

resolve of those who come to SAMS already interested in pursuing actuarial science for undergraduate studies, but it is our hope that it also encourages others to examine the major, including the degree offered here at Morgan, more closely. Morgan offers a truly comprehensive Bachelor of Science program that helps students prepare for the business, as well as technical, aspects of the profession.” Morgan is the only higher education institution in Maryland and the only Historically Black Institution in the country that offers a Bachelor of Science degree in actuarial science.


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

also shows their concern for the community). And that’s not something that I take lightly. I’m very involved in the community and on campus.” Personal Investment Dean is a junior majoring in information science and systems in the Honors Program of the Graves School of Business and Management. She has received a Travelers EDGE Scholarship since the second semester of her sophomore year. Dean has served two internships at Travelers’ Hunt Valley office and has formed many beneficial relationships with Travelers Hunt Valley managers and executives, among them, Allen Hankinson, now director of Underwriting; Anna Wolfe, director of Human “Anybody who has a chance to be a part of Travelers EDGE should seize that opportunity…. It’s a once-in-alifetime thing.” — Abena Adusei, Travelers EDGE Scholar

“…That’s a really great benet, to have that network of people who have a personal investment in my development.” — Kori Dean, Travelers EDGE Scholar

“(Travelers EDGE) doesn’t just push money into our account. They actually take the time to give us mentoring.” — Mariyah Bryant, Travelers EDGE Scholar

Resources and Ann Guinter, vice president of Hunt Valley Operations. Dean says she’s grateful to Travelers for helping her attend Morgan for free. “I’m not in any debt. I haven’t taken out any loans,” she reports. “That’s a weight off my parents’ shoulders.” And she adds that she feels fortunate for the guidance she’s received from her Travelers EDGE mentor, Michelle Lipka, Information Systems director at Travelers in Hunt Valley. “It’s nice to see women in these posi-

12/3/14

12:53 PM

Page 9

tions,” Dean says. “And all the people I mentioned previously, I do look at them as mentors (also). So that’s a really great benefit, to have that network of people who have a personal investment in my development.”

From the Source The Travelers Companies, Inc.

Mariyah Bryant, a junior majoring in business administration and, like Dean, a member of Morgan’s Graves Honors Program, also spotlights the mentoring she has received as a Travelers EDGE Scholar. “(Travelers EDGE) doesn’t just push money into our account. They actually take the time to give us mentoring. They take the time to teach us different skills and abilities that we probably wouldn’t be able to grasp should we not be in that program….” Bryant says. She adds that her mentor, Nick Bartell, an information engineer in Travelers’ Hunt Valley office, has been very instrumental in her professional growth and development. The professional development activities she’s participated in as a member of EDGE have also been beneficial, Bryant says. “Kori and I…and other students, from (Stevenson University), went to Hartford, Ct., in January, and we attended the Professional Development Institute for the EDGE Program scholars,” she recalls. “We were (among the) very few scholars who were not from Connecticut schools. I felt very privileged, and I felt very honored. We participated in workshops dealing with different study habits that affect your grades, how to properly format your resume, things of that nature.” Bryant is now working toward a career as an investment banker with a financial services company. “The Travelers EDGE program has helped me significantly, through the expertise that many of their employees give to me,” she says. “It also helps me to continue my education financially. With the Travelers EDGE program, most of my worries go toward my classes and obtaining my bachelor’s degree.” 

Joelle Murchison Vice President, Enterprise Diversity & Inclusion Board Member, Morgan State University Foundation, Inc. “As an early partner in Travelers EDGE, the MSU team has been part of a larger collaborative that has helped all of us learn to leverage corporate-university partnerships in order to produce effective, results-focused relationships. We have learned — together — what barriers low-income, first-generation students face in a more intense way than we previously understood, and I’m confident that we are both better at addressing those needs to keep students on track for degree attainment as a result.”

The Travelers Team at MSU Keith Jackson, Ph.D. – Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Team Lead Karen Proudford, Ph.D. – Director, Honors Program, Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences Alvin Kennedy, Ph.D. – Interim Dean Asamoah Nkwanta, Ph.D. – Chair, Dept. of Mathematics Traci Allotey, Ph.D. – Director, Actuarial Science Program and Director, SAMS Program Shirley Russell – Assistant Director, SAMS Program Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management Fikru Boghossian, Ph.D. – Dean Harry Holt – Adjunct Professor Institutional Advancement Cheryl Hitchcock – Vice President, Institutional Advancement Barbara Blount-Armstrong – Corporations and Foundations Officer, Office of Development

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

9


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:53 PM

Page 10

Enrollment and Student Success R to not only attract more students to the University but to ensure their success once they get here.

Morgan State University is celebrating its success in student enrollment, retention and graduation rates, and in an increase in the diversity of its student body, with news that first-time freshman numbers rose to 1,058 students, up by 19 percent this academic year !+'( !+#( !+"! compared with the (('$ same period a year ago. The University also saw a 3 percent increase in new transfer students over last year, an 8 percent rise in the number of graduate students and a 10 percent increase in both Hispanic and international students. The graduate student enrollment is at an historic high for Morgan. 2014

“In light of what we’re reading about other public universities in Maryland suffering declines in enrollment and in retention and graduation rates, Morgan is moving in the opposite direction,” Dr. Wilson adds. “Our enrollment management staff has done a commendable job.”

“This is great news for us, because it reverses a recent enrollment decline brought on by changes in the federal Parent-plus loan guidelines,” says Morgan President David Wilson. “The news is even better given the fact that the improvements spread across the spectrum at Morgan, brought on by several new programs that we have implemented

“Morgan is an extraordinarily vibrant and exciting place to be right now, and prospective students are recognizing that,” says Kara Turner, Ph.D., associate provost for enrollment management at MSU. “From our new School of Global Journalism and Communication, our award-winning Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies and our almost-completed, $80-million, new School of Business and Management building, to our expanding study-abroad and internship programs, we have so much to offer a diverse array of students.” Jessica Maria Gonzales, a first-year student from Bridgeport, Ct., decided to take

advantage of those programs and opportunities and says she is happy she did. “I have been introduced to many important people who are supporting, encouraging and admiring my success for the future,” says Gonzales, who is majoring in elementary education. Morgan has put into place academic coaching and mentoring programs, course redesign initiatives and something President Wilson refers to as “disruptive intervention,” measures that have helped students like Gonzales. The result has been a marked improvement in the school’s retention rate: the percentage of first-time, first-year undergraduates who continue at Morgan the next year. Retention is up from 67 percent in 2010 to 76 percent today: the highest rate the University has seen in 30 years and only a fraction of a percentage point away from the highest retention rate that Morgan has ever recorded. Among the strategies Morgan has implemented is the “Reclamation Initiative,” a program that creates opportunities for

!"#$%&'$&(")%*)+#&,$"-../#$+0& "!))

"$))

"+)'

"+&!#

"+!( "*&$

""%+

"*))

")*' ")))

%('# %))#

!"!#

!$%#

!&"#

%&"#

'()#

!))#

$))#

*))#

) *))+

10

*))$

*))(

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

*))!

*))'

*))%

*))&#

*)")#

*)""#

*)"*#

*)"+

*)"$#

Morgan’s graduate student enrollment is at an historic high.


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:53 PM

Page 11

“Morgan is an extraordinarily vibrant and exciting place to be right now, and prospective students are recognizing that.”

ss Rise at Morgan students who leave the University in good academic standing to return to finish their degree in their fifth or sixth academic year, or what would be considered “on time,” that is, in six consecutive years or less. Reclaiming these students has been accomplished with the use of funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, designated especially for students who “stopped out” after earning 90 credits or more but were in good academic standing. The $100,000 Gates Foundation grant provided funds for an Integrated Planning and Advising Services (IPAS) technology system, which has enhanced academic advising and provided sophisticated, yet user-friendly, tracking and monitoring systems, including Starfish Retention Solutions, to automate the University’s Early Alert and Response System for faculty, staff and students. Students immediately receive text alerts from their professors if they miss two to three class periods. Tiffany Mfume, Dr.PH, director of the University’s Office of Student Success and Retention, calls the program a targeted,

— Kara Turner, Ph.D., MSU Associate Provost for Enrollment Management

Morgan’s graduation rate has also shown improvement, up 7 percentage points to 35 percent since 2011. In addition, the University has seen impressive increases in its international student enrollment. Today, more than 500 students representing more than 60 countries call Morgan their home. T. Joan Robinson, Ph.D., MSU vice president for international affairs, says, “Morgan has marketed itself around the world as an attractive and innovative place for students seeking a high-quality college experience, and it is working.”

Dr. Tiffany Mfume

strategic approach to increasing college completion rates at Morgan. “While Morgan State University has consistently graduated students at the undergraduate level at the expected rates, based on predictive modeling, our vision is to graduate students at higher rates than would be expected, based on students’ pre-college preparation and their financial circumstances,” says Dr. Mfume.

Increasing the opportunities for Morgan students to study abroad has been at the core of the University’s focus over the last three years. “Students today are waist-high in the water of globalization,” Dr. Wilson says. “To be the leaders this nation demands, they will need to speak the critical languages and understand the history and culture of nations different from their own. We do not live in silos anymore.” 

!"#"$%&$'!(#"')&*'+$#"*,$-'./(00'122341253' ($%"

#$%"

#$%"

&'%"

&(%"

&#%"

&(%"

&(%"

#)%"

#)%"

#*%"

#&%"

Highest retention rate since 1994.

&!%" &$%"

,$%"

+$%"

Fourth consecutive year of retention above 70%.

*$%"

)$%"

!$%"

$%"

)$$*

)$$+

)$$,

)$$&

)$$#

)$$(

)$$'

)$!$

)$!!

)$!)

)$!* !

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

11


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:53 PM

Page 12

Extreme Science A Winning Experiment By Cindy Atoji

The internship program is designed to expose students to research early in their education, to inspire them to pursue careers in STEM. >>>

Teressa Alexander, 28, has ambitious plans in science and technology. The MSU physics major from Trinidad and Tobago plans to enter a Ph.D. program in fluid mechanics and bio-inspired mechanization. So doing an “Extreme Science” internship fit right into her goals. As an intern at Ernst Mach Institute in Freiburg, Germany, not only was she able to work with “extreme” high-velocity inducing equipment, she is experiencing a different culture. “(I’d) never been to Europe, and the thought of going there was very exciting. Germany is a great center for physicsrelated research,” says Alexander. Talented undergraduates like Alexander spent eight or more weeks working at prestigious universities, laboratories and research institutes, thanks to the Extreme Science Internship Program, a new collaborative educational program of Morgan State University and The Johns 12

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

Hopkins University. Extreme Science extends the efforts of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) at Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering. HEMI’s mission is to advance fundamental science associated with structures and materials that are in extreme conditions, such as being subjected to highvelocity impact. Alexander is one of eight Morgan students who worked this summer on projects involving computational sciences, molecular dynamics, high-energy density physics and other areas. The students — at Ernest Mach, the California Institute of Technology, Drexel University and Southwest Research Institute (Texas) — remain excited about the experiences they had contributing to science and building invaluable networks with practicing scientists and engineers. Jaime Arribas Starkey-El, a 20-year-old Morgan junior from Baltimore, interned at Caltech, where he enjoyed the interdis-

ciplinary culture and was challenged by working with some of the top scientists in the world. “I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to apply when I heard about Extreme Science,” says Starkey-El. High-Impact Investment The five-year program is funded by a $500,000 grant from HEMI and is designed to expose students to research early in their education, to inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). At John Hopkins in particular, the internships will be focused on research involving experimental materials and modeling of materials in extreme-impact environments, says Victor M. Nakano, Ph.D., P.E., executive program director of HEMI. Among the areas that may benefit from applications of this research is the development of protective materials for soldiers and vehicles in the military.


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:53 PM

Page 13

Extreme Science Internship Locations • California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. • Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa. • Ernst Mach Institut, Freiburg, Germany • The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. • The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md. • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, Calif. • New Mexico Institute of Technology, Socorro, N.M. • Purdue University,West Lafayette, Ind. • Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J. • Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio,Texas • University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif. • University of Delaware, Newark, Del. • University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas • U.S.Army Research Laboratory,Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

Extreme Science Internship students Edward Constance (front row, center) and Jaime Arribas (far right) with Dr. Kadir Aslan, Assistant Dean and mentor (back row, left) and Dr. Alvin Kennedy, Dean and Principal Investigator (back row, center), at MSU’s School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences

• Washington State University, Pullman,Wash.

Extreme Science Research Areas of Interest* • Advanced manufacturing processes • Composite materials for impact applications

supports Morgan’s development of the young scientists, engineers and educators who will lead the next wave of innovation in the U.S. The program also aligns with the university’s strategic plan for education and outreach to promote STEM.

• Computational mechanics

• Development of advanced ceramics

Working in a research environment helps students develop enhanced critical thinking skills that cannot ordinarily be obtained in the classroom, Dr. Kennedy says.

“We aim to create a pipeline (for) the next generation of scientists, engineers and educators,” Dr. Kennedy says. “We can only do this by attracting them to our programs and exposing them to continuous undergraduate research and training experiences with Morgan’s research faculty and their graduate students and postdoctoral scientists.”

“These critical thinking skillsets are essential in this era of ‘big data,’ ” he adds. “The research experiences they gain through their undergraduate education at Morgan and through Extreme Science give them the edge in this highly competitive global environment.”

Extreme Science is an investment in the future, Dr. Kennedy says: “Science is the natural product of our curiosity and creativity. It is the gateway to new innovations and solutions to the challenges we continue to face as a nation and globally.” 

• Molecular dynamics and atomistic simulations

Alvin P. Kennedy, Ph.D., interim dean of Morgan’s School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, says Extreme Science is a continuation of a unique undergraduate program at Morgan, the Continuous Undergraduate Research Experience. CURE enables students to conduct research throughout the year at Morgan and participate in summer internships at other research institutions.

• Computational sciences • Data science, visualization and data mining • Design of extremely strong fibers • Design of interactive computing environments • Design of materials • High-energy density physics • Impact science • In situ measurement technologies • Lightweight metals for vehicles • Materials science and engineering • Measurements at sub-microsecond timescales • Mechanics of materials • Multiscale materials research • Polymers for extreme environments • Structures under extreme loading • Topology optimization for composites • Uncertainty quantification

Extreme Science is just one initiative that *Partial Listing MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

13


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:54 PM

Page 14

DonorProfile

Unexpected Treasure William R. Lee’s Estate Benefits the Morgan Family By Kevin M. Briscoe

During his 81 years, William R. Lee established a reputation as a frugal but hardworking man, one whose apartment was littered with a treasure trove of consignment store items, ranging from artwork and jazz albums to old VCRs and assorted bric-a-brac. With no educational credentials beyond his diploma from Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore, Lee had a life free of frills, marked solely by an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work and a commitment to the health of his community. Thus, it came as no surprise that, when he died in 2012 from complications of a stroke, Lee’s estate spread his wealth among a few choice beneficiaries, including Morgan State University, to which he bequeathed $50,000. The estate gift designated $40,000 to establish the William R. Lee Scholarship Program and $10,000 for the Morgan State University Chapel. What is surprising is that Lee had no ties, direct or indirect, to the University, an irony not lost on university officials. “What sticks with me most is that Mr. Lee was not an alum,” says Donna J. Howard, Morgan’s director of development. “And that says a lot about the esteem to which Morgan is held in the hearts and minds of Baltimoreans. With this level of estate giving, he clearly saw the value in education. This type of giving affects not only those who benefit directly but the community, as well.” Associated Black Charities and the City of Baltimore were also named as beneficiaries of equal residual shares.

14

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

Respect for Education William Randolph “Mickey” Irving Lee was born on Nov. 27, 1931. His friends recall their time with him as couriers for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper in the city’s Sandtown neighborhood and how this marked the beginning of Lee’s lifelong, strong work ethic. “The Afro cost seven cents, and the carrier got two cents,” says the Rev. Richard T. Adams, a former pastor at the University Christian Center and longtime friend of Lee. “Willy Lee knew how to program himself and set limits as to how many Afros he would take: 50 and no more.” “He’d sell 50 papers a day, and I’d sell 25,” joked William R. Dorsey, 78, a friend and local attorney who aided Lee in his estate planning. “But, that’s a testament to his industrious, hardworking nature. He was a no-nonsense kind of guy who, while not formally educated, had a deep respect for education and learning.” In later years, Lee, who married and divorced and had no children, worked as a printer for Marvin Printing Company in Mondawmin Mall and for the Mille Centre in Hampden, from which he retired several years before his death. Although unsure of Lee’s wages, his friends surmised that he was simply a person who valued the notion of saving money. ‘Get This Money Out of Here!’ “If you made minimum wage, how long do you think it would take you to save $50,000,” mused J. Randall Carroll, another longtime friend and neighbor at the Hanlon Park Condominiums.

William R. Lee 1931–2012 Because Lee had few family members readily available in his later years, he awarded Carroll guardianship over his property. Carroll, along with Dorsey, helped Lee make the arrangements to disburse his assets. “At one time, Mr. Lee had about $250,000 in a safe in his condo,” Carroll laughed. “We told him, ‘Mr. Lee, you’ve got to get this money out of here!’ ” At the time of his death, Lee’s total wealth — individual retirement accounts set up by Dorsey and Carroll, the proceeds from a previous house sale and savings — was still more than $200,000, all of which was disbursed among family members and his designated institutional beneficiaries. “I’m significantly amazed that, without a college degree or any ties to Morgan, Mr. Lee felt enough to see what he could do,” says Carroll, a former administrative law judge with the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings and retiree from the Maryland Department of the Environment. “I’ve got three degrees, but I bet he knew more about being frugal than I do. I bet he was just as happy, if not more, than I am.” 


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:54 PM

Page 15

EARN INCOME WHILE MAKING GENEROUS GIFTS THE CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY PROGRAM

MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY HAS ESTABLISHED A CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY PROGRAM TO FUND SCHOLARSHIPS for students and to ensure the future health and well-being of Morgan State University for generations to come. The Charitable Gift Annuity is a simple and convenient way to make a generous gift to Morgan and receive fixed payments for the remainder of your life, regardless of market conditions. You can even provide that payments continue for the life of another person, if desired. The amount of the annuity payment depends upon the age(s) of the individual(s) receiving the annuity and the amount of the gift.

The table below shows various payout rates at different ages, as recommended by the American Council on Gift Annuities, a national association of charities. GIFT ANNUITY RATES Single Annuitant Age .......Rate 65 .........4.7% 70 .........5.1% 75 .........5.8% 80 .........6.8% 85 .........7.8% 90 .........9.0%

Two Annuitants Age ...........Rate 65/69 .......4.4% 70/72 .......4.7% 75/77 .......5.1% 80/81 .......5.8% 85/86 .......6.9% 90/95 .......8.8%

For illustrative purposes only. Rates are subject to change. Contact the Office of Annual Giving for exact benefit information.

• You will be entitled to a charitable income tax deduction for the year your gift annuity is funded.

We invite you to call to request a confidential

• Morgan has a minimum gift of $10,000 to establish a charitable gift annuity.

illustrate the payment amount and an estimate of

• Charitable gift annuities may be funded with cash or marketable securities.

personalized report prepared for you that will your income tax deduction.

To learn more about how you can establish a Charitable Gift Annuity to support Morgan State University, contact Donna Howard, CFRE, Director of Development in the Development Office at 443-885-4680.


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:54 PM

Page 16

For more information about how you can establish a scholarship fund to help students achieve their educational goals, contact Donna Howard, MSU director of development, at (443) 885-4680.

16

Gabriel Kroiz

The three MSU faculty members profiled here have given financial gifts to establish programs through the Morgan State University Foundation to assist in the education of Morgan students.

Max Hilaire, Ph.D.

Historically Black Institutions have a well-earned reputation of nurturing their students to reach high academic and professional standards. Morgan’s talented faculty embrace this tradition by lending their time, talent and even their treasure to provide opportunities for MSU matriculants.

Richard Dean, Ph.D.

Faculty Gifts Benefit Students

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

Ambassador Pamela E. Bridgewater and Max Hilaire


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:54 PM

Page 17

s Fulfilling Dreams As a senior scientist at the National Security Agency, Richard Dean, Ph.D. was used to doing work that made a difference in society. As his career developing secure communications architectures was winding down, his dream of a second career grew larger. Soon after retiring from the federal government in 1999, he came to Morgan and discovered his love of teaching and the University.

so many of them are limited by the ability to have a really good research experience. And many of them are challenged in terms of just having the ability to pay their bills and get through.”

“I’ve been funding students for almost 15 years, and I’ve just been doing it kind of in the background,” Dr. Dean says. “…I find that Morgan’s got great students, and

Dr. Dean established the Wireless Networks and Security (WiNetS) Research Laboratory about 12 years ago and began paying students a research stipend for the lab’s 8- to 10-week summer program, sometimes out of his own funds. In some years, such as 2014, he and a few other professors in the department have also held a research symposium for the students working in WiNetS and other labs.

Enriching Lives As director and associate professor of Morgan’s Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Environmental Design program from 2008 to 2014, Gabriel Kroiz guided the program through a period of great growth.

Science in Architecture and Environmental Design Program Fund, with a gift from himself and his wife, Mina Cheon. The fund’s mission is to support the program by defraying the cost of outreach, student enrichment, scholarships and other program initiatives.

“It’s gone from zero (in 2001) to 270 students. It’s a significant program, and it’s an undergraduate program. So it doesn’t have a large number of dollars flowing in and out by way of research,” he explains.

“I’m really drawn to small student enrichment initiatives,” Kroiz says, such as a field trip for 30 students to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright architectural masterpiece Fallingwater, in 2012. The total cost of admission for the group was $200.

This past July, Kroiz, now chair of MSU’s Department of Undergraduate Design and Construction, established the Bachelor of

“At Morgan…our students are less likely to have traveled far than their counter-

Moving Boundaries Pamela E. Bridgewater was a major positive influence on Max Hilaire, during his time as an undergraduate at Morgan in the late 1970s. Dr. Hilaire, now chair and full professor of Morgan’s Political Science Department, has had a long and fruitful career in academia and international affairs (See the article on page 26 of this magazine). Bridgewater went on to become a three-time U.S. ambassador. She recently retired as U.S. ambassador to Jamaica.

that of a number of students that we felt the best way to honor her legacy was to establish a scholarship in her honor,” Dr. Hilaire says.

“Ambassador Bridgewater had such a great impact on my life, my career and

About a dozen former students of Ambassador Bridgewater helped establish the

The Ambassador Pamela E. Bridgewater Endowed Program fund, established in May 2014, will provide scholarships to as many as five graduate students per year, Dr. Hilaire reports, to promote careers in international affairs and prepare students for the global environment by enriching learning through lectures, research and study abroad.

In July 2013, Dr. Dean established the WiNetS Laboratory Scholarship Fund, to formalize his giving and create a channel for donations from alumni, such as the $1,000 gift he recently received from a former student. Dr. Dean sees the positive results of his giving each year. “…The students who leave my lab come back, and they’re usually very pleased,” he says. “They’ve landed good jobs and (become) leaders in their field, because they had gotten this experience…. I feel very comfortable that this really works for the students.”

parts in (traditionally white) universities. They’re less likely to have visited sites like this,” Kroiz says. “You need to experience (this kind of) quality broadly in order to bring it to bear in your own work.” Another reason he established the fund was to “encourage faculty giving within the unit and to encourage giving from the program’s alumni,” Kroiz says, and he adds that he was inspired to increase his giving to students by Morgan President David Wilson’s personal gift of $100,000 to the MSU Foundation in 2010, shortly after Dr. Wilson’s start at Morgan.

endowed program. Dr. Hilaire singles out five of them for their work on the project: G. Anthony Hylton, minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce of Jamaica; Peter Harvey, former, and first AfricanAmerican, attorney general of New Jersey; Yvette Taylor, a lawyer in private practice in Pennsylvania; Deloris MabinsAdenekan, major gift officer with The Community College of Baltimore County; and Robin Jackson, an officer with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

17


AlumniProfile

Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:54 PM

Artist Kel Spencer, Class of 2014

By Will Arenas

Empowering Youth with ‘Pens of Power’

Kel Spencer

Page 18

36 hours

Thirty-six hours before his graduation this past May at Morgan’s 138th Commencement, Lennie Bennett, professionally known as Kel Spencer, stood reflectively, with his blue fitted cap tilted, on Welcome Bridge over Cold Spring Lane. It was finals week, and students were walking by, headed to class, excited to be finishing another semester. The familiar scenery led Spencer to reminisce about a moment that changed his life. In 1995, a very young Kel Spencer joined some other young Morgan musicians to form a group called the Black Diamonds. After creating much “buzz” on campus, the group dispersed in 1997, which opened up some opportunities on the solo front for Spencer. While on the bridge one day in 1999, he was approached by a Morgan student named Marcus, who was also looking to flourish on the music scene. “Your name Lennie?” asked Marcus. “Nope,” Spencer quickly replied. “Your name Kel?” Marcus asked. Spencer replied with another straight-faced no.

“YOUR NAME LENNIE?” ASKED MARCUS.

“NOPE,”

SPENCER QUICKLY REPLIED. “YOUR NAME KEL?” MARCUS ASKED. SPENCER REPLIED WITH ANOTHER STRAIGHT-FACED

NO.

MARCUS

18

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

LAUGHED...


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:54 PM

Page 19

Spencer has worked with Will Smith and other big-name artists, such as Q-Tip, MC Lyte, Rodney (“Darkchild”) Jerkins, Nick Cannon, Wyclef Jean and Mary J. Blige. Marcus laughed at Spencer’s act, and they began to converse. He told Spencer he’d heard his music on campus, and he revealed a major connection: Marcus said his cousin was executive producer of Will Smith’s film and television production company, Overbrook Entertainment. Skeptical of the claim, but still openminded, Spencer kept in contact with Marcus, and they forged a friendship.

In a few months’ time, Spencer actually met the television/music duo “DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince,” a.k.a. Jeff Townes and Will Smith. Thirty credits shy of receiving his bachelor’s degree in business administration, Spencer made the decision to leave Morgan to pursue his musical dreams. He worked as a vocalist on the “Wild Wild West” soundtrack in 1999 and,

shortly thereafter, on Will Smith’s second solo album, “Willennium.” After he had worked with other big-name artists and producers such as Q-Tip, MC Lyte, Rodney (“Darkchild”) Jerkins, Nick Cannon, Wyclef Jean and Mary J. Blige, a song titled “Switch,” which he cowrote for Smith’s 2005 album “Lost and Found,” invaded the airwaves and spread like wildfire.

The “Pens of Power” program teaches literacy using music from the hip hop movement.

Taking Knowledge Home Fast-forward to the present. Fifteen kids aged 8 to 13 crowd Spencer, who stands at the front of a quiet classroom. He steps forward with a microphone in his left hand and says, “You all ready?” Music starts to play, and the students begin to recite lyrics in unison. The song, titled “The Thesis Pieces,” uses the colors of Reese’s Pieces candy to help students organize their thoughts when writing a thesis. The students are enrolled in Spencer’s “Pens of Power” literacy and mentoring program, which uses the intelligent musical movement better known as hip hop to educate and empower youth. Spencer was moved to start Pens of Power after being approached by a friend who was a teacher looking for new ways

of getting students to connect with his educational materials. Spencer’s program also teaches young people different ways to express their emotions and provides an alternative to traditional methods of teaching, which some say are culturally biased against African-American students. Spencer returned to Morgan in 2013 to complete his Bachelor of Science degree program, and he achieved his goal, becoming a member of the Class of 2014 during the Spring Commencement at Hughes Stadium. Seeking to use all of the knowledge he has acquired, Spencer has huge plans for the future. Besides Pens of Power, he is launching KEL.iEDOSCOPE, a production company that will house songwriters, producers and musical artists.

He is also starring in a film he has written, which went into production this fall, and BET recently chose him as one of its Music Matters artists. Spencer’s objective is to surround himself with like-minded individuals hungry for the next creative challenge. As a part of his journey, Spencer will begin as an adjunct professor of hip hop linguistics at two colleges in New York City, beginning in January 2015. That move will bring him full circle. The kid from East Brooklyn, N.Y., who graduated from MSU, is returning home to teach what he has learned to the next generation. Spencer, like many other MSU alumni, is on a lifelong mission. He is moving forward, putting his energy, heart and best effort into achieving success for himself and his community.  MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

19


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

Lights. Camera. Sound.

12/3/14

12:55 PM

8

Page 20

David Wainwright, ‘85, Brings Film to Life By James Michael Brodie

D

avid Wainwright got hooked on sound early in life, when he won a prize at a school raffle. “I was in the fourth grade,” explains Wainwright, MSU Class of ’85, who attended St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, Md. “They had a raffle for a tape recorder, and I kept buying tickets. I think the nuns worked it out with my mom so I won it.” Years later, Wainwright took that love to Morgan, where he majored in television production, and to Maryland Public Television (MPT), where he has flourished as a sound engineer. Once filming is done, the post-production sound engineers develop the sonic identity of the film. This involves a variety of tasks, from creating the noises of explosions or car crashes to adding subtle sounds that enrich the language and feeling of the film. The engineers also use the “atmosphere tracks” — or “wild tracks” — recorded on set to enhance the editing process. The original 20

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

sound recorded during the shoot, and any rerecorded dialogue or additional sound effects, can be laid in tracks and mixed to reach the final audio. “My craft involves adding sound effects and making pictures come to life — kind of what we call ‘sweetening,’ ” Wainwright explains.

Wainwright is the winner of eight regional Emmy Awards for sound design, including sound mixing and editing.

Before joining MPT, Wainwright worked at Prince George’s Community College in the speech and theater department as a part-time videographer, and at Comcast Cable Channel 20 as a master control operator. He joined MPT in 1987 as an entry-level audio board operator for live

productions that included State Circle and Reporters Roundtable. Wainwright is the winner of eight regional Emmy Awards for sound design, including sound mixing and editing. His first came in 1999. Last year, he was part of the team that won an Emmy for audio on “America’s Veterans: A Musical Tribute.” At Morgan, “TV production was a brand new major, and we had new equipment,” Wainwright says of his college years. “I had a key to the studio, and I just kind of lived there. It was a good way to get something on my resume.” He also picked up a good tidbit of advice that carried him into his career: diversify. “We were always told not to be onedimensional. This is a hard industry to break into just to be focused on one area,” he says. “A lot of people didn’t think about sound on TV. It’s kind of a thankless job….” 


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:55 PM

Page 21

Alumnus Helps Youngsters ‘Beat the Streets’ through STEM

W

hen Lydell Henry joined the wrestling team of Baltimore’s Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in the early ’90s, he had no idea how profoundly the sport would impact his life. “Wrestling teaches real-life lessons,” says the Morgan State University graduate and Baltimore native, 37, who earned a chemistry degree with honors in 2005. “Discipline, strength and learning about competition are all strong character traits that help you to succeed.” The chance to be part of Morgan’s wrestling team was among the reasons Henry selected the university. Now the alumnus has come full circle by developing a unique summer day camp held on the campus of his alma mater. Launched in 2013, the Beat the Streets– Baltimore STEM Wrestling Camp combines athletics and academics, namely science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Two-week camp sessions are geared toward middle school and high school students from underprivileged backgrounds. More than 100 youngsters have participated, most of them African-American males. “We celebrate sports so much in our culture, but we never really push academics,” says Kevin Peters, Ph.D., director of the Morgan Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education (CEMSE), which helped facilitate the camp. “Yet the same discipline that’s required of athletes is what you also have to do when it comes to academics. The camp meshes both. It provides a safe haven and a positive environment.”

Having such a haven was important to Henry, who grew up in an inner-city neighborhood where he witnessed poverty, drug addiction and other social ills. Wrestling was an escape. So, too, was education “I took my studies seriously,” he says. “I became the first person in my family to graduate from college.” The young chemist spent several years working for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies but remembers feeling “less than fulfilled.” He yearned to bring positive change to young people, particularly in urban communities. So Henry quit his job and, with a shoestring budget, began creating local afterschool programs that emphasized wrestling, character development, mentoring and tutoring. In 2012, he joined forces with Hermondoz Thompson, a fellow wrestler, to launch a Baltimore affiliate of the nonprofit Beat the Streets USA Wrestling Program. Beat the Streets operates in New York, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles and more than a dozen other cities nationwide. The program’s funding partners include the Annie E. Casey Foundation, T. Rowe Price and others. CEMSE has helped support the camp for the past two years and views it as an opportunity to help African-American males understand the importance of STEM education and careers. This past June and July, for several hours daily, the youngsters attended class in a Morgan computer lab, where projects ranged from building robotic arms to

By Donna M. Owens

learning computer code. They were challenged to read a certain number of books: an activity done in tandem with Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt library. Afternoons were spent with coaches who taught wrestling techniques along with lessons in sportsmanship. According to camp organizers, many of the tweens and teens had never been on a college campus before attending the camp. “They were very excited and engaged,” says Willilexia Royal-Cox, a retired educator turned camp instructor who helped develop the academic curriculum. “The students worked together in teams. They learned how to do research, ask questions and collaborate.” “We’re trying to give children opportunities they wouldn’t normally have,” says Henry. “Wrestling is highly technical, but one of the biggest lessons is perseverance and never giving up.” 

Dr. Kevin Peters, Director of Morgan’s CEMSE (left), with Lydell Henry of Beat the Streets–Baltimore STEM Wrestling Camp MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

21


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:55 PM

Page 22

Shanna Green

Nurturing Dreams of Former Foster Care Youth By Donna M. Owens

Green studied sociology at Morgan and found time between classes to launch Project D.R.E.A.M., which aims to support young people who have lived in the foster care system.

“…For the caged bird sings of freedom.” — Maya Angelou After many years of pain, drama and feeling as if the world was intent on clipping her wings, Shanna Green is ready to fly. The story of this 2014 Morgan graduate begins in Baltimore in the late 1980s, when the pretty baby with bright eyes and dark curls was taken from parents who were reportedly abusing drugs and neglecting their four children. “I became a foster child in state care,” explains Green. “I entered the system at age 2.” In a voice at turns determined and laced with sorrow, she speaks candidly of a childhood stained by instability and abuse: being placed in upwards of 20 foster care and group homes; molestation by a series of men; stints in psychiatric facilities; separation from

22

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

her siblings; multiple suicide attempts. And through it all, a deep, yawning ache, a profound sense that no one understood her anguish. “I remember being about age 7 and saying to myself, ‘I gotta fight for myself, because I don’t have anyone else who cares,’ ” Green recalls. Doctors pegged her as depressed, she says, and prescribed medication. “I didn’t want pills shoved down my throat. I was traumatized,” Green says. “What I was dealing with was rejection and wondering, ‘Why doesn’t anybody love me?’ I wanted to die.” Green stopped going to school at about the 7th grade and in the ensuing years began to rebel in other ways. Still a preteen, she began running away from her caretakers after learning to catch the bus. “A lot of times I was trying to get to my brothers and sisters,” she explains, noting their limited visits over the years

for an hour each month at McDonald’s. She harbored guilt about her family’s separation, an event beyond her control. “I was thinking, ‘Now I gotta go apologize for not being able to protect them.” When she was 15, Green says, her foster care mother kicked her out of the house. “I needed to make a way to survive,” she recalls. “I sold drugs, sold my body.” For the next few years, she drifted, periodically homeless. When she turned 18 and “aged out” of the foster care system, her freedom led to more trouble. “What boggles my mind is that when foster care kids are emancipated, you’re pushed out into the world at 18 or 21 and never prepared,” she explains. “I did hook up with the wrong people.” Green had reconnected with her brother in Virginia, who had joined a


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:55 PM

Page 23

“I remember being about age 7 and saying to myself, ‘I gotta ght for myself, because I don’t have anyone else who cares.’ ”

Shanna Green, MSU Class of 2014 gang, she says. After leaving foster care, she moved in with the young men. “There were always guns around the house,” she recalls. “To fend for myself, they basically told me I had to sell drugs or have sex.” Green devised a scheme to pose as a prostitute and rob “johns” at gunpoint when they tried to solicit her. One day, she and her posse were stopped by police. She pleaded guilty to a concealed handgun charge and wound up serving 30 days in jail. “It was a misdemeanor,” Green says, “but it’s remained on my record and has caused a lot of problems.” Amidst all of the turmoil, Green sensed a quiet voice inside that she now believes was a higher power: “God was always talking to me, although for a while I didn’t really understand.” While incarcerated, she prayed and vowed to start attending church once released. Back in Baltimore, she was

walking home from a bar near York Road when something told her to look up. A church, Victorious Ministries International, seemed to beckon. She eventually joined the congregation and at age 19 found a new outlook on life. “I had a wonderful pastor, mentors and people around me who were very supportive,” Green says. Among them was a minister who was also an admissions counselor at Morgan. He helped Green develop the skills to pass the GED tests and navigate the college application process, which unfolded with some difficulty because of her criminal record. But, eventually, the determined young woman prevailed. She studied sociology at Morgan and found time between classes to launch Project D.R.E.A.M., which aims to support young people who have lived in the foster care system. “…I feel the system failed me holistically,” says Green, who notes that she

did encounter good caseworkers and kind foster care families in addition to less positive people. “But so many things are broken in the system. Thousands of children are suffering.” Green is now retooling her organization and is seeking to obtain 501(c)(3) taxexempt status for it. She has done some motivational speaking and aims to reach broader audiences nationwide. In 2010, she had the honor of meeting President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at a mentoring event. She has made peace with her parents, who are doing better, Green says. “God transformed my mind and spirit. I’m in a place of forgiveness.” Green, who is writing a book about her journey, is deeply in love and engaged to be married. She met her fiancé, a fellow Morgan graduate, on campus. “Jesus, my Lord and Savior, snatched me and changed my life,” Green says. “I need to reach others.” 

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

23


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:55 PM

Page 24

An Interfaith Mission “Derrick’s voice and guidance spoke into the faith…of the young men. It would have been formidable if I had to do it alone as a Christian cleric.”

The University Memorial Chapel, previously known as the Morgan Christian Center

If the crisis involving the two football players who were followers of Islam had arisen a few years earlier, Donald HillEley, then the head coach, probably wouldn’t have known where to call for help. But after the former Christian Center at Morgan opened its doors to all faiths in 2012, he did know. When two brothers on the team told him their father was about to be taken from death row and executed, he called the University Memorial Chapel, looking for someone to counsel them. Its director, the Rev. Bernard Keels, D.Min., got in touch with Imam Derrick Amin, the volunteer Muslim chaplain. The brothers came to see the two clergymen at the chapel the morning their father was to die. Looking back, Dr. Keels, a United Methodist minister, regards having a Muslim chaplain with him as a godsend.

24

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

“Derrick’s voice and guidance spoke into the faith…of the young men,” he says. “It would have been formidable if I had to do it alone as a Christian cleric.” Timely Change A half-dozen volunteer chaplains serve various faiths at the chapel. Morgan’s acceptance of all faiths came just in time, since the last few years have seen what Dr. Keels calls “a meteoric rise in the nonChristian presence on campus.” A wave of international students largely accounts for this. Approximately 460 were expected on campus this fall, from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean region. Roughly 200 will be Muslim, many of whom come to the chapel’s Islamic Prayer Room five times a day, as well as for the Friday congregational Juma’h prayer. There are only a handful of Jews at Morgan. Sharing the chapel has not proven to be an issue for Christians, Dr. Keels says. He notes that the fact that Christians and

Muslims usually worship on different days has smoothed the transition. “Christians on campus have come to realize that the mission of other faiths is remarkably similar,” Dr. Keels adds. Two years ago, he notes, Morgan held a symposium that looked at “the kinship between Muslims, Jews and Christians,” a kinship, he says, that has been warped by politics and media stereotyping of Muslims. Morgan students, he says, discovered that “their faiths (are) first cousins: all three (trace) their roots to Abraham.” Dr. Keels and Imam Amin report little friction between Christians and Muslims on campus. MSU International Programs Coordinator Qimmah Najeeullah, herself a Muslim, says that during a trip to Saudi Arabia in 2014 with four female Saudi students from Morgan, the students talked about “how they feel at home, how they feel supported and understood here.”


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:55 PM

Page 25

The University Memorial Chapel Practices Religious Pluralism By Peter Slavin

Dr. Bernard Keels, United Methodist minister

However, one student came close to creating a serious incident in 2012. He walked into the chapel’s Muslim prayer room one Friday and asked those worshipping to accept Jesus as their savior. Learning the Maps “I was astounded,” Dr. Keels recalls. Fortunately, a Muslim faculty member who was praying talked quietly to the student. Dr. Keels then persuaded the student to leave, explaining to him the chapel’s interfaith character and asking how he would feel if the shoe were on the other foot and a Muslim or Jewish student disrespected his faith. “I think he had an epiphany,” he says. “I think for the first time in his life he realized there were other people of faith who were committed to their religion as strongly as he was to Christianity.” Students have to learn everyone else’s “maps,” Dr. Keels believes, to prepare for a world where work settings are often

Imam Derrick Amin, volunteer Muslim chaplain

“pluralistic and ecumenical and even interfaith.” By maps, he means assumptions, givens and beliefs: the religious and cultural understanding members of a faith carry in their heads. One thing these

Students have to learn everyone else’s “maps,” Dr. Keels believes, to prepare for a world where work settings are often “pluralistic and ecumenical and even interfaith.” mental maps reflect is the fact that the same word can mean different things, depending on one’s faith. For example, Christians need to learn that when a Jew speaks of the Sabbath, he means Saturday and that for Muslims “this year” on the Arabic calendar is not 2014 but 1435. For the most part, Dr. Keels says, students have “done a good job in learning

to appreciate the maps of each other.” In part, he chalks this up to work projects that students of different faiths take part in together. These include Feed My Sheep. In this program, a dozen or so student volunteers make sandwiches in the chapel on Sunday, and one or two accompany Salvation Army roving kitchens that distribute the sandwiches on Monday. More than 100 students of various faiths — or none — also take part in outreach to the homeless, seniors and children under the Lutheran Campus Ministry. This includes “reflection dinners,” where students talk about how helping others has affected their lives. How have alumni taken to the interfaith nature of the chapel? “They welcome it, because they recognize the emerging diversity on campus,” says Dr. Keels. He notes that many alumni participated in a fundraiser for the chapel last February.  MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

25


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:55 PM

Page 26

Globe-trotting Enhances ‘the Morgan Experience’ By Steward D. Beckham Jr. ith today’s advanced communications technology, a multitude of learning experiences can be had without leaving one’s desk. Morgan students of the 21st century know the basic skills of searching the Web, discerning the difference between biased and unbiased information obtained online and monitoring their social networking profiles as if they were business portfolios. For these students, using Wikipedia and search engines such as Google to read details about the Boer Wars or find derivatives in calculus is commonplace.

W

Dr. Hilaire has taught at more than 60 universities around the globe and has taught students of more than 75 nationalities.

Scholar without Borders Dr. Max Hilaire, full professor and chair of Morgan’s Political Science Department, is a summa cum laude graduate of MSU and received his M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. at Columbia University. Dr. Hilaire’s expertise is in public international law; international human rights and international humanitarian law; United Nations law and U.S. foreign relations law. His work in international affairs causes him to travel extensively and interact with people from many nations, including students and faculty at the more than 60 universities where he has taught, around the globe. His travels have taken him to Africa, Europe and Latin America, where he has been a public diplomacy speaker for the U.S. State Department and given lectures on topics such as the armed conflict in Syria and the international implications of U.S. foreign policy. Dr. Hilaire is a two-time Fulbright Scholar (Nigeria and the Czech Republic) and has been keynote speaker for a number of overseas organizations, including the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin and the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, where he spoke at the inaugural lecture series in honor of Former U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica Pamela Bridgewater. He has authored three books on international matters and has had his essays published in law journals domestically and abroad. Dr. Hilaire is a member of the American Society of International Law.

26

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

But as powerful as virtual experience may be, international travel in the real world is becoming increasingly essential for success in the interconnected, global economy. Interacting with professors and staff at Morgan who have traveled the world and gained cultural competence within and outside of the U.S. is one of the most important benefits of “the Morgan Experience.” In this article, three MSU faculty and a member of Morgan’s staff are highlighted for their experiences abroad.

Dr. Astatke focuses much of his energy on the development of learning programs and educational institutions in the U.S. and other countries. Bicontinental Professor Dr. Yacob Astatke earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree and his Doctor of Engineering degree at MSU. Now associate chair of undergraduate studies in Morgan’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, he focuses much of his energy on the development of learning programs and educational institutions in the U.S. and other countries. Domestically, as part of the National Science Foundation and Historically Black College and University Experimental Centric Pedagogy project, he conducted a workshop for HBCU-ECP members on the influence of new technology on the art of learning. The project’s learning methods were implemented in 13 HBCUs this fall. Dr. Astatke was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and first came to the U.S. before his first semester at Morgan, in 1988. He travels to Ethiopia every year and has a vision of opening Morgan campuses throughout Africa. He recently participated in the Power Africa Initiative and the USA-Africa Ministerial Conference and took part in the fifth National Research Symposium, in which he was part of an initiative to donate new equipment for training sessions for instructors at DebreBerhan University in Ethiopia. This past November, Dr. Astatke was one of the keynote speakers at the 2014 International Conference on Interactive Mobile Communication Technologies and Learning, in Thessaloniki, Greece.


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:55 PM

Dr. Winbush has spent time in St. Kitts and Nevis recently, conducting workshops for hundreds of instructors on the islands. Pan-African Activist Raymond Winbush, Ph.D., director of Morgan’s Institute for Urban Research, has spent much time in St. Kitts and Nevis recently, conducting workshops for hundreds of instructors on the islands, on the topic of black boys’ struggles inside and outside of the classroom. Dr. Winbush is also regularly invited to speak in Trinidad and Tobago for the Kwame Ture Annual Lecture, where his topic is usually the social and cultural challenges facing Caribbean Africans. Dr. Winbush specializes in illuminating the psychology of African boys and the effects on them of the transatlantic African slave trade. He has written three books exploring race psychology and his belief that nations and corporations that benefitted from the slave trade are obligated to pay reparations to African Americans. Dr. Winbush served on the editorial board of The Journal of Black Studies and served as an executive board member for the National Council for Black Studies. Among his frequent appearances in the media as an expert on race relations, he was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Page 27

A former Peace Corps volunteer, Najeeullah has lived in numerous countries, including Brazil, England, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica and Turkmenistan. Cultural Integrator Qimmah Najeeullah is a program manager in Morgan’s Division of International Affairs. A former volunteer for the Peace Corps, for which she served in Turkmenistan, she has lived in numerous other countries, including Brazil, England, Saudi Arabia and Costa Rica. She speaks a range of languages, from Spanish to Quranic Arabic. Najeeullah received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland, College Park and went on to get her Master of Arts in peace and conflict resolution at the American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C. Among her many endeavors in support of the global community, she established a community English Resource Center by attaining a USAID Small Project Assistance Grant, ran seminars to train Gender Development regional representatives and organized seminars with not-for-profit organizations to help them secure international exchange opportunities and promote teamwork. She also served as a project director for the Break the Chain campaign and was an instructor and class facilitator in the Brazil-HBCU Alliance at Morgan, for students who speak English as a second language. Najeeullah utilizes her experiences abroad to help students cross cultural barriers to learning at Morgan. As program manager, she aids in the development of international student recruitment, grant research and bilingual marketing. 

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

27


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:56 PM

Page 28

SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING (SA+P)

Designing for the Future, in Liberia

At City Hall in Monrovia, Liberia: (from front row center, l–r) Tubman University Dean of International Education Barbara Simmons, Tubman President Elizabeth Davis-Russell and U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Deborah Malac, with HBCU students and faculty advisors

William V.S. Tubman University is a symbol of the resilience and capacity for innovation of the people of Liberia. Closed in 1990 during the first of the country’s two recent civil wars, the Tubman College of Technology was reopened by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2008 and attained university status in 2009. Late last year, Tubman officials reached out to Morgan State University and two other Historically Black Institutions in the U.S., to ask their participation in the design of a futuristic, state-of-the-art electronic library (“e-brary”) and student center: a facility where Tubman students and members of the larger community would have access to e-books and other Internet-based resources, as well as traditional learning materials. The request did not come out of the blue. Morgan has a longstanding relationship with Liberia, having educated many students from the West African nation over many years. This past March, three students from Morgan’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) — Thuy

28

MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

Do, Zoia Jenkins and Zahra Naserdeghan — and their faculty adviser, SA+P lecturer Stanford Britt, traveled to the town of Harper in Maryland County, Liberia, to participate in the Harriet Tubman Centennial Architectural Design Challenge. The Morgan contingent joined students and faculty from Tuskegee University and Howard University in the design challenge. The event mandated intercollegiate cooperation. The design teams were composed of one student from each of the U.S. universities, who presented their final work to Liberian architects, representatives of Tubman University and members of the Liberian government, including Vice President Joseph Boakai. The students also faced challenges unrelated to design. Much of Liberia’s physical infrastructure was damaged or destroyed during its civil wars, which spanned from 1989 to 2003. For example, the poor condition of the roads has made shipment of glass problematic, a fact that prevented the students from using glass in their designs. Bad roads also turned

the students’ 425-mile trip from the capital, Monrovia, to Harper into a 36-hour adventure.

MSU students presented designs for a state-of-the-art electronic library (“e-brary”) at Tubman University.

The delays had an upside, however: the students had more time to learn about the country in which their design ideas would be realized. “We need to know who we are designing for,” Naserdeghan told the Baltimore AfroAmerican, in April. “We need to know the people, the culture and the climate, and (we) have to feel it in order to have a good design.” The final design of Tubman University’s ebrary was announced during a ceremony at Howard University this past June, after presentation of the three designs. 


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:57 PM

Page C3

In the photo above, left: (l–r) Zoia Jenkins, Thuy Do and Zahra Naserdeghan, students in Morgan’s School of Architecture and Planning, on the road from Monrovia to Harper, Liberia

A B C Architectural Concepts: Designs for a futuristic, state-of-the-art electronic library (“e-brary”) and student center in Liberia Morgan Partners with Tubman University Morgan’s participation in Tubman University’s architectural design challenge was a perfect prelude to another landmark event involving the two institutions this year. On June 30, MSU President David Wilson and W.V.S. Tubman President Elizabeth Davis-Russell signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Tubman and

Morgan, during a ceremony on Morgan’s campus. Among its stipulations, the MOU calls for collaboration to enhance the preparation of a diverse and internationally competent workforce, develop curricula on international topics and expand professional development and continuing education opportunities at the two universities.  MORGAN MAGAZINE VOLUME II 2014

29


Morgan Magazine Vol 2 12-3-14 v5.qxd:Layout 1

12/3/14

12:57 PM

Page C4

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit #4995 Baltimore, MD 1700 E. Cold Spring Lane Baltimore, MD 21251 Office of Public Relations and Communications 109 Truth Hall 443-885-3022 www.morgan.edu

Help with the Cost of College

Giving Today provides ď€ nancial support to Morgan students through gifts large and small.

FIVE DOLLAR Scholarship Fund at Morgan State FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (443) 885-4449, OR VISIT WWW.GIVETOMORGAN.COM.

Morgan Magazine 2014, Volume 2