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A Magazine for the Faculty, Alumni and Friends of North Carolina Central Universit y spring 2013

north carolina central university

33 14





features 14

A New Leader for NCCU Debra Saunders-White brings broad experience in academia, business and government

The Voters’ Advocate 16


The language repair team

Simulated Patients, Real-Life Training

Communication Disorders program trains specialists in a high-demand field

Eagle General Hospital provides high-tech, realistic nursing experiences


Who Needs a Classroom?


‘Our Mission is Unique’

Dean Phyliss Craig-Taylor charts a course for the School of Law


Jarvis Hall promotes political engagement — all year, every year

NCCU now offers more than 200 courses online every semester

departments A Magazine for the Faculty, Alumni and Friends of North Carolina Central Universit y

4 Letter From the Chancellor

o n t h e c o v e r Second-year law students Kinna

6 Campus News

Clark and William Moultrie confer in the School of Law

spring 2013

13 Around Campus

library. Dean Phyliss Craig-Taylor explains the challenges

41 Class Notes

and opportunities ahead for the School. Page 35.

46 Who's Giving at NCCU

Photo by Chioke Brown 6


NCCU NOW spring 2013



50 Student Profile 52 Sports

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f r om t he

C h a n c ell o r

Dear Alumni and Friends: Welcome to the spring issue of NCCU NOW. We cannot thank you enough for investing in North Carolina Central University’s most important asset, our students. When I arrived in August, I stressed to our administration, faculty and staff the importance of really challenging our students intellectually and opening up their minds to new and exciting opportunities. I underscored the need to develop all available resources to meet the school’s mission and to realize the school’s 2020 strategic plan vision. I also indicated that during my tenure I would focus on these priorities: • Retaining and graduating students with competitive credentials; • Meeting 2012-13 enrollment and budget goals; • Meeting or exceeding general and specialized accreditation requirements; • Implementing recommendations from the Academic Program Review and Process Improvement and Efficiency Committees; and • Meeting metrics related to the new University of North Carolina performance model and UNC Finance Improvement and Transition initiative. Thanks to our administrators, faculty and staff, I am pleased to report that we have made tremendous progress in all of these areas. Here are a few highlights: • Retention and Graduation  In December, we awarded 600 undergraduate and graduate degrees. We will award more than 900 at our May commencement exercises. • Enrollment/ Achievement  In February, we celebrated more than 500 first-time freshmen who achieved a 3.0 GPA or higher in the fall 2012 semester. Among our student-athletes, 154 have earned between a 3.0 and 4.0. • Academic Review and Process Improvement Plans  In fall 2012, changes implemented from the academic restructuring program took effect, including the establishment of the College of Arts and Sciences. Teach-out plans were provided to students majoring in programs impacted by the restructuring program, and students remain on track to graduate.  We continue to work more efficiently and effectively in an effort to reduce expenses and adhere to the budget. Thank you for allowing me to serve this magnificent Eagle family.

nccu board of trustees: chair Dwight D. Perry vice chair George R. Hamilton secretary Avon L. Ruffin


John Barbee Charles J. Baron Harold T. Epps Nancy Wysenski Kim D. Saunders Reginald McCrimmon

Robert E. Dolan Paul R. Pope Jr. Carlton Thornton Wendell McCain

administration: interim chancellor

Charles L. Becton provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs

Debbie Thomas

vice chancellor and chief of staff

Susan L. Hester

vice chancellor of institutional advancement

Lois Deloatch

vice chancellor of finance and administration

Wendell M. Davis

vice chancellor of research and economic development

Hazell Reed

vice chancellor of student affairs and enrollment management

Kevin Rome


editors Ayana D. Hernandez, Rob Waters design and layout Pandora Frazier photography: Robert Lawson, Chioke Brown

Gabriel Aikens


Jonathan Alexander Cynthia Fobert Ayana D. Hernandez Kyle Serba Anita B. Walton Rob Waters Myra Wooten

NCCU Now magazine is published by North Carolina Central University Office of Public Relations, 1801 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27707. Phone: 919-530-6295 E-mail: Please send address corrections to the Alumni Relations Office, 2223 Fayetteville St., Durham, NC 27707 or


At a cost of $ 1.33 each, 13,000 copies of this public document were printed for a total of $17, 290 in Spring 2013.

Charles L. Becton Interim Chancellor

NCCU is accredited by / is a candidate for accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of NCCU.


h o m e c o m i n g 2 0 1 2 see page 28

Copyright 2013, North Carolina Central University

NCCU NOW spring 2013

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December Grads Get a Spirited Sendoff from AT&T Executive


orth Carolina Central University awarded about 600 bachelor’s, master’s and law degrees on Dec. 8, 2012, in a ceremony at McDougald–McLendon Gymnasium. In a lively commencement address, business executive Cynthia Marshall urged the graduates to “get MAD,” as in “Make a Difference.” Marshall, 52, was named president of AT&T North Carolina in 2007, overseeing all of the company’s operations in the state and its 7,000 North Carolina employees. In January, she moved to the telecommunications company’s headquarters in Dallas to be senior vice president of human resources. Marshall’s address drew heavily on her own compelling personal story. She grew up as one of six children amid violence and turmoil in the housing projects of Richmond, Calif. Her father left the family when she was in her teens, predicting before he left that Marshall and her sister would “end up as hookers on the street, drug-addicted and pregnant.” Her response, delivered to her sister, was that she and her sister would instead graduate from college, get themselves and their mother “out of the projects,” and that one day she would be “president of something.” She earned a scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley, and earned degrees in business administration and human resources management — and was also the university’s first African-American cheerleader. Joining Pacific Bell soon after graduation, she


NCCU NOW spring 2013

moved steadily up the corporate ladder. Along the way, she and her husband have adopted three children. And she is a cancer survivor — she took a six-month leave from her job in 2011 to undergo chemotherapy for colon cancer that had spread into her lymph nodes. “So here I am, by the grace of God,” she said. “I am the highest-ranking African-American woman at AT&T. I beat stage-three colon cancer last year. I broke down many barriers. I am ATT — anointed to testify.” And she then proceeded to share what she described as “things I’ve learned along the way.” They included: (1) “Always remember where you came from.” (2) “Don’t just look back. Give back. We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” (3) “Do the right thing — never compromise your

integrity.” (4) “Accept adversity. Bad things happen to good people, so don’t give up.” (5) “And get MAD. Find a cause that makes you mad enough to Make A Difference.” “Today is about you,” she said in conclusion. “But tomorrow I challenge you to get passionate, purposeful and makea-difference mad.” Interim Chancellor Charles L. Becton joined Marshall in congratulating the graduates and, as has become an NCCU commencement custom, he publicly recognized a few for their achievements and their success in overcoming obstacles. He praised one of the oldest graduates, Patricia Quinichett, 58, who received a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science. Quinichett first enrolled at NCCU in 1975, but was unable to stay in school after the unexpected death of her grandmother. She married, raised three children and became a grandmother five times over. In 2010, she returned to the university, and persisted despite a granddaughter’s diagnosis of leukemia, her own health problems and other family challenges. Today, she and her granddaughter are both healthy, she is employed as a water lab analyst with the City of Durham, and she is contemplating pursuing graduate studies. Becton also recognized one of the youngest graduates, Crystal Cotton, 20, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communication with high honors. Cotton graduated in 2010 from the Josephine Dobbs Clement Early College High School, which is housed on the NCCU campus. The school, operated by Durham Public Schools, provides motivated students with opportunities to take college-level courses for credit and get a head

Today is about you. But tomorrow I challenge you to get passionate, purposeful and make-adifference mad.” ____________

Cynthia Marshall president of AT&T North Carolina ____________

start on their higher education. Cotton was able to complete her degree requirements in two-and-a-half years. And Becton praised Rudolph Bailey, who graduated with highest honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in recreation administration. A transfer student from Durham Tech, Bailey had a perfect 4.0 grade point average during his two years at NCCU, but his more remarkable achievement was his community service. Undergraduates are required to perform 15 hours of community service per semester. Bailey exceeded his 60-hour requirement many times over, reaching a total of 1,058 hours in ways that included working with geriatric patents at the Durham Veterans Administration hospital, tutoring developmentally disabled children in Durham schools and serving as a videographer for the NCCU football team. Becton hosted the traditional reception for graduates and their families on Dec. 7. Separate receptions by campus colleges and departments took place after the commencement ceremony.

spring 2013 NCCU NOW


cam p us

ne “This is a chance to test our incident command system, coordination between agencies and different radio frequencies, and coordination among police, fire departments and emergency medical teams.”

Large Drill at NCCU Provides Test for Police and Emergency Teams It was scary and realistic, but it was just a drill. A disaster unfolded on the campus of North Carolina Central University on Jan. 3 — gunshots, casualties, a hostage siege, reports of planted bombs and grenades — and a massive law enforcement response. But again: It was a simulation. No one got hurt. The emergency training exercise involved more than 300 participants and more than two dozen public safety agencies from around the state in the largest such drill ever held on any college campus in the United States. The exercise, named Operation Eagle Swoop, included role players in an active shooter scenario at the center of the campus, hostage negotiations in two residence halls and a rescue phase that included treatment of simulated victims at area hospitals. The sound of sporadic gunfire — with simulated ammunition — was heard across the campus for more than an hour starting about 9:20 a.m., and occasionally after that into the early afternoon.

— Sgt. Robert McLaughlin, NCCU Police Sgt. Robert McLaughlin, the university’s emergency management coordinator, said the aim of the exercise was to test the capabilities and preparedness of the NCCU Police and emergency response team, and their ability to coordinate with other law enforcement and emergency agencies, particularly those of the city and county of Durham. Spring semester classes had not yet begun, so the campus was empty except for some faculty and staff. “Having a campus that was essentially closed gave us the opportunity to stage a major training event,” said McLaughlin, who works extensively with other crisis managers as a member of the North Carolina Tactical Officers Association. “This is a chance to test our incident command system, coordination between agencies and different radio frequencies, and coordination among police, fire departments and emergency medical teams.”

By the time the all-clear signal was given about 1:30 p.m., two victims were pretend-dead, 10 people with simulated injuries had been taken to Duke Hospital for “treatment,” and two camouflage-clad “suspects” were in police custody. One unusual aspect of the exercise was its duration. McLaughlin noted that an actual active-shooter incident typically ends within 10 to 15 minutes once police arrive with an arrest, a shooting by police or a suicide. At a briefing afterward, participants expressed broad agreement that the exercise had been useful, and provided some lessons on how various agencies can better cooperate and collaborate in emergency situations. “Managing the incident is key,” said Sgt. Eric Preddy of the Raleigh Police Department’s Training Division. “This exercise helped provide resources to manage a similar incident should it occur.”

NCCU emergency management coordinator

The emergency training exercise involved more than 300 participants and more than two dozen public safety agencies from around the state in the largest such drill ever held on a college campus in the u.s. 8

NCCU NOW spring 2013

photos by gabriel aikens

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ne in brief

New Magazine Highlights Research at NCCU The inaugural issue of Quest, a magazine focusing

treatments for diseases and conditions that dispropor-

on research conducted at North Carolina Central Uni-

tionately affect African-Americans. Dr. Antonio Baines

versity, was published in January by the university’s

is expanding human knowledge about the sequence

Division of Research and Economic Development. The

of molecular events that lead to pancreatic cancer. Dr.

magazine is available in online and print formats.

Darlene Taylor is developing more effective treatments

“Research and scholarship have always been a

for uterine fibroids, the most common gynecologic

vital part of the mission at NCCU, and Quest helps

tumor among women of childbearing age. Dr. Jonathan

us share our successes with the broader community,”

Sexton is developing drugs to treat type 2 diabetes.

said Hazell Reed, vice chancellor for research and eco-

Reed noted that NCCU has been attracting steadily

nomic development. “Our professors and researchers

growing support for its research from sponsors such

are securing patents and developing new drugs. They

as the National Science Foundation and the National

are making discoveries and opening new areas of inquiry in the sciences,

Institutes of Health. Sponsored research grants have increased from $9.3

social sciences and liberal arts.”

million in 2007 to more than $25 million in 2011, and from fiscal year 2007

through 2012, the university has received nearly $120 million in sponsored

One key area of research focus at NCCU is health disparities — the

gaps in health status that exist between America’s racial and ethnic mi-

research support.

norities and the population as a whole. Three researchers whose work is

highlighted in the first issue of Quest are engaged in finding causes and

copies are available from the NCCU Office of Public Relations.

Quest magazine can be viewed online, and a limited number of print

(Above) Dr. Darlene Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry at NCCU. (Right) Dr. Jonathan Sexton, an associate professor at NCCU’s Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE).


NCCU NOW spring 2013

association of state colleges and universities honors julius chambers The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) honored North Carolina Central University Chancellor Emeritus Julius L. Chambers with its 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award at the association’s annual meeting in New Orleans in October 2012. The award is presented to an individual who is an alumnus of a college or university that is a member of AASCU, who has achieved acclaim in his or her Chambers field, and who has made a significant served as contribution to the public, intellectual chancellor of North or cultural life of the nation. Chambers, Carolina a noted civil rights leader and lawyer, Central was chancellor of NCCU from 1993 to University 2001. He graduated from NCCU sumfrom 1993 ma cum laude in 1958. to 2001 Chambers earned his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law, graduating at the top of his class and serving as the first African-American editor of the school’s Law Review. He taught at Columbia University School of Law while earning his Master of Law degree in 1964. In 1964, he opened a solo-practice law firm in Charlotte that grew into the first integrated law firm in North Carolina history and became a powerful influence in shaping federal civil rights law. Working with his founding partners, James E. Ferguson II and Adam Stein, and with the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Chambers successfully litigated a succession of major civil rights cases. He and his colleagues helped shape the contours of civil rights law by winning landmark United States Supreme Court rulings in cases such as Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education (1971), the famous school busing decision, and Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971) and Albemarle Paper Co. v. Mood, (1975), two of the Supreme Court's most significant Title VII employment discrimination decisions. He has served as lecturer or adjunct professor at the law schools of Harvard University, University of Virginia, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan.

3 from student affairs Receive national awards Three members of the Student Affairs and Enrollment Management staff at NCCU have received national awards from the American College Personnel Association.

jason cottrell

Jason Cottrell, associate director of New Student Services, received the Annuit Coeptis Emerging Professional Award. Janelle Simmons, director of New Student Services, received the Outstanding Experienced Professional Award, given to faculty or staff with 11 or more years of experience in the field.

janelle simmons

Jason Dorsette, director of the Centennial Scholars Program and male initiatives, received the Outstanding Men’s Program Award. All three were recognized at the association’s national conference in March in Las Vegas. The American College Personnel Association is a comprehensive student affairs association based in Washington. It has about 7,500 members representing 1,200 private and public institutions.

jason dorsette

 The North Carolina Central University Lyceum Committee hosted hip-hop artist, author, actor and activist Common on Thursday, April 4, in the McDougald – McLendon Gym. spring 2013 NCCU NOW


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around campus


NCCU Vice Chancellor to Become President at Lincoln University in Missouri Dr. Kevin Rome, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management at North Carolina Central University, will leave NCCU this spring to take the position of president at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. — Dr. Kevin rome Rome came to NCCU in 2008 from Morehouse College. The division of student affairs and enrollment management oversees units such as Residential Life and Housing, the Chancellor’s “I feel extremely blessed with the opportunity to lead such a Scholars Program, Counseling Center, Disability Services, Greek historic institution,” Rome said. “NCCU will always hold a speLife, Orientation and First Year Experience, Scholarship and Stucial place in my heart. The students, faculty, and staff have been dent Aid, Campus Recreation and Student Activities. amazing and will be greatly missed. I am an Eagle for life.” Under his leadership, a new living and learning community, the Rome is a graduate of Morehouse College. He also holds Centennial Scholars Program, was established in 2009. The initiaa master’s degree from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. tive aims to improve retention of male students by providing servicfrom The University of Texas at Austin. He’ll begin his new job in es such as mentoring, networking, advising, leadership and training Jefferson City on June 1. opportunities, incentives and cultural excursions. The first cohort “Vice Chancellor Rome has been a champion and advocate of students will graduate this May. In 2011, a similar program was for our students during his tenure at NCCU,” Interim Chancelestablished for women, Annie Day Shepard Scholars. Rome also lor Charles L. Becton said. “His hard work and leadership at the created the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and the university prove he is committed to student success. We wish him Student Affairs Assessment Office. the best in his future endeavors.” Lincoln is a public, historically black university in Missouri’s NCCU will form a committee to conduct a national search for state capital. Founded in 1866 by black soldiers who had served in Rome’s successor. the Civil War, it has an enrollment of about 3,300 students.

“I feel extremely blessed with the opportunity to lead such a historic institution.”

NCCU Alumni Relations Director Named Regional Chair of CASE Anita Walton, director of alumni relations at NCCU, assumed the chair of CASE District III Board of Directors at the organization’s annual conference in February. CASE is the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, an international professional association for education fundraising, marketing/communications and alumni relations staff. “I am committed to the advancement profession,” said Walton. “I know that the work that we do every day gives us the opportunity to change lives. My CASE colleagues and the

Bowl Makeover It has been called the Greek Bowl or the Unity Bowl, but the official

name is the Library Bowl. So says NCCU archives coordinator Andre´ Vann, who notes that the plot served as a football field into the 1940s before the James E. Shepard Memorial Library was built. The renovation, completed last fall, includes a fountain, a pergola and stage, and ample seating, and the bowl is now becoming a venue for a wide range of formal and informal activities.

homecoming in the bowl

resources of the association have been extremely helpful to me in my efforts to become a better advancement executive. This is an opportunity to give back to an organization that has invested so much in me.” With more than 3,500 members, District III is the second largest of eight CASE districts. The volunteer-driven organization serves advancement professionals from a diverse mix of independent schools, community colleges and public and private colleges and universities in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Walton’s primary responsibilities as chair include selecting the remaining members of the nearly 40-person board, overseeing the planning and educational programs for the 2014 and 2015 district conferences, and establishing the particular goals and objectives for her tenure. She will serve as chair for two years. Appointed in 2009 as NCCU’s director of alumni relations, Walton has an undergraduate degree from UNC–Chapel Hill and a master’s degree from N.C. State University in higher education administration with a concentration in student development.  spring 2013 NCCU NOW


Debra Saunders-White Named Chancellor On Feb. 8, the North Carolina Central University community learned who would become the institution’s 11th chief executive at the conclusion of the six-month search process chaired by the Chancellor’s Search Committee. Dr. Debra Saunders-White was introduced by UNC President Tom Ross to the Board of Governors, which unanimously voted to elect her as NCCU’s next leader.

“I firmly believe that Dr. Saunders-White will make student success a priority as she continues to raise NCCU’s impressive regional, national and international profile as a premier institution for higher learning,” said Dr. Dwight D. Perry, chair of the NCCU Board of Trustees. “NCCU is gaining a passionate, powerful and humble leader, scholar and community servant in Dr. Saunders-White.” Saunders-White’s appointment was broadcast live in B.N. Duke Auditorium for students, faculty, staff and alumni. Her introduction was met with applause from those who gathered, including Frances Graham, associate vice chancellor of academic affairs. “It’s an exciting time for Dr. Saunders-White to take the helm,” Graham said. “There are so many positive initiatives taking place on campus right now. I believe she will bring commitment, opportunity, positive energy, integrity and transformation. She seems to have superb networks with industry, and her understanding of the federal government is a great asset.” Students and others quickly took to social media to express their enthusiasm using the hashtag #NCCUNewPrez. After Ross’ announcement in Chapel Hill, Saunders-White traveled to NCCU’s campus for a news conference, lunch with administrators and deans and a reception with members of the NCCU community. “I was excited that Dr. Saunders-White was chosen,” said Stefan Weathers, president-elect of the Student Government Association. “She is perfect for the job. I wanted a female chancellor. It presents us with a different dynamic on campus


NCCU NOW spring 2013

NCCU’s new leader brings broad experience in academia, business and government; she will take office June 1

b y ayana D . h e r nan d e z

higher education programs and oversees more than 60 programs that strengthen the capacity of minority-serving institutions and help recruit and prepare disadvantaged students for successful college completion. This is the largest grantmaking function within the Department of Education. “Dr. James E. Shepard was forward-thinking in establishing NCCU’s motto as ‘Truth and Service,’ ” said Saunders-White. “These are two strong concepts. Truth and Service is distinguished in a time when values get lost in rhetoric. Our graduates, faculty and staff can really make a difference in this global community. We clearly offer students who interact with our community the opportunity to walk away not only as learned individuals, but as true leaders.” Before her appointment to the Department of Education position, SaundersWhite was vice chancellor for information technology systems at University of North

Hill for the announcement. “Deb is a smart, bright woman with a passion for leadership and knows that leadership is about building relationships. She is warm, caring and genuine and has high expectations for her students’ behavior both inside and outside the classroom. She makes sure students are engaged academically and that they provide service. This is what she did at UNCW and what I believe she will do at NCCU.”

I am passionate about the promise of higher education. I believe that higher education is a powerful economic empowerment tool. It transforms lives. I am absolutely committed to the mission of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and to NCCU. — Debra Saunders-White since she can be influential to both male and female populations.” Weathers added, “She seems to understand the true mission and purpose of the university.” Saunders-White, who will take office June 1, comes to NCCU from the U.S. Department of Education, where she has served since 2011 as deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs. She has been responsible for administering federal programs that increase access to postsecondary education for low-income, first-generation college students and students with disabilities. As deputy assistant secretary, she serves as the assistant secretary’s chief advisor on

Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). From 2007 to 2008, she also served concurrently as UNCW’s interim associate provost in the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and as chief diversity officer. Pat Leonard, vice chancellor for student affairs at UNCW, worked with Saunders-White and came to UNC’s General Administration building in Chapel

Before entering higher education administration, Saunders-White spent 15 years in the corporate sector. She joined IBM in 1979 as a systems engineer and soon moved into marketing, where she assumed increasing levels of managerial responsibility for IBM’s higher education, finance, and public-sector marketing. By the time she left the company in 1994, she

had earned numerous awards for customer engagement and other accomplishments. From 1994 to 1998, Saunders-White taught college-preparatory mathematics at St. George’s School in Newport, R.I. In 1999, she joined Hampton University as assistant provost for technology, tasked with designing and building the university’s first information-technology organization. In 2005, she was promoted to the newly created post of vice president for technology and chief information officer. A Hampton, Va., native, SaundersWhite earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, where she was a DuPont Scholar. She earned a master’s of business administration from The College of William & Mary and a doctorate in higher education administration from The George Washington University. Saunders-White is a Silver Star member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and a member of the Links Inc. She is the mother of two children: Elizabeth Paige, a senior and member of the track and field team at Temple University; and Cecil III, a second-year student at the University of Virginia. “I am passionate about the promise of higher education,” Saunders-White said. “I believe that higher education is a powerful economic empowerment tool. It transforms lives. I am absolutely committed to the mission of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and to NCCU.” 

spring 2013 NCCU NOW


voters’ advocate


Jarvis Hall Promotes Getting students energized and Political Engagement involved in the political pro—All Year, Every Year cess is easy. Or it is, at least,

for about two months before a presidential election. But what about those other 46 months of the election cycle? Well, there’s the challenge. And it is a challenge that Dr. Jarvis Hall takes personally. Hall is an associate professor of political science and director of NCCU’s Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change. He has led the institute since it was established in 2006 by the NCCU Board of Trustees. Its mission is to improve the quantity and quality of civic engagement on the campus and in the region. 16

NCCU NOW spring 2013

There’s much more to civic engagement, of course, than presidential elections. So regardless of the election calendar, Hall collaborates with the Student Government Association, the campus branch of the NAACP and other organizations to encourage student involvement in civic affairs. There are additional collaborative efforts with community organizations, such as the North Carolina NAACP and Democracy North Carolina, a nonpartisan group that advocates for increased voter participation and limits on the influence of big money in politics. Hall works with students in a variety of ways. Last year, for example, he and a group of students organized SEEN, the Student Engagement and Empowerment Network, which brought together students from the state’s 11 HBCUs. And he is a willing mentor. Among his current protégés is Desiree Parker, a senior from Fayetteville with a double major in political science and public administration. Last year, Hall helped her secure an internship at the NAACP’s state office in Durham. This year, she was the NCCU campus field organizer for the 2013 Historic Thousands on Jones Street assembly, an annual gathering that takes place in Raleigh soon after the legislature convenes in which progressive groups march, speak, network and communicate their priorities to the lawmakers. “The job was to get students informed, aware and then involved,” Parker said. She

organized transportation to Raleigh for the February event, and arranged for participating students to receive community service credit. “We were the lead institution in North Carolina — we had the most students taking part. I’m very proud of that.” “I never expected to be so politically engaged,” Parker said, and she gives Hall a lot of credit for it. “Dr. Hall is an amazing professor,” she said. “He opens our eyes to many things. He has energy and passion about getting people involved — and he brings that to his meetings and classes.” Right now, an issue has come to the forefront that Hall believes must receive urgent attention: voting access. In Raleigh this spring, the North Carolina legislature has been crafting a bill that would require voters to present an official photo ID in order to cast a ballot. And in Washington, the Supreme Court is weighing whether to overturn major components of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, one of the landmark civil rights laws — and expectation is widespread that the court’s conservative majority will do so. To Hall, these are serious threats to citizens’ right to vote, but they are also opportunities — for education and mobilization. Hall recognizes, however, the need to tread carefully on what is highly politicized ground. Partisan advocacy is neither welcome nor appropriate for a professor or an institute at a public university. So how do you toe a nonpartisan line when an effort

is v r ja all h

to limit voting comes entirely from one side of the aisle? “Yes, it’s a tightrope,” he acknowledged, “but I never refer to ‘Republican’ or ‘Democrat.’ Where it’s appropriate, I do sometimes use terms like conservative or progressive. And I’m willing to say certain things, such as ‘Yes, there are partisan reasons for this.’ The voter ID bills that are sweeping the country are a form of voter suppression. Voter ID requirements will have a disproportionate effect on the elderly, the poor and minorities — who tend to support one party over another.” In an interview in March, Hall said North Carolina’s voter ID law “looks like a done deal.” The proper response, he said, is a vigorous effort to educate voters. “People have to do all they can to get their IDs and inform themselves about the new law,” he said. “Not having clear information can discourage people from voting.” As for the Supreme Court and the threatened Voting Rights Act, he said, “Those of us who are working every day in this area know the problem of voter suppression hasn’t gone away. We need these protections. They should be expanded, not eliminated.” “It’s a time to be concerned,” he said. “But we must look at these crises as opportunities — to get people’s attention, and get them informed. I hope this will have the effect of injecting energy into the struggle for voting rights.” Hall constantly looks for ways to remind students of the need for political

“Decisions at the state, county and city level often have a bigger effect on people’s lives.” — dr. JARVIS HALL engagement at all levels. “Decisions at the state, county and city level often have a bigger effect on people’s lives,” he notes. Stefan Weathers, a junior from Charlotte majoring in political science and mass communication, has gotten that message. At Hall’s urging, Weathers worked as a community organizer in Charlotte last summer in an internship that, he said, helped him appreciate the extent to which “all politics is local.” “The best way to engage people, especially students, is to reach them where they are,” Weathers said. “What goes on in your backyard affects you more than what happens in an office in Washington. We need to improve on our efforts to inform and engage people that way.” In March, Hall received the National Conference of Black Political Scientists’ Fannie Lou Hamer Award, named for the famed Mississippi civil rights activist who died in 1977. The award recognizes “exemplary contributions to the growth and development of the African-American community.” Hall said he was honored, “because of whom the award recognizes (Ms. Hamer), what it is for (community service) and because it is from my professional peers.” 

Jarvis A. Hall is an associate professor of political science and director of NCCU’s Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change, a post he has occupied since the in-

stitute’s inception in 2006. From 1998 to 2005, he was chair of the Political Science Department. Hall earned a B.A. from North Carolina A&T State University in 1979, an M.A. in public policy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1982 and a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University in 1993. Before coming to NCCU, he taught at N.C. A&T, St. Lawrence University and Washington and Lee University. His teaching and research interests include African-American politics, social movements, grass roots politics, civil rights, public policy and electoral behavior. spring 2013 NCCU NOW


The Language Repair Team Communication Disorders Program Trains Specialists in a High-Demand Field By myra wooten


Tucked away

on the first floor of the School of Education at North Carolina Central University is one of the best-kept secrets in Durham, the Communication Disorders program. Established in 1967, this graduate degree program trains students to become speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who prevent, assess and manage human communication disorders across the lifespan — from infants to the elderly. With a total of 80 students, the program is led by 11 dedicated faculty members — 10 SLPs and one audiologist — who, in addition to teaching and performing research, provide speech-language services to clients. Swallowing, articulation, language development, cognition, autism and neurodegenerative disorders are all specialty fields of the faculty and part of the eight clinics offered at NCCU.

At no cost, community members receive

speech and language services in one-on-one and group sessions. One of the most soughtafter specialty areas is the adult clinical services program, headed by Katrina Miller, clinical supervisor instructor.

For 30 years, Miller has dedicated herself

to adult neurogenics, which includes traumatic brain injury, strokes, trauma, infection and neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.


NCCU NOW spring 2013

Katrina Miller, clinical supervisor instructor, leads a Neurogenic Aphasia Group session. Clients are, clockwise from center, Dr. James Lewis, Sam Sellars, Jeff Burton (brown cap) and Mickey Fisher. Observing are students Lia Kotsopoulos and Brian Hurley.

In 2009, Miller started the Neurogenic Aphasia Group, or NAG, to provide group and individual therapy for individuals whose speaking ability had become impaired, most commonly from stroke. Aphasia causes a disturbance in the formulation and comprehension of language. “Having a communication disorder is isolating,” said Miller. “So much of our lives, from spending time with family to work and social outings, centers on communication.” Because of this, Miller believes that group therapy is the ideal setting to get people back to a functional level — people like Dr. James Lewis. James and Barbara Lewis met as students at NCCU in 1960. He would become a dentist and she an elementary and special education teacher. In 2010, Dr. Lewis suffered a stroke while having lunch in a local restaurant. Barbara Lewis learned of her husband’s condition when she called his cell phone, only to have it answered by a nurse at Durham Regional Hospital. For two months, James was unable to speak. After three hospital transfers and countless rehabilitation sessions, Barbara found Miller and the NAG program. “I was very interested in having him participate,” she said. “He didn’t think the program would help him, so I had to do a lot of talking to get him to be agreeable.” Fiercely independent, James had always been the one to take care of others, his wife said. In 1971, he established the dentistry program at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham

while continuing a thriving private practice. Until the time of his stroke, he continued to treat patients at Lincoln and in his practice. It was difficult for Barbara to watch her husband become dependent on others, including herself. “He was always the person in charge, and now since coming to the program that part of his personality is coming back,” she said. “The interaction with other people is amazing. I can see him stretching beyond himself.” Barbara has been bringing her husband to NAG twice a week since October 2012 for group sessions. The therapy has worked so well that James recently agreed to participate in individual sessions. Every semester, Miller leads the first NAG group session, and then turns it over to her second-year students. The students set objectives for each participant, building them into the group sessions. Each student in the program is required to complete 475 clinic hours, 115 of which are performed under the supervision of the program’s faculty. The remaining 360 hours are completed within the community in public schools, nursing homes, hospitals and private practices. “The first time a student meets a client, they’re nervous,” Miller said. “But I always tell them, your clients won’t break. Your job is to repair.” The first lesson Miller gives her students: Have a plan, especially in group sessions. Before a client joins the group, Miller trains her students on the correct way to gather information during an initial evaluation. That spring 2013 NCCU NOW


evaluation, she said, should begin the moment a person enters the room. “I’m looking at their body language and how they interact with their caregiver.” If the client is unable to shake hands, that indicates left side weakness, which means the stroke occurred in the right hemisphere of the brain. “To hear this person speak, you would never know that they have had a brain injury, but they will have difficulty with cognitive issues — reasoning, organization and planning,” said Miller. An individual with left hemisphere damage will show apraxia, revealed through difficulty in forming words, and slower processing. NAG’s participants have suffered right and left hemisphere damage and many of them are years post-stroke. For most of them, NAG was the first stop while they waited for Medicare services to kick in. They continue to participate in the program for the social aspects as much as the clinical services. The TBI challenge

When the program started, the original plan was to bring people who have had strokes together with individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). But Miller said that turned out to be difficult. People with TBI are generally younger and have specific problems and needs that differ

from those of the current NAG participants, nearly all of whom are middle-aged and older. And TBI is a growing problem, linked in part to the wartime injuries sustained by service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Miller is determined to find ways to address it. “TBI makes processing difficult. These types of injures effect the frontal lobe, which handles inhibitions and personality,” Miller said. “People with TBI don’t make good decisions.”

Helping people to relearn language and find the words that were once there is fascinating. My goal with each client is have them know that there is life after TBI or a stroke. — tanya smith, student

“Unfortunately, humankind keeps finding creative ways to destroy each other,” added Dr. Sheila Bridges-Bond, chair of the Communication Disorders program. “War has created more people surviving IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and living with TBI. That is a new population that we have to work with.” Couple the effects of war with the welldeserved attention paid to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and that leaves a key population not being properly served: military personnel and veterans with PTSD and mild TBI. “The culture of the military allows people to be missed, not just misdiagnosed,” said Miller. “Many of the soldiers have served two and three tours of duty. When they come home, people are looking at the mental health piece, but possibly there is a TBI issue the person faces as well.” When the trauma is mild, an untrained eye will probably miss the symptoms, Miller said. But speech-language pathologists know what to look for. “Review a checklist with a soldier, and things like trouble with concentration, irritability and memory loss are a few ways that TBI can manifest itself. You may also see personality changes,” Miller said. Miller is concerned that there are not enough pathologists to serve returning veterans, and also that recent graduates of SLP programs may not have had enough exposure working with this population. So she is developing a program to ensure that NCCU graduates are prepared for the changing landscape of speech-language pathology. A few years ago Miller was appointed to the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina (BIANC). Around the same time, she met Darlene Layseth, co-founder and executive director of Cornerstone Community Development Corporation in Warsaw, N.C. Located in rural Duplin County, Cornerstone provides resources to community members, including veter-

Speech-language pathology student Tanya Smith helps her client, Sallie Hughley, recall the name of her favorite car.


NCCU NOW spring 2013

ans. “There is nothing there,” Miller said. “I mean absolutely no speech resources for veterans. I knew I had to do something.” Using the connections she has made over the years, Miller is working to bring speech-language services to Warsaw and expose her students to people with TBI and the therapy they require. The process is moving slowly, she said, but she is committed to getting the program going. Personal reasons

“Our department is forward-thinking,” said Bridges-Bond. “We have to ensure that our students have the knowledge and skills to provide clinical services to all individuals, regardless of their backgrounds.” When training students, faculty members say they know a student is ready when the answer to the question, “Would I let this person work with my mother?” is “yes.” Many of the students in the program have known someone with a communication disorder; students like Tanya Smith. “I always knew I wanted to do speech pathology,” Smith said. “Helping people to relearn language and find the words that were once there is fascinating. My goal with each client is have them know that there is life after TBI or a stroke.” Born in Bayboro, a small town near the coast in Pamlico County, Smith has older twin sisters who were born three months prematurely, each weighing less than a pound. Miraculously, they survived, and today they are adults and living independently. “They both have partial hearing loss and I work with them when I come home,” Smith said. Working with them has helped motivate her toward completion of her degree, something she expects to do in December. After graduation, she hopes to work in a hospital or nursing facility as a specialist in adult neurogenics. When working with left hemisphere stroke clients in the NAG program, Smith uses melodic intonation therapy. “Their language is affected, but the right side, which houses art and music, still works,” said Miller. Holding the left hand of her client, Ms. Sallie, she hums a one- or twosyllable word or phrase, using a higher pitch on the stressed syllable. Simultaneously, she taps the left hand to stimulate that part of the brain. The result is a client’s recall of the word.

James Lewis, a retired dentist, suffered a stroke in 2010. Since his wife Barbara began bringing him to the group sessions last October, he has made significant progress toward recovery.

Structural Changes

Last year, Dr. Wynetta Lee, dean of the School of Education, led the faculty in creating an ambitious strategic plan. Some of the ideas were long-term dreams, such as a school for African-American males, but others were concrete solutions to real struggles in the program. At the start of the 2012 school year, the Communication Disorders program, previously a stand-alone within the School of Education, was joined with the Department of Counselor Education to create the Allied Professions Department. “We had to consider organizational operations and cluster things in a way that made better sense,” Lee said. “In a climate that is not very friendly with funding, we combined the programs that were focused on making life better – counseling, speech and audiology – into one department.” The fact that the two departments offered only graduate-level programs was another reason for the merger. Lee believes the School of Education has a responsibility to engage with the community, and the faculty has a natural interest and disposition to engage. Faculty members often work from early morning until late in the evening serving a growing list of patients. In fact, the Communication Disorders program often has a client waiting list. “We will have to look at how to make the program sustainable,” Lee said. “We need two more faculty members to grow the program.” She would also like to develop a doctorate program. Meanwhile, the School of Education has already begun work to create an insti-

tute that has multiple centers, including a center for special programs. The centers would connect across all programs within the School of Education to serve the community using the running thread of urban schools. The centers would include professional development, research and special programs. Professional development has already started through the school’s work with Durham Public Schools and teacher training. “Details still need to be crafted and a track record established,” Lee said. “But between now and the end of summer, we want to start the next phase to seek funding before gaining approval from UNC General Administration.” Lee and Bridges-Bond are confident that they will receive approval. “Our program is unique because of its focus on culture and diversity,” said Bridges-Bond. “That is deliberate.” Each year, the Communication Disorders program receives hundreds of applications for its 80 slots. Six UNC system schools offer a speech-language pathology program, but the NCCU program stands out for being far more diverse, enrolling males, minorities and nontraditional students, than any of the other five. It also offers the most comprehensive specialty clinics of any UNC system school. A ready market

There is usually a job waiting for SLP graduates. In a recent article on the 20 bestpaying jobs for women in 2013, Forbes magazine ranked speech-language pathologist at number 19. The field is expected to spring 2013 NCCU NOW


Professor Kellie A. Gardner

“War has created more people surviving IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and living with TBI. That is a new population that we have to work with.” — Sheila Bridges-bond

teaches a full load of four classes at North Carolina Central University every semester, but she never shows up on campus to instruct anyone. Kathleen Phelps, who is taking one of Gardner’s early childhood education courses, rarely sets foot in Durham, either. Phelps wouldn’t have it any other way. “Professor Gardner is an amazing instructor,” she says. “I’ve never had such a good experience with a course.” Gardner’s courses are among the more than 200 online or “distance-learning” classes offered every semester at NCCU, and enrollment typically ranges between 2,000 and 3,000 students. Many of those students also take some face-to-face classes on campus, but at any given time, 700 or more NCCU students are enrolled online exclusively. And the Birth-to-Kindergarten Teacher Education Program, of

which Gardner’s classes are a part, is one of six undergraduate majors in which all courses for the bachelor’s degree are available through distance education. Three master’s programs are also available this way, with state approval and accreditation pending for a fourth. Most professors who teach online classes also teach face-to-face in actual classrooms with live students. Gardner is an exception. A member of the Human Sciences faculty since 2001, she has been a full-time distance instructor since 2004, and she does nearly all her teaching from her home office — in Greensboro, 50 miles away. Gardner is pleased with the positive reviews she gets from her students, but she makes clear that she has worked hard to earn them. “I devote more time to my teaching than many people who teach on campus,” she says. “There’s tons of email. You have to be very detailed. To teach effectively, you need to break the material down into little steps.”

NCCU now offers more than 200 online courses every semester. For some students, it’s the only feasible path to a degree.

In a group session, Katrina Miller and client Mickey Fisher discuss an important topic: where to find the best barbecue in North Carolina.

grow faster than average through the year 2014. This is due in part to the baby boom generation entering late middle age, when neurological disorders and associated speech, language, swallowing and hearing impairments are likely to emerge. Also contributing to demand is the improving survival rate of premature infants and trauma and stroke victims, all of whom require assessment and treatment. State and federal requirements have helped the field to grow. Most states now require that newborns be screened for hearing loss and receive early intervention services. The federal law known as IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) guarantees special education and related services to all eligible children with disabilities, including those with communication disorders. The NCCU program offers eight clinics and two specialty tracks: bilingual and CREATT. The bilingual track offers students fluent in another language the opportunity to train in a bilingual setting.


NCCU NOW spring 2013

NCCU was the first UNC system school to offer this track. The CREATT track (Culturally Responsive Early Intervention and Assistive Technology Training) focuses on cultural linguistic diversity, augmentative communication — devices and tools that allow someone with a communication disorder to communicate — and early intervention. SLPs, Bridges-Bond said, must bring to their work a clear awareness and understanding of the cultural, social and regional dialects that exist across the country. “Our culture is our language and our language is our culture,” she said. “To know what is considered normal language is defined by our culture.” There is the African-American dialect, for example, which originated from different language systems of West Africa and then merged with varied speakers of English. “When comparing those dialects to standard English, they seem very different,” she said. “But imagine using a test that is designed based on the way that people speak from one region, and treating anything outside of that as an outlier,” said Bridges-Bond. “We are training SLPs to recognize that those differences are cultural and not a disorder.”

Each year, faculty members take a group of students abroad to provide speech-language services in another country. Last year, Dr. Grace Hao, a professor in the program took students to China as part of a long-term study of individuals with autism. “The students were changed from that trip,” said Lee. “African-Americans in China are rare, so they were local celebrities. I would like to see that become more formalized with a global initiative. We need to move in that direction.” In March of this year, Bridges-Bond and four of her students traveled to the Dominican Republic to work with children with communication disorders and their caregivers through the Sports Evangelism and Mission organization. “Sports, specifically baseball, is the way out of poverty and increases life opportunities in the Dominican Republic,’ said Bridges-Bond. “There are baseball fields everywhere, even in the sugarcane fields.” Students worked with children in an orphanage and a home for women who were former prostitutes. The goal of their work was preventive, promoting language, literacy and learning. 

Who Needs a Classroom? By rob waters

spring 2013 NCCU NOW


For Phelps, a teacher assistant at Barwell Road Elementary School in Raleigh who says she needs the degree to obtain state teacher certification, online instruction was the only way — kimberely to go. “It works for me phifer-mcghee, because it’s flexible,” she director of distance says. “I work full time, education I have a husband and a young son. I can’t be gone two nights a week.” All UNC System campuses now offer online courses. NCCU has done so since 1998. It’s part of a slowly unfolding revolution in higher education that is altering the centuries-old model of university teaching and learning. The traditional professor’s lecture, a staple of university education since the Middle Ages, is giving way in course after course to a much more varied and interactive mix of instruction. Technology is the driving force. It is altering traditional face-to-face classes, and opening doors to a wide array of options for distance learning. It is increasingly common for a course to be “flipped,” for example. In a flipped course, the professor prerecords a lecture, PowerPoint or other presentation and posts it online. The student views the material before attending the class, and the class time is used to build on that foundation.

“One of NCCU’s big selling points for online instruction is the low cost.”

Registered Nurse Kristin Hamann at work at the Rex Hospital Cancer Center in Raleigh, has returned to NCCU via online classes after an 18-year break to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. For a class taught by Erma J. Smith-King, right, Hamann is carrying out a community health project to learn more about where the hospital’s breast cancer patients come from.


NCCU NOW spring 2013

“The things you traditionally did in class, you now do at home, and vice versa,” says Prince H. Bull, an associate professor in the School of Education and coordinator of the school’s Educational Technology program. “This changes our role as instructors. We are more facilitators of learning, compared with professors of the pre-digital age.” Many nontraditional students

Most online students do not fit the just-outof-high-school profile of a traditional college student. They’re likely to be older, often with careers and families. Some already have degrees but need an additional degree or credential to move ahead in their careers, or to change careers. And some need it to keep the job they have. Pamela Carlton, for example, is a 25-year-old second-degree student who lives in Raleigh. She earned a degree in psychology from Fayetteville State University and worked for a few years as a public school teacher’s assistant before deciding to pursue a career teaching at the preschool level. She is now in her second year of teaching at a Raleigh pre-K with a five-star rating and will

complete her B.S. in early childhood education in December. She will have taken all but two of the courses online. And like many nontraditional students, Carlton has a very clear purpose. “This is the career track I’ve chosen and the degree is the credential I need,” she says. “And if you’re working full-time, online courses are the only way to do it. It’s convenient and it fits my schedule.” Online courses come in two basic flavors: There are “synchronous” classes, in which professor and student are online at the same time and interacting in ways that have much in common with a face-to-face class. And there are “asynchronous” classes, which don’t convene at a specified time. Asynchronous classes take many forms, but in most cases, the professor will post a weekly lesson — a chapter of reading, perhaps, along with an assignment — and create a structure that encourages or requires interaction with the professor and with other students. One afternoon early in the spring semester, as Cheresa Clemons was preparing to teach one of her classes, her desk in the School of Education was covered with photos of the students she would be teaching that afternoon in a class called Diversity Pedagogy and Social Change. It is a required class for education majors, and Clemons teaches both face-to-face and online versions of it. “I want to know what my students look like,” she says. She requires her students to provide photos of themselves and to post them with a short “who am I” essay at the start of every semester. Other students in the class are directed to look at the photos and essays and comment on them. “This establishes a sense of community, so they don’t feel that they are alone out there by themselves with just a computer,” she said. “It helps give them a sense that they are in a class, with classmates.” Clemons’ online version of the course is asynchronous. At the beginning of the semester, she divides the class of 25 to 30 students into groups of three. Instruction consists of weekly modules, posted online every Sunday night: a chapter to read, a group presentation about the chapter, reflections and comments by each group on the other presentations, and a quiz. Everyone in the class must comment. The small group setup “makes it difficult for a student to simply slide by and not engage,” Clemons says. “I’ll sometimes get an email saying ‘Hey, I haven’t heard from my group member.’ If I do, I’ll get involved — usually by sending

“Education is a journey. I try out these new programs as they become available. It challenges me to keep learning, and also to see what works and what is effective at promoting learning and a sense of community.” — dr. erma smith-king

an inquiring email. But this isn’t a big problem. Most online students are more mature and more focused. Some are already teaching and need this for certification.” The online process works better for some students than others, and that goes for professors too, Clemons says. “You have no choice but to be organized — otherwise it’s hard to keep up with students,” she says. “Students must be organized and disciplined too.” The support team

For the spring 2013 semester, NCCU is offering 240 courses online, with enrollment of 2,573 students, including 735 who are enrolled exclusively in online instruction. All these courses require some administrative support and coordination, and that’s where Kimberly C. Phifer-McGhee and her staff come in. Phifer-McGhee, director of distance education in NCCU’s Division of Extended Studies, was recruited from Florida A&M University in 2001 by former chancellor James Ammons, and has overseen NCCU’s rapid expansion of online instruction since then. An essential element of the support is the training of instructors. “There’s a knack to online instruction,” Phifer-McGee says. “It takes practice to do it well. You can’t just move a faceto-face course online and expect it to work.” A request for a new online course must originate from an academic department. If the spring 2013 NCCU NOW


instructor hasn’t taught online before, PhiferMcGhee’s staff offers a two-week summer training session. The sessions are based on a set of standards for online courses developed by the Quality Matters Program, a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer review process. Instructors also learn the ins and outs of using Blackboard, a suite of software products that constitute a “learning system management platform.” Blackboard is used by more than 10,000 institutions worldwide. It allows faculty to build an online course and provides a variety of ways for faculty-student and student-student interaction. A program called Blackboard Collaborate provides video and audio conferencing capabilities for use in synchronous classes. “At the conclusion of the two weeks of training,” Phifer-McGhee says, “a professor has the tools to build a course.” Throughout the academic year, PhiferMcGhee and her staff provide training seminars as needed and one-on-one sessions with instructors to deal with specific problems. Two staff members focus on student issues, often troubleshooting on administrative and financial matters on behalf of students who cannot be physically present on campus. One of NCCU’s big selling points for online instruction is the low cost. In 2012-13, tuition and fees for an online course totaled $379 for North Carolina residents (about $1,400 for nonresidents). “Our prices are competitive — students tend to be drawn to us because our tuition is reasonable,” Phifer-McGhee says. Structure and expectations

Jim C. Harper II, chair of the History Department, says online classes can be effective with freshmen and sophomores, too. “It’s all about structure,” he says. “If the syllabus is not structured, and the expectations aren’t clearly stated, the students will be lost.” Harper has been teaching “The Black Experience Since 1865” every semester since 2006, in both online and face-to-face formats. It is a required General Education Curriculum course, so the level of engagement from students can vary considerably. “I love teaching this class,” he says. “You get a range of students in the online format, just as Student Ebonee´ Roberson, left, who takes a combination of face-to-face and online classes, gets assistance from Dana Moore, a member of the distance education staff.


NCCU NOW spring 2013

Online courses come in two basic flavors: There are “synchronous” classes, in which professor and student are online at the same time and interacting in ways that have much in common with a face-to-face class. And there are “asynchronous” classes, which don’t convene at a specified time.

you do in a face-to-face class. If you provide good direction, about 90 percent of them submit their work on time.” A typical class has 25 to 30 students, Harper says. “It’s important that I put them in groups and provide creative assignments that make them interact.” His first assignment every semester is a family genealogy paper. “I require them to talk to their parents, grandparents and relatives about where they came from. This is not a simple family-tree assignment — I want essays and family history stories. The students learn things they never knew — and they learn a lot about their classmates.” Harper says the technology can sometimes be a challenge, but help is always close at hand from Phifer-McGhee and her staff. “Kim’s office is great at providing support — to students and faculty,” he says. “They’ll help you negotiate Blackboard. They’ll walk you through it on the phone.” Lifelong Learners

Back in 1995, Kristin Hamann dropped out of NCCU’s program designed for Registered Nurses to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. She was young and single at the time, but “I was too busy,” she recalls. Hamann is back. “So now that I’m married with three children and have elderly parents and a full-time job, I’ve decided it’s a good time to get back for the last 18 hours I need for the degree,” she says with a laugh. But she adds, “I’m 45. I know my job and my goals. It’s easy for me to be in school now.”

For the spring 2013 semester, NCCU is offering 240 courses online, with enrollment of 2,573 students, including 735 who are enrolled exclusively in online instruction. As health care grows ever more complex, many hospitals are requiring all their nurses to have the additional training the BSN requires. Studies repeatedly link better-trained nurses to improved health care outcomes. Hamann, who has been working as a Registered Nurse for 20 years, says she does not need the degree to keep her job, but she is returning to school on her own initiative to learn how to do it better. She works at Raleigh’s Rex Hospital as a breast cancer navigator, which means she works with patients just diagnosed with or undergoing treatment for breast cancer — as an advocate, coordinator of care, educator and trouble-shooter. “It’s amazing how the program has helped me in my career,” she says. “It has forced me to dig deeper. It is leading to changes in our whole cancer center. It’s helping my patients.” An online course Hamann is taking this spring is taught by Erma J. SmithKing. In it, each student is required to create and carry out a community health project. Hamann’s project, identified in collaboration with a supervisor at Rex, is to learn more about where the hospital’s breast cancer patients come from.” “Our uninsured and underinsured patients are mostly referred by county health departments,” Hamann says. “My project is to make the transition smoother — steer them through screening, mammography, biopsy and into treatment quickly.” Smith-King has been teaching this and other online courses at NCCU since 2007. And she has a lot in common with her nontraditional students. She earned a nursing degree from N.C. A&T in 1974. Since then she has collected a Master of Public Health degree from UNC–Chapel Hill, an MBA from Meredith College and, last year at age 60, a Ph.D. from N.C. A&T in leadership studies. Smith-King applies her lifelong-learning attitude to her online teaching, continually trying new forms of instructional

software as they become available. She is proficient not only with the Blackboard Collaborate the university provides, but also with VoiceThread and Adobe Connect. “Education is a journey,” she says. “I try out these new programs as they become available. It challenges me to keep learning, and also to see what works and what is effective at promoting learning and a sense of community.” A Rapid Pace

Master’s program students in Gabriel M. Peterson’s course at the School of Library and Information Sciences need to be awake and alert when he convenes the two-hour weekly class. He moves quickly through the material. Working from his tiny office in the James E. Shepard Memorial Library on a February evening, he prepares for the session by uploading a group of PowerPoint slides and fielding a few questions by email as he waits for students to join via Blackboard Collaborate. “Blackboard Collaborate is great for promoting interaction,” Peterson says. “It creates a shared environment. I can lecture, show videos, present slides and share programs running on the desktop. Students can raise their hand, take the mike and ask questions. It simulates the classroom experience — and that’s a hard thing to simulate online.” The class this particular evening is Health Reference for Librarians. Reference librarians today get fewer face-to-face queries, and a growing number via text, email or Skype, Peterson says. “In this class, I teach how to do online live reference — how to provide the desired information to a live user who’s not sharing your physical space.” The class has 20 students, most of them already working in an information-related field. They are generally in the master’s program because they need the credential to get a promotion or are looking for

a change. On this evening, about half of them are able to take part in the synchronous class, which Peterson records and then posts a link so the others can view later. Live attendance is recommended but not mandatory. Peterson launches into his presentation — a lecture, liberally sprinkled with PowerPoint slides and other visual aids, pausing when questions arise from the class or when he asks a question. It is an extended tour of online health and medical resources. His central message, repeated several times during the class: “Learn what’s out there. Spend some time with these resources.” He and the students move on to bioethics and medical ethics, and spend some time poking around the National Library of Medicine, a site operated by the National Institutes of Health. “It’s highly reliable and wellvetted. You can depend on this information,” he says. He reminds the student-librarians that the American Library Association has an ethics code of its own. “You need to tread carefully. You may not offer medical advice. You cannot diagnose. You must protect confidentiality. You can and you should point people in the direction of the answers and information that they seek.” And on it goes for two contentcrammed hours. If this were an old-fashioned lecture, it would be too much to absorb in one sitting, and hard to keep up with taking notes. But Peterson and the students all know that it’s being recorded. They can go back and review it later, as often as they need to. And that’s another important advantage of high-technology instruction: A course can cover much more material. Before he adjourns, Peterson issues the week’s assignments, which will require research and about 2,000 words of writing. The class may meet just once a week for two hours, but it’s clearly no “easy A.” Peterson teaches this course in a live face-to-face class as well. There’s a difference, he says. “The distance classes take more work. They must be very organized. If you wander off, your students will wander off — they’ll start playing video games or texting friends.”  spring 2013 NCCU NOW


homecoming – nccu delaware state – Oct 28-nov 4, 2013 vs


s h o w

Left: Teaching as she goes, Eagle General Director Angeline Baker, left, guides students Marquita Morris, Cassondra Robinson, Shearina Jones and Kenya Harris through the hospital. Below: Nursing students check vital signs on a patient simulator. The patients exhibit a wide range of realistic symptoms.

21st Century Technology Shapes Nursing’s New Clinical Lab

b y ayana D . h e r nan d e z

When North Carolina Central University’s Nursing Building opened in August 2011, the $25 million facility became the university's newest academic learning resource. The 69,000-square-foot building debuted with a state-of-the-art, comprehensive nursing training center

equipped with a 21-bed hospital and “patients.” Appropriately named Eagle General Hospital, the 7,080 square-foot fully operational clinical resource center includes 10 human patient simulators, four training rooms and five simulation rooms. The training facility provides students with hands-on training in one of the most realistic hospital atmospheres available in a Triangle-area nursing school.


NCCU NOW spring 2013

Stepping into the simulation area brings students and professors up close and personal with “patients” they come to know and care for over the course of their clinical training rotation in Eagle General. These patient simulators, or HPS-adult, HPS-child, HPS-baby, Meti-Man and iStan, as they are known, are human-like simulators designed to exhibit the realistic symptoms of medical crises. They breathe, blink and exhibit more than 10 other bodily functions. While the total cost of the simulators is approximately $1.5 million, the value they provide students and their professors is incalculable. Angeline Baker, MBA, MHA, R.N., director of Eagle General Hospital, said the hospital was configured to provide a clinical setting where students can transition smoothly from a practical education environment immediately into a hospital or other healthcare location. “Our goal is to ensure that every student has the same simulation experience and training for the real world clinical environment,” she said. The Nursing Department incorporates the simulations into the curriculum to help sharpen students’ skills and training in dealing with patients and their families. The experience also builds students’ confidence and competence. “Students who go through our training also use Situation Background Assessment Recommendation or SBAR with our patient simulations,” Baker said. “They learn to effectively communicate condition reports and lab results, and to engage in positive patient outcomes. We want to ensure that our students are prepared to be responsible for anyone in their care.” Baker is passionate about the nursing program, and Eagle General holds an especially important place in her heart. An NCCU graduate herself, she has a 25-year career in nursing and has been on faculty since 2006. “I want our students to explore all that is possible in nursing and excel once they complete the program, and this environment allows them to do just that.” Senior Marquese Scott believes Eagle General has been an asset to his nursing education. “We use scenarios we can apply in the real world with patients we’ll care for in the future,” he said. “If you are

lacking in a particular area, it gives you time to prepare with learning concepts that strengthen you. It teaches you how to think critically so you are able to apply what you learn in the textbooks. It also gives you a lifelike visualization of your patients.” In the spring 2013 semester, the center had 24 accelerated juniors, 62 seniors, and 48 traditional students in the clinical training program who are earning an ABSN, RN-BSN or traditional BSN. There are two HPS-adult, two I-Stans, as well as two Meti-Mans, one PediaSIM, two BabySIMs and one Birthing Noelle in Eagle General. Because of their advanced internal robotics that mimic human cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological systems, students are able to complete a vital-signs assessment that includes measuring heart rates, taking blood pressure, measuring urine output and inserting IVs. Part of the clinical instruction includes being videotaped with the simulator while the instructor listens and records the interaction in an observation room for debriefing. These scenarios could include conditions from postoperative bleeding to cardiac arrest.

Facing page: Students Julian Foster and Shearina Jones examine a simulated child patient at Eagle General Hospital, the Nursing Department’s new training center.

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Ornella Dobson, a second semester junior, believes the training has been invaluable. “I did not expect everything to be so similar to the actual hospital setting. This training helps prepare you to do a lot, even practicing wound care.” She adds, “It has been a challenge. When I started, I would often think to myself, ‘Am I going to do the right thing?’ I was a bit nervous. The fact that the labs are kept open for practicing allows you time to get comfortable with your skill.” Roger Collins, RN, MSPH, a nursing professor who has taught at NCCU for more than 30 years, described Eagle General as “revolutionary” in comparison with other area nursing schools. “It is a premier facility, and I am learning along with the students to work with truly innovative technology. I believe nursing students are the most exciting students to teach because they are wide open to learning, and they say, ‘Here I am, instruct me.’” Betty Dennis, Ph.D., Nursing Department chair, believes Eagle General Hospital serves a greater purpose that benefits students in other health career disciplines and individuals throughout the Triangle. “Eagle General is a very forward-thinking facility for nursing education that also supports other health care professional groups in this area and the wider region,” she said. “These patient simulators take us into another form of learning.”

Top: “Low-Fidelity Child” is the name that has been given to this Eagle General inhabitant. Above: Professor Roger Collins instructs a class in a lab/classroom space at Eagle General.


NCCU NOW spring 2013

Left: Students Cassondra Robinson and Jasmine Bell administer emergency care to “Meti-Man.” Below: The simulated baby patient is able to breathe and exhibit about a dozen other functions.

“The other aspect of this,” Dennis said, “is that we have changes in the healthcare system, and with the reduction in hospital beds and units this facility is able to offer a supplement to the clinical training a student would receive. It is the type of addition that makes a difference in the type of education we give our students.” Another intangible asset to Eagle General is that the facility has brought more of the community in to engage with the Nursing Department. Dennis mentioned several new opportunities to interact with Duke University School of Nursing and School of Medicine, area community colleges, as well as WakeMed and Rex hospitals. “It has expanded our ability to work in collaboration with nearby facilities and institutions. It has also allowed us to bring in middle and high school students, walk them through Eagle General and talk to them about the possibilities of nursing and other health careers. It provides a way for us to engage with the community in ways we have not done previously,” said Dennis. Both Dennis and Baker note the additional and expanded opportunities for cross-campus collaboration that have developed as a result of Eagle General. The Nursing Department regularly works with units such as biology, nutrition and social work.

“Eagle General gives us the opportunity to take steps in areas that we would not have before,” Dennis said. “We are looking at how we can use human patient simulators in context with mental health, help students have a better understanding in dealing with people who have mental health problems. We can also use patient simulators in community health nursing and enhance our students’ ability to look at both the usual and unusual symptoms and signs of mental illnesses.” What's next for Eagle General? Dennis said she and her faculty are continually looking for ways the program can grow while being a resource to the wider community. “With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the use of electronic health records will eventually become a requirement,” she said. “We recently received a small grant to purchase software for electronic record-keeping. The facility will enable us to easily integrate advances that are occurring in the nursing occupation to what we can offer at Eagle General.” 

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NCCU Thanks You!

Value, Opportunity and Agility “Our mission is unique” — A c o n v e r s at i o n w i t h S c h o o l o f Law D e a n P h y l i s s C r a i g - Ta y l o r Phyliss Craig-Taylor is completing her first year as dean of the NCCU School of Law. She is no stranger to NCCU, having served as a professor of law from 2000 to 2006. In a conversation with NCCU NOW editor Rob Waters, she talks about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

“Thank you for giving us a chance to show the world what we can do.” Korey Mercer, Senior, Political Science Class of 2013

Student success is the No. 1 goal of NCCU’s Strategic Plan. Hence, student financial aid is the No. 1 priority of Institutional Advancement. With your support, we increased scholarship funding from $2.6 million in 2010–11 to more than $3 million in 2011–12. We are sincerely grateful for what you have done and we look forward to what you will do. Much more is needed. Thank you! Dean Phyliss Craig-Taylor, in her office with students, from left, Jay Jenkins, Shadon Graham-Crosby and Cole Phelps.

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Welcome back.

You taught here for six

years and then you were away for six years. What is it like to be at NCCU again? It’s an exciting time for the law school. I started with a theme at the beginning of the year, “Building on the legacy, answering the call.” I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me. In my first couple of months in the position, I dedicated a substantial amount of time to meet with members of the faculty, my management team and students to make sure we’re all focused on the societal issues of the day and how our mission challenges us to address those needs. That’s why Dr. Shepard founded this school. He thought people who would otherwise be voiceless needed

Angaza Mayo-Laughinghouse studies in the School of Law library.

advocates — advocates who could speak from their own experience.

I will say that one thing has been surprising: The student body is larger

now than when I taught here in the early 2000s. It changes the culture of the law school — it’s not better or worse, just different. So it is important to understand the differences in culture and to take the time needed to acclimate.

Have there been any bad surprises? Anything that made you say “Uh-oh”? Well it wasn’t a surprise, but the financial constraints — the reduction in state funding — created a steeper climb than what I expected as we planned for this academic year, and as we were developing our fiveyear strategic plan. We are operating with significantly less resources. It’s not just us. The legislature has reduced funding for education across the board, and the reality is that we’re serving a larger student population with less resources.

What are the highlights of your strategic plan? Our goal is to design a curriculum that is agile enough to adjust to changes in the delivery of legal services and changes in the profession — and to do that while continuing to be a school of opportunity. We want all of our students to succeed. This requires a heavy emphasis on skills development and the provision of academic support that ensures the success of the students that we admit.

What are the strengths you can build on? We have a strong foundation — a mission and a purpose. This enables us to hire and retain faculty and staff who work here because they believe in the mission. They believe in expanding diversity in the legal profession, providing community service, and addressing unmet needs. That’s our strength. When you don’t have the financial resources, you rely on your human capital.

Affordability has always been part of the school’s mission and appeal. With less money coming from the state legislature, how do you keep tuition affordable? We are nationally recognized for providing a high-quality affordable legal education, and we remain committed to maintain our designation as one of the best values in the country. We did not request a tuition increase this year for that very reason. That’s a way to increase revenue, but


NCCU NOW spring 2013

Pictured left: Craig-Taylor greets Law faculty members Fred J. Williams, center and Gregory Malhoit. Above: The dean confers with students Shadon Graham-Crosby, left, and Cole Phelps

we are looking into ways to develop other revenue streams. Such as? Enhancing and increasing our distance education offerings — and particularly offering distance education courses between sessions and during the summer. Our tuition will make the courses attractive to students from other institutions. My team is exploring other alternative and viable revenue streams. We tabled the tuitionincrease conversation until we could fully

explore alternatives that do not directly affect our basic affordability. Recent reports portray a profession in crisis. Law firms are shrinking or dissolving. Graduates have trouble finding jobs. Law school applications are down about 30 percent nationally. What’s going on? Are law schools producing more lawyers than the market can absorb? And how is the NCCU School of Law responding? Much of the attention is focused on large law firms, and they are definitely going through some wrenching changes. Largefirm hiring contracted during the recession. Their clients are demanding lawyers with enhanced skills and a more efficient

delivery of legal services. Historically, our law school has placed just a small percentage of our graduates in large firms. Our graduates are successful solo practitioners, or members of small to medium-size firms, public interest and government. That is our niche. A survey by the N.C. State Bar identified numerous counties and cities in the state without a lawyer available to represent the local population. Part of our mission is to fill that need — the need for graduates who will do bankruptcy, family law, employment law, civil rights law, and who will go out and represent everyday people. Our graduates represent teachers, nurses, police officers, firefighters — the people who hold our communities together. Those are people who will find it difficult or impossible to pay a large retainer to obtain the services of an attorney. That unmet need is growing — it’s not shrinking. Are law schools producing too many lawyers? I’ll answer with a definitive “no.” There has been a major adjustment in certain areas of practice. But our graduates are needed more than ever. Our mission is unique, and that’s what makes this law school special. We try to address present-

day needs, and right now in many communities those needs aren’t being met. It sounds like there are still opportunities to practice law, but you’re less likely to get rich doing so. Should we make this clear to prospective students, and warn them not to run up a big debt to get their degree? If you are interested in serving ordinary people, improving communities or performing public service, there is ample room for you in the legal profession. There is still a tremendous need for lawyers to serve under-represented communities. The North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission reports that 80 percent of the civil legal needs of the poor go unmet, and that there is only one legal aid attorney for every 15,500 low-income people statewide. Careers in public service are still available. NCCU Law provides students with the foundation to meet those needs. Accumulating insurmountable debt is a big concern, particularly for graduates who begin careers in public service. Students must understand how to finance their legal education responsibly so their debt is not a prohibitive factor in

We are nationally recognized for providing a high-quality affordable legal education, and we remain committed to maintain our designation as one of the best values in the country. spring 2013 NCCU NOW


are not introduced to these skills until much later in their study of the law. selecting a career path. And law schools have an obligation to help students learn how to finance their education sensibly. Does the placement record remain pretty steady for our graduates? Yes. We have not experienced any significant decline in the percentage of graduates who are employed six to nine months after graduation. Our law school has always focused on developing practical skills, and our graduates are ready to hit the ground running. We invest heavily in our skills programs and in our clinics. This year, for example, we have added two new clinics, expanding our clinical offerings to 13. We’re also more focused now on emerging practice areas, and offering concentrations that prepare our graduates to represent people in areas where there’s demand. We’ve expanded our bankruptcy offerings, for example. As many people are battling with financial institutions to stay in their homes, we are opening a foreclosure clinic. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is opening four new regional offices, and those offices need to be staffed with capable lawyers. Last fall, we received certification from that agency to expand the coverage of our intellectual property clinic, so our students will be prepared for jobs in that area of practice. We’re continuing to identify areas with the greatest demand, and we’re adjusting our curriculum in response to current needs for legal representation. This a key part of our focus on agility in our strategic plan.


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Agility is not something that has been a strength for law schools. There are 201 accredited law schools in the country, and at the majority of those schools the core curricula are nearly identical. We are committed to not being one of those law schools. We see flexiblilty and responsiveness to the changes in the profession and the needs of the community as part of our role. Does this different approach start at Day One? Do you teach first-year students in ways that differ from other law schools? Our first-year students receive practical skills instruction. Our professors infuse practice-ready problems and skills into even the first-year classes. In a visit to the classroom, you’ll see students actually engaged in mock client counseling so they gain experience in obtaining and identifying the legally relevant facts of a case, and not just reading the facts in an appellate opinion in the casebook. We have One-L (first-year) trial competitions, opening statement competitions and moot court competitions. In most schools, students

So even though some law schools are cutting enrollment and laying off faculty, you don’t think that will be necessary here? We are cognizant of the changes that are occurring in enrollment. The number of Law School Admission Test (LSAT) takers has dropped in recent years, which means there is a smaller applicant pool. We came very close to our enrollment target of 601 students last year, even though the LSAT numbers were already shrinking. We’re closely tracking the number of applications, our admissions offers and paid deposits, in comparison to prior years. After analyzing the data we will prepare a report for the provost and chancellor highlighting any trends. Any decisions that impact our enrollment strategy or goals will be based on data specific to our institution. We have two things going for us: We offer good value, and we are a school of opportunity, so we may not have to cut back as much as other institutions. We are preparing for a number of possible options. Do you think the diversity of the student body will be affected? No, we pride ourselves on recruiting and admitting a diverse student population, and it’s not likely to change. Women account for a slight majority of our current first-year class, there is a wide range in ages, and this year’s racial/ethnic breakdown is about typical — 54 percent African-American, 36 percent white, 5 percent Hispanic, 3 percent Asian/Pacific Islander and 2 percent Native American.

Tell us about retention efforts. What do you do to keep students on track once you’ve admitted them? We have a standing committee that focuses on bar preparation and retention. If students arrive with a skills gap, we offer the course work necessary for them to close that gap. For example, we require a course in critical thinking that you will not find at most law schools. We accept students from various undergraduate majors with varied levels of training in the critical thinking and reasoning skills needed to succeed in law school. In their first semester, we teach those foundation skills, so that students can fully engage their legal studies. Our Academic Support Department provides workshops and one-on-one sessions for any student seeking assistance. Our students also receive feedback through formative assessments. Midterm exams are mandatory in all of our first-year classes. These formative assessments provide timely feedback to students while a small percentage of their grade is at stake. At most law schools, students take one exam at the end of a course — and you pass or you fail.

Future lawyers at work, from left: Jaimey Howard, Ronald Williams, II, Amelia O’Rourke-Owens, Kierra Simmons, Amber Eades, Craig Paine, Carolina Stephenson, Nola Smith; Ana S. Nunez, Sheri Bangura and William Moultrie.

This means that the first time our students sit down with a paying client, they are prepared to conduct the client interview. Their practical skills experience will enhance their effectiveness in identifying the legally relevant facts and the issues, and subsequently counseling the client on options to achieve a positive outcome. We think it’s vital for our students to have those experiences while they’re in school, and our clinics play a major part in providing experiential learning.

The information revolution has transformed many fields and professions. How has it changed the way law is practiced and how it’s taught? When I started teaching 22 years ago, I would type up my syllabus and go to the copier. I’d enter my classroom with a stack of paper I could barely see over. Over time, I progressed from using the chalkboard to using an overhead projector and transparencies. Today, our professors upload their syllabus and the students download

Phyliss Craig-Taylor

The legal clinics get a lot of positive attention — they’re definitely part of the NCCU Law brand. But how do they fit into a legal education? We want our students to have as many real-world experiences as possible. We offer transactional clinics in tax, small business and community development and intellectual property. These are in addition to our live clinics in family law, landlord-tenant law and criminal defense.

Before her return to Durham, Phyliss Craig-Taylor was associate dean of academic affairs and professor of law at the Charlotte School of Law. She has more than 23 years of experience in legal education and administration. She has also taught at the University of Florida College of Law, the University of San Francisco School of Law and the University of Warsaw College of Law in Poland. Her areas of teaching include property, real estate finance, advanced issues in poverty, land use, land loss, women and the law, and professional responsibility. Through her involvement with the American Bar Association, Craig-Taylor has held several leadership positions in the Section of Litigation, including serving as a division director. She has served on the N.C. State Bar Ethics Committee and the N.C. Bar Association Minorities in the Profession Committee. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, where she earned both an undergraduate degree and law degree. She later earned a Master of Laws degree at Columbia University. She was a partner in the law firm of England & Bivens and served as a judicial clerk for the Alabama Supreme Court.

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copies electronically. Student communication with the professor and with other students occurs through the class email list. Announcements, assignments and supplemental reading can all happen easily and electronically. So yes, classroom management has been revolutionized, and it’s much more efficient now. Technology has revolutionized how we teach. When I started, it was much more professor-centered. Now, it is more interactive and more student-centered. Professors can submit questions to students in advance, so students come to class ready to engage in a thoughtful and in-depth discussion of the cases. Students can view and review recorded classes. This paradigm shift enhances the quality of our delivery. It makes us better. We’re fortunate to be on the cutting edge of use of technology in the classrooms. Technology has changed the practice of law, too, right? Absolutely. In some courtrooms now, jurors can use laptops or other digital devices to take notes. Lawyers use technology in the courtroom to re-create scenes and to explain complicated issues to the jurors. When I was in law school, we observed a demonstration of Westlaw, the online legal research service. They rolled in a big computer and showed how you performed a search for a case. They asked us for a time period, or a type of case, or a jurisdiction, whether state or federal. We shouted out answers and a person typed it in, and they

“Many of our students are first-generation — first generation in college, or the first in professional school” ______ dean Phyliss Craig-Taylor

projected the results on a screen. There was a hush — you could have heard a pin drop, we were so stunned. We had been learning from books. We had to go to the indexes, go to the card catalogs, go to the shelf to find the case — that’s how we had learned to do research. To see that you could have a nationwide search in just a minute or two — it truly looked like magic. Now, I couldn’t run the law school without Westlaw, we’re so dependent on it. That’s how research is done now. Even clerk’s offices have changed the way they handle legal documents. Pleadings are submitted electronically. Electronic signatures are another example of efficiency. These are improvements. And the revolution isn’t finished. I think technology will become more and more important in the coming years. Twenty years from now, the use of technology will create efficiencies and advancements that are hard for us to imagine — in both the practice of law and the delivery of a legal education. Law school has always had a reputation for being stressful. Is it? It can be. Discipline and a strong work ethic are required to succeed in law school. When that is combined with mastering a new vocabulary and a new set of skills, the program of study is challenging. Many of our students are first-generation — first generation in college, or the first in professional school. I was in that position myself, so I understand the weight that they feel. So I invest in them, and I try to have a positive impact on every student I come in contact with across my day. I understand the road they walked to get here. I walk through these doors every day excited about the possibilities and our accomplishments. I also feel the weight of the responsibility that comes with this role. I am committed to providing every student with the highest-quality legal education and professional preparedness. This requires our law school to be a benchmark in the academy. 


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d focus students’ forts to engage an ef nt ce re t ou ab d te b—a ni Relations is exci e Pre-Alumni Clu th ize al vit re The Office of Alum ed lp . We he cent Student ture role as alumni orchestrated the re rs be em attention on their fu m se ho w al N.C. A&T die-hard Eagles — etball game with riv sk ba 23 b. Fe committed group of e th give g at need for students to activities. Beginnin e of th k of ee s W es y en op ar hr aw nt Phila embers, raised ub members ey recruited new m . The Pre-Alumni Cl rs no do r ou to State University, th s rd ritten thank-you ca us why we are here tion of 1,100 handw thusiasm reminds uc en od us pr io e ct th fe e in ag r ei an ks for all that te. Th back, and helped m to us all. With than before they gradua n tio en ira ev sp er in at m an a m en al t their u were walking bers. They have be are driven to suppor w as it was when yo ts like our Club mem no en e lif ud st ur r yo fo in it’s e rc — fo rd and working so ha Spirit is as strong a trust that the Eagle d an pe ho I , CU you do for NC n. lls and verdant gree along the sloping hi n Truth and Service, I Anita B. Walton , lly ca ni tro ec lations el NCCU NOW irector of Alumni Re you prefer to receive If du l to alumni@nccu.e ease send an emai pl D



Lambda Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., celebrated 30 years of sisterhood.

Viella Holloway Mason of Durham celebrated 60 years of marriage on Jan. 24. The Masons are retired educators. Robert Mason was captain of the football team in 1952 and 1953 and was inducted into NCCU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.

Spring ’82, 29 Little Bo Peeps, Alpha

Spring ’82, Einstein, Gamma Gamma

Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., celebrated its 30th Anniversary.

Spring ’82, 7 Wonders, Alpha Kappa



Top: The dean with students Whitley Johnson and Thomas Bridges

Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., celerbrated its 30th Anniversary.

Left: A study group includes students, from left, Tiffany Holloman, Cecilia Franks and Lillian Hornes

Spring ’92, 37 UnspeakAKAbles, Alpha Chi

Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., celebrated 20 years of sisterhood.

’53 Robert Odell Mason Sr. (B.S.) and

’32 Julius L. Chambers (B.A.) of Charlotte

received the Citizen of the Carolinas Award, presented by the Charlotte Chamber, on Nov. 27, 2012. Chancellor Emeritus Chambers was also honored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) as their 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient. The award was presented during the association’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans on Oct. 29.

spring 2013 NCCU NOW


classnotes ‘60s

’61 and ’69 Dr. Lenwood G. Davis

(B.A., M.A.) of Winston-Salem has published a book, “Selected Writings and Speeches of James E. Shepard, 1896-1946: Founder of North Carolina Central University.” ’67 Fern A. Paterson (B.S.) of

Charlotte joined Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP in September 2012.


’76 Ophelia Gamon-Brown, M.D. (B.S.), of Charlotte was named Family Doctor of 2012 by the N.C. Academy of Family Physicians. ’77 Norman Anderson, Ph.D. (B.A.), of Arlington, Va., was one of 70 members and one of five AfricanAmericans elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2012. He is also the chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association. ’77 H. James Williams, Ph.D. (B.S.)

was named 15th president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 5, 2012.


’83 Thomas Stith III (B.B.A.) of

Durham was appointed chief of staff by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. After McCrory’s election in November 2012, Stith directed McCrory’s transition team. ’85 Reuben F. Young (J.D.) of

Cary was appointed as a special Superior Court judge. Reuben previously served as secretary of the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

’87 The Rev. Natalie Taylor Mitchem (B.S.) of Philadelphia was

appointed the executive director of the Connectional Health Commission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church


NCCU NOW spring 2013







NCCU Grad H. James Williams Chosen to Lead Fisk University H. James Williams, a 1977 NCCU graduate, was elected president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., by the university’s Board of Trustees in December 2012 and took office on Feb. 1. Until his appointment at Fisk, Williams was the dean of the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. In addition to his Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree from NCCU, he holds an MBA in accounting from the University of Wisconsin (Madison), a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Georgia (Athens), and the J.D. and Master of Laws degrees from Georgetown University Law Center. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant. A native of Winston-Salem, Williams previously taught at Georgetown, Florida A&M University and Texas Southern University, and received awards for teaching excellence at all three. “Dr. Williams was selected after a rigorous national search,” said P. Andrew Patterson, chairman of Fisk’s presidential search committee. “The Board made an inspired selection. Dr. Williams has shown strong leadership, steadfast integrity and creativity in fundraising for scholarships, academic programs and buildings in partnership with corporate leaders, faculty and alumni.” Williams succeeds Hazel R. O’Leary, who took office at Fisk in 2004 and previously served as U.S. Secretary of Energy during the Clinton Administration. “Dr. Williams is the right person for the job,” O’Leary said. “He exhibits high energy, intellect, and a proven ability for fundraising. He is committed to Fisk and is well positioned to work successfully with the business and academic communities in Nashville and the nation.” Fisk, long considered to be among the nation’s leading private historically black colleges and universities, has lately experienced significant financial challenges. The university recently won a court fight concerning its extraordinary modern art collection, donated by the late painter Georgia O’Keeffe with the stipulation that it never be sold. The courts have allowed the school to sell a 50 percent stake in the collection to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. Fisk receives $30 million under the arrangement, and the 101-piece collection is to be rotated every two years between the school and the museum. “I understand that there have been some financial challenges,” Williams said after his election was announced. “We know that’s one of the things we have to address, and we’ll do that.” 

Worldwide on July 4, 2012. Mitchem is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and Pastor of Calvary AME Church of Philadelphia. ’88 Evelyn Holt-Fuller (B.A.)

of Durham has published a book, “To My Brown Babies.”


’90 Carr Thompson (B.A.) of Durham was honored by the Public School Forum of North Carolina Afterschool Alliance. Thompson was named Afterschool Champion at the 12th Annual “Breakfast of Champions” in Washington on Feb. 7. She is a Forum board member and senior staff member of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. She also serves on the NCCU Foundation Board of Directors. ’93 A. Fulton Meachem Jr.

(B.B.A.) of Pittsburgh was named CEO of the Charlotte Housing Authority, effective Oct. 1, 2012. ’95 Catherine Woyee-Jones

(B.A.) of Apex, N.C., was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Things 2012,” which honored 30 Military Spouse-of-the-Year Finalists. The contest is sponsored by Armed Forces Insurance and was founded by Military Spouse magazine is 2008. The spouses featured on the show were finalists for 2010, 2011 and 2012. ’98 Vikki Natasha Wilkins Randle, Ph.D. (B.B.A.) of Bran-

don, Miss., has been promoted to associate professor with tenure at Mississippi State University– Meridian. Randle is a participant of the award-winning Ph.D. project created in 1994 by KPMG to create a more diverse corporate America. The project recruits minority professionals from business into doctoral programs in all business disciplines.

’99 Yolanda Johnson (B.B.A.)

of Charlotte was elected chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission. She is the first African-American woman to chair the influential advisory board. Johnson was appointed to the commission in 2006 by the Charlotte City Council.

‘00s ’00 Dr. Otelia A. Royster

(M.Ed.) of Knightdale, N.C., has published her first book, “Effects of an Inclusion Professional Development Model on Inclusion Knowledge and Perceptions of Regular Middle School Educators.” ’00 Robin Marie Worthy

(M.P.A.) and Antonio Londell Leach of Gastonia, N.C., were married on Nov. 9, 2012. ’04 Bartina L. Edwards (J.D.)

of Charlotte is on the 2013 North Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Stars List for Employment Law. Edwards practices employment law and business law in Char-

lotte. Super Lawyers is a national listing of lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice, selected regionally in their practice areas. It is a professional distinction earned by professional achievement and peer recognition. The Rising Stars designation is for attorneys who are under the age of 40 or who have been practicing less than 10 years. ’05 Crystal C. Woods (B.A.)

of Raleigh won a Midsouth Regional Emmy Award for Best Weekend Newscast: WRAL News at 11: Hurricane Irene Aftermath. Woods is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This was her second nomination.

‘10s ’11 DeWarren K. Langley

(J.D.) of Durham is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Citizens Spectrums of Democracy Award. The award honors those who have made vital contributions to make North Carolina’s democracy and government better, specifically

by working to create genuine and meaningful opportunities to engage youth with policy makers in program and service delivery through the Durham Youth Commission and Kids Voting Durham. The award was presented by the N.C. Center for Voter Education on Feb. 21. ’11 Winter Bingham (M.S.A.) of Durham was named assistant principal at Cummings High School in Burlington, N.C. Juanita Moore (B.A.), CEO and president of the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit, spoke at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor on Feb. 21, 2013, on the topic, “Sustaining the Dream — Inspiring the Future.” Shadonna Gunn (B.A.) of Durham was named principal at Grove Park Elementary School. Gwendolyn Hayes and Samuel Marcus Leazer of

Columbia, S.C. were married on Oct. 20, 2012.

spring 2013 NCCU NOW


classnotes I i n m e m o r i a m I Donald Byrd of Dover, Del., Feb. 4, 2013. Byrd was an acclaimed jazz trumpeter and pioneering music educator who, as a member of the music faculty, helped establish the jazz studies program at NCCU in 1976. Kimberly Gagum of Durham was an elementary education major at NCCU, Feb. 2, 2013. Sylvia Marie Jacobs of Durham, Jan. 13, 2013. She joined the NCCU history faculty in 1976 and quickly distinguished herself with her scholarship on African history and the African diaspora. She served as chair of the department from 1992 to 1999. In 2006, the year of her retirement, she received both the NCCU Award for Teaching Excellence and the Carter G. Woodson Scholars Medallion from the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History.

Raleigh. He attended NCCU for two years. ’38 Melvin Sikes (B.A.) of Austin, Texas, May 16, 2012. He was a Tuskegee Airman during World War II and taught at the University of Texas from 1969 to 1983. He co-authored a book, “Living with Racism: The Black Middle-Class Experience.” ’42 Bessie Joyner Redden (B.A.) of Raleigh, Oct. 5, 2012. ’42 Louise M. Shipman (B.A.) of Durham, Dec. 19, 2012. Shipman was a retired educator and a member of the NCCU Athletic Hall of Fame. ’46 Brooklyn T. McMillon (B.A.) of Durham, Jan. 10, 2013. See obituary on Page 45. ’47 Gloria Carter Hubbard (B.S.) of Durham, Sept. 19, 2012.

Brandon Moore of Wilson, N.C., was a mass communications major at NCCU, Sept. 26, 2012.

’49 George T. Thorne (BSC) of Durham, Jan. 19, 2013. He was the vice chancellor for financial affairs at NCCU from 1974 to 1986. See obituary below.

W. Scott Hunter of Raleigh, Sept. 14, 2012. He was a retired chief of State Capitol Police in

’49 and ’50 Dr. Joseph James White, Sr. (B.A.) of Greensboro, Dec. 22, 2012.

’50 Harold Hunter (B.S.) of Hendersonville, Tenn., March 7, 2013. A star basketball player at NCCU, in 1950 he became the first African-American player to sign an NBA contract. He went on to a distinguished college coaching career and was head coach of the 1968 U.S. Olympic basketball team. He was inducted into the NCCU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984, and received a Trailblazer award from the Department of Athletics during NCCU’s Centennial celebration in 2009. ’51 Edward Troy Weaver (B.S) of Burke, Va., Jan. 23, 2013.

’52 Garland W. Watt (B.A.) of Chicago, Ill., Jan. 23, 2013. Judge Watt was the first African-American selected by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill a Circuit Court vacancy.

’52 Doris Joan Scipio Dees (B.S.) of Chadbourn, N.C., Dec. 10, 2012.

’53 Chester W. Gregory Sr. (B.A.) of Catonsville, Md., Dec. 25, 2012.

’52 Blondola Ogeechee Powell Lucas of Durham, Dec. 25, 2012.

’53 Theodore Stephens (BSC) of Coral Springs, Fla., Jan. 5, 2013.

’52 Ernest "Ernie" "Big Hoss" Warlick (B.S.) of Williamsville, N.Y., Nov. 24, 2012. A football and basketball star at NCCU, he was named to the All-CIAA and Pittsburgh Courier All-American squads in 1950 and 1951 as an end. He played professionally in Canada and in

Amos Thornton of Washington, D.C., Jan. 30, 2013. Thornton attended NCCU 1951-55.

George T. Thorne, who joined the NCCU business office in 1949 and rose to become vice chancellor for financial affairs, died in Durham on Jan. 19 at the age of 86. A native of Bath, N.C., Thorne was reared in the nearby town of Washington, educated in the local schools and served in the U.S. Army in the Philippines and Japan during and immediately after World War II. After completing his military service he enrolled at North Carolina College (now NCCU), earning the Bachelor of Science degree in commerce in 1948 and Master of Science in commerce in 1956. He joined the North Carolina College business office in 1949 as an assistant to the business manager, William Jones. He was promoted to assistant business manager and comptroller, and was appointed vice chancellor of financial affairs in 1973, serving the university with distinction in that position until his retirement in 1986. He was the husband of the late Dr. Marian H. Thorne, professor emerita of business at NCCU. From his student days until his death, he was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church.

george t. thorne


NCCU NOW spring 2013

the American Football League, making the AFL all-star squad in 1962, '63, '64, and '65. He was the first African-American sportscaster on Buffalo television, was elected to the Buffalo Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 1998, and received the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Distinguished Service Award in 2000. He was inducted into the NCCU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.

’55 Sallie Thornton (BSC) of Washington, D.C., Jan. 27, 2013. ’56 Alfred Foster Fisher (B.A.) of Silver Spring, Md., Oct. 8, 2012. ’57 Gwendolyn Andrews Baber (B.S.) of Durham, Jan. 9, 2013.

Brooklyn T. McMillon Brooklyn T. McMillon, who provided 65 years of service to NCCU as a faculty member, administrator and university historian, died Jan. 10 in Durham at the age of 97. Born in Columbia, Ala., in 1915, and reared in New Jersey after his family moved to the North when he was 3, McMillon came to Durham in 1938 to enroll at the institution then called North Carolina College for Negroes. Drafted into the Army at the outset of World War II, he rose to the rank of captain before his honorable discharge, and he then returned to NCC and graduated with a degree in history in 1946. He then entered the graduate program in Health Education, earned a master’s degree in 1947 and was promptly hired by NCC’s founder, Dr. James E. Shepard, as a health educator. He was a professor of public health for nearly 20 years, and then served for 16 years as university registrar. Upon his “retirement” in 1982, he began three decades of volunteer service as the university’s archivist and historian, cataloguing thousands of books, photographs, documents and memorabilia. His dedication to NCCU was acknowledged over the years by recognitions that included an honorary doctorate in 1990, the Chancellor’s Merit Award for “exemplary service to your alma mater” in 2002, and the “Truth and Service” Award in 2003.

’58 John W. Keels Jr. (BSC) of Tarrytown, N.Y., Feb. 19, 2013. He was one of only 34 Eagle basketball players ever to score 1,000 career points. He ranks 30th on the NCCU scoring charts with 1,019 points (421 field goals, 177 free throws).

’61 Lacy C. Streeter (BSC) of Washington, D.C., Jan. 11, 2013. He was a leader of the anti-segregation sit-ins at downtown Durham lunch counters in 1960. The Durham campaign was organized by the campus NAACP chapter.

’59 Ruth Royster (B.A) of Roxboro, N.C., Jan. 20, 2013.

Paul “Sugar” Stroud Jr. of Durham, September 17, 2012. Mr. Stroud attended NCCU from 1969-73. He was a member of the basketball team.

’59 Arneta Perry Shearin of Durham, Dec. 26, 2012.

’57 Joan Benton Lewis (B.S.) District Heights, Md., Sept. 28, 2012.

’60 James Edward Outlaw (B.S.) of Brevard, N.C., Feb. 9, 2013.

’57 Richard D. Martin (BSC) of Morristown, N.J., Feb. 11, 2012.

’61 James “Champ” Williams Brewington Jr. (B.S.) of Milford, Va., Nov. 27, 2012.

’62 James “Jay” M. Rogers Jr (B.A.) of Durham, Jan. 5, 2013. Rogers was the national Teacher of the Year and N.C. State Teacher of the Year, 1972-73. He was honored on Dec. 1 by the NCCU School of Education as one of its brightest stars. See article on page 47.

’63 Barbara Nell Hinton Bragg (B.A.) Glenn Dale, Md., Oct. 19, 2012. ’65 Ellis Leonidas Allen Sr. (B.S.) of Durham, Feb. 6, 2013. ’65 Staley Bradley Keith (B.A.) of Hudson, N.Y., Aug. 11, 2012. ’66 Brenda Joyce Taylor (B.S.) of Silver Spring, Md., Oct. 23, 2012. ’68 Earl Edward Brown, DSS (BSC) Upper Marlboro, Md., Oct. 24, 2012. ’69 Harry Monds (M.S.) of Durham, March 4, 2013. Since 2006, he was NCCU’s associate chief information officer and director of client services for

the Information Technology Services Department. ’69 Gloria McCorkle Smith (B.A.), Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb. 19, 2013. ’70 Ivey Hayes (B.A.) Rocky Point, N.C., Sept. 28, 2012. In February 2012, the NCCU Art Museum featured his work in an exhibit, “Ivey Hayes: A Retrospective.” His work has been featured in magazines, on PBS with talk show host Charlie Rose, in the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building (the oldest Congressional office) in Washington, and on a one-hour QVC special, “The Colorful World of Ivey Hayes.” ’71 Gwendolyn Murphy (B.S.) of Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 4, 2012. ’71 Charletta Diana Jeffries Patterson (B.A.) of Winston-Salem, N.C., Aug. 9, 2012. ’71 and ’80 Carolyn P, Harris (B.S., M.S.), of Durham, Oct. 31, 2012. ’72 Levi Dawson of Durham, Nov. 8, 2012. ’78 Jimmy Lawton (B.S.) of Durham, Nov. 3, 2012. ’87 James Underwood Jr. (B.A.) of Laurinburg, N.C., Oct. 4, 2012. ’93 Judy Elaine Tolbert (B.B.A.) of Brunswick, Ga., Feb. 11, 2013. ’08 Erica D. Horne (B.A.) of Forestville, N.C., Nov. 5, 2012. ’09 Minister Michael Jamar Austin of Cary, Sept. 17, 2012. spring 2013 NCCU NOW



Cecelia Steppe-Jones Endowed Scholarship Benefit and Auction

At this point in his career, Col. Allens decided to name NCCU’s Nursing Department as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy valued at nearly $90,000. He said, “NCCU was the first school I attended after high school. It set the foundation for my career.” By contributing to an endowed scholarship, Allens is seeking to leave a lasting legacy. “I wanted something that would be ongoing and stable over time.” He intends his gift to underwrite research experiences and training in benchmark clinical skills to ensure the exceptional professionalism of our nursing graduates.

LEAVING A LASTING LEGACY Dr. Myrtle B. Sampson, ’51, knows what it is

like to have to put a dream on hold. When she and her twin sister graduated from high school, there was no money for them to attend college until her older siblings were through. “We had to stay out for two years while our brother and sister were in college,” she said. But the wait did not deter Sampson. She earned a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Master of Library Science at NCCU before tackling bachelor’s, master’s, Ed.D. and Ph.D. degrees in psychology and counseling at universities across the country. After 23 years teaching psychology and counseling at N.C. A&T State University, Sampson was ready to make a commitment to help ensure that NCCU students in the fields of biology, library and information sciences or psychology would not have to defer their dreams. She established a living trust — dedicating $200,000 from her estate to scholarship support, saying, “I thought maybe I could help some other students achieve their goals.” Like the many aspirations she has fulfilled for herself, including penning her memoir titled “Crazy Lady: Achievement Against the Odds,” there is no doubt that the Myrtle B. Sampson Scholarship Fund will help pave the way for aspiring scholars for years to come.

dr. myrtle b. sampson

lt. col. elmontenal allens

Lt. Col. Elmontenal Allens, ’79, is a senior

medical advisor at the Consequence Management Unit in Abingdon, Md. He manages nurses and research personnel in the study of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Allens received his Bachelor of Science in nursing at NCCU and a Master of Science in nursing and computer science at Webster University before embarking on his 30-year career in the military. During the height of the Iraq war, he was stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and in 2005 he received the Meritorious Unit Commendation at the National Naval Medical Center for his exceptional professionalism supporting the war on terrorism, and also disaster relief around the globe.

Chantal M. Shafroth taught at NCCU for 27 years. Born in Paris, France, in 1930, she earned a degree in optical engineering from L’Institut D’Optique. With Fulbright and President’s scholarships, she traveled to the United States to study physics at John Hopkins University, where she received her master’s degree. It was there that she met and later married fellow graduate student Steve Shafroth. The couple moved to Chapel Hill. From 1967 until her retirement in 1994, Shafroth taught math and computer science at NCCU. When she passed, daughter Michele Shafroth and husband Mark Wiegand wished to honor her memory by contributing $15,000, plus a matching gift from the Amgen Foundation, for a total of $30,000 to the “Chantal M. Shafroth Women and Mathematics Mentoring Program” at NCCU. For 16 years, this program has served about 70 young women in the spring semester of their eighth grade. The students are encouraged to consider following the lead of their successful women mentors whose careers depended on learning mathematics. Shafroth worked with the program until six weeks before her death in April 2012. Michele said of her mother, “She was a very, very dedicated teacher. … She really wanted young women to study math because of the doors it opened for them. This women and math group was near and dear to her heart. The gift was a nice way to honor her memory.” 

chantal m. shafroth

“She was a very, very dedicated teacher. … She really wanted young women to study math because of the doors it opened for them.” — Michele Shafroth

For more information about planned giving, visit 46

NCCU NOW spring 2013

A Starry Night for the School of Education


By cynthia fobert

he 2012 Cecelia Steppe-Jones Endowed Scholarship Benefit and Auction focused on the accomplishments in the field of education by 15 of the School of Education’s “Brightest Stars.” The event took place on Dec. 1, 2012, with WTVD –ABC 11 weekend anchor Anthony Wilson serving as emcee. The fundraiser for student scholarships honored Steppe-Jones, former dean of the NCCU School of Education, and also two of her predecessors, Dr. Walter Brown and Dr. Sammie Campbell-Parrish. Dr. Steppe-Jones was pleased to share the spotlight, saying, “I felt really good about it. It’s about them and the other teachers who are out there on the front line.”

One of NCCU’s stars was James “Jay” Rogers, ’62. Rogers grew up in Durham and attended NCCU for a Bachelor of Arts in history. He attended Appalachian State University for his master’s degree and became teacher and chair of history at Durham High School from 1970 to 1976. Although Durham High had been “integrated,” Rogers recalled, he was dismayed at the continued social separation in the school and was determined to challenge stubborn racist attitudes through seminars and a lot of frank dialogue. He was credited with making a difference in race relations at Durham High and beyond. He was named state Teacher of the Year for 1972–73 and went on to become the first African-American to be awarded the national honor as well.

Sadly, on the day of the benefit, Rogers was admitted to hospital and could not attend in person. Dr. Steppe-Jones presented him with the evening’s award in his hospital room just weeks before his passing on Jan. 8. “His spirits were high and he was most gracious and excited for the recognition,” said benefit organizer Edith Thorpe. Another prominent star for the School of Education is Dr. Lillian Lowery, ’76, now serving as state superintendent of schools for the state of Maryland. Lowery moved to Maryland to join a team that has made that state No. 1 for education in the country for five years in a row. Maryland officials were most interested in Lowery because as Secretary of Education for the state of Delaware, she spea headed the effort to

james “jay” rogers

Lillian Lowery

vernestine kent

spring 2013 NCCU NOW


Cecelia Steppe-Jones Endowed Scholarship Benefit and Auction ing been the only African-American in the “People are nervous — teacher’s bring home the first Race to the Top grant recently integrated high school she attendunions, superintendents, state boards, conferred by the federal government. Under ed, she said she “wanted to go to an HBCU district-level curriculum experts,” said Lowery, Delaware gained $119 million to to reconnect and ground myself culturally.” Lowery. “The bottom line is that through underwrite the strategic plan that she What she found was high expectations, standardized testing, children should had just guided to completion. Delaware’s great role models, leadership opportunities show growth every year.” plan addressed improving high school Lowery also will focus on reorganizing and lifelong friends. “I was nurtured,” Lowgraduation rates and closing the achieveher department so that it better mirrors toery said. “I don’t believe that I could have ment gap through the imposition of found any better fit for me.” day’s very different work flow, and defining more rigorous standards and data-driven Many of the honored decisions — key goals and alumni at the Benefit tenets of the Race to the Top and Auction were State contest. Lowery’s grant appliMany of the honored alumni at the Benefit Teachers of the Year, but cation was further bolstered and Auction were State Teachers of the few outside of the field of by her success in seeking input Year, but few outside of the field of education understand the and buy-in from the governor, education understand the demanding, demanding, competitive legislators, the business comcompetitive process for the contestants, process for the contesmunity, union representatives or the expectations of the winners. tants, or the expectations and every local school board of the winners. In 1996, NCCU alumna for Maryland and perhaps the rest of the in the state. More than 100 stakeholders country what “college-readiness” means. contributed to or endorsed the plan. Vernestine Kent, ’89, learned that she When asked to reflect on her experi As superintendent of schools in Marywas in the running the same week she also land, Lowery is carefully managing the ences at NCCU and how they framed her learned that she was pregnant. So it was development and career, Lowery said, “I development of an evaluation system for with some trepidation that she accepted don’t think I could have gone to any other teachers tied to effectiveness, growth and her selection by her peers for entry into school and gotten a better education.” Havcore state standards. what would be a challenging contest. Photo by Tobias Rose of Kompleks Creative, Inc.

North Carolina Central University

The Annual Fund

Making Education Possible Make a gift by phone at 919-530-7785, or go to:

At each of the three levels — county, region and state — Kent was interviewed and submitted a portfolio for review that included essays describing her philosophy of education, the engagement of parents in the classroom and her thoughts on the most pressing issues facing her profession at that time. At the county and state levels, Kent was also observed in the classroom. As a finalist at the state level, she was required to present a speech and undergo a videotaped critique. Despite delivering those remarks just two days after delivering her daughter, Jasmine La’Shae Taylor, Kent was named state Teacher of the Year for 1995–96. Kent represented North Carolina at a black-tie affair in Washington where she met then President Bill Clinton. After the award came the real work. As titleholder, she delivered 250 speeches during her one-year term and served on the North Carolina State Board of Education as a voice for teachers. She spoke to the state legislature, to several teacher’s colleges and universities. And she addressed faculty groups at schools from Murphy to Manteo. While a taxing experience, especially with a newborn, her tenure as Teacher of the Year contributed to her current role as curriculum facilitator for two Wilson County middle schools. There, Kent reinforces best practices in teaching and rolls out new curricula through her facilitation of faculty learning forums. As a former and highly successful high school mathematics teacher, she consults regarding classroom management, and further supports teachers through social media access to research-based best practice materials. Because of her background, Kent fully understands her colleagues’ concerns, and her Teacher of the Year status still holds sway. “I can relate because I’ve been there — I’ve had students throwing chairs around the room,” Kent said. “I can model best practices, provide instructional strategies, observe and consult with teachers in a way that’s not threatening.” NCCU is certainly proud of Rogers, Lowery and Kent and all the other School of Education stars listed at right. We know that careers begun here have had a profound ripple effect on the state and its children, and through graduates like Lowery, national policy as well. 

Our Honorees

Fifteen of NCCU’s education stars were recognized along with former school of education deans Dr. Walter Brown and Dr. Sammie Campbell-Parrish. ........................................................................................................... The honorees were: ...........................................................................................................

 I Janita Allen,
Regional/District Teacher of the Year, 2011–12  I Teresa Cook,
Regional/District Teacher of the Year, 2011–12 Haywood County Schools  I Tyronna Hooker,
N.C. State Teacher of the Year, 2011–12 Alamance-Burlington Schools I

Diariece Jones,
Regional/District Teacher of the Year, 2005 –06 Warren County Schools


Jason Jowers,
Regional/District Teacher of the Year, 2011–12 Durham Public Schools

 I Vernestine Kent, 
N.C. State Teacher of the Year, 1995 – 96 Wilson County Schools I

Lillian Lowery, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, 2012

 I Jane Morton,
Regional/District Teacher of the Year, 2011–12 Lincoln County Schools  I Teicher Patterson, Regional/District Teacher of the Year, 2009 –10 Halifax County Schools I

Annie Pegram,
N.C. State Teacher of the Year, 1991 – 92
 Durham Public Schools


Dakisha Perry,
Regional/District Teacher of the Year, 2010 –11
 Warren County Schools


James Rogers Jr.,
National Teacher of the Year and N.C. State
 Teacher of the Year, 1972 – 73,
Durham City Schools


Sarah Eakins (Spivey) Ragan,
N.C. State Teacher of the Year, 1973 – 74


Takesha Trapp,
Regional/District Teacher of the Year, 2010 –11
 Durham Public Schools

 I Ruth Watkins,
N.C. State Teacher of the Year, 1978 –79

Richmond County Schools ........................................................................................................... 

Named for the recently retired dean of the School of Education, the Cecelia

Steppe-Jones Endowed Scholarship raises money for deserving education majors to assist with tuition, room and board and books. For information about how you can support the fund, call the Office of Institutional Advancement at 919-530-6151.

spring 2013 NCCU NOW


Student Profile

On The Fast Track

N Student-Scientist (and Serious Musician) Victoria Jones Already Has an Impressive Research Résumé by m y r a wooten


NCCU NOW spring 2013

North Carolina Central University junior Victoria Jones doesn’t

have a television, so don’t ask her to name her favorite show or the newest cast members of the BET comedy “The Game.” Not watching television has limited her knowledge of pop culture — but the future for Jones after graduation is limitless. Jones first took an interest in NCCU in her junior year of high school while participating in North Carolina Project SEED. It is a statewide, year-round science enrichment program designed to support and encourage talented, disadvantaged North Carolina high school students to pursue graduate and professional school degrees in chemistry or chemistry-related science disciplines through a scientific research internship experience. “There was a speaker who came to visit the program and told us about the BRITE (Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise) program at NCCU,” said Jones. She decided that pharmaceutical science was not for her, but NCCU would be the perfect fit. The decision was made sweeter when she received a Chancellor’s Rising Eagle Scholarship. The scholarship is given to incoming freshmen who have scored 1800 or better on the SAT or 27 on the ACT and have a 3.5 high school GPA. The scholarship covers tuition, fees, room and board and a $500-per-semester stipend for Pell-grant eligible students. In 2010, Jones graduated as salutatorian from Wake Early College of Health and Sciences, a magnet school created jointly by Wake County Public Schools, Wake Technical Community College and WakeMed Health and Hospitals, and made her way to NCCU. Her accomplishments since becoming an Eagle are numerous. She was president of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, a member of the Honda Campus All-Star Quiz Bowl team, and she received the American Chemical Society Biochemistry award. With a 3.95 GPA, she is also a RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) Scholar, working in the lab of Dr. Somnath Mukhopadhyay in NCCU’s Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute (BBRI). “This research that I am a part of will be extremely important for the development of novel drugs that target CB2 receptors for therapeutic intervention of prostate cancer,” Jones said.

Chemistry Professor John A. Myers has encountered many bright students since he began teaching at NCCU 42 years ago, but he says Jones stands out. “Victoria has the type of credentials as a scholarly student to be able to walk into a room and say, ‘Here I am,’” Myers said. “Yet she makes all of us feel when we meet her as if she just said, ‘There YOU are.’ She is genuine, bright, energetic, humble, compassionate and a true scholar.” Jones has completed a research project at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Exceptional Research Opportunities program, and another at the Penn State Hershey SURF Program in Cardiovascular Disease. She is fast becoming a regular on the scientific conference circuit, presenting at national conferences, including the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in November 2012. She was first published while still a high school student and presented in China at the Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition.

Recently, Jones was one of 25 selected from more than 700 applicants to participate in the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratorys’ Summer Undergraduate Research Program. The school, on New York’s Long Island, is named for Nobel Laureate Dr. James D. Watson, now chancellor emeritus and along with the late Dr. Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule. If Jones is excited about entering the lab at Cold Spring Harbor, she is giddy at the prospect of meeting Watson. Jones’ selection includes a private dinner with Watson in his home. “I can’t wait to meet him,” she said. In the lab and classroom, Jones shines, but put her at a piano and she will also impress. She is an accompanist and teacher for KidZNotes, a nonprofit organization providing classical orchestral training to students in East Durham. On Sunday mornings, she serves as the children’s choir pianist at Eagle Rock Christian Church and Saint James AME Church. “Music has always been a part of my life,” said Jones. “It’s a release and I enjoy it.” She

also plays the viola and has performed at Carnegie Hall and with the North Carolina All-State Orchestra. In middle school, she was a part of Satin Strings, a quartet that performed at weddings and community events. Always one to push herself, Jones gave a solo recital at Meredith College Recital Hall when she was 16. “Why not?” said Jones. “I had a large enough piano and viola repertoire that I felt I could entertain a crowd.” Not only does Jones push herself mentally but sometimes physically. Born with scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine, she recently had spinal fusion surgery to help straighten her back. “I think I’ve gotten taller since the surgery,” she said. After graduation, she plans to pursue a joint M.D/Ph.D. degree, with a cardiothoracic surgery specialty. “I don’t know any black Ph.D./M.D.s,” said Jones. “I figure with medicine I can help a few people, but with research I can change the world.” Soft-spoken with a quick smile, Jones says people are often surprised by her competitive nature. She says she follows the motto she learned while a part of Project SEED: “Excellence without excuses, quality without question and chemistry with character.” Two years ago, Jones was again at her best when she was selected to perform the national anthem at the 2011 MEAC basketball tournament in Winston-Salem. A year later, NCCU government and community relations director Starla Tanner asked Jones to sing the national anthem when first lady Michelle Obama visited the NCCU campus for a voting rally. “I was honored,” said Jones. “I don’t know how my name made it to Ms. Tanner, but that experience was just another example of how amazing being a student at NCCU has been.” 

spring 2013 NCCU NOW


division I


m e a c


b y j o nat h an ale x and e r Campus Echo Sports Editor

ESPN’s Rachael Nichols interviewed King about his long battle with leukemia and his meeting with LeBron James

Rashawn King had always dreamed of being on ESPN. He’d do whatever it would take to make it on television, he often told his mother. And fittingly enough, on Christmas Day 2012, that dream came true

Rashawn King's Battle with Cancer Showcased on ESPN

when ESPN’s Rachael Nichols interviewed King about his long battle with leukemia and his meeting with LeBron James. The two-and-a-half-minute interview aired during the halftime show of the Miami Heat/Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game. King, a walk-on freshman guard for the NCCU basketball team, said he was shocked when he heard

Rachael Nichols wanted to meet him. “I mean, it’s Rachael Nichols,” he said. “She interviews major, big-time athletes

— so me, I just wanted to meet her in person like she wanted to meet me.”

(First published in the Campus Echo, Jan. 21)

a 52

NCCU NOW spring 2013

King talks with former ESPN reporter, Rachel Nichols, during the feature story interview.

According to Nielsen ratings, the game drew more than 9 million viewers. As millions watched his story on Christmas, King’s phone blew up with phone calls, text and Twitter messages. He said he received 206 friend requests on Twitter. He reached the maximum of 5,000 friends on Facebook, 98 friend requests on Instagram, 48 text messages, many phone calls and even doorbell rings.

The first to call King was his best friend Johnny Ray Adams, screaming that he saw King on television. “At the time I was with my family watching and they didn’t believe I knew him,” Adams said, “so I called him up in front of them. I just told him, ‘I hope you make it,’ asking him ‘how did it feel to be on national television?’” Adams and King have been friends since the sixth grade.

P h o t o s b y D yann Bus s e , R e d R o c k e t P h o t o g r aph y

Witnessing King’s struggle firsthand was his mother, Michelle Merritt. She said it was tough seeing her son in a hospital bed when he went in for treatment in 2010. “From a mother’s perspective, just seeing and watching your child fight for his life is overwhelming,” she said. “You don’t bury your child, your child buries you.” She said she prayed and leaned on God and others for strength. For months King struggled, but he battled back and recovered. “I thought about when we first went in, within a matter of hours he was on every machine he could be on. He was in tubes. He was put on kidney dialysis. He was placed in intensive care. He was swelling up. I thought I was losing my child ... and then I looked at him sitting there while we were watching that piece,” Merritt said. “I was telling the Lord, ‘Thank you, I’m just thankful.’” King credits his mother for his strength and her keeping him focused. She has illustrated what it means to be a supportive role model, he said. Today, aside from playing on the basketball team, King gives motivational speeches around the Triangle. He says he has plans to open his own motivational speaking organization and travel the world to encourage kids and adults. Levelle Moton, head coach of the NCCU basketball team, has nothing but high praise for King. “A beautiful kid. He’s probably the most humble spirit, most mature kid that I’ve been around,” Moton said. “He’s down to earth, he’s real. He’s everything that you would want in a person.” King’s message for others: “Never give up on your dreams. Work hard for what you want, because when you work hard good things come out of it. Never give up. Always stay positive. Stay positive. And be determined to conquer your goals.” 

spring 2013 NCCU NOW




2013 football schedule DATE


8/31 TBA Duke University Durham Wallace Wade Stadium 9/7 2 p.m. St. Augustine‘s University Durham O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium 9/14


UNC-Charlotte / Charlotte, NC

9/21 2 p.m. Towson University Durham O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium 10/5 1 p.m. Howard University Washington, D.C.

For fans interested in listening to North Carolina Central University athletic events on their mobile device, there is now an app for that. The NCCU Department of Athletics has partnered with StepLeader, a digital solutions provider located in Raleigh, to create an app that is available as a free download on iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and Android (including the popular Kindle Fire HD) platforms through the App Store or Google Play (search for “NCCU”). “Our fans no longer have to be tied to their radio or computer to listen to our live game broadcasts,” said NCCU sports information director Kyle Serba. “The app allows fans to take the NCCU Sports Network broadcasts with them wherever they go.” Besides live audio game broadcasts, the app offers recorded interviews with NCCU coaches and student-athletes, and provides news updates, schedules, results and team rosters. The app also encourages fan interaction by integrating the primary social media outlets used by NCCU Athletics on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as a feature to submit fan photos. 

10/12 2 p.m. South Carolina State University Durham O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium

HO M ECO M ING 10/19 2 p.m. Morgan State University Durham O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium

10/26 2 p.m. Savannah State University Savannah, Ga. 11/2 2 p.m. Bethune-Cookman University Durham O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium 11/9 1 p.m. Hampton University Hampton, Va. 11/16 2 p.m. Norfolk State University Durham O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium 11/23 1 p.m. North Carolina A&T State University Greensboro

For tickets, visit 54

NCCU NOW spring 2013

(Home games are in bold)

Celeb r ating the gol de n e agl e s cla ss of 1963 Other Reunio n C l a sse s I n cl u d e : 1933, 1938, 1943, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008

For the latest news and updates, visit

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NCCU Now - Spring 2013  
NCCU Now - Spring 2013