NCCU Now Alumni Magazine Summer 2018

Page 1

World of Possibilities



Partnerships for Progress




The Life and Art of Ernie Barnes

n o r t h

c a r o l i n a

c e n t r a l

u n i v e r s i t y


contents 22


Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye was sworn in as the

a new era at NCCU.


12th chancellor on April 19, 2018, launching


O N T H E C O V E R : This painting by Ernie Barnes, titled “The Graduate,” depicting a graduate walking proudly with diploma in hand, was created in 1972. © Copyright Ernie Barnes Family Trust

s u m m e r


features 26


The Intellectual Property Law Institute at NCCU

business developers and other creators and inventors.

School of Law helps protect the the rights of musicians, artists,



Through study, travel and other immersive experiences,

students are becoming true citizens of the world.





Humanities instructors reinvent traditional

coursework with an infusion of digital knowledge.

STRONGER TOGETHER NCCU and North Carolina community colleges combine forces to help more students succeed.



Check out the upcoming Ernie Barnes celebration.

4 Letter From the Chancellor 8 Campus News 20 Discoveries

45 Class Notes 55 Sports 36



58 From the NCCU Archives

Ă For the latest NCCU NEWS and updates, visit or click to follow us on: SUMME R 2 0 18 NCCU NOW


f r om t he

C H A N C ELL O R Greetings:

For 108 years, North Carolina Central University has stayed true to Dr. James E. Shepard’s vision while remaining a central force in transforming lives and modeling educational excellence. This tradition continues today on behalf of the 8,100 plus students and 30,000 alumni we serve. We concluded our 2017-2018 academic year on a high note, as the university has made great strides in accomplishing our priorities. NCCU has embraced the University of North Carolina System Strategic Plan Higher Expectations. As part of the 17-institution System, we are on a path to fulfilling the nine metrics addressed in the plan to support the state of North Carolina. Each institution is committed to tracking and improving its progress using metrics that focus on: low-income enrollment, low-income completion, rural enrollment, rural completion, five-year graduation rates, undergraduate degree efficiency, achievement gaps in undergraduate degree efficiency, critical workforces, and research productivity. Throughout this edition of NCCU NOW, you will see examples of how we Eagles accomplished our own six priorities for the 2017-2018 academic year. These priorities focus on initiatives such as expanding research and facilitating innovative strategic partnerships with the Research Triangle Park (see story on page 10 “Physics Team Joins Nuclear Consortium”) and building new and expanding infrastructure for the university. Additionally, we are well on our way to delivering the four outcomes stated in “The Eagle Promise,” which we pledge to fulfill for our students upon graduation. For example, NCCU offers students a number of opportunities for global exposure (read “Eagles Aboard: Global Experience Can Help Students Build Confidence, Careers” on page 36). Additionally, our School of Law’s Intellectual Property Law Institute is addressing a critical skilled workforce demand for trained IP attorneys (“School of Law Trains Students to Protect Intellectual Property Rights” on page 26). In August 2018, NCCU will welcome 19 bright, high-achieving scholars as the first cohort of students to receive the coveted Cheatham-White Merit Scholarship. The scholarship, estimated at $75,000 per student, includes summer experiences and travel. NCCU remains grateful for the consistent investment of alumni, friends and partners who contribute to our institution and enable our students to soar. Donors like Rae ’81 and Audwin ’81 Helton (page 53), Leroy ’66 and Helen ’69 Latten (page 54), Richard Smith ’81 and Jacqueline Beatty-Smith ’79 (page 49) and the Levine Foundation (page 52) support student success. Please continue to join us as we journey to fulfilling The Eagle Promise! In Truth and Service,

Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye Chancellor



nccu board of trustees: chair George R. Hamilton vice chair John Barbee secretary Oita C. Coleman


Allyson Siegel John A. Herrera Isaiah Tidwell Kevin M. Holloway Michael P. Johnson Kenneth R. Tindall John T. McCubbins James Walker Karyn S. Wilkerson Davanta Parker

administration: chancellor

Johnson O. Akinleye provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs

Felecia McInnis Nave

interim vice chancellor of administration and finance

Robert Botley

vice chancellor of institutional advancement

Harriet Frink Davis

vice chancellor of student affairs

Angela Alvarado Coleman chief of staff

Al Zow

contributors: editors: Ayana

D. Hernandez, Renee Elder

design and layout:

Pandora Frazier, Bryan Huffman photography:

Chioke Brown, Ivan Watkins writers:

Kia C. Bell Renee Elder Ayana D. Hernandez Erika Ianovale Kyle Serba Quiana Shepard NCCU NOW magazine is published by North Carolina Central University Office of Communications and Marketing, 1801 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27707. Phone: 919-530-6295 / E-mail: Please send address corrections to Advancement Services, 1801 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27707. At a cost of $1.75 each, 8,000 copies of this public document were printed for a total of $13,965 in Summer 2018 and distributed to NCCU supporters and donors. NCCU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of NCCU. Copyright 2018, North Carolina Central University

installation of the twelfth







More than 600 Eagles Fly at Fall Commencement

NCCU awarded more than 600 degrees at its Fall 2017 Commencement exercises, including two doctorates, 176 graduate and professional degrees and 437 undergraduate degrees. The number of graduates makes this class among the largest for a December graduation ceremony at NCCU, university officials said. Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye congratulated all the graduates, giving special recognition to Service Impact Award winner Jonika Harrison, a social work major and transfer student who contributed 456 community service hours while enrolled at NCCU. Akinleye also recognized Justin Trotman, who earned his degree in criminal justice in three years while also serving in student government, participating as a track athlete and completing a rigorous co-op program with the United States Marshals Service. Trotman

began working for the U.S. Department of Defense shortly after graduation. Keynote speaker Tisha Powell, a broadcast news reporter and anchor at ABC 11 WTVD, encouraged the graduates to stay focused and never let adversity crush their dreams. “Never forget you have the tools necessary to achieve greatness, and never lose your thirst for knowledge,â€? Powell advised. Graduates Dal Khatri and Quantil Melendez were awarded the Ph.D. in integrated biosciences, the fourth and fifth doctoral candidates to complete the program, which was created six years ago to train minority researchers. ď Ł






NCCU MAKES ONLINE LEARNING SEAMLESS NCCU was ranked 16th nationally among outstanding online programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by Online College Plan, an independent publication aimed at college-bound students. There are more than 100 HBCUs in the nation. The publication recognized NCCU for providing academic flexibility and accommodations that make it easier for distancelearning students to earn their degrees. The university’s online R.N.-to-B.S.N. Program also was No. 16 in a Top 50 ranking by, with high marks for affordability, quality and value. NCCU’s Office of e-Learning was established in the Division of Academic Affairs in 2015 to support development of high-


is now available online in a new robust, easyto-use, one-stop platform for online learning. Launched in 2017, NCCU Online conveniently connects users to a host of web-based academic programs, services, resources, scholarship and financial aid, as well as to the online application process. Curriculum for 10 bachelor’s or master’s programs is fully online, along with seven leading to certifications. Two hybrid programs are offered in collaboration with Wake Technical Community College and Vance-Granville Community College. Online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are offered in Counseling (Master of Arts, School of Education); RN-to-BSN (Bachelor of Science, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences); Birth to Kindergarten (Bachelor of Science, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences); Library and Information Sciences (Master of Science, School of Library and Information Sciences); and Criminal Justice (Bachelor of Science, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences). “NCCU Online helps the university broaden its reach by increasing access to a quality education through the convenience of online classes,” said Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye. The university’s online platform is a part of UNC Online, with nearly 400 active degree and certificate programs across the UNC System.



quality innovative learning options leading to student success in the online learning environment. “Through NCCU Online, we extend the benefit of an NCCU education to students who need the flexibility of WAS RANKED online learning,” said Kimberly PhiferMcGhee, director of the Division of NATIONALLY Extended Studies. “With the growing number of national distance learners, AMONG OUTSTANDING NCCU is able to provide quality education in much-in-demand career fields.” ONLINE Visit for PROGRAMS more information. AT HBCUS.



A STARRING ROLE FOR A STUDENT LEADER JAZZ PROGRAM PLAYS NOTES OF DISTINCTION NCCU’s Jazz Studies program was in the national spotlight during the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. In January’s 2018 Grammy Awards, NCCU was the only historically black college or university appearing in categories for Best Jazz Vocal Album and Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals. The NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble appeared in first-round balloting for the Best Jazz Vocal Album for its 2017 release, “Take Note.” Ira Wiggins, Ph.D., director of NCCU’s Jazz Studies Program, and vocal instructor Lenora Helm Hammonds produced the album featuring covers by several famed jazz artists, including Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis, as well as original compositions. “Rio Dawn,” another album featuring performances by the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, was on the preliminary ballot for Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals. It includes contributions from jazz piano instructor Edmund Paolantonio, with NCCU students performing on guitar, drums, strings and electric bass.


The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) named rising senior social work major Denzel Goodlin an HBCU All-Star for his academic skills, leadership and civic engagement. Associate Vice Chancellor Ontario S. Wooden describes Goodlin as someone who “not only excels in academics, but exemplifies The Eagle Promise.” Goodlin spent the summer of 2017 at Princeton University with the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute serving as a resident counselor and mentor. He also participated in the White House HBCU Week Conference in September 2017. Back at NCCU, he implemented the Developing Who You Are initiative to help students enhance their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. “It’s been a great experience,” Goodlin says of his All-Star status. In 2016, the scholar traveled to Israel on a mission trip to enhance his biblical knowledge. Goodlin, from Woodbridge, Va., aspires to become a minister after obtaining his master’s degree. The HBCU All-Stars program was established in 2010 by former President Barack Obama to recognize outstanding students attending historically black institutions.

Visual and performing artists are invited to add artseducation and outreach skills to their talent portfolio.

The College of Arts and Sciences recently introduced the TEACHING ARTIST CERTIFICATE PROGRAM, an online series of courses that teaches students how to plan, design and implement arts experiences for public audiences. The program covers a variety of venues, including auditorium performances, school residencies and cultural-arts initiatives. The certification at NCCU is unique in the University of North Carolina System. Visit (search TACP) for more details.




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PHYSICS TEAM JOINS NUCLEAR CONSORTIUM NCCU has joined Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State University as a member of Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL), a nuclear physics research consortium. The TUNL facility is one of four Centers of Excellence in Nuclear Physics designated by the U.S. Department of Energy. “We are truly excited to join this intellectually rich consortium, which has advanced the nuclear physics frontier,” said Carlton Wilson, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. NCCU’s participation in TUNL is expect-ed to add diversity to the field of nuclear physics, said physics Professor Mohammed Ahmed. “Bringing NCCU into the consortium will provide us an infrastructure through which minorities, especially women and African-



Americans, can work alongside masters of the field in nuclear physics,” Ahmed said. Becoming an official partner in the consotium is seen as a big incentive for students to study physics at NCCU, he added. Abasi Brown of Raleigh, a senior majoring in physics, said he was impressed to learn of the resources available to NCCU students through the TUNL program. In his TUNL research, Brown has been investigating muons, an element in cosmic radiation, and he plans to pursue advanced study in nuclear physics after graduating from NCCU with his bachelor’s degree in May. “Having the opportunity to work at a high level nuclear laboratory like TUNL is a big advantage in applying to graduate school,” he said. “And it looks great on a resume, too.”

C A. (left to right) Administrators of the Triangle Universities Laboratory consortium celebrate NCCU’s induction into the research group on Jan. 29. Pictured left to right: NC State Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden; UNC Chapel Hill Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Robert A. Blouin; Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory Director Arthur Champagne; Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth; NCCU Mathematics and Physics Associate Professor Mohammed Ahmed; and NCCU Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences Carlton E. Wilson. B. Mohammad Ahmed, Ph.D., helps spearhead research in the TUNL program C. Benjamin Crowe, Ph.D., associate professor, NCCU, and Diane Markoff, Ph.D., professor, NCCU D. The TUNL partnership allows NCCU physics students (left to right) Deandria Harper, James Sherman, Abasi Brown and Shalane Hairston to work alongside the nation’s top nuclear physics experts.


PRECISION MEDICINE FOR DIVERSE POPULATIONS DR. RICK KITTLES, an international leader in the fields of genetic science and health equity, praised North Carolina Central University for its large number of science graduates and its ongoing research program into health disparities. Kittles, a professor in the Department of Population Sciences and director of the Division of Health Equities at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., spoke on campus Feb. 13, 2018, as part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Speaker Series. He has done research for the past 20 years on how genetic ancestry can be applied in the study of disease risk and outcomes. Kittles said he became focused on the field of genetic research while working on his Ph.D. at George Washington University in 1999. During his first faculty appointment at Howard University, he helped establish the university’s National

Human Genome Center and co-directed its molecular genetics unit. “The profile of your DNA, like your fingerprint, is unique,” Kittles said. “And it can determine your susceptibility to diseases like heart disease and prostate cancer.” Information gleaned from DNA can identify an individual’s disease susceptibility, which often results in earlier diagnosis and treatment. “Typically, clinicians intervene late in the game, which leads to poor outcomes,” Kittles said. Because most big drugs are tested on subjects of primarily European descent, some treatments may not be effective for individuals of African or Asian backgrounds who have different DNA variables, he added. Research at the Julius L. Chambers Biological and Biopharmaceutical Research Institute at NCCU involving heart disease, prostate cancer and other health disparities is critical to ensuring equal access to optimal health-care treatments, Kittles said.

The profile of your DNA, like your fingerprint, is unique, and it can determine your susceptibility to diseases like heart disease and prostate cancer.” — Dr. Rick Kittles, professor in the Department of Population Sciences, City of Hope National Medical Center






in Fayetteville, N.C., his father would regularly take him and his two siblings to the library where each of them was given the option to select one book. “There was no television or video games for us,” he recalls. “Some of the earliest books I remember selecting were on black history or the sciences. I read Einstein for Dummies when I was six-years-old, as well as books highlighting black history.” Today, Watson’s intellectual curiosity has paid off, as he completed his coursework for a physics degree at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in May 2018 and will begin studying at North Carolina State University (NC State) He is poised to become the first student to complete the university’s innovative 3 + 2 Dual Degree Program, earning two Bachelor of Science diplomas: one in physics from the NCCU Department of Mathematics and Physics and the other from NC State’s College of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The dual-degree program was started in June 2015 through an agreement between the two universities. In August 2018, Watson will begin his twoyear program in electrical engineering and is expected to graduate in spring 2020 having earned both degrees. According to the National Science Foundation’s 2017 report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, a wide gap in educational attainment exists between underrepresented minorities when compared to whites and Asians. The latter two groups make up a larger percentage of students in science and engineering classrooms than they do in the U.S. population. The partnership between NCCU and NC State is aimed at increasing access to and diversity within STEM disciplines at both institutions. “On average, we have had 18-20 students in the physics program [at any one time],” said Professor Caesar R. Jackson, Ph.D., who oversees the 3 + 2 program for NCCU. “But we brought in 12 students who intend to major in physics in 2017 alone. In the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 26 students in total that we have identified who intend to enroll in the 3 + 2 program.”



Jackson stresses the importance of physics as an educational foundation in developing strong, highly skilled engineers. “Physics is the first application that uses mathematic tools to understand the physical world and can be used across industries — from auto production to pharmacy,” he adds.

Watson is the second NCCU graduate in his family to thrive in a STEM discipline. His sister, Hadassah Watson Eley, graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in pharmaceutical sciences and now works for Biogen in Research Triangle Park. Watson also hopes eventually to secure a job at a Research Triangle Park-based company, and then use that experience to help students. “After five to 10 years working as an engineer, I envision taking my knowledge back to Fayetteville or Durham to start a program that targets at-risk students and provides them with STEM education,” Watson says. “I would like to challenge our mindset about electrical engineering and its usage. There is an entrepreneurship aspect of it — it’s not just being an employee but taking your ideas to the next level in an environment like the maker-spaces that encourages and expands creativity.” Tanina Bradley, Ph.D., who serves as a 3 + 2 program advisor and as an adjunct professor of mathematics and physics, predicts a brightand-shining future for the next generation of electrical and mechanical engineers produced by through the NCCU-NC State partnership. “In drawing more students to physics, we are giving students stronger conceptual and theoretical backgrounds, which help them become better engineers,” she says. “It also gives you a better application imagination.” The student pipeline for the program over the next four years is healthy, with five students set to transfer to NC State for the 2019-2020 academic year, four more in the 2020-2021 academic year, and an additional six in the 2021-2022 academic year.

“In drawing more students to physics, we are giving students a stronger conceptual and theoretical background, which helps students become better engineers. It also gives you a better application imagination.”


T A N I N A B R A D L E Y, P H . D .

3+2 Program Advisor / Adjunct Assistant Professor



HE TEXTILES AND APPAREL PROGRAM presented its annual fashion show and competition on March 24 with a musical theme and the largest slate of participants in recent memory. More than 30 young designers debuted their creations based on the theme 106 & Fashion, with music provided by DJ Lowkey. “The students wanted to pay homage to the hiphop video show called 106 & Park, which was wildly popular in the early 2000s until 2014,” said Darlene Eberhardt-Burke, associate professor of Human Sciences and an instructor in the campus textile lab. “I’m very proud of the students. Many students come into the program not being able to thread a sewing machine. To see them a few years later actually making their own patterns to create a cohesive line is thrilling.” Among the winners in the 2018 competition were Danita Wiggins, who took first-place overall with a line of African-themed fashions and music

by Kendrick Lamar and SZA from Black Panther; Cheryl Summers placed second overall with denimfocused line with a Gwen Stefani Hollaback Girl vibe; and third-place went to senior Natalie Beasley for her designs inspired by Kanye West’s Flashing Lights. Other honors went to Kamryn McCorkle, who shared the award for Most Creative Designs with Summers. The students spent weeks developing a minimum of four pieces of original clothing, recruiting models, cutting patterns and fabric, and adding final touches before the big night.





CHEATHAM-WHITE HE COMPETITION WAS TOUGH FOR THE FIRST ALLOCATION of Cheatham-White Scholarships, which were created in 2017 by the N.C. General Assembly for incoming freshmen at NCCU and N.C. A&T University, the state’s two largest historically black universities. The four-year, full-ride scholarships were awarded to 19 students out of more than 200 nominated candidates. Each of the 19 were at the top of their class academically and demonstrated a high degree of community service, one of the pillars of the Cheatham-White program. “NCCU has the privilege of preparing these future leaders with a rigorous academic program paired with long-term commitment to community service,” said NCCU Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye. In addition to tuition, the awards will cover room and board, student fees, books, a laptop computer, supplies and personal expenses, including four summer experiences that could include international studies. The cash value of each scholarship is estimated at $75,000, with NCCU providing an equal match. Among the first cohort is Pryor “Ry” Gibson IV, of Raleigh, who earned his associate’s degree along with his high school diploma while attending Wake Early College High School, and Amaya Jackson, of Chesterfield, Va., who was cheerleading and soccer captain at Lloyd C. Bird High School and volunteered with the Special Olympics. The scholarships are named for Henry P. Cheatham and George Henry White, both African-Americans from North Carolina who served in Congress in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The scholars arrive on campus July 29, 2018, and will be welcomed with a reception and cohort retreat before classes begin.

Jo’Onna Banks

Christopher Daniel

Megan Gaines

Pryor “Ry” Gibson IV

Amaya Jackson

Grayden Knoll

“NCCU has the privilege of preparing these future leaders with a rigorous academic program paired with long-term commitment to community service.” — Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye, NCCU Chancellor 14


RECIPIENTS OF NCCU’S INAUGURAL ANNUAL CHEATHAM-WHITE AWARDS ARE: TALYA ALLEN, of Greenville, N.C., plans to major in pre-nursing. JO’ONNA BANKS, of Huntersville, plans to major in computer science and business. CHRISTOPHER DANIEL, of High Point, N.C., plans to major in recreation administration. NICHOLAS FAJARDO, of Durham, plans to major in physical education. Caleb McRoy

Lauren Odom

MEGAN GAINES, of Whitsett, N.C. plans to major in biomedical sciences. PRYOR “RY” GIBSON IV, of Raleigh and Wadesboro, N.C., will major in a STEM field. ANIA HAIRSTON, of Madison, N.C., plans to major in political science. AMAYA JACKSON, of Chesterfield, Va., is undecided. PATIENCE JONES, of Raleigh, plans to measure in elementary education. GRAYDEN KNOLL, of Apex, N.C., plans to major in mass communication.

Lillian Park

Joshualan M. Parrish

CALEB McROY, of Raleigh, plans to major in business administration. LAUREN ODOM, of Atlanta, plans to major in chemistry and minor in political science. ABRIANNA ONWUEMENE, of Livonia, Mich., plans to major in biology. LILLIAN PARK, of Charlotte, plans to major in music. JOSHUALAN MIKAYLA PARRISH, of Kernersville, N.C., plans to major in political science and later attend law school. DAVID SCARLETT, of Durham, plans to major in physics.

Miniya Shinn

Jailyn Smith

MINIYA SHINN, of Hickory, N.C., plans to major in chemistry. JAILYN SMITH, of Winston-Salem, plans to major in biology with a pre-medicine concentration. AMIAH TALIAFERRO, Amiah Taliaferro, of Waxhaw, N.C., plans to major in business administration. NOT PICTURED: Talya Allen, Nicholas Fajardo, Ania Hairston, Patience Jones, Abrianna Onwuemene and David Scarlette

Amiah Taliaferro




Felecia McInnis Nave, Ph.D. Felecia McInnis Nave, Ph.D., was appointed as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs effective June 1, 2018. Nave will provide leadership and support for the university’s six schools and colleges that are collectively accountable for the academic experience of more than 6,350 undergraduate and 1,740 graduate students. Other areas falling under Nave’s direction include the Division of Extended Studies, University College, James E. Shepard Library, Office of Sponsored Research and Programs and other departments. Nave came to NCCU from the faculty at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), where she also served

Angela Alvarado Coleman, Ed.D.

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs as the director for faculty development and engagement, a new initiative she designed at the request of the university's president. She also was a professor of chemical engineering and had been a member of the Texas A&M University System graduate faculty. “She joins NCCU with nearly two decades of successful, demonstrated academic credentials and has served at every rank, from assistant professor to provost,” said Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D. Nave holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Alcorn State University, as well as a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Toledo.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Angela Alvarado Coleman, Ed.D., is the university’s new vice chancellor for Student Affairs, effective June 18, 2018. Coleman will be responsible for providing strategic and visionary direction for the Division of Student Affairs and overseeing a number of offices and departments, including Residential Life, Student Health and Counseling, Student Rights and Responsibilities, Student Disabilities Services, Career Services, and others. Coleman comes to NCCU from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), where she

implemented a cutting-edge student experience from welcome week through graduation. She began her career working with the Federal government TRIO programs, followed by progressive leadership roles in student affairs at major universities. Coleman has been a doctoral fellow for the Association for Institutional Research and a Melvene D. Hardee Fellow. She holds Bachelor of Science degree in exercise and sport sciences, a master’s in education from the University of Florida, and an Ed.D. in higher education administration from Florida State University.

Student Named President of UNC System Student Association

Rising senior elementary education major BETTYLENAH NJARAMBA was elected president of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Association of Student Governments (ASG) in April 2018. She will be the first African-American woman to hold this position for the organization. The ASG represents the interests of more than 230,000 students in the deliberations of the UNC Board of Governors. In this role for the 2018-2019 academic year, Njaramba will serve as the chief executive officer of the organization and act as its official representative and spokesperson. She will also serve as an ex officio member of the UNC Board of Governors and the Council of Student Body Presidents.


NCCU NOW S UM M E R 20 1 8


Chief of Staff

Al Zow was named chief of staff by Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye in January 2018. Zow, who holds a law degree from the University of Florida College of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Bethune-Cookman University, was most recently serving as president of HGS, a management consulting firm, and as head of HEAL Global Institute, a nonprofit agency in Orlando, Fla. Zow has more than three decades of experience in higher education, healthcare, research, law and compliance oversight. He is known as an e-Health and technology pacesetter, as well as health care innovator. Zow previously served as assistant to the president/chief of staff and as a tenured professor at Savannah State University, where he also founded the Institute of Minority Health. He is a prior member of the Georgia Department of Community Health Advisory Council and a University System of Georgia Board of Regents Excellence in Public Service Award nominee. He also served as a member of the leadership committee in the establishment of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program and Distance Learning Initiative for the Georgia state university system. Zow is a member of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, the Health Care Compliance Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Akua Matherson Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Akua Johnson Matherson was appointed as associate vice chancellor for Administration and Finance effective March 1, 2018. Matherson previously served as the university’s director of Budgets and Financial Planning, where she brought greater efficiency to the office. She also developed a more responsive system for financial planning in concert with tuition and fee reviews and student enrollment projections. As associate vice chancellor, she serves as the principal deputy to the vice chancellor for Administration and Finance in developing and implementing key initiatives for the division and university, as well as serve as an advisor to the Chancellor’s Executive Leadership Team on a range of accounting, budget, financial and business operations. A native of Greensboro, N.C., Matherson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in adult education from N.C. A&T State University.



Over the course of more than 100 years, NCCU has built a rich heritage in producing change agents, leaders, scholars and innovators. During that time, the university's look and brand has occasionally been updated to showcase NCCU's expanded relevance and continuing vitality as an institution of access and opportunity. Most recently, in 2016, NCCU engaged an agency, Engine Brandmakers, to develop an innovative and creative identity mark and tagline that would: o Honor NCCU’s HBCU legacy, while simultaneously looking toward the future o Appeal to our diverse university community o Better reflect the university’s rapidly expanding academic programs The company sought feedback from focus groups involving NCCU students, alumni, faculty, staff and university supporters as they sought to update the nearly 14-year-old marketing logo that bore an outline of Hoey Administration Building and the university's name. In developing the new identity mark and accompanying tagline – "Discover what’s Central to you." – Engine Brandmakers incorporated quoins, architectural elements that are part of the historic administration building. The quoins decorate each corner of the stately brick structure, signifying permanence and strength. As used in the new identity mark, the quoins resemble the wings of an eagle, a symbol of pride and achievement, as well as our university mascot, creating both a foundational and inspirational new image for our campus. VIDEO





The seal is the official trademark and primary identifier of the university, and is used on diplomas and other official university documents. 1986-present


ATHLETICS BRAND: In 2004, Chancellor James Ammons appointed a committee to develop a new eagle mascot design and unveiled the new brand in 2005. The mascot design is intended for use as a coordinating symbol for all sports-related and school spirit activities of the University.







1947-1969 1960s


SCHOOL COLORS TIMELINE 1910: Red, white and blue Mid 1920s: Olive green and white 1928-present: Maroon and gray




MOTTO TIMELINE 1911-1928: “I Serve” ”Laboramus Servare” 1929: “Service-Truth” 1930-1934: “Truth and Service” 1935-1995: “I Serve” 1995-present: “Truth and Service”



TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS HREE YOUNG NCCU entrepreneurs won top honors in United Way’s Idea Generation Next: College



contest on Jan. 15, 2018. Jordyn Weaver, Omari Hunt and Tyler Walker were awarded a total of $31,000 to be used toward implementation of their ideas following their pitch presentations at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The goal of the contest, sponsored by United Way of the Greater Triangle, was to develop a viable enterprise that could address poverty within the Triangle community.

Hunt, a recent NCCU graduate, earned


both the first-place and the crowd-sourced People’s Choice award for his 7-Day Plan

The initiative would provide low-wealth

would link students to loan debt assistance

Project, which focuses on helping low-

individuals and families education in

programs. Walker was awarded $5,000 to

income seniors develop better budget-

financial literacy, assist with business

further develop his project.

ing and decision-making skills through

startups, and offer an online market-

This was the second year in a row for

one-on-one training and seminars focused

place for minority businesses and brands.

an NCCU entrant to win the overall con-

on financial planning in retirement. Hunt

Weaver received $10,000 for her project

test, which was designed to encourage in-

received $15,000 to move toward imple-

as runner-up.

novative ideas for addressing poverty and

menting his proposal and $1,000 as the

Tyler Walker, also a junior, presented

other pervasive social problems. In 2017,

People’s Choice award recipient.

his idea for the nonprofit Education to Oc-

Destiny Alexander, an alumna, won the

Weaver, a junior, took second place

cupation Pipeline, which would work with

top spot for her pitch on behalf of The Tas-

with her pitch for The Black Market Co.,

Triangle businesses to forge a partnership

sel is Worth the Hassle, a program aimed

designed to support minority-owned small

with promising students otherwise unable

at helping new mothers overcome financial

businesses in order to help build and main-

to attend college. Along with sponsorship

hardship and other obstacles to continuing

tain wealth within the local community.

by a local business, the Pipeline program

their education. 





We are contributing to making the communication deficits found in right hemisphere stroke survivors visible.” —Professor Jamila Minga, Ph.D.

NCCU’s Stroke Research Receives Federal Funding The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has awarded a two-year, $131,256 grant to NCCU to develop and maintain a national databank for study participants who have suffered a right-brain stroke. The award is the first grant from the National Institutes of Health for NCCU’s Communication Disorders Program, featured in the fall 2016 issue. Each side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body, so if an individual suffers from a stroke on the right side of their brain, they may experience problems with the left side of the body and vice versa. Yet right-brain stroke sufferers also have less obvious impairments, such as difficulties with language and communication, that have caused it to be underestimated and understudied, said NCCU School of Education Professor Jamila Minga, Ph.D. Minga and Carnegie Mellon University Professor Brian MacWhinney, Ph.D., will collaborate on the Right-Brain Stroke Research Registry as a means of advancing right-brain stroke research.

JAMILA MINGA, Ph.D. “The nuances of communication impairments after a right-hemisphere stroke contribute to an ‘invisible disability’ to those who are unfamiliar – communication deficits may go unrecognized,” Minga said. “We are contributing to making the communication deficits found in righthemisphere stroke survivors visible.” This is the first and only registry dedicated to right-brain stroke survivors. Additional research findings will help doctors determine appropriate treatment for rightbrain stroke patients.

NCCU Awarded Suicide Prevention Grant for Mental Health Education The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has awarded $306,000 to NCCU to provide mental health education to students. The three-year grant will allow the university to focus on mental health initiatives by targeting specific student groups, including members of the LGBTA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally) community, disabled individuals and veterans. Campus suicide-prevention programs are critical to student health. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study reported suicide as the second leading cause of death for individuals aged 15-34, with 1,100 college students taking their lives each year. Funded by the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grant, NCCU’s Honest Conversations in Safe Spaces program was designed to promote better mental health. The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act was signed into law in October 2004 after Garrett Lee Smith, son of former U.S. Senator Gordon Smith, committed suicide in 2003. The act was the first legislation to provide funding specifically for youth suicide prevention programs. Through the program, NCCU faculty and staff, community partners and health care providers will provide a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention and crises response to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and increase treatment access.



Ground Zero for Geospatial Intelligence Science The Environmental, Earth and Geospatial Sciences Department is now a Center for Academic Excellence for the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. That’s good news for the university and the future of our planet, but even more importantly, for students, said Gordana Vlahovic, Ph.D., chair of the department. As a Center of Excellence, NCCU students and faculty will make key contributions to geospatial intelligence, which addresses critical issues of homeland and global security, as well as natural-resources and disastermanagement research. “The partnership will enable us to keep current with geointelligence technologies and methods,” Vlahovic said. “And it will provide our faculty and students with a direct link to experts from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and U.S. Geological Survey, as well as internship and job opportunities.” The department’s Environmental Health Program also took a step forward this year by gaining accreditation from the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council, one of only 36 accredited undergraduate programs in

the U.S. According to program director John J. Bang, M.D., Ph.D., the designation creates a relationship between the program and agencies including the U.S. Health Service and Centers for Disease Control, giving students better access to internships, scholarships and job prospects in the field. Vlahovic spent several weeks in spring 2018 as a Fullbright Scholar at the Kosovo Center for Energy and Natural Resources, an arm of the Rochester Institute of Technology Kosovo campus (formerly American University in Kosovo). Kosovo, in southeastern Europe, is in one of the most seismically active regions in Europe, Vlahovik said. She and other researchers examined methods of preparing for potential structure and infrastructure damage of a major earthquake. By some estimates, more than 90 percent of new construction has not followed building codes set to mitigate earthquake damage, exposing the population to very high seismic risk, she explained. “While there, I was able to expand my current seismology research in geohazards analysis and begin establishing a scientific and educational partnership with the researchers in the western Balkans,” Vlahovic said.

Museum Partnership Opens Opportunities for ILS Majors A $300,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services is helping information technology students get a peek into the world of fine arts. The program is part of an effort to help museums diversify their staffs by training minority students to be involved in museum studies, said Jon Gant, Ph.D., dean of the School of Information and Library Sciences (SLIS) at NCCU. “We are trying to explore how schools like ours, in information and library science, can set up a new curriculum to help train more people to work in museums,” Gant said. “Right now, lack of diversity is a critical problem in a field that tries to represent a broad range of interests.”

Six NCCU students are now engaged in museum studies as part of their SLIS education. “That’s where the partnership with the NCCU Art Museum comes into play,” Gant added. “As a practicum, students are developing an electronic catalog for the Art Museum.” It’s a melding of humanities and information technology. “These information sciences students are being exposed to cool new places to use their skills through the new museum field of informatics,” Gant said. “Also, part of what we do is to train individuals at museums on how to manage it.” Now in the grant’s third and final year, two NCCU students have graduated with the museum specialization and two more will complete their degrees with the specialization in summer 2018.



i n sta ll at ion


th e

t w el f t h

chancellor A P R I L 1 9 , 2 0 1 8 , WA S A H I S T O R I C D A Y at North Carolina Central University, as Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., was formally installed as the 12th chancellor. More than 1,500 students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the university gathered to celebrate the installation during a ceremony at McDougald-McLendon Arena. Many also participated Installation Week activities that included The Eagle Promise Scholarship Gala and an International Symposium.






AKINLEYE HAD SERVED AS PROVOST, ACTING AND INTERIM CHANCELLOR of the university prior to his appointment by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors on June 26, 2017. His wife, Juanita, and their two children, Nikki and Peter, were on hand for the celebration, as were family members and friends from as far away as Nigeria. “North Carolina Central University is a gem among gems; we will continue to provide North Carolinians with the distinct opportunity and access they need to unearth their potential for future success and realize their professional dreams and aspirations,” the chancellor said in his inaugural speech. “NCCU will continue to play a critical role in contributing to the healthy economic and scholarly fabric of the Research Triangle, the City of Durham, and the State of North Carolina.” Presiding over the installation ceremonies was Margaret Spellings, president of the University of North Carolina System, which includes NCCU and 16 other campuses. Featured speakers included the chancellor’s former colleague, Paul Hosier, Ph.D., professor emeritus and former vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, as well as Secretary of N.C. Department of Revenue Ronald G. Perry, Durham Mayor Steve Schewel, Durham County Commission Chairman Wendy Jacobs, UNC Board of Governors’ Chairman Louis Bissette, NCCU Board of Trustees’ Chairman George R. Hamilton, and the Rev. Michael Page, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Durham. A. Dr. Paul E. Hosier, professor emeritus, University of North Carolina Wilmington B. N.C. Supreme Court Justice Mike Morgan administers the oath of office to the 12th Chancellor, who is accompanied by his wife, Juanita. C. Dr. Ann Taylor Green, provost emeriti, Bethune-Cookman University D. Chancellor Akinlye and Alabama A&M President Dr. Andrew Hugine E. Chancellor Akinleye delivers his installation address. F. His Royal Majesty Drolor Bosso Adamtey I, the Suapolor of the Shai Traditional Area of Ghana, speaks during the ceremony.




c h a n c e l l or ' s i n s ta l l at i on North Carolina Central University is a gem among gems; we will continue to provide North Carolinians with the distinct opportunity and access they need to unearth their potential for future success and realize their professional dreams and aspirations.” — C HA N C E L L O R J O H N S O N O. A K I N L EY E








Andrew Hugine, Ph.D., president of Alabama A&M University, spoke about Akinleye’s accomplishments as he prepared to bestow the President’s Award on the chancellor, who is an alumnus of the university. Akinleye earned his doctorate from Howard University. Since joining NCCU, Akinleye introduced The Eagle Promise, which is comprised of four deliverables, and he has worked to expand the university’s academic partnerships, including new agreements with community colleges and a robust online distance-education program, NCCU Online. In addition, he created K-12 initiatives and implemented a security strategy to increase safety for campus constituents. His strategic priorities call for a number of new initiatives, including expanding NCCU’s academic and research initiatives; providing additional opportunities for global immersion; creating new partnerships with other educational institutions, businesses and nonprofits; and working closely with local and regional governmental entities for campus and regional improvement.  A. Chancellor Akinleye delivers a TED Talk. B. NCCU Worship & Praise Inspirational Mass Choir performs. C. Bishop Staccato Powell addresses Interfaith Worship Service. D. Akinleye and alumnus Christopher Martin sign the Kappa Alpha Psi-Alpha Kappa Chapter endowment agreement. E. Ghana’s Royal Majesty Drolor Bosso Adamtey I as featured speaker. F. Guest panelists address the International Symposium audience. G. Lambda Pi Chi Sorority performs at the Student Installation Celebration. H. NCCU Choir performs at the Chancellor's Installation.



Photos by Chioke Brown and Ivan Watkins





I. Celebrants included Peter and Juanita Akinleye, son and wife of the new chancellor. J. Chancellor Akinleye greets NCCU students. K. UNC System President Margaret Spellings speaks. L.. Daughter Nikki Akinleye joins her brother, Peter, at the festivities. M. Tables set for the Scholarship Gala. N. Family members celebrate with the new chancellor. O. Scholarship Gala entertainment by the Temptations Revue featuring Nate Evans.









NCCU NOW S UM M E R 20 1 8

School of Law Trains Students to Protect Intellectual Property Rights


When NCCU Professor Robert Trowers improvises a jazz solo, he’s offering the world a spontaneous gift of music. But when the New York-born trom-


bonist writes out an original melody, he has created intellectual property that compositions, according to Reddix-Smalls, who joined the NCCU faculty in 2009 after working as a litigator and legal advoIntellectual Property Law Institute (IPLI) at NCCU’s School of Law. cate. A graduate of Brown University, she received her juris doctorate from Georgetown University School “Improvisation can be a problem for copyright, because a muof Law and earned a Master of Laws in Intellectual Property from sician might never play the same thing twice,” Reddix-Smalls told Franklin Pierce Law Center (now the University of New Hampstudents in her Copyright and Trademarks class at the NCCU shire School of Law). Following her years as a litigator, ReddixSchool of Law. “That’s something you might need to know as an Smalls founded the nonprofit Carolina Regional Legal Services intellectual property attorney.” Corp. in South Carolina. As a demonstration, Trowers is joined at the front of the class Now, as director of the IP Law Institute, Reddix-Smalls room by guitar instructor Baron Tymas and jazz students playing uses her significant knowledge and experience to bring more drums and bass. The quartet then launches into a tune, featuring a minority and female students into an area of the law that protects few improvised solos. the creative output of artists, musicians, inventors, programmers The mini-concert is a way to help students better understand and more. how intellectual property law can be used to protect musical

should be protected under the law, says Brenda Reddix-Smalls, director of the


Music Professor Robert Trowers plays one of his original jazz tunes on the trombone to demonstrate the aspects of an original composition that may qualify for copyright protection.



With tech firms booming and pharmaceutical labs conducting groundbreaking research, businesses often hire their own IP counsel.

“It’s a cutting-edge area of the law,” she explained. “The internet has ramped up issues that involve intellectual property by making it so easy to copy something now, as opposed to 50 years ago. On the plus side, artists can disseminate their work more easily. It’s a double-edged sword.” As questions about IP rights soar, so does the demand for qualified IP attorneys, especially in the Research Triangle area. With tech firms booming and pharmaceutical labs conducting groundbreaking research, businesses often hire their own IP counsel. Meanwhile, independent inventors, composers and code creators are building out additional demand for client-oriented IP lawyers in private practice. “This area of law is so promising because the economy is great and entrepreneurship is growing,” said Donna Rinck, an attorney who works in the School of Law’s Trademark Clinic. “Patents promote innovation and trademarks promote branding.” Outside the classroom, Reddix-Smalls continues her efforts to illuminate the many legal issues that are included in the field of intellectual property. Last fall, the Institute presented an “IP Tell-All”



program at the Beyù Caffè in downtown Durham and invited area artists, musicians and business owners to attend. It was standing-room-only. “At this Institute, we are big on taking IP knowledge into the community,” Reddix-Smalls said. “We hold informational conferences and reach out to small-business owners.”


IP law students must familiarize themselves with a variety of legal tools, including trademarks, which are applied to protect words or logos that constitute brand identity, and copyrights, giving creators say-so on how their work is used or displayed. There are also trade secrets, which can protect an original business model or manufacturing concept, and licensing laws that give owners authority to control how others use their idea or products. Patent law is the most lacking in diversity, in part because of the STEM requirements. Anyone wishing to take the Patent Bar Exam must show evidence of significant scientific or technical training, preferably a bachelor’s degree. That is an extra hurdle that has limited the number

of patent lawyers from minority backgrounds, Reddix-Smalls said. Only 5 percent of U.S. attorneys are African-American, according to the American Bar Association. And only 7 percent of all science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees go to African-Americans. “That means most patent lawyers are male and white, with a background in hard sciences,” Reddix-Smalls explained. Among the exceptions is Greenville, N.C., native Alicia Williams, who received her law degree at NCCU in 2010 and then left North Carolina to continue her studies in New York, where she earned a Master of Laws degree in tax law and began working in the business field of mergers and acquisitions. “I came to see from our clients that intellectual property was one of the most valuable assets of the companies I was working with,” Williams recalls. So, in 2016, when her former law instructor, Reddix-Smalls, told her about the IP Institute opening on campus, she was all ears. “As an innovative and creative person, myself, I had become interested in patent law to be able to protect new inventions and ideas.” Williams now holds a Patent Bar license, teaches patent law at NCCU and works with students in the university’s patent law clinic. She also presents at national and international conferences, where it isn’t unusual for her to be the only African-American female patent lawyer in the crowd. “Our goal at the IP Institute is to increase the number of not just intellectual property attorneys but minority intellectual property attorneys, and by that, I mean both by race and gender,” Williams said. “There are not a lot of minorities in that field, and certainly not many black women.”


Some point to this underrepresentation as one reason minority creators and inven-

tors historically have lost ownership, and thus profits, from their own inventions and ideas. As K.J. Greene, associate professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, writes in the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law: “The early music industry was built on the back of black cultural production from the era of slave songs and spirituals to the period of black-face minstrelsy,” Greene says. “…time after time, foundational artists who developed ragtime, blues, and jazz found their copyrights divested, and through inequitable contracts, their earnings pilfered… While individual black artists without question have benefited from the IP system, the economic effects of IP deprivation on the black community have been devastating.” The causes of this disparity also are thought to include lacking educational opportunities for African-Americans, racial and cultural barriers within the business community, and the presumption among some minority populations, especially indigenous people, that traditional knowledge should be shared and handed down – not protected by trademarks. The jazz music scene is where some of these factors have played out, trombonist Trowers told students in the Copyrights and Trademarks class. “In some ways, the early jazz community was less possessive about its music, and that may have hurt them in the long run,” he said. For example, Trowers noted that in the Tin Pan Alley days of New York in the late 1800s and early 1900s, minority composers regularly sold their ownership rights for grocery money or to pay bills. Music publishers in lower Manhattan then resold many of those songs for use in Broadway shows or big band performances at much higher sums.


Today, many intellectual property conflicts arise from the digital world. Software analytics company SAS has been a strong promotor and supporter of the IP Law

Institute, which company officials believe can help fill a real need in the Triangle. “The graduates of this program will provide needed resources to the legal market, which will help businesses and organizations innovate and thrive,” said John Boswell, SAS executive vice president and chief legal officer, at the Intellectual Property Law Institute’s 2016 dedication.

The internet has ramped up issues that involve intellectual property by making it so easy to copy something now, as opposed to 50 years ago.” brenda reddix-smalls director of the Intellectual Property Law Institute (IPLI)

NCCU’s School of Law is one of only 20 law schools in the nation certified by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to offer both a Patent Clinic and a Trademark Clinic, Reddix-Smalls said. Shelley Fullwood, a 2015 graduate of the NCCU School of Law, as well as Williams were recruited to the School of Law as IP Fellows. They have been assisting Reddix-Smalls and other instructors in the classrooms, as counselors in the school’s Trademark and Patent clinics, and conducting community outreach. In February 2018, they organized a seminar on cybersecurity, data privacy and the law that was well attended. Fullwood made presentations to a number of academic departments across campus – including mass communications, music and the sciences – to help students, professors, researchers and others understand the basics of intellectual property law and “to show students how their work is connected to intellectual property and why they should know something about it.” She also discussed cyber security with students studying criminal justice. “All the teachers have been very welcoming and engaged with me during their classes,” Fullwood said.


In the School of Law’s Trademark and Patent Law clinics, IPLI students may gain hands-on experience under supervision of licensed patent and trademark attorneys. The clinic works with entrepreneurs, small business owners, artists and others who lack the financial means for private representation. “People want transparency; they want the law explained,” said Fullwood, who added that she finds the work rewarding. “I like helping people learn about the law. I found I wasn’t just telling clients what their options were but giving them information that allows them to make a good decision for themselves.” The legal work required may involve patent search and application preparation, trademark research and registration, SUMME R 2 0 18 NCCU NOW


NCCU’s School of Law is one of only 20 law schools in the nation certified by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to offer both a Patent Clinic and a Trademark Clinic.” brenda reddix-smalls, director of the Intellectual Property Law Institute (IPLI) application filings, and prosecution in cases where there has been a breach of a patent or trademark. After being assigned a case, the law students confer with the client and conduct necessary background research to ensure that the patent or trademark they are seeking is free and available for registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office, Rinck said. “Once it is determined that the client can apply for trademark protection, then the student will take the client through the trademark application process,” she said. “Second-semester trademark students will handle some after-registration issues, as well, such as office actions.” Office actions involve responding to U.S. Patent and Trademarks officials questions about a trademark or patent application under review. There is high demand for legal services in the intellectual property arena, and the clinics maintain a waiting list of potential clients. The field is growing because of increased demand from inventors, composers and entrepreneurs, Rinck believes. “Once the students go through the clinics, they have a significant leg up in their ability to practice in this area,” Rinck said. “Participation in the clinic is a great way to come out of school and have a very promising career in the trademark area.” Other opportunities for experience have come through partnerships with professional IP firms, such as Fish and Richardson, an international IP law firm headquartered in Boston. As part of the company’s work to meet the pro bono requirements of the Ameri-



can Bar Association, Fish and Richardson staff donate time to working with NCCU’s IP Law Institute to encourage diversification of the legal field. One project launched in fall 2017 allows students to research the activities of patent trolls – or individuals who manage to purchase a patent portfolio even though they have had no part in the creating the property they now own. “Patent trolls are a nuisance to innovation,” said Katie Nadjadlik, pro bono manager for Fish and Richardson. “They don’t actually create anything but buy up patent portfolios and sue companies.”


Students come to IP law from a variety of backgrounds. Those with undergraduate or master’s degrees in science or tech fields, such as biology, computer science, engineering or pharmacology, have a leg up on working in the patent field. “There are a variety of evening students that come into the clinic with different scientific and engineering backgrounds that also work day jobs in large, multinational companies,” Reddix-Smalls said.

Students who lack a science or tech background may take extra courses to qualify to take the patent bar exam. A program established by the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office allows aspiring IP attorneys to take 32 hours of scientific and technical coursework in place of a four-year degree. But it isn’t only science and technology that benefits from IP protection, as the musicians demonstrate. “There is the technology aspect, but there’s also an art aspect, jazz studies, mass communications, School of Business,” Reddix-Smalls explained. “If you are a creator or designer or inventor, your work needs to be protected. And the way that you protect your work is by obtaining a trademark or patent or copyright protection. When your work is not protected it’s easy for someone to come along and steal your work, and if they do, it’s harder to prove it is yours. “Even if you are in the process of creating something, consult with someone who is well versed in intellectual property and determine the best route for you to take to protect your work.” 

Third-year law student Jasmine Nettles argues a trademark case before a judicial panel in a mock trial at the NCCU School of Law. Other third-year students participating are Akysia Resper, Will Breeze and Miriam Johnson.


The study of humanities – or how one understands

and defines the human experience – is being transformed through a digital lens on the campus of North Carolina Central University. SUMME R 2 0 18 NCCU NOW



now in its second year, was initiated in 2012 by NCCU faculty members Matthew Cook, Ph.D., a language and literature professor, and Joshua Nadel, Ph.D., associate professor of history, as well as former NCCU history professor Rhonda Jones, Ph.D. At the time, the three were conducting research and developing teaching projects as part of a separate Mellon grant for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other smaller colleges in partnership with Duke University.


NCCU NOW S UM M E R 20 1 8

When that grant expired, members of the Franklin Digital Humanities Institute approached the NCCU researchers seeking innovative ideas to implement with support from an additional Mellon grant, explained Cook, who serves as a fellowship coordinator. “We wanted to explore rewriting humanities into the future and suggested embedding digital humanities within the grant,” Cook said. “It’s a growing field, and we knew that this would be a great opportunity for other NCCU faculty in the humanities to be innovative in their research and classrooms. It was a win-win situation.” The study of digital humanities is more than 70 years old. Its origins reach back to the late 1940s with the development of humanities computing, in which researchers used mainframe computers to automate tasks like word-searching, sorting and counting. The term itself, however, dates back to just over a decade. As the field of digital humanities has continued to expand, researchers have not settled on a

precise definition. However, in practice, digital humanities combines methodologies from traditional humanities disciplines and social sciences with tools provided by computing and digital publishing to explain and develop new concepts and knowledge. Despite the ongoing debate over the term’s definition, researchers can agree that the diverse and dynamic nature of the field presents many opportunities in academia, especially on HBCU campuses. According to Nadel, co-coordinator of the fellowship, HBCUs traditionally haven’t had a huge footprint in digital humanities. “Our goal for this project was to position NCCU and our faculty members at the forefront of the field,” he said. Seven NCCU faculty members in various departments were selected to lead the effort during the recent academic year. .

THE 2017-18 FELLOWS ARE: f PICTURED, LEFT TO RIGHT o JULIE NELSON, PH.D., assistant professor in the Department of Language and Literature o CAROLYN FULFORD, PH.D., associate professor in the Department of Language and Literature o TONY FRAZIER, PH.D., assistant professor in the Department of History o LENORA HELM HAMMONDS, assistant professor in the Department of Music o CHARMAINE MCKISSICK-MELTON, PH.D., associate professor in the Department of Mass Communication o W. RUSSELL ROBINSON, PH.D., assistant professor in the Department of Mass Communication. o SHELVIA DANCY, adjunct instructor in the Department of Mass Communication (not pictured)

Each of the fellows received a $4,500 stipend to spend on resources for their digital projects, as well as a $500 honorarium for presenting their final project at the fellowship’s symposium held annually in May. In addition, they are given access to a host of digital tools on Duke’s campus. The fellows are also supported by program co-coordinator Kathryn Weymer, Ph.D., associate professor in NCCU’s Department of Language and Literature.


For Fulford, who teaches language and literature courses, the decision to apply to the fellowship was an easy one after she saw last year’s symposium presentations. “The presentations were fantastic, and it felt good to be there. I liked the speaker and it was great that the decision-makers were there to answer questions about the fellowship,” she said. “I told myself to apply and see what happens.” Fulford said that her experience as a fellow provided insights into her own weaknesses in the digital arena, and through mentorship, allowed her to build up those skills and become a more effective teacher for her students. Going forward, Fulford will incorporate digital tools in her professional writing course. Students will learn to create websites and use graphic-design tools to communicate professionally using digital magazines and other online platforms. In the end, it is her hope that students will learn to take an interdisciplinary approach to thinking about their lives and future professions. “Our students have to learn to be critical citizens who are embedded in a digital world,” she said. Like Fulford, Robinson, a fellow from the Mass Communication department, knew that the fellowship was a program he needed. “We have been given the opportunity to think big and fail big,” Robinson said. “And, if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. To me, this journey reinforces my scholarship and gives credibility to what I do as a budding intellectual.” Robinson’s project will leverage his American Media and Mass Pop Culture class to explore black masculinity during the era of former President Barack Obama. His plan is to collect interviews from black men, as well as gender studies experts regarding masculinity from a parenting to criminal justice system perspective. At the end of the fellowship, Robinson will use part of his stipend for a summer study program at Oxford University, where he can continue enhancing his digital humanities skills. Nelson, who serves in the Language and Literature department, felt inspired to apply to the fellowship after speaking with colleagues about the resources available at Duke. “I have had some experience doing digital projects; however, it was always difficult to implement,” said Nelson. “The technicality of it was intimidating. So, I was looking forward to an opportunity to focus more on that.” Students in her History of Rhetoric course for English majors, which focuses on the use of written, spoken and visual language, will assist Nelson in creating a web-based collection of rhetoric examples at NCCU – from historic to contemporary – and analyzing how they have evolved over the years. It is Nelson’s hope that both the project and her students will gain community recognition and awareness. “Thus far, I have been in discussion with the Museum of Durham History and they have agreed to share the project on their website,” she added. McKissick-Melton, a last-minute applicant to the fellowship program, will leverage her Mass Communication course, Media Business: Advertising, Sales SUMME R 2 0 18 NCCU NOW


and Marketing, to explore the past 100 years of advertising to see how pop culture, music, economics, politics and race relations were portrayed through the years. Each student in the class will be responsible for providing a narrative covering their assigned four-year period. McKissick-Melton hopes that this will broaden her students’ perspective. “I want them to think out of the box more and not take everything at face value,” she said. “In this particular research, especially those who are assigned an early era, it may be difficult to find certain facts, depending on the year, especially when researching people of color. I want them to dig harder.” History professor Frazier said it was his unfamiliarity with the digital humanities field that inspired him to apply to the fellowship. “It seemed exciting after talking with colleagues in the field regarding the tools you can use and the different learning outcomes for students,” he said. “Generally, in the history field, you write a lot of papers and students give presentations, but with digital humanities, you can create a blog, a timeline story or story map to show the public what students are doing,” Frazier added. “It’s also hands-on, and most digital projects are collaborative in nature, so you learn to work together in groups.” Frazier’s project will explore prominent African-British people from the 18th century and digitally map their travels. Additionally, in honor of abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ 200th birthday, he will digitally chart the nationally renowned orator’s travels, from his escape from slavery in the Chesapeake, Md., area to his international visits to Haiti and London. “What is unique about incorporating digital tools into this project is that I can take different characteristics of runaway slaves, including their age, status or places they departed, and use them as geographical markers,” he said. “Before, I would write them down, but now I can digitally mark them and turn it into a whole project.” Like Frazier, Dancy, who lectures in the Mass Communication Department, saw the fellowship as an opportunity to tell a story about a prominent journalist that she felt her students should know.

Digital Humanities Fellow Lenora Helm Hammonds (middle) gathers a research team of music students and colleagues to create a digital story map of soul singer Robert Flack’s career. Pictured, left to right: Dupresha Townsend, Professor Maurice Meyers, Malachi Blanding and Malik Denny.



“It’s a travesty if our mass communication students leave campus not knowing investigative journalist Ida B. Wells,” Dancy said. “This project allows me to share her trailblazing story with people who need to know it, especially if they have a desire to work in the journalism field.” Dancy plans to develop a multimedia testimonial of Wells by journeying to Memphis, Tenn., where Wells owned the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight and, later, the Free Speech newspapers in the late 1890s. Dancy will interview area historians and capture footage of some sites Wells frequented, including Rust College, a school that her father, James Wells, started for newly-freed slaves. Dancy’s students will sharpen their broadcast skills by helping compile a few of the segments. “My students will see how writing for the web is necessary and a little bit different from writing for print,” she said. “It will also help them with broadcast speaking, because they will be voicing some of the parts that will be on the website, as well.” Helm Hammonds, from the Department of Music, used the fellowship program to develop a more creative and efficient approach to her curriculum and a richer experience for students. “The millennial generation is used to a digital environment, and you don’t want to be the same old professor stuck in your ways or approaching course materials in the same way,” Helm Hammonds said. “It doesn’t allow you to grow as a professor. I like the challenge of recreating or re-inventing new ways to bring materials to life so the experience can be fun for the students and for me.” The fellowship will support Helm Hammond’s curriculum for the new online Teaching Artist Certificate Program that was introduced to the NCCU campus in fall 2017. The certificate prepares performing artists with job-readiness tools to create auditorium performances, school residencies and cultural-arts programs for school and community-based organizations.

Helm Hammonds’ personal experience as a teaching artist sparked an idea to leverage her student researchers and other NCCU faculty and staff to create a digital library for the online program. “In my early years as a teaching artist, tried and true materials were hard to find, and it would take me hours to secure research,” she said. “It should have not been that difficult. “The library will include a repository of historical film footage of curated research materials that could be used in the curriculum. It will also involve a curated encyclopedia of veteran artists, researchers and professors in the areas of dance, theater and music.”


Throughout the years, studies have shown a growing public perception that graduates of humanities programs face underemployment and incomes too low for the investment. “At many institutions of higher education, focus is being placed on students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics in terms corporate and business careers,” Helm Hammonds said. “However the humanities are the root of who our students are, so they need history, language and art to build a bridge to STEM for their success.” However, according to a 2014 report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, humanities majors who are now in their peak earning ages (56-60) actually earn more than their peers who chose professional or preprofessional majors, and they are more likely to have attained valuable graduate degrees. Yet, a decline in the number of humanities majors continues nationwide, with the number of degrees in the field conferred in 2015 down five percent from the year before and nearly 10 percent from 2012, according to a Humanities Indicator report. The Digital Humanities fellows hope that their work will further showcase the need for research and study of humanities and its value in preparing students for the workforce. “Humanities allows us to teach students to write, think and communicate – the basic skills that one needs to be successful,” Frazier said.


assistant professor Department of Mass Communication

Mass communication students (left to right) Thurman Tatum III, Daniel Hargrove and Jasmine Hall learn the art of telling stories through a digital lens. “Though the field may need some changes to re-engage students and provide a new understanding of career options, other fields cannot exist without it.” Similar to Frazier, McKissick-Melton believes that the humanities and sciences help each other. “Students need humanities to excel in other areas by learning to think outside of the box and enhance their critical thinking,” she said. 







GLOBAL EXPERIENCE CAN HELP STUDENTS BUILD CONFIDENCE, PREPARE FOR CAREERS ECHNOLOGY BRINGS TOGETHER PEOPLE from different parts of the world almost instantly to engage in social interaction, share important information and spread the news.

At NCCU, students also are encouraged to step out of the virtual world and experience real-life global engagement through travel, language-learning and coursework on international culture and politics. “It’s part of our commitment to preparing students who are market-ready and who are both culturally and extra-culturally competent,” said Ontario Wooden, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Innovative, Engaged and Global Education. From a political and cultural perspective, experiencing life in other countries and cultures can provide insight into world events, as well as offer practical advantages for job seekers, Wooden added.



“As companies become more global – think Apple or Google – they will look to bring on board more employees who are global,” he added. To underscore this effort, Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye placed “global and social engagement” in his top four priorities after being named as chancellor by the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors. Among Akinleye’s Installation week activities in April 2018 was an International Symposium that brought together thought leaders from around the globe to discuss issues such as health care, education, economics and peace-building. Pointing out NCCU’s long history of international partnerships, the chancellor told the gathering that it is his intention to “re-energize our focus” on global concerns. “We now know that we live in a world that is without boundaries,” commented Akinleye. Students entering NCCU as first-time freshman in 2017 are too young to remember a world without broadband internet, Wooden said. “Our students grew up with technology at their fingertips, so they are already aware that the world is much larger that North Carolina or even the United States,” he added. Greenheart Exchange, a Chicago-based student exchange program, lists a number of important benefits for students who travel internationally, including confi-

dence gained by experiencing life outside of their familiar “comfort zone.” Others include developing independence, increasing cultural sensitivity, strengthening foreign language skills, as well as building a global network of friends and potential future business relationships. NCCU offers students numerous channels for exploring the world, according to assistant director of international affairs Olivia Metzger Jones. Some of these are individual study-abroad programs, faculty-led trips, geo-political courses and the Global Studies certification, as well as teaching and research collaborations with academic institutions in other countries. Each year students in the Executive Master of Public Administration program travel abroad for a mandatory two-week immersion experience. Professor Ismail Abdullahi, who teaches a course in Global Library and Information Science, has taken students to Denmark for the past several years to visit his alma mater, the Royal Academy of Library and Information Science. In Demark, libraries play a central role in public life and have been in the forefront of the digital information revolution, Abdullahi said. “Internationally, we have a shortage of library science majors,” he said, adding that career options are wide open globally for well-trained information specialists. Students Kyrie Mason, Jada Gannaway and Quishauna McDougle all will be spending six weeks in Ghana this summer as part of a study-abroad program organized by Duke University. The annual program provides a $12,000 stipend to cover costs of the trip, where they will study Ghanaian culture and politics, among other topics. In early 2018, seven undergraduate students flew across the ocean in the spring to visit graduate schools in England and France. This was the first international venture for the University College-led Graduate School Exposure Tour. “Our first stop was the University of Oxford, which is actually a collection of 65 individual colleges,” said academic counselor Alyssa Ishibashi. “We were able to visit the admissions offices and meet with

faculty members while we were there.” The group also visited University College of London, London South Bank University and the Paris College of Art. Previous tours have taken students to visit Ivy League universities and other selective graduate school programs in the United States. “We have such high-achieving students, yet they often don’t realize they are capable of going to elite Tier 1 schools,” said Alyssa Ishibashi, an academic counselor at NCCU. “Yet when we go to tour these schools and they roll out the red carpet for our students, it opens their eyes.” Lenora Helm Hammonds, an instructor in the Department of Music and director of the university’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble, has traveled widely in her roles as an educator and performer. Because she has seen the value of the international experience, Helm Hammonds makes a point of taking students with her as often as possible. “It’s important for students to have a wide variety of experiences,” Helm Hammonds said. Students have traveled with her to South Africa for music conferences

and, while there, visited the home of Nelson Mandela and shared musical traditions with residents of Langa, a black township during apartheid, among other activities. She also teaches students in Brazil, Denmark and South Africa through COIL –Collaborative Online International Learning, a program of the State University of New York higher education system. Graduate student Natalie Wallace is among those who have accompanied Helm Hammond on trips to sites including Natal, a city on the northeast coast of Brazil, where they attended an international music conference that Wallace described as broadening for her personally and professionally.

Below: Graduate students studying with Library and Information Science Professor Ismail Abdullahi, center, visit the Royal Academy in Denmark. At left: Students visit Oxford University and other campuses in Europe as part of the Graduate School Exposure Tour.

Internationally, we have a shortage of library science majors, career options are wide open for well-trained information specialists.”





Left to right: Malcolm Davidson (LSBU International Officer), Ja’von Williams (Junior: Business Administration), Kei’SShiona Jones (Junior: Criminal Justice), Symone Curry (Junior: Nursing), Jordyn Weaver (Junior: Family and Consumer Sciences), Jasmine Sanders (Junior: Public Education), Dajah Johnson (Senior: Nursing), Jalyn Ramseur (Sophomore: Social Work)

Following his junior year at NCCU, Joshua Strayhorn spent a semester abroad in Costa Rica and used that experience to enhance his study of African influence in the Americas. He said the international exposure was a help when he applied to the history Ph.D. program at Duke University. After graduating from NCCU in May, he will enter Duke in fall 2018.

“We attended workshops with students from the U.S., Finland, Denmark, South Africa and other countries,” said Wallace, a vocalist majoring in jazz studies. “These were all highly-skilled musicians and vocalists, as well as dancers. We all had things to learn from each other.” She said it’s important to find time for cultural exploration when traveling. “Some people just want to hang out in the hotel suite, but I have to go out to find events and other things to do, like visit museums and see old ruins,” she added. “I have found that it’s OK to get outside of my comfort zone and immerse myself in the traditional culture.” On the other side of the coin, students attending NCCU from foreign countries add a global flavor to campus. Some are here to earn an academic degree while others are known as post-docs, who teach and conduct research after earning their doctoral degrees elsewhere. Enrico Brandmeyr, Ph.D., began his post-doc work at NCCU two years ago. A graduate of the University of Trieste in his native country, Italy, Brandmeyr now spends his days in the Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) conducting research, teaching, preparing research proposals, and advising students in the Department of Environmental, Earth and Geospatial Sciences. In Europe, it is considered a “must” to study or work internationally early in their career, Brandmeyr said.

As companies become more global – think Apple or Google – they will look to bring on board more employees who are global.

ç NCCU students mingle with an international crowd at a conference in Brazil led by music professor Lenora Helm Hammonds.



Lenora Helm Hammonds, an instructor in the School of Music and director of the university’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble, has traveled widely in her roles as an educator and performer.

NCCU music students join a two-week conference in Brazil where they perform and learn alongside talented men and women from around the globe.

“Especially for anyone who wants to pursue an academic position, they should have some overseas experience,” he added. Brandmeyer encourages NCCU students in his classes to apply for internships and other opportunities to study, teach or conduct research in another country. “The U.S. is a big country, so American students have a lot of options,” he added. “But they don’t necessarily get the international experience they need.” In much of the world, English is commonly used in international academic

settings. But for students who are interested in spending time overseas, a second or even third language is beneficial. NCCU students can major or minor in Spanish, French or German on campus. But as part of the University of North Carolina Language Consortium, NCCU students also can pursue dozens of other languages, from Urdu to Mandarin, at other UNC System campuses, according to Wooden. NCCU also offers a multi-disciplinary concentration in Global Studies that follows one of five tracks to explore issues such as governance, peace and justice or population, migration and identity. Venturing into a country with a different language and customs can be anxiety producing for some, said Joshua Nadel, assistant professor of Latin American and Caribbean history and associate director of the Global Studies program. “Traveling overseas takes a bit of gumption and willingness to overcome fears; students are not sure what they are going to get,” Nadel said. “Some members of our student body are first-generation college students, and that means they have already accomplished a lot in their family’s eyes, just by

going to college. Those parents may be especially cautious about sending their kids overseas. But students who have done it talk about the fact that it was life-changing for them.” He pointed to Joshua Strayhorn, a 2018 graduate, who spent a portion of 2017 studying in Costa Rica. While there, he improved his Spanish and broadened his academic interests to include Afro-Latin history, alongside his ongoing AfricanAmerican studies track. That experience was valuable in his being accepted into the history Ph.D. program at Duke University, and other Ph.D. programs, Nadel said. Beyond personal growth and a leg up on the job market, global experiences can help put fast-breaking news and other international development into perspective, Wooden pointed out. “A tweet from our president causes international leaders around the world to react, and that causes us to react,” Wooden said. “We may begin to wonder about the safety of our relatives who live abroad or a friend who is doing research in another country. We need to know more to make sense of it all.” 






F TER EARNING his associate’s degree in criminal justice and starting to work as a police officer, Michael Stockwell fully intended to continue his education. But life got in the way. After nearly a decade on the Oxford Police Department, Stockwell heard about NCCU’s Eagle Voyage Program, which would allow him to earn a bach-

ing its partnerships with some two-year schools to help students extend their learning and obtain a bachelor’s degree. NCCU’s Department of Criminal Justice first teamed up with VGCC in 2015. “The partnership with Vance-Granville Community College is among a growing number of partnerships that NCCU has developed with community colleges across the state,” said Chancel-

THE AGREEMENT An agreement between the University of North Carolina (UNC) System and the North Carolina Board of Community Colleges allows community college graduates with at least 60 accredited semester hours accepted onto a UNC System campus to enroll as a junior. To be given two years of credit, students must have passed each course with a

Exp a n d ing

elor’s degree from NCCU from nearby Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC). As students increasingly turn toward community colleges for an entry point to higher education, NCCU has is expand-

lor Johnson O. Akinleye. “These types of partnerships allow us to provide students greater access to educational opportunities and academic resources that can prepare them for long-term career success.” The number of students acquiring their first two years of higher education at a lower cost, easy-access community college is growing nationally. Of the 852,439 students in the United States who first enrolled at a community college in fall 2010, about a third transferred to a four-year institution within six years. Forty-two percent of those who transferred earned a bachelor’s degree within six years, according to a report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The report also notes that nearly half of all students who completed their degree at a four-year institution were enrolled in a two-year institution at some point in the previous 10 years.

grade “C” or better and have an overall GPA of at least 2.0. Akinleye has broadened the university’s use of the articulation agreement by forming partnerships in various disciplines that can be used to recruit, support and prepare students with a stronger workforce credential.

“Community college partnerships are in keeping with NCCU’s goal to expand our footprint throughout the state of North Carolina to benefit those individuals seeking to obtain a highquality education and succeed in jobs that are in high demand,” Akinleye said.



Technology upgrades to NCCU’s distance-learning site have enhanced dual-enrollment educational offerings for students from Wake Technical Community College, Durham Technical Community College, Vance-Granville Community College, Alamance Community College and others.

Transfers from North Carolina community colleges make up about 60 percent of the transfer-student population at University of North Carolina System campuses, studies show. NCCU also has partnered with the California Community Colleges System to provide easier transfer services for former California community college students.

ECONOMIC BENEFITS Choosing to start higher education at a two-year community college lowers the overall cost of obtaining a college degree, an especially welcome development for students from low-wealth backgrounds and others who are cautious about taking on large amounts debt to obtain a degree.

In the U.S., $1.4 trillion in student loan debt remains outstanding from loans to 44 million current or former students, according to the Federal Reserve. Eagle Voyage was the first bachelor’s degree program available through VGCC. By transferring credits from their Associate of Applied Sciences degree, criminal justice students are able to complete the accelerated program in nine, eight-week minisessions and one summer at VGCC. Not only does Eagle Voyage benefit transfer students, it injects more diversity into the undergraduate population, said Keana Williams, academic advisor for Eagle Voyage. “Transfer students bring unique competences and contribute diverse perspectives that enhance the learning environment,” Williams explained. “The program helps talented and motivated transfer students succeed. It also enhances the university’s ability to serve students beyond the Durham campus.” Eagle Voyage students take their final two years of courses in a hybrid format consisting of work completed via Blackboard, an online learning management system, with an additional one- to two-day per week onsite session at VGCC’s main campus taught by an NCCU professor. Students

pay NCCU tuition at the lower distance-education tuition rate, providing a significant cost savings. “It’s a rewarding experience to teach students in the Eagle Voyage program,” said Art Beeler, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice. “These students are eager to learn, and they bring that motivation into the classroom.” Beeler, a former warden at Butner Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, N.C., hopes to spread word about the program among correctional professionals. Stockwell, now a senior criminal justice major, balances his time between his studies and his job as a police sergeant. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree through the Eagle Voyage Program, he will be better poised to climb the career ladder in law enforcement. Stockwell said Eagle Voyage is a great fit for those who have demanding work or family schedules, yet still are interested in advancing their careers. “The accelerated course offerings, cost and location were exactly what I needed. Being able to work full-time and also attend class after work has been ideal for my schedule,” said Stockwell.

In addition to my online classes, meeting twice a week for the classroom experience helps with learning tactical skills needed to succeed in my career. Everything I’ve learned I can apply in the field.” — safwan ali 42


Students in the program also gain learning opportunities through hybrid classes that examine real-word experiences and by working in programs that promote public safety. After obtaining his associate’s degree in paralegal studies from VGCC, junior criminal justice major Safwan Ali immediately enrolled in the Eagle Voyage Program. He said he particularly enjoys the hands-on component of the program. “The versatility of the program’s class offerings is very appealing,” Ali said. “In addition to my online classes, meeting twice a week for the classroom experience helps with learning tactical skills needed to succeed in my career. Everything I’ve learned I can apply in the field.” A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice prepares students for work in public or private criminal justice agencies, local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as the corrections and security fields. Ali, a Henderson, N.C., native aspires to begin a career in homeland security and also would like to attend NCCU School of Law. In 2017, NCCU introduced a second two-plus-two program on VGCC’s campus featuring a pair of education-related degrees offered through the NCCU Department Human Sciences: a bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and a bachelor’s in Family and Consumer Sciences. The Early Childhood Education program typically leads to a teaching certificate for working in preschool and kindergarten programs in North Carolina. The Family and Consumer Sciences program offered is a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Childhood Development and Family Relations. This degree focuses on child development and prepares graduates to work in a variety of non-school settings, such as individual and family counseling programs, youth centers, social services, child-care agencies and others.

In fall 2018, a third degree, Elementary Education, is planned.

EXPANDING NCCU’S FOOTPRINT The community college partnerships program expanded greatly in 2017 when NCCU formed an alliance with Alamance Community College (ACC) to launch Eagle ACCess, a program establishing eight associate’s and bachelor’s degrees delivered jointly. The programs feature several hybrid courses that are offered either on-campus or online. Both the School of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences are involved in Eagle ACCess, which awards a number of degrees, including Associate of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business Administration. In part due to programs such as these, the number community college transfer students at NCCU has steadily increased over the past several years. In fall 2016, more than 280 students transferred to NCCU from community colleges compared to slightly more than 200 in 2012. Durham Technical College and Wake Technical College have the greatest numbers of students in NCCU’s transfer student population. Another program supporting this trend is Eagle Connect, more formally known as the Engagement, Achievement and Graduation Leading to Educational Success, which enhances educational opportunities for students attending Durham Tech with plans to transfer into NCCU. Eagle Connect is the only residential academic transfer program offered on campus and offers targeted academic advising, student support services, and

a student-life component, all of which have been designed to help students make a smooth transition to upper-level college coursework. The program was among the first residential, dual-enrollment transfer admissions programs at any historically black college or university and remains one of only two such programs in the UNC System. Eagle Connect students live in student housing on the NCCU campus, about a half mile south of Durham Tech. While attending Durham Tech, they can also take advantage of university resources and activities. Several majors area available through the program, including business, chemistry, computer information systems and English.

Jonika Harrison took advantage of NCCU’s partnership with Wake Technical College to earn her NCCU bachelor’s degree in social work in 2017. She was able to take online classes at the community college and on-site seated courses at NCCU. “My transition from a community college to NCCU was smooth,” Harrison said. “Taking seated classes at NCCU allowed me to connect with my peers and develop relationships with my professors.” Criminal Justice also has an agreement with Wake Technical College. Students with an associate’s degree from SUMME R 2 0 18 NCCU NOW


Wake Tech may complete their Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in two years by attending classes offered at Wake Tech’s Public Safety Education campus in South Raleigh. Part of the NCCU Division of Extended Studies, the program is designed for students interested in law enforcement and criminal justice careers. It consists of 57 credit hours of courses that are delivered in eight eight-week sessions and a five-week summer session. Sophomore business major Kemeyon Rainey was enthusiastic about the benefits of Eagle Connect. “It is the best thing that ever happened to me,” Rainey said. “During my time in the program I’ve learned so much, even outside the classroom.”

THE SCIENCE OF SERVICE NCCU’s Office of Transfer Services provides incoming transfers a distinctive approach to campus life. “Through the Eagle Connect Program, I’m getting the full student experience,” Rainey added. “I’ve taken an interest in campus organizations and am utilizing campus resources.” Every other week, the Transfer Student Association hosts “10:40 Transfer Thursday” gatherings where transfer students are introduced to a palette of university services, including

the writing center, library and community service programs. Not only do students receive this useful information, but also have the opportunity to interact in a small-group setting with fellow transfer students. “NCCU’s Transfer Services provides a holistic student experience, with a hands-on approach and guidance,” Transfer Services Director Denettia Shaw said. Harrison has served as president and secretary of the Transfer Services Association, which she said helped her learn more about the types of problems other transfer students face. Earning community service hours to meet NCCU requirements was one such stumbling block. To meet the need, she organized weekend events, including a partnership with Kroger and Food Lion to create a food drive program benefitting students at Fayetteville Street Elementary in Durham and Barwell Elementary in Raleigh. High achieving students may be tapped to join Tau Sigma National Honor Society, a national academic society that recognizes transfer students whose GPA was greater or equal to 3.5 during their first semester at NCCU. Each year recently, the society has inducted roughly 60 transfer students.

AMPLIFYING THE IMPACT NCCU reaches well outside the state to partner with the California Community College System, offering Golden State residents the opportunity to transfer

smoothly into NCCU and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The program was established by the California college system in 2015. “As we continue to assist California Community College students in furthering their education, fruitful partnerships with HBCUs such as NCCU are important,” said project Director Helen P. Young. “In order to ensure a student’s continued success, the program has identified colleges and universities that understand the unique needs of transfer students.” As part of the program, NCCU and 34 other HBCUs guarantee admission to graduates of the California Community College system who meet specified criteria. They must have obtained junior standing or an associate’s degree with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher, among other requirements. Two students are currently enrolled in NCCU through this program.

HIGH MARKS Reports show that most students who transfer from community colleges to NCCU demonstrate high academic achievement. Recent reports showed that half of all incoming transfer students obtained a 3.0 grade point average during their first year at NCCU, compared to 37 percent for total transfers into the UNC System. 

“NCCU’s Transfer Services provides a holistic student experience, with a hands-on approach and guidance.” — denettia shaw 44


classnotes __ ‘95, ’99, ’02 EMILY M. DICKENS, has been named the Society for Human Resource Management Chief of Staff.


__ ’97, ’06 WENDY HAZELTON, was sworn in as Pitt County District Court judge. Hazelton is the first African-American to serve in this position. __ ’12 ASHLEIGH PARKER DUNSTON, was appointed as District Court judge in North Carolina’s 10th Judicial District by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. __ ’13 CHRISTOPHER LOPEZ, was named the Society for Human Resource Management Special Assistant to CEO. __ ’84 TAMI B. SIMMONS, was named vice president of Institutional Advancement for Johnson C. Smith University. __ ’96 HENRY KING, has been named police chief of Edenton, North Carolina.




ALUMNI HONORED WITH N.C. STATE HIGHWAY NAMINGS Former United States Ambassador to the Central African Republic Mattie Sharpless, ’65, ’72, and the late NCCU Chancellor Emeritus Julius Chambers, ’58, were honored in May 2018 with the naming of portions of two North Carolina state highways. On May 10, 2018, at the Manhollow Missionary Baptist Church in Hampstead, N.C., the N.C. Department of Transportation unveiled the Ambassador Mattie R. Sharpless Highway, a section of U.S. Highway 17. On May 24, 2018, at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, the N.C. Department of Transportation formally dedicated the Julius Chambers Highway, a section of I-85. Ambassador Sharpless was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Central African Republic on October 23, 2001. Sharpless joined the Foreign Agricultural Service in 1965. Prior to her appointment as Ambassador, she served as acting administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.



The Hampstead native earned a bachelor’s degree in business education and a master’s degree in business administration and economics from NCCU. Her numerous awards and citations include the prestigious Presidential Distinguished Service Award and the Presidential Meritorious Service Award. Chambers was the first alumnus to serve as NCCU’s chancellor, a position he held from 1993 to 2001. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from NCCU in 1958 and his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1962. Chambers established North Carolina’s first integrated law firm in Charlotte, which became a leading national advocate for civil rights, voting rights and workers’ rights. He won eight cases in the Supreme Court, including the landmark 1971 case that led to integration of the schools in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. From 1984 to 1993, he also served as director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. As NCCU’s chancellor from 1993 to 2001, Chambers led efforts for significant expansion of the university’s scope and mission. The Julius L. Chambers Biomedical Biotechnology Research Institute on NCCU’s campus bears his name. Chambers retired from NCCU on June 30, 2001, and died in 2013 at age 76.











Life of Artist and Athlete Ernie Barnes Celebrated in 2018 ALUMNUS ERNIE BARNES would have celebrated his 80th birthday on July 15, 2018. Although the talented artist and former pro football player passed away in 2009, his legacy lives on in his paintings and stories from his eventful life.

Barnes was born and grew up in Durham, where he expressed himself through

drawing as a child. As he grew older, his interest turned to sports. He earned an athletic scholarship to NCCU, then known as North Carolina College at Durham, which he attended from 1956 to 1960. Barnes cited the former professor and art department chairman Edward Wilson as a major influence on his artistic development. In 1990, Barnes was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts by NCCU and was given The University Award, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors’ highest honor, in 1999.

Copyright Š Ernie Barnes Family Trust (Photos B, C, E, D)




Photos courtesy of the North Carolina Central University Digital Collection (Photos A, F)



Commemorative activities included a Hometown Birthday Celebration that took place on July 15 at NCCU and an exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh that began June 29 and will run through March 3, 2019. E

Immediately after college, Barnes was drafted to play professional football. He played for the Baltimore Colts and several other teams, including the New York Titans, the Jets, and the Denver Broncos. By 1965, he had decided to return

Barnes’ work has been commissioned by the National Basketball Association, the Carolina Panthers and others. Other Commemorative activities included a Hometown Birthday Celebration that took place on July 15 at NCCU and

to art fulltime and was encouraged and initially supported by Sonny Werblin, the Jets’ owner, who recognized the value of his work. Barnes’ first solo exhibition, in 1966 at New York City’s Grand Central Art Galleries, sold out. Many of his black-andwhite pencil drawings and vivid paintings depict athletes in the heat of competition. However, Barnes’ most famous painting, “The Sugar Shack,” is a study in motion along a crowded dance floor. That painting appeared on the cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” album and during the closing credit of “Good Times,” a popular situation comedy in the 1970s.

an exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh that began June 29 and will run through March 3, 2019.


A. Alumnus Ernie Barnes dedicated “The Advocate” to the NCCU School of Law. “The Advocate” hangs in the Law library. B. Artist Ernie Barnes C. “The Drum Major” D. Barnes played four seasons in the American Football League during the 1960s. E. Barnes and wife Bernadine F. A reproduction of “Each One, Teach One” was dedicated to the University's Men's Center and is located in the Student Services Building on the campus of NCCU.

➔ Read more about Barnes and his ongoing legacy at




Alumna Amanda Williamson Leaps into Fashion Spotlight with Ennyluap It’s official. NCCU alumna AMANDA WILLIAMSON has hit the big time with her own line of clothing known as Ennyluap [pronounced in-a-lope]. The breakthrough came during New York Fashion Week in February 2018, where Williamson’s designs were seen on the catwalk alongside more well-known names in the fashion industry.

“The show was very well received,” said Williamson, who was still processing the experience after returning to her home in Atlanta recently. “It was mind-blowing to me and everyone around here. Even people in the fashion industry who are well past 50 haven’t gotten a chance to be on the stage we just presented on.” The invitation-only show produced by IMG for Fashion Week won a round of applause from national fashion writers, as well as the in-house live audience. A writer for the cultural website The Root called Ennyluap an “immensely wearable and marketable collection” for fall 2018-2019, adding that such “crossover” appeal is a rare commodity. USA Today compared Williamsons designs to those of popular Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and 2015 Fashion Week breakthrough Claudia Li. Williamson, an Atlanta native who earned her degree in biology from NCCU in 2011, said

she followed her own muse in creating designs for the New York runway. “I went as myself and showed what Ennyluap is, the classic contemporary style of the company,” she explained. “We didn’t put on any antics.” Williamson, 31, was one of only nine black designers among the 68 invited to participate in the semi-annual New York show. “Honestly, when I walked out [at the end of the Ennyluap runway show], it was funny to see the expressions when people saw my face. One lady even gasped.” That the designer is young, female, and African-American all “plays to my advantage,” she said, helping to generate interest and exposure for the brand. _____________________________________

æ Check out the retail website

to learn more about Ennyluap at: WWW.ENNYLUAP.COM.

Immensely wearable and marketable

collection for fall 2018-2019” — THE ROOT 48


classnotes 2015

Outstanding Performance Award Goes to NCCU Alum OFFICER A.D. COX received the Greenville Police Department’s Outstanding Performance Award after a young adult wrote about her experience with the officer in an email to the department. Cox stopped by to see the college student after her out-of-state college advisor advised Greenville Police that the student had self-reported a depressive episode in December 2017. “This officer went above and beyond,” wrote the student. “Not only did she provide me with resources that would be beneficial to me if I am experiencing hardships, but she talked to me for a long time and consoled me. When she noticed that I was in distress, she gave me a hug. That hug saved my life that night!” Acknowledging that many individuals in Cox’s shoes might simply have passed along a crisis hot line number, the student said the officer’s “uplifting words” were encouraging. “Officer A.D Cox demonstrated compassion, empathy and integrity; she made sure that the people she serves are in good hands.” And fellow officers agreed, bestowing Cox with the Outstanding Police Performance Award in January 2018 to recognize her achievement.







THEATRE AND DANCE ALUMNUS JIMMY WOODS IN THE SPOTLIGHT JIMMY WOODS, a 2014 Theatre and Dance graduate, is starring in The CW’s new series Black Lightning. The 13-part television series based on a DC Comics superhero premiered Jan. 16, 2018, and airs weekly on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Woods, a Durham native, was adopted at a young age by his aunt and uncle. He began exploring his love for theater during performances in Sunday school musicals and later as a student at Hillside High School. Upon graduation from North Carolina Central University, Woods launched his career in television. Woods is truly an Eagle soaring high in Tinseltown.


RICHARD SMITH AND JACQUELINE BEATTY-SMITH NAMED EAGLE AMBASSADORS Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye has named RICHARD SMITH and JACQUELINE BEATTY-SMITH as Eagle Ambassadors in a new program to honor alumni service to the university. Beatty-Smith graduated from NCCU in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and pursued a successful career as a senior human resources officer. Smith earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from NCCU in 1981, later becoming an acquisition specialist and performance management consultant. In awarding the honor, the chancellor cited the Smiths’ unfailing support of NCCU as financial donors, their active membership in the NCCU Alumni Association Inc. and Eagle Club and for serving as role models of the university’s motto, Truth and Service. In 2017, Smith won the NCCU Alumni Association’s Founders’ Award for Lifetime Achievement. The Smiths, who met at then-NCC at Durham, celebrate 29 years of marriage in 2018.



memoriam Groundbreaking Alumnus LeRoy Frazier Dies in NYC LEROY FRAZIER, one of three students who successfully challenged racial segregation at the University of North Carolina, died in December 2017 in New York City of heart failure. He was 80 years old. Frazier and his brother Ralph and a third man, John Lewis Brandon, applied to UNC as seniors at Durham’s Hillside High School. Their applications prompted a federal court to overturn the Chapel Hill university’s segregationist policies in 1955. The three lived for a time on their own floor of university dormitory and encountered other examples of ongoing discrimination, prompting them to leave the university after three years. LeRoy Frazier served in the Peace Corps and he and his brother eventually earned degrees from North Carolina Central University. After pursuing a master's degree at New York University, LeRoy Frasier devoted his career to teaching in the U.S. and Africa. UNC-Chapel Hill now has a scholarship in his name, Chancellor Carol Folt told the Daily Tar Heel, recalling that his legacy of “leadership, courage and self-sacrifice made a lasting impact on our University community. LeRoy’s contributions to Carolina will live on through our students who receive scholarships bearing his name.”



__ ’47 ETHEL L. EDMUNDSON LINEBERGER, B.A., Capitol Heights, Md., Jan. 9, 2018 __ ’48 RAPHAEL N. THOMPSON, SR., B.S.C., Durham, N.C., Jan. 9, 2018 __ ’48 ’50 DR. THOMAS R. HUBBARD, B.S., M.S., Portsmouth, Va., March 23, 2018 __ ’56 CAROLYN BLACK SOUTHALL, B.S., Colfax, N.C., Nov. 3, 2017 __ ’57 BLANCHE HARRELL GIPSON, B.S., Durham, N.C., March 2, 2018 __ ’57 ERNESTINE D. LYON, B.A., Washington, D.C., Feb. 15, 2018

__ ’57 GLADYS CHAVIS JONES, B.S., Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Jan. 8, 2018 __ ’59 LUCILLE JOHNSON SMITH, Durham, N.C., Jan. 11, 2018 __ ’63 LETICIA STACKHOUSE BURNETT, B.S., Petersburg, Va., Nov. 20, 2017 __ ’63 CHARLES M. DICKENS, B.S., Greenville, N.C., Jan. 5, 2018 __ ’69 TIMOTHY A. CRAWFORD, JR., J.D., Moorestown, N.J., Feb. 7, 2018 __ ’72 REV. SILAS L. MAYFIELD, B.A., Durham, N.C., Dec. 6, 2017 __ ’73 VAN M. CARVER, B.S., Durham, N.C., May 5, 2018

__ ’80 MICHELLE ARRINGTON, B.S. __ ’83 DREWRY “DJ” VINCENT, B.S., Greensboro, N.C., May 31, 2018 __ ’86 ARTHUR W. YANCEY, B.A., Creedmoor, N.C., May 15, 2018 __ ’93 DANA ASKEW, of Washington, D.C., Nov. 26, 2017 __ ’95 LYNDA H. MASSEY, B.S., Alamance County, N.C., Jan. 17, 2018 __ ’99 ALICIA M. ELDER, B.B.A., Durham, N.C., Jan. 30, 2018 __ ’14 ATLAS DARRIAN HAGER, B.S., Durham, June 9, 2018


San Diego Broadcaster and NCCU Alumnus C.S. Keys Remembered Popular weatherman and sports broadcaster CRAIG SCOTT KEYS, 54, a 1986 graduate of NCCU, passed away suddenly on Jan. 14, 2018, at his home in Mesa, Calif. He was the executive producer and host of The C.S. Keys Pregame Show on San Diego’s 1090 a.m. sports radio station, as well as a weatherman and sports director at KUSI-TV in San Diego and XETV in Baja, Calif. After graduating from NCCU with a degree in English and communications, Keys first worked at KDKA in Pittsburgh, where he became the first African-American to anchor the weather in the regional broadcast market. In 2000, he relocated to San Diego, where he was recognized for his efforts on behalf of teens and youth through his C.S Keys’ KIDS with Athletes for Education Foundation. He was a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., the National Weather Association, The National Association of Black Journalists, San Diego Urban League and 100 Black Men.

NCCU NOTABLES Professor Emeritus DR. WALTER HUGH PATTILLO JR., 88, retired dean and professor of biology at NCCU, died May 6, 2018. He was born Jan. 1, 1930, in the Pamlico County, N.C., community of Bayboro. Pattillo’s father and grandfather were school principals in Bayboro, where he attended classes for several years. He later enrolled at Palmer Memorial Institute, a historic African-American prep school in Sedalia, N.C., graduating as the class valedictorian in 1948. In 1952, Pattillo earned a B. S. degree with honors in chemistry and biology from Hampton University, and in 1956 was awarded a Ph.D. in zoology from Iowa State University, with a specialty in parasitology. After service in the U.S. Army Medical Services Corps from 1956 to 1958, he returned to higher education by taking a teaching position at Tuskegee Institute. He also pursued post-doctoral work at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. In 1961, Pattillo joined the faculty of NCCU, serving initially as acting PATTILLO JR. chairman in the Biology Department. From 1964 to 1976, and again from 1986 to 1993, he was the department chairman. He conducted research and published several scholarly research articles and was named program director for the groundbreaking Minority Biomedical Research Support Project funded by the National Institutes of Health. During his NCCU career, he occupied a number of administrative posts, including dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1978 to 1986). He retired from NCCU in 1993 and was later named professor emeritus for his years of dedicated service.


University Mourns Loss of Professor John C. Clamp JOHN C. CLAMP, 68, an endowed professor who mentored many students in the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, died Feb. 6, 2018, following a short illness. Professor Clamp grew up in Fayetteville, N.C., where he developed his passion for science. After graduating with a doctoral degree in zoology/cell biology from North Carolina State University, he joined the faculty at NCCU in 1984. Clamp conducted research in evolutionary biology and marine biology during his 30-year professional career and was enthusiastic about sharing his vast knowledge with students. His teaching skills and intellectual acumen will be missed.



__ BARBARA LOGAN COOKE Professor of Piano and Music Appreciation, Music Department Dec. 28, 2017 __ DR. PENNIE E. PERRY Director of Libraries, James E. Shepard Memorial Library Feb. 11, 2018 __ ALICE COPELAND KENNEDY Developed BSN program and professor in Nursing, Nov. 24, 2017 __ EULALEE M. CORDICE PARHAM, first Director of Art

Studies and Founder of NCCU Art Museum, July 24, 2017 __ RAPHAEL N. THOMPSON, SR. Professor of Business Administration; founder of Beacon Light Missionary Baptist Church Jan. 9, 2018. ď Ł





Charlotte-based Philanthropist Invests in Aspiring Eagles Academy


“Through the Aspiring

Eagles Academy, we are providing educational access for students who otherwise might not be able to come to college.”


DAV I D HO O D, E D. D. DEAN, NCCU University College



SPIRING EAGLES ACADEMY, created to help first-generation students make the transition to college successfully, received a $100,000 grant from the Leon Levine Foundation to support its expansion. The Academy operates a summer session at no charge to select students who are admitted to enter as freshman the following fall. Students enrolled in the Aspiring Eagles Academy come from low-wealth families or represent the first generation in their family to attend college. “Through the Aspiring Eagles Academy, we are providing educational access for students who otherwise might not be able to come to college,” said Dean David Hood, of NCCU’s University College. “The program was designed to remove obstacles students may experience as they transition into higher education.” Family Dollar Stores’ founder Leon Levine and his wife, Sandra, established the Charlottebased fund in 1980 to support nonprofits that are making sustainable improvements in education, healthcare, Jewish values and human services, said Andrew Yavorski,

senior program associate at the Charlottebased foundation. Established in 2011, Aspiring Eagles Academy has a track record of helping students succeed at higher rates than others with similar test scores and family backgrounds. Students in the program are also more likely to graduate within four years than those in the general student population, Hood said. “Many thanks to the Leon Levine Foundation for investing in our Aspiring Eagles Academy, enabling NCCU to fulfill its No. 1 priority, student success, ” said Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, Harriet Frink Davis. In addition to receiving academic counseling and mentoring, Aspiring Eagles can earn eight academic credit hours during their summer session on campus. Assistance with textbooks and other supplies may also be provided. Students are encouraged to support one another and take part in community service work, as well. About 40 students are enrolled in the academy each summer.



from two alumni business owners has marked the first time NCCU has benefitted from a new investment vehicle that provides tax benefits and income for donors. The $220,000 gift from alumni Rae and Audwin Helton is part of a charitable remainder unitrust that was created in October 2017 through an agreement between the NCCU Foundation and N.C. Gift Planning LLC. The Heltons, both 1981 Eagle graduates, own and operate a successful geographic information systems company in Louisville, Ken. “We decided to invest in the charitable remainder unitrust because it seemed to be a good fit with what we wanted to do on behalf of the university, and it will provide continued support over time,” Rae Helton said. Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye welcomed the Heltons’ contribution to the charitable remainder unitrust, a type of trust that provides a fixed annual income to the donors during their lifetime.

“We are appreciative of the generosity of the Heltons and their thoughtful decision to invest in this unitrust to the benefit of their alma mater,” Akinleye said. N.C. Gift Planning was created to allow NCCU and other medium-sized universities within the University of North Carolina System to provide the unitrust option for donations. As geography and library science majors, the couple used knowledge gained at NCCU to start their successful business, Spatial Data Integration Inc., in 1994. Audwin Helton, a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board, said he is inspired by university

founder Dr. James Shepard, who held high expectations for students to develop traits such as leadership, perseverance and compassion. Harriet Davis, Ph.D., vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement, said gifts involving estate planning are likely to rise following the creation of new investment options through N.C. Gift Planning and NCCU. “We would urge anyone considering a substantial gift to talk with our Institutional Advancement team about how it might be tailored to fit their life situation, either through a charitable remainder unitrust, annuity or other investment vehicle,” Davis said.



contact Institutional Advancement at 919-530-7074 or





ongtime donors Leroy and Helen Latten stepped up again in spring 2018 to support a special occasion: The Installation Gala honoring incoming Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye. The alumni couple, from Burke, Va., cannot forget how their own lives were changed and improved by attending NCCU – Leroy graduating in 1966 and Helen in 1969. “My support of the university goes back many years,” said Leroy Latten, who holds an English degree and a juris doctorate from NCCU. “I do it because I know that the level and percentage of support for HBCUs is not as high as it should be. I feel committed to being one of those individuals who will give when I can what I can. A second reason for giving is that I owe a debt to the university. Getting an education and the experiences the university gave me at a young age propelled me on to pursue other things in life.”

We are immensely grateful to the Latten’s for investing in The Eagle Promise. Their unwavering commitment and generosity in support of NCCU is remarkable.” _______ HA R R I E T F R I N K DAV I S VICE CHANCELLOR FOR INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT NCCU



Helen Latten, who majored in commerce, spent most of her career working in the human resources field. So, perhaps it’s only natural that the human touch plays a role in her philanthropy outreach. “We had a chance to meet the new chancellor in fall 2017, when he came to Arlington, Va., on The Eagle Promise tour,” she explains. “That gave us a chance to talk one-on-one and hear Dr. Akinleye’s ideas, including making sure all students who graduate are employable. That is

something every parent likes to hear.” Helen Latten said her father passed shortly after she entered college at age 18. “My dad left me at McLean Hall, and the following November he was gone,” she added. “I was just 18 and was worried about how I could stay in school. But through the generosity of others, primarily my aunt, his sister, I was able to remain at college.” The Lattens know that by giving back to their alma mater, they are really just paying it forward. 



sports sports


Department of Athletics Honors Former Administrator with Lifetime Achievement SANDRA T. SHULER

is no stranger to athletic excellence.

The legendary collegiate athletics professional was presented with the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Department of Athletics Lifetime Achievement Award on March 1. Groundbreaking coach and athletics administrator Sandra T. Shuler was presented with the NCCU Department of Athletics Lifetime Achievement Award in March 2018 in honor of her more than 20-year career with the Eagles. Shuler, who earned her bachelor’s from NCCU in 1964 and master's in 1966, served as director of the Women's Athletic Association from 1966-74, as coordinator of Women's Athletics from 1974-80, as associate director of Athletics from 1980-94, and as acting director of Athletics in 1994-95. “Coach Shuler is a remarkable woman who has mentored so many women and men throughout her career," said NCCU Director of Athletics Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree. “This award highlights and celebrates her lifelong passion for education and athletics." Shuler was still in graduate school and working part-time at Belk-Leggett Department Store in downtown Durham when her own mentor, Dr. Ross Townes, strode onto the fourth floor and convinced her to apply for an open position at NCCU, she recalls. “Dr. Townes always pushed me,” said Shuler, who studied under the physical education professor starting in her undergraduate days. “One year, I was making B’s in his class, and he called me in early one morning and said some things to me I never forgot. From then on, I was making A’s.”

Shuler served as the first coach of NCCU’s intercollegiate volleyball team, a position she held until 1993. Her overall record of wins-losses was 287-140. Shuler also served as head softball coach for several years and was the cheerleader advisor and chaperone from 1966-79. With women’s sports just becoming a mainstream part of the collegiate experience, Shuler initially had to recruit female players by spotting them on campus and convincing them to sign up for the team, she said. No scholarship money was available, until she started pulling small amounts from her athletic travel and equipment money to woo prospects. “I was always looking for potential,” she recalls. “I was recruiting arms and legs. I knew if someone had long legs, I could teach her the skills to compete.” In the early days, it was a one-woman show, carrying out duties as coach, recruiter, trainer and even team driver. But despite the challenges,

Shuler said the experience was something she has never regretted. She retired from teaching in 2000. “I’m just grateful and thankful that I was in the right place at the right time for much of my career,” she added. During her coaching career, Shuler held key positions with the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). She developed the volleyball conference championship format and organized conference events. Shuler was inducted into the NCCU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993 and the CIAA Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2007, she was presented with the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) Lifetime Achievement Award. NCCU’s Department of Athletics Lifetime Achievement Award was given to longtime NCCU photographer Robert Lawson in May 2014 and legendary student-athlete, coach and athletics administrator William "Bill" Hayes in February 2016.

Shuler was inducted into the NCCU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993 and the CIAA Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2007, she was presented with the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators Lifetime Achievement Award. SUMME R 2 0 18 NCCU NOW


Eagles Walk-On Starter Reignites Basketball Career BY ER I KA IA N O VA L E

In fall 2017, John Angelo Guerra, 22, became the first walk-on athlete to play in a starting position for Eagles Men’s Basketball Coach LeVelle Moton. It’s an honor the junior from Cary, N.C., is happy to be known for. “I am honored to be a walk-on because it allowed me to be on the team in the first place,” said Guerra, who plays guard position for the Eagles. As a walk-on member of the team, Guerra – a graduate of Cary Academy - was neither recruited to play at NCCU nor given scholarship assistance. But Guerra is proud of his status, which he believes will encourage others who find themselves in a similar position to go out for the team. “For me it is a privilege to play, because I can honor those who were never called or were never the first option for other coaches,” he said. “I want other walk-ons to be able to look at my story and realize that if they work hard and commit to being part of the team, they can achieve it, even at the Division I level.” Guerra was a starting player for the Eagles throughout the MEAC and the NCAA tournament, as well as in a few games during the regular season. Moton said he doesn’t really care which team members are walk-ons but does pay attention to “who is making an impact on the team.” “I am the kind of coach that wants to reward a player when he is doing a great job in practice,” Moton added. “John did a wonderful job.” The NCCU Men’s Basketball team won the 2018 MEAC championship and, according to Moton, Guerra played a crucial role in that success. “He helped us the most in the championship game, because at one



point he scored six or eight points that gave us separation from the other teams competing,” he said. “John is one of the most energetic kids that we’ve had on the team in a long time. I believe that anyone that has the right energy and passion about their job will be successful. He has incredible energy, and he is a mature kid; we needed that maturity.” Guerra called the MEAC tournament “the most memorable week” of his life. “I am never going to forget when the clock went out and the confetti was thrown,” he said. “It made everything

“I want other walk-ons to be able to look at my story and realize that if they work hard and commit to being part of the team, they can achieve it, even at the Division I level.” —JOHN GUERRA

worth it; the extra practices, the early morning practices, the extra time spent by myself on the court. It was fulfilling.” Guerra transferred to NCCU from the Naval Academy in fall of 2016 and plans to enlist in the Navy after earning his bachelor’s degree in political science from NCCU. Guerra believes that playing basketball in college will help prepare him for his future career. “The team has to be better than the individual,” he explains. Guerra, who was born on New York’s Long Island and grew up in the Triangle,

was a four-year varsity basketball player and a two-time All-Conference selection during his high school career. In addition to NCCU athletics, Guerra has completed five ultramarathons for charity that each required over 30 hours of continuous running. Guerra gives credit to Moton for offering him a chance to play. “He saw something in me that no one else in the country did,” Guerra said of Coach Moton. “He saw in me an opportunity to win. I am extremely grateful because I know that everything in this program is earned and not given. I hope I have made him proud.”


NCCU Linebacker Hunter Signs with NFL’s Jaguars


McCree Named Athletic Director of the Year Eagles Athletic Director Ingrid Wicker McCree was named as the Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Wicker McCree, who has been director of athletics since spring of 2008, was presented the award at the association’s 53rd annual convention in Washington, D.C. The honor recognizes top athletic directors for their work on behalf of student-athletes, collegiate campuses and communities. Wicker McCree has been a member of the NCAA Division I Council since 2017. She was named the CIAA Senior Woman Administrator of the Year in 2006 and Administrator of the Year in 2015 by Women Leaders in College Sports.


Former NCCU DB Jones Signs NFL Contract with Giants After an impressive showing during rookie minicamp, former North Carolina Central University defensive back Mike Jones signed an NFL contract with the New York Giants. Jones played three seasons at NCCU from 2013-16, earning multiple postseason honors as both a defensive back and a return specialist. After graduating from NCCU in December 2016, Jones played his final collegiate season at Temple University. 


For the latest athletic news, schedules and scores, visit JONES


Reggie Hunter began his college football career as a walk-on. The North Carolina Central University linebacker recently signed a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League as an undrafted free agent. Hunter, a December 2017 graduate, finished his standout four-year NCCU career with 245 tackles (135 solo) to rank 11th on the Eagles' all-time list. He earned All-MEAC honors in each of his final two seasons.





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CIRCA 1938, 1988

C L AS S OF 1 9 3 8 R E AC H E S 8 0 T H A N N I V E R S A RY The Class of 1938 was the first class to be inducted into the Society of Golden Eagles in 1988. When the class of 22 women and 12 men graduated, the average cost of a new house was less than $4,000 and the average annual salary was $,1,700. The two surviving members of the Class of 1938, Florence Augusta Hill Baines and Maggie Poole Bryant, both centenarians, have remained involved in NCCU Alumni activities through the years.

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NCCU NOW S UM M E R 20 1 8



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