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Dr. Tony Atwater, President • A Semi-Monthly Newsletter for Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends of Norfolk State University

Achieving Excellence. Success Beyond Measure.

PRESIDENT’S Masquerade GaLa

Salutes Leaders


orfolk State University will host the President’s Masquerade Gala and Silent Auction, Saturday, March 2, 7 p.m. at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott Hotel, 235 East Main Street, Norfolk, Va. President Tony Atwater will present the Outstanding Achievement Award during the gala to three individuals for their contributions in leadership, community service and philanthropy in the Hampton Roads region. The honorees are Ulysses Turner, ’69, Leadership; John A. “Jack” Hornbeck, Community Service; and Ernest M. Hodge, ’75, Philanthropy. In addition to the awards presentation, the gala will include a silent auction that features a host of wonderful items, a seated dinner, musical entertainment and dancing. Gala tickets are $150 and will help raise money for scholarships and programs. Sponsorships, tables and individual tickets are available. Net proceeds from the gala will benefit students at Norfolk State University, which is in the midst of the $2 million ‘I AM NSU’ Annual Fund campaign. Purchase tickets here.

Ulysses Turner ’69 NSU Outstanding Achievement Award LEADERSHIP

John A. “Jack” Hornbeck NSU Outstanding Achievement Award COMMUNITY SERVICE

Ernest M. Hodge ’75 NSU Outstanding Achievement Award PHILANTHROPY

Spartan Success Center: Compass that Points Way to Achievement


he Spartan Success Center is a new resource in the University’s efforts to help students improve their academic achievement and reduce time to degree completion. It serves as a compass to guide students in their academic journey to graduation. Housed in the James Bowser Building, Suite 121, the Success Center assists students in becoming more independent, self-confident and efficient learners through academic support systems. Under the Center’s umbrella, in collaboration with other University offices, a full complement of academic support services are provided. Those services include tutoring, academic enrichment, mentoring (life skills, the NSU citizen, engagement), advising, co-curricular activities, service learning activities, external scholarship opportunities, academic enrichment, a sophomore year program and faculty/staff development. It is anticipated that this comprehensive effort will increase the fall 2012 freshman cohort retention rate by 1.5 percent by September 30, 2013, and decrease the attrition rate of the fall 2011 freshman cohort by 1 percent. Ultimately, by September 30, 2017, the major objectives are to increase the retention rate for the freshman cohort

from 73 percent to 80 percent and increase the six-year graduation rate for freshmen who entered the University in fall 2011 from 34 percent to 40 percent. The Spartan Success Center is part of the Spartan Crusade for Academic Success initiative. For more information, the Center office hours are Monday– Thursday from 8 a.m.–7 pm. and Friday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. or visit Contact the Center at 823-8507, or visit the website.

Business School Earns Prestigious Accreditation


orfolk State University’s School of Business has received continuing accreditation of its business programs from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International through 2018. The School of Business programs have been accredited since 1990. AACSB International accreditation is the highest standard of achievement for business schools, worldwide. Less than five percent of the world’s

business programs have earned this accreditation. The accreditation standards are used as the basis to evaluate a business school’s mission, operations, faculty qualifications and contributions, programs, and other critical areas. A school’s AACSB accreditation ensures students and parents that the business school is providing a top-quality education. It also ensures employers that AACSBaccredited business school graduates are ready to perform on day one.

Nsu Becomes Vetsuccess site V

eterans seeking to obtain a college degree at Norfolk State University will find a dedicated place where they can get the answers they need. NSU is among a handful of colleges and universities that have a VetSuccess on Campus site. The VetSuccess on Campus program’s goal is to help veterans succeed in their educational programs and transition to suitable employment in the civilian workforce. The Hampton Roads area is the only region to have the program in Virginia. What does this mean for student veterans? In addition to the many programs offered through the University’s Office of Veterans Affairs, they have a dedicated liaison, Donecia


Making Waves is published by the Office of Communications and Marketing. (757) 823-8373 Tony Atwater, Ph.D. President

Stephen McDaniel Interim VP for University Advancement Cheryl Bates-Lee AVP of University Relations Stevalynn Adams Regina Lightfoot Christopher Setzer


Donecia Lawson

Lawson, with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that can answer many of their questions and help them navigate the system more efficiently. “I look forward to interacting with each of our student veterans to assist them with building the bridge from a successful military career towards a fulfilling post-military career,” said Lawson, VetSuccess outreach counselor. “This is their opportunity to explore the many resources available via the Department of Veterans Affairs to determine the best vocational goal for them and to begin the foundation for the rest of their lives.” According to the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, because of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, it estimated that more than half a million veterans, their dependents and active-duty military personnel are taking college courses. NSU is located in a heavily populated active-duty and retired military community and has been designated a military friendly school by two publications, G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education. The University also has been named a Best for Vets College by Military Times. “The VetSuccess on Campus program,” said NSU Director of Veterans Affairs Cynthia Lewis, “is another effort by Norfolk State University to help serve our nation’s veterans.” Donecia Lawson Student Services Center, Suite 307 (757) 823-8551 Hours: Wednesday and Thursday Making Waves

Pictured left to right are NSU President Tony Atwater, Ruffner Academy Assistant Principal Doris Langhorne, Ruffner Academy Principal Richard Fraley and Spartan Crusade for Academic Success Outreach Coordinator Tanya Perry.

ruffner academy Joins the sCas Family of schools


he Spartan Crusade for Academic Success (SCAS) continues to expand its network of partner schools. On Thursday, February 21, Norfolk State University signed a partnership agreement with Ruffner Academy Middle School in Norfolk, just a few blocks away from NSU. The SCAS initiative promotes educational success and college preparedness at the elementary, middle and high school levels. It seeks to help students graduate from high school, enroll in college and graduate on time. Other partner schools include Booker T. Washington High and Tidewater Park Elementary Schools in Norfolk as well as Lynnhaven Elementary School in Virginia Beach. External partners Bank of America, Coastal Virginia Wells Fargo Advisors, the Dominion Foundation, the Norfolk Southern Foundation, the NSU Alumni Association and TowneBank have provided financial support to the initiative.

Dr. Atwater to be Honored at 900 Men Strong Prayer Breakfast


he Second Calvary Baptist Church W.H. Gray Men’s Ministry is bringing to Hampton Roads its Second Annual 900 Men Strong prayer breakfast, featuring nationally renowned educational advocate Dr. Marco Clark on April 13, 8:30 a.m. at the Chesapeake Conference Center. Men of all ages, who may be fathers, sons, brothers, granddads, uncles and nephews, are expected to become a part of this regional effort to galvanize the men of the community to stand up to “Make A Difference Through Education.”

As part of the breakfast, distinguished leaders from the community will be honored including, NSU President Dr. Tony Atwater, the Honorable Virginia State Senator Kenneth Alexander, Regent University President Dr. Carlos Campo, and former Norfolk State University coach and community leader Curt Maddox. Five college-bound seniors will also be awarded scholarships for their academic achievement and service to the community.

Actor and author Hill Harper spoke at NSU, Thursday, February 21. Harper, founder of Manifest Your Destiny, told students that they are the architects of their lives and that they had the power to control their destinies. Harper visited the campus as part of the New Lyceum Speaker Series.

Making Waves


CAMPUS Briefs Dr. Carl Haywood, director of choral activities, was honored at the Jacox Elementary School 2013 Black Heritage Celebration “Too Dr. Carl Haywood Gifted to be Restricted.” The program featured the elementary school Boys Choir, the Boys Choir of Hampton Roads, the NSU Vocal Jazz Ensemble, the Black Heritage Celebration Community Choir and Dance Dimensions. In a collaborative effort, Carol J. Pretlow, associate professor of political science, has co-authored and edited the textbook, "American Government: Strategic Thinking in Race, Politics and Power." It presents an examination of the relationship between politics, government and culture while focusing on an analysis of the core components of the American political system. Dr. Charles Ford, professor of history, and his recent book, Elusive Equality, which he co-authored with Dr. Jeffrey Littlejohn, formerly of NSU, were recently featured in the Hampton Roads Magazine article, “A City Separated,” about Norfolk school desegregation. Dr. Stephanie Richmond, assistant professor of history, delivered a paper, "Contraband to Freedman: Life in the South in the Civil Dr. Stephanie Richmond War Era," before the Hampton Roads chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History for its 2013 Black History Month program.

community service mission by providing mathematics tutoring at two Hampton Roads area churches: Third Baptist Church in Portsmouth and First Baptist Church South Hill in Chesapeake. Ronald White, assistant professor of mathematics, and Dottie D. Perry, assistant director of the English and Foreign Languages Writing Center, were selected to participate in a statewide standardsetting study conducted by Educational Testing Service (ETS) for the new Praxis Academic Skills for Educators test held in Richmond. The purpose of this study is to recommend a passing score for the test. Dr. Sacharia Albin, chair and professor of engineering, has been appointed to the Editorial Board of the journal Radiation Effects and Defects in Solids (REDS). He will serve as an associate editor, along with several international experts. REDS is a peer-reviewed international journal published by Taylor & Francis. Dr. Frances C. Gray, assistant professor of nursing and allied health, had her manuscript, titled “Business Case for Magnet in a Small Hospital,” published in the February Dr. Frances C. Gray 2013 issue of The Journal of Nursing Administration. Dr. Gray was a member of a collaborative group that produced this article.

Dr. Larry, Mattix, acting dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology and professor of physics, was awarded Modification Number 001, by the Jefferson Science Associates, LLC (JSA) for $19,312.38 for the period January 1, 2013 through March Dr. Archie W. Earl, associate professor 31, 2013. The grant is entitled “Joint of mathematics, helped NSU fulfill a Faculty Appointment Agreement.”


Making Waves

First annual William Carroll Writers Festival Held at Nsu

By Ruth A. Martin


he first annual William Carroll Writers Festival will take place March 21 and 22 at Norfolk State University and all festival events are free and open to the public. “NSU sees a niche to celebrate local writers,” says assistant professor Daniel Pearlman, one of the event’s organizers. On March 21, at 7 p.m. in Room 231 of the Bozeman Education Building, there will be an open mic hosted by Synnika Lofton, a poet/recording artist whose poems have been published in Experience Reality Magazine, Quay: a Journal of the Arts and UpStreet: a Literary Magazine. Expect cutting-edge creativity from both host and crowd. The next night, at 7 p.m. in Room 149 of the Student Center, awardwinning poet and fiction writer Shonda Buchanan and Godchild the Omen, whose arena is performance poetry,

will give readings followed by what promises to be a powerful Q-and-A session. Buchanan, on the faculty of Hampton University, has recently released her newest poetry collection, “Who’s Afraid of Black Indians?” in which she embraces her lineage as an African-American and an American Indian. Festival goers will likely remember Godchild the Omen as the host of last year’s poetry slam when Norfolk State beat Hampton. Godchild also created and hosted “Mic Fiend Café at the Chrysler,” the evening of poetry, live art and music presented at the Norfolk-area museum in conjunction with their “30 Americans” exhibit. Take in two nights of cutting-edge slam, electrifying spoken-word art and powerful readings at NSU’s first William Carroll Writers Festival.

Dr. A’s Student Feedback Forum

‘15 to Finish’ Provides Students with Pathway to Graduate in Four Years Students would take at least 15 credit hours a semester


orfolk State University is launching a new program that gives students a way to graduate from the University in four years. NSU President Tony Atwater outlined the plan at the recent Dr. A’s Student Feedback Forum. The “15 to Finish” program, set to begin in fall 2013, encourages students to take at least 15-18 credit hours a semester as a way to successfully complete their degrees. “Only 34 percent of NSU students are completing their baccalaureate degrees in six years,” said Dr. Atwater. “As your president, I am urging all fulltime students to take a minimum of 15 credit hours in order to complete your baccalaureate degrees in four to six years.” The program, also has a tuition component. Under a new tuition structure passed by the Board of Visitors in December, students can to take up to 18 credit hours for the price of 12. In addition, by taking 15-18 credits, students are less likely to exhaust their financial aid in their junior or senior year. The loss of financial aid has caused many students to leave the University because they could no longer afford their tuition. More importantly, the program helps students to complete their degrees. “Our data for NSU indicate that students who do not complete their degrees in six years are highly unlikely to complete them,” said Dr. Atwater. “The average debt Continued on page 6 Making Waves


residential Life Master Plan


uring the fall 2012 semester, the Division of Student Affairs began the multifaceted process of developing a master plan for the future of residential life at NSU. Student housing is a top University priority and a critical part of how NSU recruits and retains bright scholars. The master-planning project is the initial step in building, remodeling and redefining the living experience for Spartans. The University has contracted with the local architectural firm Hansbury, Evans, Wright and Vlattas

to assist in the development of this plan. In order to promote intentional participation and gather critical input, the Division conducted a series of small group/roundtable discussions and a campus-wide symposium devoted to shaping the future of residential housing at NSU. The firm has identified March 15 as the date when it will deliver a report detailing an assessment of the existing facilities, plans for new building construction, a cost analysis, and a business plan for the build out of student residential facilities.


n April 13–14 from 7 p.m.–7 a.m., Norfolk State University will begin a new tradition in service by hosting its first Dance Marathon (DM). This studentdriven philanthropic effort will benefit the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk. During the Dance Marathon, NSU students will stay awake and on their feet, dancing and playing games for 12 hours to raise money for children at CHKD battling serious illnesses, critical injuries and complex conditions. CHKD is a non-profit pediatric healthcare facility serving southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. The hospital’s emergency center is the only dedicated pediatric emergency center in the state. The practitioners at CHKD treat more than 470,000 local children each year, regardless of the family’s ability to pay. All of the donations collected for NSU’s Dance Marathon will be given directly to CHKD and used to support and save children in our community. Norfolk State will be the only Historically Black College and University and the only institution in the Hampton Roads area to host a Dance Marathon this year. NSU will also be the first HBCU to independently sponsor the event. The students of NSU are working hard to reach their goal of donating $3,000 to CHKD and making a difference in the lives of local children. To register to participate in DM (NSU students only) or to donate to the event, visit

‘15 to Finish’ Continued from page 5

load for graduating NSU students is $17,000. It is not reasonable for NSU students to incur such debt and have no degree to show for their efforts.” Dr. Atwater also pointed out that having a degree translates into more earnings. “Recent reports,” 6

said Dr. Atwater, “indicate that students with baccalaureate degrees will earn two times more in their life times as compared with individuals who do not possess a baccalaureate degree.” “It is my hope,” he said, “that you will complete your degree expeditiously and strategically.” Making Waves

The 2012 Hodge Business Plan Competition winners, co-directors of the Hodge Institute for Entrepreneurship and faculty of the School of Business.

Hodge Business Plan Competition Inspires Entrepreneurs The Ernest M. Hodge Institute for Entrepreneurship is in the midst of its 2013 Business Plan Competition. The first round ends March 15 when competitors submit their business plan concepts. This year’s prizes are $2,000 for first place; $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. All winning teams are encouraged to take advantage of the resources available at the Hodge Institute for Entrepreneurship, and to network with faculty, wellestablished entrepreneurs, bankers, accountants and lawyers, in order to transform their new-venture models into reality. The 2012 Business Plan Competition winners: Zena S. Valencia,’12: First Prize - $1,500 Business Concept: Little Nite Owls Care Center, unlike a typical child care center facility, will provide unique business hours as well as a special arrangement for low- to medium-income households in Hampton Roads. Noelia Pacheco-Johnson, senior business major: Second Prize - $1,000 Business Concept: Teen Village Center will offer various services to parents whose teen-aged children need reinforcement in the areas of social and educational development which will greatly enhance their academic and interpersonal skills. Computer science graduates Paul McFall,’12; Chris Lanclos’12; and DeMarcus Thomas,’12 : Third Prize - $500 Business Concept: Campus Khaos, LLC.: will be a cutting-edge networking interface, aimed at college students, that integrates Internet multi-tasking social media and personal commerce capability into each user’s profile.

Spartan Men Extend Own Record with 8th Straight MEAC Indoor Track Title NSU Men’s Track Team Continues Its Championship Run


he Norfolk State men’s track and field team extended its own record by winning its eighth straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Indoor Championship earlier this month, when the Spartans won five event titles to pull away from the field at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex. All told, NSU won eight of the 17 events contested over the champi-

Making Waves

onship weekend. The Spartans scored at least one point in 14 of 17 events. NSU head coach Kenneth Giles was named MEAC Men’s Most Outstanding Coach. This is the 26th conference title that the Spartans have won under Giles’ tutelage (11 cross country, eight indoor track, seven outdoor track), giving him 26 MEAC Most Outstanding Coach designations.


NSU and Regent University Sign Pre-Law Program Agreement


partnership agreement between Norfolk State University and Regent University (RU) will provide NSU students with priority consideration when applying to Regent’s Law School. That priority consideration means that Regent will make reasonable efforts to process and act upon the NSU application quickly. The goals of the BA-JD program are to: help recruit students for the Pre-Law Program of NSU and RU; minimize the difficulties on pre-law students in making application to law school; and increase the academic opportunities for pre-law students at NSU. Under the program, students will be selected from the sophomore class by the NSU Pre-Law Committee (NSUPLC) based upon the merit of their academic performance and the strength of their extracurricular and leadership activities. Selected students are expected to maintain a rigorous academic program at NSU and are encouraged to take a broad range of courses, and engage in a variety of extracurricular activities such as service learning and civic engagement.

Dr. Tony Atwater and Dr. Carlos Campo

Students’ progress will be monitored by the NSUPLC with annual reports forwarded to the Law Admissions Office at RU if the students so request. NSU students must meet the Law School’s admissions criteria. In addition to priority consideration, students in the program will also receive enhanced scholarship consideration through Regent’s BLSA Scholarship Program, as well as discounted LSAT Workshop registration fees. Further, law school application fees will be waived for students in the BA-JD Partnership Program. –Compiled from Partnership Agreement


Norfolk State University Making Waves - February 2013  


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