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January 2014, Issue 24





A Newsletter for Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends of Norfolk State University Achieving Excellence. Success Beyond Measure.

2013 Year in Review The year 2013 has come and gone—quickly for some and not quickly enough for others. Here is a look back at some of the stories that shaped the University over the past 12-month calendar year from awards to new initiatives. This is the year that was.

Williams Receives

Outstanding Faculty Award Dr. Frances Williams, NSU associate professor of engineering, was among the recipients of the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award presented by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and Dominion Resources. The Outstanding Faculty Award is the Commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities and recognizes superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service. Dr. Williams was one of 12 recognized statewide. It was the second consecutive year that a Norfolk State University faculty member received the award. A year before this distinction, Dr. Williams was named an Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education in 2012. She was recognized by Norfolk State University in 2010 with a Distinguished Faculty Award, receiving the University Award of Excellence—the highest University faculty award at that time. In 2012, Dr. Williams was recognized by the NSU Board of Visitors for her innovation.

Norfolk State’s Spartan Success Center: Compass that Points Way to Achievement The year saw the beginnings of the Spartan Success Center. The Center was conceived as 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, the Success Center assists students in becoming more independent, self-confident and efficient learners through academic support systems. When the center was conceived, it was anticipated that this comprehensive effort would 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 were 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.

NSU Designated as VetSuccess Site Veterans seeking to obtain a college degree at Norfolk State University found a dedicated place where they could get the answers they need. NSU was among a handful of colleges and universities that were designated to have a VetSuccess on Campus site. The VetSuccess on Campus program’s goal is to help veterans succeed in Donecia Lawson their educational programs and transition to suitable employment in the civilian workforce. At the time, the Hampton Roads area was the only region to have the program in Virginia. In addition to the many programs offered through the University’s Office of Veterans Affairs, VetSuccess provides a dedicated liaison, with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs who can answer questions and help Vets navigate the system more efficiently.

Hill Harper Encourages Students to Manifest Their Destinies Actor and author Hill Harper spoke at NSU in February. 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.

McSwain Takes Helm as Extended Learning Dean Dr. Arletha McSwain was named dean of the School of Extended Learning (SEL). In this position, she provides leadership and academic expertise to support the design, development, and execution of the distance education programs in keeping with accreditation and federal guidelines. During her tenure as interim dean, Norfolk State University’s distance education programs received the Quality Standards Certification offered by the United States Distance Learning Association. Arletha McSwain

Dr. George Hsieh

Dr. Enrique Zapatero

Dr. Glendola Mills-Parker

University Professor

Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching

Distinguished Faculty Award for Service


Associate Professor



Associate Professor

Outstanding NSU Faculty Recognized

Norfolk State University held its second Faculty Convocation Making Waves is published where faculty members were by the Office of Communications honored for their scholarship, and Marketing. research, teaching and service. In addition, the newest emeriti (757) 823-8373 faculty members were also Eddie N. Moore, Jr. recognized. The convocation Interim President and CEO included three main awards — Deborah C. Fontaine University Professor, the most Interim Vice President distinguished award given to for University Advancement faculty; Distinguished Faculty Cheryl Bates-Lee AVP of University Relations Award for Teaching; and the Regina Lightfoot Distinguished Faculty Award for Editor Service. The recipients were Stevalynn Adams Dr. George Hsieh, University Stan Donaldson, Jr. Professor; Dr. Enrique Zapatero, Christopher Setzer Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching; and Dr. Glendola MillsParker, Distinguished Faculty Award for Service. The following seven retirees were given emeritus status: Inez Howard, Dr. Dong Soo Kim, Dr. Mou-Liang Kung, Dr. Carole V. Morris, Dr. Augustine I. Okonkwo, Dr. Jesse Pendleton and Dr. Barbara U. Wilson Walker. 2

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University Establishes CZAR Position Overseeing Student Retention, Graduation

Dr. Eleanor Hoy

Dr. Eleanor Hoy was named University Retention Czar. As the retention czar, it is Dr. Hoy’s job to get students across the finish line—degree completion. In making that a reality, she helps fulfill another one of her job’s missions—raising NSU’s graduation rate. Her position is just one more way Norfolk State is working to increase its retention and graduation rates.

She believes by contacting students and former students one-on-one that she and her counterparts can make a difference. Dr. Hoy is concentrating on three groups: students who participated in commencement, but did not get their degrees; students who plan to participate in commencement but may not have all the necessary requirements to get their degrees; and students who may lose their financial aid because they are not making satisfactory academic progress.

Sen. Yvonne B. Miller,’54

Tony Greene, ’86

Devon Henry, ’00

Dr. Patricia Saunders Nixon, ’78 and ’88

Four Alumni Recognized As Distinguished Norfolk State University honored four graduates who demonstrated exemplary leadership in their professions and in the community. These alumni are considered to personify the mission and goals of the University and were recognized at the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner held at the NSU Student Center. The honorees were: Sen. Yvonne B. Miller,’54, honored posthumously for her efforts in strengthening the well-being of children and families as well as in championing programs that addressed many societal ills; Tony Greene, ’86, a deputy program manager for a major Lockheed Martin development program; Devon Henry, ’00, president of Team Henry Enterprises LLC; and Dr. Patricia Saunders Nixon, ’78 and ’88, NSU associate professor of music and vocal performer.

Foundation Awards NSU $120,000 Grant Norfolk State University received a $120,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to help fill the need for highly educated nurses. The grant allows underrepresented students to receive nursing degrees as well as provide a path for students who already have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in another field to enter the nursing profession. This award will help students enrolled in the accelerated second degree to the bachelor of science in nursing program during the 2013-14 academic year. Provided through the New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN), the grant will also help develop nurse leaders. Norfolk State has been participating in the NCIN program since its inception during 200708 and has received grants for four of the six program years.

Film Students Capture Church Street’s History Church Street—A Community Legacy was the culminating project for the 14 students who took part in the intensive, three-week Legacy Media Institute, a partnership between NSU and alumnus Tim Reid, actor, producer and filmmaker. The Institute, housed in the Department of Mass Communications and Journalism, provides students with real-world experience in the filmmaking industry. The young filmmakers—12 NSU students, one from London and another from Richard Bland College in Petersburg, Va.—premiered the documentary at the Institute’s closing ceremony. Norfolk’s Church Street was once a vibrant business center within the African-American community. The students incorporated what they’ve learned into this production and helped to preserve history that might have just faded away. Making Waves


New Finance Vice President Begins Work Gerald Hunter, NSU’s vice president for finance and administration, began work in September. In this role, he is responsible for managing NSU’s annual operating budget, establishing current financial policies and procedures as well as overseeing capital and infrastructure improvements for all units, divisions and departments of the University. Gerald Hunter

Additionally, Hunter provides leadership and oversight for key financial and business areas including auxiliary services, bursar, human resources, controller, planning and budget, facilities management, payroll, procurement services, risk management and campus police.

Campus Community Meets Interim President Interim President and CEO Eddie N. Moore Jr. took two days out of his first week on campus to meet students, faculty and staff. On Tuesday, Sept. 24, students who were eating lunch in Scott-Dozier Dining Hall had the chance to meet and talk with Moore. He continued his campus introduction by meeting with faculty and staff on Thursday, Sept. 26, in a packed room in the Student Center. He looked relaxed as he emphasized to those in attendance that he is at Norfolk State to make improvements and restore the public’s trust.

Online Organizations Recognize NSU for Degree Programs, as Good Investment Norfolk State University was recognized for its ability to deliver excellent programs as well as for graduates receiving a return on their investment in a degree from the University. Affordable (ACOnline) ranked Norfolk State University as a top college in Virginia for return on investment. The ranking identified the 28 Virginia colleges where degrees pay off the most. Students who graduate from these colleges earn more over their lifetimes, on average, than graduates from other Virginia institutions. NSU ranked 24th. In addition, recognized NSU’s special education degree program as one of the best in the nation for the 2013-2014 academic year. A leading resource for online education, released its lists, which were compiled from data and surveys about programs across the nation, gathered and analyzed over the course of the 2012-2013 academic year.

New School of Graduate Studies

and Research Names Miller new Dean Dr. George E. Miller, the first dean of NSU’s new School of Graduate Studies and Research, began work in October. Dr. Miller has 35 years of experience in higher education in the classroom and in administration. He played a significant role in developing NSU’s Center for Materials Research and served as the center director for four years. Over his career, Dr. Miller has been awarded $30 million in grants from federal agencies and private foundations and sources. Most notably, grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and NASA provided initial funding to start NSU’s Center for Materials Research. During his 11 years at NSU (1987- 1998), Dr. Miller played a significant role in developing the Center for Materials Research. He led the three-person team that conceptualized and developed the Materials Research Laboratory and was the principal investigator and writer of the grant for the construction of the SEE NEXT PAGE Dr. George E. Miller

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approximately 18,000 square-foot Materials Sciences Research Science Building, which at that time, enabled the University to expand its research capability and provided the first significant Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics facility in 30 years.

HOMECOMING RECAP NSU held its homecoming Oct. 27-Nov. 3. The homecoming theme was Remember the Time…NSU Homecoming 2013. The week was filled with activities and events for students and alumni. Each of the University’s colleges and schools held homecoming receptions for their alumni. A step show, jazz concert, a student concert, gospel show, golf tournament and homecoming dances were also part of homecoming activities. Two Department of Mass Communications and Journalism graduates —Jonathan A. Mason,’ 95, and Alveta Ewell, ’79, served as the grand marshal and the honorary grand marshal of the homecoming parade, which took place on Saturday, Nov. 2, while NSU took on Florida A&M in the homecoming football game.

NSU Nursing Graduates Achieve High Licensure Passing Rate for the Third Quarter Exam Norfolk State University students who graduated from the bachelor’s degree program had a more than 90 percent passing rate on the nursing exam for the July 1–September 30 quarter. According to the Virginia Board of Nursing report for the past quarter, 21 graduates sat for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) with 19 receiving a passing score, equaling a 90.5 percent pass rate. For the quarter, NSU outscored other bachelor of science in nursing programs in state schools such as Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Virginia, Old Dominion University and George Mason University, as well as local schools such as Sentara College of Health Sciences and both Hampton University campuses.


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Norfolk State University Making Waves Jan. 2014