Working alongside industry experts provides university interns with a comprehensive and elaborate spectrum of experience, which can help them secure employment in the future.
Oluwaferanmi Ogundana, a junior civil engineering student, and Samuel Coleman (pictured left), a senior civil engineering student, were both selected as the Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering interns for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Far East District (FED).
The AMIE program provides the interns with real world experience in several capacities throughout the district.
Ogundana attends Morgan State University—he states that he selected this program for his first internship because of his interest in learning new skills and his interest in East Asian culture.
“This is the first time I have been this far away from my parents, and I wanted to experience that feeling,” said Ogundana. “I was interested in Korean culture and the technology here. When they started telling us about 5G being in use here, it was impressive to me.”
The district interns are placed on a learning rotation throughout their stay where they work within the project management, engineering and construction divisions during the nine-week program. This rotation provides them a full scope of how daily and long-term operations are executed here.
According to Ogundana, in school, he is shown what he can look forward to within the engineering field, but here he can see the process, which he describes as eye-opening.
“I actually know what the program managers are doing and what the construction and engineering teams are doing throughout the project development process,” said Ogundana. “It actually put everything into perspective and gave me more of a focus of what I can reach toward. I came here with the idea that I wanted to learn engineering, but definitely my eyes opened up to program management, and the construction division.”
He went on to state that it is fun going to construction sites and observing the facilities actually being developed.
“When I was in school, I was looking at a screen and they were trying to describe it [project management] to me,” said Ogundana. “Now that I actually see it, I can actually understand it more, and I feel like it is going to help with my upcoming year in school.”
Ogundana wishes that the district could implement a winter program, however, he is definitely interested in being selected as an intern next summer.
Coleman attends Tennessee State University and states he wanted to experience working outside of the United States. He said he expected to learn the full range of project management and how it all ties together for project delivery.
“I wanted to learn why the Corps of Engineers was so prevalent in influencing other engineering companies and why it was a great place to work,” said Coleman.
Coleman enjoys the rotation program that FED provides him as an intern at the district. He goes on to explain what he learned from each division within the district.
“In project management, I learned the process of a project and how it’s executed from start to finish, and all the different people that are involved,” said Coleman. “I learned how to talk to different clients and different contractors and engineers, and how it ties them all together to get the project done.”
For Coleman, this is his fourth internship and as he completes his senior year this fall, he said that he feels prepared to apply what he’s learned toward his near-future career.
“This experience will assist me with future employers and describing my experience to them,” said Coleman. “This internship was different because it provided me the full scope of engineering and I appreciate this experience.”
The L.A. teachers union has elected the first woman of color, Cecily Myart-Cruz, to lead the organization, part of a familiar and experienced team that will include outgoing union President Alex Caputo-Pearl, who was elected as a vice president.
“I’m proud of the way we have worked with members to create a union that is inclusive, that is a fighting union, that cares not only about educators, but about parents, the community and students,” said Myart-Cruz, 46, who as union president assumes a role of influence and power in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest in the nation.
Myart-Cruz received nearly 69% of the vote to represent some 31,000 Los Angeles teachers, school nurses, counselors and librarians. The next closest was Marisa Crabtree, with nearly 11% of the vote in the five-candidate field. Crabtree had proposed to turn the union more toward classroom and teaching issues, while deemphasizing politics.
But Myart-Cruz said she sees the fight for political influence as essential to improving teaching and classroom learning conditions.
A little over a year ago, United Teachers Los Angeles went on strike for six days, bringing a focus to overcrowded classrooms and staffing shortages. While Caputo-Pearl headed that effort, Myart-Cruz was a key advisor. Caputo-Pearl is barred by term limits from seeking a third three-year term.
“The work is not done. Our educators need the resources and our babies need the resources as well,” Myart-Cruz said.
“By almost any measure, Caputo Pearl has been a strong and effective leader,” said Charles Kerchner, professor emeritus of the Claremont Graduate University School of Educational Studies. “The plan to swap offices with Cecily Myart-Cruz would essentially keep the leadership regime in place. That creates stability in ideas and agenda.”
All the same, Myart-Cruz emphasized that she will be fully in charge when she takes office in July.
The momentum from last year’s strike carried over into the May election of Jackie Goldberg, a union-backed candidate, to the school board. But soon after, L.A. voters defeated Measure EE, a parcel tax that would have increased local resources for schools.
The union is currently engaged in a high-stakes, big-money battle with supporters of charter schools for three contested seats on the seven-member Board of Education. If even one union-endorsed candidate loses, the direction of the board could shift away from some union priorities. These include limiting the expansion and spread of nonunion, privately managed charter schools and pushing for higher pay and increased school staffing.
Myart-Cruz, a district parent and single mother who identifies as biracial, black and Latina, has 25 years of teaching experience in elementary and middle schools. She has long been part of the union’s activist wing and helped lead a campaign to remove principals whom the union felt treated teachers unfairly.
As a regional chair she also helped organize a yearlong boycott against some standardized testing to take on what the union described as the “overtesting” of students. Union leaders argued that students took too many standardized tests and wanted the number reduced because they take away from learning time.
The new president also has been active at the state and national level in teachers unions.
The election turnout was low, but that’s been a consistent recent pattern in union internal elections. Close to 5,300 union members cast ballots out of about 31,000 eligible voters.
Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.
Most people call her “Lash,” but LaShyra Nolen’s name is hardly the only unique thing about her. Last year, she became the first black woman ever elected as class president of Harvard Medical School (HMS).
Born in Compton, California, and educated in Los Angeles, Lash grew up with big dreams and equally daunting challenges. Despite not seeing black women leadership reflected in society in general, she found inspiration in the strength of the women around her. Lash’s mom had her when she was only 18 years old. But as a single mom, she got her masters, while working numerous jobs to support Lash’s dreams.
“Mom pursued life with grit and a desire to win. She would tell me: ‘I’ll see you at the top,'” Lash tells Teen Vogue. In third grade, Lash won first place in a school science fair for a project that studied the patterns of fish. After this, she told her grandma she wanted to become a brain surgeon-slash-astronaut.
“My grandma would tell me that whatever I wanted to do, we were gonna make it happen,” Lash recalls. “After telling her I wanted to become a surgeon, she would tell me to protect my hands.”
Today, Lash is a Fulbright Scholar, activist, and an emerging leader in medicine.
Lash spoke to Teen Vogue about this moment in Harvard’s history and the advice she has for black girls everywhere.
Teen Vogue: What does it mean to you to be the first black woman elected as class president of HMS?
Lash Nolen: For me it means opportunity — opportunity in the sense that it will allow me to create a pipeline for others who look like me to hold positions of leadership at Harvard Medical School. When applying to HMS, I didn’t see people who looked like me in student council or positions of leadership at that level. I think it is important to show that black people can also be the face of a university.
TV: How do you use student council leadership to make a sustainable impact?
LN: I try to use my resources and platform intentionally. For example, this year with our budget, we decided to create an annual community outreach event for youth at local elementary schools for Halloween. Right now we are working on a project that will highlight members of our community who are custodial staff, cafeteria workers, security guards — the people that make our community whole, with portraits that will be displayed in the main atrium at HMS. By doing things like this, we’re able to sustainably change the narrative of who belongs on the walls and on the grounds of Harvard Medical School. To me, that answer will always be our community.
TV: What advice would you give to young girls of color pursuing their wildest dreams?
LN: Go get it. Our society has a way of implicitly reminding young black girls what they cannot achieve and what they cannot be, while explicitly giving the green light to white men. For those same reasons I almost didn’t apply to HMS. It wasn’t until my mentors told me that I was capable of being a student at a place like this. And there are so many young girls out there who are excellent and deserve access to opportunity, but won’t take the leap because society tells them that it’s not for them. So no matter how crazy it might sound, no matter if someone in your family has done it or not, just go get it, because you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
TV: How have you personally dealt with moving through the largely white, male-dominated world of science and medicine?
LN: I know myself and I know my history. Over the past couple of years, I have been doing a lot of unlearning and investigative research on systemic racism and the hidden contributions of my people to our society. This has given me a great deal of strength. When I walk into a room, no matter where I am, I know the strength of my people and how much they are the reason why these spaces even exist.
TV: What does being a student from Compton at Harvard Medical School mean to you?
LN: My mom raised me as a single mother. My grandmother is the most kindhearted and giving human I know. The city of Compton is one of the most resilient in the world. Growing up and watching them struggle and work so hard to give me what I had in my life, I couldn’t help but do everything in my power to make them proud. I feel like Compton made me scrappy. I’m hungry for opportunity, I’m hungry for justice, I’m hungry to see my people win. So, when you put someone like me at a place like HMS, I’m going to do whatever it takes so make that vision a reality.
Continue on to Teen Vogue to read the complete article.
The National Math and Science Initiative has received a planning grant from the Fund II Foundation to design UTeach STEM teacher preparation programs at up to 15 historically black colleges and universities in six states and the District of Columbia. The Dallas-based non-profit has partnered with UNCF (United Negro College Fund) to support the universities as they design their programs.
“NMSI and UNCF are nationally recognized leaders in the advancement of American education,” said Fund II Foundation Board President Robert F. Smith. “I look forward to supporting them to develop strong programs that meet the unique needs of students at HBCUs. I’m also excited to see how this new work allows more young people to reach their highest potential in their personal lives, professions and communities.”
NMSI, UNCF and the UTeach Institute are working with academic leaders at potential program schools. Those institutions include Alabama State University, Bowie State University, Claflin University Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Spelman College, Talladega College, Tougaloo College and Tuskegee University. The institutions that move forward with the program will work with the program team to design their new STEM teacher preparation programs.
The new programs will be based on UTeach, a renowned university-based STEM teacher preparation program founded at The University of Texas at Austin. Since 2009, NMSI has worked with the UTeach Institute to expand the program, which provides math and science undergraduates at 45 universities with teaching skills, classroom experience and continuing support in their early teaching careers.
UTeach teachers average longer classroom careers than graduates of other teacher preparation programs, and nearly 70 percent of UTeach graduates teach in Title 1 schools. Based on standardized testing, their students perform as if they had almost six extra months of science and four extra months of math instruction.
“Addressing STEM teacher shortages and ensuring that all students benefit from teachers of diverse backgrounds is critical and core to NMSI’s mission,” said NMSI CEO Bernard A. Harris, Jr. “Expanding the UTeach program to HBCUs will benefit students across the nation.”
The initiative comes just after passage of the FUTURE Act, providing permanent federal funding for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions and providing significant STEM-focused funding for those schools.
“As a two-time graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, a professor of 40 years at Bennett College for Women, and the author of the FUTURE Act, which guarantees permanent federal funding for HBCUs to prepare the next generation of diverse STEM professionals, I applaud this effort from the private sector to supplement that effort,” said U.S. Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC). “In 2017, when my office introduced the HBCU Partnership Challenge, my hope was to encourage the private sector and non-profits to view HBCUs as key to accomplishing industry diversity goals, particularly in our STEM fields. Through this STEM teacher diversity initiative, we are seeing an example of true private investment and engagement with these producers of top diverse talent. I commend Robert Smith, the Fund II Foundation, NMSI and UNCF for their efforts in diversifying our workforce by helping prepare our diverse leaders of tomorrow.”
A 2017 study from the IZA Institute of Labor Economics found that having at least one African American teacher in third through fifth grades increased African American students’ interest in attending college by 29 percent and reduced the probability of dropping out of high school for male African American students from very low-income families by 39 percent.
“Research clearly shows the powerful impact black teachers have on black students. HBCUs already are punching above their weight in the production of STEM graduates – generating 24 percent of the STEM bachelor’s degrees earned annually by African Americans,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “The nation continues to have incredible need for math and science teachers of color, and students of color deserve to have educators who look like them.”
ABOUT NMSI Founded in 2007, NMSI’s mission is to advance STEM education to ensure all students, especially those furthest from opportunity, thrive and reach their highest potential as problem solvers and lifelong learners. The nonprofit organization helps develop new STEM teachers through its Teacher Pathways programs, and supports schools, teachers and AP students through Laying the Foundation, the College Readiness Program and other research-based programs. Learn more at nms.org.
ABOUT UNCF UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization and for 75 years, it has supported private HBCUs and hundreds of thousands of deserving students, strengthened its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocated for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 17 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Learn more at UNCF.org.
About Fund II Foundation Fund II Foundation makes grants to 501(c)3 public charities in five areas: 1) preserving the cultural richness of the African-American experience; 2) safeguarding human dignity by giving voice to the voiceless and promoting human rights; 3) conserving the environment, promoting the benefits of the great outdoors to people of all ages and backgrounds; 4) affording music education to nourish both talent and the soul; and 5) sustaining the American values of entrepreneurship, empowerment, and innovation. For more information, visit: fund2foundation.org | @Fund2F
About the UTeach Institute The UTeach Institute works to improve secondary STEM teaching and learning through national expansion of the UTeach secondary STEM teacher preparation program to colleges and universities. Over a decade, the Institute has developed and employs a comprehensive approach to successful program development in higher education settings and serves as the national hub to a networked community of 45 universities implementing UTeach programs.
The TIAA and AARP sponsored event featured industry experts, including CBS National News Correspondent Michelle Miller.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,January 31, 2020 – Today, Howard University convened an important event focused on enhancing the economic strength and financial wellness of African Americans. The event, sponsored by TIAA and AARP, brought together industry experts for a discussion on the financial challenges African Americans face and potential solutions to critical issues, including financial literacy, saving for retirement, managing debt and student loans, home ownership, and wealth inequality.
“In working with our students and the community, Howard University witnesses firsthand the economic challenges African Americans face, and we are striving to help find and implement tangible solutions,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “We believe businesses, organizations, and higher education institutions can work together to solve these challenges today, so African American students, families, and communities can be successful tomorrow.”
The “Financial Wellness in the African American Community: Reviewing the Evidence, Spotlighting Innovation and Considering Solutions” event featured two discussions: the first assessed the current financial and economic landscape and challenges African Americans face, followed by a discussion around potential solutions that could help improve African Americans’ overall financial wellbeing.
“African Americans constitute a critical segment of our economy, but our 2019 Personal Finance (P-Fin) Index shows they often exhibit lower financial wellbeing and financial literacy than many other demographics,” said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and CEO of TIAA. “Financial education is an important way to help address these challenges. We know that people who are more financially literate are more likely to plan and save for retirement, to have non-retirement savings, and to better manage their debt – all of which lead to improved financial outcomes and wellbeing.”
“Although AARP’s work is focused on advocating on behalf of people age 50 and over, some issues transcend age. One of them is financial literacy,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “That’s why AARP is pleased to be part of this Howard University event that seeks to put the importance of financial resilience and savings firmly on the radar screens of the young African American leaders who comprise its community.”
CBS National News Correspondent Michelle Miller moderated the day’s conversations, in which insights were heard from top industry experts including:
Barron H. Harvey, Ph.D., Dean, School of Business, Howard University
Kilolo Kijakazi, Institute Fellow, Urban Institute
Annamaria Lusardi, Denit Trust Chair of Economics and Accountancy, George Washington University School of Business
Lisa Mensah, President and CEO, Opportunity Finance Network
Stacey Tisdale, Financial Journalist, Author, CEO, Mind Money Media Inc.
Frederick Wherry, Professor of Sociology, Princeton University
The “Financial Wellness in the African American Community: Reviewing the Evidence, Spotlighting Innovation and Considering Solutions” took place on Friday, January 31 at Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 70 Fulbright Scholars. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.
With an award-winning1 track record for consistent investment performance, TIAA (TIAA.org) is the leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural and government fields. TIAA has $1 trillion in assets under management (as of 12/31/20192) and offers a wide range of financial solutions, including investing, banking, advice and education, and retirement services.
Over the course of his philanthropic efforts, Charles Barkley has made injecting cash into Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) a priority.
Recently, Miles College — an HBCU located in Fairfield, Alabama — announced a $1 million gift from Barkley, the largest donation by a donor in the school’s 122-year history.
Barkley has previously donated $1 million to a trio of HBCUs: Clark Atlanta, Morehouse College and Alabama A&M. His most recent donation will jumpstart a $100 million fundraising campaign, interim school president Bobbie Knight said.
“What Barkley has done helps lay the foundation for the campaign,” Knight said.
Knight became the school’s first female president last July, and making sure her tenure includes financial resources was a goal of Barkley’s.
“I’ve gotten to know Bobbie Knight over the last year and it was something I really wanted to do,” Barkley said. “To have a female president is a big deal. I want to help Bobbie be as successful as she can be.”
American Airlines added a new executive that will focus on diversity, the carrier recently announced. Kenneth Charles was named the chief inclusion and diversity officer for American Airlines Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL).
Charles comes to American from U.S. Bank, where he was senior vice president of Enterprise Talent. He also previously worked at General Mills as vice president of Global Inclusion and Staffing and chief diversity officer.
In his role with American, Charles will establish the company’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as the airline strives to establish best practices.
“We are on a journey to enhance our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion across American, and Ken will help chart our course to ensure American is an industry leader,” said Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive of American, in a prepared statement.
“Our decision to become more intentional in this area is vital to our global business,” Parker added. “Ken will provide a needed and important voice in all of our critical decision-making.”
Charles comes into a roll American has been aiming to fill for several months.
Continue on to BizJournal to read the complete article.
Covering nearly 100 years of history, from 1865 to 1963, the exhibition is divided into three sections: Pre-War, During the War and Post-War. “We Return Fighting” explores the full range of African American participation in the war—from serving in segregated units as laborers and supply handlers in the United States and France to earning major military awards after fighting alongside the French in Europe. The exhibition goes beyond war history to show how that global conflict changed African American life, contributing to the birth of the Negro Renaissance and the civil rights and labor movements.
“Some 17 to 21 million soldiers and civilians died in what was the worst war in modern history,” said Spencer D. Crew, interim director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. “Empires fell, maps were redrawn and the lives of countless people were forever changed. For African Americans, the war tested the meaning of citizenship and patriotism. They went to war fighting for democracy abroad; they returned fighting for democracy at home.”
African Americans returned to a segregated America where lynchings were on the rise and poor black sharecroppers were leaving the South in search of factory jobs in the North and the West. Those who were highly vocal with their protests became known as “The New Negro,” aggressively pursuing social justice and civil rights.
“On and off the battlefield, during and after the war, African
Americans were fighting for their rights and to make equality a reality,” said Krewasky A. Salter, exhibition curator. “They were asked to serve, but they were subjected to unfair draft practices and were the victims of the one of the largest and most unjust court martials in American history. After the war, the time was right for thinkers and for activists to step forward and help create a better America.”
The exhibition explores the work and the impact of nine African American luminaries who emerged as prominent thinkers and activists: A. Philip Randolph, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Col. Charles Young, Mary Church Terrell, Lt. Charles Hamilton Houston, Oscar de Priest, Josephine Baker and Robert Abbott.
Among the exhibition highlights:
The Croix de Guerre, the medal France used to recognize the valor of the 369th Infantry Regiment. The unit fought with distinction on the front lines of France for 191 consecutive days and suffered more than 1,400 casualties. Each member of the unit was awarded the medal
Paintings, drawings and sculptures created by major African American artists, including Charles Alston, Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, Horace Pippin, Henry O. Tanner
A touch-screen interactive giving access to 146 soldier photographs and details of their war-time duty
A 1918 photograph of President Woodrow Wilson, Gen. John J. Pershing and an unidentified African American soldier, an image used as a souvenir to document and celebrate the African American participation in the war
Oil paintings by French artist Lucien Hector Jonas, c. 1917
Uniforms worn by French, Senegalese and African Americans
A collection of weapons ranging from pistols, rifles and sabers to items connected to the use of poisonous gas
The museum developed the exhibition in partnership with Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale. Based in France, this organization was created to research the impact of World War I through the lens of the African American experience and to commemorate the centennial of the end of the war. The exhibition is supported by Altria Group, Nationwide Foundation and The Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Major funding comes from the Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale.
Located inside the museum’s Special Exhibitions Gallery, “We Return Fighting” fills more than 4,000 square feet of space with never-before-seen photographs, original uniforms and weapons, historic film footage, and interactive features. Numerous unique artifacts on display are presented in this exhibition through generous cooperation of institutions in France including: Musée de la Grande Guerre, Historial de la Grande Guerre, La Contemporaine, Bibliotéque, archives, musée des mondes contemporains, Musée de l’Armée, and Musée franco-américain du Château de Blérancourt. Additional loan of historic materials from U.S. institutions have enhanced the exhibition including, The National WWI Museum and Memorial, Women in Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, the Library of Congress and many others. The exhibition is presented with a companion book, “We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity.”
About the Companion Book
We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity, Smithsonian Books, 160 pages, $19.95. Edited by Kinshasha Holman Conwill, deputy director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This book presents photographs, artifacts, medals and renderings of battle scenes alongside powerful essays that together explore the roles played by African Americans during World War I and how the wartime experience reshaped their lives and their communities once they returned home.
With a foreword by Phillippe Etienne, Ambassador of France to the United States, and an introduction by Lonnie G. Bunch III, 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian and founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture., the book contains essays by renowned writers, historians and scholars including Lisa Budreau, Brittney Cooper, John Morrow, Krewasky Salter, Curtis Young, Chad Williams and Jay Winter.
About the Curator
Krewasky A. Salter, Ph.D., U.S. Army colonel (retired), is the executive director of the First Division Museum in Wheaton, Illinois. As a guest curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, he curated the museum’s inaugural exhibition, “Double Victory: The African American Military Experience.” He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida, a Master of Strategic Studies from the Air War University, Maxwell AFB in Alabama and a doctorate from Florida State University. He has taught courses in military history, strategy and leadership at the United States Military Academy, West Point; the Command and General Staff College, Leavenworth; and Howard University. The author of two books, he served as associate producer of the PBS documentary, Unsung Heroes: The Story of America’s Female Patriots.
About the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed nearly seven million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu, follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.
Musical prodigies showcase their otherworldly abilities at a young age, but Jeremiah Travis is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. And the historically black Alcorn State University apparently feels the same way, as it has offered the 5-year-old wunderkind a full band scholarship well over a decade before he even graduates high school.
USA Today reports that when he does finally graduate high school in 2032, he’ll have a home in the school’s Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Band. “Now, to know that he is 5 and has a full scholarship made me feel so good,” his mother, Nicole Jackson, said. “I am just amazed at his playing level with him being so young.
Travis’ journey as a drummer began with beating on ABC blocks as a baby, and now the snare drummer for St. Helena College’s high school marching band is a familiar face at performances throughout Louisiana, including halftime shows for the New Orleans Pelicans. Most kids his age are playing with toys or spending their afternoons with an Xbox controller in their hands, but Travis would much rather spend his time perfecting his craft.
“He’s not a video game person,” Jackson said. “He likes to move and learn different things with drums.” Chesteron Frye, band director at St. Helena College and former student band director at Alcorn State University, took an immediate interest in Travis after spotting him drumming in the stands. “He was sitting in the stands just beating on the stands with some drumsticks and I was like, ‘Who is this little baby keep beating drum sticks in the stands?’” Frye told WAFB.
“So we told him come on over and we held the drum out, someone was holding it, and he just started going, going against the other band across the field and I was like, ‘Wow,’” Frye said.
Continue on to The Root to read the complete article.
Be Internet Awesome Teaches Kids the Fundamentals of Internet Safety in an Interactive Way
Just in time for the Holidays, Interland aims to teach kids in a fun way how to stay safe online.
The Interland game is free and accessible to everyone and teaches important lessons like being careful about what kids share online, how to spot scams and protect their privacy and the importance of being respectful with others.
The four lands and their key learning objectives are:
Don’t Fall for Fake. The river that runs through Interland flows with fact and fiction. But things are not always as they seem. To cross the rapids, use your best judgement and don’t fall for the antics of the phisher lurking in these waters. Learning objectives include:
Understand not everything is true online.
Recognize the signs of a scam.
Understand phishing and how to report it.
Share with Care. The mountainous town center of Interland is a place where everyone mingles and crosses paths. But you must be very intentional about what you share and with whom…information travels at the speed of light and there’s an oversharer among the Internauts you know. Learning objectives include:
Be mindful of what is shared and with whom.
Understand consequences of sharing.
Understand some info is extra sensitive.
It’s cool to be kind. Vibes of all kinds are contagious—for better or for worse. In the sunniest corner of town, cyberbullies are running amok, spreading negativity everywhere. Block and report bullies to stop their takeover and be kind to other Internauts to restore the peaceful nature of this land. Learning objectives include:
The web amplifies kindness and negativity.
Not tolerating bullying and speaking up.
Block and report mean spirited behavior.
Tower of Treasure
Secure your secrets. Mayday! The Tower is unlocked, leaving the Internaut’s valuables like personal info and passwords at high risk. Outrun the hacker and build an untouchable password every step of the way…to secure your secrets once and for all. Learning objectives include:
Take responsibility to protect your things.
How to make a strong password.
A good password should be memorable.
Interland is currently available in English, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. To access this free game visit:
Need help getting accepted to an HBCU grad school? Dr. Fred Bonner—professor and endowed chair in educational leadership and counseling, and founding executive director of the Minority Achievement, Creativity and High-Ability Center at Prairie View A&M University—gives his best advice in an interview with gograd.com.
What are some of the top reason’s students should seriously look at HBCU grad schools as their best graduate option?
There are a number of reasons that HBCU graduate schools should be considered as the best option:
HBCUs provide holistic nurturing. Both the academic and social needs of students are addressed by administration, faculty, and staff in the HBCU context. All too often in majority settings, students, particularly black students, must live a bifurcated existence; namely, their needs related to academic and classroom endeavors supersede their needs for mentoring and nurturing along social dimensions.
Faculty in the HBCU context serve as role models and guides to assist the student to negotiate and navigate the postsecondary terrain. This mentoring and role modeling in the HBCU environment are nuanced with cultural inferences and understandings that provide a more authentic rendering of what the students are experiencing.
Being in an environment where students are able to interface with like-minded peers is critical. Students are able to “see themselves” on campus—the literature is clear in stating the importance of peer mentoring and support in the postsecondary context.
Students are placed in an environment in which their academic potential and success are the expectation and norm, as opposed to being viewed as an outlier.
Any tips for students on what to look for when choosing the best graduate programs at HBCUs?
Students should “do their homework” and find out how programs are ranked—they should look into the various course offerings. What are the majors and minors offered in the program of interest? Who are the faculty members in the respective colleges, schools, departments, and programs? What are their areas of expertise? How is the curriculum structured—what courses are offered and how often? Is the program a face-to-face, online, traditional, cohort-based program? What has been the program’s graduation rate? What is the graduate school graduation rate? What are graduates doing with their degrees? Are they finding employment in their intended area of focus?
Anything else you’d like to add about HBCU grad schools?
HBCU graduate schools are ‘citadels of excellence,’ and I am not surprised that the extant literature indicates that in many fields—particularly the STEM fields—more than 50 percent of the graduates and working professionals have had some educational experience in the HBCU context.
Follow Dr. Bonner’s advice, and you can make your dream of going to an HBCU grad school a reality.
Source: Reprinted with Permission by Dr. Fred Bonner
With only two months left in the year, Rihanna continues racking up a number of big wins. Recently at New York City’s revered art institution, the Guggenheim Museum, the fashion and beauty industry disrupter celebrated the release of Rihanna, the lavish large format book that features 1000 photos—many never seen before images from her days growing up in Barbados to candid moments between her global jaunts with friends and family.
As Rihanna welcomed invited guests—including many Navy fans—to the book launch, she acknowledged the book’s many contributors and artisans, including the Haas Brothers, who she said “they decided to do something this huge and dream this up with me.”
But the celebrated multihyphenate couldn’t finish her next acknowledgment after simply saying three words, “my bestie Melissa.”
The crowd erupted into thunderous applause for her long time friend Melissa Forde, who has a number of photographs featured in the book. “Thank you for these intimate images of life,” said Rihanna. “I didn’t even know the camera was here.”
She also thanked her tour photographer Dennis Leupold, who has shot a number of ESSENCE covers including Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson and the cast of Black Panther, by calling him “a legend in his own right.”
And if Rihanna, which is 504 pages and weighs 15 pounds, wasn’t special enough, the artist has created three other unique editions. Already available, the Fenty x Phaidon edition, “This Sh*t is Heavy,” includes a copy of the book and a tabletop bookstand inspired by Rihanna’s hands. On November 20, the Luxury Supreme edition is signed and numbered by Rihanna and a “Drippy + The Brain” gold toned bookstand covered with a bespoke black vermiculated fabric (together it weighs 126 pounds). Lastly, the Ultra Luxury Supreme edition, entitled “Stoner,” includes a Portugal marble pedestal.
Rihanna will be available on October 24.
Continue on to Essence to read the complete article.
Kay Wallace lives by the quote, “Results. Period.” The new president and CEO of the National Black MBA Association—which just held its 41st Annual Conference and Exposition in Houston, Texas—is all about achieving results.
Black EOE Journal attended the action-packed conference in September and had the pleasure of speaking with Wallace about her goals as new president of NBMBAA.
Tell us about your background and how you became the new president of NBMBAA.
I have a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Alabama and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. My experience is in strategy and operations. I was the deputy chief operating officer of the Atlanta Olympic Games, and worked for Coca-Cola in South Africa after the fall of apartheid. I’ve worked for McKinsey & Company and Dow Chemical, have had experiences inside and outside of the U.S., and have worked for nonprofit startups, which is all part of my background before coming to National Black MBA.
What are your goals for NBMBAA, now that you’re the new president?
Meeting the needs of our 16,000 members is [goal] number one. That we’re providing products, services and programs that are relevant to them. We are always engaging in conversations with them, about what they need and what will be of value to them. Number two—the organization is going into our 50th anniversary next year, and we want to make sure that not only do we celebrate where we’ve been, but we also take that same celebration to where we’re going. That is part of my vision for the organization— to be clear about what we’re going to do to make sure there are more black people in corporate America, that there are more entrepreneurs and that we are also building and retaining wealth within black families. Education, development and wealth generation—those are three parts of our mission that we’ve been focusing on in the last 50 years and will continue to do so.
Why do you think it’s important for students to join NBMBAA?
Fifty years ago, this organization was created out of a need. That need still exists today because in a lot of places in corporate America, there’s still very few of us, meaning black people. Students should look into joining this organization because it is made up of people who have been where you’re going. Some of them are still there, so they can provide the same things to you. Students can network with people who know and understand what they may experience. Then bring together those experiences for professional development. You can do it at your chapter and then nationally when we come together for Conference, where you are going to meet thousands of people like yourself—that is very powerful.
What advice would you give to a student looking for their next job or career at the expo?
The first question I would have to ask is, “What is your vision? What do you want?” Because what has to be talked about is within the context of what their desires are. Once I understand that, I’ll be looking at the 170 companies on the career floor that can provide opportunities to meet their needs. Sometimes we find that students will be thinking about their major, but not all the companies they can work for are based on their degree. They may have their sights set on a particular industry, like a marketing company. A student may say, “I’m in marketing, I want to work for Coca-Cola, or I want to work for Pepsi.” But when you broaden their vision to understand that there’s marketing in everything, all of a sudden, companies out of the 170 that they weren’t considering, they [now] realize they can interview there. I would then ask them, “Is there an entrepreneurial opportunity for you here? If your vision is to own your own company, then think about what’s the best company to work for, that will allow you to learn while you’re there so you’re able to start your own without starting from scratch.”
To learn about the National Black MBA Association, visit nbmbaa.org
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