Atlanta University Center Consortium

Banks Shares Her Building Blocks for Success

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India on her GE Transportation internship

As a toddler, India Banks had a knack for stacking blocks. Around 5, she graduated from building blocks to Legos. Banks became so good at constructing Legos that she even entered a Lego competition when she got older.

“From there, she progressed to K’Nex and with no instructions that girl was building amusement park rides and had things flying around,” said her mother, Bobette Banks, director of Communications for Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors. “When we would ask her how she figured it out, she would say, ‘I just look at the pictures; I don’t need words.’” It was then her parents recognized they should encourage her to consider a career in engineering.

“I originally thought I wanted to do sports medicine and physical therapy when I was in high school,” said the 22-year-old dual-degree engineering student. “STEM fields like math and science are not always encouraged to us as options, and it can often be daunting when faced with these challenging subjects. So, I’m happy my parents steered me in that direction.”

Recently in Atlanta to attend her graduation from Spelman College, the mathematics/civil engineering student just completed her first year of engineering school with Atlanta University Center Consortium partner engineering institution University of Michigan. A three-two program, the Dual Degree Engineering Program offers the best of both worlds for AUC students.

While attending Spelman, Banks said she experienced its great sisterhood. “At Spelman, I was nurtured in an intimate environment with my peers who happened to be predominately black females, like myself,” wrote Banks in her Michigan profile. “[Spelman] challenged me to find something unique about myself because I was no longer a minority.”

Settling in at Michigan has been as she puts it, “very different and a lot bigger.” When you compare a student body of approximately 2,100 women to a university of more than 10,000 engineers and an overall student body of 44,000-plus, a mental adjustment does have to take place.

“Luckily for me, I have a lot of men from Morehouse in the [Civil and Environmental Engineering] department with me,” said Banks, who also plays classical piano. “This makes the campus feel a lot smaller and more manageable.” Not only does she have Morehouse brothers, Banks has found closeness and friendship in a CEE department sisterhood, women with a common goal.

This summer, Banks is interning in at Whiting-Turner, a construction management, general contracting, design-build and integrated project delivery services company. In addition to Whiting-Turner, Banks has spent summers interning with the National Society of Black Engineers’ SEEK program, GE Transportation and IBM. It was through these internships she learned specifically she wanted to become a civil engineer. “She always had a curious mind and a determined spirit,” said her mother. “I think she will make a great engineer, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her mother. I’m saying it because of her work ethic, her intelligence, and her commitment to doing things until she gets it right.”

For Banks, the journey from Spelman to Michigan was made easier through the guidance and support of the Consortium. Coaching, scholarship, friendship, and a myriad of employment and internship opportunities are offered to all registered DDEP students in the AUC.

“DDEP has been great to me. Everyone in the DDEP office has always been very sweet to me and supportive,” said the Silver Spring, Maryland, native. “The financial support has made paying for school more manageable for my parents, and I can’t thank DDEP enough.”

Her father, Medaris Banks, a pharmaceutical sales representative for Merck echoed that sentiment, saying: “We cannot stop talking about how much we’ve appreciated you all taking such good care of India these past three years. Being a part of the AUC was a rewarding experience for her, and you all were an integral part of that.”

Michigan is a Great Place to Learn, Work and Play

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AUCC students on campus 2017

Established in 2004, the University of Michigan College of Engineering Dual Degree in Engineering is a partnership between the University of Michigan and the colleges of the Atlanta University Center Consortium. This unique collaboration provides a successful pathway for students to complement a liberal arts degree with an engineering degree from one of the world’s top universities.

Rich in learning experiences and opportunities and a phenomenal launching pad for success, the University of Michigan drives the thriving economy in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the state’s sixth largest city. Abundant in research programs and integrated technology implemented and supported by Michigan graduates, Ann Arbor offers a broad cultural heritage of visual and performing art. In 2017, Forbes ranked Ann Arbor the best college town in the country.

As the No. 1 ranked-U.S. public research university by the National Science Foundation with $1.39 billion in research expenditures, 2.8 million square feet of lab space for research and teaching, and 428 new invention reports, Michigan houses one of the top engineering schools in the country. The UM College of Engineering maintains top-10 rankings in nearly every one of its undergraduate and graduate engineering program.

UM/AUCC DDEP women celebrating Spelman’s Founders Day

Why Michigan Engineering?

All Michigan Engineering’s graduate and undergraduate programs rand No. 5 and No. 6 in the nation. Its engineering specialties include aerospace, biomedical, chemical, climate and space sciences and engineering, civil, computer science, electrical, environmental, industrial and operations, materials science and engineering, mechanical, naval architecture and marine, and nuclear and radiological sciences.

Exceptional Leadership

Dean Alec Gallimore

Our dean is a “Rocket Scientist”, no, really! Alec D. Gallimore is the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering at The University of Michigan, as well as the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. His lab works with NASA and the U.S. Air Force on a prototype propulsion system that is considering a future mission for sending humans to Mars.

Applying to the College of Engineering
Begin your application to the College of Engineering by visiting: http://www.engin.umich.edu/college/admissions/undergrad/transfer/applying.

The Michigan Difference
Transitioning from the AUC to a top-tier engineering school has its innate challenges and multiple benefits. At Michigan Engineering, we provide a network of support to ease the transition from the time you seriously consider Michigan until you complete your degree. Here are some of the ways we facilitate the process:

UM’s Commitment to Diversity is Broad and Deep

President Mark Schlissel

“At the University of Michigan, our dedication to academic excellence for the public good is inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is central to our mission as an educational institution to ensure that each member of our community has full opportunity to thrive in our environment, for we believe that diversity is key to individual flourishing, educational excellence and the advancement of knowledge.”
President Schlissel’s Charge to the U-M Community for a Strategic Planning Process on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Center for Engineering Diversity & Outreach
CEDO is a hub for students and student organizations from diverse backgrounds. CEDO provides expertise, leadership, and programming that supports the College of Engineering’s belief that an excellent educational experience is intrinsically linked to fostering a climate that celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion for faculty, staff and students.

Scholarships

Visiting student group on State Street in Ann Arbor

Students who are admitted to Michigan Engineering receive an Engineering Scholarship of Honor. The scholarship award is $30,000 per year for up to 2.5 years for out of state students, and $15,000 per year for up to 2.5 years for in-state students.

Students currently enrolled in the College of Engineering, and doing well academically, are encouraged to review, and consider applying for the scholarships additional engineering scholarships. The two most common scholarships awarded are the College of Engineering Need- and Merit-Based Scholarships, and the Industry Sponsored Scholarships. Visit https://scholarships.engin.umich.edu/current-students/ for more information.

UM/AUCC DDEP Senior Leadership Group
SLG is a student-driven organization created by upper-level UM/AUCC DDEP students. Their goal is to maintain the UM/AUCC DDEP community, recruit students to the University of Michigan, and help ease the transition from AUC to Michigan Engineering.

Michigan Difference Summer Transition Program
The Michigan Difference Summer Transition Program provides resources and experiences for AUC DDEP students to be engaged in summer experiences on UM’s campus to help ease the transition from the AUC to a top-ranked engineering college.  

  • Summer Research Opportunity and Admissions Pathway is a program for AUC dual degree engineering students. If you are interested in a deeper dive into engineering research to address grand challenges that face our nation, this summer opportunity always you to work in labs of Michigan Engineering world-renowned engineering faculty for 10 weeks. The program includes room and board, travel and a stipend.
  • Michigan Department of Transportation offers an opportunity for students from historically black colleges and universities who have completed their first, second, or third year of college to do a paid summer internship with them. The program helps students understand whether civil engineering is a match for them, and they gain exposure to the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. Participants from the AUCC reside on the University of Michigan’s campus and have an opportunity to explore the College of Engineering and the vast resources available at Michigan.

    Faculty-student mentoring dinner

Additional Opportunities

The breadth of Michigan allows for almost unlimited opportunities and resources to ensure your success. Faculty, staff, and offices are committed to help you make your Michigan experience all that you want it to be. Explore the possibilities, set your goals, and take advantage of the many ways to ensure you reach them.

Mentoring programs include:

  • Partnerships between faculty, undergraduate students, and graduate students to support the learning and success of DDEP scholars.
  • Monthly dinners with faculty and graduate students create multiple opportunities for DDEP students such as research, extended employment networking and one-on-one mentoring.

NSBE social

Student Life

Matthew Nelson is NSBE national chair and a UM graduate student

Michigan is home to over 1,300 student organizations ranging from Greek to social activism, including the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, and project teams like BLUElab and the Solar Car Team. Michigan Engineers hold prominent offices at all levels of the NSBE organization, with Matt Nelson, Michigan graduate student, currently serving as national chair of NSBE.. You will be inspired and challenged and your world will expand as you work with peers from every state and over 114 nations. Ann Arbor is the “quintessential college town” — vibrant, friendly, and rich in culture. The school spirit is amazing, and Michigan athletics are always a source of pride and excitement. Go Blue!

AUC Commencement Roundup

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Morehouse School of Medicine graduates received a welcomed surprise at its 33rd commencement exercises.

From Saturday, May 20, to Monday, May 22, Atlanta University Center institutions celebrated graduation ceremonies for more than 1,600 students. In Morehouse School of Medicine’s commencement exercises Saturday, the 2017 graduating class of 57 medical doctors, 11 doctorate candidates and 41 public health, medical science, and clinical research master’s degree candidates received a welcomed surprise from MSM President and Dean Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice.

Find out about the surprise.

Morehouse College graduates were told by speaker Van Jones they will “confront a radically new era.”

Early Sunday morning in Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, CNN political analyst Van Jones told nearly 300 Morehouse College graduates they “must lead the charge of a new, post-Obama era” at the college’s 133rd commencement. Included in the 300 were perfect 4.0 GPA co-valedictorians Michael C. Scott, of Rockville, Maryland, an economics major, and Douglas Bowen, of Montego Bay, Jamaica, also an economics major.

Check out Morehouse’s Facebook photos.

Spelman College co-valedictorians Muhire Kwizera (at podium) and K’yal Bannister (right).

Sunday afternoon, Spelman College, also perfect, 4.0 co-valedictorians, Muhire Kwizera, a mathematics major from Kigali, Rwanda, K’yal Bannister, a chemistry/dual degree engineering major from Bushnell, Florida, and 488 other graduates were told by Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama: “Change often seems impossible until we make it inevitable.”

See Spelman’s commencement photo gallery.

Hometown girl Jakayla Woolridge was named Clark Atlanta

Clark Atlanta University valedictorian Jakayla Woolridge.

University’s valedictorian. A product of Atlanta Public Schools’ Carver Early College, Woolridge graduated with more than 700 CAU classmates receiving their bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and specialist degrees.

Experience CAU’s 2017 commencement energy on Twitter.

AUC Schools Rank High Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities

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Contact:
Emily Webb, Public Affairs Specialist
Peace Corps East Region Office
ewebb@peacecorps.gov
212.352.5455

Faith Toran, Spelman College Class of 2013, was a Peace Corps Education Volunteer in Burkina Faso from August 2013 to September 2015.

ATLANTA – Today, the Peace Corps announced its 2017 rankings of the top volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities and two Atlanta area schools were included on the annual list.

This year, Spelman College ranks No. 2 with 11 alumni volunteering in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Peru, Rwanda, Togo, Zambia and Guinea. In addition, Morehouse College appears on the list at No. 5 with three alumni serving in Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia. Morehouse and Spelman both place among the top five HBCUs in the nation for the third and sixth consecutive times, respectively.

“Historically Black Colleges and Universities cultivate a commitment to community-oriented education that inspires their graduates to pursue international service and make an impact abroad with the Peace Corps,” Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley said. “Each year, a growing number of HBCU alumni join the Peace Corps with important experiences and perspectives that give communities overseas a better understanding of the diversity of the United States.”

Spelman College also appeared on Peace Corps’ national list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities this year, ranking No. 7 among small undergraduate schools. The Atlanta area ranks No. 9 among Peace Corps’ top volunteer-producing metropolitan areas with 140 residents currently serving worldwide.

Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to a community overseas and make a lasting difference in the lives of others. College graduates with Peace Corps volunteer experience gain cross-cultural, language and community development skills that build upon their education and give them a competitive edge for career and advanced education opportunities.

The Peace Corps has recruiters across the country that visit HBCUs and work closely with prospective volunteers. By hiring dedicated diversity recruiters and hosting diversity-focused recruitment events, the agency aims to build an inclusive volunteer force and ensure that all Americans know about service opportunities with the Peace Corps.

A simple and personal Peace Corps application process can be completed online in about one hour. Applicants can learn more about service opportunities by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.

Peace Corps’ 2017 top volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities are:

  1. Howard University: 18 currently serving volunteers
  2. Spelman College: 11 currently serving volunteers
  3. Florida A&M University: seven currently serving volunteers
  4. Hampton University: four currently serving volunteers
  5. Central State University: three currently serving volunteers
  6. Morehouse College: three currently serving volunteers
  7. Prairie View A&M University: three currently serving volunteers

* Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2016 data as of September 30, 2016, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 225,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Jackson, No Job is Too Much for This Scholar-Athlete

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Chris and mother Nolita Jackson

Christopher Jackson grinds more than 50 hours a week on three jobs – Moe’s Southwest Grill at Clark Atlanta University, Allied Universal Security Services and Uber Eats. While 50 hours a week might be standard for many workers, it is not normal for a full-time mechanical engineering scholar-athlete who holds a 3.85 GPA at CAU.

Jackson is one of 130 scholar-athletes at CAU to earn a 3.0 GPA or higher during the spring and fall semesters. A Dual Degree Engineering Program student, Jackson came to CAU after he was denied admission to Georgia Tech, although he graduated at the top of his class. However, things would work to his advantage.

“I was accepted to the University of Georgia, but I did not want to go there – that’s my rival school of course, and then my major was not accredited at UGA at the time,” said the Warner Robins, Georgia, native, who grew up in Conyers, Georgia. “Once being recruited to CAU for football and hearing of the 3-2 program for engineering and being given a second chance to head to Georgia Tech, I took advantage of the opportunity and have gone with it since.”

Committed, determined, and unwavering, Jackson credits DDEP with guiding him with career opportunities, helping him receive scholarships, and building his credit.

“Chiefly, I feel this amazing program transforms your mindset from that of a child into one of a successful adult,” said Jackson who has landed a summer 2017 internship with Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee.

At the 2016 DDEP Awards Banquet, Chris received the Engineering Success Awards for students who have gone above and beyond in their engineering discipline.

With plans to transfer to Georgia Tech in the fall, Jackson will pursue autonomous intelligence and robotics engineering. After Georgia Tech, Jackson wants to work for RedZone Robotics, Kawasaki Robotics, or contract to do research for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Strictly speaking, the 210-plus pound linebacker’s scholar-athlete accomplishments and successes come from a motivated spirit.

“It is not the fact that you are a scholar-athlete that sets you apart from the majority of the population, but the fact that amid multiple adversities in your personal life, school life, work life, and even sports life, you are motivated to advance through boundaries, limits, and parameters that make others quit the same path you travel,” said Jackson.

“It is certainly not an easy task or feat; however, for those who are not afraid of grinding to get to where they desire to be, it becomes less of a burden to be a scholar-athlete and transforms more into a mentality of ‘If this can’t stop my success, then what can.’”

Four CAU Alumni Vie for Council Seats in New City of South Fulton

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ATLANTA (Feb. 27, 2017)   The crowded field of candidates for elected office in the new city of South Fulton includes three more Clark Atlanta University alumni.  Catherine Foster Rowell, Ph.D., Rochelle Lindsey and Darris Rollins are vying for seats on the South Fulton City Council in districts 1, 4 and 3 respectively.  They join CAU alumnus and current CAU graduate student Johnny Surry in bids to become the first elected leaders in the recently created city.

Read more.

AUC Alumni Make America Great

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They are both industry titans and company movers and shakers; entrepreneurs and executive professionals; artists and scientists, and all have called the Atlanta University Center their educational home. For more than 150 years, AUC institutions have produced some of the nation’s most talented individuals. From Martin Luther King Jr. to Marian Wright Edelman, the impact of AUC graduates is unparalleled. Below are just a few of the thousands who were educated in the AUC.

Deisha Barnett
Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce

Deisha Barnett is senior vice president of marketing and communications for MAC. A Clark Atlanta University graduate, Barnett is considered top talent in the marketing and communications industry.

Find out more about Deisha Barnett

 


Cynthia Bowman
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Bank of America

Recently named as one of Ebony’s Power 100, Cynthia H. Bowman is Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Bank of America. A Dual Degree Engineering Program student who received a bachelor’s in computer science from Spelman as well as one in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech.

Find out more about Cynthia Bowman.

 


Kevin Y. Brown
Author, Entrepreneur, Clothing Designer

Life has not always been kind to Kevin Brown. Growing up in the California foster care system, Brown has lived a life of overcoming obstacles. A Clark Atlanta University alumnus, Brown has parlayed himself into a successful business man.

“The love and support I received … at CAU made me believe in myself and my goals. … A lot of people expected me to be kicked out of college in the first two weeks. But my experiences at CAU, from playing on the men’s basketball team to a semester in London, turned out to be some of the best years of my life.”

Find out more about Kevin Brown.


Alexander B. Cummings Jr.
Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, The Coca-Cola Co.

Receiving his MBA in finance from Atlanta University in 1982,  Alexander B. Cummings is now executive vice president and chief administrative officer of The Coca-Cola Co. The CAO structure consolidates key global corporate functions in a purposeful approach to effectively support the business operations of The Coca-Cola Co.

Learn more about Alexander Cummings.

 


Braxton K. Davis
CEO, Patent Attorney, Turocy & Watson, LLP

Braxton Davis was a Morehouse College to Georgia Institute of Technology dual degree engineering major. Always interested in becoming a lawyer, Davis decided to take the patent bar to become a patent agent after working as an electrical engineer. Today, Davis is a patent attorney for Turocy & Watson, LLP.

“While the Dual Degree Engineering Program provided me with the foundation to be a solid engineer, I ultimately decided to become a patent attorney, so I could balance my engineering degree with my interest in the law,” said Davis, who received his juris doctorate from Georgia State University. To encourage other would-be patent attorneys, Davis launched the Patent Institute of Training.

Learn more about Braxton K. Davis.


Tomika DePriest
Senior Director of Communications, Campus Life, Emory University

As senior director of Emory Campus Life Communications, Tomika DePriest develops and guides strategy to ensure the brand consistency of Emory’s Campus Life communications. With a bachelor’s in English from Spelman, and a master’s in humanities from Clark Atlanta University, DePriest says of her alma maters, “Spelman armed me with a strong academic foundation rooted in the liberal arts and activism …, and Clark Atlanta University is where I became both a scholar and communications professional.”

Learn more about Tomika DePriest.

 


Jerri DeVard
Board of Directors, ServiceMaster

With more than 25 years of building diverse global brands and working on corporate boards, Jerri DeVard is an accomplished chief marketing officer and business executive and serves on the board of directors for ServiceMaster. Holding an economics degree from Spelman and an MBA from Clark Atlanta University, DeVard says, “being a double HBCU graduate prepared me both academically and socially for the challenges I would face as a double minority in a majority corporate world.”

Learn more about Jerri DeVard.

 


Kenny Leon
Actor, Director, Producer

From the Mr. Abbott to a Tony Award, Kenny Leon is an award-winning Broadway and film actor  who has worked with the industry’s greatest actors, including Denzel Washington, Diahann Caroll, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Anika Noni Rose and Angela Bassett. A graduate of Clark Atlanta and an honorary Ph.D. recipient of Clark Atlanta and Roosevelt Universities, he is currently serving as the Denzel Washington Chair at Fordham University.

Find out more about Kenny Leon.

 


Joshua Packwood
Managing Partner, Lucus Advisors LLC

Joshua Packwood made history in 2008 when he became the first white valedictorian to graduate from Morehouse. A Rhodes Scholar finalist with a degree in economics, today he is a managing partner for Lucus Advisors, an SEC-registered investment adviser.

Find out more about Joshua Packwood.

 


Helen Smith Price
Vice President of Global Community Affairs and President of the Coca-Cola Foundation, The Coca-Cola Co.

A dual Atlanta University Center graduate, Helen Smith Price holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Spelman and an MBA from CAU.  Joining The Coca-Cola Co. in 1993, Price has successfully charted her career path at the world’s No. 1 beverage refreshment company.

Find out more about Helen Smith Price.

 


John David Washington
Actor, Former Professional Football Player

He’s both charming and annoying as the character Ricky Jerret on “Ballers,” an HBO series dealing with the everyday life of a professional football player. Washington was a Morehouse Tigers running back standout who set a school record with 1,198 yards.

Find out more about John David Washington.

Loretta Parham named 2017 ACRL Academic/ Research Librarian of the Year

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For Immediate Release
Jan. 25, 2017

Contact:

Chase Ollis
Program Coordinator
ACRL
collis@ala.org

CHICAGO — Loretta Parham, CEO and director of the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library is the 2017 Association of College and Research Libraries’ Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO, recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic/research librarianship and library development.

Parham will receive a $5,000 award during the Middle Keynote session on Thursday, March 23, at the ACRL 2017 Conference in Baltimore.

“Loretta Parham’s drive, activism, and innovative approaches to library transformation have had a broad and sustained impact well beyond our field and she is the absolute embodiment of the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award,” said Michael Courtney, chair of the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award Committee and outreach and engagement librarian at the Indiana University Libraries. “Parham’s dedication to diversity and inclusion, her role as a passionate advocate for libraries and librarians, and her seemingly endless list of accomplishments exemplifies the spirit of this award. As one reviewer noted, ‘few, if any, possess the panorama of skills that are embodied in Ms. Parham’.”

“This award is such an honor and I am tremendously grateful for this acknowledgment of my passion and career commitment to service, libraries, and learning,” Parham said. “The credit for these successes should be shared by many others with whom I have worked, and to each of them and ACRL I say thank you.”

Highly respected by the library and higher education communities, Parham tirelessly worked to transform the Robert W. Woodruff Library, shared by Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, and Spelman College, into a modern 21st century research facility known for its distinctive spaces and service. Under her leadership, the library has become widely recognized for its outreach to students, faculty, AUC alumni, and the wider Atlanta community.

In addition to the transformation of physical space, Parham expanded the library’s stewardship of historically significant special collections. Among these is the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, acquired by Morehouse in 2006 and housed in the Woodruff Library. With oversight for all aspects of conservation and preservation of the collection, Parham successfully steered a smooth and secure transition of the papers from Sotheby’s auction house in New York to Atlanta and provided strategic direction for processing and digitization of the collection, making it accessible for public use within an impressive two-year timeframe.

The library extends this commitment to public service by acting as a cultural hub, offering symposia, art exhibits, civic discussions, voter registration seminars, distinguished speakers, and historical presentations to the AUC community and Atlanta residents. As the result of her vision and leadership, the Robert W. Woodruff Library received both the 2012 IIDA/ ALA Award for the transformation of library space and the 2016 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.

“Loretta Parham epitomizes the innovative, visionary spirit of today’s academic and research librarians,” noted ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “Widely recognized as passionate advocate for libraries and librarians, her commitment to a transformational vision of the academic library as a center for research, learning, and outreach has earned her the respect of the institutions she serves, the library and higher education communities, and indeed, the general public.”

In addition to her work transforming the Woodruff Library, Parham is known as a champion for librarianship and higher education, advocating with passion and clarity for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), their significant special collections, and their value regionally, nationally, and globally. She has personally served as a mentor to hundreds of librarians and is the co-founding director and founding Board Chair of the HBCU Library Alliance. Established in 2002, the Alliance is a consortium of White House-designated HBCUs with a mission to transform its membership by developing leaders, preserving collections, and planning for future. Due to Parham’s leadership, the Alliance has been the recipient of or project partner in several Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grants awards strengthening library services related to leadership development, photographic preservation, digitization services, and library support of faculty services.

An active member of ALA and ACRL, Parham served as a member of the ACRL Board of Directors as director-at-large  (2011-15), member of the College & Research Libraries Editorial Board (2002-08), and as a member of the ALA Committee on Accreditation (2016-20). Parham additionally served as a member of the OCLC Board of Trustees and chair of the OCLC Membership Committee (2012-17), treasurer of the Oberlin Group Consortium (2011-15), and as chair of the Board of Directors and past finance chair of the SOLINET Library Network (2000-04).

Her publications include “Achieving Diversity: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians” (with B. Dewey, 2006), “Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Custodian of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection: ‘Until Further Notice.’” in RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage (2007), and “Redesigning Services at The Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc.” in Library Workflow Redesign: Six Case Studies (with C. Hart, 2007).

Prior to joining the Robert W. Woodruff Library in 2004, Parham served as director of the Hampton University Harvey Library (1998-2004), director/ administrator of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (1997-98), deputy director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (1991-97), and in a variety of positions at the Chicago Public Library (1977-91).

Parham received her B.S. in Communications-Broadcasting from Southern Illinois University and M.L.S. from the University of Michigan, which honored her with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Information in 2016 in recognition of her service to the profession.

The ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year award dates back to 1978, and recent award winners include Susan K. Nutter (2016); Robert A. Seal (2015); Tim Bucknall (2014); Patricia Iannuzzi (2013); Paula T. Kaufman (2012); Janice Welburn (2011); Maureen Sullivan (2010); Gloriana St. Clair (2009); Peter Hernon (2008); Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson (2007); Ray English (2006); Ravindra Nath (R. N.) Sharma (2005); Tom Kirk (2004); Ross Atkinson, (2003); and Shelley Phipps (2002).

For more information regarding the award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.

About ACRL

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing nearly 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the web at acrl.org, Facebook at facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

About GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO

GOBI® Library Solutions from EBSCO, formerly YBP Library Services, offers over 13 million print and ebooks to academic, research and special libraries worldwide. From streamlining workflows to partnering with library staff, GOBI Library Solutions is committed to providing the best solution for libraries’ acquisition, collection development and technical service needs. For more than 40 years, the mission has remained same—to partner with libraries in providing access to the broadest selection of scholarly content available.

AUC’s Phenomenal Women Presidents

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Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell

A leader in education, the arts, and the public sector for nearly 40 years, Dr. Campbell became Spelman College’s 10th president Aug. 1, 2015. Since then, she has captured the hearts of students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the Atlanta community.

She was recently named to the High Museum of Art’s 77-member board of directors. A leading museum in the southeastern United States, the High holds more than 15,000 works of art in its permanent collection and hosts an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African-American art; and collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk art and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists.

Read more about Dr. Campbell being named to the High Museum’s board of directors.

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice

As the sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine and the first woman to lead the free-standing medical institution, Dr. Montgomery Rice serves as both the president and dean.  She is a renowned infertility specialist and researcher.

Dr. Montgomery Rice has received numerous accolades; however, her most recent accolade is of significant note. Dr. Montgomery Rice was recently named to receive the 2017 Horatio Alger Award, an award that symbolizes the organizations’ values, including personal initiative and perseverance, leadership and commitment to excellence, belief in the free-enterprise system, and the importance of higher education, community service, and the vision and determination to achieve a better future.

Read more about Dr. Montgomery Rice being a Horatio Alger Award recipient.

 

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