Atlanta University Center Consortium

AUC’s 2017 Commencement Exercises

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Graduation serves as a life-changing experience and marks both a beginning and end. In the Projections of Education Statistics to 2017 report by the National Center for Educations Statistics, colleges and universities will confer approximately 2,667,000 bachelor’s, master’s, doctor’s and first-professional degrees on graduates. The Atlanta University Center will contribute more than 1,700 to that number. In May, the four AUC Consortium institutions will mark their commencement exercises with speakers from the nation’s most notable business, civic and political landscapes. It is the time when administrators, families and friends all come together for the big weekends of caps, gowns and tassels. It is the time to pray, celebrate honorary degree recipients, commencement speakers, and the all-important graduate.

Andrea C. White, Ph.D.

Baccalaureate Services

Beginning Saturday, May 20, 2017, at 9 a.m., Spelman College will host Andrea C. White, Ph.D., associate professor of theology and culture at Union Theological Seminary in New York as its baccalaureate speaker; on the same day at 3 p.m., Morehouse College will host the Rev. Dr. Otis J. Moss Jr., ’56, pastor emeritus of Mt. Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Chicago and the Rev. Dr. Otis J. Moss III, ’92, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Chicago. Clark Atlanta University will hold its baccalaureate services Sunday, May 21 at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Olu Brown, senior pastor of Atlanta’s Impact Church.

Commencement Exercises

John Lewis

 

Morehouse School of Medicine kicks off its 33rd commencement exercises Saturday, May 20 at 9 a.m. with the indomitable civil rights icon and 5th District U.S. Rep. John Lewis. He will also receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

Van Jones

At 8 a.m., Sunday, May 21 on Morehouse College’s Century Campus, CNN political correspondent and former White House policy adviser to President Barack Obama Van Jones will deliver the college’s 133rd commencement address. For more information, visit Morehouse.

Lawyer, businesswoman and civic leader Valerie Jarrett will do the honors at the 130th commencement exercises for Spelman College. The longest-serving senior adviser to President Barack Obama will deliver her address Sunday, May 21 at 3 p.m. at the Georgia International Convention enter. For more information, visit Spelman.

Willarm Pickard

Valerie Jarrett

After the May weekend of ceremonies, Clark Atlanta University will hold its 2017 commencement exercises with entrepreneur William Pickard, Ph.D. Chairman of the Global Automotive Alliance, co-managing partner of the MGM Grand Detroit Casino, CEO of the Bearwood Management Co., and co-owner of five African-American news publications, Pickard will deliver the commencement address Monday, May 22 at 8 a.m. in Panther Stadium.

Chevrolet and NNPA Offer Journalism Fellowship to HBCU Fellows

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Fellows will receive a combined $80,000 in scholarships and summer internships

The 2017 “Discover the Unexpected” Atlanta fellows (from left to right): Jordan Fisher, Clark Atlanta University; Kelsey Jones, Spelman College; Darrell Williams, Morehouse College; Chevrolet Diversity marketing manager, Michelle Alexander; Tiana Hunt, Clark Atlanta University; Ayron Lewallan, Morehouse College and; Taylor Burris, Spelman College.

WASHINGTON D.C. – Chevrolet is putting more students in the driver’s seat with the expansion of its Discover the Unexpected fellowship program. Now in its second year, DTU provides college students from historically black colleges and universities the opportunity to change the narrative of media reporting in the African-American community with the help of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

The eight 2017 DTU Fellowship Program students are: Taylor Burris of Spelman College, Darrell Williams of Morehouse College, Jordan Fisher of Clark Atlanta University, Tiana Hunt of Clark Atlanta University, Kelsey Jones of Spelman College, Ayron Lewallen of Morehouse College, Noni Marshall of Howard University and Alexa Imani Spencer of Howard University.

Students will work in partnership with NNPA member papers in Washington D.C., Atlanta, New Orleans and Raleigh.

The official launch of the 2017 “Discover the Unexpected” fellows Program in Atlanta, (from left to right) Chevrolet Diversity marketing manager, Michelle Alexander; emcee-songwriter, philanthropist, actress, and DTU ambassador and spokesperson MC Lyte; National Newspapers Publishers Association President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.; and Clark Atlanta University School of Arts and Sciences Dean Danille K. Taylor, Ph.D.

“Last year we were honored to launch the DTU fellowship program at Howard University and meet a group of very talented journalism students,” said U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Marketing Paul Edwards. “Their enthusiasm, insight and determination made the selection process extremely difficult. We’re excited to send more trailblazers on the road to highlight the positive, inspire hope and document the legacy of African American voices for generations to come.”

This year, DTU fellows will work with editors and reporters from The Washington Informer, The Atlanta Voice, The Louisiana Weekly and The Carolinian.

“The NNPA is looking forward to welcoming the next group of fellows to the program,” said NNPA president and CEO Dr. Ben Chavis Jr. “Our 2016 fellows showed that despite the negative perceptions seen in the media, there are also beautiful and powerful stories in African-American neighborhoods across the country. Our 2017 fellows will continue sharing stories of community advocates, making impactful and lasting changes on a local and global level.”

The fellowship program is open to communications, mass media, and visual arts students. A panel of judges consisting of NNPA and AUCC staff conducted on-site interviews during the program’s AUCC launch.

Chevrolet will award eight $10,000 scholarships to each fellow and provide a stipend to defray the costs of traveling to and from school as they report on their stories. In addition to the financial investment, Chevrolet will provide each fellowship team access to the Next Generation 2018 Chevrolet Equinox during their reporting assignments.Legendary lyricist and hip-hop pioneer MC Lyte is the program’s national spokesperson and was on hand to kick-off the launch in Atlanta.Information about the Discover the Unexpected Fellowship Program can be found at www.nnpa.org/dtu.

Check out DTU photos.

 

CONTACTS:
Sonya Lewis
Carol H. Williams Advertising
708-439-0326
Sonya.Lewis@Carolhwilliams.com

Lester Booker Jr.
GM Diversity Communications
313-618-3946
lester.bookerjr@gm.com 

 

 

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.

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 advisor.

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.

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.

 

Atlanta Area High School Students Surprised With Nearly $200k in Clark Atlanta University Scholarships

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Admissions Officers Hand-Delivered Acceptance Letters to 15 Local Students

ATLANTA (Dec. 15, 2016) 15 Atlanta-area high school students got a huge surprise Dec. 14, when admission officers from Clark Atlanta University hand- delivered to them acceptance letters to join the CAU Class of 2021. Nine of the students were offered academic scholarships to CAU for 2017-2018 totaling approximately $180,000.

The exciting news was given to three students at KIPP Academy, two at Washington High and 10 at Westlake High. They all were part of CAU’s early action plan, which guaranteed a response from Admissions before January to high school students who applied to CAU by Nov. 1. At each school the announcement was met with a thunderous applause by classmates, teachers, counselors and administrators.

“At the end of the day, our mission is to transform students’ lives one student at a time,” said Dr. Michael Marshall, associate vice president of Enrollment Services at CAU. “By extending acceptance offers to these young scholars, we are setting them on a transformative path to success,” Marshall finished.

The Office of Student Recruitment and Admissions, led by Lorri Saddler Rice, plans to expand in January 2017 this new tradition of surprising local high school students with a hand-delivered CAU acceptance letter. “It was an absolutely amazing day,” Rice said. “It underscores why we do what we do,” she continued.

In the fall semester of 2016, CAU enrolled its largest freshman class since 2007. We hope to continue this trajectory of smart growth by enrolling more students like the 15 who were surprised with acceptance letters and scholarships.

For more information on applying to CAU contact Student Recruitment and Admissions at 404-880-6605 or email admissions@cau.edu.

— By Mario Boone, CAU media relations manager.

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CAU Alumnus Directs ‘Hairspray Live!’

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Kenny Leon is a theatrical wunderkind. The Clark Atlanta University graduate is the recipient of the 2016-2017 “Mr Abbott Award.” Named in honor of director George Abbott, the award is presented to a director or choreographer in recognition of lifetime achievement.  A Tony Award-winning Broadway and film director, Leon has worked with Hollywood and Broadway’s most luminous talent, including Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Samuel Jackson and Angela Bassett.

Dec. 7, 2016, marked his second “live-theater-on-TV” presentation — the first being “The Wiz” — with “Hairspray Live” on NBC.

For more on CAU alum, Kenny Leon, visit kennyleon.com.

 

Bridel F. Jackson III: An Honest, Ethical and Smart Engineer

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Birdel Jackson III pictured with Melvin Hill, the 2016 DDEP recipient of the Jackson-Davis Foundation award.

Birdel F. Jackson III’s lifelong commitment has been to make the engineering profession more diverse and inclusive. A crusader for helping minority students become civil engineers, Jackson, a civil engineer himself, passed away Oct. 20, 2016.

Since he established the Jackson-Davis Foundation in 2002 to award scholarships in honor of his grandparents Gladys Davis and Birdel F. Jackson who attended Spelman, Rust and Knoxville Colleges, 37 AUC Dual Degree Engineering program students have received $50,000 from his foundation. Awarded to civil engineering students interested in pursuing careers in consulting engineering, obtaining their professional engineering license, or becoming a leader in the field, Jackson’s philanthropic spirit has greatly benefitted DDEP.

Jackson began his professional career in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with the American Bridge Division of U.S. Steel. His next job took him to Washington D.C. and the Bridge Division of the District of Columbia Highway Department. He moved to Atlanta where he was employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. After which he served as General Electric Project Engineer responsible for construction of a Caustic Soda Plant in Indiana and miscellaneous manufacturing facility construction. He later returned to Atlanta where he served as a regional manager, division director and vice president for a national black owned consulting engineering firm and later a major black-owned architecture and engineering firm. In 1988, he purchased the Atlanta office of the architecture firm and began his entrepreneurial effort, B&E Jackson Engineers, and the firm’s staff grew from three to 47 professionals.

“Birdel and I both worked and marketed projects together. Birdel is an ‘old-time engineer’ in the best sense of the phrase – honest, ethical and smart,” wrote Robert Bielek, district engineer at Texas Department of Transportation, on Jackson’s LinkedIn page. “ You can’t go wrong with Birdel on your team.”

He was a registered professional engineer in Georgia and 13 other states; a member of the Society of American Military Engineers, Consulting Engineers Council of Georgia – named 1997 Engineer of the Year, American Society of Civil Engineers, National Organization of Minority Architects, National Technical Association and National Society of Black Engineers. Birdel’s professional experience included Engineering Design and Surveying for several municipal governments, design and construction of highways, bridges, wastewater facilities, military buildings and housing projects. He has supervised and scheduled more than $1 billion in projects.

Initiated into the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in November 1964, at the Xi Tau Chapter at Toledo University, he has remained an active and ardent Life Member and participated in the establishment of Delta Kappa Chapter at Georgia Tech; reactivating Tau Chapter at Atlanta University; charter member of Beta Xi in Evansville, Indiana and Chi Gamma Gamma in Marietta. His community service work involves mentoring programs with CHI GAMMA GAMMA Chapter of Omega Psi Phi; 100 Black Men of Atlanta; Aviation Career Enrichment (a program to encourage black youths in Aviation) and Engineering Rap Session Counselor at Douglass High School. He was selected as the 1997 Engineer of the Year and awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies and Georgia Society of Professional Engineers. Mr. Jackson was selected by the University of Toledo, College of Engineering as the 2001 Civil Engineer of the year. He was elected to the Academy of Distinguished Engineering Graduates at Georgia Tech in 2002. Mr. Jackson was chosen as a 2004 Diversity Champion for the American Society of Civil Engineers in recognition of voluntary services to make the profession more inclusive. 

He was a civil engineering graduate of the University of Toledo with a master’s degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech. Jackson served on the Industrial Advisory Board of the University of Toledo’s College of Engineering, and the Civil Engineering Advisory Board. He served as national alumni president of the University of Toledo Alumni Association and is an emeritus member of Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s external advisory board.

Jackson was a registered professional engineer in 14 states; a Fellow of the Society of American Military Engineers; member of the Consulting Engineers Council of Georgia, American Society of Civil Engineers, National Organization of Minority Architects, National Technical Association and National Society of Black Engineers.

The Atlanta University Center Consortium is forever grateful and honored for the path Mr. Jackson has paved in the engineering profession.

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