Atlanta University Center Consortium

Christian Griffith Finesses Academics and Athletics

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This family photo includes Christian’s father Dr. M. Christopher Griffith, Christian, mother Jeana Griffith and sister Jewelian Griffith.

Jeana Griffith went to the stage eight times to stand in for her son Christian. A third-year student at Morehouse, Christian was playing in a SIAC baseball game against Paine College. At the 39th Annual AUC Consortium Dual Degree Engineering Program Networking Event & Awards Ceremony, where there were more than 200 students, family, friends and corporate guests, Mrs. Griffith represented one of the afternoon’s most outstanding students.

“I felt very proud and blessed to receive the awards for my son, [and] it highlighted for me all of the hard work he has done,” said Mrs. Griffith, who wished Christian could have been there to receive the awards himself.  “I also admired his commitment to his team. He sacrificed receiving praise and awards to support his team.  His decision to support his team over individual accolades makes me even more proud of my son and the man that he has become.”

More than 88 awards were presented in seven categories. Held to recognize outstanding dual-degree engineering students from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College, more than $200,000 were awarded to the 225 students enrolled in DDEP from the three institutions.

Not only did the 3.95 GPA mechanical engineering major receive academic awards through DDEP, he also received the James E. Haines Sr. Most Scholarly Athlete Award at the Morehouse athletics banquet for having the highest GPA of all the athletics at Morehouse.

Pictured with head baseball coach Robert Mitchell, Christian received the James E. Haines Sr. Most Scholarly Athlete Award at Morehouse.

“Working to be at my best both academically and physically has become a way of life for me. My parents have taught me to never give up and be humble, and that with hard work anything can be achieved,” said Christian, who received both an academic and baseball scholarship to attend Morehouse. “Playing sports has helped teach me time management. I love to win and getting A’s is winning.”

Through AUCC DDEP, member institutions and the engineering institutional partners afford students the benefit of receiving two degrees in approximately five years. Students at the member institutions will attend their institutions for three years. Upon completing the three years, the student will graduate and move on to an engineering institution for an additional two years. After the five-year program, the student graduates holding a Bachelor of Science degree awarded by an AUC Consortium institution, and a Bachelor of Science degree in a specific engineering discipline from the affiliated engineering institution.

Partnering engineering institutions include Auburn University, Clarkson University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Missouri University of Science & Technology, North Carolina A&T State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Michigan, and University of Notre Dame. Of the 11 schools, Christian applied to six – Michigan, Georgia Tech, Rochester, Rensselaer, N.C. A&T and Clarkston.

“I applied to six schools and was accepted to all of them receiving scholarships,” said Christian, who attended Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School where he played baseball. “I chose Rochester because the engineering school is in the top 100, and I feel I won’t be treated like a number and that I will get to know my teachers and get help from them.”

Located nearly 1,000 miles away from Morehouse, Christian is excited about more than just Rochester being one of the best engineering schools in the country.

“They have an excellent Formula 1 race team. I also am able to play my last year of college baseball there,” he said “and I have a great chance of starting.”

After Rochester, Christian plans on designing sports cars, ultimately becoming the head engineer for a race team.

See all the 39th Annual AUCC DDEP Networking Event & Awards Ceremony recipients.

Commencement – A Time to Walk the Walk and Hear the Talk

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From the nation’s top law enforcement officer to the world’s first black female astronaut to Zimbabwe’s first billionaire, May marks the time when heavy hitters make their way to the Atlanta University Center. 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 oh so important graduate.

Jonathan L. Walton, Ph.D

Beginning Saturday, May 14, 2016, at 9 a.m., Spelman College will host Jonathan L. Walton, Ph.D., Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard Divinity School, as its baccalaureate speaker; Morehouse College will host the Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, on the same day at 3 p.m. Clark Atlanta University will hold its baccalaureate services Sunday, May 15, at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Yvette D. Massey, senior pastor of Central United Methodist Church will address the students.

Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa, one of Africa’s most influential businessmen and Zimbabwe’s first billionaire, is Morehouse’s commencement speaker Sunday, May 15, at 8 a.m. Loretta E. Lynch, America’s top law enforcement officer and the nation’s first African-American female to hold the post of U.S. attorney general, is Spelman’s 3 p.m. commencement speaker on the same day. CAU’s commencement address is Monday, May 16, at 8 a.m., with Dr. Mae Jemison, physician, engineer, and the first African-American woman astronaut. Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, will serve as the Saturday, May 21, commencement speaker for the Morehouse School of Medicine graduating class.

Mae Jemison

For more information on AUC baccalaureate and commencement speakers in the AUC, see CAU, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman College.

AUC Graduates Launch Education Incubator

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Spelman College alumnae Karina Liles and Gayla Robbins and Morehouse alumnus Emmanuel Deas have co-founded Acceler8K12, an educational incubator for entrepreneurs who want to transform K-12 education. On May 9, 2016, the three will host the Atlanta Innovation Inaugural Meetup at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

“Our mission is to empower a community of problem solvers who are passionate about innovating K-12 education,” said Liles, a 2007 Spelman graduate in computer science, who is pursuing a doctorate in computer science and engineering, and has received a master’s both in educational technology and computer science and engineering from the University of South Carolina. “Our educational incubator will build a community of education professionals, entrepreneurs, and innovators to develop products and solutions for education.”

Liles, Robbins and Deas came up with Acceler8K12 after years of wishing for an organization that could help cultivate more education entrepreneurs in the K-12 markets, particularly in Atlanta. According to Liles, they would regularly speak to others who wanted the same opportunity. Finally, they adopted the Nike principle and just did it.

“It’s important to have an ecosystem of education entrepreneurs dedicated to transforming Atlanta’s K-12 schools,”said Robbins, who graduated from Spelman in 2007 with a degree in chemistry and later received a master’s degree in organizational and school leadership from Columbia University. “Having such a community allows for the leveraging of resources, insights, and inspirations that will ultimately increase academic performance and 21st century skills of Atlanta’s K-12 students.”

The Atlanta University Center graduates believe in the power of education, and standby the core values that an education is a pipeline to success. The trio hopes to bridge the entrepreneurial, technological and educational gap by bringing together like minds in meetup sessions.

“The three of us share the vision of an empowered community of problem solvers dedicated to innovate Atlanta’s K-12 schools,” said Deas, who graduated from Morehouse in 2001 with a degree in business management. “All of us have always had a passion for educating and delivering quality education to teach, and through our new venture we will help generations of learners.”

The Atlanta Education Innovation Inaugural Meetup is Monday, May 9, 2016, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. The price to attend is $10 if purchased by May 6 and $15 thereafter. Food and drinks are provided. To reserve your ticket, visit www.the liveconnect.com/Acceler8K12.

CAU MOTY participants receive UNCF/Coke scholarships

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Three Cokes, please. -– The United Negro College Fund has awarded three $5,000 UNCF/Coke scholarships to CAU’s Man of the Year participants. MOTY is an annual scholarship showcase and competition that promotes male enrollment, retention, leadership and academics. Pictured are: LeJohn Tate Jr. (center), Man of the Year, a junior criminal justice major from Los Angeles; Dantorie Reeves (left), 1st attendant, a junior mass media arts major from San Jose, Calif.; and Donald Fleming Jr. (right), 2nd attendant, a junior biology major from Macon, Ga.

ARC Program Helps Area Businesses Move to ‘Next-Level’ Status

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Atlanta claims 127,214 of the 1.9 million black-owned businesses according to the U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners, reporting some $2.5 billion in receipts. However, most of these businesses are sole proprietors and most are self-funded, says Cindy Yang, a small business analyst with NerdWallet. With the exception of H.J. Russell & Co., most West Atlanta black-owned businesses fall into the sole proprietorship or less-than-four employees category. In an effort to increase business growth within the 30310 and 30314 areas, CommUniversity, a program of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, and the University Community Development Corp., are helping area businesses reach “next-level” potential through its inaugural Small Business Assessment, Resources and Consultation workshops.

Divided into three programmatic phases – assessment, resources and consultation – six businesses identified by business and community representatives from the MLK Jr.-Ashby Merchants Association and the West End Merchants Coalition were selected by AUCC to receive seven weeks of training development, technical assistance, and mentorship from industry experts in the three areas.

“So many of the businesses in our community are very small-run operations, and they do relatively well for the most part,” said Anthony Otey, CommUniversity program coordinator. “But, they want to step up their operation to the next level. These businesses want to boost not only their revenue but also their visibility, capital development, and clientele, and we want to help them achieve these goals.”

From Feb. 8 to March 21, 2016, with a grant from REGIONS Bank, the Small Business ARC program aimed to set the small businesses on a new trajectory of success. Sessions included business plan development, best practices and strategies to increase revenue and customer retention, credit correction and capital acquisition, marketing and measured growth. The participating businesses completing the sessions included BAOBab Custom Design/Tree Enterprises, Dora’s Custom Reupholstery, Dynamic Designs, iwi fresh Garden Day Spa, Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center and Bookstore, and Your Edenic Welcome.

The Rev. Milton “Ahdwele” Fann, chair and administrator of the Atlanta Shrine of the Black Madonna, explains his business concept.

“This was a very useful program that helped bring awareness of what it takes to analyze a business,” said the Rev. Milton“Ahdwele” Fann, chair and administrator of the Atlanta Shrine of the Black Madonna. “As small black businesses, we think we know what is important to our businesses; however, this helped me know where we should focus our efforts and direct our energies.”

While several of the sessions were of great use to Fann, it was the financial session led by Roy Johnson, a senior consultant with Bankers-Insight Group, that was most beneficial to his organization. Fann, along with his fellow business owners, wants to continue to expand his business footprint in the West End community. Although the workshop sessions are completed, the six businesses will now begin their assessment and consultation services with area business experts.

For more information on the Small Business Assessment, Resources and Consultation (ARC), contact Anthony Otey at 404-523-5148, ext. 1525.

 

AUC WOODRUFF LIBRARY WINS NATIONAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE

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Robert W Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center, Location: Atlanta GA, Architect: Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott

The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library has been selected as a recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in the university category. Sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries and YBP Library Services, the award recognizes the staff of a college, university and community college library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institutions they serve. 

Morehouse College Senior is 2016 International Rhodes Scholar

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Morehouse College student Prince Abudu has been selected to the 2016 International Rhodes scholar class representing his home country of Zimbabwe. The Rhodes scholarship supports students who demonstrate a strong propensity to emerge as future leaders.

Abudu is the fourth Morehouse student to be selected for the prestigious scholarship to attend the University of Oxford in England. Morehouse is the only historically Black college represented in the 2016 Rhodes scholar class and one of only two Georgia Colleges in this year’s prestigious class. The Rhodes scholarship provides for two or three years of study at Oxford.  Abudu, whose email signature Destinato Alla Gloria, “Destined for Greatness,” best girds his determination to excel.  The Morehouse leader plans to pursue a master’s degree in computer science and an MBA at Oxford.

“I’m blessed and excited. This would not have been possible without the support of my family in Zimbabwe and the new family I have been favored with at Morehouse College. This is an opportunity that I have dreamed of all my life,” said Abudu, who grew up on a rural farm in his homeland.

“My studies at Morehouse prepared me for this next endeavor and I am thrilled to begin this new era of achieving academic excellence. This is the Morehouse culture, and I am extraordinarily proud to represent my college,” he added.

Abudu is a highly motivated student leader and an honor student in the college’s Department of Computer Science. The senior, computer science major serves as the operations leader for Emergination Africa, an intercontinental youth-driven mentorship program he co-founded in 2012 to provide resources and guidance to African students transitioning to college.

His leadership was recognized when he was selected to participate in an Oprah Fellows Program roundtable discussion with former African presidents from Kenya, Namibia, and Mauritius on issues pertaining to democracy and sustainable peace.

In summer of 2014, Abudu interned with Cummins Inc., where he developed a call support tree for technology-related issues for the plant’s IT department and warehouse users.

Abudu is a Resolution Project Fellow and a member of the Morehouse Model United Nations, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the Kutama College Web Design Club. He is also a semifinalist for the Anzisha Prize Opportunity.

“We are so very pleased that Prince Abudu has been named our fourth Rhodes Scholar! It means a great deal to him and to Morehouse College!  Prince’s educational journey has been amazing, as he emerged from a set of exceedingly challenging circumstances in Zimbabwe,”said Morehouse President John Silvanus Wilson ’79.

“He arrived at Morehouse with no small degree of raw intelligence, grit, and a clear and compelling determination to succeed. He has developed into the ‘iconic’ man of Morehouse who is academically, socially, and spiritually equipped to lead and do consequential things in the world.  We are very proud of him, and we are confident that he will thrive at Oxford,” Wilson said.

Previous Morehouse Rhodes Scholars include Nima Warfield, named in 1994, Christopher Elders, 2001, and Oluwabusayo “Tope’” Folarin, 2004.

Reprinted from Morehouse College NewsCenter.

AUC CONSORTIUM COMMUNIVERSITY HOSTS FREE LEGAL FORUM FOR WEST ATLANTA COMMUNITY

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To assist west Atlanta residents with legal issues, COMMUniversity, a program of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, will host its second “Know Your Rights! Free Legal Information Forum,” Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Clark Atlanta University Bishop Cornelius P. Henderson Student Center.

COMMUniversity, which represents a commitment by Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College to reach the community, in partnership with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, attorneys from Atlanta Legal Aid, and members of the Gate City Bar Association, will be on hand to provide free legal tips on expunging a criminal record; obtaining information for children’s rights, such as support payments and Individualized Educational Plans; defending against pushy debt collectors; understanding probates and wills; resolving disputes with difficult landlords; and managing encounters with the police.

Free and open to the public, this forum is one of many programs by COMMUniversity to connect the neighboring community with Atlanta University Center institutions. “We are pleased to offer a broad range of lifelong educational opportunities for our neighbors, including our legal forum,” said Dr. Sherry Turner, executive director for the AUC Consortium and COMMUniversity director. “To build a stronger community, the AUC Consortium and our member institutions are here to help our neighbors.”

For more information on the legal forum and other COMMUniversity events, visit auccommuniversity. org

Providing a Perfect Platform for Hiring and Employment

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It is a perfect scenario – students are in the market for jobs, and companies are in the market for hiring. At the annual AUCC Career Fair, hosted by the Atlanta University Center Consortium, more than 1,300 students from partner institutions Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College came out for a chance at career opportunities and internships. From high-tech to high schools and profit to nonprofit, 184 of the nation’s top companies were on hand to recruit from the fair, accounting for a nearly 30 percent increase in recruiters from the 2014 fair.

“The AUCC Career Fair provides the perfect platform to find the pool of diverse and talented students we are seeking for opportunities not only in Atlanta, but across the United States,” said Luis Abarca, Southeast regional manager for INROADS Inc. An organization that develops and places underserved young professionals in business and industry to prepare them for corporate and community leadership. “We look forward to a continued collaboration with the AUCC and to propel the careers of the students the Consortium serves.”

According to Denise Holmes, AUCC director of the Office of Academic and Career Services, corporation participation has increased since the economy has improved. At the 2014 fair, 148 companies were represented.

“As an aspiring aerospace engineer, I talked with companies like Boeing, NASA, FAA, and so forth,” said junior Frank Adams, a physics/aerospace Dual Degree Engineering Program student attending CAU. “I have a possible internship with Lockheed Martin Corp. lined up for the summer.”

Another DDEP student, Melvin Hill, a Morehouse senior majoring in applied physics spoke with eight companies that had an interest in him.

“I was very impressed with the amount of companies for engineering majors,” said Hill, who will attend Auburn University in the spring to complete his degree in civil engineering.

Baylis stated that by the year 2018, there will be over 2 million STEM-related jobs available and a need to close the diversity/gender gap. Therefore, the increase of recruiters to the AUCC is expected to continue to grow.

“It’s very important for us, … and the nation, to understand that [historically Black colleges and universities] are a tremendous resource,” said Tony Baylis, assistant department manager for the Computing Applications and Research Department in the Computation Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. “It is important for young people to understand that the AUC offers the foundation to get a good education and matriculate into these great opportunities that are so abundant.”

See images from the AUCC Career Fair.

 

 

 

Opportunities for AUC Career Recruiting

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Atlanta University Center students are encouraged to register for several upcoming opportunities that will help you transition from college graduate to career professional at the 2016 Atlanta University Center Consortium Career Fair, and the AUCC Graduate, Professional and Engineering School Fair.

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