Tag: 2015


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By Jeff Lieberson, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Indianapolis, IN – The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) today named 19 recipients of its inaugural 1890 Universities Career Exemplar Awards. The recipients, distinguished alumni representing each of the 19 historically black land-grant universities, have achieved excellence in navigating their career pathway and providing mentorship to other traditionally underrepresented students pursuing similar career pathways. The awardees were nominated by their alma maters and evaluated on their commitment to institution, individual achievement, civic engagement and impact in providing access, opportunities and mentorship to current students and new alumni. The recipients were honored at APLU’s Annual Meeting now underway in Indianapolis, IN.

“The first class of 1890 Career Exemplar Awards recipients are a testament to the tremendous contributions 1890 institutions make to our society through their instruction, research and community engagement,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “These alumni have not only achieved success in their own careers, but worked with their alma maters and current students to serve the institutions that had such a formative influence on them.”

“The 1890 Career Exemplar Awards recipients reflect the broad diversity and great achievement of 1890 Universities and their alumni,” said Dr. RoSusan D. Bartee, Interim Vice President of Access and Success. “As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Second Morrill Act, their stories remind us of the power of the 1890 land-grant community and the progress we can continue to drive through these institutions and their students.”

The names, alma maters and achievements of the recipients of the inaugural 1890 Career Exemplar Awards are listed below:

  • Billy Bridgeforth of Alabama A&M University is Chairman of the National Black Growers Council and he has been featured in several trade publications. In 2013, the White House named him a “Champion of Change for Agriculture.”
  • Dr. Jesse Harnessof Alcorn State University has served as a member and chairman of the USDA Secretary of Agriculture’s National Commission on Small Farms and Advisory Committee on Small Farms. In 2005, he was inducted into the George Washington Carver Hall of Fame.
  • Morakinyo A. O. Kuti of Central State University is the Director of Sponsored Programs and Research at Central State University and an alumnus of the university. Hewas instrumental in the development of the $4.7 million Center of Excellence in STEM and STEM Education proposal funded by Department of Defense in 2010.
  • David Turner of Delaware State University is Global Analytics leader for Banking and Financial Markets for IBM and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Delaware State University. In 2002, Fortune magazine named him “50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America.”
  • Doris Hicks of Florida A&M University taught for 36 years in the public school system as an elementary teacher and is a lifelong volunteer for the local guardian ad litem program in Polk County, Florida. As President of the Polk County Alumni Chapter of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association, she established an endowment to ensure students from Polk County receive yearly funding until graduation.
  • The Honorable Calvin Smyre of Fort Valley State University is a business executive, state legislator, and community and national leader. He is President Emeritus of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.
  • Donald C. Hylton, Sr. of Kentucky State University is a veteran of over 40 years of the plastic industry. While at ExxonMobil, he was active in their diversity efforts that led to the hiring and promotions of minorities and women within the organization.
  • Sherman L. Lewis of Langston University retired in 1997 as Deputy Administrator for Management and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Soil Conservation Service, now the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Upon retirement, Mr. Lewis dedicated eight years of service to Langston University as the Center of Outreach Programs Director.
  • Charles E. Seeney of Lincoln University is founder and former Managing Director of NewTech @ The NanoPoint. He is a scientist and entrepreneur with a central focus on the management of Intellectual Property.
  • Willie A. Deese of North Carolina A&T State University is Executive Vice President and President of the Merck Manufacturing Division, with responsibility for Merck’s worldwide manufacturing operations. He has also served on the North Carolina A&T Board of Trustees.
  • Ernie Collins of Prairie View A&M University joined Humble Oil and Refinery Company, now ExxonMobil, in 1969 and worked in various marketing staff and management positions until his retirement in 2003. Mr. Collins and his wife are strong supporters of youth and education and have established scholarship funds at Prairie View A&M University and Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • The Honorable James Clyburn of South Carolina State University is the U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 6th congressional district, serving since 1993, and the Assistant Democratic Leader since 2011. President Barack Obama has said Representative Clyburn is, “One of a handful of people who, when they speak, the entire Congress listens.” He has supported higher education by leading the charge for increased Pell grants, investing millions in science and math programs and historic preservation at HBCUs.
  • Dr. Leodrey Williams of Southern University and A & M College built a career in Extension education. He was appointed Special Assistant to the United States Department of Agriculture Extension Administrator and five months later, the Secretary of Agriculture appointed him the National Director of Extension.
  • Ola G. Hudson of Tennessee State University was inducted into the Tennessee Teachers Hall of Fame in May 1997 and served for 40 years as a teacher at the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System.
  • Dr. Mortimer H. Neufville of Tuskegee University served a distinguished career at the National Association of State Universities and Land-grant Colleges (NASULGC), now APLU. In 2006, he assumed the role of Executive Vice President at NASULGC and retired in 2008. He later served Interim President at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
  • Pearlie S. Reed of the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff served as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for the United States Department of Agriculture from 2009 and 2012. He was nominated for this position by President Barack Obama and was subsequently confirmed by the United States Senate.
  • Dr. Emmanuel T. Acquah of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore serves as Director of International Programs, and Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He has received a number of international honors including being appointed to the Advisory Committee of U.S. Response to Cutting Hunger in Half in Africa and to the United States Agency for International Development’s Strategic Partnership for Agricultural Research and Education Committee.
  • Walter F. Johnson III of West Virginia State University attained the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, the highest grade that could be achieved in the Medical Service Corps at that time. Upon retirement, Mr. Johnson received the Army’s highest award for achievement, the Distinguished Service Medal.
  • Dr. Antonio A. McLaren of Virginia State University joined the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture as a National Program Leader. In this role, he is responsible for managing and providing leadership for the 1890 Capacity Building Grants Program and the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program.


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By Koshia Silver, Director of Public Relations

LANGSTON, Okla. —Langston University homecoming, the EvoLUtion will start off with Cheryl Miller as the grand marshal. Homecoming is Oct. 12-17, 2015, with Miller leading the annual parade and kicking off festivities on Saturday.

“We are excited to have one of Langston University’s newest members, Coach Cheryl Miller serve as our homecoming grand marshal,” said Kent J. Smith, Jr., President of Langston University.

“Cheryl has been a great addition to our campus and has shown she has the true spirit of a lion. Cheryl leads our girls not only on the court, but instills the quality of leadership and provides the mentorship they need to thrive.”

Coach Cheryl Miller was appointed as Langston University head women’s basketball coach in April 2014. Miller was a three-time national player of the year at the University of Southern California, leading the Women of Troy to national championships in both 1983 and ’84 and playing on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team. She went on to coach in the WNBA for four seasons before beginning a career as a national sports broadcaster.

The NCAA named Miller one of the top five collegiate basketball players in NCAA history. Miller was USC’s head women’s coach for two years in the mid ’90s, and then coached the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA from 1997 to 2000. Miller led LU’s women’s basketball team through a great 2014-15 season, finishing with a 28-4 record.

Homecoming is an anticipated tradition at Langston University. Events are scheduled each day during the week of homecoming, such as the annual Gospel Fest, President’s Scholarship Gala, Greek Step Show, and the coronation of Mr. and Miss Langston University. The parade begins at 10 a.m. on Oct. 17, while the football game begins at 2 p.m. against Southwestern Assemblies of God.

Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Langston offers over 38 degree programs, including five masters degrees and one doctoral program. For more information on Langston University homecoming and to purchase tickets, visit www.langston.edu/homecoming.


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University is pleased to announce the appointments of Acting Executive Director of Residential Housing William Evans and Acting Director of Student Life in Student Affairs Helen Alatorre. Both are planned to begin on Oct. 19, 2015, at the Langston University campus.

Evans brings with him more than 18 years of residential life experience, while Alatorre brings more than 20 years experience in student affairs. Both come to Langston from the University of Wyoming, where Evans held the position of Associate Director of Residence Life and Dining Services and Alatorre was Assistant Dean of Students for Leadership Development.

Evans plans to develop educational and social programming to cultivate a strong sense of community among the students. He plans to implement strategic initiatives for new procedures and processes for the Housing Department.

Alatorre’s experience in programming, leadership development, and advising student government will be helpful as she serves the students at Langston. She understands the importance of working directly with students in order to create lasting memories during their time spent at the University.

Evans and Alatorre have dedicated their entire careers to the development of students.

“I am passionate about helping students transition to college and supporting them all the way to graduation,” Evans said.

Alatorre enthusiastically stated, “I think it is important to get a feel of the culture on campus and its students and see how I can contribute and advance it.”

“I look forward to learning more about Langston’s traditions and its rich history.”

Evans and Alatorre are married with a six-year-old daughter, and are excited about their move to Oklahoma.

Alatorre regarding the move:

“It’s a homecoming for the entire family,” Alatorre said. “It was a professional decision, but a personal one as well, which is what makes this a complete experience.

“The university will be well served by the new additions to our staff,” said Kent J. Smith Jr., Ph.D., President of Langston University.

“These new appointments are committed to the pursuit of excellence and the experience they bring to the positions will be a source of strength for students and the campus community at large.”

Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Langston offers more than 38 degree programs, including 5 masters degrees and one doctoral program. To learn more about Langston University, go to www.langstonuniversity.edu.


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University is experiencing historic enrollment for the 2015-16 school year. Faculty and staff recently welcomed the largest freshman class in the history of the University.

According to admissions data, it has more than 692 incoming freshmen, and this number continues to rise. With more than a 40 percent increase in the past several years, the strength of the incoming class is a direct reflection of the strategic recruitment efforts.

Among these efforts, the Office of Admissions highlighted that the University has maintained its affordability for high-quality education on a state and national level. Admissions has also seen a return on pairing recruitment efforts with the alumni chapters, this has given Admissions its advantage over the competition. The incoming class proves to be a group of enthusiastic academic leaders; it is made up of a total of 40 incoming freshmen that are now scholars in the Edwin McCabe Honors Program. A program sponsored by the University; scholars must take a total of 50 hours of honors courses designed to develop communication skills, analytical thinking, creativity and leadership.

Langston University was listed as the third most affordable small college in Oklahoma on the College Tuition Compare website.

“As an affordability leader in the state, we are able to better leverage our financial resources to compete for more students in Oklahoma,” said Chauncey Jackson, Executive Director of Enrollment Management at Langston University.

Langston University was nationally ranked the fourth most affordable small college in the United States. The ranking was created using information from the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator database. The number of out-of-state admits has drastically increased, with more students coming from Missouri, Colorado, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

“We offer a number of academically challenging programs and continue to develop our resources,” said the president of the University, Kent J. Smith Jr., Ph.D.

Total enrollment is 2,567 for all three campuses, which are located in Langston, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The Oklahoma City and Tulsa campuses offer upper-division courses and graduate courses. Among these programs, Langston-OKC is host to the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling & Disability Studies, a vocational rehabilitation program designed specifically for migrant and seasonal farm workers with special needs. Langston-Tulsa has a state-of-the-art facility that offers a variety of programs at the baccalaureate and graduate levels.

The Langston University Doctor of Physical Therapy program is one of only two programs offered in the state of Oklahoma. The Langston campus is also home to the number one goat research institute in the world, the E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research. Langston University offers more than 38 degree programs, including 5 masters degrees and one doctoral program. Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma. To learn more about programs and offerings please visit the Langston University website at www.langston.edu.

Jacob Rodriguez


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University has appointed a new head coach for volleyball, Jacob Rodriguez.

“Coach Rodriguez, a true man of integrity and great character, is a great addition to our athletic department,” said Donnita Rogers, the Director of Athletics. “His enthusiasm is contagious. Rodriguez will be a tremendous role model for our student-athletes and will play a pivotal role in putting Langston University volleyball on the map.”

Rodriguez comes to Langston from Bacone College, where he served as the head volleyball coach for three years. During his three years as head coach, the team went 46-52 overall and 24-16 in the Red River Athletic Conference.

Prior to Bacone College, he served as the assistant coach at Southwestern Assemblies of God University. During this time the team made tremendous strides, which included trips to the NAIA Regionals and the National Christian College
Athletic Association Regional and National Tournament in 2007.

Rodriguez currently holds a master’s degree in Kinesiology from Dallas Baptist University and a Bachelor of Science degree in History from Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

Stepping into this position, he has high hopes for the volleyball program’s fourth season. Last year the Volleyball program reached historic new heights, the team recorded its first win over East Central University, an NCAA Division 2 opponent.

The Lady Lions made it to the Conference Tournament last year; he knows the bar is already set high. He is ready to build a strong 2015 recruiting class and turn Langston’s volleyball team into a program that strives to win national championships.

“The most important thing for this team is to compete; the team will need to continue to build off of this foundation,” said Rodriguez.

“Our first goal as a team is to give a unified effort every time we step on the court.”

The Lady Lions open the 2015 season on August 21, 2015, against Southwest Assemblies of God in Waxahachie, Texas. For more information or to view the Langston Sports schedules please visit www.langstonsports.com.

Student Leadership Institute 2015


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University Office of Student Life recently held the annual Student Leadership Institute (SLI), where student leaders learned best practices for leading and developing their organizations.

The weeklong event included guest speakers, seminars, group exercises and other activities to help the students develop as leaders. The theme was “Back to the Basics: Remembering The Foundation For Success.”

Brittany Carradine, Assistant Director of Student Life in the Office of Student Affairs, has led the SLI since 2013 with the goal of helping students lead successful organizations.

“The SLI is where students develop skills, connect with peers, and grow as leaders,” Carradine said. “Leaders who understand how they lead are more engaged, productive, and successful. This will help students understand their top strengths to become better leaders.”

Students were taught how to run effective meetings, the fiscal responsibility of leading organizations, the importance of communication within an organization, especially during times of conflict, and how to use social media effectively.

Students then had the opportunity to use what they learned as they met with student leaders from other schools to develop a plan for supporting each other in success.

Shaquille Anderson is a senior Business Management major is the newly appointed 2015-16 Student Government Association president. His goal is to increase communication between the students and administration, as well as with his fellow students.

“It is in my nature to factor in people’s perspective,” Anderson said. “I think it is important in any leadership role to take in the opinions and viewpoints of others in order to make a positive impact. It is our priority as campus leaders to keep the student experience at a high level.”

Student leaders have been equipped with the tools needed to fulfill their responsibility to their peers, future students and themselves to represent Langston and their organizations well.

“They are ready to work and take action,” Carradine said.

Langston offers more than 38 degree programs, including 5 masters degrees and one doctoral program. Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma.
To learn more about Langston University, please visit http://www.langston.edu.

Junior natural resources major William C. Moore III teaches kids about wildlife during his internship with the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

Langston University student, William C. Moore III, a junior Natural Resources Major was selected out of three applicants to work as a student intern for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The Student Conservation Association (SCA) aims to help students find internship opportunities through different environmental government agencies.

During Moore’s freshman year, his Associate Professor in the School of Agriculture and Research, Raymond F. Faucette, Jr., Ph.D. introduced him to a representative of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It was this contact that led Moore to apply for the internships.

Moore is currently working with the Environmental Education Specialist to facilitate two environmental camps for local kids in Soldotna, Alaska. ‘Critter Camp’ was geared toward outdoor learning about plants and animals, their habitats, life cycles, and adaptations.

Each day included trail exploration and arts and crafts activities. ‘Get Out and Get Dirty’ camp is a chance for kids to spend time outdoors participating in skill-based exploration of orienteering, plants, birds, fish, and other animals.

During the camp, he taught the kids a nature-related curriculum provided by the program about the salmon life cycle, parts of an insect and salmon migration. He also assists with tasks such as recycling and cleaning trailheads. Moore said the internship has given him the opportunity to receive valuable training and work experience. “I’ve been here for two and a half months and I can truly say that this internship has been a life-changing experience,” said Moore.

“This internship taught me how to work independently. I was able to interact with the employees, try new things, and step outside of my comfort zone.”

Moore is a McCabe Scholar and also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge serves as an anchor for biodiversity on the Kenai Peninsula. Using the best technology available, they ensure that biological health is maximized and human impacts minimize the Refuge staff and partners work together to ensure that biological health is maximized and human impacts. To find more information, visit the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge webpage.

Langston offers more than 38 degree programs, including 5 masters degrees and one doctoral program. Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma. To learn more about Langston University, please visit the Langston University webpage.


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

NASA Oklahoma EPSCoR awarded $36,000 to Langston professor, Randy Hunt, Ph. D. and the School of Education and Behavioral Science to produce effective, informed, and reflective future STEM scientists capable of independent practice and professional growth in college STEM programs.

The grant entitled, “Investing in STEM Student Diversity through NASA Ames Astrobiology Mentoring Modeling: Chemistry, Mathematical, and Computer Models” is a response to increase student diversity in Astrobiology knowledge for 15 STEM college students. Hunt serves as the faculty mentor and will mentor the Astrobiology students and develop ongoing relationships with its STEM mentors and partners.

“We are grateful for the financial support of STEM research at Langston University and look forward to sharing the results next year,” said Hunt.

Langston offers more than 38 degree programs, including 5 masters degrees and one doctoral program. Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Among 2,400 teacher preparation programs, Langston University’s elementary program ranks number one among all HBCU’s and in the top ten for its secondary (middle and high school) programs by the National Council on teacher quality. To learn more about the School of Education & Behavioral Sciences, visit http://www.langston.edu/academics/school/education-and-behavioral-sciences/.


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By Courtney Jordan, Communications Specialist

The Business without Borders, LLC, Langston University, and Star Spencer High School will offer workshop presentations on the 2014 Farm Bill, gardening tips, U.S. Department of Agriculture home loan and repair assistance, and animal management assistance on Sat., April 18, 2015 at Star Spencer High School (3001 Spencer, Road, Spencer, Oklahoma). Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and the workshop starts at 9:30 a.m.

Registration and lunch is free. Please register in advance by telephone or e-mail. To register or for additional information please contact, Dwight N. Guy, dwight.guy@osec.usda.gov, (405) 306-1954.

The Cooperative Extension Program at Langston University provides educational programs to individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion or disability. Issued in furtherance of the Extension Work Act of September 29, 1977 in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – United States Department of Agricultural and Tuskegee University awarded $22,000 to George Luker, Ph.D. and the School of Agriculture and Applied Science for “Swine Outreach Activity”. United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is implementing a national response to reduce, and in some areas eliminate, the risks and damages inflicted by feral swine to property, agriculture, natural resources and human health.

APHIS is serving as the lead federal agency in a cooperative effort with other entities that share a common interest in reducing or eliminating problems caused by feral swine. The overall objective of the program is to minimize damage inflicted by feral swine.

“This funding will help to increase the understanding of how federal swine impacts farmers and ranchers,” said Luker. “It will also provide outreach materials to fanners and ranchers on how to resolve problems generally associated with feral swine.”

The Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources aims to familiarize students with modern agriculture, encourage personal development and prepare them to successfully address environmental, rural, urban and general community needs. Langston offers more than 38 degree programs, including 5 masters degrees and one doctoral program. Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma. To learn more about the School of Agriculture & Applied Sciences, visit https://langston.edu/academics/school/agriculture-and-applied-sciences/.

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