Assistant Professor Siobahn Grady

North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information Sciences Assistant Professor, Siobhan Day Grady, Ph.D., has received a $190,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help improve the function of self-driving cars.

Assistant Professor Grady said she will use the grant, provided through the Historically Black Colleges and Excellence in Research program at the NSF, to analyze and identify problems encountered by self-driving vehicles. The data will become part of a $1 million NSF project to analyze problems encountered by self-driving vehicles, with the aim of detecting and reducing such incidents in real time.

“This research is very timely and relevant; it’s the future,” said Grady. “I’m excited to contribute to the field as well as provide research opportunities to students.”

Lead investigator on the overall project is Daniel Limbrick, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University, where Grady become the first woman to graduate with a doctoral degree in computer science in 2018.

The researchers will analyze the fault-detection capabilities of autonomous vehicles and look for ways of improving reliability. Three types of faults will be examined: transient, which occur due to external factors, such as the environment; intermittent, where problems are known to occur on an occasional but regular basis; and permanent, which occur regularly because of a physical malfunction and must be corrected to achieve reliability.

The project will result in enhanced course options for students at both institutions, as well as outreach and engagement opportunities, Grady said.

“Dr. Grady is a pioneer in artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Jon Grant, Ph.D., of the School of Library and information science. “Students in the SLIS graduate program in information science will gain high-demand skills by working with Dr. Grady to develop the next generation of vehicles that will be more intelligent and make transportation in our society safer,” Grant said.

Grady joined the faculty of NCCU in 2019 as assistant professor of information systems. She earned her master’s degree in information science at NCCU in 2009. She also holds a master’s in computer science from NCAT, where she was a Chancellor Distinguished Fellow.

In September 2019, Grant was honored by the If/Then Initiative and the American Association for the Advancement of Science as one of 120 national STEM ambassadors. Life-sized 3D statues of the female scientists will be unveiled this summer at NorthPark in Dallas as part of a $25 million initiative Lynda Hill Philanthropies to highlight female scientists and encourage more girls to enter the STEM fields.

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About North Carolina Central University


North Carolina Central University, with a strong tradition of teaching, research, and service, prepares students to become global leaders and practitioners who transform communities. Through a nationally recognized law school, highly acclaimed and innovative programs in the visual and performing arts, sciences, business, humanities, and education programs, NCCU students are engaged problem solvers. Located in the Research Triangle, the University advances research in the biotechnological, biomedical, informational, computational, behavioral, social, and health sciences. Our students enhance the quality of life of citizens and the economic development of North Carolina, the nation, and the world. For more information, visit www.nccu.edu.

About the National Science Foundation


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” NSF is vital because it supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future. For more information, visit www.nsf.gov.

Albert Nathaniel Whiting, Ph.D., fourth president and first chancellor of North Carolina Central University, passed away on Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Columbia, Maryland, according to North Carolina Central University.

Chancellor Emeritus Whiting served the university from July 1, 1967, to June 30, 1983. He was named chancellor emeritus upon retirement on June 30, 1983.

His university appointments included serving as professor of sociology at Bennett College and Atlanta University, now Clark Atlanta University, and dean of the faculty at Morris Brown College.

Chancellor Emeritus Whiting came to Durham from Morgan State College (now Morgan State University), where he was dean of the faculty. He was elected president of North Carolina College at Durham by the Board of Trustees on July 20, 1996, and assumed his duties in July 1967. Under his leadership, North Carolina College became North Carolina Central University, added its fifth school, the School of Business in 1972, and increased programs, including criminal justice, public administration, elementary education, jazz and music. He welcomed President Gerald R. Ford to campus in 1975. Upon his arrival, the institution’s enrollment was more than 3,000 students, and by the time he retired in 1983, the enrollment had grown to over 5,000 students.

Chancellor Emeritus Whiting has been referred to as a “builder” of the institution. As president and chancellor, he oversaw substantial growth of the physical plant that included 12 buildings. His most ambitious project was the erection of a four-building physical education complex, as well as the construction of Eagleson Hall, the Alfonso Elder Student Union and the annex to James E. Shepard Memorial Library. Additionally, a new chancellor’s residence was constructed in Emorywoods in 1974, at 3,292 square feet.

Chancellor Emeritus Whiting was the first leader to initiate a major fundraising campaign to create a university endowment, and he helped established the NCCU Foundation, Inc. When he arrived at NNCU, the operating budget was $5.5 million; it has risen to $34 million by 1983, the year he retired. Chancellor Emeritus Whiting created the Office of Development and Public Relations, which later become the Office of Institutional Advancement. He was a strong advocate of faculty development and established collaborative programs with the University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin to help NCCU faculty obtain doctorate degrees.

After retiring from NCCU, Chancellor Emeritus Whiting relocated to Columbia, Md., and served on the Maryland Higher Education Commission and University of Maryland’s Board of Regents until his final retirement.

He maintained a strong connection to NCCU following his retirement, and in 1988, he served as the Founder’s Day speaker. The Albert N. Whiting Criminal Justice Building, dedicated on November 3, 1989, bears his name. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from NCCU on May 15, 1983, and was presented with the James E. Shepard Medallion during the Centennial of North Carolina Central University in 2010.

Chancellor Emeritus Whiting was an active member of the community. On December 15, 1969, he was one of the only two African Americas approved and admitted to become members of the Durham Rotary Club. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Inc. He founded the first member Boule in North Carolina and is considered “The Father of the Member Boules” in North Carolina. While serving at NCCU, he was a communicant at St. Titus Episcopal Church.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Amherst College, a master’s degree from Fisk University and his Ph.D. in sociology from American University.

Chancellor Emeritus Whiting was married to the late Lottie Luck Whiting, who passed in 2004, on June 10, 1950, in Danville, Va., and was the father of Dr. Brooke Whiting and his adopted daughter, Dr. Lila Ammons.

The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) extends it profound condolences and prayers to the Whiting family, NCCU and HBCU community during this time of sorrow. We thank Chancellor Emeritus Whiting for a job well done.

In lieu of flowers, the family desires that contributions are made to the NCCU Foundation, Inc., to support the Albert N. Whiting Endowment. You can donate online at www.nccu.edu/institutional-advancement/giving-online. Checks can be made payable and mailed to: NCCU Foundation, Inc., 1801 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27707; please write Albert N. Whiting Endowment (account #40133) on the memo line of the check. For more information on Ways to Give, visit www.nccu.edu/institutional-advancement/ways-give.

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Lincoln University of Missouri has named Arkansas native and UAPB alumnus, Dr. Miron P. Billingsley as the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Billingsley will begin serving on September 4.

Dr. Billingsley has countless years of experience in higher education as a professor, dean, director and vice president. Prior to his appointment at Lincoln University, he served as Executive Director of Enrollment Management at Jarvis Christian College. Prior to then, he served as Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at North Carolina Central University in 2014 and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Prairie View A&M University in 2008.

While at PVAMU, Dr. Billingsley provided vision, direction, and review of student service operations. Under his leadership, he established a Counseling Center on campus, created a Veterans Center to recruit and retain military veterans and cultivated partnerships with all areas of the university to deliver seamless service to students. Additionally, Dr. Billingsley formed a Parent’s Association and led Student Affairs through a successful re-accreditation self-study and campus evaluation visit.

Prior to PVAMU, Dr. Billinsley served as Vice President for Student Affairs at Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, AR. He has also worked as an adjunct professor at Texas Southern University in Houston, Director of Training and Development for PeopleSoft at the University of Houston and Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Langston University. In addition to his higher education experience, Dr. Billingsley served four years in the U.S. Navy as a radio man on the USS Bunker Hill.

Dr. Billingsley earned his bachelor’s degree in speech communication from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a master’s degree in telecommunications from Texas Southern University, and Doctor of Education degree from Oklahoma State University. He completed post-doctoral studies at Harvard University Graduate School of Education and the Executive Leadership Institute through the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Dr. Billingsley is married to national bestselling author, ReShonda Tate Billingsley and is the father of four children.

North Carolina Central University alumnus Charles Asubonten, ’89, has been named Chief Financial Officer of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). In his new role, he will oversee CalPERS financial systems and risk programs.

Asubonten most recently served as the managing director at a private equity firm. He has more than 20 years of international experience in various aspects of finance and investments in industries including mining, financials, energy, infrastructure, technology, and health care.

He has also served as an adjunct professor at Wayne State University and the University of Michigan.

Asuborten obtained a Bachelors of Business Administration in accounting from North Carolina Central University and earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.

He also earned an advanced diploma in corporate governance from the Financial Times Board of Directors Non-Executive Director program in London. He is a certified public accountant and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Common Cause North Carolina are looking for undergraduate students to be Democracy Fellows on their campus this fall. There are available positions at Bennett, Shaw, NCCU, NC A&T State, WSSU and Fayetteville State.

The HBCU Democracy Fellows will work closely with Common Cause College Outreach Coordinators and Fellows at HBCUs across the state of North Carolina to boost civic engagement and promote the value of becoming lifelong participants in democracy on their campus.

HBCU Democracy Fellows will focus on increasing student turnout in elections and student activism by:

• creatively communicating with peers about the importance of students voting and having a voice in decisions affecting their everyday lives, their futures, and our HBCUs.

• disseminating information about the voting processes (voter registration, requesting absentee ballots, accessing polling locations, voting early, etc).

• connecting issues of interest to the importance of voting.

• assisting students in joining ongoing community efforts.

This is a 10 hour minimum per week commitment for the fall semester with the opportunity for advancement in the spring. Selected Democracy Fellows will receive $500 upon successful completion of the program or course credit (if offered by the school). The Common Cause College Outreach Coordinator will work with each Democracy Fellow to secure internship course credit where possible.

To apply:

1. Submit your resume* as a PDF with the file name “Last Name, First Name Resume” (ex. Sanders, Dominique Resume) by email to hbcusaa@gmail.com. Use the subject line “Resume – Democracy Fellowship at [Your School].”

2. Complete and submit the application using this online form.

3. If you have any questions, contact Alyssa Canty, Fayetteville and Triangle college outreach coordinator at 919-987-1366 or Reggie Weaver, Triad college outreach coordinator at 336-365-2378.

*All applications submitted without a resume will be considered incomplete and not reviewed

Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye

DURHAM, NC – The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has elected  Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., to serve as the 12th chancellor of North Carolina Central University on a permanent basis. Dr. Akinleye has served as acting chancellor from August 2016 to January 2017, when he was named interim chancellor. He took over the helm for former chancellor Debra Saunders-White, who died last year following a battle with cancer.

UNC System President Margaret Spellings formally nominated Dr. Akineleye during a special meeting of the board held in Chapel Hill.

“Dr. Akinleye is a strategic thinker and no-nonsense leader,” said President Spellings. “His distinguished career includes extensive experience in senior administrative leadership roles at pubic, private and church-affiliated institutions. He sees building a relationship with the campus and community leaders as a priority and he understands the need to maximize the full value of being in the Research Triangle. I’ve had the benefit of watching Dr. Akinleye lead on an interim basis during a challenging period at N.C. Central, I’m confident that he will build on the proud traditions and storied history of the institution while continuing the legacy of great leaders before him – most notably the late Dr. Debra Saunders-White.”

At NCCU, Dr. Akinleye worked to expand the university’s academic partnerships, including new agreements with community colleges, as well as introduced to the campus a robust online, distance-education program, NCCU Online. He also created K-12 initiatives and implemented a security strategy to increase safety for campus constituents. Before his appointment as interim chancellor, he was named acting chancellor from August 2016 to January 2017.  Prior to that role, Akinleye was named acting chancellor NCCU’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, where his responsibilities included faculty development, academic planning and assessment, enrollment management, and academic oversight of NCCU’s seven schools and colleges.

“I accept the awesome responsibility as the 12th Chancellor for North Carolina Central University with humility,” said Chancellor Akinleye. “I look forward to leading NCCU in a manner that honors our mission and to working closely with UNC General Administration to fulfill the university’s system-wide mission and goals that accrue to the benefit of the citizens of the great state of North Carolina. Moreover, I will continue to assess, evaluate and transform the university to increase efficiencies, sustain shared resources, expand its academic portfolio, enhance its brand and reputation, as well as excel in the competitive global marketplace and evolving higher education landscape.”

Prior to joining NCCU’s leadership team, Akinleye served as associate vice chancellor for academic programs at UNC Wilmington, where he was involved in leading online and distance education programs, increasing academic offerings, and leading the development and formation of the College of Allied Health. Earlier in his career, he held various leadership posts at Edward Waters College and Bethune-Cookman University in Florida. He began his academic career as a faculty member at Bowie State University in Maryland.

Akinleye received an undergraduate degree in telecommunication and a master’s degree in media technology from Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University. He earned his Ph.D. in human communications studies from Howard University.

The chancellor search process, which originally began in January 2017, was first led by NCCU Board of Trustees chairman George Hamilton. The North Carolina Central University Chancellor Search Committee sought candidates that who embodied effective executive, administrative and academic leadership.

“I am excited about the selection of Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye as the 12th chancellor of our great institution,” said Chairman Hamilton. “Dr. Akinleye has a keen understanding of the landscape of higher education in North Carolina and nationally. Having served as both provost and interim chancellor at NCCU, Dr. Akinleye has demonstrated the skills and competencies necessary to ensure the institution’s future success. He knows our strengths and growth potential, and, as an added plus, he will hit the ground running on day one!”

For more information about NCCU, visit their website at www.nccu.edu.

NCCUMOVEIN12-DN-081314-HLLDURHAM, N.C. – North Carolina Central University Chancellor Debra Saunders-White, who has been undergoing treatment for cancer, will be taking a leave of absence in order to fully focus her energies on her treatment, the school and the university system announced Monday.

Saunders-White is a former U.S. deputy assistance secretary for higher education programs who has led NCCU since 2013. She told UNC President Margaret Spellings she wanted to make sure the institution is full steam ahead as the new academic year gets underway.

Spellings today announced that Johnson O. Akinleye, NCCU’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, will serve as acting chancellor of the university, effective immediately.

“I wholeheartedly support Chancellor Saunders-White’s decision to direct her complete attention to treatment, and NCCU is fortunate that Provost Akinleye has agreed to assume even greater responsibilities while she is on medical leave. Given his extensive administrative experience, he is exceptionally well qualified to assume oversight of the campus. The university will be in very good hands, and I am grateful that he has accepted this important assignment.”

Akinleye has served as NCCU’s chief academic officer since January 2014.  While in that role, he is responsible for faculty development, academic planning and assessment, oversight of all academic units – including the university’s seven schools and colleges – and enrollment management.

Earlier in his career, he held a series of progressively responsible leadership posts at Edward Waters College and Bethune-Cookman University in Florida. He began his academic career as a faculty member at Bowie State University in Maryland.

Akinleye holds an undergraduate degree in telecommunications and a master’s degree in media technology from Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University (AAMU). He earned his Ph.D. in human communications studies from Howard University.

HBCU Campaign Fund organization send its best wishes to Saunders-White during her treatments.

Source: https://www.northcarolina.edu/news/2016/08/NCCU-Chancellor-Debra-Saunders-White-take-medical-leave-Provost-Johnson