SAN ANTONIO, TX – During a San Antonio City Council meeting on Thursday, August 13, 2020, Mayor Ron Nirenberg selected St. Philip’s College (SPC) President, Dr. Adena Williams Loston, to serve on the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women. The Mayor’s appointed seat was previously held by Brielle Insler, a local marketing executive who stepped down in June urging that she be replaced by a black woman after noticing the lack of such representation in the group.

The Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women was established on May 7, 1970, to serve as an advisor to the Mayor and City Council on key policy issues and to further the equal legal, social, political, economic, and educational opportunities and advancement of all women and men. In addition, they help foster a closer relationship and fuller exchange of ideas between women of respective districts to eliminate discrimination based on sex in all phases of American society; promote the dissemination of information on employment opportunities for women in the public sectors; encourage women to assume initiative and accept their responsibility in the removal of legal and other barriers to the realization of their basic human rights.

The Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women is comprised of 11 members, each serving a 2-year term. Dr. Loston’s term will expire on May 31, 2021. To learn more of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women, click here.

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About St. Philip’s College
St. Philip’s College, founded in 1898, is a comprehensive public community college whose mission is to empower our diverse student population through educational achievement and career readiness. As a Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution, St. Philip’s College is a vital facet of the community, responding to the needs of a population rich in ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity. St. Philip’s College creates an environment fostering excellence in academic and technical achievement while expanding its commitment to opportunity and access. For more information, visit www.alamo.edu/spc/.

PRAIRIE VIEW, TX – The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) a grant of $500,000 to support its effort to establish an African-American Studies Initiative which will be housed in its Marvin D. and June Samuel Brailsford College of Arts and Sciences. Inspired by the Mellon Foundation award, an anonymous donor pledged an added $250,000 to help fund this initiative. The generous donation is eligible for a $250,000 university match, bringing the total support for the initiative launch to $1 million.

According to an press release by the university, the project, Enhancing the Humanities at PVAMU Through African-American Studies Program Initiative, is designed to selectively infuse African-American Studies content throughout the university’s liberal art offerings. The initial concept for the program was conceived when Prairie View President Ruth J. Simmons called for the creation of an African-American Studies program in her first campus — wide address. Having directed Afro American Studies at Princeton and Chaired the African-American Studies Department Visiting Committee at Harvard, President Simmons expressed surprise and disappointment that, given the University’s cultural legacy, it did not have a formal program in African-American Studies.

The Enhancing the Humanities at PVAMU through an African-­‐American Studies Program Initiative

The primary intent of the proposed program is to infuse PVAMU’s STEM-focused university with curricular content and programming that emphasizes the centrality and benefit of the Humanities and Social Sciences in undergraduate education. Funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, along with additional gifts and donations, will allow faculty to revise and expand existing courses in the PVAMU Core Curriculum, in addition to developing new courses within and across the disciplines, to form and propose an African American Studies Program (AAS).

The initiative will provide an interdisciplinary study of the experiences of people of African descent in America and abroad. Scholarly activities will provide students, faculty and the PVAMU community with a fundamental understanding of the social economic, cultural and historical issues framing the contribution of African-American communities in America.

To ensure the success of the initiative, highly respected scholars will work with a select cohort of PVAMU faculty to act as advisors, assist in establishing program priorities, review core courses themes and hold public lectures and workshops reflecting their respective fields in African-American Studies.

“By strategically embedding African-American theme, based courses within the core curriculum, all students will have an opportunity to select courses that expand their academic interests while enhancing their engagement in the humanities,” explained James Palmer, interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs.

Potential consultants include:

Melanye Price, Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Rutgers University, (Lead Consultant, PVAMU Alumna);

Henry Louis Gates Jr, Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and American Research at Harvard University;

Paula J. Giddings, Elizabeth  A. Woodson 1922 Professor Emerita at Smith College;

Nell Irvin Painter, Edward Professor of American History Emerita at Princeton University;

W.G. Selassie l, Ralph Bunche Associate Professor of U.S. History and African American Studies at Los Angeles City College; and

Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University.

Every Friday, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) will spotlight a Chancellor or President who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes and introduces those individuals who serve our nation HBCUs on a daily basis, changing and educating lives while producing the upcoming visionary leaders of tomorrow.

This week’s Chancellor or President: Dr. Lester C. Newman, President of Jarvis Christian College

Dr. Lester C. Newman assumed duties as the 12th president of Jarvis Christian College (JCC) on April 2, 2012.

A native of Shreveport, LA, Dr. Newman received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Atlanta University, now Clark Atlanta University.

Dr. Newman is a dedicated leader and academician, having served in several positions in higher education for a period spanning more than thirty-seven years. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in higher eduction administration to JCC. Prior to joining the JCC family, Dr. Newman served as the Executive Assistance to the President and Director of Administrative Management Programs at Wiley College in Marshall, TX and as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lane College in Jackson, TX. For nine years, he also served as President and Professor of Political Science at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, MS.

Earlier in his career, he held such position as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Political Science, Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, NC; Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Political Science, Shelby State Community College, Memphis, TN; Dean of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor, Kentucky State University; and Assistant Professor of Political Science, Associate Director of Institutional Self-Study and Assistant to the Dean of the Junior Division at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.

He is the recipient of numerous honors, awards and recognitions and has authored more than fifty presentation and publications. He remains active in professional associations and holds memberships in more than twenty-one highly recognized and esteemed associations, institutes, consortia, and organizations in higher education — including current serve as Chairman of the Council of Presidents for the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC); Board of Directors for the independent College and Universities of Texas (ICUT) and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC): Institutional Director for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF); member of the Council of Presidents for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); member of the Texas Association of Developing College (TADC); and member of the Steering Committee for Educational Testing Services (ETS).

Dr. Newman and his wife Gloria have two children and seven grandchildren.

 

Melinda Spaulding Chevalier

HOUSTON, TX – Fox 26 KRIV anchor Melinda Spaulding Chevalier wrapped up a 13 year career and said goodbye to television news as the Texas Southern University Board of Regents unanimously confirmed her as the new Vice President of University Advancement during their quarterly meeting on August 18. Spaulding, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, will direct the university’s marketing, communications, development and alumni relations departments.

“We are elated to have a dynamic and seasoned professional join our university,” said TSU President Dr. Austin A. Lane. “Melinda’s experiences across the public spectrum in Houston and the region will help TSU raise its profile on a national and global level. Texas Southern is honored to have her join our dedicated administration and the Tiger family.”

According to mikemcguff.com, Friends and family gathered for a goodbye party to celebrate all things Melinda at the Buffalo Soldier National Museum in Houston, Texas, on Friday, the same day the board named her to the position at TSU.

Spaulding was a member of KRIV-TV/Fox 26 news team for 13 years, co-anchoring the prime-time evening and night new broadcasts. She was a reporter and anchored morning updates at WGNO-TV, the ABC news affiliate in New Orleans. She was awarded an Emmy for Best Spot News Coverage and named Best Spot News Reporter for her work at WGNO by the regional Associated Press. Spaulding started her journalism career in New York as a member of the launch team for Entertainment Weekly Online and as the first editor-in-chief of Essence Online. She went on to become a writer and morning news producer at KTLA-TV in Los Angeles, winning the Best News Writing award from the regional Associated Press, according to a press release from the university.

“It was a pleasure to have her working here, watch her grow and mature into a wonderful young woman who became one of our anchors, but also it’s wonderful to know she cam her to Houston not only to grow her career, but also meet her husband, Felix, and has two lovely children at this point.” said station VP/General Manager D’Artagnan Bebel.

Spaulding is a native of New Jersey and is a graduate of Howard University. She is a former board member of Family Houston and served on the advisory board for Pro Vision, Inc., an open-enrollment charter middle and high school in the Sunnyside community. She started the Dream Journal Academy to provide journals to area school children so they can write about their passions and dreams to bolster their education and personal aspirations.

Spaulding and her husband, Felix Chevalier, are the proud parents of a daughter, Landon and a son, Felix, II.

COLLEGE STATION, TX –  Dr. Ruth Simmons, an accomplished university president with administrative experience in Ivy League Schools, a women’s university and a historically black college, has been named interim President of Prairie View A&M University.

Dr. Ruth Simmons, Ph.D.

Dr. Simmons, who retired as president of Brown University in 2012, will assume her duties July 1, following the June 12 announcement by PVAMU President George Wright that he is stepping down after 14 years to return to teaching history.

“I have served this University and the Texas A&M System for 14 years, and I am proud of the progress that we have made in that time,” Dr. Wright said. “But for all of us, the time comes to lay down the responsibilities that go with a job like this one and focus on other things.”

Dr. Wright had continued to teach and do research while serving as President, but he expressed a desire to devote his time to the classroom.

During President Wright’s tenure, Prairie View A&M enrollment grew from 6,500 to 9,000 while the university advanced academically, creating doctorates in education, engineering, nursing practice and juvenile justice. Both the Confucius Institute and the Honors College were also established under President Wright’s leadership.

“I want to thank President Wright for his steadfast leadership,” said Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “He touched a generation of students and faculty, and he changed lives for the better. He is to be commended, and we will miss him greatly.”

Dr. Simmons was President of Brown University from 2001 to 2012. When she retired from Brown University, she returned to her hometown of Houston where her family still lives. Prior to her time at Brown, she was President of Smith College, the nation’s largest women’s university; a Vice Provost at Princeton University; and a Provost at Spelman College, a historically black college.

“We are fortunate to have such a high-caliber scholar and administrator who can step in without missing a beat,” said Sharp. “Dr. Simmons has been an important figure on the national stage for decades. She has the credentials to be president of any university in America. I am so excited to have her join us.”

Dr. Simmons, who attended the Houston public schools, attributed her education at Dillard University, a historically black college in New Orleans, as the pivotal opportunity in her life. She later got her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University.

It was important, Dr. Simmons said, to start before the fall semester. Her first order of business will be to meet with the university leadership and learn the issues facing the campus community.

 

Prairie View A&M University History and Mission

Prairie View A&M University is a state-assisted, public, comprehensive land grant institution of higher education. The unviersity was designated in 1984 amendment to the Texas Constitution as an “institution of the first class.” It is dedicated to achieving excellence and relevance in teaching, research and service. it seeks to invest in program and service that address issues and challenges affecting the diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population of Texas and the larger society including the global arena. The university seeks to provide a high quality educational experience for students who, upon completion of bachelors, masters, or doctorate degrees, posses self-sufficiency and professional competences. The experience is imbued by the institution’s values including, but not limited to, access and quality, accountability, diversity, leadership, relevance, and social responsibility.

For more information about PVAMU, visit their website at www.pvamu.edu.

 

 

 

2016-11-17_mayor_alders_task-force_thomas-negrete32960
Huston-Tillotson University President and CEO Colette Pierce Burnette speaks on Wednesday at City Hall in Austin, Texas. Photo Credit: Thomas Negrete | Daily Texan Staff

AUSTIN, TX – Austin Mayor Steve Adler announced a task force group on Wednesday that will explore ways the city can combat institutional racism within criminal justice, health, education, finance and housing. The group will be made up of 49 members to take a comprehensive look at institutional racism and make recommendations by March.

The take force will focus on structural barriers – not individuals – both intentional and unintentional, Alder said. It will be disbanded after presenting an action plan to the community in March. Huston-Tillotson University President and CEO Colette Pierce Burnette and Austin Independent School District superintendent Paul Cruz are to lead the task force as co-chairs. The steering committee will also include representatives from the Austin Police Department and the NAACP

Alder said the land plan instituted in 1928 is an example of how city planning and institutions have supported institutional racism.

“We are responsible for remediating the enduring legacy of inequities that continue to flow from what was a pretty horrific plan,” said Alder. “That lives with us today as we are the most geographically segregated city in the country. We cannot add our power to past prejudice even if we are well-intentioned.”

Dr. Burnette said the plan’s ability to create actual change will depend on people being willing to put in work.

“This happens from individuals having the will to do the heavy lifting and hard work,” said Dr. Burnette. “Everyone in that room has the will. The timing is perfect in the nation. Whatever the catalysts are, the timing is perfect in the nation to move forward.”

Cruz states his school district is already implementing programs to examine the differentiation for students of color when it comes to issues like dropout rates, college graduation rates and suspensions. Cruz said reflecting on issues for people of color in the city helps AISD students even after they leave their public education.

Dr. Burnette was named the sixth President and CEO of Huston-Tillotson University in April 2015. She became the first female president of the merged Huston-Tillotson University and only the second female president in the institution’s 140-year history.

Before coming to Huston-Tillotson, Burnette served as Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial officer and also Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Central State University, a historically black university in Wilberforce, Ohio.

 

 

Source: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/local/mayor-steve-adler-names-49-people-to-austins-anti-/ns849/.