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Monthly Highlights

January 2017 Highlights

Department of Biological Sciences


  • Mr. Jeremy Martin, Student Government Association President is featured in the Black College Today, Volume XXV, Number 6, which featured 2016-2017 Black Colleges Student Government Association Presidents. Mr. Martin is Pre-Physical Therapy major.
  • A manuscript by Drs. M.S. Zaman and Robert Sizemore, both professors in the Department of Biological Sciences, are featured in the Advances in Science and Technology journal: an African Journal for Research, Innovation and Discovery. The manuscript is entitled, "Zika Virus: Origin, Transmission, Risk and Prevention.
  • Dr. M.S. Zaman has a published manuscript, Deforestation: A Threat to Global Climate, Biodiversity and Human Livelihood
  • 1. Dr. Alexander Acholonu, Manuscript: River Nworie in Owerrri, Imo State, Nigeria: A Public Health Hazard?
  1. The Quality and Disposition of Treated Wastewater at Alcorn State University, the use of Wastewater for Energy Production and other Benefits
  • Drs. Robert Sizemore, Dr. Archie Taylor and Voletta P. Williams are implementing Interactive Learning Activities in collaboration with the Infusion HBCU Grant.
  • Voletta P. Williams Modified Chapters in the Biology , 4 TH EDITION, By Robert Brooker and Eric Widmaier and Linda Graham and Peter Stiling and it’s in the ASU Bookstore.
  • Drs. Davida Crossley and Shenika Poindexter and Ms. Shavonda McDaniel worked on the Center of Excellence Research Symposium which will be Thursday, February 9, 2017.

Department of English, Languages, and Mass Communications

Dr. Murray Shugars had several poems published in an anthology, Realms of the Mothers (Dos Madres Press).

Also, on 19 January 2017, Dr. Shugars participated in an event at Chase Public, a collaborative space for art and assembly in Cincinnati. They invited him to participate in their monthly Response Project, where writers, artists, performers, and thinkers respond variously to a prompt. January's prompt was The Star Spangled Banner : Chase Public Response Project XVIII . He wrote a poem, and—because he couldn’t be in Cincinnati for the event—his daughter Miranda helped him assemble a video presentation using photos he took during a deployment to Iraq with the Mississippi Army National Guard.

Dr. Peter Malik read his short story entitled "Let's Sell Alaska Now" at the Arts and Sciences Seminar on January 26.

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

1. As the result of College Algebra course reform since last year, the students’ pass rate with grades (A, or B, or C) has been increased from 46.5% in Fall 2015 to 67.25% in Fall 2016; Students’ pass rate with grades (A, or B, or C, or D) is improved from 55.30% in Fall 2015 to 82.80% in Fall 2016.

2. The enrollment of Computer Science Undergraduate Program is increased from 29 in last academic year to 41 in this academic year.

3. Ping Zhang, Babu Patlolla were awarded Second Mississippi INBRE course development fund: “Artificial Intelligence Application to Biological Sciences Curriculum Development” with $24,934.

4. Lixin Yu was awarded The University of Mississippi fund with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation “Replacing Traditional Textbooks with Open Educational Resources For CS100 Information Technology Proficiency” with the fund of $ 4,000.

Department of Military Science

1. Colonel Kraft, the 6 th ROTC Brigade Commander, visited Alcorn’s ROTC department. The purpose of this visit was to discuss our ROTC enrollment, what he and his staff can do to improve the program, brief the ROTC cadets and to tour the area.

2. Master Sergeant Lawrence Coleman attended the Annual (SMI) Senior Military Instructor’s seminar at Camp Blanding, FL; 18-20 January 2017.

3. All ROTC faculty and staff participated in a telephone briefing on 23 January 2017, with the 6 th Brigade Commander, COL Kraft, regarding military transgender guidelines.

4. Lieutenant Colonel Hardy was guest speaker at Vicksburg high school on 28 Jan 2017.

5. Second Lieutenant Latasha Bailey attended, first week of two (29 January -3 Feb) the Recruiting Operations Officer’s course at Fort Knox, KY.

6. Second Lieutenant and Alcorn’s ROTC graduate, Given Breckenridge was guest speaker at Military Science classes, 24-27 January 2017.

December 2016 Highlights


The School of Arts and Sciences hosted its Christmas Luncheon and Awards program for its’ graduating Seniors/December graduates. This event was held on December 6, 2016 in the Honors Dining Facility. Faculty, staff, students and the parents of the graduating students were in attendance. The program was well attended and the students received certificates for their outstanding performance by department. The School of Arts and Sciences solicited toy donations to help with the 4 th Annual WPRL 91.7 FM Christmas Toy Drive.

Toy Drive.jpg


Alcorn alumna Dr. Rukeyser S. Thompson to speak at Alcorn’s Fall 2016 Commencement

Global hair care leader and Alcorn State University alumna Dr. Rukeyser S. Thompson delivered the keynote speech to graduates at the University’s first Fall Commencement Convocation Friday, Dec. 9 at 10 a.m. in the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex. Thompson has worked for Proctor & Gamble Company for 11 years. She is a section head in Hair Care Research and Development, Beauty and Grooming that leads the Consumers of African Ancestry program and super premium hair care brands. During her tenure, she has held product research assignments for Fekkai, Olay, Secret and Gain brand franchises.

Dr. David Carter thrives as a dentist in Louisiana

One Alcorn State University alumnus is making an impact in his community by enhancing the smiles of others.Dr. David Carter, who earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Alcorn in 2008 and 2010, owns Impressive Smiles Family Dentistry with his wife, Adriane White, in Zachary, Louisiana. The dentistry offers a wide array of services from basic dentistry, cosmetics, dental implants, sedation dentistry and more.


On Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Department of Mass Communications at Alcorn State University inducted its first class into the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society of the National Communications Association in the Dr. Clinton Bristow Jr. Dining Facility Gold Room. The Alpha Chi Alpha Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta received its charter on Oct. 3. The new inductees are KeAmber Council, Angelica Brown, Renita Lacy, Monique Mansfield and La’Keilla Veal.

WPRL 91.7 spreads holiday cheer with toy drive

Members of Alcorn State University’s WPRL 91.7 radio station are getting in the holiday spirit by collecting donations for less fortunate families in Claiborne and Jefferson counties. The radio station collected toy donations for their annual toy drive. The toys were taken to the Department of Human Services in Claiborne and Jefferson counties Thursday, Dec. 22.


Chansonique Rutherford experiences success in her final year of law school

Alcorn State University alumna Chansonique Rutherford is on pace to being one of the top students in her graduating class. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree from Alcorn State University Rutherford now studies at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas, and is in the top 20 percent of the class of 2017. She reflects on the steps she took to reach this point, and how her commitment to her studies has garnered her current success.


Sandra Dembly-Davis earns Diplomate status with the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute. Alcorn State University instructor Sandra M. Dembly-Davis has added another title to her resume. Davis, a Natchez, Mississippi native who is also the coordinator of Field Education in Alcorn’s Department of Social Work, earned Diplomate status with the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute in December. Diplomate status is a high honor reserved for those who are able to meet the stringent requirements of the Institute in the areas of knowledge, skill, training and experience in the forensic sciences. Davis’ interactions with victims of violence prompted her to expand her knowledge of the forensic field.

Alcorn’s Department of Social Work receives reaffirmation accreditation

Alcorn State University’s Department of Social Work received reaffirmation accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education through 2024. Founded in 1952, this partnership of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies and private citizens is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in this country.

November 2016 Highlights

Department of Biology

The Department of Biological Sciences held its annual student meet and greet on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.

Department of Chemistry and Physics

As part of our School Seminar Series, tomorrow Tuesday, November 08-10, 2016 we have ‘ NSF Grant Writing Workshop’ by Dr. Thomas Wenzel at 12:30 PM in Medgar Evers Auditorium (J. D. Boyd Library ). This is a great opportunity for all those who are interested in securing external funding. This seminar is sponsored by ‘NSF Target Infusion Grant’ (Dr. Sandra Barnes, Chair, Department of Chemistry is the Principal Investigator).

The Department of Chemistry & Physics held its Fall 2016 Meet and Greet on November 15, 2016 in the Honors Dorm Dining Room at 12:30 p.m. Ms. Shawnta Woods acted as the program guide. . Students received information about advising, exit exam, internships and research opportunities, organizations, and advice from the faculty, Dean, and Chemistry major and Alcorn alumni Kendra Courtney, 4th year student at UMMC School of Medicine.

The Chemistry Department hosted two professional development opportunities for faculty during the month of November led by Dr. Thomas Wenzel, Charles A. Dana Professor of Chemistry at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. An active learning workshop and NSF grant writing workshop was held on November 8-10 in the J.D. Boyd Library, Medgar Wiley Evers Auditorium. Both activities were funded by NSF HBCU-UP TIP Award # 1623230.

Department of Fine Arts

Lecture Recital by Humanities Teacher Award Winner

Lecture Recital presented by Dr. David Goldblatt , Assistant Professor, who is the winner of Humanities Teacher Award for 2016-17 .

Title of the recital: “Dance Accompaniment and its Benefits to Twenty-First Century Collaborative Artists: A Lecture Recital”

Location: Oakland Memorial Chapel

Date Time: Thursday, November 03, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Alcorn students win regional voice competition

Alcorn State University’s voice studio students stood out in their latest voice competition. Four students competed in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Regional Voice Competition Thursday, Nov. 10 through Saturday, Nov. 12 at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Junior O’Neil Jones, junior Danielle Watson, sophomore Erika Wheeler and sophomore Sonya Faulknor participated and advanced to the semi-final round. This year was the first time that all representatives from Alcorn advanced to the semi-final round.

The Fine Arts department held its building dedication ceremony on November 18, 2016. The building was renamed in the honor of Dr. Joyce Bolden and the band hall was named in honor of Mr. Samuel Griffin.

Department of Social Work

  1. Social Work Open House November 17, 2016, Dumas Hall Lecture Room 107, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  2. Senior Class Internship Portfolio Presentations, November 28, 2016
  3. Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, November 2-5, 2016, Atlanta, GA
In the October 2016 meeting, the Commission on Accreditation (COA) reviewed the Reaffirmation materials for the baccalaureate social work program. The COA voted to reaffirm the accreditation of the program for 8 years, ending in June 2024

October 2016 Highlights

Department of Military Science

  1. On 5 October, 2LT Jadusingh visited Col-Lin Community College for college fair
  2. On 6 October, 2LT Jadusingh attended Recruiting and Transfer Fair at Hinds Community College
  3. From 7-9 October 2016, ROTC Students and three cadre attended a, three day, Joint Field Training Exercise at Camp Shelby, MS. Key events included: ruck marching, patrol base operations, Leadership Reaction Course, and land navigation.
  4. On 12 October 2016, the Cadet Command Deputy Commander, Colonel (Promotable) Bennett visited the ASU Battalion, Dr. Rankins, Dr. Patlolla, and Dr. Igwebuike. Topics of discussion included recruitment, swimming pool, facilities, and personnel.
  5. On 14 October, 2LT Bailey and 2LT Jadusingh attended the Agriculture High School Day and recruited 4 prospects for Fall 2017 semester.
  6. On 15 October 2016, Promotion Ceremony held for former Alcorn State and ROTC student, Monika Jones, in the ROTC Dept.
  7. On 18 October 2016, Promotion Ceremony held for LTC Andrell Hardy in the Clinton Bristow, Jr. Gold Room.
  8. On 22 October 2016, ROTC Cadets competed in the annual Ranger Challenge Competition with Jackson St., Univ. of Southern Miss, and Tulane Univ., at Camp Shelby, MS. Key events included: one Rope Bridge, medical/first aid training, ruck march, land navigation, and physical fitness test.
  9. On 27 October 2016, LTC Hardy participated in the JPS JROTC Jamboree. He met with over 1200 JROTC Cadets with the goal to recruit Cadets to attend Alcorn St.
  10. On 29 October 2016, two Cadets received $52,590 scholarships and one Cadet received a $22,950 contract/stipend.

September 2016 Highlights

School of Arts and Sciences

Congress to Campus Program promotes civic understanding at Alcorn

Former members of the United States Congress shared key information with Alcorn State University students about civic literacy and participation.

Alcorn’s School of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Social Sciences hosted the Congress to Campus Program Wednesday, Sept. 14 and Thursday, Sept. 15. The United States Association of Former Members of Congress, in partnership with the Stennis Center, operates the Congress to Campus Program for Public Service. The program’s purpose is to enlighten today’s youth and young adults on civic literacy and participation. The Honorable Les AuCoin (D-Oregon) and the Honorable Claudine Schneider (R-Rhode Island) delivered keynote speeches at the Medgar Wiley Evers Auditorium in the J. D. Boyd Library Wednesday.

Department of Biology

High School Day 2016

  • The Department of Biological Sciences participated in the High School Day September, 2016. The department was represented by Drs. Voletta Williams, Chair, Elena Kostyleva, Assistant Professor, and the biology student ambassadors. They shared the departmental curricular and memorabilia with perspective students, parents and counselors, as well as emphasized the importance of healthy and nutritious diet by sharing fruit with the visitors to the biology booth. Twenty four students signed in during the event. Dr. Williams forwarded their contact information to the Office of Admissions for follow-up. Dr. Williams has been working with Dr. Sandra Barnes on the HBCU Grant and will receive training for interactive classroom teaching. Drs. Archie Taylor and Robert Sizemore will share in the experience of interactive learning.

Acceptance for Manuscript Publication

  • A manuscript by Drs. M.S. Zaman and Robert Sizemore, both professors in the Department of Biological Sciences, has been accepted for publication. The manuscript titled, "Zika Virus: Origin, Transmission, Risk and Prevention" will appear in the next issue of the Advances in Science and Technology journal.

Dr. Voletta P. Williams, was promoted to Departmental Chair of the Biological Sciences.

Department of Chemistry and Physics

The Department of Chemistry and Physics held its annual OSHA Safety and Environmental Training on Friday, September 30, 2016, MASC Room 207. Faculty were trained on hazardous communications, OSHA General Worker Training Standard, Hazardous Waste & Emergency Response, and Global Harmonize System (GHS).

Department of English, Languages, and Mass Communications

Timon Kyle Durret, a 1998 Mass Communications graduate from Alcorn State University, is starring in the hit television series produced by Oprah Winfrey, Queen Sugar. He costars alongside Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Kof Siriboe. The show appears on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Department of Fine Arts

The ASU Marching Band performed at the Saints game in New Orleans on September 11, 2016.

Dr. David Goldblatt has been nominated the Humanities award recipient and will give his presentation on November 3, 2016.

Danielle Watson, soprano, represented the Fine Arts Dept and University when she participated in the Voices of Mississippi competition in Jackson, MS on September 24. Ms. Watson is a Junior and is the voice student of Dr. Byron Johnson.

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

09/07/2016, Math and Computer Science Department Chair: Dr. Zhang and the Dean of Arts and Sciences Dr. Patlolla attend MS IHL organized Math Pathways meeting for Mississippi’s college math course review and reformation.

09/19-21/2016, Dr. Ping Zhang, PI of USDA/NIFA research project: “ An automatic system for bruise detection on tomatoes and apples using 3-D near infrared imaging technology”, attended PI meeting in Virginia and did poster presentation.

Dr. Yong Wang, Assistant Professor of Computer Science in the Dept. of Math and Computer Science, submitted research paper to ICRTCCM17 international conference: “Usability and Security Go Together: A Case Study on Database” in September 2016. The paper will be published in IEEE Xplore and CSDL.

Department of Military Science

CPT Smith traveled from Louisiana to speak with the cadets about the Army’s Health Care Program.

CPT Chatlin Magee, ROTC Class of 2008-2009, traveled from TN to speak with the MS III and MS IV class about his experience as an officer.

LTC Ronnie Brown, ROTC Class of 1992-1993, traveled from Ft. Bliss, TN to speak with the MS III and MS IV cadets about Army Officers’ expectations.

MAJ Andrell Hardy attended the Annual Mission Command Workshop at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Miss Maisha Pittman attended a (one week) Human Resource Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Members of the 20 th Special Forces Group conducted eight hours of training with/for our ROTC Ranger Challenge Team.

August 2016 Highlights

Department of Biological Sciences :

Dr. Voletta P. Williams worked with the Thurgood Marshall Scholars on the Vicksburg Campus during the month of July.

The department of Biological Sciences is excited about the increased number of first time freshmen entering the department.

Dr. Shenika Poindexter s ubmitted a proposal and received a Travel award to attend the two-day QEM/NSF Joint Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program and HBCU-UP Research Initiation Awards (RIA) Proposal Development Workshop, Friday-Saturday, August 19-20, 2016 at the Hilton BWI Airport Hotel, Baltimore, MD

Ms. Dawn Davis has been hired as the new secretary for the Department of Biological Sciences. We’re excited. She brings quality experience and a willingness to help move the department forward.

http://www.alcorn.edu/data/files/news/School_News/thumb/sm-Bradford_Xavier_resized.jpg Bradford accepted into dental scholarship program

Xavier Bradford, a junior at Alcorn State University and Natchez native, was recently selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program (MRDSP). He is the son of Mr. Robert Bradford Sr. and Ms. Dwantra Anderson of Natchez.

Department of Chemistry and Physics:

The Department of Chemistry and Physics was awarded a grant from The National Science Foundation (NSF) Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) Targeted Infusion Program (TIP) in the amount of $377,939. The PI is Dr. Sandra L. Barnes and the Co-PI's are Drs. Yolanda K. Jones, Voletta Williams, and Ping Zhang.

The Department of Chemistry and Physics was awarded a grant from The Thurgood Marshall Foundation through the Vivian Burey Marshall STEM Pilot Initiative. The grant is designed to provide Vicksburg area middle school students hands-on training and other activities that will peak their interest in STEM careers. The PI of the grant is Dr. Sandra L. Barnes and the Co-PI and Program manager is Dr. Yolanda K. Jones.

Department of Math and Computer Science 2016:

In 2016 Fall semester, 14 freshman students enrolled Computer Science Undergraduate Program. The increase rate is more than 40% in this year.

2) The student number of Master Program of Computer and Information Sciences is also increased. The increase is not for international students, but also for Mississippi residents.

Department Military Science

A total of eight cadets attended and completed thirty days for training/Basic Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky; July-August 2016.

A total of five cadets attended and completed thirty days of training/Advanced Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky; July-August 2016.

Cadet Stacie Oatis-Brown attended a 14 day training/Air Assault at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

A total of four cadets attended and completed three weeks of training/CTLT (Cadet Troop Leaders Training). Three of these students traveled to different locations, i.e., Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Korea.

One cadets attended CULP (Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency Program), Malawi, Africa.

MAJ Andrell J. Hardy and MSG Lawrence Coleman attended Cadre Faculty Development Course for eligibility of receiving the masters, higher education and administration degree. This course was sponsored by the University of Louisville.

Department of Social Work:

  1. Dr. Dorothy Idleburg attended the Mississippi Association of Addiction Professionals 26 th Annual Conference, “Mapping Out Recovery”, August 2-5, 2016, Natchez Convention Center, Natchez, Mississippi.
  2. Ms. Laura Cater (Social Work major) and Dr. Dorothy Idleburg were awarded scholarships to attend the Power Shift 2016 Conference in Orlando, Florida, September 9-11, 2016 .

July 2016 Highlights

School of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Babu P. Patlolla, Dean

The Mississippi Summer Transportation Institute (MSTI) Program is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focused program for rising high school Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. The MSTI program objectives are to improve STEM skills, provide awareness to middle and high school students - particularly minority, female and disadvantaged youth - about transportation careers, and encourage them to consider transportation-related courses of study in their higher education pursuits. The program runs from Sunday, June 26, 2016 through Saturday, July 16, 2016.

Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Voletta Williams, Interim Chair

The following article has been submitted and received a verbal acceptance (a written acceptance will follow) form Advances in Science and Technology for publication.

Title: Zika Virus: Origin, Transmission, Risk and Prevention Authors: Dr. M.S. Zaman and Dr. Robert Sizemore . ASBMB Workshop developing and Sharing Best Practices in the Classroom at the University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Robert Sizemore is the ASU contact and Co-PI for the ASU-PSU Bridges Program and Dr. Voletta P. Williams is a new member on the Bridges Advisory Board.

Dr. Voletta P. Williams is only a newly funded grant with Dr. Sandra Barnes as a part of an Academic Team

Dr. Voletta P. Williams worked with the Thurgood Marshall Scholars on the Vicksburg Campus

Dr. Alexander D.W. Acholonu received special recognition at the CKC-AAA Twentieth Annual Convention in Hauppauge, New York, from the president and Executive Board of the Christ the King College, Onitsha Alumni Assoication in America, Inc. Dr. Acholonu received the Distinquished Legend Award for outstanding contribution to CKC and Humanity.

Drs. Shenika Poindexter and Davida Crossley received the Inbre grant on last month and will begin research this fall.

Dr. Archie Taylor completed his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Molecular Medicine at Penn State University.

Department of Fine Arts

Dr. Larry Konecky, Chair

The music program received notification of its reaffirmation of accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music in July. We will now be due for another self- study and visitation during the 2023-24 school year.

Department of Math and Computer Science

Dr. Ping Zhang, Chair

D r. Yonghua Yan ( Ph. D., Mathematics, The University at Texas at Arlington, 2012) has been hired as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics in the department.

Department of Social Work

Dr. Dorothy Idleburg, Chair

Dr. Dorothy Idleburg and Dr. ValtreasaTolliver Cook attended the Advancing Faith and Behavioral Health Communities in Mississippi Conference sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Washington, DC, on July 28, 2016, Richland, MS.

May Highlights 2016

School of Arts and Sciences

The Alcorn State University LSMAMP program was held May 29, 2016 – June 24, 2016. Mr. Alfred Galtney, Director and Mrs. Sonia Eley, Site Coordinator were the facilitators of this program. The program is aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of students successfully completing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) baccalaureate degree programs. Faculty, staff and participants of Alcorn’s LSMAMP summer camp said their goodbyes at the camp’s 2015 Closing Program Friday, June 19 at the Medgar Wiley Evers Auditorium located in the J.D. Boyd Library.

Department of Fine Arts

Dr. Larry Konecky, Chair

The Alcorn State University Department of Fine Arts band program held its first annual summer band camp on the campus of Alcorn State University from June 12 th to June 17 th , 2016. The purpose of the camp was provide positive musical, social, and academic activities for young musicians. In addition, the camp was designed to attract students to the campus of Alcorn State University and to recruit for the ASU band program. The camp was coordinated by assistant band director Mr. Everson Martin. Dr. Renardo Murray, Director of Bands, served as the camp administrator. Student leaders from the ASU band served as camp counselors and high school band directors from Mississippi and Louisiana assisted Mr. Martin.

Approximately 150 high school students from Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Florida participated in the camp. They engaged in musical activities such as ensemble performances, sectional rehearsals, and marching fundamentals. Social activities included a dance and talent show. In addition, several workshops were conducted for the high school band directors by both current and retired music educators. The camp ended with an outdoor performance/showcase for the parents of the campers and the Alcorn State University community.

D epartment of Social Work

Dorothy A. Idleburg, PhD., Chair

Alcorn State University Students Present at 6th National Civil Rights Conference

1. Alcorn State University students: Laura Cater, Social Work Major, A'Ja Wallace, Social Work Major, Ariel Jordan, History Major and Marlene Ware, Social Work Major presented at the 6th National Conference on Civil Rights, July 19-22, 2016, Meridian, MS. The panelist presented on the topic "The Philosophy of Medgar Evers: Ramifications for the Past, Present and Future". The students' presented an excellent presentation on the philosophy of Medgar Evers and how it impacted our lives in the past, present and future ramifications.

Organizers of the session were: Dr. Dorothy Idleburg, Department of Social Work and Dr. Stephen Hall, History Program, Department of Social Science.

Alcorn State University Alumni President, Reverend Neddie Winters was honored with the Civil Rights and Social Justice Award

2. Planning Meeting for MS Health Access Collaborative, Navigator Training with The University of Southern Mississippi. Training to be held in September, 2016.


Department of Fine Arts

On March 3, Dr. Byron Johnson conducted a voice master class at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus in Gautier, MS. Four of that colleges voice students performed and received coaching on their vocal technique, musicianship and artistry. Following the master class, Dr Johnson held a forum where he fielded questions from the other music majors regarding vocal health, and the music program at Alcorn State University.

Six students have expressed an interest in attending Alcorn State in the fall to continue their music study.

Dr. Johnson also met with high school students from the Gulf Coast Region to discuss opportunities at studying at Alcorn State University.

Military Science

A total of five cadets participated in the CLDX (Cadet Leader Development Exercise) in Fort Knox, KY, March 4-6, 2016. Cadets were trained on ethical decision making, executed team building exercises, and participated in a leadership panel consisting of Military senior leaders ranging from Battalion Commanders to Company First Sergeants.

  1. Mr. Jaime Felix attended a ROO (Recruiting Operations Officer) Conference in Fort Knox, KY, March 21-25, 2016. 3. MS III Cadets participated in the Grand Gulf Annual Staff Ride with Captain Johnathan Thompson (MS III Instructor), March 29, 2016. They discussed how Union Leaders and Confederate Leaders planned and executed combat operations during the Grand Gulf and Vicksburg Civil War Campaign.

Highlights for February 2016


Drs. Shenika Poindexter and Keith McGee attended the ASBMB Workshop developing and Sharing Best Practices in the Classroom at the University of Southern Mississippi

One grant proposal submitted to the FY 2016 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DoD) Research and Education Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions (HBCU/MI) Equipment/Instrumentation.

Two letters of intent were submitted to FY 2016 1890 Institution Teaching, Research, and Extension Capacity Building Grants Program.

Dr. Marta Piva received the nomination to be a divisional chair at the next annual meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences.

Biology-Undergraduate Student Presentations - February 2016 Mississippi Academy of Sciences

Zoology and Entomology Divisional Winners :

Graduate Oral Presentation

Rachael Duffin – 2nd Place

Undergraduate Oral Presentation

Jivarre Hunt – 1st Place

Marquita Jones – 2nd Place

Krystain Coleman – 3rd Place

Graduate Poster Presentation

Tamikka Coleman – 1st Place

Classie Johnson – 2nd Place

Undergraduate Poster Presentation

Ariel Walker – 1st Place

Jivarre Hunt – 2nd Place

Dr. Alexander D.W. Acholonu was be honored with the prestigious Health Care Disparities Award at the Mississippi Academy of Sciences (MAS) for 2016 on Thursday, the 18th of February at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS during the annual meeting of the Academy.


The Department of Chemistry and Physics held its 2nd annual departmental meet and greet on Thursday, February 11 in the Honors Dorm Cafeteria. There were 27 attendees, 16 of whom were chemistry majors. Students met the faculty, recieved important information (Expectations/encouragement, exit exam, tutoring, advising, organizations, research/internship opportunities), and enjoyed a great lunch. It was a time of fellowship and knowledge transfer.


Alumnus Domonique Woods, a Mass Communications 2015 Graduate, was hired as an associate producer at NEWS10 ABC in New York.

Nine Mass Communications students traveled to Jackson to tour The Clarion-Ledger newspaper on Feb. 15. They were accompanied by Assistant Professor Toni Terrett and WPRL Traffic Director Myrtle Hedrick. During the visit, the students met with reporters, photographers and editors, viewed the printing press and saw some interesting artifacts from the early days of The Clarion-Ledger.

The School of Arts and Sciences recognized Black History Month with an African-American Read-In, during which students, faculty, staff, and community members read aloud from African-American writings. This read-in was coordinated by Dr. J. Janice Coleman.

On February 9, 2016, at the 24th National Conference of the National Association of African American Studies, Dr. Jerry Domatob presented African/African American Media Pioneers Pathfinders, Touch & Milestones in a panel entitled “Assessing the Historical and the Modern Engagements of African American Media.”


On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, several choirs from the local area attended the first Alcorn State University Choral Clinic. Choirs came from the following Mississippi schools. Approximately 280 students participated in the campus event.

Murrah High School, Jackson

Jim Hill High School, Jackson

Wingfield High School, Jackson

Callaway High School, Jackson

Forest Hill High School, Jackson

Velma Jackson, Canton

Natchez High School, Natchez

Each choir presented music they would be performing at district festivals this spring. Karl Twyner presented a 15 minute clinic with each choral group. Over 20 students auditioned for scholarships with Dr. Byron Johnson and Mr. Charles Wesley. Students were escorted by choir members on a tour of the campus, then ate lunch as they were entertained by the Jazz Band. The choirs concluded the day in the choir room with a final session with Mr. Twyner.

On March 3, Dr. Byron Johnson conducted a voice master class at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus in Gautier, MS. Four of the participating colleges voice students’ performed and received coaching on their vocal technique, musicianship and artistry. Following the master class, Dr. Johnson held a forum where he fielded questions from the other music majors regarding vocal health, and the music program at Alcorn State University.

Six students have expressed an interest in attending Alcorn State in the fall to continue their music study.

Dr. Johnson also met with high school students from the Gulf Coast Region to discuss opportunities while studying at Alcorn State University .


1) On February 2nd, 2016, Dr. Lixin Yu and Ms. Nanette Boyd attended the 29th Annual HEADWAE luncheon as the honorees. Higher Education Appreciation Day—Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) was established by legislative resolution to honor individual academic achievement and the overall contribution of the state’s public and private institutions of higher learning. President Dr. Rankins and Dean Dr. Patlolla presented at the luncheon.

2) On February 17-18, Math and Computer Science faculty and students presented seven (7) research papers at 80th Mississippi Academy of Sciences Meeting at Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39406. Faculty are Dr. Bilal Abu Bakr, Ms. Elizabeth Udemgba Dr. Yong Wang, Dr. Lixin Yu and Dr. Ping Zhang and Three graduate students: Mr. Panvan Kumar Gorthi, Mr. Pradeep Kumar Pittala, Mr. Calvin Forte and one undergraduate student: Devontrae N. Williams.

3) On February 18, Dr. Ping Zhang and Dr. Bilal Abu Bakr were elected as Math and Computer Science Division vice Chairs for 81th Mississippi Academy of Sciences Meeting next year.


1. Submitted two Alcornites (Retired Army COLs) to be inducted into Hall of Fame.

2. Ms. Valerie Toney (Mississippi State) visits Alcorn State’s ROTC department to assist with cadets files/scholarship paperwork submission.

3. Cadet Vernell McDonald traveled to West Point, New York to participate in the United States Military Academy Mission Command Conference.

4. Cadet Matthew Phan traveled to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas to participate in the George C. Marshall Leadership Seminar.

5. Eight cadets participated in the West Point STEM diversity Conference at Jackson State University.


At present, while our goal is to encourage our graduates to attend graduate and pre-professional schools, however, we also encourage our majors to study abroad. The opportunity to study abroad compliments our courses in World Civilization, American History, Political Sciences and Criminal Justice. At present, one student has traveled abroad and another is preparing to participate in the program. Aubrey Wright became the first Alcorn student to travel to Japan in Fall 2015. Ariel Jordan is preparing to study abroad in Fall 2016. She will be a student in Nairobi, Kenya.

Also, another student, Miss Summer Long, a History Major, has been selected to participate in the 2016 Richards Civil War Center's Undergraduate Mentoring Program at Penn State University. The program is an all-expense paid opportunity and will take place on the Penn State campus. Summer will participate in a week long intensive seminar, which will introduce her to doctoral student in History. This seminar will take place from June 26-June 1st.


1. Fifteen students and Social Work Faculty (Dr. Shani Collins, Mrs. Sandra Davis and Dr. Dorothy Idleburg) attended the Legislative Advocacy Day at the Capitol on February 24, 2016.

2. Shaniqua Kelly was selected as Student of the Year and nomination sent to the National Association of Social Workers-Mississippi Chapter to be recognized at their annual conference on March 25, 2016 in Biloxi, Mississippi.

3. Mrs. Debra Mitchell (2016 social work graduate) passed the Social Work Licensure Examination.

January 2016 Highlights


Dr. Babu P. Patlolla attended the MURA Board Meeting on January 21, 2016 in Jackson, MS.


Tri-Beta Biological National Honor Society inducted 9 new members, Dr. Voletta P. Williams, Primary Advisor

The IACUC Annual Report was submitted to NIH by Dr. Voletta P. Williams

Drs. Voletta P. Williams and Dr. Marta Piva completed the QEP workshop.

Dr. Voletta P. Williams completed training for Website Development

Dr. Alexander D.W. Acholonu will be honored with the prestigious Health Care Disparities Award of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences (MAS) for 2016 on Thursday, the 18th of February at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS during the annual meeting of the Academy.

Tamikka Coleman, Classie Johnson and Jivarre Hunt received Honorable mention by the Mississippi Academy of Sciences; Research Mentors Drs. Jon Moreno and Marta Piva.


Faculty (Sonia Eley and Sandra Barnes) and approximately ten chemistry majors from the Department of Chemistry and Physics served as judges for the 2016 Saturday Science Fair held on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at the E.E. Simmons Gymnasium.


Dr. Peter Malik was named Academic Coach of the Game at basketball game on 01/23/16.

Mr. Larry Sanders publishes the student run Campus Chronicle and was able to get the student run radio shows off and running for WPRL 91.7 FM.

Mr. Brian Kehler joined the choir at St. James and St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Jackson.

Mr. Jerome Myles represented WPRL in the annual MLK youth luncheon and the parade.


The Marching Band participated in the Honda Battle of the Bands in Atlanta, GA on January 30, 2016.

Dr. Karl Twyner attended the musical performance in Belzoni, MS on January 23, 2016.


1. Conducted Army Physical Fitness Test-20 Jan

2. JSU PMS, LTC Dexter Brookins served as a guest speaker for MS402.

3. Cadet Vernell Mcdonald was one of 11 Cadets selected (out of 3000) to participate in the United States Military Academy Mission Command Conference in West Point, New York.

4. Cadet Matthew Phan was selected to participate in the George C. Marshall Leadership Seminar located in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.


  1. The Department of Social Work received confirmation of the CSWE Reaffirmation Site visit for April 7, 2016.
  2. Paper Presentation “Supporting and Preserving Families of Older Americans Through Community Welfare” at the 14 th Annual Mississippi Child Welfare Institute Conference, Jackson, MS, on January 28-29, 2016.