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Monday, September 24, 2012

North Carolina Central University News: First Lady Inspires and Motivates Crowd at NCCU


September 20, 2012

A two-hour drive and seven hours of standing in line was a small price for DeShea Smith to pay to hear first lady Michelle Obama speak at North Carolina Central University on Wednesday, Sept. 19. Smith and her mother, Jessee Booker, made the trip from Lynchburg Va., meeting Smith’s daughter, NCCU sophomore Nezjma Smith, at 5 a.m. They were the first people in line outside of the McDougald–McLendon Gymnasium. It was noon before the line began to move.

At 12:36 p.m., the NCCU jazz band began a rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” reminiscent of the 2008 campaign. And on cue the crowd, slowly filing into the gym, began to sing along. What followed was a medley of Motown classics making the continuous wait disappear.

An hour later, chants of “four more years” filled the gym, which by then was packed to capacity; a crowd wave began. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Nezjma Smith said. “To hear the first lady of the United States is history.”

When Miss NCCU 2012-13 Harmony Cross took the stage nearly 30 minutes later, the crowd was still excited. “Your vote is important this election,” Cross said. “It takes one person to make a difference.” Cross was followed by Lt. Col. George Stephen (Steve) Wilson, who led the Pledge of Allegiance and NCCU junior Victoria Jones, who performed the national anthem. Then followed brief remarks by Dominique James, campus organizer with Organizing for America; U.S. Rep. David Price, a Democrat whose district includes Durham and NCCU; and Durham Mayor Bill Bell. Each encouraged people to register to vote.

NCCU senior Korey Mercer had the honor of introducing the first lady. Mercer is a first-generation college student attending NCCU thanks to financial aid. Majoring in political science, Mercer said he was pretty speechless after meeting the first lady. “When she walked on the stage and hugged me, I didn’t want to let her go.”

Entering to a standing ovation that lasted for several minutes, Mrs. Obama took the stage, telling the 3,100 gathered in the gym that she was still “feeling pretty fired up and ready to go.”

In remarks that have often been repeated since the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, the first lady recounted her story and President Obama’s. “This is an easy job talking about my husband,” she said. “He is handsome, charming and smart, but what made me fall in love with him was his character. I loved that he was committed to serving others and devoted to the women in his life.”

“In his life story, I saw so much of my own story,” she said. She described that story as one filled with pride and hope. To thunderous applause, she cited the values that she said make President Obama different. “He believes that how hard you work matters more than how much you make, and that no one gets where they are on their own. A community lifts us all, from the teachers to the janitors.”

Flashing back to 2008, the first lady reminded the audience of the challenges the country faced when President Obama took office — losing 800,000 jobs per month and a financial industry in free fall. “Instead of pointing fingers and placing blame, Barack got to work,” she said. “Today we have seen 30 straight months of job growth, and 4.6 million new jobs.”

The first lady laid out seven accomplishments of the Obama presidency:

·         Millions of job created

·         Healthcare reform

·         Ending the war in Iraq

·         Improving access to college

·         Increasing veterans’ benefits

·         Work permits to undocumented young immigrants

·         Repealing “Don’t ask, don’t tell”

North Carolina is considered a toss-up state and one in which both President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have made campaign appearances, as have their running mates. In 2008, President Obama won North Carolina by just 14,000 votes, the equivalent of five votes per precinct.

Concluding her remarks, Mrs. Obama told the crowd, once again on their feet, “Elections are always about hope; don’t let anyone tell you different.”
Toneka Oliver, a registered nurse at the Durham VA Medical Center and NCCU alumna, is also optimistic about the country’s future. ‘We can’t turn around now,” she said. “We have to make our voice heard and vote.”

Dillard University EARLY ALERT - Faculty Teaching First Year Students

The following message is being sent on behalf of Provost Phyllis W. Dawkins:






To:                 Faculty Teaching First Year Students

From:              Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, Ph.D., Provost

Re:                  Early Alert

Date:               September 21, 2012

I am writing to encourage you to participate in Early Alert.  The Dillard University Early Alert system, particularly to our first year students, is important in that students need to know how they are progressing in each of their classes.  Research data on student retention in the first year state that there is a direct relationship between testing and assessing student’s mastery of materials often and success in completing course requirements. Therefore, where it is sensible and possible, we are urging faculty to provide that assessment early and often to freshmen.


Alert forms are most effective when they are used during the fourth week of school. This year the dates are September 24-28, 2012.  The alert to the student allows them time prior to mid-semester to consult with you and to seek tutorial help prior to the end of the term.


This semester I am targeting all first year core courses.  We need to know how many students are succeeding in these first year core courses, and who is struggling.


Enclosed you will find two forms:  one to be filled out and given to the student; the other is a composite form to be filled out and returned by fax or email to the Center for the First Year Experience no later than October 1st.


A copy of all the documents is attached to this e-mail. Early Alert Forms can be returned to Ms. M. Shannon Williamson, Interim Director of the First Year Experience, via email (, inter campus mail or fax (ext.4863). The First Year Seminar Instructors will work out a Plan of Action with each first year student identified as struggling. Over the past 2 years 80% of students who were early alerted by a professor, met with their FYS Instructor and were able to turn their grade around.


When you submit Early Alert forms, you are participating in the vital process of retention. You are the catalyst for ensuring the success of this process.  It should take you only a few minutes. The student’s success at the university will be important for the whole of his or her professional life.

I look forward to your response

One Week to Early-Bird Registration Deadline (Oct. 1, 2012) | 37th Annual POD Conference

Please note that the early-bird conference registration deadline is October 1st, just one week from today. 

The early-bird registration rate is $465, which includes 6 meals, plus receptions and breaks. All

online registrations received by the end of the day (5PM Pacific), October 1, will qualify for the early-bird rate.

For mailed-in registrations, the postmark must be no later than October 1.


If you have not yet registered, you may do so here:

To pay by credit or purchase card, select PayPal.


As recently announced, we have filled our contracted room block at the Seattle Sheraton and the hotel is now sold out. Please see link below to reserve a room at the W Seattle (, a sister Starwood property, 3 blocks from the Seattle Sheraton, at the same discounted rate of $149 per night. Please note that cancellations must be made 72 hours prior to arrival. The W Seattle offers free wifi internet access in the lobby and is a 5 to 10 minute walk from the Sheraton Seattle.


To reserve a room at the W, visit the customized POD page:


The Roosevelt ( is another option, although we do not have a contracted block. 

Conference attendees report being able to reserve rooms close to $149, especially with AAA membership. 

The Roosevelt is less than two blocks away from the Seattle Sheraton.


Very best wishes, --Hoag



Dillard University Promotion and Tenure Workshop September 25, 2012

Center for

Teaching LearniAcademic Technology





Faculty Promotion and

Tenure Workshop

Contact information
Date: Tuesday
September 25, 2012
Where: Kearny Hall
Lunch: Through the Line (Signature Required)
Time: 12 Noon -1:30 p.m.
Discussion: 12:30 -1:30 p.m.
(504) 816-4662; (504) 816-4701
Dr. Keith M. Wismar, Facilitator
Professor of Psychology
Please make room in your schedule to attend this workshop.  Look for the announcement from the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs - Timeline updates.