Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) is one of 44 universities from around the country participating in a project aimed at ensuring success for historically underrepresented groups, particularly low-income, first generation, and minority students. “Re-Imagining the First Year of College” (RFY) is an initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USA Funds.

The coalition of 44 member institutions will work together for three calendar years (2016-2018) to develop comprehensive, institutional transformation that redesigns the first year of college and creates sustainable change for student success.

“Winston-Salem State University has a rich history of serving academically promising students who come from under-resourced or historically underrepresented backgrounds,” says WSSU Provost Brenda Allen. “The RFY project is another example of our commitment to providing our students with the tools and resources they need to be successful in college. The first year often poses a barrier to success; through this project we will identify further opportunities to help students achieve their academic goals.”

RFY seeks to inspire redesigned approaches that work effectively for all members of an increasingly diverse, multicultural, undergraduate student body, eliminating the achievement disparities that have plagued American higher education for generations. Ultimately, re-designing this critical first year will allow for broader reform of the undergraduate experience in the future.

The institutions participating in RFY will form a learning community that reviews and shares evidence-based practices, programs, and implementation strategies. The RFY initiative entails a comprehensive, “top-down, bottom-up” approach that engages the whole campus in focusing on four key areas to help first-year students succeed: institutional intentionality, curriculum redesign, changes in faculty and staff roles, and changes in student roles.

“The RFY speaks to the first goal of our 2016-2021 strategic plan, which seeks to extend our liberal education approach beyond the classroom and into co-curricular experiences and living/learning communities,” says Allen. “Through RFY, we will be enhancing the first-year experience in a number of creative ways that are designed to provide opportunities for creative collaboration between students and faculty, foster leadership development, and hone students’ academic skills.”

As a participant, WSSU will receive extensive support through national meetings, expert webinars, individual consultation, and online resources and tools. The project will build a robust collection of integrated strategies, programs and approaches that participating campuses can adapt to improve student success. As the project advances, AASCU will share key findings with the broader higher education community.

A book talk by an award-winning author, a symposium, a theatrical performance, and a documentary screening followed by a panel discussion about the Black Panther Party are all part of Black History Month activities that are free and open to the public at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) during February.

On Feb. 4 at 7 p.m., UNC-TV, Winston-Salem State University and RiverRun International Film Festival invite the public to an Indie Lens Pop-up free preview screening and community conversation of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, in room 100 of the Donald Julian Reaves Student Activities Center on the campus of Winston-Salem State University.

The film explores the history of Black Panthers from their 1966 Oakland, CA origins through their tumultuous growth, highlighting the role and impact of both leading men and women in the movement such as Huey Newton, Bobby Seale and Kathleen Cleaver, as well as J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI.

The screening will be followed by a community conversation with panelists including:

•  Laurens Grant, producer of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

•  Larry Little, associate professor, Winston-Salem State University, and former leader of W-S Chapter of the Black Panthers

•  Hazel Mack, regional managing attorney, Legal Aid of North Carolina, and former leader of W-S Chapter of the Black Panthers

•  Paula McCoy, executive director, Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods

•  Corey D. B. Walker, dean of the College, WSSU

•  Mona Zahir, WSSU Class of 2017, attorney general in the Student Government Association

The discussion will be moderated by Deborah Holt Noel, senior producer, UNC-TV.

On Feb. 9, at 3:30 p.m., a book talk will feature award-winning journalist and author Ron Stodghill at Diggs Gallery, who will lead a discussion about his book Where Everybody Looks Like Me: At the Crossroads of America’s Black Colleges and Culture.  Stodghill has worked for the New York Times, Time, Business Week, and Savoy, for which he was editor in chief. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He is the author of Redbone, and his work has been anthologized in Brotherman and has appeared in Slate, Essence, Black Enterprise, and Ebony. He is also a professor at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC.

On Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., the Black Male Symposium and theatrical performance will be held in K.R. Williams Auditorium. The symposium will feature the play “We Shall Overcome” by Forget Me Not Productions, directed by Garrett Davis and will be followed by a panel discussion at 11:30 a.m. about the play and other civil rights issues. (There will be no panel discussion after the 6 p.m. performance.)

Other events are:

Sunday, Feb. 7

Event: African-American Literature Read-In Chain

Volunteers read works to children by African American authors, or works they have written themselves. The public is welcome to read or listen. Parents are encouraged to bring their children.

Location: Hall-Patterson Room 228

Time: 4 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Event: Book Talk  Award-winning author Ron Stodghill will speak on his latest work Where Everybody Looks Like Me: At the Crossroads of America’s Black Colleges and Culture.

Location: Diggs Gallery

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 18

Event: Black Male Symposium featuring the play “We Shall Overcome” under the direction of Garrett Davis of Forget Me Not Productions. Panel discussion to follow 10 a.m. performance.

Location: K.R. Williams Auditorium

Time: 10 .am.

Time: 6 p.m.

Dr. Corey D. B. Walker

Dr. Corey D. B. Walker

Dr. Corey D. B. Walker, dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education, and the John W. and Anna Hodgin Hanes Professor of the Humanities at Winston-Salem State University, (WSSU) is one of eight people recently named to the Winston-Salem and Forsyth County Arts Council Board of Trustees.

“It is an honor to serve on the Arts Council Board of Trustees. Since its historic founding in 1949, the Arts Council has contributed so much to our community,” said Walker about his appointment. “I look forward to joining my colleagues in advancing the creative and innovative work of the Council.”

The Arts Council raises funds for the arts, advocates for arts programs, sponsors events with other arts organizations, and supports community individuals and arts groups through grants. The council’s Board of Trustees makes decisions regarding grant appropriations.

In addition to Walker the new board members include: Carl Forsman, dean of the School of Drama, UNC School of the Arts; Adriana Granados, professor of interior design at Forsyth Technical Community College and Salem College; Dana Caudill Jones, chairwoman of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education; Cheryl Lindsay, director of human resources and inclusion/diversity, Hanesbrands; Melinda McConnell, community volunteer and co-chair 2013 Arts Council campaign; Michael Moore, chief marketing officer, Lowes Foods; and Silvia Rodriguez, certified public accountant and arts advocate.

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From left to right: WSSU's Kyle Brown and Dr. Natasha Jeter, WFU's Nate French, and WSSU's Dr. Jack Monell and Jaylon Herbin

Four people have been named Winston-Salem State University’s (WSSU) 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. “Building the Dream” award winners.

The faculty/staff awards were presented to assistant professor of Justice Studies Dr. Jack Monell and to special assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Natasha Jeter. Awards were also presented to two students. They are Kyle Brown, WSSU’s Student Government Association and senior political science major, and Jaylon Herbin, a junior political science major with a minor in business management.

The award is given to an administrator and a student from both WSSU and Wake Forest University who exemplify King’s qualities and promote diversity within the community.

As an assistant professor of Justice Studies, Monell has an infectious way of empowering and positively influencing those around him, which includes students, faculty, and staff.

According to his nominators, Monell’s “charisma and style is one that encourages you to do and be better. He is a true example of what a ‘holistic educator’ is all about.”

Dr. Natasha Jeter is described as a person with a passion and desire to educate and impact students, the community and the world. As the special assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Jeter radiates that passion with every interaction. Her nominators described her as “a star player in the Ram family, a change agent, confident, passionate, leader, genuine, confidant, mother, wife, friend and mentor.” She was the driving force behind Peer Health Education at WSSU, the creation and management of the WSSU Student Development Office and currently serves as a professor, and Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

WSSU student awardee, Kyle Brown, while participating in a myriad of volunteer activities on campus, in Forsyth County, and beyond has maintained high academic standards and has served as a top ambassador for WSSU. He has created scholarship opportunities for students and taken the University’s student giving campaign to new heights. Those that nominated him said he is consistent in his advocacy for students, has been instrumental in increasing student involvement and engagement, and is unwavering in his desire to serve others with his servant leadership. He believes in social justice and in young people serving as catalysts for productive change. He was also named a member of the 2015 White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) HBCU All-Stars. A selection made based on accomplishments in academics, leadership, and civic engagement.

Awardee, Jaylon Herbin, has played an integral role in the creation of political action, awareness and engagement at WSSU. Since the inception of the Political Action Committee, Herbin has displayed an unwavering desire for social justice and student awareness and involvement. He has had the intrinsic desire and passion to serve his University and community. Herbin played a vital role in the conceptualization, execution and sustainability of the Political Action Committee, WSSU’s Annual Political Action Summit, and WSSU students taking part in the fight against social and political injustices. Due to Herbin’s tenacity and perseverance many students at WSSU had the opportunity to participate in the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March in October 2015.

About the award and the MLK Day Celebration

Faculty, staff and students at Winston-Salem State University and Wake Forest University submit “Building the Dream” award nominations for their respective universities and a committee of representatives from each school selects winners. The recipients were recognized at an annual banquet celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. held at Winston-Salem State University on Jan. 18.

WSSU Graduates become Medical Doctors; Launch Web site to Help Others Interested in the Medical Profession

It’s not often that close friends interested in similar career paths, who take different roads to get there remember what they dreamed about outside of their goal. But two graduates from WSSU, who are best friends, did not forget and are doing exactly what they planned to do. Read more here.

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has received a $50,000 gift from DataMax Foundation to create paid internships at businesses located in Forsyth County. The funds will provide 16 WSSU students with paid internships in 2016.
Providing more WSSU students with paid internship opportunities is a key component of the university’s strategic plan for 2016-2021. Paid internships allow students [...]

 WSSU School of Health Sciences Administrator Named to Novant Health Foundation Board

Kevin B. Byers, assistant dean for budget and administration in Winston-Salem State University’s (WSSU) School of Health Sciences, has been appointed to a three-year term to the Novant Health Foundation’s Board of Directors.
“I’m deeply humbled at the opportunity to serve on such an esteemed board whose primary focus is improving the health of our community,” [...]

WSSU School of Health Sciences Administrator Named to Novant Health Foundation Board

Kevin B. Byers, assistant dean for budget and administration in Winston-Salem State University’s (WSSU) School of Health Sciences, has been appointed to a three-year term to the Novant Health Foundation’s Board of Directors.
“I’m deeply humbled at the opportunity to serve on such an esteemed board whose primary focus is improving the health of our community,” [...]

WSSU Choir to Perform Fundraising Concert on Jan. 30 for Travel to Carnegie Hall

Winston-Salem State University’s (WSSU) choir is headed back to Carnegie Hall for a May performance in the MidAmerica Productions concert series. But in order to get there, the choir will perform a free benefit concert with an opportunity for attendees to make a contribution during intermission, to help raise funds for their trip, Saturday, January [...]

MLK Activities

Celebrate the 16th annual collaboration of Wake Forest University (WFU) and Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and commemorate the sit-in demonstration at Woolworth Department Store in downtown Winston-Salem by 10 WFU and 11 WSSU students and 1 community resident on February 23, 1960. This [...]

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