Winston-Salem State University celebrated its 124th birthday and long legacy of educating future leaders on Wednesday, Sept. 28, with 2,000 red and white cupcakes.
It’s not everyday that anyone can say, “I have been nominated for an Emmy Award.” But, a Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) associate professor of music can say that. Even though the entry he was associated with did not win, just getting the nomination was a big deal.
Dr. Tony Artimisi, WSSU Liberal Studies chair and associate professor of music, is smiling these days because an episode of the television show Ruby’s Studio entitled “The Siblings Show”, where he contributed drums and percussion on the soundtrack “Boss of My Body” was nominated for an Emmy for “Musical Composition/Arrangement.”
“It’s definitely an honor and I am thankful for the opportunity,” said Artimisi about the nomination. “That doesn’t happen everyday.”
Artimisi recorded his drum and percussion parts for the video in the university’s recording studio in the Anderson Center, where his drums are located. He explained he was hired for the recording by composer Christian Moder, who was directly nominated for the Emmy.
Artimisi discussed his life in music and what the nomination meant to him.
Artimisi, who joined the WSSU faculty in 2005, teaches percussion and is coordinator of the Music Business program. Prior to joining the faculty at WSSU, he was an adjunct faculty member at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee.
He is a featured artist for leading drum maker Mapex Drums and Paiste, Inc. cymbals. His other endorsements include Vic Firth Drumsticks, Grover Pro Percussion, and Moravian Percussion.
In addition to being a musician and academician, he is also an author and composer, having penned a number of musical compositions, articles, and books.
The Emmy awards show was Saturday, September 24, in Philadelphia.
Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) is one of four universities in the country participating in a new initiative that could drive down the cost of college by improving degree efficiency. The Purposeful Pathways: Faculty Planning for Curricular Coherence initiative is being spearheaded by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) thanks to a grant from The Teagle Foundation.
Universities with high degree efficiency see their students attempting fewer total credits before graduation. WSSU has already been a leader in North Carolina in addressing degree efficiency. By ensuring that curriculum has a clear path and by providing robust advising, the university has reduced the average number of credit hours a student attempts from 137 to 128 since 2013. The University of North Carolina System average is 139.2 credit hours. Most bachelor’s degrees require 120 credit hours of study.
“The rising cost of college is something that must be tackled on multiple fronts,” said WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson. “The difference between 128 credit hours and the UNC System average of 139.2 translates to about another semester’s worth of coursework. By helping our students graduate more efficiently, we are able to help them save thousands of dollars of tuition, room, and board. They also enter the workforce sooner, which gives them a head start in paying off any debt they did incur.”
To help students avoid taking more credits than necessary to complete their degrees, WSSU is taking a two-pronged approach. Faculty and administrators are taking a close look at how general education courses integrate with the majors and how they can meet the prerequisites required for advanced study. Meanwhile, advisors are working closely with students to help them identify the best courses to take to meet their graduation requirements.
“We cannot do things the way they have always been done,” Robinson said. “Looking at the issue of college affordability from a new angle is critical. We are looking at our curriculum from all angles and making decisions on the alignment of courses by placing the student at the center of the process. We are continually asking ourselves challenging questions about how we can better serve our students.”
Through the Purposeful Pathways initiative, WSSU will work with the AAC&U and three other universities (Community College of Philadelphia, University of Houston-Downtown and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas) on a six-month planning project that will lay the foundation for additional faculty-led curricular changes leading to improved student learning and success in earning degrees.
When Zipporah Foster, a senior at Winston-Salem State University, interviewed for a research position at the university, she says she was prepared for any question, even the dreaded, “What is your biggest weakness?”
“I told them sometimes I can be a little too assertive, but that can be a good thing because I make sure things are right and accurate,” says Foster, a psychology major from Durham. “They were surprised with my answer.”
Foster attributes her interview preparedness to a two-day leadership program she completed as a junior. In Fall 2015, Foster became one of the first WSSU students to complete The BB&T Leadership Institute’s Emerging Leaders Certification Program.
Nearly 60 WSSU students participated in the most recent sessions Sept. 20 and 22.
Through the program, BB&T offers key components of its leadership curriculum to emerging leaders. The program is funded through BB&T.
“At Winston-Salem State University, we are focused on providing our students with, not only the soft skills to get hired, but also the practical tools to become leaders in their chosen professions,” said LaMonica Sloan, director of Career Development Services, which hosted the sessions. “The BB&T program has decades of proven success with generations of executives and managers.”
Students who complete the program earn an Emerging Leaders Certification.
“Through The BB&T Emerging Leaders Certification program, we’re excited to empower the next generation of leaders at Winston-Salem State University,” said Brittany Brown, vice president and student leadership programs manager for The BB&T Leadership Institute. “At BB&T, we don’t settle for the notion of a ‘born leader.’ We believe anyone can develop better leadership skills with the right training and investment. Each student will leave the program with an action plan to make their leadership more effective.”
This summer, Foster was accepted into WSSU’s MARC U*STAR program and is researching several topics this semester under Dr. Amber DeBono, assistant professor of psychological sciences, including decision-making and the student/coach relationship. Her ultimate goal is to earn a Ph.D. in psychology.
“The (BB&T) program shows you all the traits to be a leader,” she says. “The leader should be someone who gets their part done, a team player who is respected and just holds their weight.”
The BB&T Emerging Leaders Certification Program will be offered again during the spring term. Students who are interested in participating, should stop by Career Development Services.
WSSU’s Career Development Services partners with employers to prepare students for the ever-changing workplace. For more information, please visit www.wssu.edu/careerservices.
Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) will celebrate its 124th birthday and long legacy of educating future leaders on Wednesday, Sept. 28, with 2,000 red and white cupcakes. WSSU was founded as the Slater Industrial Academy on Sept. 28, 1892. It began in a one-room frame structure with 25 students and one teacher. In 1895, the school […]
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