Nov 052009
Bill Hayes

Bill Hayes

Bill Hayes, whose career in college sports spans 36 years, has been named the new athletic director for Winston-Salem State University.  He will begin work at WSSU on January 1, 2010. Hayes is currently athletic director at Florida A&M University.

Hayes served as head football coach at WSSU for 12 seasons, during which the team won three CIAA championships.

“We are absolutely delighted that Bill has agreed to come home to Winston-Salem State University,” said Chancellor Donald J. Reaves. “We conducted an extensive search to find the right person with the right credentials who would be able to immediately make a difference in our athletic program.  Bill Hayes certainly fits that description.  I am truly delighted that he has accepted our offer, and I want to thank the search committee and its chair, Dr. Dennis Felder.

“Over the years, Bill has maintained ties with the university and with our community,” Reaves added.  “Having him in this key position will certainly support our efforts to build our athletic program to the championship level.”

“As a former athlete and coach, I have an abiding passion for athletics and the betterment of our young people through sports,” Hayes said.  “Also, having worked at WSSU under the legendary Clarence ‘Big House’ Gaines years ago, I have a true appreciation for the great tradition of Rams’ sports.”

Hayes joined Florida A&M in January 2008 after serving as athletic director at North Carolina Central University for nearly five years.  He also served as head football coach at N.C. A&T State University for 15 years after leaving WSSU in 1987.  In addition to posting the most wins of any football coach at both WSSU and N.C. A&T, he led major fundraising efforts during his tenure as athletic director at both Florida A&M and N.C. Central.

Hayes also served as an assistant football coach at Wake Forest University for three seasons, the first African American assistant coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

A member of the Sports Halls of Fame for both WSSU and N. C. Central, he was also inducted into the CIAA Hall of Fame.  Hayes has been active in the Boy Scouts of America and received its highest regional award for a volunteer in 2001.  He was selected as MEAC Football Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1999 and was CIAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2006 and 2007.

“Based on Bill Hayes’ track record, I feel confident that he will make a major contribution to our athletic program immediately,” said Felder.  “I was, however, extremely impressed with the number and the quality of the applicants for the athletic director position. We had applicants from all levels of athletic programs, from large and small schools, and from public and private institutions.  To me, that illustrates the reputation and tradition that WSSU has in academics and athletics.”

The selection committee, which included faculty, students, staff and four alumni members, worked over the last six months to fill this position from among more than 175 expressions of interests, nominations and applications.

Nov 052009
East Ward Winston-Salem City Councilman Derwin Montgomery.

East Ward Winston-Salem City Councilman Derwin Montgomery.

Derwin Montgomery ’10 was interning in Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines’ office this past summer when the idea hit him: He should run for a seat on city council this fall, as a college senior.

No one else was stepping up to oppose Jocelyn Johnson, the sixteen-year Democrat incumbent in the city’s East Ward (which includes the university). So Montgomery, 21, who says he’d been planning a run for council in 2013, switched into high gear. In months he had organized a successful primary campaign; no time like the present.

“I knew this was a prime opportunity, because I graduate in May. After that I wouldn’t have the same political capital that I do now, being on campus,” he says.

That capital came up big for Montgomery, with students voting early and in big numbers. He campaigned online and in person, often educating his peers in the process. And he beat Johnson handily, taking 57 percent of the vote in the East Ward primary in September.

Without a Republican opponent, Montgomery won the council seat on Tuesday, the first Winston-Salem State University student to serve on city council.

Montgomery came to WSSU from Hopkins, South Carolina, where he was politically active in high school, including three years as class president. At Winston-Salem State, he has been active in the chapter of NAACP since his freshman year; he serves as chapter president this year.

But he knows about defeat, too. He ran for student government president in his sophomore and junior years and lost both times. This year Montgomery serves as president pro tem of the student senate.

In high school, Montgomery thought he would try biology in college. But attending a campus program on the sciences the summer before his freshman year convinced him otherwise. “That helped me define that political science is what I was really interested in.”

Montgomery in a moment of thought prior to the election.

Montgomery in a moment of thought prior to the election.

The youngest city council member says in order to tackle any of his priorities for the East Ward, the first step will be organizing people. He plans to bring together neighborhood groups in each precinct to talk about pressing issues such as public safety and economic development, “so people begin to talk to each other and neighborhoods know they’re not alone.”

Already, he says, running for elected office has made a difference. “My campaign definitely made students on campus more aware of local issues. The university is the largest employer in the ward, and we (the students) make up the largest number of residents.”

Montgomery plans to enter Wake Forest University School of Divinity next fall for a master’s degree.

He thanks two fellow students who have served as his campaign managers: Shanda Neal and Candace Knight.

Nov 052009
WSSU help seniors get the hang of Wii Bowling

WSSU help seniors get the hang of Wii Bowling

Winston-Salem State University researchers visited a Clemmons, NC, retirement community Oct. 21 and 28 to study the effects of the Nintendo Wii Bowling game on the quality of life of the sixty and older population living in retirement facilities.

The researchers worked mainly with the residents and staff at Clemmons Village I and II on Holder Road.  They performed some work at Independence Village on Reynolda Road in Winston-Salem.

Dr. Cynthia Bell, WSSU assistant professor of occupational therapy in the School of Health Sciences, Elizabeth Fain, WSSU occupational therapy instructor, and six students conducted the study.  They used Nintendo’s Wii Bowling game to assess quality of life, confidence in preventing falls and social skills – three major areas in the lives of seniors.

“There have been a number of cases at senior communities in which people are led to believe that residents who play Nintendo Wii Bowling tend to experience greater quality of life.  But that is based mostly on unofficial observation,” said Fain. “This study will scientifically confirm the true effects,” she noted.

This resident is totally into the game.

This resident is totally into the game.

Fear of falling has a major impact on mobility and consequently the social and other activities of residents of senior residential facilities, according to the researchers. “Those issues impact quality of life,” Bell said, noting that study results are planned for release in January.  “Social relationships have a tendency to decrease with age when fewer social opportunities are available.  Establishing supportive social relationships is central to the older person’s self-efficacy, well-being and continued success in socializing,” she added.

The study involves examining three groups.  The participants in group A were exposed to virtual rehabilitation through the Nintendo Wii Bowling only. The participants in group B were exposed to both the Nintendo Wii Bowling and the fall prevention education (checklists, tips and low-impact exercises).  The participants in group C were not be exposed to the Nintendo Wii or the fall prevention education.

Virtual rehabilitation is an interactive video game experience that utilizes gross and fine motor skills to enhance overall quality of life through physical and mental well-being.

The Nintendo Wii system is a recent technological advancement in the area of virtual reality video games and provides an interactive experience that blends physical activity and interface through simulation of real world environments.  Participants can engage with the games one-on-one or in a group setting.<–>

Nov 052009
From left to right are: Dr. Suresh Gopolan, assistant dean of graduate programs in the WSSU School of Business and Economics; Nathan Thompson, WSSU assistant controller; Miranda Dalton, the manager of enrollment and family services for Rockingham County Head Start; and Willie Hunt, a portfolio review manager at BB&T Corp.

The winning team, from left to right: Dr. Suresh Gopalan, assistant dean of graduate programs in the WSSU School of Business and Economics, the team's advisor; Nathan Thompson, WSSU assistant controller; Miranda Dalton, the manager of enrollment and family services for Rockingham County Head Start; and Willie Hunt, a portfolio review manager at BB&T Corp.

Three MBA students from Winston-Salem State University took third place in the 2009 National Student Case Competition, held as part of the National Black MBA Association’s annual convention.

The competition was sponsored by Chrysler Group LLC and The Chrysler Foundation and brought in teams from 22 of the nation’s leading business schools to compete for $35,000 in scholarships. The WSSU team won $8,000 in scholarship money. UNC Chapel Hill earned first place and Emory University took second place.

The WSSU team was comprised of MBA students Nathan Thompson, an assistant controller at the university; Willie Hunt, a portfolio review manager at BB&T Corp.; and Miranda Dalton, the manager of enrollment and family services for Rockingham County Head Start.

The National Student Case Competition is a unique event designed to give high-powered student teams an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and problem-solving skills in a formal competition. Teams are given a hypothetical business case from which they develop business solutions. Each student team then prepares and presents its case before a panel of experienced business executives. Teams are judged on their analysis of the case, the feasibility of their recommendations and the quality of their presentation.

The competition was held September 22-26 in New Orleans.

Nov 052009
John Payne

John Payton

John Payton, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, delivered the J. Alston Atkins Constitutional Law Lecture on October 15. The event was presented by the university and the Winston-Salem State University Foundation and sponsored by the law firm of Kilpatrick Stockton.

Payton, who has defended some of the most important civil rights cases in the U.S. in recent years, prefaced his remarks saying, “I’m not going to be shy about some of the things I am about to say. This not the time to be shy.”  He wasn’t.

The United States has become even more separated by race, Payton said, and in the aftermath of President Barack Obama’s election, watershed moment that it was, our country is still far from becoming a post-racial society. The barometers to measure that issue education, employment, health care, criminal justice all indicate wide disparities for minorities, he said.  The only barometer that shows any sign of significant improvement is in the area of effective political participation, Payton noted.  To hear more of his thoughts on these subjects and more, click here.

Payton explains his point.

Payton explains his point.

Payton was the lead counsel for the University of Michigan in successfully defending the use of race in the admission process, including the undergraduate school argument before the United States Supreme Court.  He has taught at the Georgetown Law Center, Howard University Law School and Harvard Law School, where he had earned his law degree in 1977.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) was founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall.  Although LDF’s primary purpose was to provide legal assistance to poor African-Americans, its work over the years has brought greater justice to all Americans.

Nov 052009
Shannon Henry Named Director of Internal Audit

Shannon Berg Henry was named director of internal audit at Winston-Salem State University, effective November 2. As the university’s internal auditor, she will be responsible for evaluating financial and administrative processes to ensure that WSSU maintains an effective system of internal controls and accurate accounting records. Henry reports to Chancellor Donald J. Reaves. “We are […]

Oct 062009
University Announces Athletic Conference Decision

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) announced September 11 that it was informing the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC) that the university intended to remain a Division II institution for intercollegiate athletics.   The process to remain in Division II began immediately, but the school will continue to compete in the MEAC […]

Nov 182008
The Many Faces of Art Hardin

If you were to ask a WSSU student who Arthur Hardin is, he or she might respond, ” He’s the guy that helps you meet your community service commitment. Or, he’s the guy that get’s you involved in stuff in the community.” They would be right – he’s the guy. As coordinator of the Community […]

Nov 122008
New Dean of University College Appointed

Dr. Michelle B. Releford, an education consultant with nearly three decades of higher education administration experience in student services, enrollment management, and student counseling, was appointed dean of the University College. She began her duties Aug. 1.    In her new role, Releford has responsibility for increasing student retention and success by providing individual assistance […]

Nov 122008
WSSU Foundation Executive Director Appointed Vice Chancellor for University Advancement at WSSU

  Michelle M. Cook, executive director of the Winston-Salem State University Foundation, has been named vice chancellor for University Advancement  at WSSU.   Cook, who will also continue in her role as executive director of WSSU’s Foundation, has more than 25 years of experience working in the areas of fund development, institutional advancement and training. […]