Showing posts with label Virginia State University. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virginia State University. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Virginia State University statement on possibly losing oppurtunity to host presidential debate

Virginia State University (VSU) was set to become the first historically black college and university (HBCU) to host a presidential debate. That was until the campaigns of presumptive nominees President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump announced a new debate schedule that would eliminate a debate at VSU.

VSU released the following statement via social media:

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Virginia State University to Be the First HBCU to Host a 2024 Presidential Debate

Virginia State University has announced that it has been chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host a 2024 Presidential Debate. Virginia State University is the first historically Black college or university ever selected to host a general election U.S. Presidential Debate. The debate, scheduled for October 1, 2024, is the second of three scheduled general election presidential debates. The debate will take place in the university’s Multipurpose Center.

“We are honored and grateful to have been chosen as a host for a 2024 Presidential Debate,” said Makola M. Abdullah, president of Virginia State University. “This is a historic moment for our university and for HBCUs nationwide. Our university mantra is ‘Greater Happens Here,’ and we look forward to welcoming the candidates, the Commission on Presidential Debates, and the entire nation.”

“We have always been committed to excellence, inclusivity, and civic engagement,” added Eldon Burton, assistant vice president for government relations. “This incredible achievement will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the campus community, the university’s reputation, and the nation as a whole. Now people will know that not only does Greater Happen at VSU, but history happens here as well.”

Thursday, October 27, 2022

President Biden nominates HBCU grad/dean Dr. Derrick Scott to National Board for Education Sciences

President Biden announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to serve on the National Board for Education Sciences. Among those nominated was Dr. Derrick Scott. Scott is a Virginia State University graduate and current Dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences at Virginia State University.

Originally from Varnville, South Carolina, Dr. Derrick Scott received his B.S. in Biology at Virginia State University, his M.S. in Molecular Biology from Virginia Tech, and his Ph.D. in Integrative Biology with a focus in Bioinformatics from the University of South Carolina. He is currently the Dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences at Virginia State University where his goals are to help lead the University to High Research Activity status and create more opportunities for minorities and women to enter science careers. His research involves bringing down the costs of expensive medicines by using informatics to identify target genes in Chinese hamster ovary cell lines that will make the lines more stable. He recently helped to establish the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at Delaware State University that helped the university and surrounding communities stay safe via COVID-19 PCR testing. His hobbies include spending quality time with his wife and four children.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Virginia State University creates John Mercer Langston Institute for African American Political Leadership

Virginia State University, VA- Virginia State University (VSU) has announced a new venture focused on increasing African American political leadership across the Commonwealth of Virginia. During a press conference this the University announced the creation of the John Mercer Langston Institute for African American Political Leadership (JMLI).

The JMLI at Virginia State University is devoted to developing, empowering, and cultivating African American leadership in the Commonwealth of Virginia through innovative training, policy collection and assistance, programming, research, and networking.

Along with today’s announcement, the John Mercer Langston Institute kicked off the inaugural “Black Virginia Voters Poll”, which highlights the needs of Black Virginia voters from across the Commonwealth. The poll will be available on the VSU website.

According to Dr. Wes Bellamy, Chair of the VSU Department of Political Science, “This Institute will help develop a pipeline for Black political leadership across the state and ensure that the voices of those who are often unheard will be represented. We hear loud and clear the need for change, for new voices, a thirst for understanding political structures, and people eager to make a difference. The JMLI institute is here to do just that.”

VSU President, Dr. Makola M. Abdullah says “As we look at the current political climate, it is imperative that clear avenues for Black political development are available. VSU has consistently worked to ensure that our students are prepared and equipped to be viable assets to society in the Commonwealth and beyond. The JMLI will serve as an additional voice and pathway to make that happen.”

The JMLI will also host a formal institute to develop Black political leadership in February 2021. Registration for the institute will be available in December 2020.

John Mercer Langston was an American abolitionist, attorney, educator, activist, diplomat, and politician. He was the first president of Virginia State University and the first dean of the law school at Howard University.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Dominion Energy Commits $35 Million to Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Dominion Energy (NYSE: D) is launching a $35 million initiative in support of African American and underrepresented minority students. This six-year program will support historically black colleges and universities in Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina. Additionally, as part of the initiative, a $10 million scholarship fund will be created to support African American and underrepresented minority students across the company’s service territory.
Said Thomas F. Farrell, II, the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer: 
“We all know there are no actions or words that will immediately heal the hurt caused by 400 years of institutional racism. But since early June, we have seen signs of change and growth. Our country is moving forward. We are moving forward, too. This initiative is a recognition of the important role played by these institutions in African American advancement and the importance of education as an equalizer in society. These institutions have been foundational in the struggle to improve the lives of African Americans and in the fight for social justice. We are pleased and humbled to build on our company’s nearly 40-year history of supporting historically black colleges and universities.”
Additional details about the institutions to be supported and the new Dominion Energy Educational Equity scholarship fund will be provided in the coming days. 
The initiative builds on nearly four decades of support for higher education equity, including volunteer efforts and financial contributions provided to historically black colleges and universities in our service territory.
This new program is in addition to a recent $5 million commitment made by Dominion Energy and the company’s charitable foundation to support social justice, community reconciliation and rebuilding.
About Dominion Energy
More than 7 million customers in 20 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company is committed to sustainable, reliable, affordable and safe energy and is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy with more than $100 billion of assets providing electric generation, transmission and distribution, as well as natural gas storage, transmission, distribution and import/export services. The company is committed to achieving net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations by 2050. Please visit to learn more.
For further information: Ohio/Virginia: 804-771-6115 | North Carolina/South Carolina: 800-562-9308

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Rodney Robinson named 2019 National Teacher of the Year

HBCU graduate Rodney Robinson of Virginia has been named the 2019 National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State Officers. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, the Bureau of Indian Education and the five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions.

Rodney Robinson is a 19-year teaching veteran. He became a teacher to honor his mother, who struggled to receive an education after being denied an education as a child due to segregation and poverty in rural Virginia. In 2015, Robinson started teaching at Virgie Binford Education Center, a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, in an effort to better understand the school-to-prison pipeline.

Robinson uses the whole child approach to education to help the students who are most vulnerable. His classroom is a collaborative partnership between himself and his students and is anchored in him providing a civic centered education that promotes social-emotional growth. Robinson uses the knowledge he has gained from his students to develop alternative programs to prevent students from entering the school-to-prison pipeline.

Robinson has been published three times by Yale University and has received numerous awards for his accomplishments in and out of the classroom, most notably the R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence. He is a member of Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s Education Compact Team, which includes politicians, educators, business leaders, and community leaders, and is working with city leaders and local colleges to recruit underrepresented male teachers into the field of education. He has also worked with Pulitzer Award winning author James Foreman on developing curriculum units on race, class, and punishment as a part of the Yale Teacher’s Institute.

Robinson earned a Bachelor of arts in history from Virginia State University and a master’s in educational administration and supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Virginia State University named best HBCU of the year

On Friday, June 22, Virginia State University (VSU) was named the HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest. In addition, the University’s Board of Visitors received the Best Board of Trustees of the Year award and Trojan Brianna Bundick-Kelly was named the Female Student of the Year.

“Virginia State University demonstrated excellence across virtually all areas of the academic enterprise,” said Jarrett Carter Sr., founding editor of HBCU Digest. “The institution showcased stability in leadership, productivity in research and outreach in its programs of strength - agriculture, education, and business. Among all HBCUs, Virginia State was a top performer within the public higher education sector in attracting and retaining first-time college students, and it was among the most competitive institutions in excellence among its men’s and women’s athletic programs. Virginia State University was a model of success for all institutions, historically black or otherwise, during the last academic year and it was an honor to recognize the achievements of their executives, students, faculty and alumni at our annual ceremony.”

The HBCU Awards is the first and only awards ceremony honoring achievement at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) throughout the United States. The ceremony was hosted by HBCU Digest, an online blog site which reports on the news of HBCUs. Winners were selected by a panel of previous HBCU Award winners, presidents and chancellors, and members of the media, which cover HBCUs.

During his acceptance speech of the HBCU of the Year award, VSU President Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D. shared with the audience what makes VSU the best.

“It’s because of the incredible hard work and commitment of our wonderful faculty and staff who give of their time to our students,” President Abdullah said. “It’s our alumni who set a high standard for our students to follow. It’s the dedication of our Board of Visitors for all that they do for the University. I am proud to be the 14th president of Virginia State University.”

VSU was named as a finalist in seven categories. The other five categories were as follows: Best Male Athlete of the Year, Alumna of the Year, Male Coach of the Year, Best Men’s Team of the Year and Male President of the Year. Last year, VSU’s Reginald F. Lewis College of Business earned the Best Business Program award and President Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D. was named the Male President of the Year.