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Harvard University has just become one of five institutions of higher education that offer a Ph.D. program in African-American studies, following a vote by faculty members late last month.
The doctoral program will have approximately five students a year beginning in September 2001. More than 50 undergraduates are majoring in the subject and the department has at least 1,000 students enrolled in courses. Harvard officials plan to increase the size of the department as well.
“The study of the African-American experience is as vital to a university education in the 21st century as it was a century ago, when the great (W.E.B.) Du Bois foresaw prophetically that ‘the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line,’ ” Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the Afro-American studies department, said in a speech before professors.
The other universities with doctoral programs in African-American studies are the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Yale University, the University of California at Berkeley and Temple University.

The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and Denny’s, the restaurant chain dogged for years by charges of racism, are giving college scholarship money to winners of an essay contest on inspirational Black people.
A $25,000 grand prize will be awarded to someone chosen from among the 10 winners of $1,000 regional prizes for the best essays on “The living African American who most inspires my vision for the future of America.”
All high school juniors and seniors are eligible to compete. The winning essay will be published in the July-August issue of Black Issues Book Review, and the writer will get a free trip to the Trumpet Awards in Atlanta next year. The regional winners will be notified by May 1, and the grand-prize winner will be notified by June 1.
For more information, contact Stacy Arrington at (888) 554-6881.

Brooklyn College will offer a new minor in archival studies and community documentation, beginning in the fall.  It is the first program of its kind in the City University of New York system and is open to students in such varied disciplines as anthropology, education, ethnic and American studies, history, music, political science, psychology and sociology.
The program’s goal is to prepare students for internships in a variety of cultural organizations such as museums, archives and educational institutions. It also will seek to promote the documentation and preservation of New York City’s local communities.
“Students will gain a much deeper understanding of New York’s local communities, which is a key component of our program,” says Adina Back, professor of history and program coordinator. “One of the goals of the minor is to help build bridges between Brooklyn College and the neighborhood surrounding it.”
For more information, call  Back at (718) 951-5323.

Old Dominion University’s College of Business and Public Administration will offer new bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electronic commerce beginning this fall.
The degrees will provide students with intensive training and education in all facets of using technology to manage a business. Both programs consist of core technology courses as well as the major business components of e-commerce — including legal issues, data mining, marketing on the Internet and economics of e-commerce.
The programs will also share the E-Commerce Computer Lab and Center, a site and support center for area industry to work with students and faculty to develop and test e-commerce infrastructure.
For more information, contact Jennifer Mullen at (757) 683-3580.                     

 — Compiled by Eric. St. John

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