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Florida A&M University: Later this month, FAMU will become the only institution in the nation with a program dedicated to regulatory education and training in the study of veterinary technology, according to university offi cials. The Tallahassee-based university will be one of only 11 universities in the country to offer a four-year degree in this discipline. Said FAMU President Dr. James H. Ammons in a statement: “African-Americans represent only 1.9 percent of the veterinary medicine profession. The total representation of minorities in the profession is 7.7 percent. This new animal healthcare facility will impact FAMU’s ability to help address a critical national shortage of minorities in the fi eld of veterinary medicine and related disciplines.”

Spelman College: Research suggests that the rate of new HIV and AIDS cases is disproportionately high among Black women. Under the leadership of Dr. Monica L. Melton, an assistant professor of women’s studies, offi cials at Spelman are examining this crisis as part of an award-winning study, “Black, Female, and HIV(+): Southern Women’s Advocacy and Activism to Re-claim Communities in Crisis.”

In addition to interviews with HIV-positive women in the Florida area, offi cials are examining both the circumstances that lead to infection and ongoing preventive methods. This study is being threaded into the undergraduate curriculum at Spelman since the objective, offi cials say, is to “facilitate alternative thinking about ways to eradicate health disparities and pedagogical strategies to more effectively engage college students.” The National Council for Black Studies awarded Melton its Cutting Edge Gender Research Grant for Junior Scholars, according to the college’s Web site. She was the only HBCU grant recipient.

Southern University at Shreveport: Radiologic technology students are still savoring their victory last month over other local schools during a student competition. Every year during the Student Prep Quiz Bowl Competition, which is hosted by the Louisiana Society of Radiologic Technologists, accredited radiologic technology programs throughout the state vie for the championship title. Students and instructors at Southern University at Shreveport, a two-year commuter college, credit extensive preparation both inside and outside of the classroom for their success.

Trenholm State Technical College: With versatile programs of study ranging from apparel and design to graphic communications, this associate-degree granting institution also offers its student population an award-winning curriculum in culinary arts. The Alabama-based college boasts the state’s largest culinary arts program, which attracts students from more than 25 states and 15 countries. Trenholm State also offers classes in automotive manufacturing technology.

Virginia State University: Mass communications, one of the university’s fastest growing areas of study, will become its own department beginning this fall. Offi cials say this development is indicative of the prominent role that the fi eld of media and communication studies will continue to have in the future. In a university statement Dr. Ishmail Conway, associate professor of VSU’s Graduate Professional Education Programs and founding chairperson of the new department, said, “VSU faculty, administrators and students will build the VSU Department of Mass Communications program into a globally recognized leader of media learning, practice and research.”

West Virginia State University: A wide array of programs and initiatives supported by the university’s Center for the Advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or CASTEM, are designed to propel students toward careers in the STEM disciplines and advocates for enhanced diversity in these fi elds. As a component of this goal, CASTEM gives students an opportunity to garner mentorship and pursue various research goals at the undergraduate level in preparation for graduate research study. CASTEM’s NASA Educator Resource Center also uses technologically advanced resources to assist teachers in enhancing their science, mathematics, and geography curriculums. Additionally, as part of a joint grant from the National Science Foundation, the university is participating in the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program.

Wiley College: As part of an ongoing effort to assist students in honing their leadership skills, offi cials at this Marshall, Texas, institution are gearing up to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the college’s Center for Excellence in Student Leadership. Since its launch in the winter of 2007, offi cials say the Center for Excellence has been a pioneer among HBCUs in educating leadership, ranging from ethical social practices on principles to the nuances of networking.

“I think as we move forward in this global society, we need for America to continue its competitive edge,” says Dr. Joseph Morale, Wiley’s vice president for student affairs and enrollment services, who adds that participating students will attend a student leadership retreat in late August. “We need to attract morally strong and ethical leaders and that’s a part of what the center is all about.”

Additionally, Wiley offi cials are celebrating the inaugural year of the institution’s debate team. Reinstated in the wake of its 1930s portrayal in the 2007 movie, “The Great Debaters,” the Wiley debate team was formerly on hiatus for 80 years.

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