Prairie View Alumni Produces Invention
Written by Prairie View A&M University, special to BlackAmericaWeb
It is always said that “Prairie View Produces Productive People.” That can be said for Kendall Thompson, a 2006 PVAMU alumnus that has produced an invention that’s gaining notoriety.
Thompson invented the Kenmark Sports Armband Water Bottle, an invention that allows users to hydrate with ease during a workout. The light weight armband is the very first of its kind. In addition to the water bottle, the armband also holds keys, IPod and credit cards.
Thompson, who currently works in management information systems, didn’t originally seek to become an inventor. Years ago, on the verge of being unemployed, Thompson begins to think outside the box and the idea for the Sports Armband Water Bottle was born. Thompson conducted research on what aids a person while running and what holds them back. That research led to the idea for the product. Since its launch, Thompson has been featured on Great Day Houston, in Popular Science Magazine, Outdoor Retailer Daily Magazine August 2012, Austin Lifestyle, Men's Book and Nvate Magazine.
With a successful product on the market, Thompson offered advice to future PVAMU alumni about success. “I advise them to have a strategic plan. I mean as strategic as every 7 days,” he said, adding that he invested everything he had into the invention and created a goal. Thompson also advised new alumni to find a mentor in their field who can teach them the ins and outs.
Looking to the future, Thompson has a new line of products from Kenmark Sports being launched in January 2013. The Kenmark Sports Armband Bottle is sold in Sears and on Amazon.com and KenmarkSports.com.
UA Professor Honored for Dedication to Anti-Racist Scholarship
Written by University of Alabama, special to BlackAmericaWeb.com
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Bobby Wilson, a professor in the department of geography at The University of Alabama, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Presidential Achievement Award, given by the Association of American Geographers, for his career-long dedication to anti-racist scholarship in geography.
AAG is the predominant national scholarly organization in geography.
In announcing the award, the AAG stated, “For four decades, Bobby Wilson has been devoted to empirically rich, politically engaged, and theoretically sophisticated scholarship ranging from issues of housing, urban revitalization, economic development, and social justice for black communities, to sophisticated theoretical appraisals of capitalist processes, social engineering, and neoliberalism.”
The AAG cited Wilson’s extensive work focused on the Civil Rights Movement: “Two major volumes, ‘America’s Johannesburg: Industrialization and Racial Transformation in Birmingham’ and ‘Race and Place in Birmingham: The Civil Rights and Neighborhood Movements’ illustrate his profound contribution to understanding the geography of Birmingham. As the titles convey, his work addresses both the large-scale processes of economic, political, social transformation, and the on-the-ground social movements that respond,” the AAG stated.
Wilson will receive the award at the AAG’s annual meeting in Los Angeles April 9-13.
Wilson is noted for his work in exploring issues of housing, urban revitalization, economic development, and social justice for black communities. During his doctoral studies at Clark University, Wilson coauthored his first article “Symposium: Black perspectives on Geography,” which chronicled the efforts of Donald Deskins Jr., an influential geographer at the University of Michigan, in bringing together African-American geographers whose understanding of the discipline and its priorities represented the first public statements of anti-racist geography.
In 2001 Wilson was honored by the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers for research on the social geography of race in Birmingham. He has also been honored by the Jefferson County Historical Commission of Alabama for outstanding achievement in historic preservation.
The AAG also recognized Wilson’s contributions to anti-racist practices in geography in his development of anti-racist practices in his classroom as well as his efforts to help minority students in historically black institutions thrive in the field.
Over the years he has served on numerous committees and boards to address questions of racism and access within the institutional framework of the discipline of geography. He has served with the Birmingham Regional Health System Agency, Rosedale Community Development Corp. in Birmingham, Birmingham Board of Zoning Adjustment, Sloss Furnace Association and, was a founding president of the Fair Housing Center of Northern Alabama.
Wilson has been a faculty member in The University of Alabama System for more than 35 years, working in the department of geography at the University of Alabama at Birmingham before he joined the department of geography in UA’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2002. He served as interim chair of that department from 2009 to 2011.
The department of geography is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.
More information about the AAG can be found on the web at www.aag.org.
2nd Annual Diversity and Inclusiveness Colloquium
Written by Cal Poly State University, special to BlackAmericaWeb.com
This year’s colloquium focuses on diversity and inclusiveness. In planning, the university has consulted with the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity Committee to involve the local business community in a discussion on how the university and the city can develop inviting climates for people of all backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, class and ability.
Attendance is free and open to all.
See event details below:
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Harman Hall in the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly
5:30 PM to 7:15 PM
7:15 PM to 8:15 PM
John S. Wilson Jr. Appointed 11th President of Morehouse College
Written by Morehouse College, special to BlackAmericaWeb.com
ATLANTA, November 12, 2012 – The Morehouse College Board of Trustees today announced that Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr. has been named the College’s 11th president. The appointment follows a rigorous, nationwide search conducted with professional recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles. The search was launched following the January 2012 announcement that Dr. Robert M. Franklin would be transitioning from his role as president at the end of the year.
“I thank the Board and the search consultants for their thorough evaluation of the excellent pool of candidates and commend all on their outstanding recommendation,” said Robert C. Davidson Jr., chairman of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees. “Dr. Wilson has the vision, experience and passion to ensure that Morehouse continues to advance its aim of producing global leaders who will continue to make a difference in the world. His record of academic excellence and public service is exemplary of the standard we hold for Morehouse Men. The Board and I are confident that, with his leadership, we will be well-positioned to continue delivering the educational environment that prepares our students for lives of leadership and service.”
Binge Drinking Big on HBCU Campuses
Written by Frederick Cosby, BlackAmericaWeb.com
A new study has found that students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities don’t engage in binge drinking as much as their white counterparts, but it’s still a pervasive problem that has academics, health officials, and the law enforcement community worried.
The study of student behavior sponsored by the Century Council and conducted by Baltimore’s Morgan State University revealed that 54 percent of full-time HBCU students who drink at least once a week and go out socially at least twice a week engage in binge drinking.
At non-HBCU campuses, 64 percent of students said they engaged in binge drinking. But students at both HBCUs and general population institutions indicated that binge-drinking isn’t a problem. A majority of college students said they have a good grasp on their drinking limits and always maintain them, according to the study.
Experts disagree. Binge drinking leads to violence, unsafe sex, sexual abuse and death. It costs college campuses and students hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. A study last January by the Centers for Disease Control showed the college-age drinkers average nine drinks when they get drunk.
It’s a big enough problem the Century Council enlisted the help of former National Basketball Association star Shaquille O’Neal to help unveil its report.
“Binge drinking on college campuses is dangerous and has got to stop,” the 7-foot-plus O’Neal said. “Strategies to combat it need to be more effective on a national level, which is why I’m proud to lend my support to this effort by working with Morehouse College and the Century Council.”
The Century Council study revealed that black and white students party – and drink – in different ways. Two-thirds of HBCU students are more likely to attend pre-game parties, where binge drinking is common, while 36 percent of students and general population campuses partake in pre-game festivities.
One third of HBCU students don’t always realize how intoxicated they re until later compared to 39 percent of college students nationally.
“Perceptions and how students handle drinking on HBCU campuses is different from non-HBCU students,” Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of the Century Council said. “One-size-fits all approaches to issues like college binge drinking don’t work and we believe that this new data and initiative will help address a problem at a more strategic level.”
More than 1,800 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related injuries, according to National Institutes of Health statistics. The CDC says binge drinking accounts for 40,000 deaths each year among the overall population.
“When people binge drink, especially the younger crowd, they binge drink, they go out, they drive, and they drive and they go home,” O’Neal told CNN. “Their thought process is ‘Hey, I did it. Nothing happened. It’s OK.’ But it’s not OK.”
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, noted that O’Neal’s star power attracted a roomful of lawmakers and journalists to the press conference unveiling the Century Council study.
“They came to get a photograph with him, but they also heard my story,” Cleaver told The Examiner newspaper. Cleaver’s best friend, who was O’Neal’s uncle, was killed in an auto accident by a man who had been binge-drinking.
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