|ABC News’ Byron Pitts to
Keynote COAACH’s 10th Annual Caregiver Education Conference
Tiffanny S. Jones
GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 4, 2018) – For its 10th annual Caregiver
Education Conference, the Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s, Aging
and Community Health (COAACH) at North Carolina Agricultural and
Technical State University has called upon veteran, multiple Emmy
Award winning journalist Byron Pitts to serve as the keynote
Beginning at 8 a.m., on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at the
Alumni-Foundation Event Center and the Student Health Center, the
conference will assist those who play the critical role of caregiver
in the lives of their loved ones who are impacted by chronic
disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia. This year’s theme is “10 Years
Transforming the Lives of Caregivers … The Journey Continues.” The
full-day program will feature experts from the health, research and
media industries to inform and equip participants with the best
approaches to better manage the caregiving responsibilities.
Pitts, co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline” and ABC News contributor,
will speak to caregivers from personal experience of having loved
ones affected by dementia.
“Mr. Pitts’ late mother suffered from
dementia and he has another relative who is currently living with
the disease, so, we believe the caregivers will relate to what he
has to say,” said Grace Byfield, Ph.D., COAACH program manager.
He joined ABC in 2013 and he immediately joined the networks live
coverage of the Boston marathon bombing investigation. Since then,
Pitts has reported live from Baltimore, Dallas and Baton Rouge
during their recent riots and protests. Pitts also played a key role
in the network’s coverage from the Republican and Democratic
National Conventions as well as the first presidential debates in
the 2016 election year.
Prior to ABC, Pitts spent 15 years at CBS News where he served as
the chief national correspondent for the CBS Evening News and filed
regularly for “60 Minutes.” Pitts was named the National Association
of Black Journalists Journalist of the Year in 2002. His 2009
memoir, “Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped me Conquer
Life’s Challenges,” chronicled his journey to overcoming a stutter
and illiteracy to achieve success as a journalist. He also penned
the book, “Be the One,” that profiles six young adults who overcame
hardship with hope. Pitts began his career at WNCT-TV in Greenville,
North Carolina and has family ties to Apex, North Carolina.
The Caregiver Education Conference is free to all pre-registered
participants and includes free lunch, parking, respite care, access
to vendors, health screenings and small group sessions to allow
hands-on interactive training. Participants who do not pre-register
will be charged a $10 fee on the day of the event.
To pre-register, visit the COAACH website or call Terri Long at
336-285-2165 or 888-248-2808. The registration deadline is Oct. 22.
|Student Newspaper at N.C. A&T Secures
Poynter Project Program
EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 11, 2018) – The student editorial staff
of The A&T Register have been accepted into The Poynter College
Media Project program. The newspaper was one of more than 70 student
newspapers to apply and one of nine to be accepted in the year-long
“I am very passionate about the criminalization of the Black
community, so much so that I find myself educating people about the
repetitive cycle,” said Alexis Wray, editor-in-chief of The A&T
Register. “So, when the faculty of the JOMC department made the
program aware to me, I instantly knew what my newsroom could propose
a narrower look at the criminalization of my HBCU, N.C. A&T.”
Wray is a junior, multimedia journalism student from Crumpler, North
Carolina. She has been a staff member since her freshman year.
With Poynter’s College Media Project, student media organizations
will receive the support they need to elevate their journalism
skills and realize their potential to play a critical role as
community facilitators in the marketplace of ideas. In return, they
will be required to engage in all training activities and provide
both active reflection and feedback to ensure the power and reach of
the program on their campuses.
The program offers nine independent student media organizations
in-person workshops, online teaching and funding, and planning
support for a campus project geared toward achieving two goals:
improving student journalism and modeling civil dialogue through
news coverage and related events.
Elissa Yancey, storyteller, multimedia reporter, award-winning
educator and community builder is leading the program. She will be
joined by co-leader Fara Warner, a New York-based, award-winning
journalist, author, speaker and educator who brings three decades of
experience leading teams and projects ranging from traditional print
to virtual reality films.
About North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is the
nation’s largest historically black university, ranked number one
among public HBCUs by U.S. News & World Report. It is a land-grant,
higher-research classified university by the Carnegie Foundation and
constituent member of the University of North Carolina system. A&T
is known for its leadership in producing graduates in engineering,
agriculture and other STEM fields. The university was founded in
1891 and is located in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Philanthropy Hits New Heights for N.C. A&T for Fiscal Year 2018
EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 4, 2018) – In the recently completed
2018 fiscal year, supporters of North Carolina Agricultural and
Technical State University set a new record for private giving with
a total of $15.6 million in donations and pledges to A&T.
The total represented an increase of 6 percent over the previous
fiscal year sum of $14.7 million, also a record for North Carolina
A&T. The combined total of $30.3 million is by far the largest
amount raised by A&T in any two-year span in the university’s
“We experienced stronger alumni engagement than N.C. A&T has ever
had by way of pledges, scholarship support, outright gifts and
more,” said Ken Sigmon, vice chancellor for University Advancement.
“It is tremendously gratifying to see the Aggie Nation stepping up
so enthusiastically to support the continued growth and evolution of
“It speaks to a level of excitement among our most important
constituents that is truly inspiring as we reach higher than ever
before to bring in private support for A&T.”
The record year comes as A&T prepares to publicly kick off a capital
campaign on Nov. 1 that has been in the quiet phase for several
years. As has been publicly reported, the university has already
raised $68 million toward an overall goal of $85 million.
Other philanthropic highlights for FY18 include:
•The university received more than 10,200 individual gifts, a 7
percent increase over the previous year. That included gifts from
more than 4,500 alumni, an 8 percent jump over the previous year.
•A&T supporters gave more than $4 million to support endowed
scholarships for the second year in a row, while gifts to support
current-use scholarships exceeded $3 million. Scholarships are of
major importance to the university: Two-thirds of A&T’s enrollment
comprises students who are the first in their families to go to
college, which means family resources to fund their education can be
in short supply.
•More than 100 donors made major gifts -- $25,000 or more – in the
last fiscal year.
“When we see the level of activity that we did in FY18, it’s clear
that our donors enthusiastically support the university’s mission,”
said Sigmon. “At a time when many institutions struggle to identify
private support, this says great things about North Carolina A&T and
the many individuals and organizations who show their affection for
the university through their thoughtful generosity.”
Two N.C. A&T Students Reap Benefits of
New Honda, TGMCF Scholarship
EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 4, 2018) - Two North Carolina
Agricultural and Technical State University students are recipients
of a new scholarship awarded through a partnership with Honda and
Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF).
Dymon Atkinson, sophomore engineering student and Marvin Edge,
first-generation, business student are receiving the scholarships as
part of the annual scholarship fund Honda established earlier this
year to support students pursuing an education in engineering,
supply chain management and manufacturing-related fields.
Atkinson said the scholarship is helping her get one step closer to
achieving her dream. "For as long as I could remember, I've wanted
to be an engineer and make a positive impact on the lives of
people," she said. "My lifetime career goal is to become an
aerospace engineer in the Armed Forces."
Honda established the scholarship fund on the occasion of reaching a
major milestone in America – the production of its 25th million
automobile in the United States. The company began auto production
in Ohio in 1982, the first Japanese automaker to produce cars in the
"Honda is pleased to support these impressive students, who we hope
will become part of the future of manufacturing in America," said
Yvette Hunsicker, vice president of the Office of Inclusion and
Diversity at Honda North America, Inc. "This is just the beginning
of a wonderful collaboration between Honda and the Thurgood Marshall
College Fund that will support deserving students and help increase
opportunities in the important field of manufacturing."
"Expanding our partnership with Honda made perfect sense because of
our shared commitment to helping HBCU students pursue both their
academic and professional dreams," said Dr. Harry L. Williams,
president & CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund. "We are excited
to see where the road of opportunity will take these five scholars
and so many more, thanks to our Honda-HBCU partnership.
In addition to Atkinson and Edge, Honda and TMCF awarded
scholarships to three additional students from historically black
colleges and universities, including University of Maryland Eastern
Shore, Tennessee State University and Alabama A&M University.
In order to qualify for the scholarships, students must be enrolled
as a full-time student at one of the 47 TMCF member-schools; earn a
cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; demonstrate leadership qualities
and community service experience; and be recommended by a faculty or
staff member of their current school.
In addition to financial support, scholarship recipients will be
invited to interview for internships and co-op positions at one of
12 facilities in America where Honda manufactures vehicles, engines,
transmissions, as well as aircraft, aircraft engines, power
equipment and side-by-side and all-terrain vehicles.
From Honda's involvement in STEM education and Historically Black
Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to its support of pediatric brain
tumor research and volunteer efforts by Honda associates, including
environmental clean-up activities, Honda believes in giving back to
the communities where its associates live and work.
Established in 1987, TMCF is the nation's largest organization
exclusively representing the black college community. TMCF
member-schools include publicly-supported historically black
colleges and universities and predominantly black institutions,
enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and
N.C. A&T Atmospheric
Chemistry Researchers Receive $1 Million Grant
Jordan M. Howse
EAST GREENSBORO – (Oct. 4, 2018) It is estimated that Africa
produces more than half of the world’s biomass burning smoke from
biomass fuels and animal dung, where it’s used for cooking and
heating homes. Despite Africa and other tropic regions’ high
contribution to biomass burning emissions, relatively few studies
have been done on the effects of specific emissions on global health
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
researchers will receive $1 million grant from the National Science
Foundation (NSF) to study the climate and health impacts of biomass
smoke, combustion emissions and sub-Saharan Africa and Saharan dust
mixed with biomass smoke.
Research will be led by N.C. A&T professor Solomon Bililign, Ph.D.,
and co-principal investigator Marc Fiddler, Ph.D. The team will look
at the optical properties of biomass smoke, as a function of
relative humidity and the health implications of the smoke.
“Household pollution from biomass burning contributes to nearly
three million premature deaths per year,” Bililign said. “Having a
better understanding of what the health impacts of pollution due to
biomass burning should help mitigate and improve household burning
conditions in the developing world.”
Bililign and his team of undergraduate and graduate researchers will
collaborate with Colorado State University in field research and
modeling of health impacts and Howard University to collect filter
samples on aboard maritime research platforms on NOAA ships on the
The grant is for three years through 2021.
The overall goals of the project, “HBCU-Excellence in Research:
Radiative Effects of Biomass Burning Aerosols Laboratory and Field
Measurements and Modeling of Climate and Health Impacts," are to
understand the chemical composition and optical properties of
biomass burning aerosols, quantifying and understanding various
biomass emissions and emission factors to understand their impact on
global climate, air quality and human health.
“Because of this grant’s emphasis on research excellence at HBCUs,
this project will directly increase the number of minority students
trained in atmospheric science both in field and laboratory
research,” Bililign said.
Bililign and Fiddler previously received NSF funds to build an
indoor smog chamber study optical properties of biomass burning
emissions as they photochemically change and collaborated with
UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Environmental Science and Engineering
scientists to conduct chemical analysis of the aerosols obtained
from the smog chamber.
This project will also allow A&T faculty and students to be part of
a major field campaign to study wildfire emissions in collaboration
with NSF’s National Center for Atmospheric Research, National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA Aerodyne company and
other universities in 2019.
N.C. A&T CoST Awarded $1.3 million from NIH for
Biomedical Graduate Training
Jordan M. Howse
EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 4, 2018) -- North Carolina Agricultural
and Technical State University’s College of Science and Technology (CoST)
has been selected for the Bridges to the Doctorate research training
award of $1.3 million over a five-year period.
The award from the National Institute of Health allows for a
partnership between CoST’s master’s programs in computational
biology and computational science and engineering and University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s doctorate programs in the same
N.C. A&T is the only historically black college or university
selected for the award.
The Bridges to the Doctorate program is designed to help students
make the transition from master’s degree programs to doctorate
programs. The award will expand the pool of underrepresented
students who remain in the bioinformatics and biomedical sciences
through the doctorate level and increase the number of students who
go into research careers, said Patrick Martin, assistant dean of
CoST and principal investigator for the program at A&T.
“This program helps us make graduate students more competitive to
enter top tier doctoral programs in the country,” Martin said. “Jobs
in these fields are in high demand in industries like Google, IBM
and health and insurance providers.”
Bridges to the Doctorate allows CoST to select three students each
year for the program. Once designated, the three students are paired
with mentors at A&T and UNC.
Along with mentors, special curriculum will be designed for students
in the Bridge to the Doctorate program with cross-training in
biomedical and computational sciences and engineering. They also
will have the opportunities for professional development to take
courses at UNC during their master’s program.
Dukka Kc, Ph.D., is a co-PI in addition to UNC’s Michael Jarstfer,
Ph.D. Other participating institutions include University of
California-Los Angeles, University of Kentucky, University of
Illinois at Chicago and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Two N.C. A&T Students Receive
White House Initiative’s Highest Honor
EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 2, 2018) – Two North Carolina
Agricultural and Technical State University students have been
selected as 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars – a designation of
the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and
Universities (HBCUs) extended to only 63 students this fall.
Kourtney Smith and Kailyn Price, recently received the initiative’s
highest student recognition and participated in the 2018 National
HBCU Week Conference, in Washington, D.C.
“Being named a White House Scholar is such an honor because I serve
as a representative of HBCU students doing amazing things inside and
outside of the classroom,” said Smith, a public relations student.
“My professional goal is to work in diversity and inclusion,
specifically to recruit more HBCU students for industries where
minorities are underrepresented.”
The conference provided great networking and educational
opportunities for students to share with their corresponding
“It was invaluable to begin forming relationships with current
students to exchange ideas on how to ensure that the talents of
Black students at HBCUs contribute and uplift the communities in
which we are integrated,” said Price, a junior, bioengineering
Comprised of undergraduate, graduate and professional students,
Competitiveness Scholars are recognized for successfully preparing
to compete for top opportunities that improve long-term outcomes.
Price and Smith were nominated and endorsed by N.C. A&T Chancellor
Harold L. Martin, Sr. They were selected among several highly
distinguished students based on their academic achievement, campus
and civic involvement and entrepreneurial spirit.
Over the course of their one-year term, they will learn and share
proven and promising practices supporting individual and HBCU
competitiveness; participate in workshops designed to improve
leadership; encourage ongoing personal and professional development;
and discover areas of innovation and entrepreneurship.