Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, led a special discussion on campus.

Pictured: Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama.

Photo by Justin D. Knight


University News

Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama and assistant to the president for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, led a special discussion on campus this month with female graduate and undergraduate students, sharing life lessons, challenges, opportunities and how to succeed as an African-American woman.  

More University News…

The names of four University departments have changed. Administrative Services has been changed to the Department of Facilities and Capital Management; the Controller’s Office/PeopleSoft has been changed to PeopleSoft System Support; Human Capital Management has been changed to Office of Talent Management; and Materials Management has been changed to Department of Strategic Sourcing and Asset Management.

Howard will lead beautification efforts on campus on April 22 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Volunteers will be asked to pick up trash around campus and its perimeter streets, and to plant flowers and shrubs in select areas. Administrative Services will provide all materials, i.e., gloves, trash bags and small tools. The event will run the entire day, allowing members of the Howard community the opportunity to participate and plan their schedules accordingly. To sign up to volunteer, please e-mail Pauline Hazel at

The voting period for the 2010 Alumni Trustee Election has been extended until June 12. Visit and vote today.

The Department of African Studies is presenting “Apartheid and Resistance: A South African Film Series” on Wednesdays in April. “Zulu Love Letter,” a film by Ramadan Suleman, was screened on April 14, and “More than Just a Game,” a film by Junaid Ahmed, will be screened on April 21. Contact Cara Moyer at for more information.

Place your vote for Howard to receive an improvement grant of $50,000 from Home Depot to help beautify the campus. (Ten schools will receive minor grants of $10,000 each.) Visit to vote. Voting ends May 15, at 11:59 pm EST. On June 15, 11 schools will be announced, and will see their dream projects come to life.

The University will host a symposium titled “The Health Care Discussion: People, Environment and Policy,” on Tuesday, April 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in the Blackburn Center. In light of the recent health care bill that was passed, the symposium will bring together experts from across the country.

More than 300 students volunteered during this year’s Alternative Spring Break, serving communities in New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. To read more about their experiences, visit

Courtesy Photo

Renée R. Jenkins, M.D., a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the College of Medicine, joined Howard colleagues at the White House for President Barack Obama’s signing of the historic health insurance reform bill. (Jenkins is pictured second from right.)

The D.C. Cultural Tourism Organization installed the Kelly Miller Historical Plaque on the railing at the back of Bethune Annex, a location now on the Washington, D.C. African-American Heritage Trail. Miller, a prominent scholar and leader at Howard, taught mathematics and sociology. He went on to serve as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and laid the groundwork for the formation of African-American sociology as a profession.

The Office of the Provost and the Office of Student Life and Activities held a disaster preparedness presentation, “Katrina and Haiti: Are We Prepared?,” in the Blackburn Center. Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, U.S. Army (Ret.), was the guest speaker.

Tuskegee Airmen Alexander Jefferson and Bill Holloman visited the University and spoke to students about their experiences during World War II. Jefferson was drafted during the war while working on his master’s degree in chemistry at Howard, and in the spring of 1942 was ordered to a Tuskegee Army airfield to train and become a fighter pilot. The visit was sponsored by Remembering America’s Heroes—Veterans,

Two Cuban students visited the University for a discussion on “Cuba Today.” Yenaivis Fuentes Ascencio is completing undergraduate medical studies in Havana, where she also serves as the National Public Health Education Coordinator of the Federation of University Students. Aníbal Ramos Socarrás is a third-year graduate student in surgery at the University of Granma and leader of the Federation of University Students at the School of Medical Sciences in Manzanillo. The visit was sponsored by the Caribbean Studies Program, Cimarrones, the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Chango (Howard University Spanish Club), the Graduate Political Science Association, the Department of History, All-African Peoples Revolutionary Party, the Haitian Student Association, the Howard University Student Association, the Organization of Graduate Sociologists, the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Department of English and the Department of Philosophy.

The 15th Annual Women Ambassadors Conference was held in the auditorium of the School of Business and in the Rayburn Building of the Congress. Members of the diplomatic corps, the U.S. Congress and senior officials from international organizations addressed the theme of this year’s conference, “Recovery from Natural Catastrophes, Wars and the Financial Crisis.”

The Graduate School held its Annual Research Symposium and Honors Day in the Blackburn Center. For more information, visit the Graduate School’s Web site,

The Department of Classics held its eighth annual Frank M. Snowden Jr. Lecture.  Patrice Rankine, Ph.D., associate professor of Classics and assistant head of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Purdue University, and author of Ulysses in Black: Ralph Ellison, Classicism and African-American Literature, was the speaker. He discussed “The Classical Tradition and African-American Thought.”

The August Wilson Society, in conjunction with the Division of the Humanities and the College of Arts and Sciences, held its culminating event for Howard’s spring 2010 Common Text Project on Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. In addition to providing valuable lessons on the cultural legacy of African Americans in this country, the symposium used The Piano Lesson as context for exploring the place of the University’s legacy in the face of current efforts toward academic renewal.

The Department of World Languages and Cultures and the Friends of the Library of Howard University Libraries held “A Conversation About Book Arts.” Carol Beane, poet and associate professor of Modern Languages, and Renee Stout, visual artist, was featured during the event. The artists are the 2009 recipients of the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ Book Arts Award. They discussed how their book, the streets that used to be, was created conceptually.

The Department of Radio, Television and Film welcomed filmmaker Julie Dash, director of “Daughters Of The Dust,” and this year’s honoree for the Paul Robeson Awards. The Robeson Awards are held each year to recognize the best of student work, and also honors a distinguished artist in the field of radio, TV or film.

Photo by Ceasar

Law School Dean Kurt Schmoke and George Washington University Professor Paul Butler debated “Should Good People Be Prosecutors?”  The debate focused on one chapter of Butler’s book, Let’s Get Free: A Hip Hop Theory of Justice. Butler, a former prosecutor, argued that African-American prosecutors are complicit in a biased criminal justice system. Schmoke, also a former prosecutor, argued that the most efficacious means to address the inequities of the criminal justice system is from within.

Photo by Justin D. Knight

Greg Carr, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies, participated in a conference on interdisciplinary studies titled “Can We Talk?: Bridges Between the Humanities and the Social Sciences” at Duke University. He presented alongside chairs of Africana Studies at Duke and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The conference aimed to bring scholars together in a conversation about how they can mutually benefit each other. Carr also served as a panelist on “The History of U.S.-Haiti Relations” for the Congressional Black Caucus forum on “The Road to Recovery in Haiti,” which was held on Capitol Hill.

The Blackburn Center, the Friends of the Library, the Ralph Bunche Center for International Affairs and the Department of World Languages and Culture sponsored a screening of “Aldewelem (He Didn’t Call Me),”by Ethiopian filmmaker Yetnayet Bahru Gessesse. 

The School of Pharmacy held a seminar on “Therapeutic Applications of Ionic Liquids.” Sanjay V. Malhotra, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute, was the guest speaker.

The University held its annual Spring Open House for accepted students. The event is intended to expose new students to campus life and provide information that will influence their decision to enroll. Prospective students had the opportunity to interact with current students, faculty, staff and administrators.

The School of Divinity held its annual Nannie Helen Burroughs Lecture. Kipkoeech Sambu, Ph.D., a Kenyan Egyptologist was the guest speaker. He discussed “Egypt’s Isis, Kenya’s Isis, Judah’s Queen of Heaven: Connecting the Dots.” 

The Department of English held its 58th annual Charles Eaton Burch Memorial Lecture. The lecture was delivered by Houston A. Baker Jr., Ph.D., and honored two former Howard professors and administrators: Jeanne-Marie Miller, Ph.D., and Theodore Hudson, Ph.D.

The Department of Chemical Engineering held its spring 2010 seminar in the Lewis K. Downing Hall. Guest speaker Xiaoyan (Sarah) Wang, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, discussed “Free Volume and Transport Properties in Polymeric Materials.”

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