Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Alum chosen to introduce the First Lady and decorate the White House for the holidays

  Alum chosen to introduce the First Lady and decorate the White House for the holidays

Jennifer Cole, a 1990 Hampton University graduate, started out the holiday season by introducing First Lady Michelle Obama on Nov. 28 at the press preview of the White House decorations. 

Jennifer Cole listens to First Lady Michelle Obama.
Cole was one of 80 volunteers selected to help spread the spirit of the season by decorating the White House for the holidays.  In her application to volunteer to decorate the White House, Cole spoke about being a military spouse.  

“I gave them what I thought were ordinary details about Don’s [Cole’s husband] years of service,” said Cole. “This is the fourth Christmas in 15 years that we will actually get to spend together and since he retired from the Air Force I have been looking for other ways to serve.”

From Nov. 23 -Nov. 27, Cole worked with other volunteers from across the country to prepare the White House for the holiday season. Cole’s team of volunteers were assigned several rooms including the East Entrance and the East Landing, where the tree dedicated to military families is located.

HU Alumnae Jennifer Cole, '90 and her husband Retired Col. Donald Cole
“It happens to be my favorite tree, I was assigned to make ornaments for that tree and it was a great honor since I am the daughter of a WWII veteran and the wife of an Air Force retiree with 30 years of service,” said Cole.

On the second day of volunteering, Cole was told about the press preview of the holiday decorations and was asked to introduce Mrs. Obama. “It was emotionally overwhelming!” she said.

Shortly before the press briefing, Cole, her husband and father had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Obama in the Blue Room and took a picture with her. “ She is everything you would imagine - warm, funny and grateful to meet those who have served our country,” said Cole. 

Cole delivered a funny, yet moving three-minute introduction speech and when Mrs. Obama arrived on stage, she hugged Cole and thanked her family for everything they’ve done for the country and for making the White House beautiful. 

Cole and her family truly enjoyed the experience. Hampton University roots run deep in her family. Her father, Rhomie L. Heck, Jr. is a 1952 Hampton graduate as well as her siblings Rhomie L. Heck III, '76, Julie A. Heck, '80 and Theodore Heck, '80. Her sister-in-law, Dr. Rosalynne Whitaker-Heck, is the assistant dean of academic affairs in the HU Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications and her stepson, Jonathan Cole is the graphic designer in the Office of University Relations. 

The White House Christmas 2012 special was featured on HGTV on Dec. 8. The special will run throughout the holiday season. Check HGTV White House Christmas 2012 for more information.    

 - Jalisa Stanislaus

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

HU joins group to increase safety and enhance the future of aviation

HU joins group to increase safety and enhance the future of aviation

Hampton University has been named an affiliate member of the FAA Center of Excellence Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS) group. The PEGASAS group is a part of the newly established FAA Center of Excellence led by Purdue University, The Ohio State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.  

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently established the Air Transportation Center of Excellence (COE) for general aviation.  The COE will focus research and testing efforts on safety, accessibility and sustainability to enhance the future of general aviation.

The FAA’s COE program is a cost-sharing research partnership between academia, industry and the federal government.  Research and development efforts by PEGASAS will cover a broad spectrum of general aviation safety issues, including airport technology, propulsion and structures, airworthiness, flight safety, fire safety, human factors, system safety management and weather.

Hampton University’s Department of Aviation is the only Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in America with a FAA approved air traffic control instruction program. Graduates from the HU aviation programs have established careers as pilots for the military and commercial airplanes and serve in airports and air traffic control towers across the country.  

The FAA established the first Center of Excellence for General Aviation in 2001 through a 10-year agreement to conduct general aviation research in airport and aircraft safety areas.  The research topics included pilot training, human factors, weather, Automatic Dependent Surveillance/Broadcast (ADS-B), remote airport lighting systems and other matters.

As the first Center of Excellence for General Aviation research concludes, the new team will continue critical research, testing and education efforts. The FAA intends to invest a minimum of $500,000 per year during the first five years of the new, 10-year agreement with PEGASAS.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Celebrate Homecoming Week With Miss Hampton and Mr. Pirate 

Hampton University’s 2012 Homecoming week, “A Pirate’s Festival,” has begun and will continue through Oct. 28. Several events are planned, including the Miss Hampton University Coronation, the annual Homecoming Bazaar and the football game, which is against Savannah State in Armstrong Stadium. All events are open to the public. For more information about ticket prices and events call the HU Office of Student Activities at 757.727.5691 or the HU Office of Alumni Affairs at 757.727.5425.

A schedule of upcoming events is listed below.

Oct. 24
Miss Hampton University Coronation
7 p.m.
Ogden Hall

Oct. 25
“Pirate Bash” Homecoming Concert
7 p.m.
Concert Lineup Featuring Dom Kennedy, Curren$y, Kirko Bangz, LoveRance
HU Convocation Center
$12 in advance and for students with ID
$17 General Admission
$22 Event Day
Tickets available at the HU Convocation Center Box Office and Ticketmaster

“The Social Network”
6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Bar Louie in the Peninsula Town Center
21 and older starting at 8 p.m. – Proper ID Required

Meet and Greet with Olympic Medalists Francena McCorory and Kellie Wells
3 p.m. 
HU Student Center Ballroom 

Oct. 26
Homecoming Bazaar
“Thieves Market Fair”
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
HU Student Center

Campus wide Homecoming Office Decorating Contest
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Homecoming Step Show
7 p.m.
HU Convocation Center
$12 in advance and for students with ID
$17 General Admission
$22 Event Day
Tickets available at the HU Convocation Center Box Office and Ticketmaster

Shades of Purple:  An Evening of Graceful Elegance
(Hosted by GE ’92 Omega Psi Phi – Dress To Impress)
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Student Center Ballroom
(Call 757.727.5425 for more information)

Oct. 27
Homecoming Parade – “Procession of the Pirates”
10 a.m.
Downtown Hampton, Va.

Homecoming Game - HU Vs. Savannah State
2 p.m.
Armstrong Stadium
$35 Reserved Adult Seating
$25 General Admission
$20 Senior Citizens
$20 HU Employees
$10 Graduate and Continuing Education Students
$10 Youth Ages 6-17
Tickets available at the HU Convocation Center Box Office

Hampton University Young Alumni Council (HUYAC) Day Party
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Student Center Ballroom

Oct. 28
Sunday Jazz Brunch Reception         
1 p.m.
University Museum

Friday, October 19, 2012

Above and beyond: HU professors accept teaching award 

The Edward L. Hamm, Sr. Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes members of the Hampton University (HU) faculty who have been nominated by their peers and/or students and selected by HU President, Dr. William R. Harvey, for their teaching excellence. On September 30 at the 70th Annual Fall Convocation, two exceptional members of the faculty were recognized for their hard work and dedication to HU students.

Dr. Halima Ali, professor in the HU Department of Mathematics, began teaching in 1976 in her native country, Somalia. She came to the United States and earned a masters degree and Ph.D from Howard University. Ali joined the Department of Mathematics at Hampton University in 1993.

“Teaching is the only job I’ve ever done. I’m an all around [educator],” stated Ali.

One of Ali’s passions is mentoring students. Working at summer workshops with high school students was one of the most memorable experiences in her career. She has mentored various students at secondary, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Ali has authored numerous publications and has led and participated in over 15 funded projects.

“I love engaging students on different levels, many of my students have won awards and I have received plaques as recognition for my mentorship,” said Ali.  “ I take pride in my students when they’re doing well. It gives me the fuel to keep going.”

Ali’s teaching method and style vary based on the course. Teaching methods change because different students have different mathematical maturities.

“When you have been teaching a long time like I have, you get a sense of how students are responding and you adjust your teaching accordingly.” She believes that it is very important to motivate and encourage students.

“Being recognized as a distinguished teacher was a high point for me. There are no words to describe being recognized for what you love to do. When President Harvey announced that I would receive the award, I said ‘Wow,’ I could not believe it, I am honored.”

-Jalisa Stanislaus

Dr. Ziette Hayes, assistant professor in the School of Business, was also selected by Dr. William R. Harvey to obtain the Edward L. Hamm Sr. Teaching Award.

“It was a pleasant surprise. Very humbling experience,” Hayes said.

Hayes has significantly impacted Hampton University (HU) by assisting in the development and implementation of HUs first online Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration program.

As an assistant professor in the Department of Administration, Hayes often finds ways to improve logistics within the HU Leadership Application Program. Hayes engages in several discussions with students regarding their career interests and the status of their professional and academic goals. Dr. Hayes encourages students to make the most of the opportunities HU and the business program have to offer.

“I have a bit of an open door policy that allows students to share with me whether it is during office hours or not, so my office is usually pretty busy,” Hayes said. “Because I am very student focused, the time I have with students is very energizing.”

She has a passion to deliver instruction in a way that reaches students on a daily basis, as the 2011-12 Provost Innovative Teaching Award Recipient Hayes has made strides with that goal. 

Her love for business came from warm experiences with her father; who allowed her to write checks as a child. Hayes then gained experience as an intern at a bank. Over the course of 11 years she has held several positions within several divisions of General Electric (GE) and the Early Morning Shows of NBC, such as “The Today Show” and more.

Being a community leader is important to Hayes, who calls her leadership style “very situational.”  She prefers a participative style of leadership in an environment without boundaries.

“My goal post continues to move,” Hayes said. “I see personal growth and contributing to society as a lifelong goal. Professionally and personally I have much to yet accomplish.” 

- Brianna Dance

Monday, September 17, 2012

HU NAACP hosts Voter Empowerment Rally

Da’Quan Love '14 speaks at the HU NAACP Voter Empowerment Rally

HU NAACP President Austin Hutchinson ‘13, Author, Motivational Speaker Kemba Smith, and HU NAACP Member Da’Quan Love ‘14

Students signed up to become registered voters

HU NAACP hosts Voter Empowerment Rally

The Hampton University NAACP hosted a voter empowerment rally to help motivate students to register to vote and be active in the Nov. 6 election, that pits President Barack Obama against Governor Mitt Romney. The Sept. 13 rally was in the HU Student Center and included spoken word, voter registration information, and an address by author and motivational speaker Kemba Smith.

HU NAACP member Da’Quan Love ‘14, who hosted the event, said it was an opportunity to encourage students to use their vote as their voice.

“A lot of folk think that young people are apathetic, but in 2008 we made a difference at the polls,” said Love, who is also state president of the Virginia NAACP Youth and College Division. “The NAAP is non partisan; we have no political affiliation. People died so we could vote today. We’re trying to make voting exciting, the cool thing.”

The group has other events planned prior to Election Day, including voter registration in the Student Center during 12 p.m. -2 p.m.  hours and debate watch parties. HU Senior Austin Hutchinson, is the president of the HU NAACP chapter.

“If we don't vote, someone will vote for us, and it won’t necessarily be in our best interest,” Hutchinson said. “As young, minority college students, they’re threatening to take away grants and things we need. Activism will not skip our generation. We have to promote this.”

To find out more about the HU NAACP follow the group @HamptonNAACP. Also, text VAYCD to 6227 to get updates about the Virginia NAACP Youth and College Division.

Leha Byrd