Thursday, March 5, 2015

HU biology students travel to Brazil to conduct research in Atlantic Rainforest

HU biology students travel to Brazil to conduct research in Atlantic Rainforest 

Eight Hampton University biology students traveled to the Iracambi Atlantic Rainforest Research Center and to Rio Pomba, where they conducted research on sustainability and conservation from Jan. 5-23. 

The students on the trip were sophmores Brandi Adams, Rebecca Castro, Zenquia Miller; seniors Ashanti Bernateau, Pamela Cameau, Shalanda Grier, Crystal Smitherman and December 2014 graduate Carena Miles.

The first week of the program focused on learning Portuguese, where the HU students explored Rio de Janerio, traveled to Rio Pomba, communicating with locals, and learning about the culture from a group of Brazilian students from the local IF Sudeste-MG campus.

During the second week of the program both HU & IF Sudeste MG-Rio Pomba students studied topics including sustainable communities, reforesting, bird watching, bio-construction and environmental management. Learning took place both inside and outside the classroom, between lectures and presentations. 

"I learned that the purpose of the conservation of forestry is to track development," said Smitherman. "This experience has humbled me and given me an appreciation for the rainforest and all that it contributes to the ecosystem. It is important that we all learn about conservation in the rainforest, in order to protect our world and the environment."    

In the third week of the program the HU students traveled to the IF Sudeste-MG campus where they learned about sustainability, how students conduct research in the forest and how the students in Rio Pomba are preserving and rebuilding the rainforest. 

The trip was sponsored by the Washington Baltimore Hampton Roads-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (WBHR-LSAMP), which focuses on increasing the number of underrepresented minority students involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).   

"My favorite part of the experience was the interaction with other students that were so open to learning about our culture and language as much as we were to learning theirs," said Castro. " This experience opened my eyes to new possibilities for careers."

- Matthew A. White '10

Monday, March 2, 2015

HU Conference Explored Four Tiers of Hip Hop

Hampton University students artwork auctioned at the beginning of the conference
Hampton University’s School of Liberal Arts hosted the first annual Art of Hip-Hop conference on Feb. 11 - 12. This year’s theme was “Do You Still Love H.E.R (Hearing Every Rhyme)?” The conference extended over the course of two days, with the first being a silent auction built on one of the four tiers of hip-hop, graffiti. The artwork featured many artists who have made a lasting impact on the industry since it began over 40 years ago. Patrons were given the opportunity to listen to hip-hop music from different decades as they enjoyed the work of HU students.

Honoree Freedom Williams with conference coordinator Idonia Barrett and Dana Hubbard
Frederick “Freedom” Williams, who attended HU in the late 80’s was chosen to be the honoree of this year’s conference. Freedom Williams is the former front man and co-founder of the international multi-platinum selling group C&C Music Factory. He sold over 8 million records and has written children’s books. He has also written history chapters and screen plays. Honored by receiving his work, Williams spoke to the audience of students on his success and how he struggled to remain humble through the experiences as well as stay connected to his roots, which helped him to become the person he is today.

Day two was full of events and panel discussions targeting the current state of hip-hop and the development of the culture. There were debates on the state of rap and how it ties into the hip-hop community, if at all. Another topic explored was the role of women in the industry and how they have been demoted to being video vixens and degraded subjects of rap lyrics. Radio personalities, Dominique Da Diva and Paris Nicole spoke on their oppositions to how women are viewed within the industry but also maintained their stance that it will always be popular on the radio because it is what sells.

Hampton University students showcase the evolution of hip hop over the decades 
The panelists were questioned on how we as a community are able to change the views of the public, and who will be the future of hip-hop. “Don’t be afraid to be yourself. It is important that you find out what your purpose is and go for it. Be cautious of what you listen to. Listen responsibly,” said Dominique Da Diva. It all starts with one person, one trailblazer, someone who doesn’t conform to the mainstream view of what hip-hop is.

The conference ended with a showcase of hip-hop through the decades. HU students performed in scenes portraying the evolution of hip-hop. From its origins in the Bronx, NY in the 1970’s engulfing its four tiers, The DJ; The Emcee; Graffiti; and Break Dancing.  Hip-hop has always been more than just a genre of music; it is a culture and lifestyle.

-Sechemelia Lewis ‘15
-Daisha Roberts '15