Bleu Notes from February

  • Amaya Ronczyk was admitted to the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.
  • Jason D. Florentino will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.
  • DeSirer Bailey has been offered a position with JP Morgan Chase as an HR Developmental Analyst position in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Derrica McAllister has been offered a position with Amazon as an area manager.
  • Lauren Brown has been admitted to the School of Dentistry at Meharry Medical College
  • Lauren Rhodes has been admitted to the University of Oklahoma to pursue a masters of history (studying African American history), with full scholarship and research assistantship under the director of Oklahoma research for the National Black Homesteader Project starting fall 2022. The director of the program is a Dilalrd alumna, Dr. Kalenda Eaton.
  • Courtney Walker was admitted to the cell and molecular biology Master’s program at Tulane University.
  • Zella Palmer was interviewed for the WDSU story, “Celebrating Black History Month: The Life of Chef Lena Richard, a culinary giant who broke barriers”
  • Dr. Ashraf Esmail Conducted a WWL Radio interview with Tommy Tucker on Feb. 4th to discuss the impact of the new proposed New Orleans crime plan and the New Orleans City Council proposed changes to address crime. He also conducted a radio interview on Feb 10th on WWL morning show with Tommy Tucker to discuss the underlying factors that leads crime and violence among juveniles.
  • Spencer Jones ’23 and DeAndre Bell ’23 were quoted in a story about the Louisiana redistricting discussion at the State Capitol.
  • Alumna Dr. Tara Green, professor of African American and African Diaspora studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, wrote “Black Women and Pleasure: Ancestral Lessons We Should Learn” for Ms. Magazine about Straight University alumna Alice Dunbar-Nelson, who is also the topic of her recent book.
  • History professor Dr. Eva Baham joins Johns Hopkins team digitizing records regarding enslaved and free Black people in La.
  • Professor Carolyn Nur Wistrand was interviewed by The Grio on her play on Ida B. Wells which opens this week in Savannah, Georgia for the Savannah Black Heritage Festival, just made the front page of the Savannah Tribune in Savannah, Georgia.
  • Dr. Rachel Reed as interviewed by Fox 8 to discuss diversity in health care.
  • Dr. Robert Collins interviewed with Fox 8: “New Orleans EMS faces staffing issues ahead of Mardi Gras”
  • Amaya Ronczyk was a guest on the Mock Review podcast to discuss “what it felt like to earn Dillard’s first bid to ORCS since 2018, and also speaks on the role that HBCUs play in our community, what it’s like to compete at an HBCU, and what AMTA should be doing to support HBCUs and encourage competitive diversity in Mock Trial.”
  • Zella Palmer was interviewed by WWNO radio for the story, “Inside the plight of Louisiana’s Black chefs: ‘How do I turn my oppressor into my customer?’” You can hear it here:
  • Dr. Ashraf Esmail conducted a radio interview on the WWL morning show with Tommy Tucker on Feb 17th to discuss manpower shortages in law enforcement during Mardi Gras and the Quinton Skipper case in relation to Juvenile Crime.
  • Dr. Robert Collins did two investigative interviews regarding the City of Kenner.
  • Prof. Dennis Sigur was interviewed for the article, “How Programming Professor Dennis Sigur Effectively Uses Project-Based Learning”
  • Dr. Jana Smith was invited by Dr. China L. Jude, Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Denver Broncos Football Club to present to 25 National Football League Directors, Dance and Cheerleaders Coaches on: “The Significance of Historical Black Colleges and Universities and The History of its Dance and Cheerleading Programs”
  • Jerika Edwards ’23 was admitted to the Junior Summer Institute in Public Policy and International Affairs at the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
  • Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy had a new poem published in Water!! Magazine.
  • Talk about getting a head start: Benjamin Todd ’23 has been accepted into the Doctor of Chiropractic program at Life University
  • Dr. Ashraf Esmail (Center for Racial Justice) accompanied 39 Dillard University students to the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge on Feb 1st & 2nd to meet with Legislators to discuss the importance of Redistricting in Louisiana.
  • Dr. Roland Bullard was selected as NASPA/SACSA New Professionals Institute Director for Summer of 2022 and 2023- the first Director to represent an HBCU. He is also on the CAS Board of Directors, and on the team that is writing the first ever standards for e-sports.
  • Tennessee State University selected Dillard University as a presenter for the HBCU C2 Spring Academy 2022 for outstanding performance of Community Outreach. Dennis Sigur will represent Dillard.
  • On February 27th Zella Palmer will lecture on “Southern Foodways: Creole Cuisine,” a talk that lays the foundation for understanding the cultural history and people of Creole cooking as a defining factor of American South regional cuisine, at the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, FL.
  • Joshua Kragenbring ’23 was accepted in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program in Health Policy and Systems Management at LSUHSC School of Public Health through the 3/2 program.
  • Dr. Lovell Agwaramgbo, along with students Jailen Doyle and Onomeh Okeh, along with Olabimpe Olafuyi, published “Investigation of the effect of mixed anion and mixed metal on heavy metal removal from contaminated aqueous solutions,” in the International Research Journal of Pure and Applied Chemistry, 22(10) 27–35, 2021
  • Dr. Rachael Reed has been selected to serve a 2-year term on the inaugural editorial board of AJPM Focus, the official fully open access journal of the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) and the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM). The aim of AJPM Focus is to serve as the academic open access repository for high-quality prevention evidence across the global spectrum of health. The journal’s scope spans all aspects of public health and preventive medicine practice, teaching, and research. As a board member, Dr. Reed will advise the Editor-in-Chief on journal policy and scope as well as provide regular peer review among other duties.
  • Dr. Lashanda Brumfield’s abstract entitled “COVID-19 Mental Health Stresses Among HBCU Students” has been accepted for presentation at the Society for Public Health Education’s Annual Conference.
  • Dr. Marc Barnes is chairing the CASE Presents: Major Gift Strategies conference, April 19–21 in St. Petersburg, Florida
  • The Dillard Cheerleaders and the Dillard Diamonds competed recently in the Big Easy 2022 Dance Matchups.
  • Dr. Ruby Broadway will be a presenter for the 2022 NSF STEM for All Video Showcase: Access, Inclusion, and Equity, held online May 10–17, 2022.
  • Paulina Webber ’23 was recently elected the National UNCF Pre-Alumni Council president, and she came in 5th for the Miss UNCF contest (thanks for all who helped raise money), and Nez James was honored as Pre-Alumni advisor of the year.
  • Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival Inc. crowned Malena Mitchell ’25 as their 64th Queen.
  • Jailen Doyle was accepted to the RISE (Research Intensive Summer Experience) at Rutgers University.
  • The students from Higgins High school, one of the Educational Talent Search target schools, received over 375,000 thousand dollars of scholarship funding to attend Dillard University for academic year 2022–2023.
  • The Southern University Museum of Art hosted Louisiana Poet Laureate, Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy on February 24th and 25th to kick off the museum’s 21st anniversary celebration. She also read at the Festival of Words, Grande Coteau. She has three news poems appearing in this national anthology, “Black Fire — This Time.” Aquarius Press/Willow Books, . Release date March 15, 2022.
  • Feroz Khan, researcher in the Center for Minority Health Disparities, recently co-authored a grant proposal for a project to develop partnerships around disaster resilience between Global South regions. The proposal was funded and will be representing the MHHDRC at several workshops in South Africa over the grant period.
  • A number of Dillard faculty and alumni spoke for the “Dillard University Virtual Town Hall: Successes in STEM Education, Research, and Workforce Preparedness” sponsored by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Participants included: Dr. Ruby Broadway, Dr. Eric Buckles, Dr. Abdalla Darwish, Theodore Callier, Justin Matthews (GA Tech), Dr. Kelly Nash (UT San Antonio), Grace Johnson (LSU Health Sciences), Latisha Franklin (Pennsylvania State University), Dr. Trivia Frazier, (Obatala Sciences, Inc.), and Olabimpe Olafuyi (Jackson State University). You can see it here:
  • Prof. Patricia Bernstein is one of the featured artists for the SUNOMA Gallery (located on the second floor of the SUNO’s Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Building) Inaugural art exhibition “Herspective” curated by Heather Weathers and Cynthia Ramirez. The exhibition opens to the public Thursday, March 10, 2020 with a reception to meet the artists from 5:00–7:00pm. The exhibition will run through April 7, 2022. The Gallery is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.
  • The Center for Racial Justice recently published a chapter entitled “Racial Equity, Access and Opportunity” in The Effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic on HCBUs’ Academic and Social Culture.
  • The following students presented at the Research Association for Minority Professors conference on February 26th:
  • Derrick Webb (Biology) — Vaccination within the Alabama Black Community. Awarded second place in the undergraduate research competition with stipend.
  • Jaylah Richie (Criminal Justice) -How does mass incarceration impact juvenile African American boys?
  • Khyler Sims (Criminal Justice)- Corporal Punishment: Effective or Not
  • Jada Sayles (Criminal Justice) — Black Girls and the School to Prison Pipeline
  • Naomi Baskins (Criminal Justice) — Black Trauma in White Academic Settings
  • Taylor Ponds (Criminal Justice) — How Prison Affects the Psyche
  • Isis Gaines (Criminal Justice)- Examining the School to Prison Pipeline
  • Trinity Alexander (Criminal Justice) — Does the Media Alter the Psychological Mindset into Accepting the Rape Culture?
  • I had the pleasure of serving as the HBCU Sunday speaker for Alfred Street Baptist Church. They blessed us with a $50,000 donation on that Sunday. You can see my message here:




12th president of Philander Smith College. 7th president of Dillard University. Now in an Intermission.

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Walter M. Kimbrough

Walter M. Kimbrough

12th president of Philander Smith College. 7th president of Dillard University. Now in an Intermission.

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