Bleu Notes: October 2021

  • DU ’22 already making moves! This is a great reminder for all students. Post-graduation planning does not begin right before you graduate. People are getting job offers and getting admitted to graduate school now for next fall. Congratulations to Andrew Saarah who has been offered a software engineer position with Google. Also congratulations to Timothy Shorts who was admitted into the Criminal Justice Master’s Program for the University of Baltimore.
  • Great pic of recent Dillard grads Justin Matthews ’21, John Lawson ’20, and Joshua Williams ’19 who were all recipients of the MC Lyte Educate Our Men scholarship. She had a 50th birthday party recently and they attended. MC Lyte served a 5-year term on our board of trustees.
  • Here is the story:
  • The Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective (BMC), in partnership with Amazon Music, selected Dillard to receive a $10,000 donation for musical equipment as part of the organizations’ ongoing partnership to provide students at HBCUs the opportunity to learn all facets of the music industry.
  • Dr. Robert Collins was quoted extensively in this article, “As Biden’s Approval Rating Slumps, Disenchantment Grows”
  • § He was interviewed for the story, “Pandemic precautions expected to increase early voting turnout”
  • § Provided analysis for the story “La. voters to vote on four proposed constitutional amendments on Nov. 13”
  • Dr. Ashraf Esmail conducted a TV interview on Fox discussing “What to look for when thief smashes your car window”
  • Nice interview of Dillard alum Garrett Morris:
  • Amaya Ronczyk ’22 was awarded the Justice Revius O. Ortique, Jr. Scholarship from the Martinet Legal Society.
  • Indya Walton ’20 recently graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism with a Master of Science in Editorial Journalism. She will begin her career with Reuters as the Community Engagement Editor and will be working on social media analytics.
  • Dr. Marc Barnes will be one of the speakers for the upcoming GNO Inc. Emerge Summit for young professionals.
  • Several months ago I shared information about the Black Ambition Prize competition led by Pharrell Williams. I am pleased to announce that Victoria Hardy ’24 was selected as a semi- finalist Black Ambition Prize Competition. As a result, she will receive $10,000 in Amazon Website Services credits as well as a mentor and other opportunities.
  • The Top 200 CPA and advisory firm Windham Brannon has named Brandi M. Samuel ’08 to principal effective Oct. 1. She is the first Black principal at the Atlanta-based firm.
  • William Shelton’s ’22 play YELLOW DANCER has been accepted by The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Inc. and will receive a Staged Reading in Dallas, Texas on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. Six student playwrights from different HBCU’S (one student per university) were selected and their work will be published in a forthcoming anthology. The six student playwrights will also be introduced to some of the most prominent African American playwrights in the country. William is an senior English Major who wrote this play in his Spring 2020 playwriting course for his final project.
  • Dr. Ashraf Esmail published an article entitled “Academically Successful Black Males and their School Culture: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis” in the International Journal of Leadership, Education, and Business Studies.
  • Congratulations again to the men’s and women’s cross country teams for winning the GCAC conference titles.
  • Congratulations to the volleyball team for winning the regular season GCAC title.
  • The Dillard Mock Trial team competed in its first tournament this year hosted by the University of Mississippi. They won several awards:
  • § Third place team win
  • § Spirit of AMTA Award
  • § Top attorney awards: LaJeanne Shelton (perfect score), Amaya Ronczyk, and DeAndre’ Bell
  • § Top witness awards: Caitlin Douglas, Sterlling Bond, and LaJeanne Shelton
  • The mock trial team is one of four teams being chronicled by a documentary film maker for a documentary podcast to be released in the spring.
  • Cabria Ridgnal ’20 was accepted into the CDC’s very competitive Public Health Associate Program (PHAP). The PHAP is a competitive, two-year, paid training program with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. PHAP associates are assigned to public health agencies and nongovernmental organizations in the United States and US territories, and work alongside other professionals across a variety of public health settings. Ridgnal has been placed at the CDC’s Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support in Austin, TX.
  • Dr. Rachael Reed has been invited to be the guest speaker on the Public Health Live! webcast. Public Health Live! is the award-winning collaboration between the University at Albany School of Public Health’s Center for Public Health Continuing Education and the New York State Department of Health. Her episode is entitled “Addressing Influenza and COVID-19 Immunization Health Inequities” and will air live on November 15th. Registration is now open.
  • Dr. Lashanda Brumfield participated on a panel entitled “Addressing Income and Wealth Inequities from the HEART”. This panel was a part of the University of Southern Mississippi Black Alumni Gala. She was nominated for “Educator of the Year” by the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni.
  • Dillard professor Dr. Peter J. Fos and student Kirstin Patterson, along with Peggy Honoré and Russel L Honoré, published the article, “Health Status in Fence-Line Communities: The Impact of Air Pollution” in the September 2021 issue of the International Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.
  • Sophomore Biology Majors Kyla Mayo and Derrick Webb were selected as Student Ambassadors for the Base11 -Boule’
  • Dillard alumna Kymbrea Valrey ’19 recently published a book, “Miracle with a Purpose.”
  • Dr. Ashraf Esmail presented a paper entitled “Contingencies and Boundaries Faced by Female Managers/Supervisors Seeking Promotion in their Automotive Manufacturing Units: A Narrative Research” at the Midsouth Sociological Association Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. The following Dillard University students also presented at the conference
  • § Isis Gains- Examining the School to Prison Pipeline
  • § Jada Sayles — Black Girls and the School to Prison Pipeline
  • § Naomi Baskins — Trauma on Black Students in White Academic Settings
  • § Rayah Haynes — The Effects Incarceration has in prisoners
  • § Carlos Pollard, Toiya Smith, Kylan Tanner- The Ride Revived Curriculum
  • Dillard alum and trustee Judge Carl E. Stewart has been selected to receive the prestigious 2021 American Inns of Court A. Sherman Christensen Award, which recognizes those who have provided exceptional leadership to the American Inns of Court movement.
  • David Page was a panelist for the Committee on Education Funding briefing on the historic underfunding of education and existing, long-term needs held for congressional education staffers.
  • Dr. Turshá Hamilton recently presented a talk to the National Association of Black Naturopathic Physicians about “Writing Your Book to Build Your Business: The Benefit of Authorship to Your Clinical Practice”




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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