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On April 16, Saint Augustine’s University students participated in the 6th Annual Undergraduate Research Day. This year’s theme was Evolving Undergraduate Research and Creativity: Transforming the Future. The University celebrated the work of students engaged in research and creative endeavours.

“It has been an honor to participate in this collaborative initiative of faculty and staff who volunteer their time to organize a celebration of student endeavors in research and creativity,” said Dr. Elizabeth Fournier, chair of UR Day. “This year’s smaller number of presenters led to more robust audience participation in all three sessions, reminding us all that it is just as important to listen and respond as it is to speak first.”

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The Falcon community recognized nearly 400 scholars during the annual University Honors Convocation on Thursday, April 9. Honors Convocation is an annual celebration where the University publicly recognizes and commends students for their distinguished academic achievements. The Honors Convocation is among the most important ceremonies of the University’s academic year.

The guest speaker for this year’s convocation was alumnus Xavier Donaldson, Esq. Throughout his speech, Atty. Donaldson emphasized that the St. Aug in him gave him the ability to be great and the ability to distinguish himself.

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Mr. Stephen McCleon, a sophomore from Raleigh majoring in sociology, has been selected to receive a $2,400 UPS Scholarship provided through the North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (NCICU). NCICU is a statewide association for private colleges and universities that is affiliated with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). At the national level, CIC teams up with the UPS Foundation to distribute funding of the UPS Scholarship. This year, CIC awarded nearly $1.5 million in scholarships from its UPS Educational Endowment Fund to private institutions of higher learning across the nation, including a grant of $87,300 to the North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities. These scholarships are awarded on the basis of the students’ academic achievement and financial need.

“Through this national scholarship program, CIC and UPS are delighted this year to make it possible for 614 talented young men and women to attend the private college or university of their choice,” said Richard Ekman, president of CIC. “By directly assisting students with significant financial need, CIC and UPS are helping a new generation of students achieve their dreams of a college education.”

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The U.S. Army ROTC recognized Cadet Brandon Pitchford with a $36,000 ROTC scholarship in Charlotte, N.C. during the annual Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Basketball Tournament, which was held February 23-28, 2015.

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On March 25, seventeen scholars were inducted into the Alpha Kappa Mu National Honors Society. Officers of the Alpha Alpha chapter of Alpha Kappa Mu conducted the formal induction ceremony recognizing university students for their scholastic achievements.

The new members were led through the ceremony that emphasizes the Society’s values of character, scholarship, citizenship, service and leadership. Alpha Kappa Mu invitations are extended to upper-class students with 60 credit hours or more with a grade point average of at least 3.3.

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From March 17 through March 28, the artworks of Saint Augustine’s University scholars ​Kaili Ingram, Liz Eraderi and Blair Gray were on display as part of the “Center/Gallery: Feminist Legacy, Feminist Future” exhibit at the Carrack Gallery in Durham, N.C. Professor Virginia Tyler of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts coordinated the show and her artwork was also displayed during the exhibit.

On Saturday, March 28, Ingram also had some of her work featured as part of the “Art Share & Artist Videos” night at the Carrack Modern in Durham. Her motion graphic interpretation of Sojourner Truth's speech, "Ain't I a Woman?” was shown with artist videos by Bryant Holsenbeck, Pat Dougherty and others.

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In the Historic Chapel on March 27, nine Falcons in the School of Continuing Education were inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society – Sigma Pi Chapter. In front of family and friends, each scholar pledge to uphold the values of the Society.

In 1945, Dr. Rollin B. Posey, the dean of University College, founded Alpha Sigma Lambda to honor those dedicated adult students who, while handling their life responsibilities, achieve and maintain high scholastic standards. The Society serves as a vehicle for imparting appreciation for adult students’ academic achievements and contributions.

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Gentel Blair, a junior majoring in mass communication with a concentration of broadcasting, was afforded the opportunity to job shadow Jerome Hubbard, the media coordinator for the Charlotte Hornets, on February 21. She was able to go behind the scenes and witness the Hornets live in action. Not only was she able to see how the media profession works on the NBA level, but she learned a great deal in the area of broadcasting, videoing and editing.

“It was a great experience,” said Blair, who is from Lexington, Ky. “I was able to see the fast pace of how media in the NBA is produced. I was also able to meet one of the FOX reporters, Stephanie Ready, who gave me great words of encouragement. There was never a dull moment and I will never forget this wonderful opportunity.”

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Members of the Saint Augustine’s University Pre-Alumni Council attended the UNCF 69th National Alumni Leadership Conference held in Charlotte, NC on February 19-21.

Some of the various workshops that the scholars attended included: Philanthropy: The Giving Game, Finding Your Voice: Pathway to Greatness, How to Leverage Contacts and Career Readiness. Scholars also had the opportunity to attend a workshop which provided an overview of the history and mission of UNCF, its importance in American society and its relevancy today. Scholars gained a better understanding on the importance of supporting not only the UNCF schools but all historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

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Alumna Ashley Nelson has been accepted to two graduate schools to pursue a master’s degree in social work. Ms. Nelson has been accepted into the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.

Nelson graduated in the Class of 2014 with a B.S. degree in sociology. She also served as the student government association for 2013-2014.

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The Saint Augustine’s University Ethics Bowl team competed in the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) 4th Annual Ethics Bowl competition this past weekend, February 6-7, 2015. The event was held at Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh.

Dr. Shirlkeymu L. Winston, associate professor of African American History in the Department of History, served as the team’s advisor. The team members were as follows:

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Students had more than good conversation to fill their lunch hour on Feb. 2 – the first edition of The Falcon Forum student newspaper.

Before a packed noonday crowd at the cafeteria, Interim President Everett B. Ward held up a copy of the full-color newspaper, congratulating the student editors and reporters who helped achieve this milestone.

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Darnella Donée Donna Reeder, a graduating senior from Greensboro, N.C., is Miss Saint Augustine’s University 2014-2015. She is competing with other CIAA campus queens to be crowned the 2015 Miss CIAA. To vote for her, click HERE. Individuals can only vote once per day.

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Since the entering the office as Interim President, Everett Ward, Ph.D. has held several meetings with the general student body as well as student leaders across campus. On January 20, he hosted a town hall meeting the student body in Emery Gymnasium to kick off the 2015 spring semester.

During the town hall meeting, Interim President Ward encouraged students to take advantage of his “open door” policy and reinforced to them that they are his administration’s most important priority. Students also had the opportunity to share their thoughts and feedback with the administration regarding communicating information with the student body as well as improving school pride and the University’s academic standards.

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Diamonique Brooks, a senior majoring in sociology from Charlotte, N.C., was the winner of the Gordon Health Center’s healthy living promotion. For winning the competition, Brooks won a $50 gift card.

During a 30-day trial, more than 50 Saint Augustine’s University students competed to lose the most weight. The Center had more than 50 students to sign up.

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On December 11, 2LT Valshae McMillian, a senior from Charlotte, was commissioned as an officer of the United States Army during the University’s commissioning ceremony in the historic chapel.

“I feel great,” said 2LT McMillian, who majors was criminal justice.  “I had to face a lot of obstacles over the years; therefore, being commissioned is a great accomplishment for me.”

NC House Representative Grier Martin gave the oath of office.  Rep. Martin currently serves as a Lt. Col. with an airborne unit at Ft. Bragg in Fayetteville, NC.

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Saint Augustine’s University theatre students along with other SAU majors volunteered their talents for An Evening with Elves on December 5, 2014 at the Marbles Kids Museum.  This is the second year that the Department of Theatre has participated.  

Dr. Kaye Celeste Evans, chair and assistant professor for the Department of Theatre, accompanied the students.

“Our students showcased their talents as Santa’s elves for approximately 1,200 children and their parents,” Evans said.  “Families enjoyed a wonderful dinner and holiday activities with the elves and the snowflake fairy.  They even made s’mores outdoors!”

The Marbles Kids Museum inspires imagination, discovery and learning through extraordinary adventures in play and larger-than-life IMAX experiences. To learn more, visit their web site at http://www.marbleskidsmuseum.org.

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Anthony Dixon, a freshman mass communications major, traveled to Atlanta November 19 to 21 to represent Saint Augustine’s University in the Black College Quiz (BCQ) Tournament sponsored by State Farm.

The Black College Quiz Show series features highly competitive students from more than 50 HBCU schools around the country. The show tests the students’ knowledge of African-American history and airs on select cable channels in February in observance of Black History Month.

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Gentel Blair, a junior from Lexington, Ky. majoring in mass communication with a concentration in broadcast, and Amber Aldridge, a senior from Denver, Colo., majoring in film, are interning with the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). Throughout their internship, they will be the face of the CIAA-TV, have the opportunity to work with the media, and travel to various CIAA athletic games and championships to record and report the games. Some of the latest events they have covered include basketball media day and the cross country, football and volleyball championship games.

“This experience that the CIAA has given Amber and I has been the highlight of our lives,” Blair said. “We are so humble and honored to have this opportunity to showcase our talents!”

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The School of Business and Technology was awarded the North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities Women’s Economic Empowerment program grant in the amount of $9,000.

The significant focus of the program is to encourage female students (first and second-year students who have note declared a major) to choose their majors and prepare them to think about jobs after graduation.

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Campus Events


Sunday, May 8: Baccalaureate Program; 6 p.m.; Saint Augustine's Chapel


Friday, May 13: Stone of Hope Gala; 7 p.m.; Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center, 4700 Emperor Blvd., Durham, NC; $100 per person


Saturday, May 14: Commencement; 9 a.m.; University Quadrangle