Press Releases

Athletics Honors Faculty and Staff at Football Game

The Saint Augustine's University Department of Athletics honored its faculty and staff when the football team took on Winston-Salem State University. The department sponsored a tailgate for faculty and staff prior to the game and recognized 16 faculty and staff members at halftime.

“To me, it's just as important for my students to see me around campus supporting them in their events as it is to see me in the classroom,” said Harman Barnard, instructor of Marketing and Management. “It was nice to be recognized.”

Faculty and staff were selected by the coaches and athletic administrative staff for their service and commitment to the student-athletes. Each honoree was escorted by members of various sports teams and presented with a gift bag from Athletic Director George Williams. The honorees were as follows:

• Harman Barnard, Instructor of Marketing and Management

• Jane Bass, Director of Food Services (ABL Educational Enterprises)

• Leroy Butler, Financial Aid Counselor/Pell Grant Coordinator

• Harod Demby, Chief Information Officer

• Glestessa Ferrell, Fixed Assets Manager

• Nadine Ford, Director of Financial Aid

• Thomas Foreman, Automation Manager

• Deidra Gary, Program Director

• Thurman Hollins, Director of Bands

• Dr. Charles Ibeziako, Assistant Professor of Management

• Durrell Johnson, Production Manager, WAUG Power 750AM

• Terence Ross, Director of Mail Services

• Alpha Njai, Assistant Professor of Sociology

• Renee Swain, Assistant Professor of Physical Education

• Carla Washington, Assistant Director of Admissions

• Crystal Williams, University Registrar

The department plans to hold another Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day during basketball season which starts November 11.

Freshman Writing Initiative Conference Opened the Minds of Many

If the success of the inaugural Freshman Writing Initiative Fall Conference is indication of next year’s conference, individuals may want to register as soon as they can. Between the workshops and presentations, the nearly 200 individuals that were in attendance were informed on ways to reach today’s student, how to integrate popular culture into curriculum, how to improve students writing and critical thinking skills and how culture affects students’ identity, expression, competency and learning.

“The 3 Rs conference was a transformative experience!,” said Dr. Erica Russell, executive director of the Freshman Success Initiatives. “The featured presenters and guest facilitators were engaging, and they provided the attendees with practical strategies for working with students across disciplines. They challenged our thinking and reminded us of the value of culture as a point of connection and as a teaching tool. The Freshman Writing Initiative team aims to introduce faculty, staff and students to innovative approaches to fostering the development of writing and critical thinking skills, and the 3 Rs conference embodied that mission.”

The featured presenters for the conference were Dr. James Peterson and 9th Wonder. Peterson is a critically-acclaimed writer, lecturer and speaker. He is also the director of Africana Studies and associate professor of English at Lehigh University and founder of Hip Hop Scholars, LLC. 9th Wonder, whose real name is Patrick Douthit, is a Grammy Award-winning music producer, record executive, DJ, lecturer, a Harvard University Fellow and an adjunct professor at Duke University.

9th Wonder kept attendees listening to his every word during his presentation on Hip Hop from the underground to the University. He shared with the audience that as a Fellow at Harvard University his responsibilities is to select the top 200 hip hop albums of all time to be catalogued in the Harvard library.

Throughout the conference, Saint Augustine’s University students as well as students who traveled from Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) were engaged and intrigued.

Quishawnya Parker, a senior from Wilmington, DEL majoring in psychology with a minor, expressed how excited she was that she attended the conference.

“This conference is very powerful and insightful,” Parker said. “I am very glad my professors encouraged me to attend. This [conference] truly was worthy of attending.”

Cheri Broussard, event coordinator for Student Activities and Engagement at WSSU, stated that her students had an awesome experience.

“The students of Winston-Salem State University were not only excited, but inspired!,” Broussard said.

The two-day conference was aligned with the goals and objectives of the Freshman Writing Initiative which aims to improve the writing proficiency and communication of first-year students and to train faculty in innovative writing and learning activities.

Professor Moses T. A. Greene Selected as a 2013 Faculty Seminar Fellow

Assistant Professor Moses T. Alexander Greene has been selected by the EMMY Organization as a 2013 Fellow for the 25th Annual Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation Faculty Seminar in Los Angeles, Calif. Greene, who works in the Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) Department of Film and Interactive Media, is one of 20 educators nationwide and the first SAU faculty member to receive this honor. He will be one of two educators representing the State of North Carolina.

Administered by the Television Academy Foundation’s Education Programs Department, the Faculty Seminar offers college professors opportunities to view the behind-the-scenes operations of the television industry. The 20 faculty members, who were chosen by a selection committee, will participate in five days of discussions, presentations and interactions with major studios, production companies, the networks as well as their top production and programming executives.

Greene, who began in the Department of English in 2011 and joined its film and interactive media department last year, was thrilled when he learned he was selected.

“This is an incredible opportunity and frankly, one of the biggest honors of my professional career,” he said. “The fellowship is a testament of years of devotion to research, commitment to collaboration and a passion for the science, craft, and technique of the film and television industries.”

While Greene knows first-hand the inner workings of making good television – he was an extra on the critically- acclaimed television show “Cosby” in 1999 and 2000, worked with the producers of "The View" (1998) and served as a writing assistant for the Emmy Award-winning iconic former daytime serial “All My Children” from 1997 to 1998 – he looks forward to the fellowship and plans to bring back a wealth of knowledge to share with his students, whom he affectionately refers to as “scholars.”

One such scholar, Arianna Kendall, a senior mass communications major from the Bronx, N.Y. currently enrolled in Greene’s History of Black Cinema and Introduction to Film courses, said Greene has had a profound impact on her.

“He really makes students look within themselves,” Kendall said. “He wants the best from his scholars so you have to come with your “A” game,” calling him a “no-nonsense professor.” She relishes her “scholar” title, adding “I want to own up to what he calls me.”

Greene, 40 years old and a Long Island, N.Y. native, is a graduate of Syracuse University with a master’s degree in Media Management and a dual bachelor’s degree in Writing for Television, Radio and Film and African American Studies. He was a two-time red carpet correspondent for the GRAMMY Salute to Gospel (on behalf of the National Recording Arts & Sciences) and a special correspondent for Radio One for the 2008 Presidential Election in Washington, D.C.

SAU Makes “Human” Ribbon in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness

Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) administrators, faculty, staff and students joined together to make a “human” pink ribbon around the falcon logo on the SAU football field in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

“I was thoroughly pleased with the campus coming together to show their support,” said Ann Brown, director of the Office of Community Outreach and Volunteerism. “This was just our way of bringing awareness to the fight against breast cancer.”

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.

First Woman Ordained in Saint Augustine’s University’s Historic Chapel

Before a congregation of nearly 200 people, Mother Nita Charlene Johnson Byrd was ordained as priest at Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) Historic Chapel. The Right Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the eleventh Bishop of North Carolina, served as the ordaining bishop for the ordination ceremony. The Right Reverend Anne Hodges-Copple, Bishop Suffragan of North Carolina, was the celebrant and the Reverend Dr. Sally Harbold gave the sermon.

Ordination is the sacramental rite in which God gives authority and the grace of the Holy Spirit to those being made bishops, priests, and deacons through prayer and the laying on of hands by bishops.

Following the Reverend Harbold’s beautifully delivered sermon, the Right Reverend Curry shared with the congregation that Mother Nita is the first priest to be ordained in the Historic Chapel in more than 80 years and the first woman chaplain to serve at the University. “This has been a long time coming!”

When asked how she felt after the ordination ceremony, Mother Nita Charlene Johnson Byrd, who prefers to be called Mother Nita, stated, “I have a vocation to serve God through serving God’s people. All who are part of Christ’s church are called to service. I pray that we will live in imitation of Christ’s loving example to the world.”

Throughout its history, SAU has maintained a close and enduring relationship with the Episcopal Church whose mission is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.” Several bishops and rectors have been Saint Augustine’s University board of trustee members, with more than one-third of all-black priests in the Episcopal Church being graduates of the university including three African American bishops.

Saint Augustine’s University was founded under the name of Saint Augustine’s Normal School and Collegiate Institute through the joint efforts of the Freedmen’s Commission of the Protestant Episcopal Church and a group of clergy and laymen of the Diocese of North Carolina in 1867.

During the ceremony, Bishop Curry, priests and SAU administrators and students presented Mother Nita with gifts.

Bishop Curry of North Carolina presented Mother Nita with water and asked her to help him baptize. A stole was presented by the Reverend Dr. Cureton Johnson of First Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C. and the Rev. Dr. William Turner, Duke Divinity School, vested Mother Nita according to the holy order of priests. The Right Reverend Stephanie Allen, dean of the Raleigh Convocation of the Diocese of N.C. presented her with the Canons to share in the councils of the dioceses.

SAU President Dianne Boardley Suber stated, “It is a pleasure and honor to be a part of this monumental occasion.” Suber presented Mother Nita with a key to the Historic Chapel to let the doors of the chapel be open to all people. Dr. Roland Bullard, SAU’s vice president for Student Development and Services, presented Mother Nita with a Book of Common Prayer and ask her to be a woman of prayer. Ernest Swan, a member of the Christian Fellowship Organization, and Ashley Nelson, president of the SAU Student Government Association, presented her with holy oil and asked her to be a healer and reconciler. Chapel members Clarence Branch and Doris Holloway presented Mother Nita with bread and wine asking her to break the bread and bless the cup.

The chapel came alive with the beausitful sound from the University Choir, under the direction of Dr. Eric Poole, assistant professor of Music.

Mother Nita received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and her master of divinity degree from Duke University’s Divinity School. A native of Raleigh, NC, Mother Nita grew up attending the Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh.

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