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    Dillard In The News
    Former Dillard Board member and native New Orleanian named CEO of Carnival Corp. PDF Print E-mail
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    g4P90.Em.56With a professional history steeped in agricultural technology and sugar substitutes, Arnold Donald seems an unlikely choice for chief executive of the world’s largest cruise ship company.

    But it was his history at a variety of companies, nonprofits and executive boards — and his “fresh perspective” — that made him the pick to fill Micky Arison’s shoes as Carnival Corp. CEO. Arison will hold on to his role as chairman.

    After deciding to step down as CEO as the company split the two roles, Arison suggested Donald, who has been a member of Carnival’s board for 12 years. Former colleagues spoke highly of Donald, 58, and said he was fit for the job.

    “He’s more than capable of running Carnival,” said Ronald Parker, president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council, which Donald led from 2010-2012.

    Parker was a board member of the organization, a forum for African-American CEOs and senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, during Donald’s tenure. With his appointment to CEO, Donald joins a small group of black CEOs of major Fortune 500-level corporations. Carnival Corp. is not on the list because it is incorporated in Panama for tax purposes.

    “He has prepared himself for over 30 years, understands businesses are made of people and he’s known for engaging with a broad spectrum of individuals,” Parker said. “He’s a results-oriented leader who’ll drive sustainable change at Carnival.”

    At the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where Donald was president and CEO from 2006-2008, he brought his expertise from Monsanto, an agriculture and biotechnology company where he worked for more than two decades. He was also chairman and CEO and a founder of Merisant, a sweetener company whose products include Equal and Pure Via.

    “When he came here, he proposed that we put together a research program working with pharmaceutical companies,” said Marie Davis, an executive director at the foundation who has known Donald for more than 15 years.

    Davis said Donald is a delegator, a trait that should serve him well at a company with 10 individual brands.

    “He picks leaders and expects them to put a plan together,” she said. “He doesn’t micromanage.”

    Donald currently serves on several boards, including Bank of America Corp., Crown Holdings; Laclede Group, Carleton College and several arts institutions in St. Louis, where he lives. He is married with two daughters, a son and five grandchildren.

    His time as a board member at Dillard University, a historically black college based in New Orleans, coincided with Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the campus.

    Board member Andrew Wisdom said board members considered tough choices, including moving the college to Atlanta. But Donald, a native of New Orleans, was among those who took action to raise money and rebuild.

    Click here to read the article on the Miami Herald website.

    Judge Yolanda J. King, '79, to be Sworn in at Dillard Monday, June 24 PDF Print E-mail
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    The Honorable Yolanda J.  King, a Dillard graduate from the Class of 1979, will take the oath of office as Judge of Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, Section “E” on June 24, 2013 at 6 p.m. in the Georges Auditorium.
    King was elected on May 4, 2013, and brings more than 20 years of legal experience to bench.  E=before being elected, King held a number of judicial and administrative positions including Administrative Law Judge with the Division of Administration in Baton Rouge, La.; Assistant District Attorney with the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office; Law Clerk for current Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart, ’71, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; as well as research attorney for several prominent judges including Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson.
    The campus community is invited to attend.
    Maxwell: Historically black colleges still have a role, Dillard University president notes PDF Print E-mail
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    WMK 2-20122Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in New Orleans, is known for his no-nonsense leadership style, fresh ideas and willingness to speak publicly about the plight of historically black colleges and universities. When hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre donated $30 million to the University of Southern California in May, Kimbrough wrote a column for the Los Angeles Times arguing that the gift would have best served an HBCU. I spoke with Kimbrough about Dr. Dre's gift and other HBCU-related issues.

    What are your basic concerns with Dr. Dre's gift?

    Kimbrough: I always acknowledged that it is his money, and he is free to do as he pleases. But my question was whether that large sum of money could be better used somewhere else. I speak as an HBCU president. Our average family income is $31,000 a year, and 76 percent of the students receive the Pell grant. USC is already a wealthy school. Their $3.5 billion endowment generates enough interest in three months to cover my annual operating budget. If major gifts only go to wealthy schools that increasingly enroll wealthy and privileged students, aren't we exacerbating an already serious problem of inequity, especially for groups that will become the majority?

    What are the biggest challenges for HBCUs, public and private, if they are to remain viable?


    First, there is just a larger pool of schools for black students to choose from. A recent report indicates that a great number of blacks are doing for-profit, online programs. While this provides great flexibility in taking classes, it is very expensive, so people are finding themselves in greater debt, often not finishing their degrees. But the point I also make is that HBCUs have been more resilient than other specialty schools. For example, women's colleges numbered 300 in 1960, and now there are fewer than 45. Studies suggest less than 2 percent of women look for an all-women's experience, while still 25 percent of black students attend an HBCU as undergraduates. The other major issue is that HBCUs serve the population that has little wealth, lower incomes and higher unemployment. When this is your community you serve, you're going to have financial issues.

    What do HBCUs do well?


    I think the biggest thing we do well is to provide a real opportunity for success for students who may have had all the cards stacked against them. This is the only sector that really prides itself on admitting low-income, first-generation students and working to get them prepared to be competitive. It is definitely a hard job, which is why graduation rates are lower, as they are for all schools that enroll a high percentage of low-income students. But for the future of the nation, we have to do a better job of taking these students and preparing them to be successful citizens.

    Will the United States always need HBCUs?

    I think there will always be students who want an HBCU experience. I definitely believe there will be fewer HBCUs. But if people really want to end HBCUs, they should focus more on recruiting black students and making them feel welcome at majority institutions. There are still numerous incidents every year on college campuses, including USC this year, that remind black students that this is not your school. So the message seems to be we don't want HBCUs, and we really don't want black students on our campus either. None of the folks who attack HBCUs fight to make sure all campuses are welcoming to black students. And until that happens, HBCUs will be needed.

    What about the low graduation rates of HBCUs we hear a lot about?

    HBCUs enroll the highest percentage of low-income students in the nation. It is a job that no one seems to want, and since U.S. News rankings reward schools for limiting underrepresented minorities, older students and poor students, the quality of the schools are constantly questioned. People compare graduation rates of schools with fewer than 20 percent of the students receiving the Pell grant against those that have high Pell grant populations. All the research shows that as you increase the number of poor students, graduation rates decline. It is as simple as that. If people would look at the Washington Monthly rankings, which measure impact of schools, you find that HBCUs are just as productive as other schools, maybe even more so.

    Click here to read article on Tampa Bay Times

    Minority Research Center in Arkansas names Dr. Valandra German, '01 as Director PDF Print E-mail
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    310295 web Valandra-German-web

    PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Dr. Valandra German, former Interim Chair & Assistant Professor of the School of Public Health at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, has been named Director of The Minority Research Center on Tobacco and Addictions (211 West 3rd Avenue, Suite 215; Pine Bluff, AR).

    In 2011, the Minority Research Center on Tobacco and Addictions (MRC) was established through a partnership between the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the Minority Initiative Sub-Recipient Grant Office, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Master of Science Degree in Addiction Studies program, and the Arkansas Department of Health. Its mission is to provide assistance to the state and nation in tobacco and other substance abuse research, prevention, education, technical assistance and evaluation, in regards to minority populations (Blacks, Hispanics, Marshall Islanders, and Asians)

    “I am honored and excited to have been selected as Director of the Minority Research Center on Tobacco and Addictions,” exclaimed Dr. German. “I have been a longtime supporter of research related to health disparities, tobacco use and other addictive substances. I look forward to capitalizing on the vision of the MRC.”

    As Director, Dr. German will provide consultation, support, and evaluation of the key components of the Center: research and dissemination; education and training; cessation and prevention; and wellness.

    “Dr. German will be a true asset to the MRC here in Pine Bluff,” commented Dr. Mary Benjamin, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. “Her breadth of experience and skill set will be invaluable to this organization as we continue to lay the groundwork for success.”

    Dr. German earned her doctorate in Public Health/Community Health Education from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, her master’s degree in Public Health/Community Health Education from the Des Moines University of Osteopathic Medicine, and her bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education from Dillard University.

    Click here to view this article on UAPB News

    Click here to read more on Pine Buff The Commerical's website

    Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy, Professor of English, featured in the International Kreol Magazine PDF Print E-mail
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    Mona Lisa SaloyAuthor, folklorist, essayist, and poet Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy is a passionate literary voice representing the African-American and the New Orleans Creole cultural experience. A writer who has seen more than her fair share of hardship, Saloy boasts a substantial body of work to her credit. In addition to her books, her articles, essays, and poems have appeared in numerous magazines, journals, anthologies, and films, including The Southern Review, Louisiana English Journal, and African American Review.

    Saloy’s also a popular lecturer and was keynote speaker at the Re-Building New Orleans Conference at Tulane University; writer-in-residence at the Arna Bontemps Museum in Alexandria, Louisiana; and guest writer at the University of Missouri in 2005. Since then, Saloy has been a featured writer at the Zora Neale Hurston Festival, Santa Barbara Community College, and the 2006 DeBose Festival.

    Educational and Teaching Background

    Mona Lisa Saloy holds a Ph.D. in English from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, as well as an MFA in Creative Writing from the same institution. 

    Dr. Saloy has also served as visiting Associate Professor of English at the University of Washington in Seattle and Director of the Creative Writing program—a program she herself developed and founded—at Dillard University, where she taught for 21 years. She has also taught at Louisiana State University, UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, Laney College, and City College of San Francisco.

    Saloy's latest book of poetry is a collection of post-Katrina poems illustrating how people can handle disasters and hurricanes with "heart."


    Dr. Saloy's first collection of poetry, Red Beans and Ricely Yours: Poems, from Truman State University Press (2005), won the 2005 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize and the 2006 PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award in Poetry. The Josephine Miles Award honors excellence in multi-cultural literature. This poetry collection, which chronicles the author's life in the Seventh Ward of downtown New Orleans, also tied for the 2005 Morgan Prize from Story Line Press.

    In addition, Saloy was commissioned by The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia in 2006 to write and perform a poem entitled "We" in celebration of 2006 Liberty Medal Recipients President William J. Clinton and President George H.W. Bush. Her poem encapsulated the depth of meaning in the word "we"— the most important word in the U.S. Constitution.

    Saloy's poetry also appears in the volume, Furious Flower: African American Poetry from the Black Arts Movement to the Present, University of Virginia Press (2004), Joanne V. Gabbin, editor. This second anthology born out of the Furious Flower Conference, which first convened in 1994, is a poetry collection that serves as a historical compendium of African-American poetry at the close of the 20th century.

    Saloy also published a chapter in the essay collection, Living Blue in the Red States, from University of Nebraska Press (2007), David Starkey, editor, and contributed to New Orleans: What Can't Be Lost – 88 Stories and Traditions from the Sacred City, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press (2010), Lee Barclay, editor. The 88 stories in the latter volume, published to commemorate the resilience of the victims of Hurricane Katrina, are intended, according to Barclay, to represent "piano keys in a love song to New Orleans"—a highly appropriate venue for the New Orleans native who lost her own home to the storm.

    Other volumes in which Saloy's work appears include Dear Success Seeker: Wisdom from Outstanding Women, Atria Books (2009), and Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Poetry, University of Georgia Press (2009). Her work was also included in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume IV: Louisiana, Texas A&M University Press (2011).

    In addition to the above anthologies, Saloy's poems appear in Immortelles, Poems of Life and Death by New Southern Writers, New Orleans: Xavier Review Press (1995). She’s also published in the seminal Louisiana Women Writers, New Essays and a Comprehensive Bibliography, from LSU Press (1992), Brown and Ewell, editors, and featured in The American Poetry Archives’ Color: A Sampling of Contemporary African American Writers(1994).

    Articles published by Dr. Saloy include "African American Oral Traditions in Louisiana," "Zora Neale Hurston on the River Road: Portrait of Algiers, New Orleans, and her Fieldwork," "Sidewalk Songs, Jump-Rope Rhymes, and Clap-Hand Games of African American Children."

    Upcoming Work

    Mona Lisa Saloy's latest book of poetry, which is currently in the works thanks to a sabbatical awarded to the author by the UNCF/Mellon Foundation, is a collection of post-Katrina poems illustrating how people can handle disasters and hurricanes with "heart." The book will document the struggles experienced after Katrina, shedding light on Dr. Saloy's Creole culture and how the disaster affected that three-centuries-old culture, while presenting an "original and fresh perspective (on the) apocalyptic event" and on hurricanes in general. The poems will highlight the faith and resilience needed to rebuild a city and a life torn apart by nature's wrath—a faith and resilience amply demonstrated by the people of New Orleans in the wake of Katrina.

    Honours and Awards

    Dr. Saloy has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the United Negro College Fund/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help facilitate the continuation of her research on Black Beat poet Bob Kaufman, an icon of the Black Arts movement and the subject of her article, "Black Beats and Black issues." The article appears in Beat Culture and the New America 1950-1965, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1965), Lisa Phillips, editor.

    Mona Lisa Saloy’s listed in the Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers, published by Greenwood Press (2007), Yolanda W. Page, editor.

    An African-American Creole with Heart

    To Mona Lisa Saloy, cultural history’s a crucial component of literature. She reads writers who not only feed her spirit but "who respect the past and their cultural histories." And she equally respects and shares her own cultural history and identity for the edification of others. As an African-American woman who’s also Creole, she explains the way she sees the two identities combining into a unified whole reflecting who she is —and who her people are — and how these complementary characteristics come through in her writing:

    "I write to capture what I think is great about us. I wanted to hear my voice—the voices of my family and community in the Seventh Ward—and contribute to the discussions of who we are as a people. There is not one monolithic black culture, but there are a lot of givens within the African worldview: we believe in a higher power, we are close to family and then community. For me, Creole is Black even though it's a French language. It is one of the ways our African selves existed through another culture."

    Mona Lisa Saloy sees herself as "Black and Creole, innately Southern, and certainly American" and declares that "[i]n New Orleans, there lives a recognizable culture, and it's here to stay." She distinctly remembers growing up in New Orleans surrounded by the joy of life. She recalls her Creole father waking up expressing deep satisfaction about the day ahead and joyful certainty that God would be with them "from now on" — an optimistic view of life which no doubt played a key role in her own outlook.

    Her Christian faith has also helped carry her through many hardships, disasters, and other life traumas in addition to Katrina — not the least of which involved her challenges as "a female artist competing for support." Yet, she is overcoming these obstacles and declares that she's thankful because her trials have carved the character she is becoming, they will mould the writing which is to come, and they will shape the future into "tomorrows of adventure (and) promise."  

    Rebuilding with Bricks and Words in a Post-Katrina World

    Seven years after the fateful day that Katrina inundated New Orleans on August 29th 2005 — destroying Saloy's 5,000-volume library, her unpublished research materials, and all her family treasures — this Mona Lisa is calling upon her deeply-ingrained optimism and resilience and rebuilding her family home, after moving fifteen times and living in three different states. She says it's a joy and a blessing to be back home — even though she's living in an apartment while she rebuilds.

    In her newest book of poems, Mona Lisa Saloy aspires to capture the spirit and friendliness of pre-Katrina New Orleans—the joie de vivre that her father so characteristically demonstrated every morning, as did so many of their neighbours —before Katrina battered and destroyed their town, leaving them homeless. She hopes to convey the heartbreak of leaving and the stark reality that when she and others returned, they returned to a mere shadow of the grandeur of their former life — a situation in which they had to draw from somewhere deep within themselves the strength and faith and heart to carry on…to rebuild and to rejoice in their ability to restore, not merely what they had lost, but something new and different and better: a brand new hope and vision for the future.

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