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    Dillard’s Board Chair Michael Jones, ‘ 82 is Named “2015 Male Alumnus of the Year” at HBCU Digest National Media Awards Gala PDF Print E-mail
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    Jones MichaelNEW ORLEANS, LA – Dillard University’s Chair of the Board of Trustees Michael Jones, ’82 was recognized this past weekend as “Best Male Alumnus” during the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Digest Media Week’s award ceremony heldFriday at Hampton University in Virginia.

    Jones, a partner in one of America’s top ranked law firms Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, was recognized for his more than 20 years of support to his alma mater. The nomination stated that Jones not only gave of his time to Dillard University, but he has provided significant financial support through an endowed scholarship of more than $100,000. In addition, he provides funds for faculty excellence incentive awards and student law school admissions test prep courses; and he also leads the University’s Board in garnering financial support from other sources.

    Jones is well known for his outstanding legal work and most notably, the recent landmark $2 billion lawsuit against the state of Maryland on behalf of HBCUs (Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore). First filed in 2006 and then argued in 2013, the lawsuit has been a longstanding battle to end the lasting impact of racial segregation in higher education in that state. The decision by a federal court, ruling that the state of Maryland "violated its constitutional commitment" by allowing majority institutions to duplicate the academic programs already offered by the historically black institutions, was monumental for all HBCUs.  Most recently, Jones successfully represented NL Industries in a closely watched lead paint case in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that was the subject of national media attention. He was featured in theAmerican Lawyer's "Top Guns" article, naming Kirkland the"Litigation Department of the Year" in 2008.

    Jones has previously been recognized as Leading Lawyer (2007); one of the top 10 business litigation attorneys in Washington, D.C. by Legal Times; and one of the top 10 trial attorneys in the nation by The National Law Journal in their feature, "Winning: Successful Strategies From 10 of the Nation's Leading Litigators." He was also chosen as one of the 75 Best Lawyers in Washington, D.C., by Washingtonian magazine. In 2003, Michael was recognized as one of America's Top Black Litigators by Black Enterprise. Jones' cases have been covered by a number of media, including Court TV, The Associated Press, The American Lawyer, Forbes, and CBS News, to name a few.

    The HBCU Digest is a daily blog/news resource providing news synopsis, links and commentary on stories about America’s 105 historically black colleges and universities. Each year it sponsors the HBCU Awards Gala to honor, acknowledge and celebrate achievements at historically black colleges and universities throughout the country. Crowning winners in the fields of leadership, arts, athletics, research, and community engagement, the HBCU Awards is the first and only event to recognize the influence and impact of HBCUs on American culture.

     
    Dillard University Designates Physics and Film as Signature Programs PDF Print E-mail
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    Ejaaz Mason-Film photo(NEW ORLEANS, LA) – Continuing the tradition of academic excellence, Dillard University is pleased to announce the designation of film and physics as signature programs. The University’s signature programs are majors that epitomize Dillard’s mission and define its distinctiveness in the local, state, and national marketplace.

    Dillard’s Physics Program encourages students to augment their theoretical pursuits with practical endeavors such as assisting professors and publishing journals.  Already ranked as the second highest producer of African-Americans who go on to earn PhDs in physics, as well as one of the top 15 programs in America, according to the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and the American Physical Society (APS), Dillard’s Physics Program has a solid reputation among its peers. According to the AIP over the past 30 years 34,500 PhDs were awarded in the U.S. with only 246 of those awarded to African Americans. Of that number 42 were women. “It’s impressive that of the 42 African American women with PhDs in physics five of them are graduates of Dillard,” said Dr. Yolanda Page, Vice-President for Academic Affairs.

     “In making physics a signature program, we sought to build on our tradition of preparing students for careers as researchers, educators, engineers and beyond,” explained Page. Last year, the University added a Medical Physics concentration to its Physics and Pre-engineering program in a response to a need for well-trained medical physicists in Louisiana.  “Expanding the physics curriculum and designating it as a signature program gives us a strategic edge in the growing medical economy,” she added. 

    Dillard Film is one of a few undergraduate film programs at an HBCU.  In just two years, the program has achieved significant growth with about 20 students majoring and another 20 minoring in Film. Dillard Film students have worked on more than 30 productions, including Lee Daniel’s “The Butler” and Spike Lee’s “Old Boy” and make up to four films per semester as a program.  

    Keylantra Taylor-physics“New Orleans has become one of the leading cities for filmmaking, so it is naturally a preeminent location for students to learn and work in that field,” President Walter M. Kimbrough said.  “We pride ourselves in the fact that we strategically place students with professional crew members giving them the opportunity to learn all aspects of filmmaking,” Kimbrough added.

    Page went on to explain that as signature programs both film and physics will receive major support and increased visibility. Moreover, other possibilities exists such as a financial aid strategy tailored to students majoring in a signature program, endowed professorships, additional faculty and staff positions as well as additional equipment. “The possibilities for these two programs are limitless,” noted Page.

     
    Rapper MC Lyte Becomes Board Member for Dillard University PDF Print E-mail
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    McLyte 0043-13Philanthropist, rapper and hip-hop pioneer, MC Lyte, has taken her community involvement to new heights, as she now sits on the board of trustees for Dillard University.

    [Related: MC Lyte Partners With BET, Soul Train and Dillard University]

    The “Lyte as a Rock” emcee, had a pretty heavy agenda when she set out to work with an HBCU to promote the benefits of attending a majority African American institution and the importance of receiving a college education.

    Through her Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, Lyte had previously provided college scholarships to four young women, and this time around, sought to take on a different mission, encouraging black men to pursue their education through the organizations signature initiative, “Educate Our Men,” (#EducateOurMen) born within Dillard.

    “More than just a necessity, given the percentages of men to women at Dillard, immediately we just thought how can we raise the awareness of the education to be had at an HBCU [which] is like none other,” said Lyte.

    According to Dr. Walter Kimbrough, President of Dillard University, what began a simple meeting of the minds turned into a full fledged opportunity for Lyte to leverage her renowned platform, and implement change on Dillard’s campus.

    Dr. Kimbrough passionately shares how he and Lyte’s partnership began.

    “Last April MC Lyte’s foundation president, Lynn Richardson, reached out and said MC Lyte wanted to meet with me. I told her okay, let me know what her schedule looks like and I will come out. She said no, we’re coming to you. So they came and indicated that MC Lyte wanted to do something with HBCUs, and has done a scholarship in the past (U. of Wisconsin). So, the idea was to do scholarships for young men to attend Dillard, explains Dr. Kimbrough, “A pleasant surprise. But we kept talking and they wanted to be more involved in Dillard. So we ended up talking about doing a course- I Cram to Understand: Hip Hop, Sex, Gender and Ethical Behavior. It was already on the books at Dillard (minus hip hop) so we just refreshed it. She came and did an open lecture for the campus plus a special session for the class.”

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    Study finds no health drawbacks to veterans' dual use of VA, Medicare Advantage PDF Print E-mail
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    In a study that examined quality measures for chronic disease care, veterans who used both Department of Veterans Affairs care and a Medicare Advantage plan during 2008 or 2009 did no better or worse than those who used only Veterans Affairs care.

    The study, which included 6,643 older, chronically ill veterans who were enrolled in both federal health systems, was recently published inHealth Services Research.

    Researchers conducted the study in response to concerns that dual enrollment may lead to poorly coordinated medical care and duplicate taxpayer spending.

    “Although dual use does not appear to have any negative impact on quality of care, we found no evidence that it improves the quality of care veterans are getting. That point needs to be considered in light of the duplicate federal spending that comes along with dual enrollment,”Amal Trivedi, MPH, MD, physician and health services researcher at the Providence Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and Brown University and senior author on the study, stated in a press release.

    Trivedi and lead author Alicia Cooper, PhD, assistant professor of marketing in the Division of Business at Dillard University collaborated with researchers from two other VA sites and three universities.

    http://m1.wyanokecdn.com/12bf81679be5f364507dc5486698c8f8.jpg

    Nurse practitioner Jyoti Desai (right) and nurse Barbara Murphy see an older primary care patient at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.

    Source: Leonardi T.

    The study focused on measures of good care for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, such as well-controlled blood sugar or blood pressure.

    Researchers found despite the dual enrollment, about a quarter of the seniors in the study actually used only VA for outpatient care. Veterans in the VA-only group were more likely to be black, younger (within the 65 years or older age bracket), and have lower incomes. They were also in poorer health overall. In the study, in addition to the 25%of veterans who relied strictly on VA care, despite their dual enrollment, another 20% used almost all VA care, and no Medicare Advantage care. The Medicare Advantage network involves private managed health plans that contract with the federal government. They receive a fixed dollar amount each year for every enrollee, regardless of how much medical care the patient actually consumes.

    The researchers compared the outcomes of the veterans only using VA care with the outcomes of dually enrolled veterans who used both systems for outpatient care.

    “The use of Medicare Advantage plans has grown sharply in the last few years,” Trivedi stated in the release. “We have found that about 10% of the enrolled VA population is now also in one of these plans.”

    The researchers found that there appeared to be no significant drawback, medically speaking, to veterans’ receiving care through both systems, at least in terms of intermediate outcomes relating to blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol control. The study did not look at outcomes such as hospitalization or death.

    “In VA, we like to deliver comprehensive care to veterans, but we recognize that veterans have choices for care outside of VA. That can potentially be a benefit if there are some complementary services and if both systems interact well and share information. But there can also be some potential quality challenges, particularly if information is not well-shared, or if there is fragmentation in care,” Trivedi stated.

    Reference:

    Trivedi A, et al. Health Serv Res. 2015;doi:10.1111/1475-6773.12303.

    Disclosure: The researchers report the study was funded by the VA Health Services Research & Development Service.

     
    WGNO-Denzel Washington to deliver commencement address at Dillard University PDF Print E-mail
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    Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.26.50 AM

    NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Two-time Academy Award and Tony Award-winning actor Denzel Washington will deliver the commencement address at Dillard University this May.

    “We are excited to have Denzel Washington as our 2015 Commencement Speaker,” said Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard.

    “He has been a supporter of our Theater Program, which happens to be the oldest Historically Black College and University Theater Program in the country, for the past ten years,” he added. “Several Denzel Washington Scholars are candidates in this year’s graduating class and they will be ecstatic about having him as our speaker.”

    In 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the address.

    The commencement ceremony will be Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 8 a.m.

     
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