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Diversity Excellence Awards presented during 31th
annual convocation week
April 15, 2009 --
Arkansas State University-Jonesboro's annual Diversity
Excellence Awards luncheon recognized several individuals for their
contributions toward strategic diversity initiatives at ASU-Jonesboro.
Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch, History, was the recipient of the 2009
Campus Excellence Award.
The Friends of Diversity awards were presented to Dr. Rick Stripling,
vice chancellor for Student Affairs, Jill Simons, director,
Wilson Advising Center, Marilyn Brewer, office manager, Office of
the Chancellor, Dr. Russ Shain, dean, College of Communications,
and Dr. Patricia Guy-Walls, Social Work.
Entertainment at the luncheon was provided by members of the ASU Men's
Quartet, directed by Dr. Dale Miller, and members of the ASU
Jazztette, directed by Dr. E. Ron Horton.
Dr. Lonnie Williams, associate vice chancellor, Student Affairs,
delivered the invocation, and Dr. Robert L. Potts, chancellor,
ASU-Jonesboro, welcomed guests to the ceremony. Joe Black,
Bancorp Capital Partners, gave the keynote presentation.
Joe Black currently serves as
president of Southern Bancorp Capital Partners (SBCP), a non-profit CDFI
affiliate of Southern Bancorp, a community development financial
institution (CDFI) bank holding company serving rural markets in
Arkansas and Mississippi. Southern Bancorp is a $1 billion dollar
institution and is the largest private sector rural development agency
in the nation. Prior to joining Southern, Black served as economic
liaison to the First Congressional Office and as program coordinator at
the Center for Economic Development.
Black has a bachelor of
science degree from Arkansas State University
and a master of business
administration degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
His affiliations include appointment as a commissioner by the Governor
of Arkansas to the Arkansas
Economic Development Commission.
He is a board member of the Coalition of Community Development Financial
Institutions, CHRISTUS Health Community Direct Investment Fund,
Arkansans for Charity Excellence, and Crossroads
Coalition, and he maintains a host of other local and regional
affiliations with community-based development groups working toward
economic self-sufficiency in less developed markets.
From left, Diversity Excellence Award winners
Marilyn Brewer, Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch, Jill Simons, and Dr. Patricia
Lillie Fears, Diversity Fellow, Journalism, presented the awards,
and Dr. Glen Jones, senior associate vice chancellor, Academic
Affairs and Research, and assistant to the Chancellor for Diversity,
presented the closing remarks.
Dr. Russ Shain, left, and Dr. Rick