Inside ASU, News for Faculty & Staff, Arkansas State University
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100th Year

April 17, 2009
Special Issue

Calendar highlights:

College of Fine Arts Honors Luncheon, 12 noon, Grand Hall, Fowler Center, with guest speaker, alumnus Mike Randleman


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2009 Diversity Excellence Awards presented Wednesday
On Wednesday, April 15, 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. Dr. Jones-Branch is assistant professor of history. A native of Charleston, S.C., she earned her bachelor of arts degree at the College of Charleston, her master of arts degree at the University of Charleston, and her doctor of philosophy degree at Ohio State University. Her specialties are United States history, African American history, and women's history. She has recently worked to revise the majors in women and gender studies and African American studies at ASU-Jonesboro. She regularly teaches such courses as U. S. History since 1876; African American History I and II; U.S. Civil Rights Movement; African American Women's History; 20th Century Women's Reform and Activism; Race, Gender, and Identity; and The Age of Jim Crow, 1896-1954. Dr. Jones-Branch's current project is her forthcoming book, "'Repairers of the Breach' :Black and White Women's Racial Activism in South Carolina, 1940s-1960s, " to be published by the University Press of Florida. Her additional honors and awards have included the Dean's Research Award at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, the University of South Carolina's Institute for Southern Studies, Short-Term Summer Fellowship, the Faculty Research Award, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, the Student Affairs Hero Award, 2007. and the Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award, 2008, from the Strong-Turner Alumni Association.

Friends of Diversity named in fifth annual ceremony
The Friends of Diversity awards were presented to Dr. RickDr. Rick Stripling Stripling, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, Jill Simons, director, Wilson Advising Center, MaMarilyn Brewerrilyn 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. 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, president, Southern Bancorp Capital Partners, gave the keynote presentation.
Dr. 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. Kyla Dollar, left, Marilyn Brewer, and Dr. Glen Jones at the conclusion of the 2009 Diversity Excellence Awards.
Dean Russ ShainJill SimonsDr Patricia Guy-Walls The Diversity Excellence Awards were inaugurated at ASU-Jonesboro in 2005. At the end of the first awards program, Dr. Glen Jones, senior associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research and executive assistant to the chancellor for diversity, remarked,
“We’re moving in the right direction, but we recognize that much work remains to be done as we seek to fulfill our vision that ASU will be known for its commitment to diversity as evidenced by its inclusive work and learning environments, its acceptance of differences as positive and enriching and its ability to attract, retain and advance diverse faculty, staff and student body. ASU will have an environment where anyone, no matter who they are, will see a consistent reflection of themselves on the campus. They will feel comfortable and welcomed, as if they belong at ASU.”

Joe Black, Southern Bancorp Capital Partners, is speaker
Joe Black, president, Southern Bancorp Capital Partners, gave the keynote presentation at the 2009 Diversity Excellence Awards. Joe Black currently serves as Joe Black, president, Southern Bancorp Capital Partners, was the keynote speaker at the 2009 Diversity Excellence Awards.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. For details, see the NewsPage release.

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