Alumni Spotlight: Emmett D. Johnson '67 honored with nation's highest honor for urban education leadership

Posted by ncarter | 11/18/2009 10:24 AM

Mr. Emmett  D. Johnson '67 was honored by the Council of the Great City Schools Fall conference in Portland, Oregon in October with the 2009 Richard R. Green Award. The award is the nation's highest honor for urban education leadership.Additionally, a $10,000 scholarship will be presented in his name to an Atlanta Public School student.
Johnson was elected to the Atlanta Board of Education in 1997 and he has enjoyed a 12-year tenure. Johnson has played a leading role in strengthening the relationship between the school board and the superintendent. His efforts laid the groundwork for Atlanta’s transformation to a high performing school district and a national model for urban school reform.

The district’s urban reform initiatives serve as models for the nation. Signature programs include the high school transformation, single-gender learning academies, and Project GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams) that provides intensive academic and social support services to students in kindergarten through college.

Johnson holds board chair appointments on the Accountability, Audit, Board Professional Development and Budget committees. He is also the Board's legislative liaison, a delegate for the Georgia School Board Association, and a member of the Panasonic Foundation LAP Traveling Team.


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GAESP will present Judge Olly Neal as keynote speaker for Nov. 18th assembly program

Posted by ncarter | 11/14/2009 09:36 AM

(AUGUSTA, GA) -The Paine College Georgia Association of Educators Student Program (GAESP) will present Judge Olly Neal as keynote speaker for the assembly program on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 in the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel.  The program will begin at 11:00 a.m. The theme for the week is “Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility”.
Neal has an interesting connection to Paine College. His love for reading moved him to steal Frank Yerby books from his high school library. Yerby is a 1937 graduate of Paine College. Excerpt from A Librarian Mystery: The Judge who stole Frank Yerby “Neal had no idea when he read Yerby that he was reading the first African-American to write an American bestseller, the first to sell a book to the movies, and an author whose sales would reach 55 million.”
Click the link to listen to the NPR “Story Corps” Interview with Neal. <>
About Judge Olly Neal
Neal was born in the New Hope Community of Lee County on a small family farm.  He attended Black Lee County Public Schools.  He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from LeMoyne-Owen College and a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law.
A Vietnam Veteran, he served in the U.S. Army and attained the rank of Specialist Five (E-5). Neal worked for the U.S. postal Service; the Glidden Company as a paint chemist; and with St. Jude/MAP-South Supplemental Feeding Program as supervisor.  In 1969-1970 he helped organize and became the first Administrator CEO of Lee County Cooperative Clinic, a patient controlled community health center. While in that position, he also assisted 15 low-income rural communities in building safe water and wastewater facilities.

He has also served as member and chairman of the Lee County School District, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, National Demonstration Water Project, and Arkansas Land & Farm Development Corporation. He served on the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Judicial Council and was awarded the Council's Community Service Award in 2003.
After graduating from law school in 1979, Neal practiced law in Marianna, Ark. until 1991, when he became Arkansas’ only African-American (District) Prosecuting Attorney.  He went on to be elected Circuit Judge in his First Judicial District.  In 1996, he began an appointed term on the Arkansas Court of Appeals and was subsequently elected to a position on that court where he served until his retirement on January 1, 2007.

Neal is a member of  Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, W. Harold Flowers Law Society, and the Arkansas Bar Association.  He is also a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Arkansas Land & Farm Development Corporation, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

For more information, contact the Office of Public Relations.
Paine College is a church-related, four-year private institution. The mission of Paine College is to provide a liberal arts education of the highest quality that emphasizes academic excellence, ethical and spiritual values, social responsibility, and personal development to prepare men and women for positions of leadership and service in the African American community, the nation, and the world. Paine College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate degrees and functions partly by the generous support of The United Methodist Church, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and the United Negro College Fund. For additional information visit

Paine College Drama Department presents " Cold Keener" by Zora Neale Hurston

Posted by ncarter | 11/11/2009 14:27 PM

In conjunction with the Evelyn G. Etheridge Conference on the Harlem Renaissance the Paine College Drama Department will present “Cold Kenner” by Zora Neale Hurston. The plays will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel's Odeum on November 12 and November 13.

About the play:  Cold Keener (1930) is a "revue" with nine skits that are unrelated in their themes, characters, or even their settings, which include Georgia, Harlem, Florida, the Bahamas, and a jook joint. Cold Keener illustrates Hurston's concept of "primitive angularity" in dramatic structure--the parts are linked only by their differences. With this fresh approach, she hoped to challenge the African-American stereotypes derived from minstrel shows and thus contribute to the formation of a "real Negro theater."

Paine College students Erica Deas, Sherrie Miller, Shaun Younger, Carlos Thorton and Caressia Jones direct the plays. Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information contact the Office of Public Relations at (706) 396-7591 or

Experience the Eveyln G. Etheridge Conference on the Harlem Renaissance November 11-12, 2009

Posted by ncarter | 11/9/2009 07:03 AM

Paine College presents the Evelyn G. Etheridge Conference on the Harlem Renaissance on Wednesday, November 11 and Thursday, November 12. The conference consist of five sessions, which will take place in the Warren A. Candler Memorial Library Building and the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel.

About the Harlem Renaissance
From 1919 until 1940, the Harlem Renaissance was an unprecedented , collaboration of artist, writers, and musicians who converged upon  Harlem and created a corpus of literature, art, and music that portrayed the complexity of the African American experience and provided a means of resistance against the attacks upon black humanity. The period is  famously associated with persons such as Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, Cab Calloway, Aaron Douglas, Zora Neale Hurston, and Countee Cullen, it also produced lesser known writers, artists, and musicians such as Gwendolyn Bennett, Marita A. Bonner, Sterling Brown, Charlie Parker, Augusta Savage, James Van Der Zee, and Helene famously coined by James Weldon Johnson.These writers and musicians created an artistic and socio-cultural awakening that sought to challenge  the stereotypical characterizations of African American people as shuffling, lazy, and always dancing that prevailed during this period in American history.

With its theme, "Celebrating the Women," this year's conference pays tribute to the contributions made by women of the era. It examines their political, artistic, and cultural impact that helped shape the Renaissance and which continues to reverberate in creative and artistic works today, and it celebrates that vibrancy and genius of the female personalities of the period.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Session I 
Keynote Address — Ms. Frances Wellington
Why We Celebrate
11:00 AM -  12:00 PM
Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel

Session II
Dr. Deborah Austin, Prof. Virginia Wright, Ms. Jasmine Proctor
Biographical Accounts and Performances — Works of 
Selected Harlem Renaissance Singers, Poets, and Dancers
00Candler Memorial Library
2:00 PM -  3:00 PM

Thursday, November 12, 2009
Session III 
Cold Keener: The Production
Student directors and actors discuss their production of Cold
Keener, a play by Zora Neale Hurston.
Presiding, Dr. Don Cleary
11:00 AM -  12:00 PM
Candler Memorial Library 
Session IV
Issues of Roles, Race, Image and Gender: The Women of the
Harlem Renaissance and Beyond
Utilizing “mini-presentations,” panel discussion, and film
excerpts based on novels written by women of the Harlem
Renaissance and female novelists of subsequent generations,
this session explores the importance of race, image and gender.
Presiding, Prof. Isaac Holmes
2:00 PM -  3:00 PM 
Gilbert-Lambuth Chapel, Odeum

Session V 
Cold Keener: A Review, by Zora Neale Hurston
Presented by the Paine College Drama Department
Dr. Don L. Cleary,  Jr., Assistant Professor of Drama, 
Production Coordinator
7:30  PM -  9:00 PM 
Gilbert-Lambuth Chapel, Odeum
 This production will be presented again on Friday, 
November 13, 2009 at 7:30 PM in the Odeum.    
2009 Conference Presenters

Deborah Wright Austin, PhD. is a native of Augusta, Georgia. She is employed by the
Richmond County Health Department as a Service Coordinator for the “Babies Cant Wait Program”.
She received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Paine College in Sociology with a minor in
music, Master of Science in Human Resource Management and Psychology from Pepperdine
University, and a PhD from American International University in Human Services.  Dr. Austin is the
founder and CEO of the Augusta Area Cultural Society. 

Ms. Jasmine Proctor is a native of Augusta, Georgia. She is a Junior, Secondary English major
at Paine College. She serves as the Student Government Association Secretary and the captain
of the PC Cheerleading squad. She is also a member of the Augusta Area Cultural Society and
serves as an advisor assistant in the program.  

Ms. Virginia Marian Wright is a native of Augusta, Georgia. She received a Bachelors of Art
from Paine College in English Language and Literature; Master of Education from Augusta
College (Augusta State University) with a concentration in Reading. Further studies include
Certification in Early Childhood and Middle Grades Education.  

Ryan Named 2010 Co-president of the Jenzabar Regional User Group South

Posted by ncarter | 11/3/2009 11:31 AM

(AUGUSTA, GA) - Taffica R. Ryan was recently named 2010 Co-president of the Jenzabar Regional User Group South.  The announcement was made October 26, 2009 at the group’s fall meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. Ryan will begin her term as co-president of the Jenzabar Regional User Group South on January 1, 2010 along side Jerry Trammell of Berry College.

As an employee of Paine College, Ryan currently holds the position of Research and Tracking Assistant in the Office of Institutional Research.  She is a member of the 2010 the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Quality Enhancement Plan Team where she serves as the recorder.  She has spent almost 14 years at the College, including ten years in the Office of Admissions as the Admissions CMDS (Jenzabar) Coordinator and three years in the Business Office as the Accounts Payable Clerk.  While working as Admissions CMDS Coordinator, she was appointed co-chair of the Paine College Jenzabar User Group. 

Ryan currently holds a Diploma in Accounting, an Associate Degree in Secretarial Science, and a Diploma in Information and Office Technology.  She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems.
Jenzabar Regional User Groups are designed to create a forum where Jenzabar users across all platforms can network and exchange ideas with peers.  Regional User Groups are determined by geographical location, which allows users that cannot attend the annual meeting or other Jenzabar events to access resources that Jenzabar and other institutions have to offer.  The South region includes the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina.




Paine College awards scholarships to first group courtesy of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. grant

Posted by ncarter | 11/3/2009 08:14 AM

This August 14 talented Paine College students received additional funds for their education. After a rigorous selection process, Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) Scholars Committee awarded over $45,000 to the students, making them the first group of students to receive the scholarship.

The scholars program was result of a new collaboration with Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP), one of the world’s largest providers of business outsourcing solutions. Five juniors and nine seniors were chosen to receive the scholarship at the beginning of the Fall 2009 semester.

In February, Paine College, Augusta State University and Augusta Technical College announced a three-year partnership with Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP). Combined, the three institutions received $600,000 to be distributed to increase the number of graduates in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as well as to increase the number of certified teachers in critical need STEM fields.

Each institution planned to establish scholarships with the funding from the grant. Paine plans to graduate at least 20 students through ADP Scholarships in STEM areas and greatly expand academic support programs in STEM disciplines. “Paine College is proud to partner with ADP, along with other institutions of higher education in Augusta, in the development of the ADP Scholars Program designed to meet the goal of producing a scientifically literate citizenry for Augusta, Georgia, and America,” said Dr. George Bradley, president of Paine College.

Soon after the check presentation, Paine College formed a committee that worked diligently to establish the ADP Scholars program at Paine College. This program is different from any other scholarship program we’ve established institutionally,” said Dr. Tina Marshall-Bradley, special assistant to the provost and professor of Education at Paine College.

The scholarship requires each student to work as a Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant. Students will have a chance to present research to faculty, peers and others during local and national conferences.

One recipient has invested hours researching alternative energy sources. Others are focusing on preventive health initiatives.

Scholarship recipient Chenoa Murray was elated about engaging in more research. “Through the research assistant component of this scholarship, I’d like to focus on Public Health,” said Murray, a senior biology major.  Murray’s interest in Public Health stems from her need to “address the issues of today’s society and impact tomorrow’s world,” she said.

As a senior at Paine, she has an extensive research background. Her senior research project is entitled The Effect of Mental Stress on Left Ventricular Diastolic Function in Youth, which she researched at the Medical College of Georgia.
With the ADP scholarship, Murray will be working on two Public Health research projects. She is currently serving as a research assistant on two research projects with Paine College and the Medical College of Georgia.

“Being given this opportunity to engage in additional biology research is really exciting,” she said. “Opportunities like this show what Paine College students learn in the classroom can be applied to problems in the real world,” Murray said.

2009-2010 ADP Scholars
Stephanie N. Golden
Mbile A. Mbongi
Audrey J. Walker
Ashley Williams
Barbara J. Hawkins
Curtavious B. Smith
Chenoa Murray
Shareka Lawson
Akayleeya Tate
Tenaca Golden
Krystal C. Wright
Brian C. Murry
Brittany Cox
Londerial Eady


Paine student co-star of Tyler Perry's "Meet the Browns"

Posted by ncarter | 10/13/2009 08:59 AM

When you meet 19-year old Courtney Gray automatically you recognize his southern upbringing with a greeting of “yes mam” and a shy grin. But don’t let the timid face fool you. The energetic and ambitious young man is destined for stardom.

In Tyler Perry’s hit TBS sitcom “Meet the Browns” Gray plays Jamal, the lovable best friend of Brianna. Since the opening of Perry’s Atlanta studio in 2008, Gray has been working overtime and auditioning for a role.

“I auditioned three times,” he said. Finally, he received a call. He recalls receiving the call while at the bowling alley. “I picked up the phone and the woman introduced herself and followed with calling from Tyler Perry studios. I was so excited and so was my Mom,” Gray said. “She started crying.”

Gray’s second appearance on the show aired on August 19th.

Although he is on the cusp of a budding television career, he has been encouraged to make time to obtain a quality education at Paine College. “My uncle J.R. Henderson is a graduate of Paine,” Gray says. “He and my God brother Nick Ilugbo sold me and my family on the atmosphere at Paine.”  Gray is a freshman Mass Communications major concentrating in Drama.

“Before I even thought of acting as a serious career, I wanted to be a track star,” Gray said. A 2008 graduate of Dutchtown High School, he was the jock playing football and running track. “One day my mom asked me what happens if you get hurt?.” That’s when I found something else I was good at,” he said.

Before making the big step towards college, Gray faced a few detours. “After I started auditioning for television, my mom decided to get me an agent. My agent found information about a play oversees that would be very rewarding,” he said. Soon after getting the information the play feel through. “I was planning to use the money I made for college,” he said. Steadfast in his quest for college funding, Gray tampered with the idea of joining the Marines. “Immediately mom said ‘no’, because she knew it wasn’t what I really wanted to do.”

Ever since he declared his love for acting, his mother Angela Johnson, has supported him. The self proclaimed “Momma’s boy” credits her for all his success. “My mom supports me and has invested a lot towards my dream,” he says. “She always says she wishes she’d known sooner.” Gray also credits his success to his family, who has always encouraged his gift.  “My grandmother Anita Swain, uncle Cornelius Pope and my step-father have really kept me going.” Gray said each of his five siblings is also very  supportive.

The Atlanta native is no stranger to acting; he’s been perfecting his craft since age 12. “I fell in love with acting after performing in a puppet show,” he said. I starting acting in front of crowds in 7th grade,” Gray recalls.  I’ve always been a class clown and an outspoken child.”

He started doing theater outside of school in the 10th grade. He appeared in seven theater shows including Mid Summers Night Dream, Keeping Up With the Joneses and Breathe to name a few. He has training with various dialects and improvisation. While at Paine, he is looking forward to participating in drama productions under the direction of Dr. Don Cleary.

“I’m looking forward to doing theater here at Paine,” he says. “I want to learn, teach, and have fun.” He hopes to propose a theater production of Jitney by August Wilson.

Gray is already getting acquainted with several extra curricular student activities. He’s currently running for the title of Mr. Freshman and recently joined the Lions Activity Board.

For such a young man he has solid advice for aspiring actors.

“Acting is one of the hardest careers to make it in,” Gray says. “Never give up and always finish what you start.”

 Much of his advice he applies to his college studies. “Research is kind of like homework. If you want to make the grade you have to study,” he said.

Top five tips towards a budding acting career: 

Establish a look, a certain voice and style. You must be confident and it helps build you up.
Study and research to find out about the play, know the directors, and know everything about everything. It’s good to participate in the drama department. Try writing, studying, watching television, going to auditions. Watch sitcoms, read playwrights. It helps if you break down characters. Having an agent markets you more. Open casting calls for talent agencies. You validate many of the agencies that you see. Watch out for scams. You need an agent for televisions and movies. You must have a support system. Be around people you know will support you, and want to see you succeed and will be in your corner.

Because he’s an easy two-hour drive from Augusta to Atlanta, Gray will continue to be involved in acting. “In the future, I hope to appear in some of Tyler Perry’s plays,” he said.  He will also visit home often to reunite with family and teach at Zion Dance Theatre in Stockbridge, Ga.


Paine College student named chaplain of United Negro College Fund National Pre-Alumni Council

Posted by ncarter | 10/13/2009 08:28 AM

(AUGUSTA, GA) - Oscar A. Jessie was recently named the Chaplain of the 2009-2010 National Pre-Alumni Council Board. Jessie is a sophomore psychology major at Paine College and a native of Augusta, Georgia.

The appointment is an honor because Jessie serves with other students from United Negro College Fund member institutions. The National Pre-Alumni Council is the governing body for the Pre-Alumni Councils located on UNCF's member colleges and universities campuses. The NPAC officers are elected annually during the NAC/NPAC Conference.

The National Pre-Alumni Council governs a total of 38 Historical Black Colleges and Universities. The United Negro College Fund provides over 60,000 scholarships each year to enable students to attend college.

“Being appointed to this position connects me with other UNCF institutions. I am elated to help with the spiritual aspect. I want to encourage others mentally and spiritually to become better leaders and scholars,” Jessie said.

As a student at Paine College, Jessie is a known leader having served as Vice President of the Psychology Club, Business Manager for the Paine College Pre-Alumni Council, President of the Pre-Alumni Council and Mr. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  Currently, Jessie holds the positions of Vice President of Paine College Pre-Alumni, President of the Paine College Art Club, Mr. Psychology Club, as well as a student representative for the Paine College Student Disciplinary Board.

“I look forward to serving with NPAC board members to effectively impact our local and campus communities through prayer, advice on business strategies, volunteerism and research,” Jessie said. 

Jessie attended the council’s first meeting in September in New Orleans, Louisiana and looks forward to attending the National Pre-Alumni Leadership Conference in 2010.


Paine College to crown new queen and king

Posted by ncarter | 10/13/2009 08:16 AM

(AUGUSTA, GA) - The coronation of Miss and Mr. Paine College 2009-2010 will be held on Friday, October 23 at 7 p.m. in Gilbert- Lambuth Memorial Chapel. Mr. Dennis Lamar Handy and Miss DeAndreia Youngblood will take their places as student ambassadors for the academic school year.
Handy is a senior business administration major from Athens, Georgia. He is the son of Dennis Handy and Brenda Lackey.
Some of Handy’s organizational memberships at Paine include Student Government Association, Cub Leaders Freshman Orientation Team, Lions Activity Board and the Epsilon Psi chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated.
With his title as a student ambassador, Handy is implementing a “Brother to Brother” program. The program will help male students understand the power of their physical appearance and how to project an appearance that is positive and confident for endeavors such as internship, job and graduate school interviews.
“I am a huge advocate of helping young black males achieve their goals. This program will serve as a catalyst to help young men set a goal and attain it,” Handy said.
His professional aspiration is to obtain a Masters of Business Administration and later own and operate a mortuary and insurance company.

Youngblood is a junior mathematics major from Glennville, Georgia. She is the daughter of Donna Youngblood and the late Shawn Tippins. She is the granddaughter of Doris Scott.
Some of Youngblood’s organizational memberships at Paine include the Student Government Association, Cub Leaders Freshman Orientation Team and Lions Activity Board. In the past, she has held positions as vice president of the freshman class, Miss Kappa Alpha Psi, and Miss Sophomore. She is also involved in the Augusta community having started the “Adopt a Friend” program at Georgia War Veteran’s Nursing Home.
With her title as a student ambassador, Youngblood plans to implement a “Sharing the Spotlight” mentoring program that gives youth and college students the tools needed to achieve academic excellence. Professionally she aspires to pursue a career as a computer engineer or mathematics professor.
“I strongly believe mentoring builds leaders, character and gives an individual confidence to strive for anything. That is why this program is so important to me,” Youngblood said.
Coronation 2009 is themed A Winters Night Dream. The event will highlight all campus queens and kings for their service to various organizations. The community is cordially invited to attend the ceremony. Immediately following Miss and Mr. Paine College will host a reception in the Warren A. Candler Memorial Library and Conference Center. This event is also open to the public.
For more information, contact the Office of Public Relations at (706) 396-7591.


Sorority sponsored foundation makes contribution to Paine College UNCF Campaign

Posted by ncarter | 08/14/2009 05:42 AM

Several members of Eta Theta Zeta Foundation sponsored by Eta Theta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. presented Dr. George C. Bradley, President of Paine College, with a $2,000 contribution to the Paine College United Negro Scholarship Campaign.
According to Betty J. Bryant ' 62 and Chair of the Foundation, the Foundation was established about three years ago for the purpose of giving contributions to some of the area schools and organizations.
"Our foundation is a great tool in which we use to give back," she said.
Many of the members of the sorority's local chapter are also Paine College alumnae.  Their contributions not only fulfill the sorority's order to service, but also their responsibility as alumnae.
Each year the sorority does fundraisers to support the community.  After the fundraisers end, the sorority gives back.  Bryant explained the United Negro College Fund as a worthy cause and she is elated that the sorority contributes yearly. "Scholarship is one of our principles for which we were founded, so we will continue to carry out our duty to scholarship and aid in advancing educational opportunities at Paine," she said.
Mary E. Terrell ‘51 and Treasurer of the Foundation said in addition to scholarship funds the sorority contributes to Paine, it gives generously to other organizations.  Locally, the sorority sponsors the Zetas Against Drugs (ZAD) Workshop, donates to the Augusta Mini Theatre, Shiloh Comprehensive Community Center, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and others.
"We are supporters of Paine College because this is our local college and we want Paine to reach top recognition with the support of the sorority and other alumnae." Terrell said.
Eta Theta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. is also very involved with the College's undergraduate chapter, Kappa Delta.  They collaborate often to perform community service activities throughout the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).
For more information about the Eta Theta Zeta Foundation of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. contact Hattie Lowry at (706) 724-7649.

Photo: Left to right

Hattie Lowry ‘51, Lora Richardson ‘66, E. Virginia Johnson, Gloria Williams-Way, chapter president, Mary E. Terrell ‘51, Queenie Lawton and Betty J. Bryant, ’62 chair of the foundation (not shown).