PAINE COLLEGE RECOGNIZES DR. LAWANDA CUMMINGS FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACADEMICS AND CAMPUS LIFE

Posted by painewebmaster | 05/21/2015 08:41 AM

Paine College recognized Dr. LaWanda Cummings, Assistant Professor and Chair for the Department of Social Sciences, for outstanding service, performance and excellence during its Commencement Convocation held Sunday, May 10, 2015 in the Health Education Activities Learning Complex.  

Dr. Cummings received the Vulcan Materials Teaching Excellence (Vulcan) Award for having provided leadership and support to enhance multiple areas of student and campus life.  The Vulcan award was created to recognize faculty who make a significant difference in the classroom and campus community.  This award also honors faculty who have made a distinctive difference in the areas of teaching, research, and service.  This prestigious award, endowed by the Vulcan Materials Company and managed by the Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges, comes with a cash gift.

Dr. Cummings earned both the Doctor of Philosophy and the Master of Arts degrees from Georgia State University in the field of Community Psychology in 2010 and 2007, respectively.  She also received the Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from Georgia State University in 2000 and earned an Associate of Arts degree from DeKalb Community College in Psychology in 1998.

Currently, Dr. Cummings serves as principal investigator for an active grant-funded and research initiative that addresses substance abuse, HIV and HCV infections on the campus and in the surrounding Augusta community.  This three-year initiative, funded at $887,000, is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  As the co-principal investigator, she served as executive director for the U.S. Department of Energy STEM WET-SEED summer science enrichment program that catered to middle and high school students.  

Dr. Cummings is known for her work and research on African American girls and youth mentoring.  She served as Program Coordinator and later as Director for D.R.E.A.M.S. (Developing Relationships to enhance African American Mentees’ Success) Summer Institute for Georgia State University’s Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence in 2007 and 2008.  For three years (2003-2006), she served as Supervisor for Undergraduate Mentors for the Georgia State University Youth Development Program at Cross Keys High School.  

She is sought after as a guest lecturer and speaker on topics such as being an effective mentor, peer relations, and health issues in the African-American community. 

Dr. Samuel Sullivan, Interim President of Paine College, said, “Dr. Cummings motivates and challenges students to succeed in and out of the classroom.  She is to be commended for working to develop campus programs and activities that address factors which lead to problematic behaviors in students. Her work will indelibly have a positive impact on campus and academic life.”   

Dr. Cummings holds memberships in numerous professional organizations.  She is a member of the Society for Pediatric Psychology, Society for Community Research and Action, Association for Black Psychologists and many others.

She has co-authored several publications and made over a dozen professional presentations throughout the country.  Her community involvement is extensive.  She served as a contributor for the White House Research Conference on Girls in 2014.  Also, she has facilitated outreach projects that pertained to nutrition and health initiatives for migrant farmers, teen mothers and individuals with respiratory ailments.

For more information about Dr. Cummings’ research and publications, please contact the Office of Communications & Marketing at 706.396.7591 or via email: tjwilliams@paine.edu

Blog post written by Helene Carter.