Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More for the class of 2008 (and beyond)

From the Black Collegian Online

College Graduates Benefit from Large Retiree Pool
By Phil Gardner

Hot Majors! Hot Jobs!

From the compiled list of majors that employers indicated they were interested in recruiting, approximately 50 percent were seeking business majors (not including marketing and accounting), 36 percent engineering majors, 22 percent computer science, 19 percent marketing, accounting 17 percent, and 28 percent social and humanities majors. From this list we pulled what appear to be the majors most in demand.

Hot Majors

Civil Engineering

Environmental Sciences



Electrical Engineering


Business Administration


Mechanical Engineering

Computer Science (all)




While mortgage lending firms are not hiring to any great extent, other financial services and insurance companies have plans to increase hiring by 17 percent. The professional services sector that is the home for engineering services, accounting, management consulting, scientific research, marketing research, public relations and advertising firms is expecting to increase hiring by 13 percent. However, some subsectors such as advertising and public relations are bracing for a slowdown if the economy should weaken further.

Government is expected to remain strong for selected agencies. However, federal budget limitations have caused some agencies to retrench from early forecasts for increased hiring. Hospitality opportunities in restaurants and lodging establishments remain strong.

Starting Salaries

Forty-six percent of the employers who reported their starting salaries indicated they do not plan on raising salary levels from last year. Fifty-three percent will raise salary offers by an average of 4.2 percent. This increase is nearly double the amount indicated last year. Twenty-five percent of those reporting salary are preparing to make significant salary increases from 5 to 15 percent. Based on the salary information provided for this study, the average starting salary at the bachelor’s level is estimated to be approximately $43,500. This figure is tilted toward the higher salaries offered in technical fields. The following list provides a sample of starting salaries for selected majors. More detailed salary information can be found at our Web site. (http://www.ceri.msu.edu/).

All Associates




Accounting (MS)$54,100

Engineering (MS)


Selected Bachelors





Computer Science$50,200

Mechanical Engineering $50,900

Electrical Engineering$53,200

Chemical Engineering$53,600

Civil Engineering$48,000


Liberal Arts$34,700



Social Sciences$32,300

Employers would like to avoid paying a new hire a bonus; only 10 percent indicated that they would. However, employers may have to reconsider, especially those hiring engineering, accountants, computer science majors. Because the market is competitive for these majors, bonuses are becoming more common. A method that 20 percent of employers are using in an effort to limit turnover is to offer a bonus or performance premium at the completion of the first year of employment.

Do Employers Really Like College Graduates?

Based on stories in the media, it would seem that employers are frustrated by the attitude and lack of commitment displayed by some young adults. So we went in search of what employers like about new college hires. Young adults, we found, bring more positives than negatives to the workplace. Young adults come with plenty of enthusiasm, fresh ideas, technical aptitude, and solid communication skills. These were the top four attributes listed by employers. Also in the mix are team work, willingness to learn, adaptability (can handle change), and analytical thinking.

The Best Way to Land a Job: Internships

The largest expansion in hiring will be from employers using their internship and co-op talent banks. In fact employers are adamant that college students must have an internship or relevant work experience to even be considered for employment. Internships offer a more realistic idea of what being in the adult world is like, as well as how to behave and what will be expected of a new employee. Employers are so focused on these experiences that 50 percent indicated that it is now necessary for candidates to have two internships prior to graduation. The need to have multiple experiences can be traced to two immediate factors: 1) being able to differentiate students quickly when dealing with a large pool of applicants; and 2) a new hire with more workplace skills and exposure will get off to a faster start.

Final Thoughts

This year’s labor market promises to be a good one for college seniors! If seniors started their job searches in the fall or at least began the process by preparing resumes and identifying potential companies, they will be in a better position to land a job. But the early bird may be the winner. The economy has continued to weaken since the fall. This weakness may cause employers to pause and reevaluate whether to hire during the spring. Those who procrastinate may find the labor market closer to graduation to be very different from the market described by employers back in the fall.

Companies of Recruiting Trends 2007-2008 can be ordered from Instructional Media Center at Michigan State University phone: 517.353.9229 or through the web: http://orders.oip.msu.edu/product_p/470.04.htm

Monday, April 28, 2008

Job outlook for new grads

From the Black Collegian Web site: http://www.black-collegian.com/issues/2ndsem08/job_outlook.htm

College Graduates Benefit from Large Retiree Pool
By Phil Gardner

Despite the cautious and sometimes gloomy economic news released throughout the past several months, particularly in December and early January 2008, the college labor market outlook appears bright. College students have baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1962) to thank for the growth in opportunities this year. Many large companies are faced with serious concerns as baby boomers prepare to retire and exit their current positions.

Companies are aggressively searching for new talent who can be trained and ready to assume mid-level or higher responsibilities within four or five years (just when those retirements start in earnest).

Dollars, Oil, and Copper
Several forces are conspiring to dampen economic growth. While it is difficult and premature to predict a recession, the weakened housing sector and its impact on financial (credit) institutions have injected uncertainty into the economy. The ripple effect from the sub-prime lending fiasco has now reached firms and individuals initially thought immune from this crisis. Credit rules have tightened making it more difficult for companies to borrow money; to raise necessary capital that could be used to expand operations.

Firms are also facing higher costs for inputs such as metals, chemicals, and energy. As countries such as India and China continue their strong growth patterns, the demand for resources to use as inputs for industry, housing, transportation, and other key sectors has risen sharply worldwide. Higher demand has consequently caused prices to rise. Employers are also feeling the pinch as labor costs have also crept upward, especially for health care and related benefits. Medium-size employers who need to maintain in a competitive position are finding it difficult to expand hiring.

If you have been to the gasoline pumps recently, you know that the price of gas keeps inching up. The energy sector is under stress from increased demand. From all corners of the globe people are using more oil-based products from gasoline, fertilizers to pharmaceuticals. Further complicating oil prices is the weak U.S. dollar. Oil is priced internationally in dollars. As the dollar’s value against other currencies has dropped, oil producers have raised prices to hold revenues the same.

A weak dollar does help us in some ways. Export-oriented manufacturers and service providers are seeing strong growth. Tourism to the U.S. is also growing, as foreigners with strong currencies can find real bargains in the U.S.

Finally, the U.S. consumer may be tapped out. Over 60 percent of the U.S. economy depends on consumers spending money on products and services. Over the past decade, Americans have spent well (aided by rising housing values); in fact, they have spent like no other group in the entire world. The result has seen the U.S. savings rate dip below zero (we spend more than we earn) and credit card debt has grown. Consumers may run out of juice just as the other side of our economy has slowed down.

Job Opportunities
As employers began to firm up plans on their hiring intentions in the fall, 34 percent expected to increase their hiring over last year while 39 percent would decrease their hiring. The remaining employers expected to hire the same number of college graduates as last year. These figures are very similar to other labor studies conducted in the fall by Manpower and Career Builder, for example. These studies described employer intentions as cautious. Federal employment statistics, even though they have been fluctuating unexpectedly during the fall, paint a similar picture.

When the figures are disaggregated by degree level, the figures suggest a much stronger labor market for bachelor’s and MBAs than for other degrees. These figures reveal that employer intentions for college hiring across all degree levels are not increasing as rigorously as last year.

From information provided by 910 firms and organizations (not including school districts), respondents to our survey estimate they will hire approximately 40,000 college graduates. Overall total job opportunities will only expand by 2 percent over last year. However, bachelor’s degree hiring, which accounts for 77 percent of the total hires, is expected to increase by 7 percent.

Size Matters
Large employers, those with more than 4,000 employees, are aggressively pursuing college graduates this year. Large companies are beginning to deal with the implications of the looming exodus of baby boomers from their employee ranks. Some companies face the arduous task of replacing up to 60 percent of their current work force over the next decade. Last year these companies began to ramp up their recruiting efforts. This year companies with more than 4,000 employees plan to increase bachelor’s-degree hiring by 10 percent. Importantly, their focus is on graduates with bachelor’s degrees. Their total hiring across all degrees will only increase by 5 percent.

Companies with 9 to 100 employees that have the capacity for rapid growth are labeled second-stage growth firms. Start-up companies with generally fewer than 10 employees and second-stage companies comprise 78 percent of all firms and establishments (does not include education and government) and are responsible for 36 percent of all employees in the U.S. Companies with fewer than 100 employees comprise 34 percent of the employers responding to our study. This group expects to increase bachelor’s degree hiring by 13 percent and total hiring by 16 percent – almost all of these positions will be new positions and are not earmarked as replacements for retirees.

The news is not as good for companies with 100 to 300 employees, as they expect to decrease bachelor hiring by 13 percent and total hiring by 12 percent. Their comments suggest that the weakness of the economy and rising costs have caused them to take a more conservative approach to the labor market. For companies with 301 to 3900 employees, the news is slightly better as they will increase bachelor hiring by 1 percent. This group was also very cautious, injecting comments that if the economy continued to weaken they may have to pull back their hiring goals for the year.

To be continued...

Friday, April 25, 2008

In the Valley tomorrow

It's almost here - the second-annual Wheels in the Valley Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show will have motors running rich tomorrow! We're all excited to see Dr. Rivers' classic cars, and to raise a lot of money for both FVSU scholarships and for the Boys and Girls Club of Georgia Heartlands. So come on out, bring the family - there will be plenty of food vendors, make-your-own T-shirts, inflatables and games for the kids, and plenty of car show fun! (Stay tuned for photos next week!)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New appreciation for a small school

As Fort Valley State University prepares for growth, it is reassuring to see hiring keep up with expected enrollment.

My current attempt to take some rather obscure online courses from a much larger university has led me to a new found appreciation for schools FVSU's size. In fact, as I was transferred for the sixth time in one phone call to yet another department, and then was left completely without satisfaction of my question, I wished (not for the first time) I could just take the courses here.

I'm certain at FVSU my class would not have filled even prior to my early registration appointment. I'm certain someone would have been able to answer my questions. And I'm certain I would have been able to take my problems to the highest level, what with President Rivers' accessibility to FVSU students.

In fact, between Dr. Rivers' MySpace and Facebook pages, his daily meals in the cafeteria, his workouts in the Health and Physical Education Complex, and his appearances at most campus functions, students have ample opportunity to express their concerns directly to "the man." And, I'm pleased to say, they seem to appreciate that accessibility.


--Misty Cline works in the Office of Marketing and Communications

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Working hard for the money

Talk about money with parents these days, and it's hard to find happy news. Everything is getting more expensive, and that annual 3 percent cost-of-living increase just isn't bridging the gap.

With college, it's more than just tuition and fees, room and board, it's the things kids "just have to have" to take with them.

Maybe prices for food and clothing haven't risen much in recent years. But did you take a laptop to college (that would be in addition to a desktop computer)? How about an iPod? Cell phone? Digital camera? 20 pairs of shoes? And that's just the spending before they walk in the door. Once on campus, it's custom room decor, "Pimp My Ride"-worthy car accessories, daily trips to restaurants "because it's cafeteria food, mom" - and the list goes on.

Call it crazy, a lot of parents do. But even though we KNOW we've lost our minds, it's not stopping us. After all, we can't have another kid out there with more perks, more benefits, more advantages than ours. When it comes to buying things for our kids, the definition of "necessity" includes just about anything they want. And if your kid gets a scholarship - especially an unexpected one - well there's money for even more toys.

So what does that teach our kids? Are they learning financial responsibility? Are they learning delayed gratification? Or are they learning to place blame - "If I'd had one of those I would have done better in class!" and to value the dollar above all else? Are they learning to look for the nearest free lunch (I actually heard someone say "I'll go if they'll be serving refreshments") or are they learning to work for something a little better? After all, a meal I cook myself is usually much better than any I get in a restuarant.

--Misty Cline works in the Office of Marketing and Communications

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

FVSU students participate in Earth Day event

Valley Behavioral Health Services graduate assistant Chizu Hirata came up with the idea for FVSU’s Earth Day celebration. Hirata, an international student from Japan, is currently earning a second master’s degree in public health.

“I wanted to let students to know about Earth Day, because most students here are not aware of it,” said Hirata. “This is a shared responsibility of everyone around the world to care for the Earth. We want the campus to come together for this cause and to let students know that there is something that we can start doing right now to conserve resources.”

In addition to Hirata, U. Tracy Marshall – coordinator for the Office of Diversity and International Affairs, FVSU Marketing and Communications PR Specialist Shonda Lewis, and FVSU computer science and mathematics major Niraj Yadav helped coordinate the event.

“We only had a short time to initiate the program,” said Marshall. “But we all felt so strongly about saving our resources that we did everything to make this happen. We appreciate support from all faculty, staff and students.”

Monday, April 21, 2008

Get registered now!

For a full day of cars like this one - register now for the second annual Wheels in the Valley Car, Truck and Motorcycle show!

Go HERE to register: http://www.fvsu.edu/downloads/WitV2008Registration.doc

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Beware the Nothing

I have been meaning to get back to my blog. Really. However, with the trip to Oxford (more on that later) and the incredible amount of work awaiting me on my return both at work and at home I’ve just had nothing left in the tank at the end of the day. Then, today, when I have a few precious minutes to write, I sit down and discover that I’ve been unplugged from the goings-on outside our brick fence for so long that I have nothing to say. Nothing.

Yet, nothing is always more than meets the eye. The television show Seinfeld was about nothing and it became an American icon. So perhaps writing about nothing could be fruitful. I did a little research and came across this:

“20 Things You Didn't Know About... Nothing: There's more there than you think.” (Discover Magazine) by LeeAundra Temescu

1. There is vastly more nothing than something. Roughly 74 percent of the universe is “nothing,” or what physicists call dark energy; 22 percent is dark matter, particles we cannot see. Only 4 percent is baryonic matter, the stuff we call something.

2. And even something is mostly nothing. Atoms overwhelmingly consist of empty space. Matter’s solidity is an illusion caused by the electric fields created by subatomic particles.

3. There is more and more nothing every second. In 1998 astronomers measuring the expansion of the universe determined that dark energy is pushing apart the universe at an ever-accelerating speed. The discovery of nothing—and its ability to influence the fate of the cosmos—is considered the most important astronomical finding of the past decade.

4. But even nothing has a weight. The energy in dark matter is equivalent to a tiny mass; there is about one pound of dark energy in a cube of empty space 250,000 miles on each side.

5. In space, no one can hear you scream: Sound, a mechanical wave, cannot travel through a vacuum. Without matter to vibrate through, there is only silence.

6. So what if Kramer falls in a forest? Luckily, electromagnetic waves, including light and radio waves, need no medium to travel through; letting TV stations broadcast endless reruns of Seinfeld, the show about nothing.

7. Light can travel through a vacuum, but there is nothing to refract it. Alas for extraterrestrial romantics, stars do not twinkle in outer space.

8 Black holes are not holes or voids; they are the exact opposite of nothing, being the densest concentration of mass known in the universe.

9. “Zero” was first seen in cuneiform tablets written around 300 B.C. by Babylonians who used it as a placeholder (to distinguish 36 from 306 or 360, for example). The concept of zero in its mathematical sense was developed in India in the fifth century.

10. Any number divided by zero is . . . nothing, not even zero. The equation is mathematically impossible.

11. It is said that Abdülhamid II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1900s, had censors expunge references to H2O from chemistry books because he was sure it stood for “Hamid the Second is nothing.”

12. Medieval art was mostly flat and two-dimensional until the 15th century, when the Florentine architect Filippo Brunelleschi conceived of the vanishing point, the place where parallel lines converge into nothingness. This allowed for the development of perspective in art.

13. Aristotle once wrote, “Nature abhors a vacuum,” and so did he. His complete rejection of vacuums and voids and his subsequent influence on centuries of learning prevented the adoption of the concept of zero in the Western world until around the 13th century, when Italian bankers found it to be extraordinarily useful in financial transactions.

14. Vacuums do not suck things. They create spaces into which the surrounding atmosphere pushes matter.

15. Creatio ex nihilo, the belief that the world was created out of nothing, is one of the most common themes in ancient myths and religions.

16. Current theories suggest that the universe was created out of a state of vacuum energy, that is, nothing.

17. But to a physicist there is no such thing as nothing. Empty space is instead filled with pairs of particles and antiparticles, called virtual particles, that quickly form and then, in accordance with the law of energy conservation, annihilate each other in about 10-25 second.

18. So Aristotle was right all along.

19. These virtual particles popping in and out of existence create energy. In fact, according to quantum mechanics, the energy contained in all the power plants and nuclear weapons in the world doesn’t equal the theoretical energy contained in the empty spaces between these words.

20. In other words, nothing could be the key to the theory of everything

And you thought that this was all going to be a bunch of nothing. Next time: Oxford, England.

--Dr. B. Keith Murphy is the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fort Valley State University

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Students have a blast at Spring Ball

Fort Valley State University students dressed in their finest Saturday night and gathered in the Woodward Gymnasium for a fun evening at the University's first annual spring ball.
Katherine Chike, Resident Director over the Wildcat Commons, was behind the glamorous event. "It was really just an idea I came up with so that the kids could dress up and have fun," she said. More than 100 students dressed up in gowns and tuxes. "Some kids came dressed up in their church apparel, but most girls still had their prom dresses,” said Chike.

The University's Mass Communications department provided the deejays and the event was catered by Sandra McGee. President and Mrs. Rivers attended, in formal attire.
"We're already planning next year's event," said Chike. "The students work so hard, they deserve a little fun."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Encouraging Freshman Success

A young person's most difficult adjustment might be the move out of mom's house to their first dorm setting. Compound that life change with the stress to achieve academically without mom watching over their shoulders and it's easy to see why so many college students fail in their first year. At Fort Valley State University, there is a system in place to help freshmen with the tranistion to independent living and independent academic success.

The First Year Experience Center is a collaborative endeavor between the division of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. Its primary objective is the retention of first-time students at the institution.

Wildcat Welcome Week is the name for the first week of at school for first year students. This week is filled with innovative programs to help new students adjust to their new environment. Spearheaded by a committee consisting of several different departments, this is truly a collaborative experience.

Another focal point of the first-year experience is the post-welcome week extracurricular education of new students. Throughout the academic year FYE strives to provide educational opportunities in non-academic settings. This is achieved by providing guest speakers and lecturers during the course of each semester. As a part of orientation there are also assembly programs that provide enrichment sessions that reinforce orientation information.

Academic assistance and support is a vital component of retaining any student in college. In an effort to emphasize this philosophy, the Academic Success Center is involved in every facet of the first-year experience. Beginning with early orientation, continuing through enrollment, and ending with graduation, the ASC works to ensure students are provided with the proper academic advisement and the academic resources such as free tutorial services that are needed for a smooth matriculation here at Fort Valley State University.

Finally, FYE seeks to provide new students at the institution with positive peer mentoring. Through the combination of several existing student groups including student government, presidential scholars, and student ambassadors; new students are surrounded by positive upperclassmen role models. This experience is also designed to give new students a greater sense of connectedness to the institution.

--Information provided by the Academic Success Center

Monday, April 14, 2008

WFVS wins Station of the Year

The 29th Annual Black College Radio and Television Annual Awards Banquet, held April 3-6 at Atlanta’s Renaissance Downtown Hotel, ended on an exciting note for WFVS staff members. The Fort Valley State University crowd jumped to their feet when their station was announced as Station of the Year. On stage, BCR host Lo Jelks handed a beautiful plaque to station manager Shirley Ellis, who accepted the award and a $1,000 cash prize on behalf of the staff.

“Amazing,” Ellis said, “This is an amazing feeling. I’m proud to accept this prestigious award on behalf of The Fort Valley State University.”

Every year, Historically Black Colleges and Universities throughout the country compete for the award by submitting a CD highlighting their station’s special features with a brief synopsis of programming to the BCR Awards Committee.

According to Jelks, the panel of professional judges selected WFVS for the top award because of the quality of the station’s presentation and its commitment to community service.

“BCR doesn’t just depend on what the station says it is doing to impact the community,” said Jelks. “We also monitor the stations and get feedback from the people outside of the station to determine the station of the year. WFVS proved to live up to its commitments.”

“You could not imagine the utter excitement and pride we, the campus radio staff members, felt,’” said Ellis. “It was like beautiful music to our ears.”

“I knew that we were the winner when Mr. Jelks called out the letter V,” said WFVS Station Program Director Randy Jackson. “It’s a great feeling to know that all of our hard work paid off.”

In addition to the awards ceremony, the station staff attended a three-day conference, “The Leading Edge of Excellence in Broadcast Education,” – a networking event for college students with professionals in the broadcasting industry. Friday’s keynote speaker was Patricia Russell-McCloud, J.D.

--written bty Christina Milton, office of Marketing and Communications

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ham and Eggs heady fare

Step 1: Begin with a dash of information about current state legislation relating to Georgia’s agricultural sector. Add a soupçon of exciting news about on-going activities at Fort Valley State University.

Step 2: Simmer gently with a generous gift to the university.

Step 3: Season lightly with musical selections from a nationally known gospel recording artist

Step 4: Garnish with more than a quarter century of traditional Southern style breakfast fixings including country-cured ham, grits, biscuits, hash browns and scrambled eggs.Serves:

About 200 farmers, educators, agribusiness representatives, legislators and rural residents. It was a hearty fare that university administrators and state legislators served up to a crowd of 210 early risers at FVSU’s 26th annual Ham and Egg Breakfast on Tuesday, April 8.

Dr. Mark Latimore Jr., interim dean of FVSU’s College of Agriculture, Home Economics and Allied Programs, opened the 8 a.m. breakfast by inviting participants to mix and mingle during the event in the C.W. Pettigrew Farm and Community Life Center.“Enjoy each other, interact with each other and interact with your legislators,” he said.

Following the first of two musical selections by nationally known gospel recording artist Debra Snipes, FVSU Extension Family Life Specialist Kena Torbert recounted the history of the original ham and egg show held at Fort Valley State College for more than a half-century and the Ham and Egg Breakfast at Fort Valley State University that began 26 years ago. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have put all of this together for your enlightenment, empowerment and entertainment,” Torbert said.

FVSU President Dr. Larry E. Rivers added his own welcome in his remarks, calling the breakfast a tradition that gives rural residents and the FVSU family an opportunity to thank public officials and legislators for their efforts. Rivers went on to cite some of the university’s recent accomplishments and herald some of its planned activities. He began by thanking the legislative trio – state Rep. Lynmore James (D-Montezuma), state Sen. George Hooks (D-Americus) and state Sen. Ross Tolleson (R-Perry) – and Tommy Irvin, commissioner of Georgia’s Department of Agriculture, for their work and support in creating a “safe center” at Fort Valley State. Rivers said the $750,000 facility will shelter animals from across the state during natural and man-made disasters.

As Rivers continued, Irvin asked the president to pardon him as he took a moment to present the FVSU Foundation a $2,000 check. Joking that his annual gift was from his private account and involved no state funds, Irvin, who has served as Georgia’s commissioner of agriculture since 1969, walked to the head table and presented Rivers the check. Thanking Irvin for his long association with FVSU and praising him for his many contributions and strong support, Rivers presented Irvin a commemorative plaque in appreciation. As he presented the plaque, Rivers told the audience that the inscription noted the College of Agriculture’s gratitude and appreciation for Irvin’s continued contributions and commitment to FVSU and its educational programs. Following the presentation, Rivers told his audience that FVSU is now in stage three of its dorm construction program. He went on to briefly note the $20 million state-of-the-art science building scheduled to begin construction later this spring, as well as the new football stadium and student center being planned.

Dr. Daniel K. Wims, FVSU executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs, followed Rivers’ remarks by recognizing and thanking attending legislators, local officials, area business representatives, and state and federal agricultural agency officials for their continued support and participation. After Wims’ introduction, Tolleson opened the legislative reports by telling the audience that two of the session’s activities – a comprehensive state water plan and good agriculture and forestry budgets – were worthy accomplishments. “If we don’t do it, it’s going to affect agriculture,” he said, as he explained the water plan’s importance to Georgia’s agricultural future. “We need to protect, conserve and use our water resources wisely to protect our state’s agricultural sector.”

Tolleson pointed out that the 2008 legislature put together good agriculture and forestry budgets. He told rural residents that legislators “need to stay focused on the two budgets to protect agriculture since they both have a huge impact on rural Georgia.”He closed his report by noting that hard work by Tolleson, James and Hooks resulted in the animal shelter remaining in the state’s budget. “Your entire delegation has worked hard to make certain that the parts of this budget that impact this institution and agriculture are intact,” he said.

Replacing Tolleson at the podium, Hooks told the audience that water was one of the critical issues legislators tackled at the last session. “Hopefully, folks up in Atlanta better understand the problems we face in rural Georgia,” he said. “We have hopefully saved our rural sector’s resources.”

Hooks joined Tolleson in reporting that Middle Georgia’s legislative delegation worked hard to get the emergency animal shelter started at FVSU. He said the completed facility will work hand-in-glove with the university’s veterinary science department and prove a vital resource for the university and the state’s residents. James ended the update session by pointing out that the accomplishments of the area’s legislative delegation are the result of teamwork in the house and senate.

“Fort Valley State University is still strong in the state’s budget,” he said, “thanks to your delegation in Atlanta.” Following their reports, the legislators fielded audience questions that ranged from homebuyer education efforts and alternative energy programs to increased student enrollment at Georgia’s colleges and universities, small farm beef production issues, and biotechnology research.

According to breakfast coordinator James Hill, the 2008 event was an enjoyable and educational experience for all. “As it has for more than a quarter-century, the breakfast brought mid-state residents together to focus on agriculture,” he said. “It’s a grass-roots wellspring where the governed call their representatives to account – to explain and often defend their stewardship of our interests.”

Hill, the SARE 1890 director at FVSU, said reaction to the morning’s events were as diverse as the participants. “Many enjoyed this year’s musical selections by Debra Snipes. Her presence added a new dimension to our annual proceedings and enriched our fare for participants,” he said. “Others renewed their fellowship with FVSU’s administrators, faculty and staff, and kept abreast of legislative issues touching agriculture.”

Fort Valley resident Ollie Russell agreed with Hill’s observation. She said she enjoyed networking at the breakfast. Russell, a retired FVSU extension program assistant in Peach County, called the breakfast an educational opportunity where participants discover the relationship between Georgia’ agriculture and its economy. “It’s also a chance to meet and greet people involved in rural life and all that it means – from the storekeeper to the farmer,” she said. “I really enjoyed meeting old friends and making new ones at this year’s event.”

Contact: B.K. Lilja

Thursday, April 10, 2008

FVSU Students Excel at National Scientific Conference

Four Fort Valley State University students won top awards recently for scientific research presented at the 65th Annual Joint Meeting of the Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society and the National Institute of Science. The trip to Irving, Texas was funded by a travel grant from NIS through the National Institutes of Health, the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation and the National Science Foundation.

Biology majors Antoinette Johnson and Quintina Stewart won first place in the science education category. Horticulture major Miriam Jimerson secured a second place award and CDEP student Kerri Cooks received third place honors in the earth science category. Biology major Chase Turner won third place in the biology category.

400 faculty members and students from 29 national institutions and Puerto Rico attended the event. During the conference, FVSU students and faculty attended lectures presented by nationally-recognized scientists during workshops on Global Climate Change, Demand for Energy and Nuclear Technology. In other workshops, attendees learned about exploring the universe and earth from space; research training and outreach activities; there were also opportunities for faculty federal panels.

At the meeting, Dr. Clinton Dixon and Dr. Robert Steele served as judges for biology paper presentations. For the second time, Dr. Frederick McLaughlin was elected vice president of the Southeastern Region of BKX and Dr. Dwayne Daniels was chosen – also for the second time – as a Southeastern Regional councilman and editor of the BKX Bulletin.

FVSU faculty members and students in attendance at the meeting:

Robin Wright
Jasmine Paul
Wendy Wilson
Antoinette Johnson
Sherri Hammond
Miriam Jimerson
Jennifer Jones
Sakinah Miller
Lula Brown
Mabya Nyannor
Tiffany Harris
Quintina Stewart
Tyleka Moore
Stephanie Williams
Cayshia Piersaul
Kerri Cooks
Marrisa Tripp
Lakira Harrison
Nicole Bellinger
Monica Sulliven
Tiffany Baskerville
Alexander Little
Raymond Dickey
Charles Martin
Nicholas Harrison
Kashiwa Brawner
Roy Sheppard
Courtney Heritage
Jarrett Proctor
Chase Turner
Marvin Brown
Charles Turner
Oscar Chaney
Melvin Ateuyi

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sip n Chat

We're fortunate here in the Valley to have a President and First Lady who take an active interest in the well-being of our students. An event set for tonight is just one example.

At 7 p.m. in the C.W. Pettigrew Center, First Lady Betty Rivers will host an evening for Lady Wildcats. She and several campus notables, including Police Chief Brenda Jones and Director of Health Services JoAnn Nobles, will conduct open, honest discussions about health, safety, and emotional well-being.

The Sip-n-Chat is a semi-annual event designed to help the young women on Fort Valley State University's campus prepare for their futures in ways that classes might not. If college is a student's "home away from home," this event is like sitting down with "mom away from home."

Monday, April 7, 2008

What do you want to know?

As the postmistress for the FVSU blog, I feel like I'm sitting on a fount of information and doling it out in bite-sized pieces. But am I dishing up the most interesting tidbits? What do you really want to know about FVSU? About attending college? About preparing for college? Ask and I'll dig for the answers.

--Posted by Misty Cline, Office of Marketing and Communications

Friday, April 4, 2008

CSI actor on Wildcat Report

Hill Harper portrays Dr. Sheldon Hawkes, a reclusive coroner who walked away from a promising surgical career on the hit CBS drama series, CSI: NY. The accomplished film, television and stage actor appears on the latest Wildcat Report produced by Fort Valley State University’s marketing and communications department.

Harper talks about his new book, Letters To A Young Brother ( http://www.amazon.com/Letters-Young-Brother-MANifest-Destiny/dp/1592402003). It is a memoir and motivational tool for young men transitioning from “boyhood” to “manhood.”

The show also features part two of the interview with John W. Davison lecture series speaker and feature film producer Gregory Anderson. Jazz impresario B. K. Jackson wraps it up. To view the show, click the link below then hit the play arrow: http://www.fvsu.edu/fvsutv.asp

The first season of the Wildcat Report concludes with this show, the eighth in a series. New programs featuring the country’s most recognized newsmakers begin this fall semester.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Wheels in the Valley

It's time to get registered for Fort Valley State University’s 2nd annual “Wheels in the Valley Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show.” The fun-filled family event takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 26 in FVSU’s Wildcat Stadium parking lot. Kids’ games, rides, prizes and entertainment are all a part of the day-long activities.

Vehicle owners from Middle Georgia and the southeast are invited to participate. Registration takes place from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the day of the event. The entry fee for pre registered cars, trucks and motorcycles is $20; additional vehicles, $10. The top vehicles will receive awards and specialty trophies. Register online at http://www.fvsu.edu/. Proceeds will benefit the Peach County Boys and Girls Club of the Georgia Heartlands and FVSU’s Challenge Fund for scholarships.

According to event co-chair Wallace Keese, FVSU’s director of Student Support Services, the first event drew car enthusiasts from all over the Southeast. “We had some owners come from Atlanta, and some from as far as Tennessee,” said Keese. “This is another event that connects the university with the surrounding community, and it’s family-oriented.”

Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are now available. The car show is free and open to the public. For more information, call (478) 825-6290.