Friday, December 13, 2013

Wildcat Dreams, Vol. 1, No. 9

Friday, December 13, 2013 • Vol. 1, No.9

Wildcat Dreams is Fort Valley State University President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith’s biweekly e-newsletter. As an additional resource to stay connected to FVSU, Wildcat Dreams highlights various campus activities and updates about new initiatives and programs. Readers are encouraged to share the newsletter with friends and family. We welcome your feedback. Please send comments to Thank you and happy reading!

Read more news on the FVSU Review. 


The President and First Lady's Holiday Greetings to the FVSU family

 Fort Valley State University President Ivelaw Lloyd and First Lady Francille Griffith extend season greetings to students, alums and FVSU supporters.View their holiday card here:

First Lady Francille Griffith, FVSU President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith and Mr. FVSU 2013-2014 Marlon Gilbert flip the switch to light the official Christmas tree on campus.

 Gilbert, FVSU's first lady and the president pose before the university's official Christmas tree.

FVSU holds annual tree lighting

Fort Valley State University celebrated the warmth and joy of the holiday season, when the campus held its traditional Christmas Tree Lighting on Monday, Dec. 2 in Hunt Memorial Circle, near the Anderson House Museum and Welcome Center. FVSU President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith and First Lady Francille turned on the switch to light the Christmas tree. A small reception with refreshments followed in Huntington Hall. The event was sponsored by the FVSU National Alumni Association, Inc; (Fort Valley Alumni Chapter).

Dr. Kenny Davis Anthony, prime minister of Saint Lucia, tells FVSU graduates to keep their passion during his address.

Dr. Linda Noble welcomes parents to commencement.

Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, FVSU president, introduces the College deans before the degrees are conferred.

A student shakes the president's hand as she receives her degree.

A graduating student was one of 254 graduates to receive her diploma at Fort Valley State University's 2013 Fall Commencement Ceremony on Dec. 7.

Two friends smile for a photograph after commencement.

Recent graduates and alums talk to one another after commencement festivities end.

FVSU Celebrates its 2013 Class at Fall Commencement

Fort Valley State University’s graduations are always fun, spirited occasions. During commencement, joyous family members and friends cry out, cheer and yell the names of their favorite student as they walk across the stage, celebrating the hard work and determination of students who are finally receiving their hard earned college degree.

This weekend, gray skies, pouring rain and chilly temperatures didn’t dampen the celebration inside of the Health and Physical Education Complex on Dec. 7 when more than 254 graduates marched with their diplomas during the 2013 Fall Commencement Ceremony.The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Kenny Davis Anthony, prime minister of Saint Lucia, who told students to be good world citizens, keep their passion and give back to their university. After his address, the political leader was awarded a doctorate of humane letters from Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith.

View pictures from the ceremony on Flickr.

Betsy Ampofo is FVSU's alum of the month.

FVSU Alumni Spotlight: Betsy Ampofo

Fort Valley State University’s is known for preparing gifted students that the enter graduate school and the job market as experienced scientists, skilled researchers and accomplished scholars capable of creating innovations and making new discoveries that will change lives. This month, the university is featuring one of these bright alums. Betsy Ampofo, a 2007 graduate, is FVSU’s featured alum for the month of December.

Richard Dunfee, executive director of the

American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Grant Resources Center, provides advice to FVSU grant writers.

The Office of Sponsored Programs staff present Valley Behavioral Health Services counselor Chizu Hirata (right center) and FVSU Hunt Memorial Nurse Greta Smith (right, middle) with the grant check from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Valley Behavioral Health Services receives $888,000 at 2013 Grantsmanship Conference
Fort Valley State University’s Office of Sponsored Programs recently equipped grant writers with essential tips and tools they will need to produce grants proposals that win money during the 2013 Grantsmanship Institute Training Conference on Nov. 12. More than 80 people attended this year’s event whose theme was “Thriving on Change.”  During the height of the conference, the university’s Valley Behavioral Health Services received a large grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration totaling $888, 486. 

“The goal of this year’s conference was to provide attendees with an understanding of current administration priorities and strategies necessary to be competitive and remain relevant in today’s ever-changing global environment,” said Doris Nyaga, FVSU’s pre-awards coordinator.  “Now, more than ever, the Academy and the external funding community are intertwined for the benefit of both. It is therefore critical to understand how to leverage current and potential resources for capacity building.”

Fort Valley State University will hold the "FVSU Day at the Capitol" on Feb. 12.

FVSU to host inaugural day at the capitol

In February, Fort Valley State University will paint the state capitol blue and gold when the university hosts a special day spotlighting the best the campus has to offer. FVSU Day at the Capitol will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 in Atlanta. The highlight of the event will occur on the House floor at 10:30 a.m. when congressional leaders present an invite resolution to university president Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith.

“We want to be sure that alums and supporters won’t miss this special occasion,” said Kristie Kenney, director for the FVSU Foundation, Inc. “The theme is dreaming and doing, innovations inside and outside of the classroom. We are going to spotlight our STEM Programs, which will encompass the area under CDEP under its director, Dr. Isaac Crumbly. Additionally, we’re showcasing the university’s new Honors Program and Undergraduate Research Program.”

Contact the FVSU Foundation, Inc. for more information, (478) 825-6474.

FVSU grabs two top honors at awards ceremony for 1890 Land Grant schools

The nation’s largest land-grant university organization recently recognized Fort Valley State University for scholastic excellence during an inaugural awards ceremony honoring research and teaching institutions across America.

FVSU grabbed two major honors at the Association of Public Land Grant Universities’ first 1890 Land-Grant Universities Teaching, Research and Innovation Awards. On Nov. 11, the university was one of

15 winners announced at a gala ceremony at the 126th APLU Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. FVSU received the “Degree Completion Award,” which is awarded campuses with the highest, overall increase of bachelor’s degrees from the 2011-2012 through 2012-2013 academic term.   Additionally, the APLU gave

FVSU the “STEM Degree Completion Award.” The honor is given to an 1890 land-grant institution with the highest increase in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) bachelor’s degrees during the 2011-2013 and 2012-2013 school terms.
Founded in 1887, the APLU is a policy and advocacy organization representing 219 public research universities and land-grant institutions. It is the nation’s oldest higher education association with member institutions in all 50 states, the U.S. territories and District of Columbia.  The organization’s award ceremony honors 1890 universities that demonstrate advancements in the areas of teaching, research and innovation.

Learn more here.

Thirty four aspiring educators were inducted into Fort Valley State University's College of Education on Nov. 19.

 FVSU’s College of Education inducts new class of students

Education is the profession that underpins all other career paths within the world today. Educators ensure that future generations are taught crucial lessons that will help them become scientists, scholars, researchers, innovators and thinkers. This week, Fort Valley State University initiated a new class of 34 aspiring educators into its College of Education at the annual Teacher Induction Ceremony held on Nov. 19 in the C.W. Pettigrew Center. Thirteen of the candidates were male, which was the largest class of male candidates since FVSU’s CoE was reactivated. The ceremony celebrated students who met the CoE’s entrance requirements. Two students were also surprised with $1,000 scholarship.

Read more about the induction here

A screen shot from the FVSU Toastmaster Club's winning video.

FVSU Toastmasters Club wins top prize in video competition
In Fort Valley State University’s Toastmasters club, students learn how to become outstanding orators and deliver impromptu, emotional addresses. Recently the dynamic speech club nabbed the top prize for a promotional video about the semiannual District 14 Toastmaster’s Conference that recently took place in Macon, Nov. 1-2.

Wildcat Toastmasters club members freestyle rapped in the commercial,  encouraging guests to attend the event. Stars of the promo were:
  • Toastmasters President Elijah Porter, junior English  major with a writing concentration, Rex, Ga.
  • Vice President of Membership Hayden Singleton, a junior English major with a literature Concentration,  Covington, Ga.
  • Vice President of Public Relations Darius Parks, a junior Business Management major,  Manchester, Ga.
  • Lawrence Bacon, sophomore Business Management major, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Markell Magsby, sophomore Psychology major, Morrow, Ga.
  • Matthew Pickard, sophomore Plant Science Biotechnology major, Fayetteville, Ga. 

You can watch the winning video at http:/  

Fulton County Chairman John Eaves, Saint Lucian Prime Minister Kenny Davis Anthony, Fort Valley State University President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, and Thomas W. Dortch, Chairman Emeritus of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and President and Chief Executive Officer of TWD, Inc.

FVSU holds excellence forum to welcome Saint Lucian prime minister

A high-ranking Caribbean dignitary received an official blue and gold salute from Fort Valley State University leaders, University System of Georgia officials, politicians and business elite during a special event in Atlanta. FVSU held its first Global Initiatives Council Excellence Forum in honor of Saint Lucian Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Davis Anthony, on Friday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The invitation-only event, hosted by Chairman Emeritus of the 100 Black Men of America and TWD, Inc. president and FVSU alumnus Dr. Thomas W. Dortch Jr., took place at The Commerce Club.

FVSU launches new website design

Visitors to Fort Valley State University’s website may have noticed that the site underwent a makeover recently. Two weeks ago, the campus’ newly redesigned homepage went live. The new site —currently in its first phase—displays intuitive navigation and a cleaner design. The page now includes user-friendly features such as quick access to news, events, social media, the FVSU directory and most-frequented pages.

The one-month project, overseen by Dr. Melody L. Carter, vice president of the Division of External Affairs and executive director of the FVSU Foundation, Inc., is the result of input from FVSU faculty, staff and students. Based on concepts presented by Marketing and Communications’ staff and interns, the site was developed by Fritz Marggraff and the Progressive Consulting Technologies Inc. team, a web technologies company in Macon.

Read the entire story here, on the FVSU Review.

Frances Steele (front) joins other Twiggs County residents during a Zumba class at the “Twiggs County Healthy Night Out” in Jeffersonville Nov. 15.

Twiggs County residents enjoy “A Healthy Night Out”

Residents of Twiggs County flocked to the local high school Nov. 15. Not in support of the home team, but to enjoy a fun filled evening focusing on health and wellness.

Fort Valley State University’s Cooperative Extension Program, along with FVSU’s 4-H Program, promoted healthy, active lifestyles by sponsoring “Twiggs County Healthy Night Out” in Jeffersonville. More than 700 residents attended and participated in yoga, Zumba, line dancing, a walk-a-thon and an exhibition basketball game. Read the entire story here.

Dr. Pat Duncan, director of the Georgia Center for Aquaculture Development housed at Fort Valley State University, shows workshop attendees how an aquaponic system works during a tour of aquaculture facilities Nov. 14.

Workshop introduces attendees to the potentials of aquaculture

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the demand for seafood will increase by more than 70 percent in the next 30 years. Due to this increased need, more people are looking into the practice of aquaculture.

Aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants in a controlled marine or freshwater environment.

To help educate individuals about aquaculture, Fort Valley State University’s Cooperative Extension Program offers workshops through the Georgia Center for Aquaculture Development (GCAD). On Nov. 14, Dr. Pat Duncan, director of the GCAD, conducted a workshop called “Expanding Opportunities in Aquaculture” at the center housed on FVSU’s campus.

Read the entire story here.

Capacity grants strengthen education, research, extension services

   Fort Valley State University’s continuous commitment to education, research and service earned three faculty members and one staff member more than $1,000,000 in federal grant funds. Woodie Hughes Jr., FVSU’s interim 4-H program leader, Dr. Nirmal Joshee, a FVSU associate professor of plant biotechnology, Dr. Jung Lee, a FVSU research associate professor of food chemistry and Dr. Erika Styles, a FVSU assistant professor of agriculture economics, each received an 1890 Capacity Building Grant recently. Funding for these grants is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Read more about the capacity grants here.

Free workshop aims to help residents reduce energy usage

The Georgia Residential Energy Efficiency Network (GREEN) Project, part of FVSU’s Cooperative Extension Program, held a  free Energy Efficiency Workshop on Dec 4 at the university's Agricultural Technology Conference Center on 46 Camp John Hope Road. The GREEN Project is designed to help homeowners conserve energy that will in turn save them money. 

From left to right) Dr. Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University’s (interim) assistant vice president for land grant affairs and extension administrator Georgia State Sen. Ross Tolleson of Perry; Lillie Battle, Georgia Power Company area sales executive; Bryan McElvany, Bleckley County extension coordinator; Neal Leonard, public affairs outreach coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency; and James Hill, director of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education (SARE) program at FVSU.

FVSU Extension plugs up with Georgia Power in Cochran

Fort Valley State University’s Cooperative Extension Program and Georgia Power teamed up to assist farmers in Cochran on Nov. 19 by sponsoring a Farmer’s Lunch and Learn Conference. The event, held at the Bleckley County Extension Building, attracted approximately 60 people consisting of farmers and Georgia Power employees. The crowd was informed about federal and state agricultural programs, Georgia Power’s Outage Notification Programs and the benefits of electronic irrigation. Dr. Mark Latimore, FVSU’s (interim) assistant for land grand affairs and James Hill, director of the Southern SARE program at FVSU, served as guest speakers at the affair. Terrence Wolfork, FVSU’s assistant administrator for communication, conferencing and technology, provided farmers in attendance a presentation about using programs such as QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel to help keep track of financial records.

Fort Valley State University’s veterinary technology students gain hands-on experience in the four-year Bachelor of Science program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Accreditation renewed for Fort Valley State University’s veterinary science programs

Students looking to pursue careers in a growing profession can look to Fort Valley State University for a hands-on, fully accredited program.

On Nov.18, FVSU received notification of full, continued accreditation renewal from the American Veterinary Medical Association. The renewal accredits the Bachelor of Science degree in veterinary technology and the Bachelor of Science degree in veterinary sciences. Both programs are housed in FVSU’s Department of Veterinary Science and Public Health.

Read the entire story, here,  on the FVSU Review.

Keeona Lawrence, a Fort Valley State University lab assistant, guides Thomson Middle School seventh-grade students Essence Hunter (middle) and Zoe Gennaria (right) during a hands-on lab experiment Nov. 21 for Youth Campus Visit Day in the Alva Tabor Building.

 Field trip exposes middle school students to STEM programs at FVSU 

To increase minority representation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, Fort Valley State University is taking action by interacting with students before they enter high school. On Nov. 21, 70 honor students from Thomson Middle School in Centerville visited and toured FVSU’s campus. Dr. Sarwan Dhir, an FVSU professor of plant biotechnology, said exposing youths to STEM disciplines and careers early is more important than ever.

“The demand for STEM education is increasing both at the federal and local levels, as the U.S. competes to reassert its position as a global leader in science and technology fields,” Dhir said.

During their visit, Dhir spoke to the students, sharing information about biotechnology and the opportunities available through FVSU’s plant biotechnology option. Students also participated in a hands-on lab experience where they had a chance to identify DNA and plant tissue cultures.

Robert Craig Stephens is Fort Valley State University's new director of development.

Stephens named FVSU’s new director of development
Fort Valley State University recently hired a new administrator to help bolster the overall mission of the campus.  Robert Craig Stephens was named as the new director for FVSU’s Office of Development.  In his new position, Stephens will help raise funds for the campus, and build strategic partnerships with private, federal and state agencies to help further the university’s goals.
“I am delighted to join the Fort Valley State University family,” said Stephens. “Dr. Griffith has a clear vision for the direction to lead our university forward and as director of development I plan to play an instrumental role in seeing that vision manifested.”