Friday, March 21, 2014

Wildcat Dreams Vol. 1, No. 12

Friday, March 21 , 2014 • Vol. 1, No.12

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. 


Dr. Govind Kannan was named this week to the USDA's National Agricultural, Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board.

Agriculture Secretary names Kannan to top board

Dr. Govind Kannan, Fort Valley State University’s interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, is joining the exclusive ranks of a federal advisory board that helps set national agricultural policies.

This week, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack appointed the FVSU official to the National Agricultural, Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board. Kannan will serve a two-year term on the board from 2014 to 2016.

“To be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the national advisory board is a great privilege,” Kannan said. “It is a significant recognition for me, not only as a professional, but also for our institution, which provided me opportunities for growth.”

The 25-member NAREEE Advisory Board’s primary objective is to form policies that will shape federal agricultural research, education and economics programs. Board participants include a broad range of stakeholders from land-grant institutions, national nutritional science societies, national human health associations, American Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, national farm associations, and other groups.

“This important appointment is a personal tribute to Dr. Kannan’s recognized expertise and leadership on the national agricultural landscape, in its instructional, research, and policy components,” said Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, president of FVSU. “It also testifies to the importance of our university in the practical and policy aspects of the agricultural enterprise.”

Learn more here.

A large screen announces the FVSU Day at the Capitol on March 12, 2014.


 FVSU President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith and administrators pose with the invite resolution.

FVSU supporters gather for a group photo on steps of the Georgia State Capitol. 

Georgia House and Senate declare FVSU Day at the Capitol


Fort Valley State University recently celebrated a major historical milestone by being hosted at the Georgia State Capitol.

The Georgia House and Senate honored the land-grant institution with its inaugural FVSU Day at the Capitol on March 12, 2014 in Atlanta. Wildcat supporters visited the Georgia Capitol Building to celebrate the occasion.

FVSU supporters gathered on the second floor of the rotunda area inside the State Capitol building and greeted various state representatives, including Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus), Patty James-Bentley (D-Reynolds), and Senator Freddie Powell-Sims(D-Albany), among others. The group also visited the fourth floor to witness lawmakers acknowledge the institution and several university leaders on the House floor, including FVSU President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, Vice President for External Affairs Dr. Melody Carter, Vice President of Student Success Lynn McCraney and Senior Director of Career and Alumni Services Clara Braswell, and Vice President for Career and Collaborative Programs Dr. Isaac Crumbly.

James-Bentley formally introduced the group to fellow lawmakers and announced FVSU Day at the Capitol, prompting applause from the gallery.

Learn more here.

Joseph Nesbit, a senior FVSU agricultural education major, is the recipient of a first place award at the Emerging Researchers National Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Conference in Washington D.C.

Future researchers attend conference in Washington, D.C.

Scholarly research in agriculture has helped an FVSU student earn a top award at a national conference in Washington D.C.
Joseph Nesbit, a senior agricultural education major, received the First Place Poster Award in the Ecology, Environmental and Earth Sciences category at the Emerging Researchers National Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Nesbit was among 800 undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members in attendance.

The purpose of the ERN Conference is to help undergraduate and graduate minority students improve presentation and communication skills. The conference also aims to provide guidance for students entering the workforce upon graduation.

Nesbit’s winning poster reflected his research on the topic, “Can Land Applying Spent on Iron and Water Treatment Residuals Decrease Nutrient Runoff from Poultry Houses?”

The 22-year-old said having the opportunity to travel to the ERN Conference in Washington D.C. was a wonderful experience.  “Not only did I have the opportunity to meet with other undergraduate and graduate students from other colleges and universities, I also had the chance to visit exhibits with college graduate recruiters,” Nesbit said.  He said this exposure has increased confidence in his presentation skills.

In addition to Nesbit, 21 FVSU students also attended the conference.  Seven FVSU students presented posters and three provided oral presentations.

“I went for the experience,” said FVSU senior horticulture major Dasia Harmon. The Milwaukee native said she was able to network and meet with students and advisors from graduate schools. As a result, Harmon has selected Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. After graduation in May, Harmon plans to obtain a graduate degree in environmental or agriculture science. She said this conference helped her make that decision.

Dr. Sarwan Dhir, professor of biotechnology and director of FVSU’s Center for Biotechnology, said seeing our students present their research is always a rewarding experience. “Conducting and presenting research at the undergraduate level is vital to the success of students in graduate or professional school. I am very proud of each of our students and will continue to encourage them in their academic careers,” Dhir said.
For more information about the biotechnology program at FVSU, contact Dhir at (478) 825-6887 or send an e-mail to

Read the full story  on the FVSU Review.

Assistant professor of criminal justice Preston Martin presents FVSU alumnus Dr. Theophilus Herrington with the "Distinguished Alumnus in Academic Service Award" at the 2013 Banks-Pierro-Rutland-Bellamy Colloquium.

FVSU to host social sciences colloquium

Fort Valley State University students will present their social science research next month at the Banks-Pierro-Rutland-Bellamy Colloquium (BRBP) on Friday, April 25. FVSU Wildcats will present social science research papers, while competing for cash prizes starting at 9 a.m.

The event will culminate with a BRBP scholarship luncheon and awards banquet at noon in the Student Amenities Building.

Dr. Fred van Hartesveldt, chair of the Department of History, Geography, Political Science and Criminal Justice, said the colloquium was launched in 1979 at the suggestion of Donnie D. Bellamy, who was serving at the time as the chairman of the university’s social sciences division. He suggested that FVSU should have regular lecture series named after the three men who started the social sciences division: sociologists Drs. W.S.M. Banks II, Earl Hamilton Pierro, and political scientist Dr. Stanley Edward Rutland.

At the time that Bellamy proposed the colloquium, the three men had students go on to state and national prominence and at least 20 earned doctoral degrees,” van Hartesveldt said. “Initially, the colloquium was designed to bring these students back to their alma mater to honor their mentors and to be recognized for their own achievements.” The first colloquium was held April 25-26, 1980.

In 1995, the colloquium’s committee voted to add Donnie Bellamy’s name as an honoree. His name was officially added in 1998.

For details, contact (478) 825-6230.

Student presenting at last year's FVSU Research Day.

FVSU to hold fourth annual Research Day

Wildcat students will showcase their latest research and scholarship in the sciences, social sciences, and liberal arts areas at an upcoming conference on Fort Valley State University’s campus. The Fourth Annual Research Day conference will take place April 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the C.W. Pettigrew Center.

The Quality Enhancement Plan Office of Enhancing Critical Thinking (ECT), and the Office of Undergraduate Research are sponsoring the event. The day will be a student-focused event for future researchers to demonstrate poster and oral presentations, and make creative art performances. Students can submit proposals by visiting: The registration deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 25.

The Research Day Committee will review the proposals and provide each student researcher with feedback relating to acceptance. For more details, contact Dr. Ian Toppin,, or (478) 822-6991 or contact Dr. Andrew Lee, associate director of the Office of Undergraduate Research,, or (478) 822-6708.

Scholars attending the 2013 Honors Convocation.

FVSU to hold 63rd Annual Honors Convocation

Fort Valley State University will honor more than 500 student scholars as part of its 63rd Annual Honors Convocation. The event will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 20 in the Health and Physical Education Complex.

To be recognized at the event, Wildcat students needed to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. Honorees will include students elected to membership in regional, national and international honor societies, and recipients of special scholastic awards and departmental honors.

According to Dr. Meigan M. Fields, founding director of the FVSU Honors Program, upperclassmen outnumber freshmen and sophomore honorees.

Read story here.

Sporty vehicle shown during last year's Wheels in the Valley Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show.

FVSU to hold Wheels in the Valley Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show


In April, motorists will crank up their engines to show off their flashiest wheels and slickest rides at a car show on Fort Valley State University’s campus. The university will hold its 8th Annual Wheels in the Valley Car, Truck and Motorcycle show on Saturday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Wildcat Stadium Parking Lot. Proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Georgia Heartland and FVSU Student Scholarships.

During the competition, car enthusiasts from across the Southeastern region will travel to FVSU to participate in the car show, according to Brian Byrd, assistant director of Campus Life, and a coordinator for this year’s car show.

“All sorts of makes and models are shown during the car show,” said Byrd, who says that there will be awards given to the top 100 vehicles entering the competition. The Corvette Club from Warner Robins will be conducting the judging. Specialty trophies will be awarded to original and modified classes.

In addition to the car competition, the event will feature family events, including an aqua massage machine and make your own T-shirt booth. For the kids, there will be inflatable slides and other child-friendly entertainment.

Registration will take place from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and an awards ceremony will follow at 3:30 p.m. For details, contact the FVSU Office of Campus Life at (478) 825-6290 or e-mail

Dr. Barbacar M'Bow will speak on Tuesday, April 8 during the next John W. Davison Lecture Series. 

Art scholar scheduled for next John W. Davison Lecture Series

Fort Valley State University’s next John W. Davison lecturer will provide a scholarly look into art as it deals with shared African diaspora memory. Dr. Babacar M’Bow, an independent researcher and art scholar whose work focuses on bridging academy and community knowledge, will present African Diaspora Memory in Motion on Tuesday, April 8, from 5-7 p.m. in Founders Hall. Pieces of the cited collection also will be presented during a week-long art exhibition in Huntington Hall on the main campus. The exhibit is in conjunction with the upcoming inauguration activities for FVSU President Dr. Ivelaw L. Griffith. The ninth president will be inaugurated on Friday, April 11.

The John W. Davison Lecture Series provides the opportunity to showcase individuals like M’Bow who have become successful in their chosen fields of endeavor.

Of the art exhibition, M’Bow said it’s the first time the selected pieces will be shown in the United States. M’Bow selected Huntington Hall as a “living art” exhibit where pieces will be featured throughout the historic campus building.

“It is a beautiful building and art will combine with history here,” M’Bow said. The native of Dakar, Senegal who currently resides in Miami, Fla. has been widely published on African Diaspora Memory, Modernity, Postmodernity and Philosophy of interpretation and culture. M’bow served for 11 years as the Broward County Libraries Division Programs and Exhibits Coordinator. He is the Director of Multitudes: The African Diaspora Center of Miami.

Read story here.

President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith (center right) and students stands before a poster featuring Benjamin Mays on the Walls of Wisdom unveiling ceremony.

FVSU holds first Walls of Wisdom unveiling

In spite of pelting rain and cold temperatures, the mood inside the Academic Classroom and Laboratory Building remained warm, when Fort Valley State University unveiled its first Walls of Wisdom on Thursday, March 6. A half hour before the ceremony began, the campus bells chimed “Ode to Joy” on campus, signaling the unveiling of the first wall.

 President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith said the ACL building will showcase first of 70 Walls of Wisdom on campus. Honorees for the initial wall include Oprah Winfrey, Rabindranath Tagore, Barack Obama, Aristotle, Benjamin Mays and others great thinkers. See additional photos from the unveiling here.

FVSU Fulbright and Louis Stokes Scholars off to Nigeria

Two Fort Valley State University professors recently traveled overseas to teach Nigerian entomologists and students how to protect against harvested crop damage and losses from insects as well as the best methods to deliver crops to market.

Drs. Dwayne L. Daniels, chair of FVSU’s chemistry department, and George Mbata, chair of the university’s biology department, spent two weeks in Nigeria lecturing at the Federal University of Technology of Akure (FUTA). The pair will remain in Nigeria until March 21. The trip was sponsored by the Fulbright organization and the National Science Foundation’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, a undergraduate program that supports science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs for minority and underrepresented students.

Mbata, who is a Fulbright senior specialist and entomologist, gave a university-wide lecture entitled “Agricultural Transformation for Nigeria: Role of Food Storage Technologies.”

Read more here.

Students complete admissions forms at a 2014 Open House.

FVSU to hold Spring Open House

Future Fort Valley State University Wildcats will get an opportunity to learn all about the historic land-grant institution during an upcoming open house for prospective students.

The Spring Open House is scheduled for Saturday, March 22, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the C. W. Pettigrew Center. In addition to showcasing academic, research and mentoring programs, visitors will get a chance to meet and greet current students, faculty and staffers. Also scheduled is a Greek fraternity and sorority exhibition, academic bowl, basketball game and a special presentation for the 2014 FVSU Wildcat basketball players and coaches.

“The Open House event is an extraordinary opportunity for FVSU to showcase its Wildcat spirit,” said Sha-Ron Jones, FVSU’s director of recruitment and admissions. Jones says the program will give prospective students time to meet personally with college deans and professors in different academic disciplines.

Read more here.

Juone Brown

FVSU professor is the new president-elect of a USG council

A Fort Valley State University faculty member is making history by becoming the first FVSU professor to lead an important University System of Georgia council. On Feb. 28, Juone Brown, director for the university’s Women’s Center, was voted in as the president-elect for the USG’s faculty council.

“I am honored to be chosen for this position by my peers in the USG,” said Brown. “I hope to represent our university and the system faculty well through my leadership.”

The USG Faculty Council is an advisory body for the chancellor of the University System of Georgia. The organization, which meets biannually, represents the 31-member institutions within the University System of Georgia.

For details, call Brown at (478) 825-6387.

Dr. Meigan Fields

Fields appointed to National Honors Committee

The National Collegiate Honors Council recently appointed a Fort Valley State University professor to serve on one of its national committees. Dr. Meigan Fields, founding director of FVSU's Honors Program, was selected to serve on the organization’s Small College Honors Committee.

The committee serves four-year institutions with a size of less than 4,001 undergraduates or a program size of fewer than 76 students. The group works with the executive director to actively recruit small colleges to the NCHS, and integrating the interests and concerns of small college programs with the NCHC organization’s operations. The committee also contributes to NCHC periodicals and occasional publications materials focused on small colleges.

Read more here.

Dr. Erika Styles (left), a Fort Valley State University assistant professor of agricultural economics, and Terrence Wolfork, FVSU’s assistant administrator for Communications, Conferencing and Technology, participated in the Lead21 professional development program. 

Styles and Wolfork in leadership training program

A national leadership development program recently selected two Fort Valley State University employees to join its ranks.

Dr. Erika Styles, assistant professor of agricultural economics, and Terrence Wolfork, assistant administrator for communications, conferencing and technology, participated in Lead21, a program that focuses on developing leaders at land-grant universities.

To be selected for Lead21, Styles and Wolfork submitted an application and 500-word essay to the Lead21 board stating their goals and reasons for wanting to participate. They are among more than 70 participants.

Read more here.

FVSU President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith meets with Ambassador from Nigeria, the Hon. Geoffery Teneilabe.

Campus visits extends spirit of cooperation both near and far

Fort Valley State University is currently hosting campus visits with dignitaries from far and near that aim to provide opportunities for joint ventures, student recruitment, research endeavors and even cost-saving initiatives.

Donavon Coley, FVSU special assistant to the president for the Office of Strategic Initiatives, said the enhanced visits are intended to eliminate FVSU as a “best kept secret” both locally and globally.

Some recent visitors have included an ambassador from Nigeria and local leaders from Peach County,  the City of Fort Valley and the City of Perry.

“The purpose is to expose the community and international visitors with all that Fort Valley has to offer and develop better relationships and collaborations,” Coley said. “We want them to result in new initiatives, joint ventures and enrollment assistance as well as fundraising opportunities. We are seeking to expose our campus to everybody we can.”

Doris Nyaga, FVSU pre-awards coordinator, who recently hosted the honorable Geoffrey Teneilabe from Nigeria during a luncheon at the FVSU Agricultural Technology Conference Center, said such initiatives are extremely important to campus growth. Teneilabe serves as the current Counsul General for the Republic of Nigeria in the United States. He was joined by FVSU alumni and current students from Nigeria.

“Dr. (Ivelaw L.) Griffith is trying to establish a relationship with various countries. The luncheon marked the beginning of a relationship between the university and the Republic of Nigeria, with efforts to create joined initiatives that will enhance the academic and research capacity and achievements of both the university and Republic of Nigeria,” Nyaga said.

Nyaga said Teneilabe also was invited to join the president’s Global Initiatives Council. The president established the GIC in October 2013 as part of a global agenda, to help leverage the talent, treasure, and time of individuals and organizations that can facilitate programmatic, resource, and research partnerships with FVSU.

Dr. Christine Lutz accepting an award at the 2013 Georgia Association of Historians 
annual conference.

FVSU professors present papers at annual Georgia Association of Historians conference

Four Fort Valley State University professors recently presented at the 2014 Georgia Association of Historians Annual Conference in Athens, Ga. held at the University of Georgia’s Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library, Feb. 27 – March 1.

The GAH is a professional organization for trained historians working within the state and nation. Group members include junior college, college and university professors, high school teachers, archivists, librarians, journalists and graduate students.

In order to participate in the conference, the organization approved papers that would be presented at the annual meeting.

FVSU scholars who presented papers were:

  • Dr. Fred. R. van Hartesveldt, chair of FVSU’s Department of History, Geography, Criminal Justice and Political Science: “Pestilence in the Mid-State: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 in Middle Georgia.” 
  • Dr. Christine Lutz, FVSU assistant professor of history: “The Woolfolk Murders, 1887: ‘Psycho Killer, Qu-est-ce que c’est?’” 
  • Arthur Wacaster, recent alum from FVSU master’s in history program: “Macon Militia in the Spanish-American War” (paper accepted, not presented due to illness) 
  • Mark A. Smith, FVSU associate professor of history: “Responsibility and Accountability: Joseph G. Totten and Political Activities of the Antebellum Corps of Engineers.”

Lady Wildcats 2014 team.

Lady Wildcats named to 2014 SIAC Women's Basketball All-Academic Team

Congratulations to the Fort Valley State University Lady Wildcats Basketball Team for being named the 2014 SIAC Women's Basketball Team All-Academic Champions.

Name  School   Class.   Hometown   GPA Major
D'Ambria Thomas FVSU Junior Pelham, Ga. 3.82 Business Admin.
Ciara Ingram Lane Senior Marion, Ark. 3.61 Mass Comm.
Shytina Harley FVSU Senior Tampa, Fla. 3.52 Business Admin.
Carmenonique Dawson FVSU Junior Thomasville, Ga. 3.47 Infant & Child Develop.
Destani Burton Paine Sophomore Charlotte, N.C. 3.44 Psychology
Jamesha Watkins Stillman Senior York, Ala. 3.40 Health & Phys. Ed.
Kedeemya Cooper Albany State Junior Thomasville, Ga. 3.40 Health & Phys. Ed./Rec.
Crystal Rayford Lane Junior Byhalia, Miss. 3.38 Business Admin.
Shayla Moore Kentucky State Senior Detroit, Mich. 3.38 Psychology
LaShonda Canty Paine Junior Blythewood, S.C. 3.36 Sociology/Criminology

Wildcat player makes the jump shot.

Wildcats Coach and players receive top SIAC honors & named to All-Conference team


The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference recently announced its 2014 SIAC Men's and Women's Basketball All-Conference Teams, as voted by the SIAC Basketball Coaches Association.

Men's Coach of the Year is Sammie Jackson of Fort Valley State University. The Wildcats led the conference in total rebounds (43.1), offensive (14.7) and defensive (28.4), while ranking second in total defense (70.9). The Wildcats finished the 2013-14 regular season with a 19-8 record and the Eastern Division title after posting an 8-18 record last season.

The men's team is led by 2014 SIAC Player of the Year Brandon Davey of Fort Valley State University. Davey ranked second in the conference in scoring (18.9), rebounds (8.7) and three-point field goals per game (2.6) for the Eastern Division Champion Wildcats.

Men's Defensive Player of the Year was awarded to Josh Davis of Fort Valley State University.

Read the story on the FVSU Review.

Wildcat players on the field.

Fort Valley State releases 2014 football schedule

The Fort Valley State University Athletics Department announced its 2014 football schedule on Monday, March 10. The Wildcats' ten-game schedule includes five home games and three non-conference games against teams from the Gulf South Conference, Mid Eastern Athletic Conference and Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference

The Wildcats open the season at home at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, with Delta State from the GSC; then travel to Savannah, Ga. on Sept. 13, to take on MEAC foe Savannah State at 2 p.m.

The Wildcats will host Limestone College out of the CVAC at 2 p.m. Oct. 18. On Saturday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m., the Wildcats will welcome the Lions of Paine College to the Valley for Homecoming matchup.

For a full listing of games, read the story on the FVSU Review.

 Inauguration events

Fort Valley State University’s ninth president Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith assumed the helm of campus seven months ago in July 2013. Since then, Dr. Griffith has instituted a whirlwind of changes designed to encourage scholastic excellence on campus for students’ continued intellectual growth.

Next month, the campus and the University System of Georgia will officially celebrate Dr. Griffith’s inauguration as Chief Wildcat during an Investiture Ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, April 11 in the Health and Physical Education Complex.

Preceding the inauguration, the campus will host a week-long celebration with events that illustrate dreaming and doing in scholarship and professional pursuits.

The celebration kicks off on Sunday, April 6, with an ecumenical service at Founders Hall from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The event will be led by Pastor Donavon O. Coley, worship leader for Forrest Park Baptist Church. During the service, two community church leaders will expound upon the ideas of dreaming and doing in sermons.

Later in the day, the campus will host a Gospel Fest from 5 to 7 p.m. in the C. W. Pettigrew Center. Featured performers include the Macon County High Chorus, and FVSU’s Blue Note Singers and Baptist Student Union. For more information, contact (478) 825-6315. After the concert, a reception will be held.

On Monday, April 7, the university will host a “Day of Reading and Reflection.” Wildcats will be invited to read -- or complete the reading of-- their favorite books, and continue reading favorite works throughout the month of April. Additionally, faculty, staff, students and alums are encouraged to submit selfie photos to depict themselves reading their favorite books. For more information, call (478) 825-6253.

The festivities continue on Tuesday, April 8, when Dr. Babacar M’Bow, chief curator of the Florida Africana Studies Consortium, headlines the John W. Davison Lecture Cultural Celebration of Excellence Engagement. During the event, M’Bow will deliver a keynote address on the work of Haitian artist Philippe Dodard. There will be a week-long art exhibition of Dodard’s paintings in Huntington Hall during inauguration week. For more information, contact (478) 825-6959.

On Wednesday, April 9, the campus will hold its inaugural “Dreaming and Doing” Lunch Gathering and Spirit Day in the Lottie B. Lyons Student Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. FVSU students are encouraged to show their school spirit by wearing their best blue and gold university gear. The cost for Spirit Day is $10; the cost of the inauguration is $60. Packages are also available. Please call the FVSU Foundation, Inc. at (478) 825-6474 for additional details.

On Thursday, April 10, the FVSU community will hold its Inaugural Day of Community Service. Wildcats will be asked to volunteer individually or with an organization in areas that address homelessness, housing, the environment, hunger and health care. For more information, contact (478) 825-6629.

Later that evening, the university will sponsor a Community Forum entitled “Engaging Students in the 21st Century to meet the Global Demands” at Peach County High School. The first session, facilitated by Superintendent of Peach County Schools Joe Ann Denning, will examine individualized learning and support.

Following the first forum session, there will be a panel discussion entitled “Adult Education: Retooling Generation X to Engage in the 21st Century.” At 6 p.m., President Griffith will host an hour-long panel discussion entitled “Higher Education in Georgia and Globally.” For more information, call (478) 825-6315.

On Friday, April 11, the university will hold the official investiture of its ninth president in the HPE Complex.

The inauguration processional will begin gathering at 8 a.m. and the inauguration ceremony itself will commence at 10 a.m. There will be a post-inauguration reception .

Following the investiture ceremony, there will be an inaugural gala held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the HPE Complex. Formal attire is required.

The week-long festivities will end with a soccer exhibition at the Wildcat Stadium on Saturday, April 12, starting at noon.

For more information, contact FVSU's Office of Marketing and Communications at (478) 825-6319 or visit

List of events

Sunday, April 6
Ecumenical Service
9 -11 a.m. • Founders Hall Auditorium
Gospel Concert
5 - 7 p.m. • C. W. Pettigrew Center (Reception Immediately Following Concert)

Monday, April 7
Day of Reading and Reflection

Tuesday, April 8
John W. Davison Lecture Series Cultural Celebration of Excellence Engagement
5 - 7 p.m. • Founders Hall (Week-long Art Exhibition in Huntington Hall Gallery)

Wednesday, April 9 
Inaugural “Dreaming and Doing” Lunch Gathering and Spirit Day 
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. • Lottie B. Lyons Student Center

Thursday, April 10
Inaugural Day of Community Service
Join members of the FVSU community in volunteering one hour of service in honor of President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith’s inauguration.

Community Forum: "Engaging Students in the 21st Century to meet the Global Demands"
5 - 7 p.m. • Peach County High School 900 Campus Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030

Friday, April 11
 Investiture Ceremony
10 a.m. • Health and Physical Education Complex (Processional Begins at 9 a.m.)
(Reception Immediately Following Ceremony)

Campus Tours
1 - 3 p.m. (Beginning at the Health and Physical Education Complex)

 Inaugural Gala
7 - 9 p.m. • Health and Physical Education Complex Formal Attire

Saturday, April 12
Soccer Exhibition
Noon • FVSU Wildcat Stadium

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wildcat Dreams, Vol. 1, No. 11

Wednesday, March 5 , 2014 • Vol. 1, No.11

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. 



Jasmine Danielle Bowers is this month's Featured Alum.

Wildcat alum named FVSU featured alum and 2014 Young Futurist

Fort Valley State University alum Jasmine Danielle Bowers’ efforts to educate youths about financial literacy has resulted in her recent recognition by a national online magazine.

The 22-year-old, who was named to the 2014 Young Futurists list, was identified as one of the nation’s rising stars by The Root, an Internet news and opinion site that is published by the Slate Group.

The online publication honored 25 individuals from across the country, ages 16 to 22, “who are forging a path to future greatness."

According to The Root, the honorees have distinguished themselves in the areas of social activism and justice, enterprise and corporate innovation, science and technology, green innovation and arts and culture. Additionally, the young adults had glowing recommendations from teachers, mentors, advisers, employers and associates.

Read the full story here.

FVSU to celebrate the inauguration of its ninth president

Fort Valley State University’s ninth president Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith assumed the helm of campus seven months ago in July 2013. Since then, Dr. Griffith has instituted a whirlwind of changes designed to encourage scholastic excellence on campus an students’ continued intellectual growth. Next month, the campus and the University System of Georgia will officially celebrate Dr. Griffith’s official inauguration as Chief Wildcat during an Investiture Ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, April 11 in the Health and Physical Education Complex.

Preceding the inauguration will be an entire week filled with events that illustrate dreaming and doing in scholarship and professional pursuits. Highlights of the week will include a John W. Davison Lecture series on the Cultural Celebration of Excellence Engagement in Founders Hall, featuring Babacar M'Bow, chief curator at the Florida Africana Studies Consortium in Miami, Fla.

The week-long festivities will end with a soccer exhibition game by FVSU’s new intramural soccer team. For more information, contact FVSU's Office of Marketing and Communications at (478) 825-6319 or visit

Sunday, April 6
 Ecumenical Service
9 -11 a.m. • Founders Hall Auditorium

Gospel Concert
5 - 7 p.m. • C. W. Pettigrew Center (Reception Immediately Following Concert)

Monday, April 7
Day of Reading and Reflection

Tuesday, April 8
 John W. Davison Lecture Series Cultural Celebration of Excellence Engagement
5 - 7 p.m. • Founders Hall (Week-long Art Exhibition in Huntington Hall Gallery)

Wednesday, April 9
 Inaugural “Dreaming and Doing” Lunch Gathering and Spirit Day
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. • Lottie M. Lyons Student Center

Thursday, April 10
Inaugural Day of Community Service 
Join members of the FVSU community in volunteering one hour of service in honor of President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith’s inauguration.

 Community Forum: Engaging Students in the 21st Century to meet the Global Demands
5 - 7 p.m. • Peach County High School 
900 Campus Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030

Friday, April 11
10 a.m. • Health and Physical Education Complex (Processional Begins at 9 a.m.)
 (Reception Immediately Following Ceremony)

 Campus Tours
1 - 3 p.m. (Beginning at the Health and Physical Education Complex)

7 - 9 p.m. • Health and Physical Education Complex Formal Attire

Saturday, April 12 
Soccer Exhibition 
Noon • FVSU Wildcat Stadium

Elijah Porter

FVSU student selected as White House HBCU All Star and Office of Legislative Counsel intern

A Fort Valley State University student made the cut for a national list that featured the best and brightest scholars from Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the nation. The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) named FVSU English major Elijah Porter as one of 75 HBCU All-Stars. Porter also is currently interning in the Office of Legislative Counsel at the State Capitol in Atlanta, where he serves as a resolution writer and legislative aid. He is the first from FVSU to be hired for this internship position.

“Engaging with the next generation of leaders who will graduate from HBCUs and go on to make meaningful contributions to society is crucial to the success of our community, our country and our global competitiveness,” said George Cooper, executive director of the WHIHBCUs. “It is a privilege to announce these 75 students who have demonstrated a commitment to their communities, and we look forward to working with them as partners in advancing President Obama’s college completion goal.”

In addition to his current internship, Porter will serve as an ambassador of the White House Initiative for the next year. His activities will include attending regional events and web chats with Ivory Toldson, deputy director of the WHIHBCUs. Forty-five women and thirty men were selected as All-Stars.

Learn more here.

Student Ashley Davis was awarded a certificate for having the second highest Grade Point Average at the CDEP Annual Energy Career Day Luncheon on Monday, Feb. 28.

FVSU’s CDEP hosts 31st Annual Energy Career Day and Student Recruitment Conference; awards $300,000 in scholarships

Six students from across the country were recently awarded scholarships totaling $300,000 as part of a Fort Valley State University program designed to increase the number of minorities and women within the disciplines of science, technology, energy and math or STEM fields.

Under the Cooperative Developmental Energy Program, students were offered individual awards valued at $50,000 each that will cover tuition and fees over five years of college. As part of the program, students will receive both a degree from Fort Valley State and a second from another partnering institution.

Read more here.

Guyana President Donald Ramotar (left) meets with FVSU President Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith (right) and U.S. Ambassador for Guyana D. Brent Hardt (center) before the parliamentary meeting.

FVSU administrators travel to Caribbean nations as part of diplomatic and  recruitment mission

Two Fort Valley State University officials recently toured several Caribbean nations in a bid to forge international partnerships and recruit new students to the university’s campus.

FVSU President Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith was initially invited to speak about Caribbean security issues and America’s bilateral agenda in Guyana,  as part of the U.S. Public Diplomacy Speakers’  Program. President  Griffith saw the invitation  as an opportunity to expand  FVSU’s global reach and he included Dr. Govind Kannan, FVSU’s interim vice president for academic affairs, on the trip.

“I look forward to using the Guyana and Trinidad visit as the first phase of building solid partnerships that will benefit both FVSU and the partner institutions,” Griffith said before his departure  adding officials from Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago are planning to travel to FVSU to learn about agricultural research and extension services

The Speaker’s Program—initiated by the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs—is part of a United States  government program that supports U.S. foreign policy goals and security interests by strengthening relationships with international countries.

Read more here.

FVSU scholarship recipients and administrators pose for the cameras after the luncheon on Feb.  17. 

FVSU annual scholarship luncheon attracts hundreds 

More than 700 Fort Valley State University faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters recently gathered in the Health and Physical Education Complex on the main campus for the university’s 27th annual scholarship luncheon.

The Feb. 27 event, hosted by the FVSU Foundation, Inc., is the institution’s largest annual fundraising event for student scholarships. It also provides an opportunity for scholarship recipients to meet the donors who have generously provided funds to aid in their education.

“We are extremely grateful to have such an amazing community that supports our students and their pursuit of higher education at Fort Valley State,” said Kristie Kenney, director of the FVSU Foundation, Inc. “This luncheon is a chance to thank that community of donors for their philanthropic efforts and service.”

Read more here.

President Griffith receives $15,000 check from Blue Bird Chaplain Jay Jones and the Vice President of human resources and external affairs Mike McCurdy.

Blue Bird donates $15,000 to FVSU’s Honors Program

Fort Valley State University’s new Honors Program recently received a financial boost when the nation’s primary bus manufacturer donated $15,000 to support the institution’s scholars.

Blue Bird Corporation is the first corporate underwriter for the program that debuted last year in an effort to provide academically rigorous offerings and an enhanced academic experience for motivated scholars. So far, the program has 25 charter members.

Blue Bird Company representatives Mike McCurdy, vice president of human resources and external affairs, and Jay Jones, a chaplain for the company, presented the check to FVSU President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith on Feb. 19 on the main campus in Fort Valley, Ga.

“Blue Bird loves and appreciates what you’re doing here at FVSU, by providing an education to these students,” said Jones. "Knowledge is power, and knowledge is also doing great things to achieve your dreams.”

Read more here.

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow addresses FVSU crowd and reporters.


Farm bill author visits campus; FVSU president announces new research center

Congress recently passed a sweeping farm bill that may have significant impact on the lives of everyday Americans. After a lengthy, three-year battle, the U.S. Senate approved the Agriculture Act of 2014 (also known as the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill). The $956.4 billion package passed with avote of 68 to 32 earlier this month.

The historic measure, which was signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama, not only establishes five years of farming policies within the nation, it also sets aside money to feed the nation's poor through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and provides grants to support farmers.

This week, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, the farm bill’s author and chair of the U.S. senate’s agriculture committee, made a special stop at Fort Valley State University to discuss the new legislation’s potential impact on local farmers.  During the event, FVSU President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith also announced the proposed creation of a new Center for Homeland and Global Food Security on the university’s campus.

Dr. Mark Latimore, interim dean for the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology, explained the reason for Stabenow’s visit to FVSU.

“Senator Stabenow loves land-grant institutions, since she graduated from Michigan State University, America’s first land-grant college,” Latimore said, who explained that President Obama signed the historic bill at the senator’s alma mater.

“After signing the farm bill, the senator also wanted to visit an 1890 land-grant university, so she chose to come to Fort Valley State,” the interim dean said. “This is an outstanding opportunity to show the senator, the type of agricultural research and outreach we are conducting in agriculture at FVSU.”

Read the full story here.

President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith (center, left) receives commendation from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (center, right). 

FVSU receives state commendation from governor's office

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal recently honored Fort Valley State University with a special commendation honoring the campus’ innumerable contributions and continued impact on higher education. On Feb. 26, President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, members of his cabinet, and three FVSU students traveled to the State Capitol to receive the commendation.

“This distinguished university has built a lasting legacy which continues to be a source of pride for all Georgians,” Deal wrote in the commendation. “With many illustrious alumni, the current and former students of Fort Valley State have impacted our state and nation for the better.”

The commendation was presented to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, like FVSU, in honor of Black History month. Nathan also honored four additional HBCUs: Morehouse College, Albany State University, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University.

“Georgia’s historically black colleges are rich in history, beauty and talent. Their past, present and future are a source of great inspiration for young African-American scholars,” Deal said.

For details, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications, (478) 825-6319.

Defense Center releases study by FVSU’s president

A top United States policy group recently published a study by Fort Valley State University’s Chief Wildcat.

The William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies issued FVSU President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith’s occasional paper “The United States and the Caribbean: 30 Years after the Grenada Invasion Dynamics of Geopolitics and Geonarcotics” this past December.

Created in 1995 and named after a former Secretary of Defense, the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies is an academic institution that provides instruction, research and outreach on defense and security issues affecting the Americas. The organization, located in Washington, D.C. , seeks to promote professional ethics in governments’ decision making process; foster teamwork and strategic leadership; and stimulate innovation in the security sector of new ideas.

An occasional paper is a stand-alone publication on topics that offer new perspectives and insights of either an historical theme or current event. Griffith’s new study examines how global forces and geonarcotics, have affected the Caribbean region. The scholar-president, who is a political scientist, traces how these trends have evolved within the region since the 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada. Incidentally, President Griffith coined the term “geonarcotics” in the early 1990s as a concept to examine the narcotics issue holistically. 

Additionally, in the occasional paper the president examines some of the new international actions of nations such as China and Venezuela within Caribbean nations’ political and economic spheres. 

The William J. Perry Center has published other studies by the president, including a policy analysis entitled “Political Acumen and Geopolitical Anxiety in Suriname” in the organization’s Security and Defense Studies Review in 2011.

To read President Griffith’s newly released policy paper, visit .

FVSU students model their best bow ties during the first Bow Tie Thursday on Feb. 27.

 A spotted blue and gold bow tie.

FVSU students demonstrate how to properly wear their bow ties.

FVSU holds 'Bow Tie Thursday' 

Fort Valley State University students sported their trendiest styles at an event that celebrated Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith’s favorite fashion accessory. Jammin’ in the CafĂ© held its first Bow Tie Thursday on Feb. 27 in the FVSU Cafeteria.

The event was sponsored by the FVSU Power Jamz 104.3, Sodexo and FVSU’s Office of Campus Life. Ladies and gentlemen Wildcats wore colorful bow ties to the party. Inside the Caf, students bobbed their heads, dancing to hip hop tunes spun by A.J. The D.J.

Other Wildcats watched their daring peers sing karaoke music and answer rapid-fire trivia questions. During the night, a few lucky Wildcats walked away with door prizes.

For additional pictures, visit our Flickr site.

Wildcat Battalion take an oath at the ROTC Contracting Ceremony recently. 

FVSU’s Wildcat Battalion holds contracting ceremony for new cadets 

A new class of Fort Valley State University's Wildcat Battalion cadets raised their right hands and confirmed their commitment to become Army officers at a recent public ceremony. The Wildcat Battalion held their Army Reserve Officers Training Corps' Contracting Ceremony on Feb. 6, in the C.W. Pettigrew Center. 

Lieut. Col. Joel Davis Jr. and Master Sgt. Scottie Johnson presented certificates to newly contracted cadets. 

The list of this year's cadets are:
Cadet Kasmyne Pender

Cadet Christopher Gavins
Cadet Shikesha Thornton


Cadet Darrell Aiken
Cadet Kailip Allen
Cadet Myles Bailey
Cadet Charles Brown
Cadet Kelvin Frazier
Cadet Jasmine McGauley
Cadet Tamara Richardson
Cadet Judson Willis


Cadet Miltricia Barnwell-Talbot

For more information, contact FVSU's Military Science Department, (478) 825-6340.


FVSU receives a grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety  

Fort Valley State University recently received funding to continue an alcohol awareness program aimed at reducing the number of drunk driver crashes among college-age students.

The $6,500 grant was awarded to FVSU’s counseling center, Valley Behavioral Health Services, by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The grant will be used to continue the center's Georgia Young Adult Program by funding its Peer Educator “Be the Sober One” initiative. The initiative educates students about the risks related to alcohol and substance-abuse, especially while driving.

According to a recently released study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a 4.6 percent increase in fatalities resulting from drunk-driver related accidents.  In 2012, more than 10,322 lives were lost compared to 9,865 in 2011.

“The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is committed to changing the tragic trend of young adult driver deaths in Georgia,” GOHS Director Harris Blackwood said. “We’re here to make changes, and I believe the students at Fort Valley State University can help us to achieve the goal of lowering driver crashes, injury, and fatality rates statewide. Who better to address the challenges and dangers facing young adults than their peers? I’m confident these students can convince their peers to be safer, more conscientious drivers.”

Learn more here.


Anthony Boynton, an FVSU junior, will be attending the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute in June.

FVSU student accepted for UCLA institute 

Anthony Boynton, a Fort Valley State University senior majoring in English, always knew he wanted to teach in a classroom. During high school, the scholar’s intelligence earned him the affectionate nickname “Professor Boynton” from his friends and peers. Even after matriculating onto FVSU’s campus, the nickname stuck.

“I’ve always been a teacher,” Boynton said. “My mom’s an English teacher. And even as early as the age of five, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I thought at first, that I would like to do high school teaching, but I arrived here at Fort Valley State, and I understood all that I could do with a degree, so I want to become a professor of literature, particularly at an HBCU.”

Today, the FVSU student’s dreams are one step closer to fruition. This summer, Boynton will attend a summer institute  in California that prepares minority students for success in graduate school.  The eight-week institute at the UCLA Bunche Center for African-American Studies Humanities Institute will be held from June through August.        

The program will provide Boynton with on-campus housing, meals, a stipend and $450 for transportation.

Read more here.


  FVSU holds African-American Read In

Bookworms read passages from novelists and writers that motivate and inspire them during a special Black History Month event at Fort Valley State University’s campus.

The university’s Department of English and Foreign Languages held its African-American Read In on Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  on Hunt Memorial Library’s third floor. Wildcat students, faculty and staff were encouraged to bring their favorite African–American authors to read for 5 to 10 minutes, or material can also be provided for interested readers.

The 2014 National African-American Read-In was initiated by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Council of Teachers of English. NCTE is a professional association of educators of English studies, language arts and literature studies. Every February during Black History Month,  read-in events are held at campuses throughout the country.

President Griffith speaks to the cabinet about upcoming initiatives.

Dr. Melody Carter, vice president of external affairs, addresses the cabinet.

Dr. Griffith hosts 4R Cabinet Meeting

President Ivelaw L. Griffith recently hosted a special 4R Cabinet Meeting in an effort to develop enhanced strategies for supporting the improvement of recruitment, retention, and release "graduation" rates, The two-day meeting was held Tuesday, Feb. 25 and Thursday, Feb. 27 and also included discussions on seeking strategies to improve the university’s revenue.