5 Special Celebrations and Traditions at Minority Serving Institutions

We are officially in the season of celebration.  Thanksgiving has just passed and a number of holidays are quickly approaching.  To get us more in the spirit of celebration this week’s Monday Morning MSI Lineup highlights five celebrations and traditions found at various MSIs.  Celebrations and traditions are ways for community to be built, bonds to be forged, and connections to be fortified. These MSIs have done just that with these unique and special traditions.

jubilee day1.) Jubilee Day – Fisk University
The celebration of Jubilee Day occurs annually at Fisk on October 6th. On that day in 1871, the original group of nine students and their music professor, George L. White, began their first tour to raise operating funds for the University. Through their sacrifice and perseverance, the group’s earnings paid for the construction of Jubilee Hall, the first permanent building in America erected for the education of African Americans. During their first tours, the Singers also contributed tour earnings to The Great Chicago Fire victims in 1871 and were invited to perform at The White House by President Ulysses Grant in 1872. In 1873, the group grew to eleven members and performed for the heads of Europe, including Queen Victoria.

white dress2.) The White Dress Tradition -Spelman College
Spelman College proudly maintains a significant balance between acknowledging our time-honored traditions and establishing new and beneficial opportunities to forward the institutional mission and vision into the 21st century and beyond. The wearing of white dresses on designated official occasions is among the most well-respected and treasured of the College’s traditions.

In the spirit of this tradition, all first-year students are required to wear this “traditional white dress ensemble” for the New Student Orientation Induction Ceremony. The same policy holds true for the Founders Day Convocation, and graduating seniors are required to wear this same attire underneath the academic regalia for Founders Day, Class Day, Baccalaureate and Commencement. Additionally, it is requested that alumnae wear this attire when attending the Founders Day Convocation, related Founders Day activities hosted by alumnae and chapters of the Alumnae Association around the country, and for the March through the Alumnae Arch held during Reunion.

sheep as life3.) Sheep is Life Celebration – Diné College
The Sheep is Life Celebration honors the central role that sheep play in Navajo spirituality, philosophy, and daily life, and brings together people from many cultures who share these values. Sheep is Life emphasizes the role of sheep and fiber arts in the evolution of cultures. Discussions at the celebration take up issues relating to livestock and agriculture in the Southwest; technical assistance opportunities for sheep and wool producers; and the philosophy and spirituality of sheep cultures.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????4.) Walking on Water – Florida International University
For over two decades, sophomore architecture students who take Professor Jaime Canaves’ class have had a seemingly impossible assignment: Walk on water. More than 1,500 students later, the class project has become a university tradition that attracts parents, faculty, staff and fellow students to watch the race at the lake behind the Green Library. The winner receives $500 and an A on the assignment. Everyone else who crosses the 175-foot-wide lake also gets an A and the opportunity to drop their lowest grade. Some notable facts: The youngest person to walk across the lake was 9 years old in 1998. The oldest, at 67, walked across in 2009. The fastest has been timed at 1 minute 23 seconds, in 2005. The slowest have been over the 15 minute mark (multiple years). Most winners have taken about 1 minute 30 seconds to cross.  The first students to participate in this FIU tradition crossed the lake in the fall of 1990.

PIU days5.) PIU Days – Pacific Islands University
PIU Days is a celebration of God’s goodness to the school and thankfully remembering the founders and many servants of God who have made PIU a reality. This celebration takes place Friday through Sunday prior to Spring Break. Each year a passage of scripture is selected and three teams are created. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate and are assigned to one of the three teams. The teams compete in sports, skits, singing, cheering and many other fun events. Each night, one of the teams hosts a campus program that includes songs, skits, games and a message from the Word.

10 Notable Minority Serving Institution Alumni


1.) LoveWarrenly A. Warren – John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Lovely A. Warren earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a J. D. from Albany Law School of Union University. In 2007 Warren was elected to Rochester’s City Council. In 2010, she was elected as the fifth President of the Rochester City Council, the youngest in Rochester’s history. Warren became the first woman to serve as mayor of Rochester in 2013.

Perez2.) Elizabeth Pérez – Florida International University

Elizabeth Pérez is a Cuban-Venezuelan Emmy-winning television journalist working for CNN en Español in Atlanta, Georgia. While at FIU, Pérez interned with the El Nuevo Herald where she wrote and published several articles. In 2011, Cynthia Hudson, senior vice president and general manager of CNN en Español and Hispanic strategy for CNN/U.S. welcomed Pérez saying: “Our viewers are assiduous sports fans, and we are pleased to bring, throughout the day, everything they want to know about this fascinating world with the hiring of a dynamic journalist such as Elizabeth.”

Faulk3.) Marshall Faulk – San Diego State University

Marshall Faulk is a former college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for twelve seasons. He played college football for San Diego State University, and was a two-time consensus All-American. Faulk is one of only three NFL players to reach at least 10,000 rushing yards and 5,000 receiving yards; he is the only one to amass 12,000 yards rushing and 6,000 yards receiving. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

dunbar4.) Rockmond Dunbar – University of New Mexico

Rockmond Dunbar is an American actor. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Kenny Chadway on the Showtime television drama series Soul Food, and as Benjamin Miles “C-Note” Franklin on the FOX television drama series Prison Break. In 2011 he joined the cast of FX’s hit show Sons of Anarchy as the new Sheriff of Charming, Eli Roosevelt.

Salas5.) Mario Marcel Salas – University of Texas in San Antonio (UTSA)

Mario Marcel Salas s a civil rights leader, author and politician. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1987. Salas organized the Black Student Union on San Antonio college campuses in 1969, and was co-founder of the Barbara Jordan Community Center in San Antonio. Salas has taught International Conflicts, the Politics of Mexico, Topics in Civil Rights, Introduction to African American Studies, and Texas and Federal Government.

martinez6.) Susana Martinez – University of Texas in El Paso (UTEP)

Susana Martinez is an American attorney and politician. She is the 31st and current Governor of New Mexico. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Texas at El Paso. While at UTEP, she worked for her father’s security guard company. She is the first woman to be elected Governor of New Mexico and the first Hispanic female governor in the United States. In 2013, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Spielberg 7.)  Steven Allan Spielberg – California State University, Long Beach

Steven Allan Spielberg is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and business magnate. Spielberg is consistently considered as one of the leading pioneers of the New Hollywood era. Spielberg early science fiction and adventure films were seen as archetypes modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. He attended California State University, Long Beach and interned for Universal Studios editing department.

Edwards8.) Harry Edwards – San Jose State University

Harry Edwards is an African American sociologist and Professor Emeritus at University of Berkeley. Edwards career has focused on the experiences of African American athletes and he is a strong advocate for black participation in the management of professional sports. He has served as a staff consultant to the San Frisco 49ers and the Golden State Warriors.

Fieri9.) Guy Fieri -University of Nevada in Las Vegas (UNLV)

Guy Fieri is an American restaurateur, author, game show host, and television personality currently on the food network. Fieri attend University of Nevada in Las Vegas and received his bachelors in hotel management in 1990. He is best known for his television series Guys Big Bite, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, any many more.

Devine10.) Loretta Devine – University of Houston

Loretta Devine is an American character actress who played in numerous films such as Woman Thou Art Loosed, This Christmas, Soul Food and television shows like Greys Anatomy, Boston Public, and many more. Devine graduated from the University of Houston in 1971 with a degree in speech and theater. Devine is also a proud member of the lovely Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

10 Civil and Human Rights Activists Who Attended Historically Black Colleges & Universities

HBCUs have and continue to be campuses that empower students not only academically but socially as well. It is a mission of uplift and service found at many of these institutions that inspires students to be more socially aware, active in their communities, and to speak out against injustice. We often hear the names of some of the most well known activists and agents of social justice that attended HBCUs, such as Martin Luther King Jr. or W.E.B. Du Bois. This Monday Morning MSI Lineup will bring to your attention some other great activists who found themselves being inspired and empowered as HBCU students.

Luper1.) Clara Luper, Langston University

Clara Luper graduated from Langston University in 1944. In 1951 she earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Oklahoma, where she was the first black student admitted to a graduate history program. Luper led one of the first sit-ins — at a drugstore in Oklahoma City, 18 months before the Greensboro, North Carolina activism at Woolworth. On Aug. 19, 1958, Luper led three other adult chaperones and 14 members of the youth council into the Katz Drug Store in Oklahoma City, where they took seats at the counter and asked for Coca-Colas.

bond2.) Julian Bond, Morehouse College

Julian Bond enrolled at Atlanta’s Morehouse College, where he helped found The Pegasus, a literary magazine, and interned at TIME magazine. While still a student, Bond became a founding member of the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights. He led nonviolent student protests against segregation in Atlanta parks, restaurants and movie theaters. Bond helped form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960.

Rustin3.) Bayard Rustin, Wilberforce University & Cheyney University

Bayard Rustin attended Wilberforce University in Ohio, and Cheyney State Teachers College (now Cheney University of Pennsylvania), both historically black schools. By the 1950s, Rustin was an expert organizer of human rights protests. In 1953, he was arrested on a morals charge for publicly engaging in homosexual activity and was sent to jail for 60 days; however, he continued to live as an openly gay man. In 1958, he played an important role in coordinating a march in Aldermaston, England, in which 10,000 people demonstrated against nuclear weapons.

Richardson4.) Gloria Richardson, Howard University

Gloria Richardson attended Howard University, where she studied sociology and participated in protests for civil rights. In January 1962, members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee protested against segregation in Cambridge. With Richardson at the helm, the Cambridge Movement began to advocate for economic rights as well as desegregation.

Clark5.) Septima Poinsette Clark, Benedict College & Hampton University

Septima Poinsette Clark was a graduate of Benedict College and Hampton University. Clark is best known for her role in developing the Citizenship Schools. During the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of disenfranchised African Americans passed through Citizenship School classes in which they learned to read and write in order to pass the literacy tests required by southern states to register to vote. Beyond preparing adults to gain access to the voting booth, Clark’s curriculum taught students how to wield the power of the ballot to transform everyday life.

Nash6.) Diane Nash, Fisk University

By 1961, Diane Nash had emerged as one of the most respected student leaders of the sit-in movement in Nashville, TN. Raised in middle-class Catholic family in Chicago, Nash attended Howard University before transferring to Nashville’s Fisk University in the fall of 1959. Shocked by the extent of segregation she encountered in Tennessee, she was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in April 1960. In February 1961, Diane served jail time in solidarity with the “Rock Hill Nine” — nine students imprisoned after a lunch counter sit-in.  In 1962, she was sentenced to two years in prison for teaching nonviolent tactics to children in Jackson, MS, although she was four months pregnant. She was later released on appeal. Nash played a major role in the Birmingham de-segregation campaign of 1963 and the Selma Voting Rights Campaign of 1965, before returning to her native Chicago to work in education, real estate and fair housing advocacy.

Ahuja7.) Kiran Ahuja, Spelman College

For almost twenty years, Kiran Ahuja has dedicated herself to improving the lives of women of color in the U.S. Well-known as a leader among national and grassroots AAPI and women’s rights organizations, Kiran served as the founding Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) from 2003-2008. Kiran built NAPAWF from an all-volunteer organization to one with a paid professional staff who continue to spearhead successful policy and education initiatives, expanded NAPAWF’s volunteer chapters and membership, and organized a strong and vibrant network of AAPI women community leaders across the country.

Following law school, she was chosen as one of five Honors Program trial attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, where she litigated education-related discrimination cases and filed the Department’s first peer-on-peer student racial harassment lawsuit. In addition, she participated in the Division’s National Origin Working Group as part of a core group of attorneys who organized response efforts for the Division after the September 11 terrorist attacks.  Kiran was appointed on December 14, 2009 to the position of Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), housed in the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC.

Mulholland 8.) Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, Tougaloo College

 Joan Trumpauer arrived in Jackson, MS by train from New Orleans, LA as part of the June 4, 1961 Mississippi Freedom Ride. The group was promptly ushered by Jackson police to a waiting paddy wagon; all nine riders refused bail. Trumpauer was transferred to Parchman State Prison. In an interview she recalls the harrowing conditions at Parchman, which included forced vaginal examinations used as a tactic to humiliate and terrorize female prisoners.  After the Freedom Rides, Trumpauer studied at Tougaloo College and was a Freedom Summer organizer in 1964. She later worked at the Smithsonian with the Community Relations Service and at the Departments of Commerce and Justice before teaching English as a second language at an Arlington, VA elementary school.

Terry9.) Bryant Terry, Xavier University of Louisiana

Bryant Terry is a graduate of Xavier University in Louisiana. Terry is an eco-chef, zfood justice activist, and author of Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine. In 2001, Terry founded b-healthy! (Build Healthy Eating and Lifestyles to Help Youth), a five-year initiative created to raise awareness about food justice issues and empower youth to be active in creating a more just and sustainable food system.

agnew10.) Phillip Agnew, Florida A&M University

Phillip Agnew first came to community activism as a student at Florida A&M University after 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson was beaten to death at a Florida boot camp. Seven years later, in response to teen Trayvon Martin being killed, Agnew formed the Dream Defenders, which brought vigor and national attention to the Martin case from the start. The black-and-brown-youth-led Dream Defenders now has chapters on nine college campuses in Florida and highlights racial and social economic-justice issues like prison privatization, racial profiling and “zero tolerance” policies in schools — which many believe lead students of color straight into the prison system. Although he was locked out as a speaker at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Agnew kept it moving and put his remarks online. He tweeted: “We won’t use this as an opportunity to bash older generations. They ran out of time. Youth will rise. And our time is now.”



10 Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) with Study Abroad Programs

Study abroad is a great opportunity for college students to experience learning in a foreign country.  It is seen by many as a significant way in which to prepare students to be productive and globally competitive.  This week’s Monday Morning MSI Lineup highlights 10 study abroad programs found at Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs).

Cal State San Marcos1.) California State University, San Marcos International Programs (IP)

As a CSU San Marcos student you have an extraordinary opportunity to participate in a system-wide study abroad program operated by the Office of International Programs (IP). IP participants earn resident academic credit at CSU San Marcos while they pursue full-time study at a host university or study center abroad. IP serves the needs of students by offering over 100 academic majors at over 60 recognized universities and institutions of higher education in 18 countries. All IP programs are a full academic year in length.

american samoa2.) American Samoa College (SIT) Study Program

The SIT program encourages students to explore processes of change in Samoa and other Pacific communities through interdisciplinary coursework, field study, and independent research. Students consider the impact of new and different values on Pacific Islander communities and social structures in light of development and globalization pressures.  They also acquire diverse perspectives on social change and transition in the Pacific context, learning from other Pacific Islanders.

sac city3.) Sacramento Community College

The Northern California Study Abroad Consortium enables Sacramento Community College to teach their academic program abroad, using their faculty, curriculum and style. The American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) Partnership works closely with the institution to coordinate support arrangements.

uc riverside4.) University of California Riverside (UCEAP)

The UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) is the University of California’s premier Education Abroad Program. For nearly 50 years, UCEAP has offered high quality study abroad experiences tailored to meet the needs and interests of the UC students. The 300 study abroad programs offered through the UCEAP provide a variety of study abroad destinations. Through the UCEAP 4,500-plus UC students travel to 38 countries each year to experience academics, cultural enhancement and personal growth.

usc5.) University of Southern California (Dornsife)

The Study Abroad Office advises on global education programs in hundreds of countries around the world. Last year 1,250 USC students studied, interned, worked or volunteered in 49 different countries. Students from academic backgrounds across campus take part in programs for the semester, academic year and summer.

hilo6.) University of Hawaii at Hilo (CGEE)

The first priority and fundamental mission of the Center for Global Education and Exchange (CGEE) is to develop all aspects of the collegiate experience to assure that students are successful as future leaders in the larger world. This critical mission is advanced by expanding the global reach of UH Hilo by advocating for all students, engaging faculty, and enriching the campus community by enhancing international education programs. By providing quality study abroad and student exchange choices, the center fosters the development of the students’ global perspective.

umass boston7.) University of Massachusetts at Boston, Global Advantage Internship Program (GAIP)

Each year, the Global Advantage Internship Program (GAIP) through the Office of Global Programs places students in selected internships at leading cultural, educational, and scientific institutions; media outlets; advocacy and community agencies; and businesses in the United States and throughout the world. The common denominator is that they have an international focus. Through funding from UMass Boston alumnae and friends, the Global Advantage Internship Program offers internship funding to both senior-level undergraduate and graduate students who are currently enrolled at UMass Boston.

umcp8.) University of Maryland, College Park, Education Abroad (EA) Programs

The UM College Park EA programs are designed to promote cross-cultural competence, disciplinary scholarship and foreign language acquisition. It inspires and informs students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively engage with local and global communities and become culturally perceptive

stevens9.) Stevens Institute of Technology

The core Stevens curriculum provides up to six credits that can be applied to international experiences that meet program outcomes in addition to traditional course transfer credits from study abroad. Thus, a student has a far stronger prospect of being able to complete a study abroad period without increasing time toward a degree. This coupled with a strong new focus on international programs encourages students to participate in study and work abroad.

fullerton10.) Fullerton College

The Study Abroad Program at Fullerton College provides students and the community with the opportunity to study in a foreign location that promotes a global perspective for effective living and working in an international environment. It offers both short-term and long-term educational programs. At the conclusion of the Study Abroad Program, students are able to recognize the values of a foreign culture and compare these values to those learned in the United States, to apply an understanding of the broader global community to plan and execute personal and/or professional goals, and to synthesize the Study Abroad pedagogy of course/community content as a learning resource.

10 Minority Serving Institution Bridge Programs

For years, bridge programs have proven to aid in students’ academic success and achievement. Bridge programs have various structures. They can be within or between institutions. They can also be programs designed to provide developmental education to students. Some bridge programs aid in preparing and feeding students into certain advanced and professional degrees. Whatever the structure, many MSIs are using bridge programs to ensure the success of underrepresented groups in higher education. In today’s Monday Morning MSI Lineup, we have information on 10 MSI bridge programs that ensure success.

Fisk-Vanderbilt1. Fisk-Vanderbilt Universities, Bridge Masters-To-Ph.D. Program

The program couples targeted recruitment with active retention strategies, and is built upon a clearly defined structure that is flexible enough to address individual student needs while maintaining clearly communicated baseline standards for student performance. A key precept of the program’s philosophy is to eliminate passivity in student mentoring; students are deliberately groomed to successfully transition into the PhD program through active involvement in research experiences with future PhD advisors, coursework that demonstrates competency in core PhD subject areas, and frequent interactions with joint mentoring committees.

hulil2. University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Hulili Bridge Program

The Native Hawaiian Student Services (NHSS) Hūlili Bridge Program is a six-week summer intensive support service for Native Hawaiian community college students who plan to transition from their home campus to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Selected students participate in campus orientation tours, workshops designed to increase academic preparedness, wellness & cultural enrichment as well as a Hawaiian Studies summer course for credit. All expenses are paid and participants also receive a summer stipend.

tlsamp3. Tennessee State University, Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program(TLSAMP)

The Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP) program is a collaborative effort sustained by a coalition of six colleges and universities in the State of Tennessee to significantly increase the number of underrepresented minority students statewide. Students must complete undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

bridge 2 engineering4. Saint Ana College, Bridge 2 Engineering Program

B2E is a cohort-based learning community that focuses on increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities, women and veterans in the field of engineering. The program helps participants explore careers in engineering and places them on an academic pathway to become engineers. Participants take classes together, receive academic counseling, tutoring, guaranteed enrollment in math courses and paid engineering internships. Participants also are prepared to transfer to a four-year engineering program (UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton) to continue their degree in engineering.

san jose5. San Jose City College, Metas Program

The Metas Program coordinates instructional and student support services in collaboration with other programs and departments across campus. The program offers a range of options through learning support services such as Avanzamos, Supplemental Instruction, Summer Bridge, and Peer-Led Team Learning.

alabama a&m u6. Alabama A&M University, HBCU-UP Summer Bridge Program (SBP)

The SBP program focuses on strengthening participants’ STEM related academic skills. Participants attend four-1 hour courses during the six week program. Classes include: “Critical Writing and Reading,” “Mathematics,” “Science & Engineering Fundamentals,” and “Introduction to Scientific Computing and Visualization,” and along with some exposure to physics and biotechnology.

morehouse spelman7. University of California, San Diego-Morehouse-Spelman Colleges, Physics Bridge Program

The UCSD-Morehouse-Spelman Physics Bridge program supports up to 5 students per year from Morehouse and Spelman Colleges to participate in cutting-edge physics research at UC San Diego, receive training in research skills, and participate in workshops on graduate school admissions and preparation. In addition, all participants receive two years of graduate funding if they are accepted into any UC graduate program.

uapb8. University of Arkansas Pine Bluff (UAPB), STEM Summer Academy Program

The STEM Summer Academy is a bridge program that offers the necessary skills and knowledge to pre-college high school graduates to help make a seamless transition to college. STEM Scholars receive room and board. The STEM Scholars Summer Academy is designed to enhance, enrich, and refresh the in-coming freshmen in mathematics, English, writing skills, social decorum, and campus survival skills. Student achievement is assessed during and after the program.

bridges to baccalaureate9. The University of Montana, Bridges to Baccalaureate Program

The mission of the Bridges program is to improve tribal college student learning, leading to high student achievement in science by creating opportunities for students to participate in summer science activities in a university setting, providing professional development for tribal college teachers, and providing mentoring experiences that will lead to students’ successful completion of science majors and degree programs.

muckelshoot10. Muckleshoot Tribal College, Grays Harbor Bridge Program

The Grays Harbor College reservation-based “bridge program” is a direct transfer Associate of Arts (AA) degree. This degree can be transferred to any four-year college or university. In most cases, this degree will satisfy the general education degree requirements at any four-year college or university. This program was designed to articulate with The Evergreen State College’s upper division program so students would have a reservation-based Bachelor’s degree available to them.