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FAMU Biomedical Science Bridge Program Produces Award-winning Results

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As the spring semester nears a close at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), its Bridges to the Baccalaureate in the Biomedical Sciences Program is preparing to open its doors to 20 students from Tallahassee Community College (TCC) who are poised to become the next generation of leaders in biomedical sciences.

In its second year, the Bridges program is housed in the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS). It is a 10-week summer research experience partnership between FAMU and TCC that provides students with the academic skills, research training, and support network necessary for successful careers in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), namely the biomedical sciences.

The goal of the program is to cultivate and increase the number of qualified African American, Hispanic, and other underrepresented minority students from TCC who seek to obtain a four-year degree through the biomedical sciences programs offered at FAMU, including biology, microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, environmental health sciences, food and animal sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, and biochemical engineering.

The FAMU-TCC Bridges Program also includes a mentorship component that matches TCC students with FAMU research faculty from the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, College of Science and Technology, the School of the Environment, and COPPS .

The Bridges program is already making a national impact. David Perez, a student from the 2014 cohort, and sophomore environmental engineering major at TCC, recently received the top Microbiology Research Award for his poster presentation at the Annual Biomedical Conference for Minority Students in San Antonio, Texas. Perez was among 1,700 student participants who competed nationally in 12 different disciplines including molecular sciences, cell biology, and microbiology, as well as engineering and chemistry.

His award-winning research project titled, “Coupling Phycoremediation of Military Wastewater Pollutants and Nutrients for the Generation of Environmentally Sustainable Biobased Products” was supported by his Bridges mentor Ashvini Chauhan, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University’s Environmental Biotechnology Lab.

"As a participant in the TCC-FAMU Bridges program at FAMU, I was hoping to expand my perspective on research and to meet people who would provide additional direction for my future. Both of these goals were realized,” Perez said. "Being at FAMU for the Bridges program let me experience a world-class system that convinced me to pursue a degree there. I found its research mission very compelling.”

The program is not only inspiring its students, but also its professors, who say that being involved in the program is highly rewarding.

“I am very appreciative of the TCC-FAMU Bridges program because I can witness students like David Perez being motivated by what the FAMU research community has to offer. I felt incredibly honored to learn that as a result of our work, David was well equipped to compete at such a prestigious research conference. He is a testament to the value of our program,” said Chauhan.

According to Chauhan, the program also provides participants with the opportunity to be mentored by current FAMU students. Chauhan’s graduate assistant, Lowell Collins, an environment science major, worked closely with Perez to ensure he benefited from the research experience and scientific training provided by the program.

The Bridges program is funded by a 5-year, $2.1 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, an arm of the National Institute of Health. Carl B. Goodman, Ph.D., professor and assistant dean for Research and Graduate Studies, and Calandra Stringer, Ph.D., dean of curriculum and instruction at TCC, both serve as co-principal investigators for the Bridges program.

“The fundamental purpose of the FAMU-TCC Bridges Program is to attract and inspire young talented STEM students from TCC, like David, to obtain their undergraduate degrees in one of the many outstanding biomedical science programs at FAMU,” Goodman said.

He added, “David’s research experience and the additional scientific training that he has been able to master from the FAMU School of the Environment will provide him with the opportunity to become highly competitive as a candidate to not only earn a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences, but also sets him on the road for an outstanding career in this field of study.”

This year’s program starts on May 18.

For more information, contact program coordinator Sharon Arradondo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Have You Learned the #GimmeFive Dance?

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Have You Learned the #GimmeFive Dance?

The First Lady joined Ellen DeGeneres and the So You Think You Can Dance All Stars a few weeks ago to debut the #GimmeFive dance (Click Here) for the fifth anniversary of Let's Move!

Mrs. Obama challenged Ellen to learn the dance as part of the #GimmeFive challenge (Click Here), and then Ellen passed on the challenge to everyone at home to learn the dance too. Since its debut, people across the country are learning the dance and performing it in their schools and organizations and even at large conferences and gatherings.

Have you learned the dance yet? If not, we are here to help!

Click here to watch a tutorial from So You Think You Can Dance mentors Travis Wall and tWitch, and have fun learning the steps! (Click Here)

Once you've got the moves down, teach your family and friends and share on social media using #GimmeFive. Then, don't forget to tune in next Monday, April 6 (Click Here) as the So You Think You Can Dance All Stars bring the #GimmeFive dance to the White House Easter Egg Roll. We hope you'll join in as everyone on the South Lawn performs the dance!

First Lady Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres and SYTYCD dancers perform a #GimmeFive dance during a taping of ellen, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, in Burbank, Calif., March 12, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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For the full recap of recent activities and to get involved, visit the Let's Move! blog (Click Here), like us on Facebook (Click Here), and follow us on Twitter (Click Here).

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Calling All Kid Chefs

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Calling All Kid Chefs

Drumroll, please: We are excited to announce the launch of the fourth-annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge (Click Here to view)!

First Lady Michelle Obama is teaming up with PBS flagship station WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to host the fourth-annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge to promote cooking and healthy eating among young people across the nation.

The challenge invites kids ages 8-12 to join a parent or guardian in creating an original recipe that is healthy, affordable, and delicious. One winner from each U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia will be selected and have the opportunity to attend a Kids' "State Dinner" (Click Here to View) here at the White House this summer, where a selection of the winning recipes will be served.

Click here for more information about the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and to submit your recipe by April 30! (Click Here to View)

Hannah Foley, from Pennsylvania, and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a photo at the Kids' State Dinner in the East Room of the White House, July 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

"It is such a pleasure to host the Kids' 'State Dinner' at the White House each year, and I am thrilled to announce the fourth year of our Healthy Lunchtime Challenge," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "Every year I am blown away by the talent and creativity of the young chefs, and I cannot wait to welcome this year's group at the White House this summer. So I hope young people across the country will get into the kitchen and get cooking!"

Don't forget to check out USDA's MyPlate (Click Here to View) to ensure that your recipe meets the nutrition guidelines and incorporates each of the food groups either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.

We can't wait to see what you cook up!

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For the full recap of recent activities and to get involved, visit the Let's Move! blog (Click Here), like us on Facebook (Like Us), and follow us on Twitter (Follow Us).

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CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES CONCLUDES NATIONWIDE SEARCH WITH ELECTION OF FOURTH PRESIDENT

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ATLANTA (March 31, 2015)—The Clark Atlanta (CAU) University Board of Trustees today concluded its nationwide search for the institution’s fourth president with the announcement of Texas Southern University’s (TSU) Ronald A. Johnson, Ph.D., as the historic university’s next leader. Johnson, who currently serves as dean of TSU’s Jesse H.Jones (JHJ) School of Business will assume this new role on July 1, 2015, succeeding Clark Atlanta’s current President Carlton E. Brown, Ed.D., who will retire on June 30.

Johnson, born in Brooklyn, N.Y., earned the B.A. in economics and the MBA in finance from Adelphi University. He earned the M.A and the Ph.D. degrees in economics from Stanford University. His professional success tracks through some of the nation’s foremost investment organizations, including Smith Graham & Company where he managed assets totaling $3 billion and Templeton Worldwide where he managed assets totaling $2 billion. His love of education, teaching and research, and his reverence for the nation’s HBCUs in particular, has kept him close to academic circles for much of his career, which includes leading two schools of business as dean and named professorships at some of the nation’s most respected institutions of higher education.

CAU Board Chairman Alexander B. Cummings Jr., executive vice president and chief administrative officer for The Coca-Cola Company, says “in Ronald Johnson, we have identified a scholar of tremendous intellect, a global financier with impeccable credentials, an institution-builder with a demonstrable record of successes, a fundraiser with highly developed strategic acumen and a compassionate role model whose obvious desire to engage and empower students is borne out of his own personal journey. I am honored to have Ron and his wife, Irene, become part of the CAU family.”

CAU Trustee Joe Laymon, vice president for human resources at Chevron Corp., led the Board’s 12-member Presidential Search Committee, supported by Washington, D.C.- based, AGB Search. “Our search was intentionally broad,” he notes. “We carefully reviewed more than 100 applications from across the United States. Our fundamental qualifications for the position were rooted in the University’s strategic plan, the realities of the current economic climate, the prevailing legislative environment and the increasingly competitive global student recruitment marketplace. One candidate, Ronald Johnson, consistently stood out during the intensive, very detailed vetting phases of the process. He possesses the skill, experience and vision necessary to provide the leadership and focus required to elevate Clark Atlanta and reposition it in the international arena.”

The president-elect says he is eager to join the Clark Atlanta University community and begin his term as president. “There are few institutions in the United States, HBCU or otherwise, with the rich dual history, the intellectual legacy and the tradition of scholaractivism that defines Clark Atlanta. Now the University will look to its future, harnessing a tremendous wealth of academic talent, a nation-wide expanse of passionate, multigenerational alumni and opportunities to create strategic alliances that will elevate its competitive advantage.”

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