Paine College Professor Featured in National Magazine

Posted by painewebmaster | 08/29/2016 04:12 AM

Dr. Sardar Yousufzai, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Physics & Environmental Sciences and the Minority Affairs Chairperson of the Savannah River Section of the American Chemical Society is featured in the August 16 issue of the Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine. 

Dr. Yousufzai who this summer celebrated the ten years anniversary of conducting his free “Basics Concepts of Chemistry”  class reflects on his educational background and discusses why he started the program and his goal of teaching Chemistry to diverse students. 

Diverse: Issues In Higher Education is a Virginia-based magazine that has an estimated print and digital readership of over 100,000 people.

The Paine College community congratulates, Dr. Yousufzai for demonstrating excellence in STEM education.  To view the issue featuring Dr. Yousufzai, visit the magazine’s website.

Paine College will host Fall Convocation

Posted by painewebmaster | 08/23/2016 04:26 AM

Paine College will host Fall Convocation on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel. Dr. Samuel Sullivan, President, will serve as the keynote speaker for the occasion. The event will welcome new and returning students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and friends to the Paine College Community.  This event is open to the public.

For more information, please contact the Office of Communications and Marketing at 706.396.7591 or via email:

Paine College Holds First Campus Pride Clean Up Day

Posted by painewebmaster | 08/19/2016 06:51 AM

Paine College students, faculty, and staff unite for the first Paine College Campus Pride Day of service, sponsored by the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church & Faith-based Community Saturday, August 20, from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm.

During this day of service, hundreds of volunteers from the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and United Methodist Churches along with members of the Paine College community will work to improve the appearance of the Paine College grounds and make improvements to dormitories and the student center. The goals of this campus clean-up day are to clean up our public areas, foster a sense of stewardship for the campus and build community-wide connections.

Community members are invited to volunteer. All volunteers will gather at the Peters Campus Center on the Paine College Campus at 8:00 AM to complete volunteer forms and be assigned to a team captain. Paine College will provide cleaning supplies.

Community members can also take advantage of this opportunity to register to participate in future campus clean up events. Volunteers can register at

Accrediting Commission Grants Extension to Paine College to Make Appeal

Posted by painewebmaster | 08/3/2016 13:29 PM

Dr. Samuel Sullivan, President of Paine College, announced that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) granted a 30-day extension to the College to appeal the decision of the SACSCOC Board to remove Paine from membership.
Paine College Administration and members of the Board of Trustees will appear before the SACSCOC Appeals Committee on September 12 or 13, 2016. During the appeal process, Paine College remains accredited.
College officials will continue to keep the public informed throughout the appeal process.  Frequently asked questions and responses regarding Paine College’s accreditation and appeal status can be found at
For more information about Paine College, contact the Office of Communications and Marketing at 706.821.8233, or email:


Michael Thurmond, Paine College Alumnus and Chair-Elect of the Paine College Board of Trustees to Speak at Worship Wednesday Community Prayer Breakfast

Posted by painewebmaster | 08/1/2016 07:15 AM

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Radio station 96.3 Kiss FM will hold the 96.3 Kiss FM Worship Wednesday Community Prayer Breakfast this month at Paine College. Organized by Women in Gods Service (WINGS), the inaugural event aims to provide an opportunity for the community to embrace diversity in an atmosphere of inclusive fellowship and to raise money for the College. Paine College which boasts the oldest interracial governing body in the nation has a history of pioneering race relations in Augusta making it a well-suited venue to bring diverse groups of people together for discussions regarding racial issues in our community.

The keynote speaker will be Michael Thurmond, Paine College Alumnus and Chair-Elect of the Paine College Board of Trustees. The event takes place on Wednesday, August 3, 2016, from 7:30 to 9:00 AM at the Candler Memorial Library on the Paine College Campus.

"It is such a wonderful feeling to see the Augusta community coming together for this worthy event," noted, R. Wayne Woodson, Chief of Staff, Assistant Professor and Director of Music, “Cher Best has pledged her support for Paine College and founded Women in Gods Service- WINGS. This group is hosting the prayer breakfast, and will be working with Dr. Lucinda Sullivan, the College's First Lady, on a number of events over the next year.”

The cost of the event is $25 per person and tables are also available. Tickets will be sold in advance on Eventbrite. Tickets will not be available at the door.  Those unable to attend the event can make donations on Eventbrite until August 23rd. For more information, visit


The United Methodist Church Reaffirms Commitment to Support Paine College -- Donates $250,000 Gift to Benefit Student Housing

Posted by painewebmaster | 07/22/2016 06:45 AM

The United Methodist Church’s Division of Higher Education and Ministry reaffirmed its commitment to support Paine College during a press conference held on campus in Candler Memorial Library. Reverend James Cason, Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Statesboro, Georgia, along with United Methodist clergy, laity and members gathered on the morning of July 22, 2016 to publicly endorse Paine College. Reverend Cason, a member of the Paine College Board of Trustees, announced a gift of $250,000.00 on behalf of the United Methodist Church (UMC). President Samuel Sullivan, members of the Paine College Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students and friends applauded the generous gift that will be utilized in part to refurbish student housing.

“Since June 2006, the Division of Higher Education and Ministry has contributed $8,752,436.00 to Paine College,” said Reverend Cason. “This additional gift of $250,000.00 is a testament of the United Methodist Church’s belief in Paine’s mission and values.”

Dr. John W. Wells, Associate General Secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, said in a written statement, “We admire the courage and determination of the alumni, faculty, staff, trustees and students as they unite to ensure the continuation of the long tradition of a liberal arts education. It is our hope that the funds provided by the United Methodist Church might continue to allow the college to facilitate the transformation of its students into proud alumni and strong citizens of character.”

Attorney Barbara E. Bouknight, Chairman of the Paine College Board of Trustees, said the faith-based community has been overwhelmingly supportive of Paine. She also stated that the Trustees are committed to providing corrective measures that will stabilize and increase the College’s net assets while implementing strategies that will align the College’s projected revenue with operational expenses.

Reverend Cason told of the historical linkage between Paine College and the Methodist Episcopal Church South which is the forerunner of The United Methodist Church. “The Bishops and clergy of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church came together to form the first interracial board in the country and developed a school of higher learning,” said Reverend Cason. “Fast forward 134 years later. The Bishops, clergy and members of the UMC and the CME church are still standing strong in support of Paine College.”

"It is imperative that the white and black communities continue to work together to maintain the legacy of Paine College," he said. “I believe in Paine College and I believe that we dare not lose the opportunity to provide a quality education for the students who choose to attend our institution."

“The support we have witnessed has been heartwarming,” said President Sullivan. “It is clear that the United Methodist Church family believe as we do that Paine College matters to the community. This gift advances the College on the path of fiscal solvency.”

Attorney Michael Thurmond, Chair-elect of the Trustee Board, reminded the audience that the College appealed the decision made by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to lift Paine’s membership due to non-compliance in three areas. He assured the audience that Paine would maintain its current accreditation during the appeal process. Also, the College will continue to qualify for Title IV and Title III funding while offering federal financial aid to students during the appeal process.

To learn more about the GBHEM and its mission, visit  For more information about Paine College, contact the Office of Communications and Marketing at 706.396.7591 or visit


The United Methodist Church's Division of Higher Education and Ministry will reaffirm its commitment to support Paine College

Posted by painewebmaster | 07/22/2016 04:55 AM

The United Methodist Church's Division of Higher Education and Ministry will reaffirm its commitment to support Paine College during a press conference on Friday, July 22, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., in Candler Memorial Library, 2nd Floor, on the campus of Paine College. The public is invited to attend.   The United Methodist Church leadership of the South Georgia Conference will present a major gift to Paine College on behalf of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. A portion of the donation will be utilized to refurbish the dormitories and/or the student center.   Paine College leadership will provide updates regarding the College's Accreditation Appeal process.


Reverend James Cason, Senior Pastor of Statesboro First United Methodist Church, and member of the Paine College Board of Trustees  

Attorney Michael Thurmond, Board Chair-elect, Paine College Board of Trustees  

Dr. Samuel Sullivan, President, Paine College


WHEN:      Friday, July 22, 2016   at 10:00 a.m. (Doors will open to the public at 9:00 a.m.)

WHERE:      Inside Candler Memorial Library, second floor

Dr. Tantiana Burns Receives Evelyn Berry Teacher of the Year Award for Excellence and Innovation in Classroom Education

Posted by painewebmaster | 07/14/2016 06:00 AM

Dr. Tantiana Burns, Assistant Professor of Biology, received the Evelyn Berry Teacher of the Year Award for excellence in classroom education and having mentored students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). She has devoted much of her time to serving as a faculty mentor in undergraduate research focusing on bioremediation of Benzo-a-pyrene, a known carcinogen using an algal and fungal system at Paine College. Currently, Dr. Burns works with students on a project that analyzes soil samples from select locations in the Central Savannah River Area. She guides students in developing research protocols, gathering records and data, and recording outcomes. Undergraduate STEM research has been proven to motivate students to pursue careers in the STEM workforce and better prepare them for advanced studies.

The Evelyn Berry award was created to recognize faculty who have completed a minimum of three years of service to the College and have the ability to make material important and relevant to current life. .  The Evelyn Berry award comes with a cash gift. Dr. Burns motivates students to stay on the path to successfully completing STEM undergraduate degrees while challenging them to embrace research.    

Since receiving the award during Paine’s Commencement Convocation held in May 2016, many of her students have graduated and are now on the path to pursuing advanced degrees in STEM-related areas.    

Dr. Samuel Sullivan, President of Paine College, said, “Dr. Burns’ dedication to students and her ability to engage them in an interactive stimulating learning environment makes her stand out amongst world-class educators.”

Dr. Burns has been a full-time Biology instructor and mentor for students at Paine College since 2013. In addition to teaching classes and conducting research, she manages fellowships and internships for students who pursue experiences outside of the classroom and renders professional services on several committees at Paine. Furthermore, she serves on the College’s Honors, Scholarships and Awards Committee, selects students for academic scholarships, and coordinates the Annual Honors Day Program. She also serves on the Faculty Courtesies and Presidential Appeals Committees. 

Dr. Burns is the campus coordinator for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program that is designed to increase the quality and quantity of students who successfully complete STEM baccalaureate degrees with a focus on increasing the number of students to academically qualify for graduate school.  

Her colleagues have commented that she is a naturally gifted teacher who is committed to excellence and student success. She spends much of her time during the summer mentoring and guiding high school students in various research areas. One of the summer research projects looked at the effect of Ethanol concentrations in Gasoline. Dr. Burns passes on her passion for curiosity to her students. She encourages them to embark upon the path of exploration and discovery in and out of the classroom. 

She said, “I want my students to develop a burning desire for research and exploration”. “Innovative teaching styles help students to stay motivated and interested in STEM fields. Every day, it is my hope that I have inspired students to aspire and motivated them to rise to levels of excellence. The most valuable amenity that a professor can offer to students is his/her time.” 

Dr. Maya Angelou’s quote, “nothing will work unless you do”, has undergirded Dr. Burns’ work ethics for many years. “I have often communicated to my students that if they want to succeed, they must do the work,” said Dr. Burns. “I am hopeful that they will integrate this concept into their work ethics and ongoing research.” 

Lastly, Dr. Burns stated, “I am honored that my peers have selected me to receive this prestigious award.”  “It is my wish that my students will continue to put in the work that is required to achieve high levels of excellence in advanced STEM-related studies and stay on the path to rewarding professions in the STEM workforce.” 

Dr. Burns earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from South Carolina State University in 2002 and completed her doctoral studies in Toxicology from University of Georgia in 2008. She is the co-author of several scientific publications on toxicology. Her dissertation is titled: Fate of the Mycotoxin Fumonisin B1 during Alkaline Cooking of Cultured and Whole Kernel Corn. 

Dr. Burns is the daughter of Iris and Jeffrey Burns of Augusta, Georgia. 



Story written by By Helene T. Carter.

For more information about STEM programs at Paine College, visit, or contact the Office of Communications and Marketing at 706.396.7591. For additional inquiries regarding Dr. Burns’ research and publications, contact her at 706.495.2338 or email:

The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church Donates $1,000,000 to Paine College

Posted by painewebmaster | 06/29/2016 18:41 PM

Gift Moves College Closer to Fiscal Solvency                               

Augusta, Ga….The Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church clergy, in a show of solidarity, gathered at Paine College on the morning of June 29, 2016 in the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel to rally support for the institution that has served the CSRA/Augusta community and the nation for 134 years. Bishop Kenneth W. Carter, Presiding Prelate for the Sixth Episcopal District, and CME Clergy presented a check in the amount of $1,000,000 to Dr. Samuel Sullivan, President, Board Chair Attorney Barbara E. Bouknight, and to Board Chair-elect Attorney Michael Thurmond. The presentation of the over-sized symbolic check drew a deafening round of applause from Paine faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees and friends. 

Bishop Carter, joined by the CME Clergy and members, said, “Any institution that has stood the test of time such as Paine College will face challenges. But in the challenge is where we find strength, we find resolve, where strong men and women are made stronger. The ties that bind the CME Church to Paine are strong and unbreakable.”

Bishop Carter recounted the historical ties that bound Paine and the CME Church. He told of the founding of Paine College and the roles that were played by CME preacher Lucious Holsey and the leaders of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. “Paine College had the first interracial board and proved to the nation that blacks and whites could work together for a higher cause,” said Bishop Carter who also pointed out that Lucious Holsey later served as pastor for Historic Trinity CME Church in Augusta. 

“The College of Bishops, led by Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick along with CME pastors and laity throughout the nation and the world want it known that we stand with Paine College and we are prayerful and confident that this institution will ride this brief storm and will emerge stronger and better,” pronounced Bishop Carter. “To ensure and sustain Paine’s future, the College of Bishops earmarked this gift of $1 million for the College’s endowment,” he said.

President Sullivan thanked the CME Church leadership and members for supporting the institution and its students. “This act of generosity gives our students one more reason to stay the course at Paine College,” said President Sullivan. “This gift will have a lasting impact on the College’s future and will allow us to further stabilize operations of the College,” said Dr. Sullivan.

“Our offices are flooded with calls from parents and students who want to know the implications and the impact of this donation on the College’s future,” said Charles Singley, Director of Admissions. My colleagues and I are grateful to the CME Church for giving on this level. This demonstrates that people genuinely care about Paine and our students.”

Kornelius Taylor, a junior majoring in Business Administration, commented, “I am sincerely moved by this act of support for my Alma Mater. Many of my classmates and I are looking forward to returning this fall and completing our course requirements toward graduating in May 2017 with a degree that is accredited.”

“The tide is turning,” said Attorney Thurmond who graduated from Paine College. “We are witnessing an increase in giving and support even during these challenging times.

The College surpassed its initial goal of charitable giving of $3.1 million and reached $4,129, 642.00 as of June 27th.  Supporters have fulfilled $1,084,571.00 toward $1,933,395.00 in total pledges. As of June 7th, the College had 757 new donors since the beginning of the fiscal cycle on July 1, 2015. Overall giving is up 55% over last year.

Recently, the Paine College Board of Trustees along with Dr. Sullivan announced that the College would appeal the decision made by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to lift Paine’s membership. Paine will maintain its current accreditation during the appeal process. Also, the College will qualify for Title IV and Title III funding and will be able to offer federal financial aid to students.

“We look forward to presenting new evidence to SACSCOC that we are moving toward fiscal solvency and sustainability,” said Attorney Bouknight who was acknowledged for steering the historic gift to Paine. The CME Church’s gift will increase Paine’s net assets and strengthen the College’s endowment.

“Alumni and friends have made numerous sacrifices in their efforts to support Paine and, by doing so, have demonstrated trust in the College’s ability to manage their investments responsibly,” said Dr. Sullivan. Alumni giving is up 28% and the percentage of friends who give to the College is up 37%. The faith-based community from which Paine College emerged has rallied unwavering support. Giving from religious organizations is up 113%. 

“Now is the time for our constituents to continue its support of Paine College,” urged Dr. Sullivan. We encourage those who have made pledges to fulfill them by contacting the Office of Institutional Advancement at 706.821.8233. 

For more information about Paine College, contact the Office of Communications and Marketing at 706.396.7591 or visit


Story written by Helene T .Carter.



Jerome and Brenda Jones – Generosity Transforming Lives at Paine College

Posted by painewebmaster | 06/23/2016 08:12 AM

“The need to support Paine College is real and the time to give is now,” commented Jerome. “I cannot imagine the Augusta community without Paine College.”

Story by Helene T. Carter

Augusta, Ga…At first glance, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome and Brenda Jones appear to be ordinary hardworking people quietly going about their business living everyday lives.  A closer look will reveal that they are not quite so ordinary. The Joneses have learned the secret to a happy and prosperous life. God is at the foundation of their existence while giving is interwoven throughout the fabric of their lives.  “We believe that God has truly blessed us and through our blessing, we owe it to God to give back,” said Jerome.  The Joneses were able to turn a start-up construction business into a successful venture that has served the Peach state since 1989.  He is especially proud of the 2002 Georgia District 8a Minority Business Person of the Year award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The award exemplified successful minority entrepreneurship. 

Jerome attributes much of the success of J & B Construction Company to his wife who supported his vision to go into business.  He was employed as a construction leader for approximately 16 years and also served in a supervisory position at Plant Vogtle. During that time, he gained valuable experience about project management and construction.

Humility, meshed with generosity, is evident in the spirit of their giving. They don’t seek publicity for their generosity and are often shy about receiving recognition and applause during public events for their philanthropy.

Along with her experience in the classroom, Brenda served as principal of Brookwood Elementary School until she retired in 2012.  She had served over 40 years in the field of education.  Her belief that all students should have access to a quality education combined with his desire to pay it forward produced a healthy spirit for giving to Paine College.

Paying it forward is an ever-present mantra in their household. Jerome has served as a mentor to many contractors, especially those who desired to venture into the business. Although retired from the public school system, Brenda continues to mentor and steer young people on the path of pursuing an education.

“During the early days, I was fortunate to have people around me who shared resources that helped me to succeed,” said Jerome.  Someone introduced me to the U.S. Small Business Administration that played a key role in my education of managing a business.  I feel that it is my duty to impart the knowledge to those who truly desire to venture into entrepreneurship. God opened doors for me and now it is a privilege to open doors for others by giving to an institution that has served the community since 1882.”

Mrs. Juanita Harps, Executive Assistant to the President at Paine College, introduced the Joneses to her employer in 2003.  Serving on the planning committee for the annual Scholarship Masked Ball, Mrs. Harps invited the Joneses to make a one-time gift to the fundraising event.  The Joneses happily made a donation of $3,500.  However, the Joneses’ one-time gift evolved into multiple gifts to the College over the years. They have given over $130,000 of their personal funds and served as ambassadors by facilitating additional gifts from their friends and business partners.

“They are regular people like you and me,” said Juanita who affectionately refers to Brenda as her BFF. “I’ve witnessed Jerome and Brenda go out of their way to help others in need. They have always supported the church, the community, and the family.”  “They work as partners to ensure that they reach downward to give others a hand upward,” said Juanita.  Since the Joneses’ initial gift to the Masked Ball in 2003, the College has recognized them as the top donor or sponsor for the event.

Dr. Samuel Sullivan, President, said, “The Joneses perfectly fit the description of what it means to be philanthropists.”  “They give their time, talent and treasures while taking action for the common good.”

During one of President Sullivan’s public appeals to the community to support the Build it Back Campaign, the Joneses instantly responded with a gift of $15,000.  The ongoing campaign addresses immediate and critical needs of the College.

They are convinced that Paine College will never stop transforming lives.  “A Paine College education is a gift that keeps on giving to the community,” said Jerome. “It gives Brenda and me satisfaction and joy to see students or graduates who may have benefited from the likes of our giving and from the generosity of many others.” 

“The need to support Paine College is real and the time to give is now,” commented Jerome. “I cannot imagine the Augusta community without Paine College.”

Residents of Harlem, Georgia, they worship at Second Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Harlem. The couple serves on community and civic boards as well as other committees.

The Joneses are the parents of two daughters (Tamara and Valerie).  They have four grandchildren.


For more information about Paine College, contact the Office of Communications and Marketing at 706.396.7591, or via email: For ways to make a donation to the College, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement located in Haygood-Holsey Hall, Room 115, 1235 Fifteenth Street, Augusta, Georgia 30901, or call Ms. Sunya L. Young at 706.821.8233.