| 02/15/2017 16:45 PM
Ryan Hardin, a Lina McCord Scholar and Ambassador, is in his second semester at Paine College. He was born in Mobile, Alabama. At a young age, the family relocated and he was reared with one sibling in Houston, Texas. His story is not the typical collegiate experience. Ryan enrolled in college during the Fall semester of 2010 in Texas, but a distracted mindset and lack of structure, would eventually make him question if he was disciplined enough to continue down the path paved with degrees.
“I was always known as the smart kid my entire life and never felt challenged. My work ethic of not studying, but still managing to obtain a passing grade, was no longer a reality so I decided to take a break from college. Honestly, I never thought I would be on a college campus again or afforded the opportunities that Paine College has given to me as a student and ambassador,” said Hardin.
During the time he was taking a break from college, he vividly recalls working dead-end jobs and not being productive in his life, when his grandmother’s friend mentioned that he should research Paine College and consider enrolling to continue his education. He acted on her advisement, and thus began his Paine College experience. Ryan attributes his refocused mindset and a Mass Communications Degree that is within his reach, to the institution he states, “matured him to get back on a path of success.”
Ryan has a 3.66 GPA and is on course to graduate in 2018. He is currently an intern for FLI (Future Leaders Inspired), a non-for-profit organization. He is also a representative for Kids with a Future and a baritone in the Paine Choir. He believes there is always work to be done and that is why he keeps himself engaged with positive activities. This upcoming Summer in 2017, Ryan will travel to South Africa and is excited about the opportunity to learn the culture, taste the food and for the privilege granted to him to travel abroad.
When asked about his Paine College experience, Ryan had the following words to share: “I have met the most interesting peers, staff and professors here at PC. This is the first place I’ve resided where everyone knows your name. The professors actually care and want you to attain your degree, the students have a commonality for academic excellence and the staff are always willing to go above and beyond to ensure you succeed. This institution values me as a person and has never treated me as a number.”
Ryan has many supporters but his biggest cheerleaders are his mother, Terri Stapleton, whom he lovingly confirms as the real “MVP,” and his grandmother, Carol Hall, who repeatedly told him to affirm, “excellence is a choice; excellence is great; I will be excellent in everything I do.” And even though he secretly wanted to be a Disney Kid for the fame and money when he was younger and has a difficult time convincing others that he is from Texas, the future of Ryan Hardin looks productive and prosperous, thanks to Paine College and its ability to mold its students with education, encouragement and a valuable college experience.
In Other Words, by Stone
| 02/3/2017 02:54 AM
Secret Wagner, Miss UNCF-Paine College 2016-2017, is a Senior and Chemistry Major and is the first in her family to attend college. She was born and reared in Baltimore, Maryland along with her fraternal twin brother and one more sibling. After a brief hiatus upon graduating from high school, she researched Paine College and with the assistance of the admissions staff that she declares as family, decided to enroll during the Spring semester of 2014. She is gratefully walking the halls, absorbing history, information and knowledge from the institution where many have trod during their path to success.
“To be a college student is a blessing. I am a full-time student that also works part-time. I am fully involved with campus activities and engaged in academic opportunities. This is my family. The professors and staff at Paine want to see me succeed as much as I want to succeed. They constantly motivate me to push beyond obstacles and self-doubt. It is important to me that I not only graduate, but that I remain engaged with this institution to help those that will come after me,” said Wagner.
Secret is a member of Zeta Eta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is also active in the Commuter Student Association, MAPS (Medical Association for Pre-Professional Students), Wesley Fellowship and participates in all PAC (Pre-Alumni Council) affairs. She strives to be a dedicated student and to set a positive example for her peers.
She is very proud to be representing Paine College at the UNCF NAC/PAC Leadership Conference that is in session from February 2-5 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. The climax of the leadership conference is the crowning of Miss National UNCF that will take place Saturday evening, February 4. The event is open and free to the public.
Wearing the Miss UNCF Paine College crown and being awarded the title is a humbling experience. She appreciates the monumental support from the Paine College alumni, faculty and students to ensure this honor bestowed upon her, is upheld in the tradition of excellence.
When asked to describe her PC experience, Wagner had the following to say: “I believe that receiving your education, forging connections, enhancing social skills and obtaining your degree makes your college experience whole. It is critical that we learn, but also apply and share knowledge to ensure the success of Paine College. This is my home and I encourage Alumni to stay engaged and connected to the school and the students to continue the traditions of the Paine College family. The passion and commitment that I express for this institution, originates from the opportunities, values and foundation it consistently gives to me.
What God has for me, is for me and Paine College was for me.” Secret reveals that she is shy, has a love for the Disney movie “Frozen” and when she was younger, she was in a group called “Cupids Arrow” dreaming to be a singing sensation. She also mentions that the love and support of her entire family helps her to keep moving forward despite many setbacks encountered while pursuing her ultimate goal of becoming a Medical Research Scientist. Wagner is determined to achieve that vision with the sacrifice, sessions and skills that are being indoctrinated daily at Paine College, the institution that empowers students to succeed.
| 01/23/2017 07:23 AM
Paine College in conjunction with the New Bethlehem Community Center, Inc. (NBCC) announced Global Activist for HIV/AIDS, Masonia Traylor, as the guest speaker for PC-IDEAL Wednesday Chapel Program on Wednesday, February 1, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. in the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel.
Masonia, at the tender age of 23, was diagnosed HIV positive and two weeks later found out that she was pregnant. Since her diagnosis, she has passionately dedicated herself as a Global Activist for HIV/AIDS through her nonprofit organization Lady BurgAndy. She has reached over 60,000 young people empowering and educating them on HIV/AIDS and aspires to reach another 60,000 during the 2016-2017 school year.
Traylor has served as a youth representative for numerous AIDS Servicing Organizations and groups including the Georgia Community HIV Prevention Planning Group, The Red Pump Project, Absolute Care, The Atlanta Area Outreach Initiative, Ryan White Planning Council, Empowerment Resource Center, Center for Black Women's Wellness, Georgia Equality’s Youth HIV Policy Advisors, Sister Love Inc., Black Women’s Health Imperative, AID Atlanta, The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists - FIMR/HIV, Georgia Department of Public Health, Fulton/Dekalb County Health Departments, Centers for Disease Control. Traylor takes pride in currently serving as an Ambassador for Kaiser Family Foundation’s “Greater Than AIDS - Empowerment & We Are Family” and CDC’s Act Against AIDS “Stop HIV Together” campaigns. She has also made recent appearances on Kiss 104.1FM, Jazz 91.9FM, Majic 107.5FM, Praise 102.5 FM, Hot 107.9FM, BET, UPN, and Fox 5 Channel.
Ms. Traylor has worked as a Pharmacy Technician for more than ten years and is a distinguished alumnus of the Andrew Young School of Public Policy Studies at Georgia State University where her concentration was Public Policy and Nonprofit Leadership.
PC-IDEAL provides education and services designed to reduce the incidences of drug addiction, HIV and HCV infections among 18-24-year-olds on campus and the surrounding community through a 3-year grant award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). For more information about PC-IDEAL, please contact the Office of Communications & Marketing at 706.396.7591 or via email: email@example.com.
| 01/19/2017 17:44 PM
By Helene T. Carter
As we bear witness to the Presidential Inauguration, we also take note of our elected officials who were chosen to serve and protect the people’s interests on local and state levels. The New Year ushered in a crop of elected officials who share a common bond -- they are graduates of Paine College who serve in political offices throughout Georgia and the nation.
Attorney Michael L. Thurmond, a 1975 Paine alumnus, earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of South Carolina’s School of Law and completed the Political Executives program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. On January 13, 2017, he took an oath to restore trust, transparency and vowed to eliminate corruption as the newly elected Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County, Georgia.
“I owe my success to Paine College,” said Thurmond when asked how he arrived at such a highly-elected state office in a predominantly red state. Thurmond, a Democrat, won a convincing victory against his Republican opponent. This servant leader is no stranger to Georgia politics and its people. As a former DeKalb County Schools Superintendent, he upgraded the district’s accreditation status, eliminated a multi-million dollar deficit and improved student academic performance and graduation rates. The newly elected CEO will be in charge of more than 6,000 government employees and a $1.38 billion annual budget. Thurmond, also known as The Fixer and the Master Builder of Relationships, has the ability to connect people and forge alliances deemed non-existent.
Reflecting on his Paine College experience, he said, “My professors taught me that there is more that unites us than divides us. At Paine, everybody knew each other. Paine was a small tight-knit community. It was typical for caring staff and alumni to guide and mentor students. They went beyond the call of duty to ensure that students excelled. Paine College continues to offer a big education in a small and caring environment.
As a son of a Clarke County, Georgia sharecropper, I learned invaluable lessons at Paine that I have carried with me throughout my life’s work. I am a better servant leader because of my Paine College experience.” Thurmond is a staunch advocate for his Alma Mater. He even took a break from the 2016 campaign trail to steer the College through a rough patch. The Paine College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint Thurmond as Board Chair-Elect.
Attorney Barbara E. Bouknight, Chairman of the Board has recognized Thurmond as a dedicated Paine College alumnus who worked tirelessly to ensure that the institution survives and thrives. He is the face of the "Be 1 of 1000" Campaign that continues to garner donations for the College’s Annual Fund Campaign.
When asked what he wanted most for his Alma Mater, he replied, “I want people to support Paine College. I want alumni to donate their time and resources to an institution that has helped to shape numerous lives. I would like the Augusta Community and the state of Georgia to give gifts that will make a difference, the kinds of donations that will help to enhance the living and learning environment for students. Lend support to the College academic programs and increase offerings to students who otherwise would not have a chance to attend college. Investing in Paine College will always prove to be a sound investment and it’s one that will yield high dividends for the future.”
Thurmond has made an indelible mark in the Peach State. In 1986, he became the first African-American elected to the Georgia General Assembly from Clarke County since Reconstruction. During his tenure, he authored major legislation that has provided more than $250 million in tax relief to senior citizens and working families. Following his legislative service, Thurmond was called upon to lead the state Division of Family and Children's Services and direct Georgia's historic transition from welfare to work. He created the innovative Work First program, which helped over 90,000 welfare-dependent Georgia families move from dependence into the workforce.
In 1997, Thurmond became a distinguished lecturer at the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government. The following year in November, he was elected Georgia Labor Commissioner, becoming the first non-incumbent African American to be elected to statewide office in Georgia. During his three terms as commissioner, the Georgia Labor Department underwent a major transformation and his Georgia Works program earned national praise and bi-partisan support.
Thurmond’s latest book, Freedom: Georgia’s Antislavery Heritage, 1733-1865, was awarded the Georgia Historical Society’s Lilla Hawes Ward. In 2004, The Georgia Center for the Book listed Freedom as one of The 25 Books All Georgian’s Should Read. He serves on the University of Georgia Libraries Board of Visitors. He is married to Zola Fletcher Thurmond, and they have one daughter, Mikaya.
| 01/13/2017 14:57 PM
Augusta, GA – Sadly, Dr. Samuel Sullivan, President, and the Paine College Community, announce the passing of Reverend Lucius H. Pitts, Jr., past-member of the Paine College Board of Trustees. “It is with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to our beloved son, Reverend Lucius H. Pitts, Jr. who served with distinction on the Paine College Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Sullivan. “Throughout his tenure on the Board, he served with great passion and love for his Alma Mater.”
The “Celebration of Life” service is scheduled for 1:00 p.m., Saturday, January 14, 2016, at Phillips Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church located at 1310 Holsey Street, Phenix, Alabama 36867. Reverend Gregory Scott, pastor, and Elder James Smith will officiate the service. Interment will follow in Evergreen Memorial Park, Columbus, Georgia.
Reverend Pitts was born January 18, 1949 in Cordele, Georgia to the late Dr. Lucius H. Pitts, Sr. and the late Daffeneeze Bates Pitts. He received his primary education in Fairfield, Alabama; attended Miles College, Birmingham, Alabama; and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Paine College. He attended Phillips School of Theology, the seminary of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church located in Atlanta, Georgia.
Reverend Pitts served as Presiding Elder and Pastor in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. His most recent appointment as pastor was at St. Luke C.M.E. Church in Auburn, Alabama.
Reverend Pitts and his father, Dr. Lucius Pitts, Sr. shared a common bond – they both graduated from Paine College and shared a deep love for their Alma Mater. They were both employed at Paine College: Reverend Pitts served as Director of Admissions in 1988 under Dr. Julius S. Scott’s Administration. His father, Dr. Pitts, Sr., was appointed 9th President of Paine College and became the first African American to lead the Institution.
“As we approach the College’s 135th Founders’ Day and Homecoming Celebration, we will miss his towering presence on the campus. He was always inspiring and had words of reassurance throughout my presidency at Paine.”
He is survived by a brother, John Pitts, and a host of relatives and friends.
Condolences may be sent to the Pitts Family c/o Mr. John Pitts at 3011 18th Avenue, Apartment F, Columbus, GA 31901. For additional information, please contact Taylor Funeral Home at (334) 298.0364.
| 10/21/2016 07:11 AM
(Augusta, GA) – The coronation of Mr. and Miss Paine College 2016-2017 was held in the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel on the campus of Paine College. Mr. Joshua Dunbar and Miss Sarah Avera will take their places as student ambassadors for the academic school year.
About Miss Sarah Avera
Miss Sarah Avera is a native of Augusta, Georgia. She is majoring in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. Avera is a part of the Student Government Association Executive Committee. She is also a peer mentor and community activist. She tutors and mentors at the local high schools, and participates and assists with The Eagle Sisters Program at T.W. Josey High School. Miss Paine is a proud member of Antioch Baptist Church and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, The ELITE Eta Theta Chapter. As Ms. Paine College, her platform is ” Reconstructing The Gateway to the World.” After graduation, Avera would like to open a facility in the inner city of Augusta, Ga where local students would receive tutoring, hot meals, and counseling. She would also like to become a special events coordinator for a Fortune 500 company or a major league sports team.
About Mr. Joshua Dunbar
Mr. Joshua Dunbar is from Tallahassee, Florida. He is a Business Management Major. Dunbar is a member of Greater Cleaves Memorial CME Church in Oklahoma. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and the Collegiate 100. He is currently a peer mentor and tutor. After graduation, Dubar would like to own and operate a barbershop and restaurant in addition to launching* a clothing line. His ultimate goal is to become a philanthropist.
For more information on Paine College, please visit: http://www.paine.edu/ or contact the Office of Communications & Marketing at (706) 396-7591 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
| 10/17/2016 03:55 AM
AUGUSTA, GA – On Monday, October 17, Paine College will welcome the DNC “Forward Together” Tour bus at 2 pm as it continues to cross the country working to mobilize women, students, millennial voters, and minorities encouraging them to register and vote early.
The “Forward Together” tour movement which features two buses kicked off earlier this month embarking on a 20 state tour. One bus traveled around Midwest states headed to the West Coast and the second bus started in Ohio and will eventually end up in Florida.
In each city, the tour features speeches from Democratic leaders. During the stop at Paine, Georgia Representatives Gloria Frazier and Henry "Wayne" Howard, former Congressman John Barrow, along with Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis are scheduled to speak.
In addition to urging students to vote early and get actively involved in this year’s election, representatives will discuss issues like increasing wages, student debt, reforming the criminal justice system, and climate change.
The tour bus will park at the HEAL Complex. All University students and area residents are invited to attend. The event will conclude with a meet-and-greet and an opportunity to take photos with the speakers and officials.
| 10/11/2016 11:02 AM
Paine College is pleased to announce that student Valerie Hollimon was selected by the American Chemical Society (ACS) as one of its 2016 scholars. The ACS Scholars Program awards scholarships of up to $5,000 to underrepresented minority students who want to enter the fields of chemistry or chemistry-related fields. The ACS Scholars Program was created in 1994 by the National Science Foundation.
Hollimon, a Sophomore Chemistry major and Biology minor, is one of 144 ACS scholars nationwide selected this year. She is one of the eight students from Georgia and only student selected from the Augusta area. “I was ecstatic when I heard that I received the scholarship,” said Hollimon, “It was one of the best moments of my life.”
Her love for Chemistry began in high school. It was then that she decided to major in Chemistry in College. “There are numerous opportunities in the STEM field” said Hollimon, “Math plays a huge part in our everyday lives. There is a large amount of research that goes into helping improve the way we live.”
As member of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, or MAPS which represents underrepresented minorities in the medical field, Hollimon said that these types of programs allow more people to know about what happens in STEM and she hopes that more students will be inspired to explore Chemistry and Biology.
Dr. Xiaoning Zhang, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, mentors Hollimon. “I am very glad to serve as a mentor for Ms. Hollimon,” said Dr. Zhang, “The high quality education of Paine College not only prepared Ms. Hollimon to win those honors but also provide the skills and experience that help her to pursue college majors in the chemical sciences and, following graduation from college, to pursue career paths in the chemical sciences.”
In addition to this award, Hollimon has been also selected to receive a Student Travel Award for the 2016 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) being held in Tampa, FL where she will present her research with a title of “Reversible Approach for Silicon Surface Modification”.
Hollimon offers this advice for fellow students, “Continue to do everything you would like to do in life because nothing is really impossible if you believe in yourself.”
For more information about the ACS Scholars program, visit www.acs.org. For more information about the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students program, visit www.abrcms.org.
| 09/20/2016 11:57 AM
The press release below was issued by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) today, September 20, 2016.
AUGUSTA, GA, SEPTEMBER 20, 2016 -- On September 19, 2016, the leadership of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) agreed to a Consent Order Granting Preliminary Injunction that reinstated the accreditation of Paine College, located in Augusta, Georgia, with SACSCOC. Paine College is continued as a member on Probation pending further Order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. SACSCOC revokes all prior notifications regarding Paine College's September 12, 2016, removal of accreditation.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional accrediting body for degree-granting institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and some institutions in Latin America. The SACSCOC Board of Trustees is the 77-member representative body of approximately 800-member institutions and its College Delegate Assembly and is charged with carrying out the accreditation process. To gain or maintain accreditation, an institution must comply with SACSCOC's policies and with all standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation.
| 09/20/2016 11:09 AM
By Jeffrey Lanier Jones
The Paine College Department of Humanities will celebrate the 19th Anniversary of the Evelyn G. Etheridge Conference on the Harlem Renaissance on November 2 – 4, 2016 at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia. The Conference, founded in 1997 by Dr. Lola Richardson, former chair of the Department and Paine Alumna, will examine the national and international impact of one of the most important artistic and cultural movements in history that spanned from 1919 to 1940 and produced notable writers, critics, and artists such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Aaron Douglas, Ann Petry, Bessie Smith, and Duke Ellington. This year’s theme, “Precursors, Periods, and Postscripts: Critical Thought, Beliefs, Productions, and Activism Before, During, and After the Harlem Renaissance” invites professors, undergraduate and graduate students, and independent scholars to present research that will examine the origins and the legacy of the Renaissance through interdisciplinary collaborations. Special guest presenters include Dr. Christopher Varlack of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Doris Wellington, independent scholar and author, Atlanta, Georgia. The Conference keynote speaker is Dr. Daniel Black of Clark Atlanta University, renowned scholar and author of They Tell Me of a Home, The Sacred Place, The Coming, and his latest novel, Listen to the Lambs.
This year’s Conference will also highlight and honor the artistic contributions and legacy of Paine College Alumnus and Bestselling Author, Frank Garvin Yerby of the Class of 1937 on the centennial of his birth. Yerby was an acclaimed author who wrote over 30 novels and numerous short stories and poems including the 1946 publication of his first novel, The Foxes of Harrow, which garnered him international acclaim. He enjoyed considerable success during his lifetime and was the most prolific and commercially successful author of his time. After his death in Madrid, Spain in 1991, Yerby’s influence upon American literature continues to be analyzed and treasured. In sum, this conference will feature scholars on Yerby such as Dr. Maryemma Graham of the University of Kansas, Dr. Veronica Watson from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Dr. John Lowe, University of Georgia, Stephanie Brown of The Ohio State University at Newark, and Ms. Jameelah Jones of the University of Kansas who will assess his significance to American letters. Special events will include a visual arts exhibition and book fair, author book signing, and a community festival that will highlight various student and community groups and gives thanks to the Augusta community for its support of Paine College.
For more information on the Conference and the Yerby Centennial, please contact Prof. Nancy Wellington Bookhart at 706.294.1369 or by email at NBookhart@paine.edu.