| 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.
| 10/17/2016 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.
| 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.
| 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 https://www.tfaforms.com/438402.
| 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 www.paine.edu.
For more information about Paine College, contact the Office of Communications and Marketing at 706.821.8233, or email: Tjwilliams@paine.edu.
| 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 http://bit.ly/2a5U45P.
| 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 www.paine.edu, 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: Tburns@paine.edu.