| 12/23/2014 06:22 AM
Choir is first step in reviving artistic programs
By Lisa Kaylor Augusta Chronicle Staff Writer
Dr. R. Wayne Woodson, Paine College's director of music, leads the choir he re-established at the liberal arts college in Augusta.
He joined the faculty at the liberal arts college last fall, and was tasked with re-establishing the program and bringing back culture and arts to Paine. The music program, which once had been robust, had faded over the past decade. A music major is no longer offered, and the school’s collection of music had all but vanished. “When I was in (undergraduate school), Paine had a huge music program,” Woodson said. “It actually had one of the best programs in the state. “The choir had 80-something people in it. We had a full faculty. We offered several degrees in music. In its heyday, it was a very substantial program.”Today, he and a part-time music appreciation teacher are the entire faculty and the choir is half its former size. But things are changing.
“That first year we grew to 31 students. Now we’re at 43,” Woodson said. The challenge is one of the things that brought Woodson to Paine. Originally from Detroit, he studied music at Morehouse College in Atlanta, intending to pursue a degree in entertainment law. Instead, he worked in administration for the Atlanta Symphony. He also worked with the New England Conservatory, the Florida Orchestra and went back to Atlanta, where he founded the Voices of Atlanta and the Heritage Music Festival, which he has now brought to Paine College. Woodson hopes to restore the program to its original glory, with a full chorus, orchestra, faculty and several programs of study. He is beginning by re-establishing the choir.
Choirs serve a number of functions for historically black colleges, Woodson said, and can be both a fundraiser and recruiter for their schools. Because Paine’s administration is in a transitional stage, both are important right now. “We continue to recruit and we attempt to bring in as much funding as we can,” he said. To build the program Woodson envisions takes money, and he said he has found fundraising a big part of his job. He needs to rebuild the music library so the choir will have a variety of music to perform. But music alone can cost Woodson $10,000 a year. “I have to buy a score for every piece for every singer,” he said. “The average person is about $60 apiece. The most recent music order for this fall was over $4,000.” Last year, through bake sales, barbecues, donation requests and other fundraising efforts, the choir raised about $20,000. This year, they will need twice that amount to not only purchase music, but to pay travel expenses to perform at other venues.
Another challenge has been re-establishing student trust in the program, diminished because the program has not had a steady director in five years. The students who are in the program are in it because they are dedicated to singing, he said, but it’s difficult for many of them because they carry full course loads and either work or raise families. “But we have some amazingly dedicated students here,” Woodson said. “We’ve had students that have suffered deaths in their families in the past few months. They just rally together and help each other out. Sometimes it’s an uphill battle, but it’s always worth it.” One thing that is most important to Woodson is exposing his students to ideas and experiences that they wouldn’t have except through music.
For example, many of his students have never sung in a foreign language. But once they performed Ave Maria, it became a favorite. He also uses their talents and interests to perform tasks for the choir. For instance, a public relations major is handling marketing for the choir, and a history major is putting together a history of the music program. “I’m not grooming people to have music careers, but I am grooming them to be leaders when they leave here,” Woodson said.
Repost via The Augusta Chronicle from, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. See orginal article here: http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/education/2014-11-12/paine-college-rebuilding-music-program
| 10/14/2014 09:34 AM
Dr. Samuel Sullivan, Acting President of Paine College, announced the appointment of Reginald L. Powell as Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement. Mr. Powell, a native of Petersburg, Virginia, relocated to Fort Gordon, Georgia in 2000. He retired from active duty military in 2006, after serving honorably for 23 years. Mr. Powell joined the Paine College staff in 2006 as the Director of Development Research and Gifts and in 2012 assumed the position of Director of Institutional Advancement.
During his tenure, Mr. Powell prepared donor reports and campaign reports for the College. He was the primary donor prospect researcher and helped to identify resources for campaign managers and fundraisers. He served as the Development Module manager and trained development staff on data management systems. All gift receipting and donor acknowledgments were managed by Mr. Powell.
In his new role, Mr. Powell has the primary responsibility of assisting the President in administering, planning and supervising the College’s fundraising campaigns. He is responsible for managing the office directors within Institutional Advancement and managing the scholarships gifts and endowment stewardship.
Mr. Powell is a member of First Metropolitan Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia, where he serves as a Deacon, Treasurer, and member of the Board of Trustees. He is married to Toni J. Powell and they are the proud parents of two children.
| 10/1/2014 03:29 AM
Philosophy Born of Struggle XXI 2014
Forging Concepts through Struggle:
The New Slave—Racism, Empire, and Sexual Violence.
Paine College, Augusta, Georgia, October 31-November
Keynote: Amina Baraka (wife of the late Amiri Baraka)
PBS: Forging Concepts through Struggle: The New Slave
The thought of Blacks as NEW SLAVES has led recent scholars to reformulate questions of race, class, and gender into more complex notions of empire, neo-liberalism, and sexual violence. This reformulation has drawn on and reshaped resources from a variety of sources. Africana philosophy, Latin American philosophy, (post) structuralism/(post) colonialism, psychoanalysis, and anti-colonial thought have loomed large, as have the works of literary, visual, and performing artists.
The 2014 meeting of Philosophy Born of Struggle takes up these questions and resources. Hosted this year at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, Philosophy Born of Struggle will hear papers and panel discussion looking to explore the complex obstacles towards freedom, or more accurately stated, how the conditions, values, and institutions we have made synonymous to “being free,” have in fact concealed and consolidated the long afterlife of slavery.
For more information contact Dr. Anthony Sean Neal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit: http://pbos.com/.
| 09/23/2014 05:48 AM
Today, Acting President Dr. Samuel Sullivan announced Dr. Cheryl Evans Jones will serve as the Acting Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs effective September 22, 2014. Dr. Evans Jones has been a member of the Paine College community for over 20 years.
Dr. Evans Jones joined Paine College in January 1993 as a full-time Assistant Professor of Psychology. In 1999, she was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor and earned Tenure status in 2001. From January 2009 through July 2013, she served as the College’s Title III Coordinator. During her tenure at Paine College, Dr. Evans Jones has also held the positions of Coordinator of the Department of Psychology, Interim Chair of the Division of Social Sciences, and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. She also served as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs from July 2007 – December 2007.
Dr. Evans Jones has held the position of Executive Assistant to the President of Paine College since January 2009. In this capacity she currently serves as Director of Planning and Evaluation and Liaison to the Board of Trustees. Dr. Evans Jones is also the College’s Accreditation Liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Dr. Evans Jones was twice recipient of the “Evelyn Berry Teacher of the Year” Award (in 2002 and 1998). She was also the recipient of the Vulcan Materials Company “Teaching Excellence Award-2001” presented by Vulcan Materials Company and the Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges, Inc. “in recognition of outstanding contributions to undergraduate education, student learning, and campus life”.
Dr. Evans Jones received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee). She received the Master of Arts and Doctorate of Philosophy degrees in Clinical-Child/Developmental Psychology from The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio).
| 09/12/2014 04:03 AM
Salutatorian Alberto Argumedo graduated from Paine with the second highest GPA in his class. A math major, Argumedo hopes to become a mechanical engineer. He credits the college with “enhancing my motivation, critical thinking and analytical skills that today’s world leaders possess,” he said. He expects to use the skills when seeking a job.
As a Lina McCord ambassador for the Black College Fund, Argumedo has told several annual conferences “my experience at a United Methodist school is truly a blessing for me because it connects the religious area to the academic life that young people all across the country are experiencing today.”
| 09/12/2014 03:57 AM
Photo Caption: Tiffney Sullivan ’15, Senior
Major: Media Studies with an emphasis in Public Relations
Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina
Former Miss UNCF
ADP Research Assistant
Tom Joyner Foundation Scholarship Recipient
Similar to an incandescent caterpillar, my journey at Paine allowed me to simultaneously sprout into a butterfly. When I first arrived as a bright-eyed freshman, I immediately felt the love and warmth of this institution, and I knew this was the school for me. My journey at Paine would be the start of something unfathomably great in my life, and in my first year of classes I became submerged in student activities and equally acquainted with academic rigor. I am a natural born leader, but Paine helped me to become a leader with a purpose that’s driven by the force of turning possibilities into a reality.
During my sophomore year, my life came to a screeching halt when my mother was involved in a serious accident that nearly cost her life and the simple world that I once knew became instantaneously complicated in a blink of an eye. The college dream that I once dreamed of living was shattered, because I had to leave school to run my household and take care of my mother in her absence. I must admit, I was discouraged and often questioned whether returning to school would be an option for me. Luckily, on my brief hiatus I received an opportunity to work for a nonprofit organization as an intern through the United States Department of Agriculture where I learned about operating small businesses.
My faith would not let me give up, and I re-entered the following fall at Paine. This time, I was on my own and the luxury of having my parents to fall back on financially was not an option. I was determined to live out my dream of receiving my degree, so I picked up two jobs and a full time academic schedule. There were people around me (faculty and staff) who made sure that I would stay the course. There were administrators and staff in the Office of Institutional Advancement that opened doors for me and made it possible for me to financially continue my education.
I took a work-study position at Paine and immersed myself in Public Relations training in the Office of Communications and Marketing. I volunteered in several campus organizations and had the great opportunity of becoming Miss UNCF and also secured a prestigious ADP Internship. Being in the Media Studies department inspired me to create entrepreneurial ventures including an online series through YouTube as well as a style and beauty blog named “The Beauty Beholder”.
This journey has not been easy, but my family eventually became restored and all of the pieces to the puzzle made a beautiful picture. Many mentors have helped me to become who I am today, and I could have been anywhere, but I’m here at Paine College pursuing my dreams. May 2015 will mark the end of a chapter that was incredibly necessary to create the woman that is standing and thriving today.
| 09/8/2014 09:30 AM
Mrs. Alice M. Simpkins has a heart for Paine College. Her service has lasted a span of forty-two years at her alma mater. She started in 1972 as a professional tutor, and advanced to Director of Institutional Research, a position she has held since 1987. She also was elected to serve as the Forum Chair for the Association for Institutional Research (AIR). Her motivation was simply to give back to the institution that had done so much for her as an undergraduate student. “I returned to work for two years, and here I am 42 years later,” said Mrs. Simpkins.
She has had the privilege of seeing a student body change and evolve over time, and the standard she expects of the students has always been extremely high. Ms. Simpkins says students should come to college remembering that it is a privilege, an honor, and should be grateful for the opportunity to be a student. This should be shown from a student’s attire during assemblies, to respect for the authoritative figures of the college.
Serving as the on-campus advisor for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated and PanHellenic Council (NPAC), she has constantly been a resource for students to depend upon, even surprising her students with a van she purchased for transportation to underwriting the costs for them to attend a regional conference one year. “I must have parked that van in several different places, and even moved it part of the time during the day, so they wouldn’t see it ahead of time. So of course you know they were surprised when I picked them for the trip. They said “Oh, you rented a blue van?” and I said “No, this is ours!” So they were excited about that, and I was happy to do that for them, because I love my sorority and my students.”
Recently retiring as of June 30, 2014, she plans to enjoy her time by traveling, engaging in fun projects at her home which she shares with Dr. Roosevelt Simpkins, and “just going with the flow.” Mrs. Simpkins will also be enjoying her time spent with her three grandchildren. Speaking on her strong family ties to Paine, she said, “When my family gets together, we could almost have an alumni meeting. I married a Paineite, my sister and brother attended Paine, and my sister married a Paineite. My son says that he grew up at Paine.”
Mrs. Simpkins’ favorite quote is “Please be patient with me, God is not through with me yet.” She wants her colleagues to remember her as someone who “worked hard and provided them with the most accurate and timely information possible.” Her words of wisdom for Paine students is “Work hard, and you will be successful…but you do have to work hard.”
We salute you Mrs. Simpkins for 42 years of service to the Paine College Community. You have made a stamp in our evolvement as an institution, and forever in our hearts.
| 08/26/2014 11:16 AM
Tickets are on sale for the Ann N. Johnson UNCF Jazz Festival scheduled for September 14th at 6:00 p.m. The annual event will take place at the Jessye Norman Amphitheater located downtown Augusta, Georgia.
This year, the Festival will feature Sounds Unlimited, Mike Frost Band, and TuTu D'Vyne featuring Quiet Storm. We are pleased that Wondaland Arts Society national recording artist Roman GianArthur will perform during the festival. Of note, GianArthur and R&B songwriter-recording artist Janelle Monaé are label mates.
This is the second year of the Ann N. Johnson UNCF Jazz Festival benefiting the Augusta United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Campaign. The UNCF is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. For over 69 years, UNCF has provided billions of dollars in scholarships for students with financial challenges. The Jazz Festival, named after arts supporter, philanthropist and Paine College Alumna, Ann N. Johnson, raised $38,000 during the inaugural jazz festival in 2013.
Tickets for general admission will cost $25.00. Tickets for children under 17 years of age and student tickets are $10.00 (current student ID must be presented at purchase). Purchase tickets in the office of Institutional Advancement located in Haygood-Holsey Hall, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, contact Leadra Collins at 706.821.8322, or via email: Lcollins@paine.edu.
“A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.” All proceeds will benefit the Augusta UNCF Campaign.
| 08/6/2014 10:15 AM
I bet you didn’t know that Disney World and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) have something in common? Well, believe it or not, they do. Just like Disney World, the UNCF makes dreams come true. Believe me, the UNCF made mine come true.
During the UNCF’s 70 years of existence, the organization has provided over $4 billion in scholarships to help more than 400,000 students realize their dreams by earning degrees across the country. My dream came true in 2003. As a product of a single parent home, I remember the day my mother and I discussed my matriculation at Fisk University. Before the government implemented cuts to Parent Plus Loans, she said, “I’ll do whatever I can to get you there, but I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to do after that”. So I enrolled in Fisk University, and I worked hard to stay there. UNCF was that vessel, serving the educational needs of students like me who would not have had an opportunity to get the education they needed.
Historically, since 1882, Paine College has played a very unique role in the nation’s educational environment by preparing generations of educators, doctors, lawyers, scientists, community leaders, and other professionals who have made significant contributions in the country’s workforce. Based on testimony rendered during a U.S. Senate hearing by UNCF President and CEO, Dr. Michael L. Lomax, “HBCU’s are a “best buy” for students and the nation”. This is why it is important for us to continue to support UNCF because it continues to supports us.
Just like other majority institutions, Paine College has faced fiscal challenges which are in part due to recent reductions in federal funding. Paine College and other HBCU’s across the nation have experienced reductions of more than $250 million in Parent Plus Loans, Pell Grants, and other sources of critical federal funding. Paine College students rely upon Pell Grants and Parent Plus Loans like thousands of students throughout the country. These drastic cuts have resulted in major financial crises for many of our institutions. Even in the midst of the nation’s economic woes, UNCF has worked diligently to support educational resources and scholarships for its member institutions. UNCF gives approximately $100 million in scholarships annually to over 12,000 students. This demonstrates just why UNCF is significant to HBCU’s like Paine College. The UNCF, just like Paine College, helps to even the playing ground and offers access to a quality education to deserving students.
In the last few years and as the economy weakened, Paine College, like many colleges and universities, has witnessed an exodus of students due to the lack of resources. I found myself in that same predicament during my tenure at Fisk University, but I was awarded an UNCF scholarship that changed my life and helped to charter a successful course towards earning my bachelor’s degree. Had it not been for the support I received from UNCF, I would not be able to proudly say that I am a college graduate. UNCF answered my call for help then, and in 2009, it answered the call for help from others by establishing the Campaign for Emergency Student Aid which has raised over $20 million to pay outstanding tuition fees so that students could remain in school and graduate.
Because of UNCF, today I am proud to say that I am Director of Development for Paine College and the Coordinator for the Augusta UNCF Campaign. For 132 years, Paine College has been the “gateway to the world” where students can “get anywhere from here”. It is my hope that Paine will remain in the community for another 132 years with the continued support of UNCF and people who believe as I do that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in”.
| 07/24/2014 09:54 AM
The Peach State Commanders of the Rite (PSCOR), under the Georgia Council of Deliberation of which the Honorable S.G.I.G. Primis T. James serves as Deputy of the Orient of Georgia, presented a donation of $1000.00 to the Augusta UNCF Campaign. The organization has been active in Georgia for approximately 40 years.
According to local COR of Augusta President, G.I.G. Kirby L. Turner, “Our goal is to support the Deputy in performing is duties acting as ambassador of goodwill within our communities, supporting our local governments, and promoting peace and harmony”. This organization understands the need for education in the community and supports such causes to aid students in receiving an education.
Augusta UNCF Coordinator, Leadra Collins stated that she was thrilled to receive the donation from this organization that has had a long standing reputation in the community for supporting youth. “I can’t begin to tell you how elated I am to have this organization believe as I do that a mind is a terrible thing to waste but a wonderful thing to invest in©”.
“We are giving opportunity and access to deserving students who want to advance their education,” continued Mr. Turner. And, we encourage others to make gifts to the Paine College to ensure that the College continues to serve as the place for intellectual advancement.”
The Augusta UNCF Campaign is a part of the overall UNCF Campaign and provides support in helping more than 60,000 students each year to attend college and gain access to a quality education. Individuals or organizations interested in learning more about the Augusta UNCF Campaign and its upcoming events and activities are invited to contact Leadra M. Collins, Director of Institutional Development and Coordinator of the Augusta UNCF Campaign at (706) 821-8322 or via email at email@example.com.