AKAlades

This is a public blog featuring the accomplishments of members of Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter.  The content on this page is read-only.  

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  • 19 Oct 2018 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    Referrals rise, shortage remains for speech-language pathologists in Connecticut

    By Brian Zahn Updated 10:15 am EDT, Monday, October 15, 2018

    NEW HAVEN — As schools become better at detecting signs of communication disorders, diagnoses and referrals are on the rise while the licensed speech-language pathologists who serve them are in demand across the country.

    “We actually diagnose and treat communicative disorders and that’s any person that might have difficulty in the areas of articulation, fluency, voice or language,” said Glynis King-Harrell, supervisor of speech and language services in the New Haven public schools. “Speech is a basic entitlement that we take for granted because it comes easily for most of us.”

     

    Officials in New Haven Public Schools said during a budget review that contractor costs have increased as the district looks to fill vacancies in shortage areas such as speech-language pathologists.

    “New Haven Public Schools has been proactive in its recruitment efforts and partnerships as it seeks to recruit, retain and hire talent. The District has also leveraged support through contractors, consultants, university and community based partners to fulfill staffing needs in shortage areas,” said Superintendent of Schools Carol Birks in a statement. “With respect to meeting the individualized educational plans of our students who have been identified as in need of Speech and Language Services, New Haven Public Schools has supplemented staff with contractors and other support services.”

    Filling positions

    King-Harrell said building and caseload assignments are made logistically.

    “There’s not a lot of time to travel from Point A to Point B, and we also keep data on what the identified numbers are per building and try to come up with a reasonable caseload for each person,” she said.

    Speech-language pathologists in the city’s schools say that, of approximately 25 full- and part-time speech-language pathologists, about a third are contractors, and the number of students in the city who receive referrals fluctuates between about 1,500 to 2,000 students annually.

    “The level of dedication required, especially in urban districts, is monumental,” said Derlene Ortiz, a speech-language pathologist who works with students at five schools, most with a heavy English learner population.

    King-Harrell said the challenges are exacerbated in urban districts such as New Haven, which is perpetually plagued by money woes because of funding austerity and a large number of high-needs students.

    In Middletown schools, a smaller nearby urban district, an administrator said open speech-language pathologist jobs receive fewer applications than classroom teacher positions, but the applicants all come with many qualifications.

    “We’re lucky enough to be fully staffed with fully-qualified speech paths,” said Sara Alberti, supervisor of pupil services and special education in Middletown schools. She said the district, which has student enrollment approximately one-fifth the size of New Haven according to state data, employs 10 speech-language pathologists.

    Although Alberti said Middletown is currently fully staffed with speech-language pathologists, as a trained speech-language pathologist herself she knows there is a growing need for workers in a selective field.

    Stefania Larry, early childhood coordinator in West Haven Public Schools, said filling positions within the last three years has been “challenging.” Currently, there are 12.5 speech-language pathologists in the district, she said, and they are all assigned to one school each.

    “We’ve hired former interns in the past once they’ve graduated, we’ve advertised at local universities but not every university has a program,” she said.

    Larry said that in West Haven many of the speech-language pathologists come to the district without much history in school-based settings.

    Certification

    According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Connecticut employed 1,730 speech-language pathologists in May 2017, although not all of them necessarily worked in schools or with a student population. The annual mean wage for speech-language pathologists in the state was $93,340 according to the bureau’s data, making it the highest paying state in the nation for the occupation on average.

    Despite the competitive pay and the need for qualified workers, King-Harrell said there are several required certifications — from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the state Department of Public Health and the state Department of Education — that might be prohibitive.

    Ortiz said the path to earning these certifications amounts to a lot of tests and paperwork for aspiring speech-language pathologists.

    After receiving these certifications, King-Harrell said many speech-language pathologists certified to work in schools may let the 061 certification with the Department of Education.

    “Some people may get into a setting that’s only clinical, like a hospital or a clinic, and say, ‘Why am I maintaining my school certification?’” she said.

    Three speech-language pathologists in New Haven schools said there can be some role ambiguity when students are referred for their services, and it is their job to figure out how to best serve children who might have communication disorders.

    “I don’t think anybody has ever had a year where they think their workload is ‘a vacation,’” said NHPS speech-language pathologist Sondi Jackson [Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter Member]. “We have to leave time for evaluations, observations, consultations with teachers and parents,” planning and placement team meetings, (student and staff support team meetings and scientific research based interventions.

    “Caseloads are only one part of the workload,” said speech-language pathologist Cayla White.

    Ortiz, Jackson and White all graduated from Southern Connecticut State University’s communication disorders graduate program, although the way they describe how they became speech-language pathologists differs. Ortiz said, as a bilingual speaker of Spanish and English, she was attracted to the program as a junior at SCSU, although her intention was to work in a medical context before doing a placement in West Haven schools.

    White said her initial intention was to go into broadcast journalism until two cousins who work as speech therapists persuaded her to consider the field.

    “I love working with kids. I knew eventually I would want to work in a school system,” she said.

    Jackson, who had a career in banking and insurance, said education was “what was in my heart.” A speech pathologist who attended her church convinced her to go back to school at age 30, so she started taking classes during her lunch break at work.

    Jackson, who has now worked in the field for 26 years, said there has always been a shortage of fellow speech-language pathologists.

    Ortiz said pathologists tend to be cautious about assigning labels to students, because “they may be going through a silent period.” Jackson said she is also cautious about the difference between language disorders and language differences.

    White said that, especially in the last year after a number of evacuees from Hispanic-speaking countries and territories enrolled in the city’s schools, she works collaboratively with bilingual educators such as Ortiz.

    For a period of time Jackson was an adjunct in SCSU’s communication disorders master’s program. One of the challenges from transitioning from the preparatory programs to a real-life scenario, she said, is that speech-language pathologists must be reactive in real time.

    “I felt like I was the person giving students some real-world experience. I’m working as a pathologist and sharing with them what it’s like day-to-day,” she said. “They don’t have all week to prepare for one case.”

    The preparatory programs in the state are also limited to three colleges: SCSU, the University of Connecticut and, recently, Sacred Heart University. All three programs are selective.

    Deborah Weiss, chairwoman of the Communication Disorders Department at SCSU, said the program accepts about 45 students annually, with about 100 in the program at any given time.

    “The majority of those students are two-year students, but some can also be for three years,” she said.

    About 200 to 250 students apply annually for those 45 spots.

    Rhea Paul, chairwoman of Sacred Heart’s Speech Language Pathology department, said there are about 40 seats per class with about 80 students in the program. She said there are between 200 and 300 applicants to the program annually.

    Paul said she believes the global shortage of speech-language pathologists is somewhat related to a growing need under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

    “There has been more obligation on the part of schools to provide for kids with special needs,” she said.

    That is tied to increasing rates of autism spectrum disorder diagnoses; according to the Centers for Disease Control, there is a reported diagnosis of autism in one in 59 children born in 2006, whereas one in 150 children born in 1992 has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

    “Because the core of their problems have to do with communication, virtually every child who is diagnosed with autism needs the services of an SLP,” Paul said.

    “That’s a population that speech-language pathologists are very, very involved with — children with autism — and that population has been growing,” Weiss said.

    Growing field

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected to be a 10.4 percent increase in speech-language pathologist jobs by 2026.

    “The number of speech-language pathologists that are needed has grown incrementally and continues to grow,” Weiss said. “It’s not like the need has remained static and we haven’t fulfilled the need; the need keeps growing.”

    Both department heads said the required clinical hours needed for a degree present a challenge for students and the programs that need to place students alike. Students need 400 clinical hours to graduate with a degree in speech-language pathology, and they work at different professional areas. Although UConn and SCSU both have on-site clinics, Sacred Heart does not.

    “We’re limited by how many places we can put students so they can acquire these clinical hours,” Paul said. “We don’t have an on-campus clinic like Southern and UConn, but we do have nursing homes, where students do therapy under the auspices of an in-house therapist, and it doesn’t take away from their in-house therapists because we send our own supervisors.”

    Weiss said Medicare requirements make student speech-language therapists less attractive for hospitals to train because of compliance issues, as they often need to be supervised 100 percent of the time.

    She said expanding the class sizes within SCSU’s program doesn’t seem possible for a mix of issues besides finding placements for students, including fiscal restraints and a shortage of qualified faculty, as an industry with a global shortage perpetuates itself.

    “For our field when we have a position open maybe we’re going to get five or 10 people applying because of the shortage in the field,” she said. “One of the reasons for the shortages of the field is there’s such a good market for students in the field.”

    The speech-language pathologists working in the district say that, despite the burden of certifications, loans and the time commitment, they wouldn’t rather be doing anything else.

    “Giving students the ability to communicate is extremely empowering,” White said.

    brian.zahn@hearstmediact.com

    https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/Referrals-rise-shortage-remains-for-13307758.php

  • 05 Mar 2018 11:53 PM | Anonymous

    McCarter & English announced the following changes in leadership, effective March 1, 2018:

    • Cynthia Keliher and Simone Wilson-Brito will serve as co-chairs of the Real Estate Practice Group
    • Amy Haberman will lead the Labor & Employment Practice Group
    • Moy Ogilvie will serve as the Hartford Office Managing Partner

    “Cynthia, Simone, Amy and Moy served as leaders in our business and mentors to associates for many years,” said Joseph Boccassini, the firm’s managing partner. “I know they will continue to represent our clients well in their new roles with the same focus and dedication.”

    Cynthia Keliher, joined the firm’s Boston office as a partner in 2006. Her practice addresses all aspects of commercial real estate, with a focus on representing landlords and tenants in complex ground, retail, office and data center leases. She is president of the New England Chapter of CoreNet Global, an association of corporate real estate professionals. Ms. Keliher is the co-chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative Steering Committee.

    Simone Wilson-Brito, a partner in the Newark office, has been with the firm for nearly 10 years. Her practice focuses on complex commercial real estate transactions with a concentration in financing, leasing and acquisition of real property. She represents lenders and borrowers in commercial and construction loans, and purchasers in the acquisition and disposition of real estate. Ms. Wilson Brito is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee and the Women’s Initiative Steering Committee. She represents, pro bono, individuals seeking asylum in the United States.

    Amy Haberman, a partner in the New York office, joined McCarter & English in 2005. Her global practice spans numerous industries and focuses on representing U.S. and multinational corporate clients in recruiting and transferring of foreign nationals, immigration consequences of mergers and acquisitions, and compliance with Department of Labor statutory and regulatory requirements. She also counsels individuals on obtaining permanent resident status and citizenship. She is a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.

    Moy Ogilvie is a partner in the Products Liability, Mass Torts and Consumer Class Actions Group and is chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. She joined our Hartford office  in 2003. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Bar Foundation, Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity and the Hartford Youth Scholars, and volunteers with Lawyers for Children on pro bono matters.

    With the recent changes, seven of the firm’s 11 practice groups are led by women.

    https://www.mccarter.com/McCarter--English-Appoints-New-Practice-Group-and-Office-Leaders-03-01-2018/

  • 28 Jun 2017 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    Hundreds Bid Godspeed to "Dr. K" by Lucy Gellman for The New Haven Independent

    A trailblazer who developed “a monument to education” downtown isn’t saying goodbye. She’s saying godspeed.

    Surrounded by hundreds of friends, family and colleagues, outgoing Gateway Community College President Dorsey “Dr. K” Kendrick made that announcement Wednesday night at a packed celebration of her 18-year tenure and retirement next week.

    Held at Anthony’s Ocean View in Morris Cove, the event doubled as a chance to bring attention to the Dorsey L. Kendrick Access To Success endowment fund, to which attendees had the option of donating. Money raised for that fund Wednesday night will go toward student scholarships. That includes $500 from the Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Inc., a black sorority. 

    Throughout the evening, Kendrick was praised for her groundbreaking efforts to revitalize access to higher education in New Haven. Her tenure included cultivating the college’s special education, nursing, adult education and high school crossover programs and moving Gateway's campus to downtown from Long Wharf.

    A lineup of 20 speakers — none of whom stayed within a suggested two-minute limit, and a few of whom had prerecorded their messages by video — focused not only on Kendrick’s accomplishments, but on the spirit with which she had worked.

    Mayor Toni Harp recalled Kendrick’s fight to institute the nursing program, and the verve with which Kendrick went head-to-head with Connecticut legislators, then-governor John Rowland, and “the nursing profession itself, frankly” before the program began in 2002. It has since graduated almost 1,000 nurses. 

    Others painted a portrait of a woman who was direct but kind, unyielding yet candid and compassionate. Tunxis Community College President Cathryn Addy told attendees she knew Kendrick was special when she’d said, mid-interview for her position at Gateway, that she would “have a little come-to-Jesus meeting and get things settled” if faced with a difficult situation. Chamber of Commerce President Tony Rescigno lauded Kendrick as an educator “with vision focused like a laser beam,” for whom the world stopped when she saw a student in need. And Community Foundation Director Will Ginsberg thanked her for her work as a servant to the city, and changemaker in the community. 

    “You changed the way New Haven thinks of itself,” he said. “You have elevated education for all in this community.”

    So did former Gateway alum and former student body president Abdur Wali. A native New Havener, Wali had grown up walking past Gateway Community College. “I would see the big blue sign saying GCC, and I would dream about being on that terrace,” he recalled.

    Wali didn’t know that Kendrick’s office was up there, or that she was there at all. That changed his first year, when he attended an event where she was speaking, and she instantly became “Dr. K” to him. She issued a call to action that stirred something in him, he said — an urge to push himself even harder academically. He became involved in student government, meeting with Kendrick weekly. When Wali asked her to add a letter to the Black Student Association time capsule, she used it as an opportunity to laud students in the association and to encourage them to use “hope, care, hard work and tenacity” in both their studies and their lives. 

    “There were many times after speaking with her I teared up and cried a little bit,” Wali said, speaking to Kendrick from across the ballroom. “In my mind and in my heart, I consider myself her and Mr. Kendrick’s adopted son ... you have lit the path, lightened the load, and provided a shining example for all of us to follow.”

    Room bursts into applause as Kendrick rose to give her remarks.

    When Kendrick rose to speak at the end of the evening, she kept her remarks brief, her voice wavering every few sentences as she choked back tears.   

    “This is hard, because it is bittersweet,” she began. She then invoked Luke 12:48 (“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”). “I really believe that I have an obligation to do as much as I can to make my little corner of the world the best that I have to give,” she said.

    Cake, a guest book, dancing and conversation awaited attendees after almost 90 minutes of remarks.

    “I know that my work has not been in vain,” she continued, pointing to Gateway’s most recent class of over 1,200 students. “To think that I may have made a difference for even one student makes the journey so much sweeter…. I want to thank God for giving me the life that I have, so that I could do the work that I did on behalf of the citizens of this community and for the state. I am grateful to have been of service.” 

    “I shall not say goodbye tonight, rather godspeed,” she added. “May the best that life has to offer come to each and every one of you. Thank you for being a part of my life, my vision, my hopes and dreams and aspirations for the last 18 years. I am humbled to have been able to serve.”

    Asked how he is planning to handle the transition, incoming Gateway Paul Broadie said that the end of Kendrick’s tenure marks “tremendous opportunity for both Housatonic and Gateway.” (He’ll be running both community college branches.) Broadie credited Kendrick with building “a strong foundation” for her successors and that he looks forward to relying on Gateway’s “exceptional faculty, staff and administration.” 

    Published 6/22/17: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/dorsey_kendrick_dinner/

  • 13 Feb 2017 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    Theta Epsilon Omega salutes our chapter member Shelly Daniley Hicks, who is the February Survivor of the Month for Sisters' Journey.  Learn more about Shelly's path toward health and healing.  We honor all of our Theta Epsilon Omega members and women across the globe who navigate their journey with courage and conviction.

    You can read her story here:

    https://www.sistersjourney.org/our-calendars/2017-calendar?active=02#stories

  • 11 Jan 2017 1:45 PM | Anonymous

    Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter Member, Dr. Jacquelyn Taylor is among this list of esteemed early-career scientist.  Dr. Taylor, an associate professor of nursing at the Yale School of Nursing, is the first woman of color to earn tenure since the nursing school's 91 year history.  


    The White House

    Office of the Press Secretary

    For Immediate Release

    January 09, 2017

    Today, President Obama named 102 scientists and researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
     
    “I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work,” President Obama said. “These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that Federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy.”
     
    The Presidential Early Career Awards highlight the key role that the Administration places in encouraging and accelerating American innovation to grow our economy and tackle our greatest challenges. This year’s recipients are employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Smithsonian Institution, and the Intelligence Community. These departments and agencies join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.
     
    The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.
     
    The newest recipients are:
     
    Department of Agriculture
    Michelle Cilia, USDA Agricultural Research Service
    Pankaj Lal, Montclair State University
    Michael Ulyshen, USDA Forest Service
     
    Department of Commerce

    Nicholas Butch, NIST Center for Neutron Research
    Mandy Karnauskas, NOAA Fisheries
    Anne Perring, University of Colorado, Boulder
    Corey Potvin, University of Oklahoma
    John Teufel, NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory
    Justin Zook, NIST Material Measurement Laboratory
     
    Department of Defense
    Michael Bell, Colorado State University
    Nurcin Celik, University of Miami
    Kaushik Chowdhury, Northeastern University
    Shawn Douglas, University of California, San Francisco
    Christopher Dyer, DeepMind and Carnegie Mellon University
    Aaron Esser-Kahn, University of California, Irvine
    Sinan Keten, Northwestern University
    Jonathan Fan, Stanford University
    Danna Freedman, Northwestern University
    Thomas Harris, Northwestern University
    David Hsieh, California Institute of Technology
    Osama Nayfeh, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center-Pacific
    Olukayode Okusaga, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory 
    Joseph Parker, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory 
    Adam Pilchak, Air Force Research Laboratory 
    Harris Wang, Columbia University
     
    Department of Education
    Daphna Bassok, University of Virginia
    Shayne Piasta, The Ohio State University
     
    Department of Energy
    Jonathan Belof, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    Carl Dahl, Northwestern University
    Eric Duoss, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    Anna Grassellino, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
    Jacqueline Hakala, National Energy Technology Laboratory
    Stephanie Hansen, Sandia National Laboratories
    Kory Hedman, Arizona State University
    Alan Kruizenga, Sandia National Laboratories
    Wei Li, Rice University
    Guglielmo Scovazzi, Duke University
    Michael Tonks, Penn State University
    Jenny Yang, University of California, Irvine
    John Yeager, Los Alamos National Laboratory
     
    Department of Health and Human Services
    Gregory Alushin, Rockefeller University
    Manish Arora, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    Dawn Cornelison, University of Missouri
    Kashmira Date, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Craig Duvall, Vanderbilt University
    Nicholas Gilpin, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center 
    Anna Greka, Brigham and Women's Hospital
    Pamela Guerrerio, National Institutes of Health
    Gery Guy, Jr., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Christine Hendon, Columbia University
    Catherine Karr, University of Washington
    Maria Lehtinen, Boston Children's Hospital
    Adriana Lleras-Muney, University of California, Los Angeles
    Mary Kay Lobo, University of Maryland School of Medicine
    Michael McAlpine, University of Minnesota
    Eric Morrow, Brown University 
    Daniel O'Connor, Johns Hopkins University
    Aimee Shen, Tufts University
    Cui Tao, University of Texas
    Jacquelyn Taylor, Yale School of Nursing
    Benjamin Voight, University of Pennsylvania
    Matthew Wheeler, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Blake Wiedenheft, Montana State University
       
    Department of Interior
    Nathaniel Hitt, U.S. Geological Survey
    Sarah Minson, U.S. Geological Survey
    Diann Prosser, U.S. Geological Survey
     
    Department of Veterans Affairs
    Adam Rose, RAND Corporation and Boston Medical Center
    Nasia Safdar, Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
    Joshua Yarrow, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
     
    Environmental Protection Agency
    Havala Pye, Environmental Protection Agency
    Sala Senkayi, Environmental Protection Agency
     
    Intelligence Community
    Matthew Dicken, U.S. Army
    Josiah Dykstra, National Security Agency
    James Kang, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
    Jason Matheny, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    David Moehring, IonQ, Inc.
    R. Jacob Vogelstein, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Jeremy Bassis, University of Michigan
    Othmane Benafan, NASA Glenn Research Center
    Dalia Kirschbaum, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Marco Pavone, Stanford University
    Miguel Roman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
     
    National Science Foundation
    Alicia Alonzo, Michigan State University
    Randy Ewoldt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Emily Fox, University of Washington
    Jacob Fox, Stanford University
    Eric Hudson, University of California, Los Angeles
    Shawn Jordan, Arizona State University
    Ahmad Khalil, Boston University
    Oleg Komogortsev, Texas State University, San Marcos
    John Kovac, Harvard University
    Bérénice Mettler, University of Minnesota and icuemotion, LLC
    Jelani Nelson, Harvard University
    Elizabeth Nolan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Michael Rotkowitz, University of Maryland, College Park
    Andrea Sweigart, University of Georgia
    Chuanbing Tang, University of South Carolina
    Aradhna Tripati, University of California, Los Angeles
    Franck Vernerey, University of Colorado, Boulder
    Juan Pablo Vielma Centeno, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Makeba Wilbourn, Duke University 
       
    Smithsonian Institution
    Nicholas Pyenson, Smithsonian Institution

    ------------

    Whitehouse.gov Press Release: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/09/president-obama-honors-federally-funded-early-career-scientists

  • 31 Oct 2016 1:35 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to Attorney Elicia Pegues Spearman who, in October 2016, received the Lifetime Humanitarian Service Award from Kingdom International Economic Development Corporation (KIEDC).  For over 30 years, KIEDC has met the needs of communities in the greater New Haven, Bridgeport, and Hartford areas.  The organization feeds thousands of needy families during the holidays, provides warm winter clothing, toys for needy children, youth development, and women empowerment training.  Attorney Spearman has served KIEDC, a nonprofit organization, as their pro bono Chief Legal and Human Resources Officer for over ten years.  She is a lifetime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated with over 25 years of uninterrupted  membership in the sorority.  Attorney Spearman is also a former president of Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter.

  • 23 Feb 2016 5:25 PM | Anonymous

    New Haven NAACP celebrates stamp for black church founder

    New Haven Register, February 18, 2016

    By Ed Stannard, New Haven Register

    Greater New Haven Branch NAACP First Vice President Anthony Dawson, left, and President Dori Dumas, center, assist New Haven Postmaster Tom Sullivan unveil the USPS 39th commemorative edition Black Heritage stamp of Bishop Richard Allen during a ceremony at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in New Haven Thursday.

    NEW HAVEN - For the Rev. Orsella Cooper-Hughes, the new Bishop Richard Allen postage stamp brings together her family history with her faith as a member of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  

    Her father, Daniel Cooper, worked in the U.S. Postal Service for 40 years and, as she told the members of the Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP Thursday night, “I am A.M.E.-born, A.M.E.-bred, and when I die I’ll be A.M.E.-dead.”

    Cooper-Hughes, associate minister at Bethel, spoke at the unveiling of the new 49-cent “forever” stamp at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. She was still brimming with excitement because she and her father traveled to Philadelphia on Feb. 2 for the stamp’s first-day ceremony at Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, which Allen founded 200 years ago so that African-Americans would have a church in which to worship freely.

    “This to me was like Independence Day, this was like Christmas morning as far as I was concerned,” she said of the trip.

    Allen, who was born in slavery in 1760, led the black members out of St. George’s Methodist Church, where they were forced to sit in the balcony, to found their own church in 1787. It became the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816, the first denomination not founded for theological reasons.

    As Robert Gibson, a retired teacher at James Hillhouse High School, said, “In this case, the reason for the rise of the A.M.E. Church was American racism. If those Christians in that church (St. George’s) had acted like real Christians, then the blacks and the whites could have fellowshipped together.”

    While Sunday morning is often called the most segregated time of the week, Gibson said, “It didn’t have to be that way. Because what happened in St. George’s Church happened across the country.”

    Gibson talked about Allen’s legacy as a slave who bought his freedom for $2,000, worked as an abolitionist and on the Underground Railroad. “He was really dedicated to preaching the gospel … building up his community, developing his community. … What was really remarkable about him was that he had no bitterness,” Gibson said.

    Instead, he founded a denomination that has 7.5 million members in 39 countries and in 12,000 congregations. In Philadelphia, “they formed the first independent black denomination in the world,” Gibson said. “From that founding in 1816 the church grew, spread around the world.”

    Dori Dumas, president of the Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP and a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church on Goffe Street, said Allen is not just “significant and important to the A.M.E. Church. … We felt it was very important that we share this with the greater community.”

    New Haven Postmaster Tom Sullivan said the Richard Allen stamp is the 39th in the U.S. Postal Service’s Black Heritage series. “What I love about black history is it brings to the youth the history I think we lose,” adding that the Allen stamp in particular represents “the tribulations and the triumphs (of) 7.5 million A.M.E. members throughout the world.”

    Bethel A.M.E. Church also plans a celebration of the stamp at its 10 a.m. Sunday service, after which the stamp will be available for sale.

    http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20160218/new-haven-naacp-celebrates-stamp-for-black-church-founder

  • 19 Mar 2015 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean co-authored a report critical to understanding the impact of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the future of voting rights.  The report provides data on minority voter turnout, racially polarized voting, policy outcomes by race, and the number of minority-elected officials from the enactment of the Voting Rights Act until today.  Click here to read the full report: 50 Years of the Voting Rights Act: The State of Race in Politics.

    She presented the report in Selma, Alabama in honor of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  A story about her Journey to Selma is available in the Inner City News and reprinted here.

    Dr. Brown-Dean recently received tenure status as an Associate Professor of Political Science at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

  • 19 Mar 2015 11:14 AM | Anonymous

    Announcement from the Yale University Comer School Development Program:

    Two Comer schools are the focus of an inspiring new documentary, 180 Days: Hartsville that aired on PBS (check local listings) in March of 2015.  The two-hour special was co-produced by South Carolina ETV and National Black Programming Consortium with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of "American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen," a public media initiative to stem the dropout crisis by supporting community-based solutions.

    180 Days: Hartsville is a panel discussion that includes an interview with Dr. Camille Cooper, the Comer School Development Program's Director of Teaching, Learning, and Development, who is leading the implementation of the Comer model in Hartsville.  

    Click here to learn more about 180 Days: Hartsville.

  • 19 Mar 2015 9:53 AM | Anonymous

    Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter congratulates Dori Dumas on being showcased by the Yale University's Working Women's Network (WWN).  The WWN provides programs and resources to Yale University's women employees, and champions the exploration and pursuit of personal and professional goals in order to enhance their individual success while also furthering the advancement of the university.  Click here to read Mrs. Dumas' spotlight interview.  

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