Chapter News

This is a public blog featuring news and announcements concerning Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter.  The content on this page is read-only.  For more information about Theta Epsilon Omega, please e-mail info@akanewhaven.org

  • 25 Nov 2011 9:41 PM | Anonymous

    Did you know that since 2000, over 200 people on death row have been exonerated due to new evidence confirming their innocence? 

    In the wake of Troy Davis, who was recently executed by the State of Georgia despite strong questions about his innocence, people nationwide are engaged in heated public debate on the inequities and failures of the death penalty.  Even in Connecticut, where in just three months the state legislature will vote on whether to abolish the death penalty, there are many citizens voicing their concerns and hoping their state senators will take them into account. 

    On November 22, 2011, Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter was the lead sponsor of A Community Discussion on the Death Penalty at Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hamden, Connecticut.  The chapter joined with other organizations and concerned citizens to discuss the impact of the death penalty on our communities.  The event represented an important effort for Theta Epsilon Omega to take the lead in promoting greater community engagement with important challenges we face. 

    The panel discussion included Kimberly Davis, sister of Troy Davis; Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele, Senior Community Engagement Advocate with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Victoria Coward whose son was murdered in New Haven in 2007; and Representative Gary Holder-Winfield (D-New Haven).  The event was moderated by Superior Court Judge John Turner.

    Other sponsors of the event were The Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches; The Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP; WYBC 94.3 FM Radio; the ACLU of Connecticut; and the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty.

    Special thanks to Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean, Theta Epsilon Omega's First Vice President, for spearheading the panel discussion, and to the chapter's Social Justice and Human Rights Committee for coordinating the volunteers.

    Play highlights of the community discussion here.

     

  • 16 Aug 2011 3:05 PM | Anonymous

    Dr. Elizabeth Alexander Inducted into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
    Alexander Hailed as an Internationally-Acclaimed Poet, Essayist and Playwright


    Chicago, Illinois - August 16, 2011 - Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, an award winning poet, essayist, playwright and a Pulitzer Prize finalist was recently inducted into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority as an Honorary Member.  Alexander, who serves as chairman of the African American Studies Department at Yale University, was initiated in a members-only ceremony held in New Haven, Connecticut.

    Presiding over the formal induction was Alpha Kappa Alpha's International President Attorney Carolyn House Stewart.  Participating were the Honorable Peggy A. Quince, the International Chairman of the Honorary Members/Awards Committee, and Executive Director Deborah Dangerfield. Also joining in the induction were former International President, Barbara A. McKinzie, former International Chairman of the Honorary Members/Awards Committee, Mae R. Carr, and Elicia Spearman, president of Theta Epsilon Omega of New Haven, Connecticut, which nominated Alexander.

    An honorary membership is the highest honor the Sorority presents and those who are inducted represent the highest standards of character, courage and womanhood.  Through her creativity, and as expressed in her poems, plays and essays, she embodies the Alpha Kappa Alpha ideal, which is captured in its credo: “Providing service to all mankind.”  This is Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's core mission, the foundation upon which the Sorority was founded in 1908.

    Professor Alexander has earned worldwide acclaim for her contributions, which make her an ideal candidate for membership.

    Creative triumphs, awards and recognitions have punctuated her journey to greatness.  Most recently, she composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The poem was recently published as a small book from Graywolf Press. In addition, she has published five books of poems: The Venus Hottentot (1990), Body of Life (1996), Antebellum Dream Book (2001), American Sublime (2005), which was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and was one of the American Library Association's “Notable Books of the Year;” and her first young adult collection (co-authored with Marilyn Nelson), Miss Crandall's School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color (2008 Connecticut Book Award). Her two collections of essays are The Black Interior (2004) and Power and Possibility (2007), and her play, “Diva Studies,” was produced at the Yale School of Drama.

    Professor Alexander is the first recipient of the Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellowship for work that “contributes to improving race relations in American society and furthers the broad social goals of the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954.” She is the 2007 winner of the first Jackson Prize for Poetry, awarded by Poets & Writers, Inc. Other awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, the George Kent Award, given by Gwendolyn Brooks, a Guggenheim fellowship as well as the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at University of Chicago.

    Alexander has degrees from Yale University and Boston University and completed her Ph.D. in English at the University of Pennsylvania.

    “We are honored and proud to have Dr. Alexander join our great sisterhood,” said Stewart.  “Her devotion to education and her commitment to delivering human rights messages through her poems, essays and plays embody the qualities of the Alpha Kappa Alpha woman.  She will make a great addition to our Sorority and we look forward to supporting and embracing her.”

    After the formal induction, Alexander expressed pride in joining the Sorority. She said she was particularly uplifted because poet Sonia Sanchez - whose work and character she admires -- is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

    Photo Caption:  Dr. Elizabeth Alexander (wearing glasses) beams with pride after being inducted into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority as an honorary member.  Joining in the congratulations are (from left): Camille Cooper, vice president of Theta Epsilon Omega of New Haven; Alpha Kappa Alpha's international president Carolyn House Stewart and Elicia Spearman, chapter president - Theta Epsilon Omega.

  • 01 Jun 2011 4:34 PM | Anonymous
    Barberino Nissan, located on Route 5 in Wallingford, will donate $100 to our scholarship fund for every vehicle sold during the month of June.  Visit Barberino at www.barberinonissan.com or call Jermaine or Alex at 203.265.1611. 

    Thank you for your support!

    Listen to the radio commercial airing on WYBC 94.3 FM Radio.

    Click here for more information about Theta Epsilon Omega's scholarship program. 
  • 01 Jun 2011 4:05 PM | Anonymous
    On June 2, 2011, the Yale School of Medicine will honor its first African-American female graduates.  Two of the women being honored, Dr. Francis-McBarnette and Dr. Wethers, were members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  Theta Epsilon Omega is a co-sponsor of the event.

    For more information about the event and the contributions of the honorees, please read the article published by the Yale Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

    School of Medicine honors its first African-American women graduates

    New Haven, Conn. undefined As part of its bicentennial celebration, Yale School of Medicine will host a special program to honor its first three African-American women graduates on June 2.

    The event will take place 5-7 p.m. at the Harvey Cushing/Hay Historical Library, 333 Cedar St. The honorees are Beatrix Ann (McCleary) Hamburg, M.D.'48, Yvette Fay Francis-McBarnette, M.D. '50 and Doris Louise Wethers, M.D. '52. The event is free and open to the public and begins with a reception 5- 5:30 p.m.

    The celebration will also honor two others who established firsts as African-American faculty at the medical school, Dr. Claudewell Sydney Thomas, the first appointed African-American full-time faculty member in 1965 and Dr. James Pierpont Comer, the first African-American faculty member to attain tenure status and full professor rank.

    "We are delighted to celebrate the accomplishments of these extraordinary African Americans who courageously broke the racial barrier at Yale School of Medicine," said Yale School of Medicine Dean Dr. Robert Alpern, "All subsequent students, both minority and non-minority, owe them a debt of gratitude."

    Hamburg's achievement in 1948 as Yale's first African-American woman to graduate with a medical degree was not the first path breaking challenge of her career. She was the first self-identified African American to graduate from Vassar College, the last of the historic "Seven Sister" colleges to integrate. Coming to Yale to "seek the best medical education," she left to embark on a career in child psychiatry that led her to the highest ranks of academic medicine as a clinician, innovative researcher and educator. She has held professorships at Stanford, Harvard and Mt. Sinai Schools of Medicine and received numerous distinctions and honorary awards. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her academic career continues today as the DeWitt Wallace Distinguished Scholar in the Department of Psychiatry at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Her daughter, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, is the current U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner.

    Hamburg's graduation in 1948 ended a long era of restrictive racial and gender-based admissions practices at Yale School of Medicine. Yale had previously trained African-American men in medicine. In 1857, Dr. Cortlandt Van Rensselaer Creed became the first African-American medical graduate of Yale. Twelve other men followed over the next four decades. These signs of racial progress at Yale ended abruptly at the beginning of the 20th century. In step with social norms and legal strictures that enforced segregation in the society, Yale School of Medicine quietly closed its doors to African Americans for nearly one-half century, leaving no record of African-American graduates undefined male or female undefined between 1903 and 1947.

    Hamburg had an immediate impact on admissions at the medical school. The next two African-American graduates were also women, Dr. Yvette Fay Francis-McBarnette in 1950 and Dr. Doris Louise Wethers in 1952. Other African Americans continued to graduate through the 1950's and 1960's but significant numbers were not achieved until after 1970. There are now more than 400 African-American men and women graduates of the medical school.

    "Dr. Hamburg prevailed against extremely rigid racial, gender and institutional barriers that once closed doors of opportunity to women and African Americans in medicine," said Dr. Forrester A. "Woody" Lee, professor of medicine and associate dean of multicultural affairs at Yale School of Medicine. "We are truly honored to celebrate with her and her family the legacy she has created at Yale."

    Francis-McBarnette left Yale in 1950 to train in pediatrics at Michael Reese Hospital before returning to Queens, New York, and establishing one of the first comprehensive sickle cell treatment clinics. Wethers, a 1952 graduate, trained in pediatrics in Washington, D.C. and Brooklyn, New York. She became the first African American appointed to head a New York City voluntary hospital department. She also followed a career in sickle disease and headed a comprehensive sickle cell treatment clinical and research center at St. Luke's Hospital in New York. She was a member of the teaching and research faculty at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and published more than 30 scholarly articles on sickle cell disease. Wethers and Francis-McBarnette often worked in partnership to raise research funding and establish clinical care guidelines for sickle cell disease. They were both nationally recognized experts in the disease and helped guide local and national policies for sickle cell screening and treatment.

    The three women honorees share much in common. They were each raised in Harlem and attended New York public elementary and secondary schools. Francis-McBarnette and Wethers graduated from New York City public universities, Hunter and Queens Colleges. Each woman entered hospital internship training programs as African American firsts. Their career paths converged on a focus of care for children, especially those underserved and challenged by difficult medical conditions, mental health and sickle cell disease. They each led professional careers combining clinical care, research, teaching and advocacy.

    The other honorees, Comer and Thomas, joined Yale the faculty since 1968 and 1965, respectively. Comer is the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center, and Thomas is professor emeritus of child psychiatry at the University of California-Los Angeles.

    The event sponsors are the Yale School of Medicine Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Yale Alumni Association, the Yale Minority Organization for Retention and Equity, the Yale African American Affinity Group, the Yale Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter.

    For additional information contact woody.lee@yale.edu or 203-785-7545.

    PRESS CONTACT: Karen N. Peart 203-432-1326


  • 13 Apr 2011 5:18 PM | Anonymous

    Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter was the recipient of several awards and distinctions at the sorority's North Atlantic Regional Conference held earlier this month in Atlantic City, NJ. 

    President of the Year
    Once again, President Elicia Pegues Spearman wins 1st place, President of the Year for a medium-sized chapter.  She ends her first term as president of Theta Epsilon Omega winning this award for 2009 and 2010.  

    Silver Stars
    Katurah Bryant, Judith Campbell and Doris Hare are shining Silver Stars.  Silver Star recognition is given to members who hold 25 years of membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 

    Golden Member
    Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter welcomes our new Golden Girl.  Carolyn Smith was honored for 50 years of membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

    Ruth C. Easley Reactivation Award
    This award was presented to Theta Epsilon Omega for reactivating the most inactive members in 2010. 

    Awards Participation
    Theta Epsilon Omega received the Pearl level distinction for participating in the North Atlantic Region awards submission.

  • 09 Mar 2011 5:28 PM | Anonymous

    On Monday, March 7, 2011, Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter sponsored a public forum entitled The Impact of the Economy on Women. The forum was organized by the chapter's Social Justice and Human Rights Committee chaired by Darcey Cobbs-Lomax and Sheila Allen-Bell. 

    The forum's moderator, Teresa C. Younger, Executive Director of The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women presented questions to the esteemed panel:  Senator Toni N. Harp, State Representative Toni E. Walker, and Frances Padilla, Vice President of the Universal Health Care Foundation.  

    The panel answered their thoughts on the greatest challenges facing women during these economic times, the impact of the recession on women and their families, and they gave participants insight on upcoming proposed legislation for working women, single or married, that should be supported.  Questions were also taken from the audience.   

    For more information about the public forum, please read the article published in The New Haven Independent.

  • 02 Mar 2011 5:18 PM | Anonymous

    The Susan Moore Lincoln Scholarship application is now available.  Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter established the scholarship in honor of the former Gateway Community College Dean of Students' contributions to the college and the Greater New Haven community.

    The scholarship is valued at one half of the full-time tuition for the spring and fall semesters at Gateway Community College.  Eligible applicants must be a female student of African descent, accepted or enrolled in the college's nursing program.  The minimum GPA is 3.00 and the applicant must demonstrate a financial need.  Click here to download the scholarship application that is due March 18, 2011.

    Click here for more information about our scholarship program.

    For other academic scholarships, fellowships and community assistance awards, visit the sorority's Educational Advancement Foundation, Inc. website. 

  • 18 Feb 2011 11:38 PM | Anonymous

    Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter is pleased to announce the 2011 winners of the annual Emma Ruff Essay Writing Contest.  Three very talented writers from James Hillhouse High School in New Haven, CT will be awarded monetary book awards for their submission to the topic:  The pros and cons of social networking and how it has directly or indirectly impacted your life.

    2011 Contest Winners Name Grade
    First Prize Kenechukwu Okeke 10th Grade
    Second Prize Ishtar S. Edwards 12th Grade
    Third Prize Asia Dixon 12th Grade

    The chapter's Scholarship Committee and other members will present the students their book awards at the school's Black History Month program on February 28, 2011. 

    Click here for more information about the Emma Ruff Essay Writing Contest and why the chapter has named this book award in her honor.

    For more information about Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter's scholarship programs, e-mail scholarship@akanewhaven.org

    Additional scholarship, internship and fellowship information may be found at www.akaeaf.org

  • 04 Feb 2011 11:43 AM | Anonymous

    Attention Graduating Class of 2011!

    Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter is offering a four-year scholarship, up to $4,000, to a graduating senior in the top third of his or her class.  The applicant must verify acceptance to and attendance at an accredited post-secondary school or college, and reside in Greater New Haven. 

    Students applying must submit the following postmarked by April 22, 2011:

    • Completed application (fillable form);
    • An official transcript with ACT or SAT scores;
    • A letter of recommendation from your guidance counselor AND a teacher of an academic subject;
    • A typewritten autobiographical essay, minimum of 250 words and a maximum of 2 pages.

    The entire application packet should be checked by your counselor.

    Applicant must forward completed application packets to:

    Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter
    Attn:  Scholarship Chairmen, Mrs. Thomas & Mrs. Grasty
    P.O. Box 8298
    New Haven, CT 06530

    Click here for more information and to see past recipients of our scholarship program. 

    Please address all questions to scholarship@akanewhaven.org

    Note:  The application has been converted into a Portable Document Format (PDF).  If you are having issues with viewing the document, please check the version of Adobe Reader that you are using.  If you have a version older than 9.0, please visit the Adobe website to download an updated version of Adobe Reader.  Users with Adobe Reader may not save a copy of their completed form.  Please complete the form and print copies to submit and keep for your records.

  • 20 Jan 2011 12:20 PM | Anonymous

    International President, Carolyn House Stewart welcomed members to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. National Founders' Day celebration in Little Rock, Arkansas.  In honor of 103 years of Global Leadership through Timeless Service, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members, including Elicia Pegues Spearman, President of Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter, held true to its founding values by spanning the city in numerous acts of Service to All Mankind.

    Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was founded on January 15, 1908.  The National Founders' Day celebration ran from January 13-16, 2011. 

    Here's just a snippet of the difference made in Little Rock, Arkansas by members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.:

    • As part of the "Pink and Green in Action" service projects, over 60 members winterized the homes of six elderly citizens.
    • Members played BINGO with residents of a Little Rock public housing development while providing door prizes and refreshments.
    • Members sorted and packaged donations of hats, scarves, books, toiletries, and shoes to be shipped to area schools, shelters and service organizations.
    • Members redecorated rooms at a domestic violence safe haven for women and children.
    • Members gathered at a Little Rock high school to speak with students about how Martin Luther King, Jr. impacted their lives.
    • Members assembled toiletry kits for local residents in need.
    • To promote financial literacy and to encourage the development of young leaders, members made a large donation of books to a local magnet school during the Founders' Day celebration.
    • Members engaged and played with children ages two to five years old at an in-residence substance abuse treatment center for women and children.
    • Members prepared food baskets for and served hot lunch to more than 150 people who are homeless or simply in need of a helping hand.

    Read the full stories of the various service projects here

    View photos of Elicia Pegues Spearman, President of Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter, in Little Rock, Arkansas here.

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