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    Dillard In The News
    IHeart Radio's 'This Day in Quiztory' featured a Narrative written by DU Student Kristin Livingston PDF Print E-mail
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    Dillard's Film Dept. Shines in "Runaway Hearts" PDF Print E-mail
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    UNION GAP, Wash. -- It's a story about strangers who extend a helping hand and the miracle that occurs with every decision made. A fitting plot, especially since it's written in Yakima and required some leaps of faith from investors to make it a reality. The crew, visiting the Majestic Theater in Union Gap, finally got to preview their finished piece. 

    "Even as I watch it now, having written it, I still kind of welt up," said Scott Sandsberry, writer and producer of "Runaway Hearts. "Even though these are fictional characters, these are real life situations that happen." 

    "Runaway Hearts" wouldn't have seen any screen time without the help from local support. Yakima-area supporters was the difference needed to make the movie a reality. 

    "You can really see why this is referred to as Yakima's film, or Yakima's movie, because again the love and everything that's behind it really shows on the big screen," said Cortheal Clark, "Runaway Hearts" Production Designer. 

    They feel blessed for the money raised locally -- they reached out to friends, colleagues and acquaintances who invested time and resources into the project. Although it was filmed in New Orleans, Sandsberry pictured houses along Tieton Road when he wrote the story. The plot was inspired by a dinner conversation Sandsberry had with his wife. 

    The story caught the attention of a New Orleans director, who was struck by the selfless nature of the characters -- a trait Director Keith Allan Morris says is rare in the competitive movie industry.

    "It's a brutal business sometimes, and we wanted to be sweet to the kids, I think they had such a positive experience out of it. That's what really mattered most to me," said Morris. 

    They spent two months filming in New Orleans where the crew became family, living together in the buildings of Dillard University with big-name actors such as John Schneider, Wendell Pierce, and Jay Kenneth Johnson. 

    Sandsberry feels blessed the cast was just as supportive behind the scenes as they were on camera. 

    "If we aren't reaching out our hands, if we're turning away, we're missing the boat," said Sandsberry. 

    There were many helping hands along the way.

    KIPP Now Has 65 College Partners with Dillard University being One of Them PDF Print E-mail
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    One out of every 5 KIPP alumni in college is now enrolled at an official college partner, up from 1 in 8 just one year ago. Our growing number of college partners means there are more schools committed to building programs to support first-generation students all the way through graduation day. And, consider how this changes our students’ college experience: we now have groups of KIPPsters going off to colleges together – arriving on campus and forming support systems for each other. So that means that the 82 KIPPsters at San Jose State University, the 34 at the University of Texas at Austin, the 28 KIPPsters at Dillard University in New Orleans, the 25 KIPPsters at University of Arkansas, the 21 at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the 16 at Spelman College, and the 29 KIPPsters at the University of Pennsylvania can support each other on the climb to and through.

    Inaugural Health Disparities Lecture Series Named for, Dillard University Alumn, John Ruffin, Health Disparities Champion PDF Print E-mail
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    New Orleans, LA (January 5, 2015) Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education (CMHDRE) will present the Inaugural John Ruffin Lecture Series during its Eighth Health Disparities Conference, March 12-14, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The lecture series is named for John Ruffin, founding director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health.  Dr Ruffin is being recognized as a champion who addressed the rebalancing of the unequal burden of illness particularly as it affects minority, rural, and poor populations through programs aimed at increasing participation by minority scientists, physicians, and other health professionals to create a diverse group of researchers in the health disparities field.

    CMHDRE Director Dr. Daniel Sarpong and Dr. Kathleen Kennedy, Dean College of Pharmacy will co-chair the conference. “We are very fortunate to have a long-termed, dedicated champion in eliminating health disparities as a part of our community such as Dr. Ruffin,” said Dr. Sarong. “His leadership and devotion greatly contributed to improving the health and welfare of US citizens. 
    “The John Ruffin Lecture Series, which will be inaugurated at our March 2015 conference, is a fitting tribute in recognition of the important contributions Dr Ruffin has made in the area of health for people in the nation and around the world, particularly people of color. We are pleased to be able to acknowledge this champion,” added” Dr. Kennedy.

    “Dr. John Ruffin is certainly deserving of this honor and recognition,” said Xavier University of Louisiana President Dr. Norman C. Francis. “His vision and leadership has contributed to a global conversation about minority health and health disparities, positively affecting people of color and speaking to personal issues that have longstanding consequences.”

    Dr. Ruffin earned a B.S. in Biology from Dillard University, a M.S. in Biology from Atlanta University, a Ph.D. in Systematic and Developmental Biology from Kansas State University, and completed post-doctoral studies in biology at Harvard University. His track record of dedication to leadership and career advancement for individuals from racial and ethnic minority populations was nurtured through his experience as instructor of biology at Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Assistant Professor of Biology at Atlanta University; Associate Professor of Biology at Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Alabama; Cabot Teaching Fellow at Harvard University; and Professor Biology, Chair of the Department of Biology, and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at North Carolina Central University.

    His achievements include nine honorary Doctor of Science degrees. He has been recognized by various professional, non-profit, and advocacy organizations. He has also received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award for National Service, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Special Recognition Award; and the U.S. Presidential Merit Award.

    The John Ruffin Inaugural Lecture Series is established to recognize an individual or organization that promotes or improves the health of individuals, families, communities, or populations by addressing timely issues in health policy, treatment, research, or advocacy, particularly minorities. The XULA2015 Executive Committee will announce the inaugural lecturer within the next two weeks.

    For more information about the Eight Health Disparities Conference, visit or call 404.559.6191.

    How the HBCU Experience Prepared Me for Ivy League School, Life PDF Print E-mail
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    When I graduated from Dillard University on May 10, 2014, I was the first person in my family, like many others that day, to graduate from college. While walking across the stage at the UNO Lakefront Arena, I felt like I was not only taking that stride with pride for my mother, but for all of my ancestors who wished they had the same opportunity to conquer such a feat. It was one of the proudest moments of my life, but I knew I was just getting started on this journey called life.

    As senior year approached, I questioned what it was I wanted to do next. My long term goal for my career is to run for office and become the first black Speaker of the House, but I knew I needed something else to do in the interim. My interest in the intersection of the black community (along with other marginalized communities) with politics, religion, education and social justice is what wakes me up in the morning, and I asked myself how can I continue to be of service to others? I contemplated attending law school or divinity school and even considered the Peace Corps, but it was the day I was accepted to Yale, that I became fully aware of what I wanted to do.

    Yale University is an Ivy League filled with prestige and possibility because of the access it provides. I told my mom I was accepted to Yale and she was more excited than I was. I decided to attend Yale Divinity School because of the environment I would be in; I would be able to learn more about religion among the nation’s top future leaders, and how to use religion to help further advance my community. I was excited, I am excited, and figured the journey from a Black Ivy League to a real Ivy League would be the next step.

    And this is where it begins: I subconsciously labeled Yale as a “real” Ivy League in the same context of a Black Ivy League, and it is this sentiment that has compelled me to pen this letter. I was so determined to enter an Ivy League, I had almost forgotten where I came from. I didn’t question my implicit intentions then, but it is now, that I am explicitly exposing them.

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