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    Thursday's Financial Tips Kem Cents by Kemberley Washington, CPA PDF Print E-mail
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    Kem WashingtonAt payday, many of us begin budgeting from our net pay. We often neglect to consider how we can make adjustments to increase our take home pay or even review what is actually being deducted. As a result, we may settle for certain taxes, deductions, and other payments which may not benefit us at all.

    Do you know you can increase your take home pay by making necessary adjustments to your tax withholding?

    Check your allowances
    S1, S2, or M3 – what does it all mean? Your tax deductions depend solely on the information you provide to your human resources department via your W-4 form. This form determines the amount of taxes to be deducted from your check. If you withholding too much, you should increase your allowances. For example, if you currently claim S1 (single and one allowance) or M1 (married and one allowance), you should increase the number of allowances to reduce the amount of taxes being withheld from your paycheck.

    Don’t let the government use your money interest free
    Now keep in mind, the number of allowances does not have to necessarily equal the number of exemptions you claim on your tax return. As a matter of fact, to get the most of your money it should probably be more! Why is that? Because at the end of the tax year, it is advantageous to break even instead of getting a refund. Think about it, if you are getting a tax refund year after year, you are essentially allowing the federal government to hold your money and give it back to you interest free! Consider making adjustments to your allowances and utilizing the money to pay down debt, save, or invest. Isn’t that a better use of your money?

    There is an app for that
    Before you head over to the human resources department, take a moment to determine the correct amount of taxes you should deduct. Be careful! Make certain you do not underestimate your tax liability, this could potentially lead to additional penalties and interest. There are many sites, tools and apps available to help you. A great way to determine the correct withholding tax is to use the IRS withholding calculator. This withholding calculator allows you to enter your projected income and deductions to determine the correct number of allowances to claim in order to break even at year-end.

    Remember, your choice, your future!

    Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and a business professor at Dillard University. Follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her blog at kemberley.com.

     
    Former Dillard Board member and native New Orleanian named CEO of Carnival Corp. PDF Print E-mail
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    g4P90.Em.56With a professional history steeped in agricultural technology and sugar substitutes, Arnold Donald seems an unlikely choice for chief executive of the world’s largest cruise ship company.

    But it was his history at a variety of companies, nonprofits and executive boards — and his “fresh perspective” — that made him the pick to fill Micky Arison’s shoes as Carnival Corp. CEO. Arison will hold on to his role as chairman.

    After deciding to step down as CEO as the company split the two roles, Arison suggested Donald, who has been a member of Carnival’s board for 12 years. Former colleagues spoke highly of Donald, 58, and said he was fit for the job.

    “He’s more than capable of running Carnival,” said Ronald Parker, president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council, which Donald led from 2010-2012.

    Parker was a board member of the organization, a forum for African-American CEOs and senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, during Donald’s tenure. With his appointment to CEO, Donald joins a small group of black CEOs of major Fortune 500-level corporations. Carnival Corp. is not on the list because it is incorporated in Panama for tax purposes.

    “He has prepared himself for over 30 years, understands businesses are made of people and he’s known for engaging with a broad spectrum of individuals,” Parker said. “He’s a results-oriented leader who’ll drive sustainable change at Carnival.”

    At the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where Donald was president and CEO from 2006-2008, he brought his expertise from Monsanto, an agriculture and biotechnology company where he worked for more than two decades. He was also chairman and CEO and a founder of Merisant, a sweetener company whose products include Equal and Pure Via.

    “When he came here, he proposed that we put together a research program working with pharmaceutical companies,” said Marie Davis, an executive director at the foundation who has known Donald for more than 15 years.

    Davis said Donald is a delegator, a trait that should serve him well at a company with 10 individual brands.

    “He picks leaders and expects them to put a plan together,” she said. “He doesn’t micromanage.”

    Donald currently serves on several boards, including Bank of America Corp., Crown Holdings; Laclede Group, Carleton College and several arts institutions in St. Louis, where he lives. He is married with two daughters, a son and five grandchildren.

    His time as a board member at Dillard University, a historically black college based in New Orleans, coincided with Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the campus.

    Board member Andrew Wisdom said board members considered tough choices, including moving the college to Atlanta. But Donald, a native of New Orleans, was among those who took action to raise money and rebuild.

    Click here to read the article on the Miami Herald website.

     
    Judge Yolanda J. King, '79, to be Sworn in at Dillard Monday, June 24 PDF Print E-mail
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    The Honorable Yolanda J.  King, a Dillard graduate from the Class of 1979, will take the oath of office as Judge of Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, Section “E” on June 24, 2013 at 6 p.m. in the Georges Auditorium.
     
    King was elected on May 4, 2013, and brings more than 20 years of legal experience to bench.  E=before being elected, King held a number of judicial and administrative positions including Administrative Law Judge with the Division of Administration in Baton Rouge, La.; Assistant District Attorney with the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office; Law Clerk for current Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart, ’71, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; as well as research attorney for several prominent judges including Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson.
     
    The campus community is invited to attend.
     
    Maxwell: Historically black colleges still have a role, Dillard University president notes PDF Print E-mail
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    WMK 2-20122Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in New Orleans, is known for his no-nonsense leadership style, fresh ideas and willingness to speak publicly about the plight of historically black colleges and universities. When hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre donated $30 million to the University of Southern California in May, Kimbrough wrote a column for the Los Angeles Times arguing that the gift would have best served an HBCU. I spoke with Kimbrough about Dr. Dre's gift and other HBCU-related issues.

    What are your basic concerns with Dr. Dre's gift?

    Kimbrough: I always acknowledged that it is his money, and he is free to do as he pleases. But my question was whether that large sum of money could be better used somewhere else. I speak as an HBCU president. Our average family income is $31,000 a year, and 76 percent of the students receive the Pell grant. USC is already a wealthy school. Their $3.5 billion endowment generates enough interest in three months to cover my annual operating budget. If major gifts only go to wealthy schools that increasingly enroll wealthy and privileged students, aren't we exacerbating an already serious problem of inequity, especially for groups that will become the majority?

    What are the biggest challenges for HBCUs, public and private, if they are to remain viable?

     

    First, there is just a larger pool of schools for black students to choose from. A recent report indicates that a great number of blacks are doing for-profit, online programs. While this provides great flexibility in taking classes, it is very expensive, so people are finding themselves in greater debt, often not finishing their degrees. But the point I also make is that HBCUs have been more resilient than other specialty schools. For example, women's colleges numbered 300 in 1960, and now there are fewer than 45. Studies suggest less than 2 percent of women look for an all-women's experience, while still 25 percent of black students attend an HBCU as undergraduates. The other major issue is that HBCUs serve the population that has little wealth, lower incomes and higher unemployment. When this is your community you serve, you're going to have financial issues.

    What do HBCUs do well?

     

    I think the biggest thing we do well is to provide a real opportunity for success for students who may have had all the cards stacked against them. This is the only sector that really prides itself on admitting low-income, first-generation students and working to get them prepared to be competitive. It is definitely a hard job, which is why graduation rates are lower, as they are for all schools that enroll a high percentage of low-income students. But for the future of the nation, we have to do a better job of taking these students and preparing them to be successful citizens.

    Will the United States always need HBCUs?

    I think there will always be students who want an HBCU experience. I definitely believe there will be fewer HBCUs. But if people really want to end HBCUs, they should focus more on recruiting black students and making them feel welcome at majority institutions. There are still numerous incidents every year on college campuses, including USC this year, that remind black students that this is not your school. So the message seems to be we don't want HBCUs, and we really don't want black students on our campus either. None of the folks who attack HBCUs fight to make sure all campuses are welcoming to black students. And until that happens, HBCUs will be needed.

    What about the low graduation rates of HBCUs we hear a lot about?

    HBCUs enroll the highest percentage of low-income students in the nation. It is a job that no one seems to want, and since U.S. News rankings reward schools for limiting underrepresented minorities, older students and poor students, the quality of the schools are constantly questioned. People compare graduation rates of schools with fewer than 20 percent of the students receiving the Pell grant against those that have high Pell grant populations. All the research shows that as you increase the number of poor students, graduation rates decline. It is as simple as that. If people would look at the Washington Monthly rankings, which measure impact of schools, you find that HBCUs are just as productive as other schools, maybe even more so.

    Click here to read article on Tampa Bay Times

     
    Minority Research Center in Arkansas names Dr. Valandra German, '01 as Director PDF Print E-mail
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    310295 web Valandra-German-web

    PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Dr. Valandra German, former Interim Chair & Assistant Professor of the School of Public Health at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, has been named Director of The Minority Research Center on Tobacco and Addictions (211 West 3rd Avenue, Suite 215; Pine Bluff, AR).


    In 2011, the Minority Research Center on Tobacco and Addictions (MRC) was established through a partnership between the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the Minority Initiative Sub-Recipient Grant Office, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Master of Science Degree in Addiction Studies program, and the Arkansas Department of Health. Its mission is to provide assistance to the state and nation in tobacco and other substance abuse research, prevention, education, technical assistance and evaluation, in regards to minority populations (Blacks, Hispanics, Marshall Islanders, and Asians)


    “I am honored and excited to have been selected as Director of the Minority Research Center on Tobacco and Addictions,” exclaimed Dr. German. “I have been a longtime supporter of research related to health disparities, tobacco use and other addictive substances. I look forward to capitalizing on the vision of the MRC.”


    As Director, Dr. German will provide consultation, support, and evaluation of the key components of the Center: research and dissemination; education and training; cessation and prevention; and wellness.


    “Dr. German will be a true asset to the MRC here in Pine Bluff,” commented Dr. Mary Benjamin, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. “Her breadth of experience and skill set will be invaluable to this organization as we continue to lay the groundwork for success.”


    Dr. German earned her doctorate in Public Health/Community Health Education from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, her master’s degree in Public Health/Community Health Education from the Des Moines University of Osteopathic Medicine, and her bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education from Dillard University.

    Click here to view this article on UAPB News

    Click here to read more on Pine Buff The Commerical's website

     
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