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Seven Dillard Students Spend the Summer Studying at Law Schools Throughout the Country PDF Print E-mail
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Adria Kimbrough and Judge Kern A. Reese, working with Dillard University students during mock trail practice in the Justice Revius O. Ortique Jr. Mock Trial Courtroom. Photo by L. Kasimu Harris 

 May 31, 2016

Dillard University's long-standing history of producing graduates who have excelled in the areas of law and advocacy continues with seven students selected into 2016 summer law programs at various law school across the country.  

Faith Flugence ’18 and Malaysha Seals ’18 have been selected for the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program for College Students at St. John’s University School of Law in New York.  This is an eight (8) week program prepares students for the challenges of law school and for the law school application process with courses taught by law school faculty, internships with judges and lawyers, a customized LSAT prep course; and with advising on all aspects of the admission process. It received an award from the American Bar Association for exemplary leadership and success in expanding the pipeline of diversity into the legal profession. Faith and Malaysha continue the tradition of Dillard alumna Lauren Lemonious '13 (who recently graduated from Harvard Law School) and Simona Sanders '16 (who will be starting law school at Golden Gate University in August) who also participated in the Ronald H. Brown program at St. John's University.  

Ke’Adria Miller ’19 was selected for two programs: the Summer for Undergraduates Program at Florida State University College of Law and the Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars Program at the Chicago-Kent College of Law (Illinois Institute of Technology). Ke’Adria has chosen to attend the program at Florida State which brings to campus undergraduate students from around the country for a month-long immersion into legal study.

Raven Morris ’19 was selected to attend the Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars Program at St. Louis University School of Law. As a part of this program, Raven will receive free room and board along with a $1,000 stipend and a $200 travel reimbursement.

Kevona Naylor-Dibble ’18 was selected to attend the University of Houston Law Center Pre-Law Pipeline Program.  This is an eight (8) program designed to equip students for the demands of the LSAT exam, the law school application process, a law school career and includes a law related internship.  Kevona received a full scholarship to attend.

Madison Torry ’19 was selected to attend the Pre-Law Scholars Summer Enrichment Program at Howard University School of Law.  This is a four (4) week program designed to help students gain admission into law school and succeed once there. As a part of this program, Madison will receive free room and board along with a $1,200 stipend.

 Victoria Whiteside ’18 was selected to attend the Summer Pre-Law Program sponsored by the University of Arkansas School of Law. This is a four (4) week program which includes LSAT professional development, guest speakers, and academic instruction, in Legal Systems and Process and Legal Communication and Oral Advocacy, that will assist the students in improving their performance in their undergraduate work across several disciplines.

About Dillard University's Legal Education 

Dillard University's history preparing student for law school and legal careers dates back to 1869 when Straight College instituted its law program and graduates were admitted to the Louisiana State Bar without examination. Pioneers and civil rights leaders like Louis A. Martinet and Rudolphe L. Desdunes were at the forefront of the landmark Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). Since then, Dillard has graduated hundreds of successful lawyers, judges, and legislators, including the late Revius O. Ortique Jr., the first African American to serve on the Louisiana Supreme Court, and today, Judge Carl E. Stewart, the first African American Chief Judge to serve on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Dillard Signs Five-Year Agreement with U.S. Army Research Laboratory PDF Print E-mail
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Image taken from a video of Dr. Abdalla Darwish, center, working with students in the laser lab. 

May 31, 2016

NEW ORLEANS – Over the last fifteen years the Dillard University physics program has gained a national standing in graduating African American physicists who have earned advanced degrees.  Dillard’s program is among the Top 15 in the nation, and ranks as the second highest producer of African Americans who then earn PhDs in physics, according to the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and the American Physical Society (APS).  During that time the University has also established a strong working relationship with the United States Department of Defense to perform research.

As an extension of its current grants funding in physics, Dillard University has signed a five-year, multi-task Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL). 

Dr. Abdalla Darwish, Dillard’s first Presidential Professor, has long-standing relationships with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Army Research office (ARO) and the Army Research lab (ARL). He said, “The funding that we have secured will go to support student research during summer for 10 weeks for hands-on training and continued work throughout the upcoming academic year.”  

To date, more than 15 peer reviewed research papers and five patents are pending,  as a result from the current research.  “One of the most exciting projects developed is a double and triple Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) and Matrix assisted PLD,” Darwish continued, “which has changed the way Pulsed Laser Depositions are done around the world and advanced the technology to another dimension.”

The agreement is based on the discovery of a Novel Adaptable and Sensory Materials System.  The new materials system will be the  building blocks in the development of unique capabilities in intelligent multifunctional materials capable of detecting, analyzing, and reacting to environmental changes of the interests.  The ARL also sought out Dillard for its work on the cutting edge of the area of the fabrication of the thin film for optical, chemical and biosensors, and other nanotechnology sciences.

“A CRADA is typically reached with R1 institutions, and Dillard University with our cutting edge technology is on the way to reaching that level,” Professor Darwish said.  “This will open the doors to greater opportunities for more training for our physics and pre-engineering students and provide them with the skills they need for graduate school and beyond.”

Through the agreement, the ARL will provide core competencies in cryogenic nanostructuring process and smart materials process sciences while Dillard will provide core expertise in related analytical materials sciences and in a physics multi beam pulsed laser deposition process, recently invented by Professor Darwish himself.

Dr. Yolanda Page, Vice President for Academic Affairs, anticipates that the CRADA will strengthen the university’s ongoing projects with both the Army and Air Force. “Physics is one of Dillard’s signature programs and our goal is to be a primary destination for students who are interested in this particular discipline,” she said. “What makes this doubly exciting are the opportunities that will be afforded to our students to be involved in research and the opportunity for faculty exchange, bringing new minds to our campus and to continue to elevate our program.”

For More Information, Contact:

David M. Grubb

504.816.4024 office

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Dillard has four selected as finalists for 2016 HBCU Awards PDF Print E-mail
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NEW ORLEANS – Dillard University has finalists in four categories at the upcoming Sixth Annual HBCU Awards.  The ceremony will be held on July 15, 2016 and is sponsored by HBCU Digest.  Finalists were selected from more than 600 submissions from around the country and were “based upon media exposure and impact on institutional progress made during the 2015-16 academic year,” according to the announcement released by HBCU Digest.

A panel of previous HBCU Award Winners, presidents and chancellors, media members that cover HBCUs, alumni, and students, selects the winners.  Winners are to be announced at the awards ceremony. 

Dillard University Nominations

Awards in Athletic Excellence

Male Coach of the Year – Mike Newell, Men’s Basketball

Male Athlete of the Year – Demetric Austin, Men’s Basketball

Men’s Team of the Year – Dillard University Men’s Basketball

Awards in Individual Achievement

Male Faculty Member of the Year – Robert Collins

Dillard University's Commencement 2016 Recap PDF Print E-mail
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NEW ORLEANS – Dillard University held its 80th Commencement on Saturday, May 7, at 8 a.m., on the historic Avenue of the Oaks and conferred more than 200 undergraduate degrees.

Terrence “J” Jenkins, actor, philanthropist, and author delivered this year’s commencement address. Jenkins may be best known for his seven-year stint on “BET’s 106 & Park” and his starring role as Michael in the films “Think Like a Man” and “Think Like a Man Too.”  Most recently he spent three years co-hosting “E! News” on the E! Network.  In 2013 he published his first book, “The Wealth of My Mother’s Wisdom,” which was an in-depth look at his mother’s journey raising him as a teenager.  In addition to his thriving entertainment career, Jenkins is also a spokesperson for Ronald McDonald’s House Charities Future Achievers Scholarship Campaign, a mentor with Steve Harvey’s Disney Dreamers Academy and an avid supporter of the Newark New Jersey Boys and Girls Club.  The Queens, New York native spent his formative years in Rocky Mount, North Carolina and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from North Carolina A & T University.  Jenkins is also a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.

This year’s honorary degree recipients are President of the Ray Charles Foundation, Valerie Ervin and actor Garrett Morris ’58 (“2 Broke Girls,” “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Saturday Night Live”).

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 5.05.09 PMValerie Ervin began her career hand-selected by international music icon Ray Charles to serve by his side and today stewards his legacy as president of the foundation that bears his name.  She played an important role in the production of the Oscar-winning film “Ray” and in the release of the best-selling album “Genius Loves Company,” featuring duets with Mr. Charles and some of music’s most legendary names.  Ervin also orchestrated the establishment of the Ray Charles Memorial Library, the U.S. Postal Service’s Ray Charles Forever Stamp, the naming of a Los Angeles USPS branch in Charles’ honor, and the recognition of his RPM Building as a historic site.  Today, she oversees the work of the Ray Charles Foundation in the fields of hearing and education that began some 30 years ago, including the Dillard University Ray Charles African-American Material Culture Program, which was established by Charles in 2003 to help preserve the unique culinary traditions and culture of New Orleans and the South.

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 5.05.20 PMGarrett Morris, who has been entertaining audiences for nearly six decades, is a native New Orleanian and proud Dillard alumnus.  After graduating from Dillard he attended Manhattan School of Music and studied voice for five years at Julliard.  His professional career as began as a performer with the Harry Belafonte singers, with whom he performed for a decade.  During this time Morris branched out into acting, appearing in both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions of “Porgy and Bess,” “Show Boat,” “The Great White Hope,” and others.  He took on his most-well known role in 1975 as one of the original cast members of the landmark sketch-comedy series “Saturday Night Live.”  Since leaving SNL in 1980, Morris has been a fixture on television.  He is also the playwright of two original works, and in 2014 he added recording artist to his list of credits, releasing the CD “Black Creole Chronicles,” with jazz musician Billy Mitchell.  Morris currently resides in Los Angeles, where Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa honored him in 2007 for his work and contributions to the black community.

Each of this year’s honorary degree recipients will be conferred a doctorate of humane letters by Dillard President Walter M. Kimbrough.

“Our honorary degree recipients are all extremely accomplished in their fields and are embodiments of the type of success that should inspire our graduates,” says Dr. Kimbrough.  “They also reflect Dillard’s enduring commitment to the arts and celebrate the transformative power of the platform that each of these individuals have worked so hard to reach.”

As part of the commencement ceremonies, the University also presented Golden Citations to members of the Class of 1966, who celebrated its 50th anniversary.

More photos from Commencement 2016

Stephanie Akpapuna Garners Media Coverage With Unique Achievement PDF Print E-mail
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 Video on WDSU

Video on WWLTV  


NEW ORLEANS – Stephanie Akpapuna, a Theatre Arts major from Lagos, Nigeria, has been named valedictorian of the Dillard University Class of 2016.  Arin Ryan, a Film major from LaPlace, Louisiana, has been selected as class salutatorian.

Akpapuna delivered the valedictory address at Dillard’s Commencement exercise on Saturday, May 7. 

Akpapuna is part of a very unique family tradition at Dillard University.  Both of her older sisters, Jennifer, ’04, and Merrilyn, ’14 were valedictorians of their graduating classes.

“I’m proud and humbled by the fact that I could do my sisters proud and also keep the legacy they started going,” said Akpapuna.  “Dillard has been a wonderful experience.  I’ve enjoyed my stay here and I’ve learned so much. I would have been a number somewhere else, but at Dillard you are treated as an individual.  Here we’re so family oriented and it’s great to have that.”

After graduation, she will attend Carnegie Mellon University where she will pursue her Master of Fine Arts in stage and production management. 

Akpapuna has been named a Presidential Scholar and is a recipient of the Humanities Talent Scholarship, the Ray Charles Scholarship as well as the Denzel & Pauletta Washington Scholarship.

 She is a member of the Dean’s list and has been inducted into Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society and Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society. Akpapuna is also a participant in the Daniel C. Thompson/Samuel DuBois Cook Honors Program.

 As a member of the Theatre Department she was worked on or appeared in 14 theatrical productions.

A graduate of Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls Secondary School in Lagos, Nigeria, she is the daughter of Dr. Emmanuel and Rita Akpapuna.

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