Dr. Kimberly D. Kendricks, chair, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, College of Science and Engineering is among 19 professors across the nation selected to participate in the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE at Drexel ®) Course at Drexler University in Philadelphia this 2013-2014.
Kendricks is 1999 graduate of Miami Valley School in Kettering; a 2003/2004 double Bachelor of Science major in mathematics and business, respectively; and a 2006/2006Master’s and Doctorate degrees in mathematics, respectively. She is the daughter of the late Willie Kendricks and Ms. Lillie Howard of Dayton.
"Central State University's College of Science and Engineering is extremely proud of the fact that, Dr. Kimberly Kendricks, the new chair of mathematics and computer science, has been chosen as a fellow of the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE) Program for 2013 -2014 at Drexel University - a joint program by Drexel University and Drexel University College of Medicine,” said Dr. Subramania I. Sritharan, interim dean, College of Science and Engineering. “This recognition is based on Dr. Hendricks' experience with excellence in academics and leadership. Her participation in the program will enable professional development for her in the areas of leading and managing change initiatives and strategic management ofresources. Dr. Kendricks' participation will contribute to the enhancement of the missions of her Department, College and the University," he said.
The 2nd incoming class of ELATE at Drexel ® includes 19 experience and diverse women faculty in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. They come from a range of universities and colleges across the country, many with global experience. Nearly half of the fellows have experience with leadership at levels of center directors, department chairs, and associate deans. Each was nominated by her dean or provost and will contribute to institutional initiatives as she expands her leadership skills.
The program focuses on increasing personal and professional leadership effectiveness, leading and managing change initiatives within their institutions, using strategic finance and resource management to enhance missions of their organizations, and creating a network of exceptional women who bring organizational perspectives and deep personal capacity to the institutions and society they serve. Facilitated by leaders in the fields of STEM research and leadership development, the curriculum includes classroom lessons and activities, online instruction and discussion, an on-the-job application at each Fellow’s home institution.
The Fellowship year concludes with the completion of an Institutional Action Project developed in collaboration with the Fellows’ dean or provost. These action projects are not only designed to address an institutional or departmental need or priority, but also help the Fellows understand the challenges institutions face and the skills a leadermust possess in order to address these challenges.
The work for this incoming class begins in May with online assignments and community building activities, and the program will conclude in March 2014 with a Symposium organized around their projects and graduation ceremonies attended by their deans and other university leaders. Fellows begin the first of three weeklong, in-residence sessions when they meet for the first time at the ACE Conference in Lafayette Hill, PA, on July 31, 2013.
by Dr. Jessica A. Johnson
On May 4, Central State University held its 65th commencement celebrating the passage of 267 Marauders to Centralians. The graduation ceremonies of historically black colleges and universities are known to be vibrant and upbeat, and Central State’s class of 2013 certainly held to this tradition by singing the Lord’s Prayer along with the chorus and engaging in call and response with platform speakers. As Central State graduates enter a shaky economy that is still a long way from recovery, optimism is definitely an attribute they will need going into a weak job market. While observing the ceremony and proudly acknowledging my former students, I could not help thinking about the grim projections for their success in landing positions in their chosen fields. The Great Recession has hit recent college graduates particularly hard, as many are underemployed and working in jobs that do not require degrees. An April report published by the Economic Policy Institute emphasized a distressing trend that all college students are facing: their lack of job opportunities is due to a minimal demand for a broad range of workers. Yet despite this bleak outlook for graduates, the encouraging words from Central State’s senior class president Chad Tillman, and the spirited charge from commencement speaker Roland S. Martin, were most appropriate for the challenges the class of 2013 will encounter.
Tillman’s remarks to his fellow classmates reflected wisdom beyond his youth. “Today is the seed time, not another season,” he said. “Today is not the pinnacle of our advancement … it is a comma, not a period. Keep your thoughts, words and habits positive.” I rarely hear young people talking about seasons in their lives. Since they are just beginning life’s journey, some have not given serious thought about the seeds they are currently planting. Tillman effectively pointed out that the previous years of schooling he and his peers had just completed are merely a start to the bright futures they are pursuing. Martin continued where Tillman left off telling graduates to be “focused, fearless and faithful.” Martin, who is an award-winning journalist and senior analyst for the Tom Joyner Morning Show, had the rhythmic flow of a preacher in his address. Students laughed at the start of Martin’s speech when he talked about the cultural celebration of family at HBCU graduations that include not just immediate relatives but also “play cousins, aunts and uncles.” While the students could relate to those observations, what seemed to resonate most with them was when Martin talked about seasons and levels, telling them, “It’s time for you to walk in your destiny.” For me, that summed up why CSU graduates took a step of faith to attend college in these difficult times. A large segment of Central State’s student population consists of kids from the urban cities of Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit. Many of them have experienced pain and loss that most of us have not seen in our adult years or could have imagined when we were their age. Some got through bad public schools and ignored negative remarks from unsupportive teachers who said they would never amount to anything. College for them has truly been the social contract our nation champions.
These graduates exemplify the fearlessness that Martin spoke of as he told them to act upon what they have prayed for and to live the life God has designed for them to live. Listening to Martin, I thought about the many times my students have said to me, “Dr. Johnson, I want a better life for myself and my family.” I am proud to say that those who walked across the stage are on their way to achieving their dreams. The job market looks dismal right now, but these graduates possess the tenacity to persevere.
Dr. Johnson is an assistant professor of English at Central State. She is an opinion columnist for The Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald and a special correspondent for The Columbus (Oh.) Dispatch.
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U.S. Representative, 3rd District of Ohio Joyce Beatty, who is also a 1972 alumna, introduced the commencement speaker, Mr. Roland S. Martin, a renown journalist and nationally-syndicated columnist, who told the graduates to walk in their destiny; be focused, be fearless and be faithful. Martin used examples within his own life to identify with the challenges students will face. He explained to students that it isn’t always about where you work, but the title you wear. Being a journalist, and the director of the radio station allowed him to have an audience with the various government and political leaders when they came to town. He used the opportunity he was given at the onset of his career to become the person he is today. Martin challenged the graduates to be fearless on their new journey and don’t be afraid to take chances. Finally, Martin encouraged the graduates to remain faithful, no matter the obstacles you face. He explained how during the Democratic National Convention that he had fallen ill and had no medical insurance. Faced with hundreds of thousands of debt, he was forced to file for bankruptcy, but he never gave up on his faith, and it sustained him during some of his darkest hours.
Immediately following the commencement address, Ulysses Simmons and Brandon Arnold were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army National Guard.
Faculty, family and friends enjoyed a reception on the grounds congratulating the 2013 graduates.
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