College news in the Huntsville area – new provost at AAMU + grant for UAH

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College news here locally includes a new appointment at AAMU, a new grant at UAH and a new book at Oakwood. (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

The Huntsville area’s colleges and universities are closing out summer sessions and about to welcome students back to campus for the fall semester, but all of the area’s institutions of higher learning have been busy this summer, even without their full student bodies on campus.

Here are some of the latest happenings on campuses in the Huntsville area:

Alabama A&M names new provost

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Dr. John Jones has been named the new provost at Alabama A&M. (AAMU)

College news last week included a new interim althletic director at Alabama A&M University. This week, AAMU announced it has concluded a national search to fill the coveted position of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

After a review of dozens of qualified applicants, AAMU selected an internal candidate, Dr. John D. Jones, the current associate vice president and Dean of Graduate Studies.

Jones is a seasoned administrator with more than 25 years of experience at private and public universities. Jones previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fisk University, Lincoln University and Mississippi Valley State University.

He also has served in associate vice chancellor/president positions at Keiser University, Fort Valley State University and Bennett College.  In his former capacities, Jones has served as a sought-after accreditation liaison and has had considerable success in boosting enrollment; developing retention and academic support services; recruiting quality faculty and staff; developing curriculum; and establishing rapport with students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Jones holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from Johnson C. Smith University; a Master of Science degree and Doctor of Philosophy in education administration in education research and evaluation, and higher education leadership, respectively, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

UAH College of Business receives gift from Regions Bank

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In other college news, the UAH College of Business received a $30,000 gift from Regions Bank. (Michael Mercier / UAH)

The University of Alabama in Huntsville announced this week that the UAH College of Business has received a $30,000 gift from Regions Bank to fund a new Financial Wellness Program.

This support will enable the COB to fully implement a program that will provide students the opportunity to learn about financial planning and garner tools and resources to help safeguard their financial futures.

To prepare for this new offering, the COB piloted a program in 2020-2021 that generated noteworthy results indicating that such a program would greatly benefit the student population as a whole.

The purpose of the pilot program was to test the effects of a financial literacy program on the financial knowledge of students. The study was designed to determine if participants scored higher on a financial literacy instrument when first provided a program covering topics such as budgeting, saving money, resources and student loans.

The pilot study showed student knowledge in each of these areas would be improved considerably by implementation of such a program. Going forward, support from Regions Bank will allow the COB to offer the program to a wider audience, with preference for Pell Grant recipients, with an incentive to participate of $500 administered through financial aid. Students who participate will also take part in both pre- and post-program surveys.

Oakwood University professor publishes children’s book

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Grandma Annie’s Poetry was written by professor Ramona Hyman of Oakwood University. (Oakwood University)

Dr. Ramona Hyman, a professor at Oakwood University’s Department of English and Foreign Languages, recently published a children’s book, entitled Grandma Annie’s Poetry.

The book is a great introduction to poetry for children, with illustrations that go along with the text to help children get the rhyme and meter of poetry.

Hyman, a native of Philadelphia, has served as an English professor for more than 30 years, and In 2022 was selected to serve as a Governor’s appointee to the Alabama State Council on the Arts

African American literary critic Dr. Joyce Joyce says Hyman is a writer who “challenges readers to explore a poetic imagination grounded in a feel for the southern landscape, African American literary and political history, Black spirituality, and a creative fusion of Black folk speech with a Euro-American poetic vernacular. [She] emerges as a strong . . .intellectual poetic voice.”

Check back next week for more local college newsFollow Hville Blast on FacebookTikTok and Instagram, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss announcements on what’s happening in and around Huntsville.

Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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