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  • E-News U. Contributor 8:16 am on December 30, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: Cannes, , Creative Minds in Cannes, , internships, Kanye West   

    Eat, play, work: Hampton U. students’ good life in Cannes 

    By Louis Washington

    College students apply by the dozens every year for Creative Minds in Cannes program. The Cannes Film Festival in France is arguably the world’s most prominent film fest.

    A number of Hampton University students have made the trip to participate in the festivities.

    Three years ago Robert Ford, founder of the Creative Minds in Cannes program, visited Hampton University to speak with students as part of an event set up by Eleanor Earl, English professor and cinema studies program coordinator.

    Last year, the Daily Press of Newport News-Hampton ran an article about the students from 2010 who traveled to participate in the Cannes Film fest. They included Jennifer Ibe, a 2011 graduate and print journalism major. Ibe found out about the program while she was in a fashion design class. Ford spoke to her class. She applied at the beginning of the semester and accepted by Thanksgiving. She was among 70 student worldwide chosen to participate in “Creative Minds in Cannes,” where she got to do hands-on film and public relations work at the festival.

    “I worked with a PR company, Rogers & Cowan that is based out of L.A.,” said Ibe. “I helped do PR work for the film titled ‘Moomins in 3D.’ Some of my duties were to do media kits, attend press events, edit and wrote bios for some of the actors and I also handled the press for actress Helena Mattsson, who starred in ‘Iron Man 2.’”

    Last summer, 12 Hampton U. students participated in Cannes, which was the highest number yet. There were 30 students from across the USA. They seemed to be in good company because there were also 3,959 companies in attendance. Each student was assigned to work with a company to work in a challenging public relations type of environment with the film company clients. Duties of the students in attendance included participating in workshops and film screenings.

    Among the students to participate were Derek Garlington, senior broadcast journalism major, and Imani Carter, senior English major. They also had opportunities to plan parties, network and gain knowledge about the public relations aspect of the film industry.

    “I interned with a company called the Film Stage,” said Carter, “They are an online company that produces movie reviews and interviews with actors/actresses and directors. While I was there I was able to write a movie review that was published on their site, and I transcribed interviews that were done with major actors and directors of some of the movies that were premiered.”

    Garlington, who also worked with Rogers & Cowan as a returning intern, said he had one of the best summers of his life with the Creative Minds in Cannes program: “The experience was absolutely breathtaking. I felt like a real intern running around and delivering invitations for one of the biggest parties in Cannes. Organizing press releases, handling talent, making them feel comfortable, doing research and more running around.

    “The best way I can explain it is I felt like a real useful intern.”

    Garlington was there for two weeks but he received a taste of the good life and had a brush with a few celebrities and important people in the music and film industry.

    “My biggest wow moment was getting invited to a party with Kanye [West] and Pharrell [Williams] on their yacht,” he said. “That moment was so surreal but the moment that topped it all off was having a drink with Miss America 2010. I didn’t realize it was her until halfway through our conversation. And she was so down to earth and cool.”

    A trip to participate in the Cannes Film Festival is estimated to cost a student approximately $3,500. There were sponsorships and scholarships available for some students to obtain. The program did not discriminate against students based on their academic majors.

    “The program offered me financial aid, but that was only $100 or so off the total price,” said Carter, “so I basically had to pay out of pocket, besides for a few people who gave me money in support of the cause.”

    Although this program is not a typical full summer internship – normally six weeks or 150 work hours – the competitiveness and challenge of it should make a great resume booster for all those who participate.

    The exciting summers that those adolescents experienced should certainly spark more interest for the program around the Hampton University campus as well as other colleges and universities.

    “The program does not spoon feed you at all,” Carter said, “so you would have to go there knowing what you want to do, what you want to see, and who you want to talk to. I would definitely recommend the program to students who are into film and journalism and public relations.”

    Every year the number of students who go increase. Next summer should be no different. This program is a great opportunity for students at Hampton to study abroad and gain experience in public relations and film and also boost their resumes.

    Said Garlington,” Every day I’d find a new, cool location or event and think, I really didn’t even get to experience that to the fullest because there are so many things to do.

    “My advice is do not sleep; it’s for the weak. You can sleep when you get home. I probably slept four hours on average and loved every single moment of it.”

    The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

  • E-News U. Contributor 7:18 am on December 29, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: alopecia, , keloids, Skin of color research   

    Skin game: Campus research institute is open and operating 

    By Alysia Sims                                                                                  

    The Skin of Color Research Institute has been on the campus of Hampton University since August 2010.  For some students it is just a nice building on Tyler Street where people are rarely seen.  However, for the employees that work there, it is where they do daily research to improve and understand diseases that occur on the skins of people of color.

    Two dermatologists, David McDaniel and Valerie Harvey, both professors at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, first suggested the idea of the Hampton University Skin of Color Research Institute (HUSCRI) to President William R. Harvey, reported Brandy Centolanza in thehealthjournal.com.

    Centolanza reported that McDaniel and Harvey explained to President Harvey that black skin was very different for other than just the pigment.  They told him about the lack of knowledge and research regarding diseases and other issues that affect black people and other people with skin of color.

    Walking into the Skin of Color Research Institute on any normal day, it may seem like no one works there.  The front lobby and the hallways were empty and it is extremely quiet.  Open any of the research room doors and the initial assumption is proven wrong.  About seven researchers are there for eight to 10 hours daily, working to come up with answers to skin disorders in people of color.

    Valerie Harvey said, “There are not any new major developments.  We are still in the early stages of our research focusing on three main areas.”

    The Skin of Color Research Institute uses its resources to develop therapies and identify disparities in diseases affecting people with skin of color, according to the HUSCRI website.  Their main focus is on three disorders:

    • Keloids, benign growths that occur as a result of trauma or injury to the skin. They can occur in anyone, but they appear to affect individuals of African, Hispanic, and Asian descent.  They can occur from acne, burns, ear piercing, surgical cuts and traumatic wounds;
    • Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) a form of scarring alopecia, a scalp and hair loss disorder.  According to Lopresti et al. Skinandaging.com it was first noticed in African-Americans in the 1950s and was thought to be a result of reoccurring burning of the scalp through the petroleum in a person’s hair when using a hot comb from the stove. Later it was found that it affected men and women that did not use these styling techniques.  Now researchers believe that contributing factors to this alopecia may include styling techniques such as relaxers, tight braids, heavy extensions and certain oils;
    • The third area they are researching is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, darkening of the skin that results after an underlying skin condition has healed or after injury to the skin has occurred.  Some skin conditions include eczema, acne, and psoriasis.   

    Harvey enjoys what she does as a dermatologist.  She likes seeing patients and really likes the research aspect of it all.  She said, “I enjoy making discoveries that can help improve skin conditions.  I feel the research we are doing is positive and exciting, hopefully we come up with findings and answers for some skin disorders.”

    The Skin of Color Research Institute also allows undergraduate and graduate students to get involved in the research.  Ivory Patterson, a senior chemistry major from Milwaukee, interned there this summer, and still does research there as credit hours for a class.

    Patterson made the first move by going to the research institute to see if they offered internships.  She got a chance to interview and her participation took off after that.

     Patterson is treated like every other researcher in the building going through the normal steps of preparation and sterilization before working in the lab.  During her internship she shadowed researchers and sometimes did her own experiments.

    Patterson did research on pigment disorders and worked with Hexatoxylin and eosin, a popular staining method scientists use to study skin and tissue cells.

    Patterson says that getting a chance to research in the Skin of Color Research Institute is a rewarding experience.  She said the most rewarding part was getting a chance to go to the annual Skin Symposium that the Skin of Color Research Institute has been holding once a year since 2010. 

    Said Patterson, “It was great being in the presence of and meeting world-renowned doctors, researchers and physicians.”

    The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

  • E-News U. Contributor 6:21 am on December 28, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: Bemis Laboratories, crimes statistics, , iPhone, Jeanne Clery Act   

    Crime prevention at Hampton U. means guard the gadgets 

    By Alyssa E. Judd

    Crime lurks behind every corner of the world.

    To ensure the safety of students at universities and colleges, an act was created. The Jeanne Clery Act prevents people from believing prestigious, private universities are immune to crime.

    Gated entrances, decal checks, and routine patrolling do not eliminate all problems. For the past three years at Hampton University, the number of aggravated assaults has almost doubled. Meanwhile, larceny decreased by 14 percent and burglary cases was down by 21 percent.

    The number of on campus assaults increased from six to 11. The chance of being injured is high. Aggravated assaults are usually a shooting or stabbing, but any injury that breaks a person’s skin falls into the category.

    “If I was to punch you in the nose and it broke it would be considered aggravated assault,” explained Sergeant Darrin Flythe of the campus police. “In court, it would be reduced to assault and battery.”

    That was not the only bit of information the university sergeant was able to give. He released Hampton’s top three hotspots for larceny: The cafeteria, the student center, and Bemis Hall.

    Bemis is the home of Hampton’s architecture majors. The students practically live in the building with the amount of projects they tackle, but now it’s apparent the one thing they do not do in Bemis is eat.

    When architecture majors work on projects and get hungry they haven’t been known to shut down their computers and take them along on their food journey. Campus police said many students leave their laptops sitting in the building as they walk across campus to the cafeteria. When they come back to resume their work on their laptops, they are gone without a trace.

    The largest crime numbers on campus are burglary and larceny. The 2010 data reported 36 burglary and 86 larceny cases. Burglary has decreased from 46 burglaries and 100 larcenies in 2008.

    Both are similar in meaning, but are different in the way someone’s belongings are taken.

    For example Burglary is when someone goes into another person’s dorm room and steals an iPhone. Larceny is the act of taking items permanently from a company or person without consent. It can be seen as someone leaving their iPhone on the table and walking away to talk with friends across the room; then another person comes up to take the iPhone.

    Some students luck out and get their belongings back, but in most cases items never return. “I’ve seen people’s books stolen in the cafeteria,” said Daryell Walker, a junior. “People are careless and treat things worth a lot of money as if they bought it from the dollar store.”

    “We call that a life lesson learned in the real world, because you left something out or left something, walked away from it, and someone else came behind and took it,” said Flythe the sergeant. “It’s also larceny, stealing property not belonging to you. It’s also something that person did to themselves and need to prevent.”

    There have been cases where people were able to get their items back. One woman’s iTouch was stolen when she left her dorm room unlocked. Luckily, she registered it with the Academic Technology Mall [ATM] in Harvey Library. The tech workers were able to trace the Internet system down to two rooms.

    For people who register their iTouch, iPad, iPhone with the ATM offers a tracking service in case of larceny or burglary.

    The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

  • E-News U. Contributor 4:17 pm on December 26, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: College of Virginia Beach, , licensure exam, Nusing   

    Exam lapse jolts Hampton U.’s nursing program 

    By Ashley Nicole Rouse

    Since 1943 the nursing faculty of Hampton University has continually provided high-quality professional nursing education at the Bachelor of Science degree level. In fact, the nursing doctoral program at Hampton is the first such program to be fully implemented at a HBCU.

    It wasn’t until this past October when William R. Harvey, president of Hampton University, acknowledged the nursing school is “fixing a problem.”

    At issue: All graduates of the baccalaureate nursing program were eligible for admission to take the national licensure examination to practice professional nursing. This examination was where the problem surfaced. Performance on the NCLEX-RN was lower than 80 percent, the minimum required by the Virginia Board of Nursing.

    “Within the past couple of years or so, the Board of Nursing changed the regulations on how long the scores could remain below 80 percent,” said Hilda Williamson, assistant dean of Academics Affairs at Hampton’s main campus.

    The substandard scores only applied to Hampton’s main campus and not the Virginia Beach campus. The undergraduate programs for both of these campuses are approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing in which they obtain separate board numbers.

    “The Virginia Beach campus’ test scores have remained above the required percentage and without any problem,” said Williamson. “The two campuses are separate.”

    According to HamptonU.edu, the primary service to society rendered by the School of Nursing is the preparation of excellent professional practitioners. The undergraduate education program at Hampton University is designed to include general education content, professional content, and clinical experiences.

    The Nursing Program e-mailed a letter to all nursing students pertaining to the school’s status which reads, “As of July 26, 2011, a consent order has been entered between the Virginia Board of Nursing and School of Nursing stating new students will not be able to enter into the nursing program for two full academic school years while faculty and current students prepare to fix the problem.”

    When prompted with the question, what is the Nursing Program doing differently to improve test scores, Williamson responded, “Nothing that we haven’t already been doing. We have a mentorship program which started two years ago, and we are reviewing different standardized testing options for our students.

    “As of November, we have changed the curriculum, and we have also been reviewing our mission policies.”

    There was much resistance in getting students to speak about their experience at Hampton University as nursing majors. Karen Wright, director in Office of Academic Support at Hampton’s main campus, told a group of students on Dec. 5 not to respond to any questions concerning their school.

    There haven’t been many students expressing their concerns to people outside of their classmates because they fear getting into trouble, or possibly getting kicked out of the program.

    As of this writing the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs at both Hampton University campuses are fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

    The School of Nursing is also an agency member of the National League for Nursing, the Nursing Council of the Southern Regional Education Board, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

    The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

  • E-News U. Contributor 5:40 pm on December 23, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: Earth Gang, , , music, soul   

    Hampton U.-based Earth Gang blends hip hop with soul 

    By Brittany Graham

    Earth Gang is the name of a hip-hop/rap group comprised of Hampton University students. Far from being affiliated with mother earth fanatics, campus superstars Eian Parker and Olu Fann are proving that it is possible to have their cake and eat it too. The Atlanta natives, both seniors at HU, are juggling academic careers along with aspirations of entering the music industry.

    Parker and Fann birthed their musical journey in Atlanta, where the inspiration for Earth Gang came from a tree, under which they first met.

    Despite the simplicity of their name, Earth Gang is far from a typical hip hop/rap group. Parker and Fann attend Hampton University on academic scholarships. Parker was offered a band scholarship but declined the offer and is now studying psychology, while Fann majors in graphic design. Both members have been on the dean’s list since their freshman year and are expected to graduate with honors on May 13.

    Said Parker, “It’s hard being a student and pursuing a craft. A lot of people look at artistry as a hobby. But my music has always been the only thing I ever wanted to do.” To those that believe pursuing two careers in college is suicide, both Parker and Fann say their music has not affected their GPAs: “We dropped a mix tape,” said Parker, “and got all A’s last semester.”

    During their performances, Parker and Fann identify with their stage names Doctor Diego Dot (Parker) and Johnny Venus (Fann). Known around Hampton’s campus as the Hampton Idol winners of 2009, Earth Gang thanks Hampton for the growth in their music.

    Senior Journalism major Rosalyn Scriven, a fan and close friend of Earth Gang said, “I knew them before they did music and it’s only up from here, they’ve definitely grown a lot.”

    Parker said attending Hampton has improved the quality of the group’s music as well as broadened their view on a variety of different musical styles: “Being at Hampton exposed us to musical elements that we probably wouldn’t have gotten in Atlanta. Hampton is a good representation of music from everywhere, and we got to incorporate that into our music. When we got to HU, our music changed.”

    To Parker and Fann, this change in their music has kept Earth Gang from being “one-hit wonders,” which is what Earth Gang believes is the usual trend for musicians coming out of Atlanta. “If we stayed in Atlanta,” said Parker, “which was our original plan, we would have had one hit on the radio, and then probably be done. It’s (HU) helped us because it’s good for networking.”

    To date, Parker and Fann have released two mix tapes. Their first mix tape entitled “The Better Party” was released in 2009. Their second mix tape, “Mad Men,” received five stars when it was released in 2010 on datpiff.com, a popular Web site where artists can upload and share their music. Earth Gang’s third mix tape, entitled “Good News” is set to be released in December.

    Senior Psychology major Hykeem Gaddis, who is the roommate of Earth Gang member Doctor Diego, says “completely unbiased, I think Earth Gang’s music is slept on; it’s the future. One day people are gonna realize.” With their upcoming project set to be released rather soon, Earth Gang hopes “Good News” will appeal to a bigger audience when it is released to the public. “We have something for everybody” says Parker.

    As far as the workings behind the scenes, Parker and Fan are their own management and marketing team. Fann is in control of marketing the group and Parker handles all the management and business operations. In studio sessions, the rap duo work collaboratively to produce all of their material. “We do all the production, sound, and merchandising. All that stuff, it’s an in-house movement” said Parker.

    Surprisingly enough, despite the renowned music department on Hampton University’s campus, Earth Gang says they opted out of looking for guidance from the department in efforts to keep their musical freedom.

    “They’re on a different musical wavelength,” said Parker. They stick to traditional soul, we like to manipulate soul.”

    In the face of being a student body favorite around campus, Earth Gang members Parker and Fann say they’re not favored by everyone. The duo and a number of their supporters believe the group has been blackballed by student organizations on campus. Gaddis said “I wish they were more supported. I wish they (Hampton’s student organizations and administration) would allow them to perform at shows. It seems as if everyone feels Earth Gang doesn’t need their support.”

    Both Parker and Fann say in comparison to previous years, their support around campus has changed their senior year. In reference to their support from faculty and students, Parker says “pretty good support, besides this year. The paper (Hampton University’s Script) is boycotting us, we’ve had other interviews but none of them were published in the paper.”

    Unaware of how they might have offended the student organizations on campus, Earth Gang continues to connect with students through other outlets. Parker and Fann sell Earth Gang sweatshirts around campus as well as using social Web sites such as Twitter and Facebook to market and promote their band name. Parker says word of mouth helps reaching students as well. Keeping their spirits high, Earth Gang says the lack of support from the campus newspaper is a minor inconvenience. “I’m not gonna write a letter to the paper … Our presence on the Internet is growing exponentially. You can google Earth Gang and more searches will pop up every day, but support from the paper would be cool” says Parker.

    In regards to their love/hate relationship on campus, Parker said, “students like us, the only students that don’t like us, haven’t heard us or they’re jealous. We see Hampton students at our shows across the country from Cali[fornia] to Brooklyn, I’ve seen HU people at our shows.”

    Outside of Hampton University, Earth Gang last summer was recruited to perform at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival and again at Stanford University’s Black Festival. Thanks to Fann’s marketing strategies, Esteban Serano of the programming department at FUSE TV listened to Earth Gang’s mix tape link provided on Twitter and requested a meeting with the group in New York City. During the meeting, Serano suggested that Earth Gang submit a tape to the Brooklyn Hip Hop festival.

    “His recommendation is what got us there,” said Parker. The festival, headlined by rappers Kanye West and Q-Tip, drew thousands. Parker and Fann performed during the indie portion of the festival.

    Similar to many aspiring musicians, Earth Gang has had their share of ups and downs on their road to success. The group was in talks for a developmental deal with SONY records; however Parker and Fann were dropped from the label once record label executive L.A. Reid took over the company. Unmoved by the disappointment, Parker and Fann are optimistic. “The way that you can distribute music now,” said Parker, “you can do your thing on the Internet and make your own money, if a label wants you, they’ll pick you up, but you don’t need a label anymore.”

    Earth Gang members Parker and Fann say they want to be respected and remembered as legends in the music industry. After graduation in May, Parker and Fann have made plans for an Earth Gang summer tour, with anticipated dates in Houston, Atlanta, New York, and Columbus, Ohio.

    The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

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