JSU Aspire Program, Tougaloo HBCU Endowment and USM Virtual Dance Concert | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

JSU Aspire Program, Tougaloo HBCU Endowment and USM Virtual Dance Concert

Jackson State University recently announced that it is partnering with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to participate in a program called "Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty." Photo courtesy Aspire

Jackson State University recently announced that it is partnering with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to participate in a program called "Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty." Photo courtesy Aspire

Jackson State University recently announced that it is partnering with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to participate in a program called "Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty." JSU is one of 19 universities in a cohort taking part in the three-year institutional change effort, which aims to develop inclusive faculty recruitment, hiring and retention practices in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects.

JSU's cohort is joining two earlier ones, bringing the total number of participating institutions in the institutional change effort to 54. The National Science Foundation funds the effort as part of its INCLUDES initiative.

Aspire aims to ensure that all STEM faculty use inclusive teaching practices and that institutions increase the diversity of their STEM professoriate, a release from JSU says. Universities in the Aspire program conduct a self-assessment of current practices and assets and then develop and implement campus action plans for all of their STEM programs.

JSU plans to create a network of workshops and seminars for students, faculty and administrators to share best experiences for diversity and inclusion, the release says. The university will also adopt development practices to help faculty members make changes to their STEM teachings, mentoring and learning environments.

The latest cohort is working with the Aspire Alliance, which APLU and the University of Wisconsin-Madison facilitate, as part of the organization's Institutional Change Network, which provides universities with comprehensive support and resources for institutional change.

For more information, visit jsums.edu or aplu.org.

Tougaloo Receives Endowment from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., recently gave Tougaloo College a $50,000 endowment through the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation. The donation follows AKA's third annual HBCU Impact Day initiative, which raised more than $1.5 million to support historically black colleges and universities.

AKA began donating to HBCUs through the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund in 2019, with the goal of donating $10 million over four years, a release from Tougaloo says. The sorority gave a total of $1.6 million to 32 HBCUs during a ceremony at AKA’s International headquarters in Chicago. Each HBCU received $50,000 to help reduce student debt through scholarships, fund industry-specific research and recruit and retain top faculty.

Alpha Kappa Alpha is still accepting donations to support the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund's $10 million goal. Donors can make contributions by texting AKAHBCU to 44321 or by visiting https://donate.akaeaf.org/pages/HBCU_Community_Impact_Day. For more information on the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation, visit http://www.akaeaf.org/.

USM Hosting Virtual Fall 2020 Dance Concert

The University of Southern Mississippi's dance program plans to begin its fall 2020 concert series via a virtual live broadcast on Nov. 13, Nov. 14 and Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.

The series will feature the Southern Miss Repertory Dance Company’s Sunset Wanderings and Senior Solos from senior dance majors on Nov. 13 and a performance from the university's Freshmen RDC on Nov. 14. The virtual series will end with the Fall Dance Showcase, featuring independent choreographic and performance work by USM dance majors, on Dec. 5.

USM built a new outdoor stage for the senior solo performances, a release from the university says. All of the performances will be pre-recorded, and USM will stream the concert on its website.

General admission for Sunset Wanderings and Senior Solos is $5, while admission to the Fall Dance Showcase is $9 for the general public and $7 for students, military or people age 65 or older.

For more information on the concert series or to purchase tickets, visit usm.edu/spva.

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