Tougaloo Honors Outstanding Seniors at Convocation on May 7
May 7, 2008 |
Tougaloo, MS- Woodworth Chapel was the scene of the 2008 Seniors' Day Convocation at Tougaloo College. Under the direction of Dr. Abdul Turay, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, this convocation honors those graduates who have distinguished themselves during their matriculation at the College.
Winning the Academic Division Awards were Shandra Tucker, of Jackson, in elementary education; Tavares Chapman, of Hattiesburg, in health, physical education and recreation; Kassy Howell-Johnson, of Gary, IN, in special education and Sylvia Collins-Steele, of Jackson, in child development. In the social sciences, Tonya Oliver, of Jackson, won for Economics, Rashida Housen, of Cleveland, MS, for political science; Kevya Ingram, of Pearl, for psychology; Charnise Virgil, of Columbia, in sociology (summa cum laude graduate).
Natural Science honored the following graduates: in biology, LaTisha Wilson, of Cleveland, and Cherita Brown, of Jackson; in chemistry, Desmond Henderson, of Ridgeland; in computer science, Tyler Streeter, of Jackson, and receiving the B. D. Mehrotra Biochemistry Award were Kamil Hill, of Vicksburg, Desmond Henderson and LaTisha Wilson. Humanities presented awards to Lavarous P. Brown, of Itta Bena, in art; Gregory Johnson, of Belzoni, in English; Willie Miller, of Tougaloo, MS, in Interdisciplinary Career-Oriented Humanities Major; Carla Butler, of Tougaloo, MS, in Mass Communication; Candice McCray, of Slidell, LA, Tonya Boyd-Cannon, of Jackson, and DeAnna Tisdale, of Jackson (magna cum laude graduate), in music. Jasmine Hughes, of Greenwood, Miss Tougaloo, Mississippi 2007 and a top ten finalist at the Miss Mississippi pageant last year, was honored in philosophy and religion.
For the first time, the College also honored those students who distinguished themselves in the writing of their senior thesis with the Dr. Alphonso Willis Senior Thesis Award. This award honored the best from each division of the College (Education, Humanities, Natural Science and Social Science) as well as an overall winner. The winners included Kassy Howell-Johnson (Education), DeAnna Tisdale (Humanities), Desmond Henderson (Natural Science) and Justin Simmons (Social Science). Miss Tisdale was the overall winner.
Tougaloo College graduated a record number of students with honors this year. There were 86 honors graduates (a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) among the 131 members of the Class of 2008. Thirty-nine students were named to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Founded in 1869, Tougaloo College is a private, historically black, coeducational four-year liberal arts institution, located on the northern edge of Jackson, Mississippi. Known nationally as "The Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi," the College is led by its first female and 13th president, Dr. Beverly Wade Hogan. Dr. Hogan is a 1973 graduate of the College and a native Mississippian. Under her visionary leadership, the College has increased its enrollment by 12% and boasts a student retention rate of 68%.
Tougaloo College ranks among the top 50 U.S. institutions whose graduates earn PHDs in science and engineering disciplines and among the top 15 historically black colleges and universities in the graduation of females with undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences. The College has produced more graduates who have completed their PhD degrees through the UNCF-Mellon Doctoral Fellowship Program than any other institution in the nation.
Listed as one of the Best Colleges in the Southeast by The Princeton Review (2007 and 2008 editions), the highest ranking Mississippi HBCU on U.S. News and World Report's list of "America's Best Black College" (2008) and the only Mississippi institution ranked among the top 20 liberal arts institutions in the nation by Washington Monthly (2007), 66% of its graduates enter professional and graduate schools immediately after graduation. Tougaloo College is the leading producer of African American health professionals, including over 40% of the physicians and dentists, practicing in the state of Mississippi. Among its graduates are more than one-third of the state's African American attorneys and educators including teachers, principals, school superintendents, college/university faculty and administrators.