VC Digest

Monthly Voorhees College E-Newsletter
January   2014
In This Issue
Voorhees receives grant through U.S. Department of Justice
January Alumni Highlight
Voorhees kicks off Black History Month with former national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Voorhees professor has work published in mathematics journal
Voorhees receives $646,100 grant for eSMART Saturday Academy
Legacy in the Making: Faakhira Muhammad
Did you know?
Quick Links

The January issue of the VC Digest brings news of growth, accomplishment, and celebration.  Be sure to check out the latest issue of The Voice in the Quick Link section.

To share any recent accomplishments of alumni, please e-mail Teesa Brunson, communications director, at

Snow-covered Booker T. Washington Building during the Snow of 2014.

Voorhees receives grant through U.S. Department of Justice 


Voorhees College has recently received a grant to reduce sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on campus. The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence against Women.
"Our institution is expected to receive a total of $300,000 over the next three years to implement programmatic strategies toward this endeavor," said Coretta Jamison, project director/victim service provider.
Jamison added, "Voorhees will provide bystander intervention training, which will mobilize and organize men to respond to and prevent sexual and domestic violence.  Additionally, all incoming freshmen and transfer students will be provided mandatory prevention education."
The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Violence against Women received 127 applications requesting more than $35 million. Voorhees was one of only 28 projects selected for funding in 2013.
Over the next three years, Voorhees will use the funding to develop and implement campus policies, protocols and services that more effectively identify and respond to the crimes of women and train campus administrators, faculty and staff members. The institution will also implement and operate education programs for the prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking and support improved coordination among campus administrators, campus security personnel and law enforcement to reduce crimes on women.
"I commend Mrs. Coretta Jamison on her hard work on campus working with our young women," said President Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. "I also thank the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Violence against Women for providing us with an opportunity to continue building a community on campus that uplifts our young women and gives them a voice."

James Fickens

January Alumni Highlight 


The January alumni highlight is James Fickens, dean of students, at Texas State Technical College.

Fickens graduated from Voorhees College with a bachelor's degree criminal justice. He later received a master's degree in counseling from Prairie View A&M University.

An innovator and visionary leader, Fickens oversees the following areas critical to the student experience at Texas State Technical College: student activities; residence life; orientation, new student programs, judicial review board; and the student behavioral committee. Fickens is also responsible for providing leadership and management for the student development division as well as creating and encouraging teamwork and collaboration among faculty and staff.

When asked how he tries to make a difference in the lives of his students, Fickens' said, "If you change the way you look at the things, the things you look at will change."

If you know a Voorhees graduate who should be highlighted, please e-mail a bio and picture of that person, along with your contact information, to or

Cynthia Butler-McIntyre

Voorhees kicks off Black History Month with former national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

Former National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre will serve as the keynote speaker for Voorhees' annual Black History Month Kickoff Program. The program will be held on Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. in Massachusetts Hall Auditorium on campus.

Butler-McIntyre served as the 24th national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the largest African-American Greek-lettered sorority in the world. She was installed into office by civil rights leader Dorothy I. Height. Butler-McIntyre has served Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. with distinction at the local, state, regional and national levels, which has earned her the respect and admiration of the membership. She is lovingly regarded as "A Leader with a Servant's Heart."

Butler-McIntyre is an educator who currently serves as a director of human resources for the Jefferson Parish Public School System in Harvey, La. She has impacted the lives of countless young people for more than 30 years as a teacher, assistant principal, summer school principal and personnel administrator in her school district. Her professional experience also includes her service as executive director of Tech-Prep Summer Program at Delgado Community College in New Orleans, La. She has also worked as the assistant coordinator of field experiences and College of Education supervisor for early childhood student teaching experiences for the University of New Orleans.

Butler-McIntyre earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education at Dillard University. At the age of 20, she earned a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction/educational administration at the University of New Orleans. She is the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree in religious education from the Louisiana Christian Bible College and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Dillard University.

Butler-McIntyre's distinguished service and outstanding achievements have been recognized by numerous professional, civic and religious organizations on the local, state and national levels. She is an active, life-long member of the Olive Branch Baptist Church in New Orleans. Her professional and community affiliations include: Board Commissioner for the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans; MLK Task Force and The Delta Research and Development Foundation; and National Board Member of the National Council of Negro Women. President Barack Obama also appointed her to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation in 2011.

She is married to Ronney McIntyre, owner/operator of McIntyre Masonry, and they reside in New Orleans. Through her marriage she has four children: Shavonny, Ronney, Jr., Ciara and Rachaud; and two grandchildren, Gavon and Angie.


Voorhees professor has work published in mathematics journal


Dr. Xiqiang Zheng 

Xiqiang Zheng recently published a paper titled "Fast Fourier Transform on FCC and BCC Lattices With Outputs on FCC and BCC Lattices Respectively'' in the December 2013 issue of Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision.  


In this paper, Zheng, along with additional author, Feng Gu, a former Voorhees professor, developed fast Fourier transform (FFT) methods on face centered cubic (FCC) and body centered cubic (BCC) lattices that allow more efficient three dimensional medical CT imaging based on x-ray scanning.  


Zheng has been teaching at Voorhees since 2008. His current research interests include image processing and scientific computation on two and three dimensional optimal sampling lattices: hexagonal, FCC, and BCC lattices. He has published papers in several professional journals such as Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision, Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, Journal of Fractals, and International Journal of Digital Earth.


He received his master's degree in mathematics from Jiangxi University in 1991. Zheng taught at Nanchang Institute of Aeronautical Technology in China until he came to the United States to pursue his doctoral degree. He obtained his doctoral degree in applied mathematics in 2007 from the University of Florida.


Voorhees receives $646,100 grant for eSMART Saturday Academy 

Voorhees continues its eSMART Academy on Saturdays after being awarded a four-year grant by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management in the amount of $646,100.

The eSMART Saturday Academy and Summer Enrichment Program is an extension of the eSMART Summer Program. The Saturday Academy was implemented to strengthen high school students in their academic preparation and expose them to careers in environmental science and emergency management with a concentration in hazardous waste management.

The Saturday Academy started on Oct. 5, 2013, and it will continue until April 19, 2014. The Academy is held on first and third Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Summer Enrichment Program will be a four-week overnight camp during June. The program is comprised of two sessions. During Session I, students will be immersed in research projects in the areas of environmental science and emergency management. During Session II, students will work in research labs focusing on writing, mathematics, and GIS applications that are applicable to research outcomes.

Barbara Nimmons, program director, said this program will help develop students' interest in STEM areas.

"The program was designed to increase interest in the STEM fields," Nimmons said. "The high school students will experience a professional environment in ways that will assist them in developing intellectually and prepare them for rewarding careers."

Nimmons added, "Voorhees values all learning and offers experiences in the STEM disciplines. We emphasize the STEM disciplines because these disciplines are integral to our children's future in today's society."


Legacy in the Making: Faakhira Muhammad

by Elroy Johnson & David Mathis



Faakhira J. Nia-Muhammad 
In December 2013, Faakhira J. Nia-Muhammad, Miss Voorhees College 2013-2014, was recognized by the Monroe County Legislation in New York for her exceptional leadership and drive to succeed and becoming queen of Voorhees College.

Monre County Legislature President Jeffery R. Adair and Monroe County Legislature District 27 Representative Willie Joe Lightfoot recognized Muhammad for not only bettering her own life but also the lives of others on campus and in the community.   
Muhammad, a native of Rochester, N.Y., is a senior majoring in criminal justice at VC.

Since her freshmen year, she has used her leadership and personable skills to attract and connect with many students, as well as faculty and staff. Joining various organizations such as the NAACP, Muhammad has held various leadership roles such as class queen, freshman orientation leader, peer tutor, residential assistant and student ambassador.

Obtaining a Community Emergency Response Team Certificate (CERT), Muhammad is also qualified by the state of South Carolina to assist her campus and community in cases of emergencies and or other natural disasters.

After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a degree in political science and international affairs.

"We are indeed proud of Ms. Faakhira and her accomplishments," said President Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. "We know that she will continue uplifting those around her and helping to shape communities just as the founder of our institution did."  
Did you know...quick bits of news and knowledge about Voorhees College
Elizabeth Evelyn Wright-Menafee 

- Voorhees College Archivist, Richard Reid, composed a chronology of many of the important January moments in the life of Voorhees College founder, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright-Menafee.  To see the time line, click HERE.


- The 2014 President's Scholarship Gala will be held on Saturday, April 5 in Charleston, S.C.  For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (803) 780-1194 or 



- Are you planning an upcoming reunion for Voorhees Homecoming 2014? Reunions can include fraternities, sororities, organizations or classes. If so, please contact the Division of Institutional Advancement at (803) 780-1199 to assist you with this endeavor. We are here to make sure your reunion experience is successful, memorable and enjoyable!


- Click HERE to see a list of Black History Month events happening on campus in Jan/Feb.