Precious memories
How they linger --
How they ever flood my soul
In the stillness,
Of the midnight
Precious, sacred
Scenes unfold...
Oakwood University Alumni Homecoming Weekend
by Richard M. Hodnett, '07, MBA
assistant director of Marketing & Alumni Relations
Alumni and friends of Oakwood University are already boarding planes, trains and automobiles, heading for Huntsville, to attend the annual Alumni Homecoming Weekend.

We are looking forward to celebrating with the honored classes -- 1948, 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2008 and 2013 -- the milestones that have been accomplished since graduation from "the Oaks."

Our prayer is that one day soon, we will reunite with each other on that great "Homecoming Day" and see our Jesus face-to-face.

We look forward to your arrival for Alumni Weekend. A complete schedule of Alumni Homecoming Weekend activities is available on the OUAA website.
School of Business Visits the Allen Entrepreneurial Institute
by Hyacinth Burton, Ph.D., MBA, Dean, School of Business
For the second consecutive year, on March 14-16, 2018, the School of Business took 32 students representing majors across the University to the Allen Entrepreneurial Institute (AEI) in Lithonia, Georgia.

The students and three chaperones, Hyacinth Burton, Dean of the Business School, Samantha Champagne, Secretary of the Business School, and Vern Gohanna, Assistant Professor of Accounting, boarded the University bus bright and early on March 14, for a four-hour ride to AEI. Upon arrival, the students checked into their rooms, ate lunch, and the experience began.

On Wednesday afternoon, the students met Bill Allen, business mogul, entrepreneur, and founder of Camp Exposure, as they introduced themselves and stated their goals in life. For the rest of the day students were given dining etiquette training and then rehearsed for a closing program at which they gave a stellar performance. Thursday was very busy as students attended seminars, rehearsed for the closing program, visited Mr. Allen’s newest business, the Startup Factory; networked; performed the closing program; and attended a formal banquet. Oakwood President Dr. Leslie Pollard also visited the Institute to support our students and thank Mr. Allen.

The picture shown here was taken just before the banquet on Thursday eveing. Pictured (l-r) are:
Genae Darville, Ashley Seymour, Mamilah Abdi, Veronica Moore, Angela Holcomb (Consultant for BCB (Black and College Bound), Hyacinth Burton, Vern Gohanna, Deana Ervin (Consultant for BCB), Angelo Vetiac, Tommy Carter and Keviez Wilson.

On Friday morning, students attended the final entrepreneurial presentation by Corey Ackerman, founder of LeRoi Products, an African American arts and merchandise company. Mr. Ackerman provided students with important real-world tips for starting their own businesses, including taking them through his entire distribution channel. After a final wrap-up, students boarded the University bus for the journey back to Oakwood University.

Sophomore Finance major and Entrepreneurship Club President Darius Woods said that “the AEI is a great experience for students because it provides exposure to real entrepreneurial problem solving. It forces students out of comfort, and pushes them towards taking directed and meaningful action.” Genae Darville, sophomore Finance major and second time attendee at AEI, said, “This has inspired my colleagues and me to challenge ourselves to be innovative and to stay hungry.”

After observing our Oakwood students, AEI founder Bill Allen remarked that Oakwood University students go above and beyond and are certainly an extremely talented group. Dean Hyacinth Burton treasures the relationship between AEI and the School of Business at Oakwood University, and looks forward to a continuous partnership with AEI.
OU Science Students Get Valuable Experience at the National American Chemical Society Meeting
by Steven Lai Hing, Ph.D., associate professor
A group of 15 students from Oakwood University's science departments attended the 255th American Chemical Society (ACS) National meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, accompanied by Department of Chemistry faculty members Mrs. Cheri Hodnett and Dr. Steven Lai Hing, and Dr. Kenneth Lai Hing, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.

The theme of the meeting was “Nexus of Food, Energy and Water.” Over the course of their trip, students were able to interact with several of the 15,000 attendees from around the world; attend talks and presentations from some of the forefront researchers in their fields; had their resumes professionally critiqued; and participate in professional interviews and coaching sessions.

Eight Oakwood students presented research they conducted with professors at Oakwood University:
Nolan Fleary, Danielle Little, Samuel Parkins, Ashley Saunders, Claire Stewart, Erwin Stuffle, Jasmine Walsh and Anna White.

One Freshman Biochemistry major, Nana Yaa Sakyi Opoku, shared that she gained “great experience in networking. I was able to meet a professor from Ghana who worked in Organic Chemistry and is a mentor and role model. I also was happy to get a professional headshot made during the ACS career fair.”

Students enjoyed the trip and the host city, and are looking forward to next year’s meeting in Orlando, Florida.
Communication Award Banquet Celebrates 10 Years
by Kenalia Cooper, Communication major
Available in the Communication Department, ticket prices are:

  • Communication students = $3.00
  • All other students = $5.00
  • All non-students = $15.00 (also available on Eventbrite.)
Have you ever thought of something that brought you instant excitement? Happiness? Joy? Maybe even a little bit of “euphoria”?

If you answered yes to one of these questions, then you have a glimpse into how we at the Communication Department feel as we prepare to recognize people who’ve helped our department grow.

The James E. Dykes Communication Award Banquet this year is entitled “Euphoria 10 Years in the Making” and celebrates 10 years of honoring communication alumni for their stellar careers, and the people who’ve contributed to our department’s historic milestones.

Micha Logan, '04 , a long-time radio personality at Huntsville’s WEUP Radio-103FM, will receive this year’s alumni award.

“The communication department has enjoyed recognizing the career accomplishments of our alumni over these last 10 years,” says Patti Conwell, the banquet’s creator. “Seeing what our former students have done after leaving Oakwood has inspired many of our current students by showing them how hard work and persistence pay off.”
Employee Notes
Dr. Eva Michelle Wheeler is associate professor of Spanish in the Department of English and Foreign Languages.

Congratulations to Eva Michelle Wheeler, JD, Ph.D., '05 , who has been selected to participate in the 2018 UNCF/Mellon International Faculty Seminar. The seminar will take place over the summer in Lisbon, Portugal and Malaga and Grenada, Spain. Participating faculty will explore the theme of The African Diaspora in the Spanish-Speaking and Lusophone Worlds . As a part of the seminar, Dr. Wheeler will develop a project that explores racial discourses in the Dominican Republic and analyzes the ways in which these narratives affirm and disrupt traditional scholarship on race and identity.

The UNCF/Mellon International Faculty Seminar Application says that "the UNCF/Mellon Faculty Career Enhancement Program is pleased to offer the 13th International Faculty Seminar focusing on the historic and contemporary African diasporic experience. The July 2018 seminar will take participants to the original sources and sites of the genesis of the transatlantic slave trade – Portugal and Spain. The seminar will lift up the voices of the enslaved as slave subjectivities in the Iberian World are explored."

The seminar will also:
  • query the pre-enslavement experience for Africans before the Transatlantic Slave Trade and explore the history of Africans and Berbers from the establishment of the Umayyad Dynasty in al-Andalus to Almoravids, Almohads, and Marinids and the presence of West and North Africans who lived in and controlled parts of Iberia.

  • excavate the Muslim influence throughout the Iberian Peninsula.

  • a socio-historical analysis will require us to discuss the history of the African presence throughout the Iberian Peninsula.

  • interrogate the historical and contemporary impact of Portuguese colonization of various countries in Africa, including Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau.

"As we examine the movement of people of African descent pre-enslavement to the present," the application continued, "we must examine the experiences of Africans in contemporary Portugal and Spain. The socio-political and cultural forces that frame these experiences will be engaged through an intersectional analysis that acknowledges how difference as constructed through race, gender and the global economy shapes and informs social and political realities.”

Submitted by Prudence L. Pollard, Ph.D., MPH
Vice President for Research and Faculty Development
K-Swan joins the WJOU family with excitement and is eager to share the gospel of Jesus, and inspiration with the world.
Karlecia Swan, '99 , has joined the WJOU family as host of Praise Unplugged with K-Swan, from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. on Sundays.

K-Swan is a social worker in Huntsville, Alabama, who gives back to her community through her non-profit organization, 1st Lady Empowerment Foundation, Inc. Her passion is to help young girls build their self-esteem and self- worth, focusing on the empowerment of young girls who deal with self-esteem issues.

K-Swan currently lends her time as a behavioral specialist for a company that provides services to families and children in the foster care system.
She has taken a course in acting classes, and when she isn’t mentoring foster children and adolescent girls in the community, she spends time filming television shows, commercials and short films, and recording a podcast/talk show.
Alumni News

Have you signed up for our BRAND NEW Oakwood Alumni Network yet?

What are you waiting for?! Join the hottest new private social media network exclusively for Oakwood alums.

Reconnect with your classmates, stay updated with University news, post jobs and internships, become a mentor, search for mentors -- the professional possibilities are endless!

We’re capturing the power of the Oakwood Network and putting it right at your fingertips!

Log on to  to plug back into the Oakwood network!

Vote for Oakwood University

With your help over the past few years, Oakwood has won top prizes in this grant program that was established in 2010 to provide support for campus improvement projects to the nation's HBCUs.

Since the program's inception, over 1 million dollars in grant money has been awarded for campus improvements. Through grant winnings, Oakwood has built an outdoor pavilion, and a Healthy Campus 2020/STANDOUT outdoor exercise area and has installed bleachers at the soccer field.

An important step is using the hashtag #Oakwood_RYS18 on Twitter and/or Instagram, as often as possible through the voting period.

Daily voting ends April 15, 2018, at 11:59 pm. Nine schools receiving the highest number of votes during the voting period will advance to the final round and submit their campus improvement project proposals. Proposals will be judged, and a total of $360,000 will be granted to the nine HBCUs with winning proposals.

Vote online at or through social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #Oakwood_RYS18.

Let's Do This, Oakwood!!!
Regular updates are being posted to the schedule of Alumni Homecoming Weekend activities. Click here, or go to
About Oakwood University

The mission of Oakwood University, a historically black, Seventh-day Adventist institution, is to transform students through biblically-based education for service to God and humanity.
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