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Thursday, March 24, 2011

In Search of a Top School? Part I - HBCU Bound

Is your dream to attend a historically Black college or university? If so, you may want to check out the U.S. News & World Report's Best HBCUs 2011 list.

> Can you guess which college is ranked #1?

> Were you surprised that any of the schools made the list?

> Which schools would you add to list?

> If you're currently attending or if you're a proud graduate of an HBCU, leave a comment telling us what made your school THE school to attend!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

:New Year :New Goals :New Success

Some say that New Year’s resolutions are pointless. Some say they never last. Some say there's no point.

Well, guess what, that may be true for some, but it doesn't have to be true for you!

So, use the energy that comes with a new year. Use the energy, the motivation, that comes from everyone telling you, “you can’t do it”. Use that as your fuel. Use that fuel to keep you going. Keep going into February, March, April. Keep going into Summer, into Fall, Winter. Before you know it, that resolution won't be a resolution. It will be a behavior and part of who you are.

:Deep, right?


Time to be real too!

It won’t be easy. So, here’s a few quick tips to help you out:

Write down your goals. You can post the list on fridge, above your desk, or tuck it under your mattress. But, sometimes, just getting them on paper is motivating. I don't know. It's magic

Get a partner. When you have partner, you're accountable. You can push them and they can push you. Can you say mutually beneficial? Perfecto.

Be realistic. There's no need setting yourself up to be disappointed if you don't reach your goal. BUT, if you set a goal that you can (realistically) attain...ah, how sweet is that?

Surround yourself with supporters. Self-explanatory. This is the best piece of advice anyone could offer. So, let's end there…

: Go forth.


image borrowed from:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

E-Mail Like a College Student – Not a BFF

Alright, I’ll keep this one short. When you’re in college, guess what, college is your job! Yes, you are an employee of (Blank) University or The College of (Blankity Blank). So, as an employee – who, yes, gets paid really bad – you should carry yourself as such. You should conduct business as such. You should communicate as such. To be more specific, your emails should reflect an interaction between yourself (the responsible employee) and your boss (the Prof). Your emails should not, cannot, and MUST not look like a text message, even if you’re sending them from your iPhone. This means:

You should have a greeting (Hello, Good morning, Greetings, Dear).

The body of your email should be below the greeting. Your “i’s" should be capitalized. You should write in COMPLETE sentences. The punctuation should be correct. And, above all, keep it brief!

In your conclusion, it should begin with a closer (Thank you, Sincerely, Best wishes, Be blessed). You should sign with your name (how else will they know it’s you?). You should also include your preferred method of contact (cell, email, Skype) – which goes below your signature/name.

Yes wonderful peeps, technology is a beautiful thing, but let’s not bastardize it by emailing Profs as if they are our friends. No text ling. Say NO to “lol,” “thanx,” “yo,” “ttyl,” etc. etc. etc.

A few more tips:

Always hit spell check before sending.

Always proofread before sending.

Never hesitate to use emails to set up meetings, ask questions, and get more details about class assignments.

If you’re emailing your Prof to BS them (my stomach hurt, my dog ate my homework, my grandpa died for the 17th time since I’ve been in collect), please don’t waste their time. Why? Because they know. It’s a sick sense that Profs get when they earn their PhD.

Go forth. Type. Proofread. Send.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Staying Fiscally Humble - Battle the "Keeping Up With the Jones' Syndrome"

If you come from humble beginnings – in other words, Diddy ain’t yo Daddy – college is not the time to stray from humble living. College students are broke! Period. It’s not a lucrative time in your life – unless you’re Reggie Bush or Maurice Clarrett, if you catch my drift. Okay, I’m done talking about folks.


Please don’t catch a case of the “Joneses’ Syndrome” (formally known as “Keeping up With the Jones”). If your friends are driving nice cars, don’t do it! If your friends are rockin’ Louies, don’t do it! If they stay in the mall, go to the library. If they have to eat out all the time, ask for specials and roll with a water and an appetizer. Why? College is not the time for you to mount up credit card debt because you just had to have that new purse, those shoes, or rims (trust me). College is not the time to take out extra loans to keep money in your pocket for the mall and fancy restaurants (trust me). College is the time that you stay humble, you eat Ramen noodles, you skip this trip to the mall, you dust off your bus pass. Why? Because 10 years from now, you will be debt free, you’ll own your vehicle, you’ll have A-1 credit, and your checking account won’t be in the red. Humility ladies, it’s the first step to financial success beyond college!

Go forth and save.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It’s Time to Get Ambitious

I get it, not everyone is outgoing, not everyone is straightforward, not everyone is direct. Well, if shy is the persona you want to own, then success isn’t for you. Yes, I said. Sound harsh? Too bad. It’s true. Why? Because, in the real world, opportunity does NOT come a’ knockin’. You have to be willing to go to Opportunity’s door and ring its doorbell. You have to be willing to knock if Opportunity doesn’t answer. If knocking doesn’t work…kick down the door! In all fairness, if you’re not confident about being able to kick down the door, sneak through the window. What’s my point? Professors won’t come up to you. Business owners won’t come to you because you’re shy. You won’t get that job, that contract, that small business loan just because. In the real world, you have to be prepared to tell a Professor that you are determined to do well in their class. When class is over, ask your Prof., how do I do well in this class? When you go to career fair, don’t just settle for the brochures. Ask the folks behind the booth what it takes to stand out as an applicant. Want to start your own business? Go into a business and ask for the owner. Ask them how they did it. Do you want to be the greatest mind of your era? Welp. I don’t have anything for that one, but you get my point! If opportunity and success are on your “to-do” list, getting ambitious better be at the top!

:::Go forth:::Be bold:::You’ve got the key:::Use it:::

Monday, September 6, 2010

What Classes Should I Take?

Right now, many of you are tweeking your schedules and making a few last minute changes. And, I know what many of you are thinking – what is the easiest route to graduation? While I have to respect that and I can admit that I was in your shoes not too long ago, I also have to be honest – you are wasting your time. You’re not in college because it’s the easy route. You’re in college to prepare yourself for the next level. Guess what, that next level isn’t easy. Now, I don’t write that to scare you. I write it to prepare you for the dog-eat-dog world we live in (darn those cliché’s, they never go away). The reality of this situation is that the people who take the easy road out are the people who hit the dead end first. They are the people who never achieve their dreams. The same person they are at 60 is the same person they were at 40, at 20, at 10 and ½. If you don’t push yourself, you WILL get left behind. That much I can promise you. So, why not let college be that time when you start to really push yourself and realize your potential? Take a tough class. You may do well. Start that intramural team. You may have fun. Apply for that scholarship. You may earn it. Run for homecoming court. You may be the first Black girl at your school to win it.

I digress.

College is that time in your life when you can push yourself in ways that you’ll never be able to push yourself again. There are so many outlets; so many opportunities. And guess what, the beauty is, you can fail and still be let off the hook. You’re still a student and the plethora of other opportunities are still there. You’re still figuring out what works, who you are, and what you can be. Moral of the story: push yourself. Where can you push yourself first? In the classroom. Take a class in philosophy. Take an upper level course. Don’t just slide by with typing, physical fitness, and some other remedial course. Why? Because you’ll never push yourself. You’ll always settle. And…that’s a bad look. If success is your goal, then you’ve got to start pushing yourself toward that goal. And guess what? The classroom is a great place to start challenging yourself.

Go forth. Schedule wisely. Keep pushin’. You WILL get there.

Suggested courses:
Scientific Inquiry
Africana studies
African American literature
Communication theory
International Studies

Friday, August 27, 2010

As a young Black female doctoral student and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in the year 2010, I identify as what some may label a “young feminist”. I recently entered a sisterhood of African American women that began at a time when we had limited voice, limited opportunities, and limited resources partnered with a rich legacy and a more than promising future. The founders of this organization – like so many others – grew up in an America wherein the “us vs. them” tension governed. Many – including myself – agree that this dichotomy continues to reign. However, as a young feminist, I identify with my founding sisters and those sisters who fought for the 19th Amendment. You see, for those who don’t know, some of those who marched down Philadelphia Ave. weren’t fighting an “us vs. them” battle. They were fighting for all women; all “feminists.” Unfortunately, some of their fellow marchers were fighting for the few. They were fighting for their mirrored reflections and denying their sisters in the other room. And more unfortunately, this system of thought/behavior continues.

90 years after the passing of the 19th Amendment and almost 100 years after the 1913 march in Washington, I deny, denounce, and deplore any assertions that I am not a feminist. I am a part of the new wave of feminism because I refuse to reaffirm age-old systems of feminist claims by which sexism is fought against and yet systems of racism, ageism, or classism are sustained. My moral integrity, my organizational affiliations, and my education simply will not allow for it. It is with tears in my eyes that I must acknowledge that there continues to be an “us vs. them” mentality amongst any oppressed social group. It pains me that some women can be as hypocritical – yes, I said hypocritical – so much as to argue that they fight for women’s rights and yet they mean white women or women of color or young women or older women or upper class women or working class women or any other compartmentalization.

If, as equalists, – which all feminists should identify themselves as – we seek solidarity, camaraderie, transparency, civic responsibility, and above all…progress, then we must replace the “or” with “and.” So for me, from the brave founders of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to the actresses in Iron Jawed Angels, from bell hooks and Sojourner Truth to Susan B. Anthony and Belva Lockwood, we must move beyond drawing lines in the sand. We – yes, we – can identify as feminists in 5 inch Mahnolo Blahniks or in fabulously comfortable Aerosole flats. We can burn bras or push ‘em up. What matters is that we stand together, not divided. (Please excuse the list of clichés, but they are so apropos.) Moral of the story ::: I AM A FEMINIST ::: no further distinction necessary.