Men of Color Summit kicks off Thursday evening
Mississippi State University's 2013 Men of Color Summit will feature African-American leaders whose management and guidance have improved quality of life in Mississippi and beyond.
"Finding Success: Breaking the Code for Achievement in Academia and Beyond" will be held Thursday and Friday [Sept. 5-6] in Colvard Student Union. Keynote speeches and panel discussions at the free assembly will feature business managers, university administrators, motivational speakers and other African-American leaders.
"As the most diverse university in the Southeastern Conference, Mississippi State is again taking the lead in addressing issues important to students of color," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. "We look forward to the chance to provide this forum for the exchange of ideas and to explore new opportunities on our campus and beyond."
Speakers will identify and address both challenges to and opportunities for achievement facing men of color. The summit, in its second year, is designed to engage male minority students with faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and other interested parties to discuss issues related to retention, academic success, perception and professional success.
"We are very excited about this event, look forward to great attendance and more importantly, a lasting impact on our student participants," said Gregory D. Hunley, diversity research and assessment specialist at MSU's Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.
He recommended early registration, which may be completed online at https://www.oidi.msstate.edu/moc.
On Thursday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m., the summit will begin with head basketball coach Rick Ray and Loston Rowe, Dupont North America commercialization manager, speaking in the Union Dawg House.
President Keenum and Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert will welcome participants on Friday at 8:30 a.m. in Foster Ballroom at the Union.
"President Keenum and Provost Gilbert continue to provide the leadership and support of this initiative," said Tommy J. Stevenson, chief diversity officer and director of MSU's Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. "It is our goal to facilitate a learning environment for all our students, and the summit is one of many efforts the university has developed to address their ever-changing needs."
Opening keynote speaker Calvin Mackie will speak at 9:40 a.m.
Mackie, a Louisiana native, completed his bachelor's in mechanical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, his bachelor's and master's in mathematics at Morehouse College in Atlanta, and his doctorate in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech. Mackie is a partner with Golden Leaf Energy, a biodiesel production and distribution company based in Harvey, La. His best sellers include "A View from the Roof: Lessons for Life and Business" and "Grandma's Hands: Cherished Moments of Faith and Wisdom."
At noon, Carl Mack, executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers, will offer the second keynote address.
A Jackson native, Mack is an MSU graduate and a Distinguished Engineering Fellow. He received an honorary doctoral degree from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. Mack is a Lifetime Member of NSBE and a Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He also sits on the Minority Advisory Board of MSU's Bagley College of Engineering, the Board of Trustees of the Society of Automotive Engineers Foundation and the Clarkson University Board of Trustees.
Panel discussions will focus on a variety of issues, including "Dollars and Sense: The Importance of Academic Success," "Understanding Minority Students," "Breaking the Code: Perception Issues" and "Breaking the Code: Professional Success."
The conference is sponsored by the offices of the President, the Provost and Executive Vice President, Research and Economic Development, and Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Other sponsors include the divisions of Student Affairs; Development and Alumni; Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; and Budget and Planning. Additionally, Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, along with the Bagley College of Engineering, the Center for Teaching and Learning and the President's Commission on the Status of Minorities, are also sponsors.
Leah Barbour | University Relations