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Faculty focus on technology

by Ronald Roach

If you’re looking for new and exciting ways to adapt information
technology to the classroom or to your research, an upcoming annual
symposium hosted by the HBCU Faculty Development Network may have the
answers you seek.

The Fifth National HBCU Faculty Development Symposium is being held
in Miami, Florida, on October 15-18, 1998. Themed “Networking to
Enhance Diversity in a Technical World,” the symposium is expected to
attract more than 200 faculty members from historically Black
institutions, according to organizers. The event is expected to feature
a total of 125 presenters.

The Honorable William H. Gray III, president and chief executive
officer of the College Fund/UNCF, will deliver the symposium’s keynote
address.

Dr. Stephen L. Rozman, a founder of the HBCU Faculty Development
Network, says this year’s focus on information technology reflects a
major interest of network members. HBCU faculty are eager to learn how
they can utilize computers and the Internet in their teaching and
research, according to Rozman, a political science professor at
Tougaloo College in Mississippi.

“Our members want to do more with technology,” he says.

Information technology topics covered during the symposium will
include using the World Wide Web in classroom instruction; information
technology across disciplines; using technology to improve language
skills; and getting HBCUs on the information superhighway.

While the general theme of the symposium centers on information
technology, many workshops will cover other subjects. General topics
include faculty development at community colleges; preparing HBCU
students to teach AP (advanced placement) courses; strengthening
HIV/AIDS pre-service education at HBCUs; and integrating service
learning into the curriculum.

Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, the network’s co-director, says
information technology will be critical for HBCUs as they seek to
provide diversity in the learning experiences of their students.
Linking HBCUs to other colleges and universities with technology will
represent one facet of that diversity push.

“Technology will permit you to get beyond the campus walls and spur collaboration between institutions,” Dawkins says.

Rozman says this year’s symposium will include the participation of
publishing giant Houghton-Mifflin Company as a network partner. The
network and the publishing company are currently negotiating a
long-term agreement.

The network was launched in 1994 at Tougaloo College with the
support of the Minneapolis-based Bush Foundation. It was expanded to
include the faculties at all HBCUs. More recently, the faculties at
community colleges with significant Black student populations have also
joined the network, according to Rozman.

In addition to the Bush Foundation, the Ford Foundation also has supported the HBCU Faculty Development Network.

For more information about the Fifth National HBCU Faculty
Development Symposium, call: (601) 977-7861, or (704) 378-1287, or send
e-mail to <Srozman@aol.com> or <pwdawdkins@msmail.jcsu.edu>

RELATED ARTICLE: New CD-ROM Provides Detailed Documentation of Slave Trade

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: A Database on
CD-ROM, published by Cambridge University Press, made its debut during
a conference on the slave trade here in August at the College of
William and Mary.

It’s the most extensive record to date of the slave trade,
according to Dr. Philip D. Morgan, the William and Mary history
professor who chaired the conference. The database, mostly statistical
material, covers more than 25,000 voyages between 1595 and 1866. There
are 170 fields of information for each voyage.

The CD-ROM first displays a map of the Atlantic Ocean, where the
viewer can click on a region or particular island to find listings of
ports, trips, and number of slaves involved. The documentation is
compiled from advertisements, shipping records and ships’ logs,
insurance records, and personal journals.

The records indicate many ports — in Africa, the Americas, and
Europe — were used repeatedly because of agreements between European
shippers and African merchants and rulers, Morgan said. In Virginia,
for example, many slaves arrived from what was then known as the Bight
of Biafra. Today, the country of Nigeria occupies that region of Africa.

“The most obvious thing it tells us is we’re able to link, with
more precise detail, specific places in Africa with specific places in
America,” Morgan said. “So Africans are not just Africans; they have
specific ethnic and local roots.”

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: A Database on CD-ROM sells for $195.
For more information, contact: Cambridge University Press at (212)
924-3900; or visit the Web site located at <www.cup.org>.

COPYRIGHT 1998 Cox, Matthews & Associates



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