Contact: Maridith Geuder
Two guest speakers focusing on student leadership and academic successes are highlighting the 2002 Black History Month observance at Mississippi State.
University alumnus Tyrone Bledsoe, a Grenada native now associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Sam Houston State University, will lead a Thursday [Feb. 21] public program in the Colvard Union ballroom. To begin at 7 p.m., his presentation is titled "Reliving the Past: Aspiring to the Future."
On Feb. 28, a 7 p.m. academic recognition program in the Bost Extension Center auditorium features Raygene C. Paige of Memphis, Tenn., whose 38-year career with the MSU Extension Service concluded with her retirement last year. "Exploring, Expanding, Exchanging: The Pathway to Excellence" will be the theme of Paige's remarks in the keynote address as part of an annual campus ceremony honoring all minority students who achieved a 3.0 or higher grade-point average (out of 4.0) during the 2001 fall semester.
The university's Richard Holmes Cultural Diversity Center is sponsoring both events.
Bledsoe, also an assistant professor of education on the 12,500-student, Huntsville, Texas, campus, is founder of the national Student African American Brotherhood. The organization promotes the positive experiences of African-American and Hispanic males in colleges and universities nationwide.
After receiving bachelor of arts and master of education degrees from MSU in 1983 and 1988, respectively, he went on to earn a doctorate in counseling from the University of Georgia. While at Georgia, he was named the state's outstanding doctoral student.
An active public speaker, Bledsoe has made presentations to numerous collegiate, religious and fraternal organizations. His professional positions have included administrative and academic roles at Georgia, Morehouse College, Georgia Southwestern University, and North Carolina Wesleyan College, among others.
Paige, who holds a doctoral degree in agricultural and extension education from MSU, held a number of extension service positions during her nearly four-decade career. They include district agent, area director, state program leader of family and consumer education, and assistant director/program coordinator.
She has been honored with a host of awards recognizing her leadership and mentoring skills. They include the Epsilon Sigma Phi Ruby Award, United States Department of Agriculture Diversity Award and recognition by the university's President's Commission on the Status of Women as the Outstanding Executive, Administrative and Managerial Woman.
The state's Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning also has named Paige Black Educator of the Year.
The Holmes Cultural Diversity Center is named for the first black student to enroll at the university. Now a Birmingham, Ala., physician, the former Starkville resident began attending classes in 1965. He completed a bachelor's degree in 1969 and a master's in 1972.
For more information about MSU's Black History Month events, telephone the Holmes Center at (662) 325-2033 or visit http://www.msstate.edu/dept/hcdc/.