"Reunited" is Theme of WJOU's Sharathon 2016

Praise 90.1 FM WJOU began its annual on-air fundraising campaign on Monday, April 11, with a full day of prayer requests, praise testimonies, and inspirational music. Special guests, including several local pastors and Oakwood employees, stopped by the station for on-air interviews.
The Sharathon is a great opportunity to "reunite" with this 36-year-old radio ministry by renewing one's commitment as a Praise Partner, or becoming a Praise Partner for the first time. Donations will help to continue the station's outreach mission to our campus community, the Tennessee Valley, and our listeners around the world. The ministry of WJOU is also an important component of media training for students at Oakwood University.
During the Sharathon, which continues through Sunday, April 17, donations can be made at any time by visiting the website at www.wjou.org, or call the Sharathon hotline at (256) 726-7444 during business hours. Even after the Sharathon is completed, online donations can be accepted around the clock.

Thanks in advance for your prayers and Praise Partner support of the Tennessee Valley's Praise Station, WJOU 90.1 FM.
Oakwood Students Receive Coveted HBCU-China Initiative Scholarships

Several of Oakwood University's student scholars will travel to China during the summer of 2016 for a six-week educational program with language and cultural study. The student scholars are:
Esther Alexis - University Science and Technology, Beijing
Sonora Burrows - Shanghai Second Polytechnic University
Alexandria Henry-Smith - Dalian University of Technology
Hailey Jones - Shanghai Second Polytechnic University
Camille Moore - University of Science and Technology, Beijing
Kyle Smith - University of Science and Technology, Beijing
Shawna Wynter - Shanghai Second Polytechnic University
In this program, students will: 
  • have an environmental scientist mentor from Nanjing Forestry University
  • receive lectures in Mandarin, Chinese culture and history, statistics, and how to create effective PowerPoint presentations and posters
  • gain hands-on experience in a laboratory or field setting (often both)
Student scholar Adrianna Hayden has received the Summer Research Program in Ecological and Environmental Research scholarship for eight weeks of mentored, independent research that focuses on the effects of a variety of environmental impacts on the rapidly urbanizing landscape of Nanjing, China and surrounding areas.
Guiding the students through this initiative is Carmiele Wilkerson, Ph.D., '90, coordinator of the HBCU China Initiative, and a professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages.

The HBCU-China Scholarship Network is a consortium of 42 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) formed in 2014 to facilitate the implementation of 1,000 scholarships awarded to HBCUs as announced by Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong in November 2013.  Oakwood President Dr. Leslie N. Pollard joined the HBCU-China Network of HBCU Presidents in the 2014-2015 school year.  "Oakwood University now has a memo of understanding with Nanjing Forestry University, and we hope to continue our partnership with them after the HBCU-China initiative has ended," Wilkerson said.  
Mr. and Miss Oakwood 2016-2017 Crowned  
The theme for this year's Oakwood Pageant was "Metamorphosis," which focuses on a change of the form or nature of a thing or a person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.

Six pageant contestants for Miss Oakwood - Kiana Berry, Courtney Buckhanon, Cherish-Joie Charles, Naomi Coggs, Alexis Langston and Steffany Mupfawa - and two contestants for Mr. Oakwood - Khaleel Clarke and Darren Daly - arrived at The New Room of Huntsville's Trinity United Methodist Church on Sunday evening, April 10, having gone through a process of "metamorphosis," growing them into leaders prepared to make a difference on Oakwood's campus.

The Oakwood Pageant seeks to identify, develop, and promote leadership within the Oakwood University community among Christian college age men and women. Over the course of a month and a half, each contestant was encouraged to be an example on campus while also identifying issues within the Oakwood community that could be improved under their leadership. Every contestant put hard work into the process and showcased their personalities and character to the audience and judges on Sunday night.

The culmination of the evening was the crowning of Courtney Buckhanon as Miss Oakwood 2016-2017, and Khaleel Clarke as Mr. Oakwood. Awards for Congeniality, Best Fundraiser and Best Personality were also given during the competition.
The pageant will be remembered for years to come because of its one- of-a-kind theme, and most importantly, the graceful and admirable character displayed by each contestant.

24th Oakwood Pageant contestants with Mr. and Miss Oakwood 2015-2016: (L-R) Steffany Mupfawa, Darren Daly, Cherish-Joie Charles, Lauren Eaton, Courtney Buckhanon, Khaleel Clarke, James Williams, Naomi Coggs, Kiana Berry and Alexis Langston. (Photo by Teymi Townsend)
Oakwoodites Worship with Local Church on Social Work Sabbath

On March 19, students from the the Social Work Department held Divine Worship service at the Smyrna Seventh-day Adventist Church in Huntsville, in celebration of Social Work Month.

During Sabbath School, a panel of upper-class social work majors, including Matthew Adderley, Eric Bell, Abigail Ceasar, Janelle Clark, Shellee Daniel, Ashley Gordon, and Shawndell Harris, debated with the congregation on topics such as the seven churches, love, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church on a whole.

Musical ministry was provided by the Voices of Triumph choir. Their harmonious melodies prepared our ears and spiritual palettes for the man of the hour, Eric Bell (pictured, currently president of Eta Pi Chapter of the Phi Alpha National Honor Society) whose message was entitled, "The Christian Cocktail."

From the book of Revelation, he spoke about the church of Laodicea and how the LAST church has become lukewarm in its race to the Kingdom. He elaborated on Adventists and their complacency with worship and their earthly ministry. Bell acknowledged the problem and also suggested the remedy: to gain advantage over a lukewarm nature, we as Christians need to constantly stay 'under the influence' of the Spirit so we can always be renewed and refreshed with the blessings that God so willingly wants to give. We need to be shaken, not stirred, with the Fruits of the Spirit to form the perfect Christian Cocktail.

Once our "bartender" finished his appeal, the benediction was offered, the group returned to campus, and a fellowship lunch was served at Wade Hall.
Oakwood is at BAYDA

The Black Adventist Youth Directors Association (BAYDA) is sponsoring the 2016 United Youth Congress, April 13-17, 2016, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The theme is "4given." Oakwood representatives are happy to greet you at Oakwood's booth in the exhibit hall.
Help Us Win the Home Depot Competition - Again!  

With your help, for the past three years*, Oakwood has won top prizes in Home Depot's Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant Program. Since the program's inception in 2010, over one million dollars in grant money has been awarded for campus improvement projects at the nation's HBCUs.

Participating schools have submitted grants for campus improvement. Schools are judged on the creativity of their grant proposal as well as by the number of online votes and social media activity. Oakwood's three proposals highlight how each project will make a lasting, positive impact on the campus. The three projects are: 

  • $50,000 (Tier 1) - Outdoor bathroom facility by the Unity Pond
  • $20,000 (Tier 2) - Seating (bleachers) for soccer field
  • $30,000 (Campus Pride) - Outdoor picnic/study area in between Blake Center and Library

  • Help support Oakwood now in the Retool Your School by clicking here and voting for Oakwood. You can vote on all of your devices including desktop, laptop, tablet, smart phone - daily. Oakwood will also be judged on social media activity. Help us acquire high votes by also using #Oakwood_RYS16 in all of your social media communication. Online voting will take place until April 24, 2016. The winners will be announced on May 18, 2016, in Atlanta.

    Team Oakwood -- we did this (and won for the past three years.  In 2013, Oakwood won the Tier 1 prize of $50,000. In 2014, Oakwood won the Campus Pride prize of $25,000. In 2015, Oakwood again the Tier 1 prize of $50,000.  Let's show them we can do this -- again!
    Employee Notes

    Jason Max Ferdinand, DMA, '99, recently published "Choral Triptych," through GIA Publishing. The three prayer responses in the piece are "Prayer Fixes Things," "Campfire Prayer," and "In Need of You."

    Alumni News 

    Kymberly Byrd, '11
    is a recently published author in the peer reviewed Academic Pediatrics, the official journal of the Academic Pediatric Association. Her article was the result of several years of research, presentations, and study in the area of community health. After completing undergraduate degrees in Social Work and Spanish at Oakwood University, Kym received a fellowship for graduate study at Boston University. There she completed a MSW in 2012 and MPH in 2013. She is Research Coordinator at the Boston Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics-Boston University School of Medicine.

    The Friday night AYS and Saturday night Aeolians concerts from Alumni Homecoming Weekend can be viewed online on the Oakwood University Alumni Association website, 

    DVDs of the Friday night service are available for $19.95, and can be ordered by sending an email to Debi Slack, at [email protected].

    To obtain a DVD of the Saturday night program, contact the Oakwood University Church Media Department, at (256) 837-1255. 

    Would you like to share Alumni news with us? Please send to [email protected].
    Picture of the Week
    General Dennis L. Via, a four-star general in the United States Army, assumed responsibilities as the 18th Commander of the United States Army Materiel Command in August, 2012, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. An HBCU graduate, he has been described as "an amazing Christian man." Over the last four years, the Aeolians have sung at the Redstone Arsenal at least twice a year for various programs. As a result of General Via and his wife Linda have fallen in love with the Aeolians. The ensemble was invited to the Via residence for fellowship on April 9. What an honor! "He is a down to earth guy and shared words of enormous inspiration with our students," said director Jason Max Ferdinand, DMA. Each student received a personally signed letter from the General. 
    About Oakwood 


    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.

    In This Issue - 4/13/16
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    STORE #819

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    Huntsville, AL 35802

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    Share Love, Support Students

     Click here to see the Spring 2016 issue of Oakwood Magazine, or visit www.oakwoodmagazine.com
    insideOakwood is published by the Office of Integrated Marketing & Public Relations
    Editor: George Johnson, Jr. | Managing Editor: Debbe Millet | Student Writer: Naomi Coggs | Photographer: Anthony Chornes, II