Florida A&M University leads the fifth Annual American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) HBCU Awards with 14 finalists.
A record of 430 nominations from Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the United States were submitted for the 2015 awards.
According to HBCU Digest, finalists are selected based on the impact of nominees’ achievement on the institution development and for media coverage exposer nominees earned for their institution.
Student body president Tonnette Graham who was recently elected chair of the Florida Student Association was among the list of nominees. Graham was named as a finalist for the Female Student of the Year award.
Less than a year after her inauguration, President Elmira Mangum is a finalist for the highest honor as a finalist for the Female President of the Year award.
After recent controversy between president Mangum and some FAMU Board of Trustee members, many students hope that the recognition could push BOT members and Mangum toward a better partnership.
"It is vital that they work as a team and maybe this would give the BOT members against President Mangum some confidence in her," said Jasmine Gibson, a hospitality student from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
FAMU’s head baseball Coach Jamey Shouppe was selected as a finalist for Male Coach of the Year. Coach Shouppe led the baseball team to its first ever National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament appearance.
FAMU Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field head coach Dr. Darlene Moore was named a finalist for Female Coach of the Year award.
"The young ladies, my staff and myself are working hard to show that Florida A&M University Women Track and Field/Cross Country are premier programs in the conference, region and the United States," said Moore.
Moore came to FAMU after serving two years as an assistant coach at Albany State University where she led the Lady Rams to back-to-back Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) championships.
Other individuals named as finalists include: Carl Goodman for the Male Faculty Member of the Year award, and Cecka Rose Green and John Thompson for the Alumna/Alumnus of the Year award.
The FAMU Center of Excellence for Cancer Research and the FAMU College of Science & Technology were named as finalists for awards in academic excellence.
The Florida A&M University’s Marching 100 and Wind Symphony Ensemble were also named finalists for awards in student activities.
Winners are selected by an academy of former HBCU Award winners as well as former HBCU presidents, alumni, faculty, students and journalists who cover HBCU news locally and nationally.
The A&M Magazine was named as a finalist for Best Alumni Publication. While the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communications (SJGC) award-winning newspaper, the FAMUAN, was named as finalists for Best Student Newspaper.
"We are very proud of our FAMUAN students for making this opportunity available for the world to see that we are a great student newspaper," said SJGC's Dean Ann Kimbrough.
The FAMUAN faculty advisor, Maurice Johnson, said that the nomination comes from the student’s hard work and consistent development.
“This nomination is a result of students taking the time to learn their craft and continuing to add to their skill sets. I’m extremely proud of them and I’m certain they will continue to achieve great things.”
Morehouse and Spelman College, Hampton, Howard, Morgan State, Dillard, and North Carolina A&M, Universities, are some of the other HBCUs that made it on the list of finalists.
Hampton University will host the awards ceremony, which is set for July 10.