Valencia Matthews, dean of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities (CSSAH), hosted an event Saturday via Zoom called “Dialoging with the dean: alumni edition.”
Matthews and her administrative staff discussed the latest updates regarding COVID-19, alumni engagement and program development.
Matthews used the start of the meeting to discuss the goals and impact that she and her team try to implement with current students in the college, saying that they are more than just students but the “protectors of freedom.”
“We are the keepers of the culture because of all the units within the college, the protectors of freedom and the ambassadors of creativity. We always say we are the conscience of the academy because we feel that based upon all the disciplines within this college, that is all true and it is our responsibility to make sure that whatever is happening in the world that we have a conscious mind about and to make things happen positively,” Matthews said.
CSSAH alumni who are working in various fields took part in the meeting. It was noted that some who have graduated from the college — the largest unit at FAMU — are now working in popular positions within their industries.
“We are committed to creating cultural In-tune graduates who engage creativity and critical thinking to solve real world problems,” Matthews said.
COVID-19 has played a large role in academia, moving most courses to remote instruction. However, Matthews said we can expect a change this upcoming spring semester.
She said that for spring 2021 all of FAMU’s colleges and schools have been requested to increase the number of face to face classes from the current 18 percent to 50 percent.
Gary Paul, associate dean of CSSAH, said it is important that alumni share their stories on how FAMU has shaped them, and the importance of civic engagement and political efficacy.
“One of the things we want to do throughout the remainder of the year is to have you [alumni] back and to have you speak with our students so they can see what FAMU can do for them. One of the great things we are not good at is helping people understand what FAMU means to me and what it has done for me. FAMU has been a game-changer in so many of our lives,” Paul said.
The meeting was signed off with a song written by Mark Butler and sung by Mr. FAMU, Kimani Jackson.