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TSU Announces 2024 Annual Communication Week



TEXAS INTERNATIONAL GUARDIAN, HOUSTON, TX – The representation of diverse racial and ethnic groups, as well as sexual and gender identities in the media, is critically important because it accurately shapes decency, fairness, and unity in the community. When media lacks or portrays insensitive representations, it can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and discrimination, further marginalizing these identities.

The School of Communication (SOC) at the Texas Southern University (TSU) has announced its 2024 Commweek, signifying the 42nd Intercultural and Communication Conference. Themed “Amplifying Diverse Voices in Media and Communication”, the conference will be held April 8 – 12, 2024, and will culminate with an Awards Gala on Friday, April 12, 2024, at the University’s Tiger Room.

Ensuring a diversity of voices in the media requires holistic monitoring systems and the wider application of target-based measures for both public and private media. Amplifying diverse perspectives can instigate a richer and more inclusive media landscape that benefits the entire populace. The Intercultural Communication Conference provides a forum for scholars, students, professionals, and civic-minded leaders to explore topics with cultural, political, economic, and social implications as well as communication dynamics. But the theme is necessary and also, it is coming at the right time.

The challenges posed by a lack of diverse voices in media and communication can be seen across social, political, economic, and cultural spheres of influence. These issues can influence the views represented in news coverage and dissemination. Indeed, the diversity of perspectives is key to creating a more inclusive and equitable society.

According to Dr. Chris Ulasi, the Interim Dean of the School of Communication, “The 2024 event will be special because we are equally raising scholarship funds for gifted and economically disadvantaged students in the School of Communication.  Traditionally, a majority of our students rely on some form of financial assistance to fund their education. This is why I am using this opportunity to appeal to individuals, corporations, and community organizations to support this cause.”

According to a release made available to our newsroom, proceeds from this event will,

  • Help SOC students break down financial barriers while pursuing their academic prospects.
  • Help SOC students cover the cost of tuition, textbooks, and other educational expenses.
  • Help SOC students supplement the cost-of-living expenses such as housing, transportation, and food.
  • Create retention possibilities for students who might drop out for financial reasons.
  • Act as incentives and encouragement to students in general.
  • This financial sponsorship will be a catalyst for expanding SOC’s ongoing professional relationship with corporate businesses, community organizations, and individual sponsors.

Dr. Anthony Ogbo, co-chaired by Professor Ladonia Randle, and Ms. Michele Jones, is joined by a team of very engaging and supportive members who meet regularly to finalize the machinery for a successful event.  According to Dr. Ogbo, “The 2024 Commweek is expected to draw a line-up of dignitaries from the business, academic, and government sectors. For instance, the City of Houston’s Vice Mayor Pro-Tem, Council Member Martha Castex-Tatum will lead the conference opening ceremony on Monday, April 8. Also, Dr. Kathleen McElroy, renowned Journalist and Professor at the School of Journalism and Media at The University of Texas at Austin will lead the opening session of the intercultural conference on Thursday, April 10.”

The School of Communication (SOC) at Texas Southern University is a transformational, interdisciplinary academic school with four departments and two graduate programs: Communication Studies; Entertainment Recording Industry Management (ERIM); Journalism; Radio, Television, and Film (RTF); and Master of Arts (MA) in Communication and Master of Arts (M.A.) in Professional Communication and Digital Media (PCDM). For 48 years, the school has been at the forefront of training culturally responsive professionals and scholars who can navigate urban and international settings with a deep sense of inclusivity and an understanding of historical legacy.

Texas Southern University possesses an impressive array of more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and concentrations, a diverse faculty, 80-plus student organizations, and an extensive alumni network comprised of educators, entrepreneurs, public servants, lawyers, pilots, artists, and more, many of whom are change agents on the local, national and international stage. Nestled upon a sprawling 150-acre campus, Texas Southern University is one of the nation’s largest historically black universities.

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The Call for Reform: Embracing Chief Awolowo’s Vision for a Better Nigeria



As we celebrate the 115th Posthumous birthday of Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Oyeniyi Iyanda Awolowo, GCFR, it is essential to reflect on the valuable lessons that today’s politicians can learn from his exemplary leadership. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a visionary and transformative leader, left a lasting legacy of progressive governance, innovative policies, and unwavering commitment to the betterment of Nigeria. Chief Awolowo’s emphasis on reform to drive progress, development, and prosperity for all Nigerians remains as relevant today as it was during his tenure. In honouring Chief Awolowo’s birthday, it is fitting to consider how his principles can guide policymakers in navigating the complexities of modern governance and leading Nigeria toward a brighter and more sustainable future.

Reflecting on the indelible mark he left on Nigeria through his visionary leadership, particularly his groundbreaking free education policy, Chief Awolowo’s legacy continues to resonate with many Nigerians, myself included. Personally, I owe much of who I am today to the opportunities afforded to me through this policy. In honour of Chief Awolowo’s birthday, it is fitting to explore and celebrate his attributes that today’s politicians can emulate for the betterment of our nation.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a visionary leader who played a key role in shaping modern Nigeria. His commitment to the principles of justice, equity, and progress made him a champion of the common man and a symbol of good governance. As we celebrate his 115th Posthumous birthday, it is important to reflect on his legacy and the values he stood for.


♦ Professor Ojo Emmanuel Ademola is a Nigerian Professor of Cyber Security and Information Technology Management, and holds a Chartered Manager Status, and by extension, Chartered Fellow (CMgr FCMI) by the highly Reputable Royal Chartered Management Institute.

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UMass students are BANNED from studying abroad after they staged an anti-Israel sit-in on campus



…and were arrested after ignoring police officer’s orders to leave

Culled from Dailymail.Com,

A University of Massachusetts Amherst student is facing a sudden setback in his plans to study abroad in Spain after taking part in an anti-Israel sit-in on campus and defying police officers’ orders to leave.

Aidan O’ Neill, a junior at UMass Amherst, along with two other students, had their eligibility to study abroad revoked after their involvement in an Oct. 25 protest supporting Palestinians led to arrests and disciplinary probation.

After refusing police orders to leave the building when it closed at 6 pm, 56 students, including O’Neill, and one staff member were arrested for trespassing, and then placed on disciplinary probation until the end of the spring semester.

O’Neill’s study abroad eligibility was then revoked as he had signed an agreement that prohibits students from participating in the program if they have pending legal or disciplinary actions or are on academic probation.

The initial protest on Oct. 25 involved 500 students demanding UMass sever ties with defense contractor Raytheon Technologies, a producer of missile components for Israel ‘s Iron Dome.

The Iron Dome is an Israeli mobile all-weather air defense system that successfully intercepts upward of 90 percent of projectiles. Since Hamas’s unprovoked Oct. 7 massacre, more than 11,000 rockets have been fired toward Israel.

O’Neill, along with faculty members, are now fighting back – emphasizing the right to voice opposition to what they call the university’s alleged support for ‘genocide.’

‘To lose my abroad eligibility at the last second, that was just heartbreaking,’ O’Neill said to the Boston Globe. ‘I was practicing my right as a student to speak up against the university funding a genocide. It just seemed, honestly, crazy and absurd to me that the university was going that far to punish me.’

The students are arguing that their punishment is disproportionately severe due to their political views, despite the university claiming it is merely adhering to the established policies, irrespective of the protest’s content.

Faculty members, including Rachel Mordecai and Jason Moralee, have rallied behind O’Neill, denouncing the denial of his study abroad opportunity as an excessive penalty for ‘peaceful political expression.’

O’Neill ‘was participating in a peaceful expression of his political convictions,’ Rachel Mordecai, O’Neill’s faculty adviser said to the Boston Globe.

‘This denial of the opportunity to study abroad constitutes a disproportionate penalty for what Aidan participated in.

Mordecai wrote a letter in defense of O’Neill, signed by 23 other faculty members. The statement, obtained by the Globe, called O’Neill ‘an exceptionally successful and talented student.’

O’Neill was set to leave to Barcelona on Jan. 3 for his study abroad program, which he’d been planning since last spring. Now, the junior is staying in his hometown, Scituate, until next semester begins in the spring.

The students were told they were no longer eligible weeks before their trip, leaving them with thousands of dollars in fees and travel expenses. One student is now threatening to take legal action against the school.

Jason Moralee, the Associate Dean of Research and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion also advocated for O’Neill and the two other students by urging fellow administrators to swiftly clear them for study abroad.

Moralee highlighted that students with code of conduct violations, academic probation, or other issues are routinely permitted to study abroad.

He argued that students with clear records, like O’Neill’s, who engaged in protests should not be hindered in their eligibility to participate in the study abroad program.

‘Surely, peaceful protest done by exemplary students whose records are otherwise clear … is an offense that should not in itself prevent students from studying abroad,’ he said to the Globe.

But University spokesperson Ed Blaguszewski defended the IPO’s decision, stating that the decision aligns with the university’s past practices and the Student Agreement of Participation signed by each student.

O’Neill, along with faculty members, are now fighting back – emphasizing the right to voice opposition to what they call the university’s alleged support for ‘genocide’

‘To participate in a UMass Amherst study abroad program, students must be in good standing academically with the university and in compliance with the university’s Code of Student Conduct,’ he expressed in a statement to the Globe.

‘Consistent with the university’s past practice and the Student Agreement of Participation signed by each student, IPO revoked eligibility for these students to study abroad for the upcoming winter/spring terms.’

Contrary to the university’s stance, O’Neill and the other students argue that their disciplinary treatment deviates from past practices.

O’Neill and the other students, facing uncertainty, were informed of their inability to study abroad on the last day of the semester, leaving them in a state of limbo.

One student, represented by attorney Shahily ‘Shay’ Negrón, claims to be confronted with up to $20,000 in fees for the overseas program.

Negrón emphasized the emotional and financial toll the ordeal has taken on the student.

‘They have been extremely distraught,’ Negrón said to the Globe. ‘This entire ordeal has had a toll on my client emotionally [and] financially.’

UMass is ‘harming my client because she exercised her right to free speech,’ he added.

O’Neill said he is still considering participating in a study abroad program next year, when his probation clears.

‘If things had happened differently, I’d be in Barcelona right now, living with the host family and having the study abroad experience,’ he said to the Globe. ‘I feel really crushed by my university. I feel like they’ve just betrayed my trust for the last time.’

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Neri Oxman admits to plagiarizing in her doctoral dissertation after BI report



Neri Oxman , the wife of billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman , admitted to failing to properly credit sources in portions of her doctoral dissertation after Business Insider published an article finding that Oxman engaged in a pattern of plagiarism similar to that of former Harvard president Claudine Gay .

BI identified four instances in Oxman’s dissertation in which she lifted paragraphs from other scholars’ work without including them in quotation marks. In those instances, Oxman wrote in a post on X , using quotation marks would have been “the proper approach for crediting the work. I regret and apologize for these errors.”

Ackman has been on a crusade to force Gay to resign , which she did this week. Revelations that she had plagiarized portions of academic articles, publicized by far-right activist Christopher Rufo, added fuel to his calls for Gay to step down after protests against Israel’s war in Gaza rocked Harvard’s campus.

Ackman said Gay had mishandled the student protests and created a culture of antisemitism at the elite Cambridge institution. Gay’s plagiarism underscored her lack of fitness to lead the institution, or even to teach at Harvard, Ackman wrote on X, calling Gay’s plagiarism “very serious.”

Oxman, an architect and artist, received her Ph.D. from MIT in 2010 and became a tenured professor there in 2017 before leaving the university in June 2021, an MIT spokesperson said. Her failure to use quotation marks to identify passages of text from other sources meets the definition of plagiarism as spelled out in MIT’s academic integrity handbook.

Oxman wrote on X that after she has reviewed the original sources, she plans to “request that MIT make any necessary corrections.”

“As I have dedicated my career to advancing science and innovation, I have always recognized the profound importance of the contributions of my peers and those who came before me. I hope that my work is helpful to the generations to come,” she wrote.

Oxman now leads an eponymous company, Oxman , focused on “innovation in product, architectural, and urban design,” she wrote on X. “OXMAN has been in stealth mode. I look forward to sharing more about OXMAN later this year.”

Her husband, Ackman, lauded her transparency in his own post on X following the publication of Business Insider’s article.

“Part of what makes her human is that she makes mistakes, owns them, and apologizes when appropriate,” he wrote .

Read the original article on Business Insider

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