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Contact: Alan Richard
(404) 879-5544
Released: 6/28/2010

SREB Honors 500th Doctoral Program Graduate

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, West Virginia — The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program today will honor Dr. Betina Cutaia Wilkinson as its 500th graduate at the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Annual Meeting in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Governors, state legislators, policy-makers and education leaders from across the South will attend a luncheon where she is scheduled to speak.

The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program was established in 1993 to address the long-standing national shortage of minority faculty members at institutions of higher learning. More than one-third of America’s college students are people of color, but few college and university faculty are members of racial or ethnic minority groups.

To date, SREB has trained nearly 1,000 doctoral scholars, including 515 graduates, encouraging them to join the ranks of college faculty. More than 80 percent of program graduates now are employed in education, and more than 60 percent of them work in SREB member states.

"The 500th graduate is a major milestone for our program — and for our states," said Ansley Abraham, director of the program. "It means that 500 program graduates are making a difference in our college and university classrooms, in the research labs, and in service to our communities."

Born in Argentina and raised in Metairie, Louisiana, Dr. Wilkinson earned a Ph.D. in political science from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge in 2010. She will soon begin work as an assistant professor of political science at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Four other program graduates also were recognized at the event:

Dr. Natasha Satcher received a Ph.D. in human performance from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg in 2006 and is now an assistant professor in human performance at the University of West Alabama in Livingston. She was the 306th graduate of the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program.

Dr. Lynn Hampton earned a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2006 and is currently an assistant professor of sociology at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. Dr. Hampton was the 283rd graduate of the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program.

Dr. Shawn Long received a Ph.D. in communications from the University of Kentucky in Lexington in 2001. He is a tenured associate professor, the incoming chair of the Department of Communication Studies, and the director of the Communication Graduate Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He was the 114th graduate of the program.

Dr. Vivian Foyou earned a Ph.D. in political science from West Virginia University in Morgantown in 2009. Dr. Foyou is an assistant professor at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. She was the 464th program graduate.

For more information about the doctoral scholars program and the minority faculty shortage, contact SREB Communications.

SREB, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, advises state education leaders on ways to improve education. SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government work cooperatively to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. SREB has 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. For more information, visit www.sreb.org.

Southern Regional Education Board
592 10th Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30318-5776
(404) 875-9211

For additional information, please e-mail communications@sreb.org