Thursday, September 08, 2011
“Reaffirming Scholarship: The Passport to Unlimited Possibilities!” is the theme of SC State University’s Fall Convocation on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, at 3 p.m. in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial (SHM) Center.
Fall Convocation, which symbolizes the official opening of the University’s new academic year, is one of the institution’s most important academic traditions. “The event conveys to new students, especially first-time freshmen, that SC State is a community of scholars,” says Dr. Carl Jones, Convocation co-chairperson and assistant vice president for Academic Success and Retention.
“Convocation is the official welcoming ceremony of freshmen to the University community by the president, vice president for Academic Affairs, faculty and staff,” states Dr. Joyce Blackwell, vice president for Academic Affairs. “It is designed as an opportunity to convey to students the significance of their educational endeavor and the commitment of the university to support them in the achievement of this goal. She also notes, the beginning of each year is marked by a ceremonial display of symbolic meaning. Fall Convocation is a formal assembly of students and faculty to celebrate the educational journey and to serve as a platform from which scholarly endeavor could be launched.
The Honorable Alisha Thomas Morgan will serve as the keynote speaker for this annual event. A courageous champion for justice, equality and empowering communities, she made history at age 23 by becoming the first African American to serve in the Georgia House of Representatives for Cobb County. Elected to her fifth term in 2010, winning over 73 percent of the vote, at age 32, Rep. Morgan remains one of the youngest members of the entire Georgia General Assembly. A powerful political voice, inspirational speaker and empowering trainer, she is one of today’s trailblazing architects for change.
Rep. Morgan has become a statewide leader in the movement for education reform, forging a bipartisan coalition to pass HB 251 in 2009, a bill which empowers parents to access more options within the public school system. In February 2010, Rep. Morgan was selected to participate in a national bi-partisan group of legislators to work under secretary of education Arne Duncan and with senior staff at the U.S.Department of Education on the reauthorization of “No Child Left Behind.” Recently appointed to the National Board of Directors of the Black Alliance of Educational Options, she also serves as the national co-chair of the Parent’s Advisory Council of the National Coalition of Public School Options.
A rising star on the national scene, Rep. Morgan is a sought-after speaker and trainer, with clients including the Harvard University Black Policy Conference, the Yale University Women’s Campaign School, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the numerous other national agencies and organizations. She has been named one of the nation’s 30 leaders who are under 30 by Ebony Magazine, one of “America’s Young Civil Rights Heroes” by AOL Black Voices, one of fifteen women of the “New Power Generation” by Essence Magazine, and one of Georgia’s “brightest 40 Under 40” by North Georgia Trend Magazine and the Georgia Informer. Rep. Morgan has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and on both CSPAN and BET.
An innovative entrepreneur with a passion for inspiring others to be their most authentic selves, in 2009 Rep. Morgan launched Morganics, a people services company that focuses on public speaking, leadership development, training and advocacy. She also recently published her debut book, No Apologies: Powerful Lessons in Life, Love and Politics, a riveting, no holds barred tell-all offering life lessons through the transparent lens of one of the country’s most promising political stars.
The Honorable Alisha Thomas Morgan is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga., where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in both sociology and drama. She resides in Austell, Ga., with her husband, David, a member of the Cobb county School Board, and daughter Lailah.