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Musically Inclined Financial Aid Director

May 2, 2011 Spotlight No Comments
Keisha Ragsdale
Name: Keisha Ragsdale
Title: Director of Financial Aid Department
Education: Bachelor’s in Business Management from Shaw University;
Masters in Public Administration for NC Central
Experience: 7 years at Bennett College

Chi-town native spends most of her adult life in the tarheel state.

Keisha Ragsdale is the director of the financial aid department. Ragsdale has worked for Bennett College for the past seven years. Ragsdale grew up in Chicago, Illinois loving music. She says it was her ticket to college.

“Growing up I played the trumpet. I have been playing since 1991. I came to North Carolina on a Presidential and Music Scholarship in 1994 to attend college at Shaw University in Raleigh.”

Ragsdale says she still can play.

“I have not played with a group or a band in a few years, but the ability and the technique is still there.”

Ragsdale says she enjoys R&B, hip-hop, soul, jazz, and 90’s era rap music.

The Financial Aid Director, Keisha Ragsdale is also a talented musician.

She graduated with a Business Management degree from Shaw University. She then went on to get her Masters in Public Administration from NC Central University. Ragsdale put her degrees to work right out of college.

“In 2001, I started in financial aid at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, NC as a counselor/administrator for scholarships and student aid. Then I cam to Bennett College in 2004 as the assistant director, and I have been here ever since.”

Ragsdale says it’s rewarding to know that she plays a role in getting students to the next level their lives.

“The most rewarding thing about financial aid is to see students arrive and complete their studies at graduation. To see a young person transform into an adult is priceless.”

But those rewards aren’t without some disappointments.

“One of the disappointing things about this job is meeting those students who lack interest in their own future. It is most disappointing to see the files of students in need and lack the resources to support them financially.”

A Belle talks about Ragsdale’s commitment to her job.

“Ms. Ragsdale is about her business. When I go in her office she is ready to work, and I like that about her,” says Evette Brown senior journalism media studies major from Queens, NY.

Ragsdale says she has a dachshund mix named Lucky. She’s a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and member of the Eastern Star fraternal organization.

Ragsdale also says a quote by comedian and actor Bill Cosby keeps her motivated.

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”

By: Jasmine Lewis

Belles Burnt Out

March 23, 2011 Spotlight No Comments
Ashbrook Pointe Apartment Fire

Two Bennett Belles were burnt out of their apartments. The fire happened at the Ashebrook Pointe Apartments in Greensboro. The fire left two senior biology majors, Charmel Holland and Caroline Bailey, looking for a new place to stay.

“My initial reaction was, I need to get all my little sisters out. And then I thought to call Takiyah because I realized I didn’t see her outside,” says Holland. Takiyah Vincent is Holland’s neighbor. Vincent is a senior music major from Detroit, Michigan.

Holland says three of her little sisters were over from a sleep over. She said the fire woke them out of their sleep. Bailey says she was heading to church when she saw the smoke, so she knocked on Holland’s door.

The Greensboro Fire department says the Sunday, March 13 fire began at 10:30 in the morning. The fire department says it took nearly two hours to put the fire out.

Walt Ogler, manager of Ashebrook Pointe Apartments says the building was a total loss. Olger says they are currently working with their residences for future placement at one of their four sister properties, or giving residences the option of breaking their lease to find other housing. Victims were placed in hotels for two days.

The fire department condemned the apartment building because of the fire, smoke, and water damage. The fire department estimated the property loss at $350,000.

Holland and Bailey will move on campus for the remainder of the semester. Holland says several organizations on campus have reached out to her and her roommate. One of which was the Zeta Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

“We can only imagine what they are experiencing right now, and we know money will take care of some necessary things,” says Shadae Batie, Vice President of Zeta Xi. “I hope this will help them in some way.”

Batie says that the organization gave them money, and each member added an additional $40 out of their own pockets to further assist the victims. Other organizations that’ve helped so far include the college’s National Alumnae Association, HBCU Up, as well as alumnae like Dr. Audrey Ward of the Center for Teaching and Learning.

“People actually care about you at Bennett. It not’s just “Oh if you need anything call me,” Holland says.

By: Carmen Smith

 

Belle Comes Back to Give Back

February 28, 2011 Spotlight No Comments
Timogi in Media & Soceity Class

One Belle came back to campus, so she could give back to her sisters.  Belles are charged with living their purpose, and Tisha “Timogi” Jackson, a senior, interdisciplinary studies major from Brooklyn, New York returned to Bennett in the fall of 2009 to do so.

Jackson is not the typical student. She is a full time mother, wife, and an entrepreneur. She returned to Bennett ten years after leaving the college the first time without a degree. Jackson says her name truly represents her.

“I go by the name T. Timogi Jackson because Timogi means ‘I walk in the God given light that is uniquely and completely my own.’”

Jackson could have put less stress on her life by getting her degree closer to her home, but she felt compelled to come back to Bennett.

“I needed to be here. I needed to bring my experience full circle. This is where I started, so I owed it to my parents as well.”

Jackson shares her love and gratitude for her second chance.

“My first semester back to Bennett I would pull onto campus with tears in my eyes. That’s how excited I was to be back here. There’s a spirit on this campus and if you choose not to tap into it, it’s because you choose not to. And I know because when I first got here I chose not to.”

Even though Jackson knew and understood her purpose she was not always motivated.

“I used to lay in bed crying for years because I didn’t finish college. I was the smart girl. I was the top of my classes, went to the best schools in New York, and I knew what I had to do. I just wasn’t doing it.”

Jackson believes that all Belles should pay it forward.

“The legacy and foundation of Bennett College for Women respectfully deserves that each and every woman finish here and if not somewhere.”

Jackson’s story may be unique to this campus, but it’s not within her family.

“My mother and I have taken classes together. She attends Winston-Salem State University. I graduate May 7.  She graduates May 14 of this year.”

Jackson’s mother has been a great source of inspiration.

“My mother has gone through tremendous adversity. I see her strength, and what she has overcome. And to now see my mother in school, it’s amazing! She has taught me to never give up.”

Never giving up on her dreams, Jackson shares why her purpose means growth and healing for other women.

“I am walking in my calling. I didn’t choose it. It chose me. It’s my passion.

My personal goal is that every women tap into her unique gifts and strengths beyond her circumstances. I was called to this position by God because I encourage love without judgment.”

Jackson says that there is no formula for success.

“When I first started I was obese, unhappily married, and I didn’t want to workshop with successful black women with Ph.D’s. God told me if I can’t use you now then I can’t use you then.”

Timogi's vendor table

She runs women empowerment workshops, produces a fragrance line, and she’s creates inspirational affirmation cards. Jackson always remembers that beyond her creativity her gift is to teach women how to love and strengthen themselves.

“I take my products out and I vend all of the time. I tell people when they come to my table I tell them that the card is only two dollars. Get the card and take the words with you. The perfume is nice, but get what you need. Yes, I want to make a profit, but I also understand that my business is connected to my faith and my calling comes first.”

Jackson has worked on religious and inspirational programs for her fellow Belles.  programming goals for Bennett she wants to see before she graduates in May.

“I came back to get mine, and give back. Once we save the women the world will get better. We have to heal the women.”

Jackson leaves her sisters with this message.

“I don’t need my Bennett College for Women degree to do what I am doing. I’m here for so many other reasons, my sisters.”

For more information on T. Timogi’s business “The Women’s Oasis” log on to her website http://thewomensoasis.com/. You can also her reach her via email at Timogi@TimogiDesigns.com.

By: Lydia Blanco

Belles Duke Bound

February 19, 2011 Spotlight No Comments
Ashley Barham prepares for Duke University Nursing School.

Two Bennett College biology students make history. Seniors Ashley Barham and Ebonitta Boykin became the first Belles accepted into Duke University’s School of Nursing. The seniors will enter the school’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program — also known as a second degree-nursing program.

Barham, a senior from Newark, New Jersey credits her acceptance to several factors. She says her summer of 2009 internship with Duke helped open the door for this opportunity. But she also says that her mentor at Duke gave her an extra push.

“Having a mentor is an important aspect into getting anywhere,” she says.

Barham says her mentor encouraged her to apply to the program and even gave her some initiative.

“When I left from Duke my mentor made us a deal that she would buy our first lab coat and stethoscope if we got into nursing school,” she says.

“It was motivation for me.”

Barham will enter the six-week “Making A Difference in Nursing Summer Program” – which could launch her into the ABSN program. She says that it is a conditional acceptance.  She has to complete the summer program and submit her GRE score to ensure her acceptance.  From there Barham bridges into the 16-month ASBN program.  She hopes after completion to enter the master’s program.

Barham plans to become a neonatal nurse. She says the internship helped her realize what her focus would be and has prepared her for the ABSN program.

“It still is unreal. If I think about high school I could never see Ashley Barham going to Duke,” she says.

“I knew I was smart but I did not feel like I was at that level.”

This is a first for the Biology department. Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Michael Cotton, D.V.M. says that he does not know of any student to get into a Duke program in 13 years.

“We are very excited,” Cotton says.

“Hopefully this will create a pipeline for our students that will go to Duke.”

Bennett had a nursing program with Howard University, but has not had any students accepted into that program. The department is currently working on a similar connection with Simmons College of Nursing in Boston, Mass.

By: Carmen Smith

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News

Bennett Belles Enjoy Networking

28 Feb 2014

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Belles did not waste anything by attending the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Alumni Council Leadership Conference in Memphis, Tenn. The annual 68th National Alumni council and the 56th National Pre-Alumni council Leadership conference was held in the Memphis Sheraton and Cook Convention Center, February 12 – 16.  Bennett College’s …

New President Praises Bennett & Belles

18 Nov 2013

Photo Credit: Steve Wynn

Bennett Colleges 17th President, Dr. Rosalind Fuse-Hall says her students are filled with beauty, grace, and uniqueness. “I take pride in Bennett Belles excelling. Why do you not know how great you are and let others define who you are, this is a special place and all Belles should embrace it,” …

Big Change to Big Sister/Little Sister Program

18 Nov 2013

Photo Credit: Voneasha Davis

“Never lose sight of the reason why you came to Bennett,” was a lesson that Jasmine Beckwith a junior from Columbus, Ohio was taught by her “adopted” big sister. Bennett College is an all women’s institution with many traditions. One of which, is when the incoming freshwoman class is given …

Shutdown Could Impact Belles

2 Oct 2013

Photo Courtesy: Dominique Johnson

The clock strikes twelve, but this time no glass slipper is left only a government shutdown that could impact Bennett Belles. The U.S. House of Representatives along with the U.S. Senate could not agree on a bill to fund the government, therefore causing the government to shutdown. President Barack Obama …

Belles Fight Back

15 Feb 2013

Rape Aggressive Defense Program (R.A.D)

Bennett Belles can learn how to protect themselves from vicious attacks for free.  The campus public safety office started the Rape Aggressive Defense program (R.A.D) to help young women learn self-defense techniques. “It really protects you in a lot of ways, married or single. It teaches you a lot about …

Banner Briefs

“A Woman Like Me”

28 Feb 2014

Bennett College will put on a stage production written by a Belle. The Bennett College theater department will perform “A Woman Like Me: Words of Inspiration from a Woman of Faith” written by 1969 alumna Claretha Coleman.  Assistant Professor Tennille Foust directs the play about women from the bible.  It takes …

Campus Clean-up

28 Feb 2014

Belles can get some community service hours for doing a little cleaning. Miss Junior Jasmine Beckwith is hosting a Campus Clean-Up. She is looking for 20 volunteers to assists with the Belle Boutique’s move to Barge Hall. The clean up is scheduled for Sunday, February 23 from 2 pm – 5 …

Early Screening of “Pompeii”

28 Feb 2014

Photo Credit: flash.sonypictures.com

Bennett College students can see an early screening of the movie “Pompeii” for free. The screening will take place at the Regal Grande 16 movie theater at the Friendly Center in Greensboro. The showtime will be February 19 at 7:30 pm. The film is rated PG-13 and will be in theaters February …

UNCF Belles Getaway

28 Feb 2014

Some Bennett Belles got a five day getaway to network with their peers and meet some influential people. Bennett’s Pre-Alumnae Council attended the United Negro College Foundation Conference (UNCF) in Memphis, Tennessee. Students had the time to network with speakers such as Fonzworth Bentley (best known for being Sean “Diddy” Combs personal assistant), …

Strength to Love

28 Feb 2014

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Bennett College students learned about the power of love. The Division of Humanities held a special Black History Month ACES program titled “Strength to Love.” The guest speaker was Dr. Martha S. Jones who is the granddaughter of the former Bennett College President, Dr. David Dallas Jones. The topic of her speech was “Dr. …

Visit Bennett from Home

28 Feb 2014

Bennett College goes virtual! The college is bringing its winter and spring college tour to you. Prospective students can now learn more about the campus without traveling to Greensboro. Belle’s Tell: A Virtual Open House consists of students giving their insight on attending the college. It will also include admission and major information …

No Tuition Increase

28 Feb 2014

BennettCollegeseal909

Bennett Belles will not have to pay more to attend college next year. Bennett College announced that its board of trustees decided that there will be no tuition increase for the 2014-15 academic year. The board froze the tuition, fees, and room charges. New and returning Bennett students will pay $17,230 in tuition and fees next …

Spotlight

Belle Whisked Away to NYC Gala

Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/3rd_Gen_Belle

A busy Belle received a great honor for the second year in a row. Amber McGill received a scholarship from the Foot Locker Foundation. “I was beyond excited, not only because I won a scholarship which is a big deal by itself, I just found it amazing that I was picked.” …

Reigning Royals…Miss Senior

Photo Credit: Tiyarah Lacey

Miss Senior is the queen with a passion for fashion. Gabrielle Johnson, a business major  from Silver Spring Maryland plans on going into retail brand management after graduating. “My hobbies include blogging, styling clothes, and making crafts.” Johnson even incorporates her love for fashion into her job as Miss Senior …

Reigning Royals: Miss Bennett College

Photo Credit: Brenda Keels

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 is the Bible verse Brenda Keels says is her favorite. Keels, a senior English major from District of Columbia has started her reign as Miss Bennett College. It’s not her first time being royalty on the campus because …

Through Zora’s Eyes

Bennett College professor publishes a book about Zora Neale Hurston.

Mission accomplished. Dr. Giselle Jones-Jones, a professor at Bennett College, wrote her dissertation on the anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, and after seven years, it has been published. Her book “Through Zora’s Eyes” is about Hurston’s autobiography and how her story should inspire today’s youth. “The original title was ‘More Than …

One-on-One Interview: Dr. Malveaux’s Post Resignation Reflections

Dr. Malveaux-Press-Conference: courtesy Genevieve Biggs

Author, columnist and economist Dr. Julianne Malveaux closes the chapter on Bennett College for Women. She resigned from the historically black all-women’s college in Greensboro, North Carolina, February 28, at a town hall meeting. With doors shut to the public, this bittersweet moment was shared strictly amongst faculty, students and …

Campus Happenings

Five Shades of Finer

Get ready to put on your PumpZ and PearlZ. The Chi Gamma chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. presents its first Zeta Week. The theme of the week was titled “Five Shades of Finer.” The Treasurer and Secretary of the organization Kiyara Brown says the events were a success. …

Honors Hall Steps Closed

Honors Hall

The snow storm forced some Bennett Belles to take a different route home. Bennett College closed off the Honors Hall front steps during the morning hours because of the ice and snow. The steps were roped off for the safety of the students. Students were advised to take the entrance …

Freshwomen Time to Step

Jones Hall

It’s that time of the year again. Lights! Camera! Stepping! The Freshwoman Step Show is here. Rachel Portee, a sophomore from Lumberton, New Jersey thinks all freshwomen should step. “I recommend every freshman to participate in the step team, it is one experience that is unexplainable and that I wouldn’t …

Spicing Up Bennett

Courtesy of SUAB

The Student Union Advisory Board (SUAB) is spicing things up at Bennett College. “SUAB seems to be getting better with bringing the spice to Bennett’s campus,” says Shannon Battle a 2013 Bennett College graduate. The event planners for the campus have kicked off the semester with a lot of events. They’ve …

The Man Behind The Mask

Courtesy: Amber Pollitt

Delta Sigma Theta (DST) crowned a new king. The Delta Chapter at Bennett College held the “Man Behind the Mask” pageant where three contestants were crowned. The six gentlemen in the pageant competed for Mr. 1913, Mr. Crimson and Cream and the top title of Mr. Omicron Delta (Mr. OD). …

Lifestyle

Commuter Students are Over Snow Days

Sebastian Courtyard in the snow.

Not all students like snow days. Just ask Bennett College commuter students who dealt with several snow days this winter. Kristina Farrar, a sophomore from Richmond Virginia says that this snow has not benefited her at all, especially with classes still going on at Bennett. The snow caused a lack …

Belles Compete in Miss Omega Psi Phi Pageant

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The Goddesses of Greek Mythology will appear in the “Immortals: The Deities of Mount Olympus” Miss Omega Psi Phi Pageant.  The North Carolina A&T Omega Psi Phi Fraternity will  host the pageant. The contestants are competing for Miss Omega Psi Phi, Miss Mu Psi, Miss Purple and Gold, and Miss 1911. …

Belles’ To-Do-List

Courtesy: Maria Allen

Here are some important things Belles need to know about Bennett College. You will learn about Academic Cultural Enrichment Series (ACES), Teacher-student relationships and juggling multiple obligations. Bennett Belles learn early that ACES is a mandatory part of their life according to the Bennett College Student Handbook. “I think it …

A Recipe for Disaster

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Yes, it is time for Valentine’s Day. But, if you are looking for a story about chocolate kisses and a rose petal path leading you to a candle lit dinner for two, this article is not for you. Some may describe it as an opportunity to exchange gifts, and sentimental cards …

R.A.’s Wanted: Nice Perks – Challenging Job

Bennett College Resident Assistant photo credit: Briana Smith

Fliers are going up in every dormitory hall and the Student Union informing students about their chances of becoming residential assistants (R.A.).  R.A.’s get to live on campus for free, but in return they must make sure the dorm is a safe environment that promotes academic success for students.  Bennett …