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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


November 2014
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photo 1 (1)

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Photo Credit: flash.sonypictures.com

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Photo Credit: Brenda Keels

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Dr. Malveaux-Press-Conference: courtesy Genevieve Biggs

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Honors Hall

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Jones Hall

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Courtesy of SUAB

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Courtesy: Amber Pollitt

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Courtesy: Maria Allen

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Bennett College Resident Assistant photo credit: Briana Smith

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