solomon_badger.jpgTALLAHASSEE– Florida A&M University reports that its Board of Trustees has appointed the FAMU Anti-Hazing Committee, tasked with providing independent recommendations for the most effective and lasting approach to ending hazing on campus.

The group is a diverse mix of thought and policy leaders from across the country who will work in unison with the FAMU community. The committee will be asked to examine: Hazing at other universities and how has it been handled? Getting students to resist hazing; what has worked? How do we best govern the Marching “100” (band) and its activities?

Selected based on input from the board, administration, faculty, students and alumni, the FAMU Anti-Hazing Committee members are:

• Stephen Craig Robinson (chairman) – Former U.S. District Court judge and current partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

• Dr. Na’im Akbar – Clinical psychologist and former president, National Association of Black Psychologists

• Dr. Elizabeth Allan – Professor, University of Maine, and co-director, The National Collaborative for Hazing Research and Prevention

• Dr. Michael V. Bowie – Executive director of Florida Fund for Minority Teachers & former national president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council

• David Brewer – Former vice admiral of the United States Navy and superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District

• Dr. Mary Madden – Professor, University of Maine, and co-director, The National Collaborative for Hazing Research and Prevention

• David Starnes – Band Director and professor of Music at Western Carolina University.

“To put us in the best position to permanently stop hazing at FAMU,” said FAMU Board Chairman Solomon Badger, “we feel it is important to bring in many of the most respected minds on the subject and ensurethat we are addressing this destructive issue from all sides.”

Trustee Belinda Shannon, who led the FAMU Anti-Hazing Committee initiative on the board’s behalf, said“We are extremely grateful that these distinguished individuals have chosen to work with FAMU to help us find solutions to a problem that has persisted for far too long, both at the college and even high school level.”

The work of the FAMU Anti-Hazing Committee, part of the comprehensive plan approved by the Board of Trustees on Jan. 2, is expected to result in findings and recommendations to be presented for board consideration.

Further background on the FAMU Anti-Hazing Committee members:

Dr. Na’im Akbar, a Tallahassee native, is considered one of the world's pre-eminent psychologists and a pioneer in the development of an African-centered approach in modern psychology. He has served on the boards of directors of a variety of civic and professional organizations, including several terms on the board of the National Association of Black Psychologists, the editorial board of the Journal of Black Studies, and for eight years was the associate editor of the Journal of Black Psychology. Akbar attended the University of Michigan to complete his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in psychology.

Elizabeth J. Allan, a professor of Higher Education at the University of Maine, is the author of two books and co-editor of a policy text. Her award-winning scholarship focuses on campus climates and has been featured in premiere education journals including the Harvard Educational Review and The Journal of Higher Education. Allan's professional experience in educating about hazing spans two decades and includes research, prevention, student affairs and policy work. She was the principal investigator for the National Study of Student Hazing (2008) and has authored and co-authored numerous articles, essays, book chapters and encyclopedia entries on the topic of hazing. Allan earned a Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership from The Ohio State University, and M.S. in health promotion and B.S. in psychology from Springfield College.

Michael V. Bowie, former national president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. from 2003 -2007, currently serves as executive director of Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc. He is also director for recruitment, retention and multicultural affairs at the University of Florida and courtesy faculty for University of Florida. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University, a master’s degree at the Pennsylvania State University, and his Ph.D. at the University of Florida.

David Brewer is a retired vice admiral of the United States Navy, and former superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, second largest school district in the U.S. The 35-year veteran of the Navy commanded Military Sealift Command, with its fleet of 120 ships, from August 2001 until his retirement in March 2006.  Admiral Brewer also served as vice chief of the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) from 1999-2001. As vice chief of NETC, he led the development of the Navy College Program and the negotiations of contracts with 11 colleges, universities and community colleges to provide online bachelor and associate degree programs to more than 300,000 sailors.

Mary Madden is an experienced researcher and program evaluator whose work has focused on the development, health, well-bein, and education of adolescents, including hazing. She has co-authored curriculum to support facilitation of girls' groups as well as developed and facilitated trainings for adults working with girls. 

Madden directed the National Study of Student Hazing and has co-authored articles on hazing and presented the research findings at numerous conferences. Madden is an associate research professor in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Maine where she teaches research courses.

Stephen Craig Robinson – Judge Robinson is a former United States federal judge who served on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York from 2003 to 2010.  He is currently a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. 

Robinson was in private practice in New York City from 1984 to 1987 before becoming an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York in 1987. In 1991, he was managing director and associate general counsel for Kroll Associates before moving to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1993 where he was principal deputy general counsel and special assistant to the director. In 1998, he served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, where he served for three years.

David Starnes joined the School of Music at Western Carolina University in the summer of 2011 as assistant professor/director of Athletic Bands.  He directs the “Pride of the Mountains” Marching Band and the Symphonic Band as well as teaches music education courses to undergraduate students.

Prior to coming to Western Carolina, Starnes was the founding director of bands at Kennesaw Mountain High School in Kennesaw, Ga., where he served for 11 years.  Starnes is sought nationally and internationally as an adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor and creative designer.  A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Mr. Starnes graduated magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee.


*Pictured above is FAMU Board Chairman Solomon Badger