San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 9th, 2010
Bonner to speaker at African-American leadership conference

090810bonnerDr. Fred Bonner, Associate Dean of Faculties at Texas A&M, will be the keynote speaker at the 16th annual African American Leadership Conference Saturday.

STAFF REPORT

Texas State will host the 16th annual African American Leadership Conference (AALC) Thursday through Sunday with the theme “Replenish the Leader to Sustain Excellence for a Greater Tomorrow.”

The conference an all events will be held in the LBJ Student Center.  The public is invited to attend. Admission is $30 for Texas State Students, $15 for high schools students and $50 for the general public. On site registration will be available.

Some of the highlight events planned for the conference include a talent showcase in the evening Thursday night, a Gospel Fest on Friday and a luncheon featuring keynote speaker Fred Bonner,  professor and Associate Dean of Faculties at Texas A&M University on Saturday. On Sunday, there will be a breakfast followed by a church service conducted by  Pastor Dechard Freeman from the Abundant Life Church in Plugerville. The guest Psalmist for the service will be Natori Blue.

Keynote Speaker Bonner is the author of “Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs.” He has received numerous awards, including the American Association for Higher Education Black Caucus Dissertation Award and the Educational Leadership Counseling Foundation’s Dissertation of the Year Award from the University of Arkansas College of Education.

Bonner was recently awarded a $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, which he will use to focus on factors influencing the success of high achieving African-American students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). He is due to speak on the leadership trends of minority students and challenge conference participants to use their skills to positively change their environments.

“We feel that Dr. Bonner’s dynamic character and charismatic speaking style from the perspective of a seasoned veteran in higher education make him the perfect fit for our conference and our students,” said Terence Parker, AALC advisor and assistant director of retention management and planning. “This conference is truly the place to be.”

Workshop topics for the event range from spirituality to financial planning and personal empowerment.

The Gospel Fest features the talents of Sir Smith, Alyncia Mack, J. JeVon Jackson and Spiritual Attitude, Lillian Thomas, Gospel Expressions Association, Peace of Mime and Minister Wayne Thomas.

For more information on the event visit, www.msa.txstate.edu/AALC.html.

The AALC was founded in 1992 by upperclassmen at what was then called Southwest Texas State, in order to help African-American students acclimate to college life and provide them with support and networking opportunities. From these beginnings, it has blossomed into a conference with workshops, prestigious speakers, and even a bit of fun with a talent show.

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