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Florida A & M appoints an external committee to address hazing

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The anti-hazing committee consists of seven members with diverse professional backgrounds. The committee will be chaired by Stephen Craig Robinson, a former federal judge, former United States attorney and former attorney for the FBI.

The committee also includes Na’im Akbar, a Tallahassee-based clinical psychologist who specializes in Afrocentric psychology, Elizabeth J. Allan, a higher education professor at the University of Maine who has researched hazing for 20 years, and Michael V. Bowie, executive director of the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, which awards scholarships to college students intending to become public school teachers.

The other members are David Brewer, a former superintendent of the Los Angeles school system and a retired Navy admiral, Mary Madden, a University of Maine professor and hazing researcher who co-directs the National Collaborative for Hazing Research and Prevention with Allan, and David Starnes, band director and music professor at Western Carolina University.

FAMU trustee Belinda Reed Shannon, who helped select the committee members, said they will work largely through conference calls and the Internet and will continue “as long as is necessary.” She said she expects an initial set of recommendations in about two months.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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