New Beginnings

When you opened up to the first few pages of the Howard Magazine, you may have noticed a new name.

That’s me. RaNeeka Claxton Witty. I am honored to have recently joined the Office of University Communications as the new Publications Manager. As your new editor, I am thrilled to serve you in this space and get more acquainted with you over time.

This fall, our theme is Addressing Disparities. The topic hits home for me—brings me back to my first semester freshman year at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor. That’s when my father died suddenly of liver cancer. A loving husband, amazing father of three, and hard worker, he had insurance and access to quality health care. But like many today, he didn’t get regular medical checkups. I’d like to think that, if he had and his doctor would have discovered the cancer before it was in its final stages, he may have had better chances for treatment.

Unfortunately, my father’s disparate situation is not a solitary one. In the coming pages, you will read stories that discuss ways in which African Americans are confronting these disparities in various disciplines. You will read a first-person account from a Howard University Hospital cancer surgeon and breast cancer survivor about the disparity of cancer in the Black community. You will also read about a young Howard architect who manages the newest building project on campus. Additionally, you will learn about a recent Howard graduate who has become Google’s first hire from an HBCU into a Software Engineering role.

This issue will also debut a few new magazine departments. “Bison Conversations” aims to engage you in dialogue about a given topic. “In Their Words” will give faculty members a chance to write about a subject from their personal perspective. “In Their Shoes” is a department meant to bring you stories about current Bison. “Then and Now” will showcase one image from Howard’s legacy, juxtaposed with a similar scene today. Last, but not least, you will find factoids about the University trickled throughout.

This is your magazine. With this in mind, my goal is to bring you relevant and timely news and features about the phenomenal things happening among you. I look forward to the journey ahead with you—the esteemed Howard University alumni. 

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