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PVAMU Alumna Antoinette Gant promoted to Brigadier General, United States Army

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Makes history as first African American female, active-duty engineer to be promoted to rank of general officer

Colonel Antoinette ‘Toni’ Gant, a Port Gibson native, will be promoted to Brigadier General (BG) in the United States Army this week.

She is also the first African American female to serve as a division commander in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and will be the first AA Female (active duty) to reach the rank of Brigadier General in the history of the Engineer Regiment.

Gant will be pinned officially on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the Donald Clarke Juvenile Justice and Psychology Building at Prairie View A&M University, where she graduated in 1994 and participated in the Army ROTC.

Gant is the third alumnus, including LTG Julius Becton Jr. and BG Carlton G. Smith, to host their pinning ceremony on the campus. Other PVAMU generals are LTG Marvin D. Brailsford, BG James Cheatam, BG Johnnie Forte, Jr., MG Julius Parker, Jr., LTG Billy K. Solomon and LTG Calvin A. Hoffman and Vice Admiral David Brewer, achieving ranks in the U.S. Armed Forces.

DVIDS - News - Gant assumes command of Border District

Additionally, Gant becomes the fourth female HBCU graduate to achieve Brigadier General rank, following Clara Adams-Ender (North Carolina A&T), Twanda E. Young (South Carolina Stata) and Sheila Baxter (Virginia State) with Rear Admiral Evelyn Fields (Norfolk State) rounding out the field of achievement.

Gant became the Commander and Division Engineer of the South Pacific Division (SPD), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on July 9, 2021.  Established in 1888 and headquartered in San Francisco, SPD is one of nine USACE regional commands. The region encompasses all or part of ten states with four operating districts headquartered in Albuquerque, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco.

As the SPD Commander and Division Engineer, she is responsible for leading a workforce of more than 2500 military and civilians, overseeing hundreds of water resource development, military and interagency design and construction projects valued at more than $16 billion in support of our communities, our Nation, and our warfighters.

In 2012, Gant sent a congratulatory letter to Brigadier General Margaret Burcham on her promotion as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ first female general officer.

“This was huge, especially for someone like me,” Gant said. “I just wrote this letter, and I said, ‘Hey ma’am, I know we have never met, but I think it is an honor for you to be the first female engineer general officer. Thank you for what you are doing.”

In 2018 she had the pleasure to introduce Burcham at a leadership development meeting. Burcham became a mentor to her, and now 10 years later, Gant is gaining her star.

A native of Port Gibson, Gant graduated from Prairie View A&M University in Texas as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a commission in the Engineer Regiment. She holds a Master of Science in Engineer Management from Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri, and a Master of Science in national resource strategy from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School, National Defense University, Washington, D.C. She is a certified Project Management Professional.

Gant has served in a variety of command and staff positions for engineering units stateside and abroad. Prior to South Pacific Division, Gant was commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Border District from July 2020 to June 2021. Gant previously served as the combined joint engineer for the Resolute Support and OFS headquarters, Kabul, Afghanistan, military assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Army-Civil Works, Washington, DC, chief of operations for the engineer directorate, U.S. Army South, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, and the director for the Directorates of Public Works and Installation Support, ASG-Kuwait.

She also served as the Executive Officer for Special Troops Battalion and Brigade Engineer, 4BCT, 4thInfantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado. Other USACE assignments include Commander for both the Albuquerque and Louisville Districts. She has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Freedom Sentinel.

A strong advocate for STEM, Gant has worked to develop partnerships with agencies and organizations to promote science, technology, engineering, and math initiatives. She has received several national and community awards, including the 2021 Black Engineer of the Year Conference Awards (BEYA), Army Stars and Stripes Award recipient, the 2020 Women of Color Career Achievement in Government Award, the YWCA Women on the Move Award, Women of Influence in Government by Albuquerque Business First, BEYA Special Recognition Award, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., South Central Region Visionary Leader and Global Leader Awards. She is an initiate of the Zeta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. at PVAMU.

Gant’s military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (2), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal (7). She is also a recipient of the Army Staff Identification Badge, Recruiter Badge, and the Army Engineer Association Bronze and Silver de Fleury Medals. Additionally, she has received the National Defense Service Medal (one Bronze Service Star), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the NATO Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon (numeral 3).

Gant is married to Leonard Gant of Kansas City, Mo., who is a Middle School Math Educator. They have two children, Lauryn, a third-year doctoral veterinary medicine student at Tuskegee University and Leonard II, a sophomore at Florida A&M University studying Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management.

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At least 162 killed and 700 hurt as earthquake hits Indonesia’s Java island

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Hundreds of homes were damaged, in addition to a boarding school, a hospital and several government buildings, the national disaster agency chief said.

An earthquake shook Indonesia‘s main Java island Monday afternoon, killing at least 162 people, local officials said.

Around 700 people were injured, National Disaster Mitigation Agency chief Suharyanto said.

“Many were hurt because they were hit by collapsed buildings,” he added.

The death toll reached 162 Monday night, local media reported citing West Java Gov. Ridwan Kamil.

More than 5,300 people had been displaced, the Indonesian disaster mitigation agency said in a statement. It added that at least 25 people were still trapped under collapsed buildings.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck West Java at 1:21 p.m. local time (1:21 a.m. ET). It was centered in the Cianjur region at a depth of 6.2 miles — about 47 miles southeast of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

At least 25 aftershocks were recorded by the country’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency.

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WAP’S Prof. Chris Ulasi Leads Election Reporting Project in Nigeria

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The co-founder of The West African Pilot News, Professor Chris Ulasi, led a United States-sponsored Election Reporting Project (ERP) in Nigeria.

ERP was a two-day workshop to equip, train and support Nigerian journalists, videographers and photojournalists to adequately cover the 2023 elections in an accurate, objective, balanced and safe way.

The workshop was organised by the West Africa Broadcast and Media Academy (WABMA) and the Enugu Literary Society (ELS) in partnership with the US consulate-general in Lagos, Will Stevens.

At the opening of the two-day workshop, Stevens said the US government allocated $50 million for the training as a way to ensure that the 2023 general elections are peaceful and credible.

“We are supporting more than 100 journalists with this workshop in Ibadan, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Lagos as part of U.S. efforts to support Nigeria’s elections,” the consul-general said.

“Over the last three years and into the next year too, the US government has allocated more than 50 million dollars for technical assistance, support, training, for INEC, and for civil society, among others.

“We are committed to initiatives here in Nigeria to build needed capacity. We have funded training for hundreds of journalists on topics ranging from fact-checking, health reporting, defence and national security reporting, investigative journalism, election reporting and media ethics.

“These training, together with other programmes we offer virtually to demonstrate our commitment to this partnership that we have long enjoyed here in Nigeria.”

The lead facilitator for the workshop was the co-founder, The West African Pilot News, Dean, School of Communication and Chair, Department of Radio, Television and Films, Texas Southern University Houston, USA., Prof. Chris Ulasi.

Some other facilitators include Prof. Lai Oso, fmr. Dean of Communications, Lagos State University; and Miss Grace Ekpu, an investigative reporter with the Associated Press (AP).

According to the lead facilitator, the project was in three phases. Phase one was the workshops which included training held in several zones.

Phase two was the content stage. In phase two, trained journalists were plugged into an election reporting website and online community for support and fact-checking of content pre-during-and-after elections coverage season. Phase three is the awards stage when outstanding participating journalists would be given awards after the elections season.

The two-day intensive training, which was held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on 14 and 15 November was attended by journalists from different states in the southwest. The training included practical skills in fact-checking, digital security, and interaction among journalists from different backgrounds among others.

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Elon Musk fired Twitter’s head of sales after she refused to sack more employees

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He had previously begged her not to resign

  • Elon Musk sacked Twitter exec Robin Wheeler after she refused to fire more staff, sources said.
  • Wheeler was sacked despite Musk persuading her to stay after she tried to resign, per Bloomberg.
  • Some Twitter sales staff found out over the weekend and on Monday they were fired, per Platformer.

Elon Musk fired a top Twitter executive after she refused to sack more employees in the ad sales team, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to Insider.

Robin Wheeler, Twitter’s global head of advertising sales, handed in her resignation on Thursday 10, but Musk persuaded her to stay in the job, the sources told Insider’s Lara O’Reilly, and as Bloomberg earlier reported.

One week later, the billionaire changed his mind. Two sources said Wheeler was fired on Friday after she refused to cut the headcount of Twitter’s ad sales team — a department that was already depleted.

Wheeler, whose Twitter bio now says “proud Ex-Twitter Sales Exec,” tweeted on Friday in the past tense, saying: “To the team and my clients….you were always my first and only priority.” She concluded the tweet with a salute emoji, a sign that has recently become symbolic for Twitter employees leaving the company amid layoffs and firings.

Platformer’s Casey Newton reported that some Twitter staff in the sales team found out over the weekend and on Monday that they had been sacked after they couldn’t access Twitter’s systems.

This came after Musk sent an email to employees about his expectations for building “Twitter 2.0.” If staff didn’t sign up for “the new Twitter” by Thursday 5 p.m., they would receive three months of severance, Musk wrote in the email.

Twitter and Wheeler didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment made outside of normal US operating hours on Tuesday.

Wheeler joined Twitter in 2012 as a senior director of sales, which involved managing relationships with some of the company’s biggest clients such as Coca-Cola, Google, and Microsoft, according to her LinkedIn page. She became the head of ad sales in April this year.

Chris Riedy, Twitter’s former vice president of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, replaced Wheeler at the weekend, per multiple Insider sources.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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