The Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce will honor Dr. Robert S. Mikell, professor emeritus of Fresno State’s Africana Studies Program, with the Things That Matter award, created to recognize an outstanding business person who exemplifies mastery, leadership, and knowledge. Mikell will accept the award on Jan. 17 at the second annual Business Salute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mikell was one of the founders of the Ethnic Studies at Fresno State 50 years ago.

A native of New Orleans, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Fresno State, and his doctor of education degree from the University of Southern California. Mikell was a faculty member at Fresno State from 1972 until his retirement in 2007. His research interests and funded projects included: minority business development, reversal migration, traditional jazz, the black town Allensworth, the Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., and the evolution of African American music, which included weekend courses and lectures/demonstrations with live music performed by local musicians.

Dr. Mikell has written a manuscript titled, “Peter Davis: The First Music Master of the Great Louis Armstrong.”