29th May2016

Saida Dorsey – Delaware State University – 2014

by Staff

“DSU (Delaware State University) is in a suburban area so it is not much around but there were so many things to do during the week. The Student Government Association is very strong so there are so many leadership opportunities available.”

Saida Dorsey - Delaware State University - 2014

Proud HBCU Alum, Saida Dorsey of Delaware State University Class of 2014|Image Credit: Saida Dorsey

Name
Saida Dorsey

Your HBCU?
Delaware State University

Graduation Year?
2014

Where are you from? Who introduced you to HBCUs?

I am from Washington, DC. I was introduced to HBCU’s through watching ” Different World.” One of my parents went to an HBCU. I wanted that experience. I began to believe from the stories I was told that HBCU’s help to prepare their students for life. HBCUs help to build strong character and leadership in their students.

Why did you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

I choose an HBCU over a pwi because felt more comfortable to really express myself in an environment that will allow me to cultivate my leadership skills by empowering me to be the best person I can be. I have always desired to attend an HBCU. I know the experience is more than what is seen in the media. I also learned a college experience is what you make it.

Major? Why did you choose it?

I choose Health Promotion because I wanted to work in health care, but not directly in a clinical environment. I wanted to help people improve their lives through education and motivation. I wanted people to understand that their personal health is under their control and that the doctor should not be the only one managing their health.

What is the story of your “experience” at Delaware State University given its heralded status as a stellar and prestigious institution?

My experience was very interesting. I started college not really wanting to get involved in anything. My sophomore year, I joined so many organizations, I became overwhelmed at times , but I was very happy and I enjoyed it.

DSU is in a suburban area so it is not much around but there were so many things to do during the week. The Student Government Association is very strong so there are so many leadership opportunities available. New organizations are/were created every school year.

“First time” experiences at your HBCU?

My ” first time” attending homecoming was very enjoyable. I do not remember every ” first time” experience but I know that I enjoyed every new experience I had whether it was attending a campus church service, a program for a different organization, and elections.

Who are the professors that have impacted your life in and out of the classroom? How did they do that?

Assistant Professor Sangeeta Gupta, MBBS, MPH, MD

Assistant Professor Dr. Sangeeta Gupta, MBBS, MPH, MD of DSU|Image Credit: desu.edu

The professors that impacted may not all be still teaching at my HBCU. Dr. Fralinger, made me feel empowered about health promotion.

Ms. Beverly, she made me feel confident about my ability to achieve great things. Dr. Gupta and Dr. Thornton, were professors in my major that made feel confident that health promotion was a career path I could do.

Questions about Delaware State? Or being a Health Promotion Major? Ask Saida!

Instagram & SC @preciousaqua92
Twitter @saidad92 Sai Adriana
Facebook Saida Adriana

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15th Feb2016

Brittany Bowers – Hampton University – 2014

by Staff

Brittany Bowers, MBA, Hampton University Alumnus (c/o ’14) & Founder/Blogger of  shares with us her HBCU Experience at her once upon a time “Home by the Sea” at the RealHU, Hampton University!

HamptonU Alum, Brittany Bowers looking beautiful and radiant| Image Credit: chiconwallst.com

HamptonU Alum, Brittany Bowers looking beautiful and radiant| Image Credit: chiconwallst.com

Where are you from? Who introduced you to HBCUs?

From Piscataway, New Jersey; HBCUs were first introduced to me by my family. They spoke of relatives that had attended a few & the experiences & history they gained from them.

Why did you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

I live minutes away from Rutgers, I wanted the opportunity to get away from an area I already knew & take the opportunity to learn about myself & my people. I didn’t want to be just a “number” at a pwi. I wanted to know my classmates, my professors, my dean of the school, & I got just that.

Major? Why did you choose it?

I was a 5-Year MBA major at Hampton. I honestly just applied. I didn’t know at the time how extensive our program was until I took my first LAP (Leadership Application Program) course. They focus not only on business, accounting, & marketing, but also developing our soft skills, & developing leaders. You also can’t forget that we have 100% job placement after graduation.

What is the story of your “experience” at Hampton University given its heralded status as a stellar and prestigious institution?

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I graduated from such a prestigious school such as Hampton. I am the first grand & great grandchild to graduate from a 4-Year school as well as hold a graduate degree. I take pride in that. I had the opportunity to meet lifelong friends, travel & participate in a sport that I love (Cheerleading), learn so much about myself while gaining an invaluable education. We call Hampton our “Home by the Sea” & it’s really just that. I gained a family while being there that I still remain close to & lean on. You don’t get that at just any school.

Who are the professors that have impacted your life in and out of the classroom? How did they do that?

Within our program, we treat each other like family. We have a saying, “We have your back, but not your lack”.

Dean Sid Howard Credle PhD., CPA|Image Credit: biz.hamptonu.edu/

Dean Sid Howard Credle PhD., CPA|Image Credit: biz.hamptonu.edu/

I owe that to all of my professors. Dean Credle has created a phenomenal program & all of the professors, Dr. Hayes, Dr. Beale, Dr. Sharad, Dr. McLain, Dr. Coronel, & professor Maghear have helped implement those key values. They have allowed us to create relationships with them where we can ask any questions & receive adequate answers. I can describe how they do it specifically, but just know they do it well!

Questions about the HamptonU Experience? Reach out to Britt and also Check out Chiconwallst.com

Britt Monique AKA @xScrappyBaby, Founder/Blogger of @chiconwallst | Image Credit: Twitter

Britt Monique AKA @xScrappyBaby, Founder/Blogger of @chiconwallst | Image Credit: Twitter

Instagrambrittmoniqueee
Twitterxscrappybaby

Chiconwallst.com - Fashion blog for individuals seeking office wear and style inspiration, tips, & advice | Image Credit: Chiconwallst.com

Chiconwallst.com – Fashion blog for individuals seeking office wear and style inspiration, tips, & advice | Image Credit: Chiconwallst.com

I also have a blog called chiconwallst.com which was developed to provide young professionals with a resource on how to dress for the workplace, provide advice & tips as well.

Instagramchiconwallst
Twitterchiconwallst

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29th Dec2013

Marilynn Dawson – Bethune Cookman University & Edward Waters College ’14

by Staff

From meeting the love of her life to having many first time experiences, Marilynn Dawson had the honour of having her HBCU Experience at two great HBCUs; Bethune Cookman University AND Edward Waters College. Enjoy her words of wisdom!

Marilynn Dawson - Bethune Cookman College Edward Waters College 2014 2

Proud HBCU student and supporter, Marilynn Dawson, attendee of both Bethune Cookman University and Edward Waters College (C/o ’14) | Image Credit: Marilynn Dawson

Why did you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

I’ve always wanted to go to an HBCU because of the culture and campus environment.

What city are you from? Who introduced you to the greatness of HBCUs?

I am from Brooklyn, NY. I was introduced to the greatness of HBCU’s from watching A Different World when I was younger in addition to Spike Lee’s move School Daze.

How did you decide to become a student at Bethune Cookman University & Edward Waters College?

Felt Like Home

Feel free to elaborate…

I started my HBCU experience many years ago but couldn’t afford to finish. I joined the military, got married and decided years later to continue my pursuit for a college education at my current HBCU (Edward Waters College)

Which professors are leaving the most impression upon your academic and personal life? What do they do that continues to mean so much to you to this day?

Dr. Sabrina Edwards had a great impact on my life because she really cares about the students and provides us with her outside connections if we are in need. She’s also gotten me to be more involved in community service.

What is the story of your “HBCU experience” at Bethune Cookman University & Edward Waters College?

Marilynn Dawson - Bethune Cookman College Edward Waters College 2014 1

Marilynn Dawson looking glamorous and stunning with her tiara, elegant black dress, and Ms. Sigma Beta Delta sash |Image Credit: Marilynn Dawson

Being at an HBCU allows me to learn more about my culture. Although I am a West Indian born in Brooklyn, NY, it was a culture shock interacting with students from all over the US.

We had so many differences such as taste in music, food, etc. I think the most impressive thing being at my current HBCU is the importance stressed on spiritual time in Chapel. Each event commences in prayer. This is important to me as prayer is not allowed in conventional schools.

What is your major? Why did you choose it?

My major is Organizational Management. I chose it because you can use this knowledge for any management career or human resources.

Edward Waters College gave me the opportunity to continue my college education by offering a program for designed for adult students. It is the CLIMB (Credentials for Leadership in Management and Business) Program.

It is an accelerated Bachelor of Business Administration in Organizational Management. I think this program is God sent because it allows us adult students to obtain our degree at an HBCU.

How does your HBCU help you to transition into your careers workforce?

HBCU’S helps me transition into my career in the workforce because the instructors gives us personal accounts the adversities they’ve overcome. They also teach us by example how to present ourselves professionally through appearance, intellectually, etc.

How does your HBCU prepare you for a diverse workplace?

It prepares me for a diverse workplace by interacting with people of our race from all over whether from the Caribbean or biracial.

Where is the “yard” located?

The “yard” is located on Kings Road by the Student Center.

Where are the historical places on campus? Are there any ghost stories involving buildings or spots on campus?

Mary McCloud Bethune is buried on the Bethune Cookman campus. Her house is also located there. I used to work in the building next door and was always scared to pass the house at night. Everything in the house was kept as she left it. It’s pretty amazing.

What are the best restaurants on and near campus? Favorite dishes?

As a broke college student, my favorite place to eat was at Pearsons. It’s a local Asian/Soul food type establishment. This is where I learned to like fried chicken gizzards. Lol.

How many “firsts” have you had at college ? What were they? (e.g. first road trip, first job interview, first love, first “F or A”, etc.)

At Bethune Cookman College; I experienced my first band experience, met my husband, first pajama party and Greek parties.

What advice would you give high school students filling out college applications for the first time?

Make sure you have all your finances in order and have a backup plan in case something falls through. There will be a lot of parties but always remember to balance life and put your education first. A college education is money well spent. Like UNCF says: a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

How are you positively active on your college campus? What about in high school?

I was inducted into Sigma Beta Delta (international business honor society). I am Vice President of the Business Student Association and active member of Sigma Beta Delta club.

If you could only speak two sentences to the youth coming after you what would you say?

I would tell them to take their education seriously. Time management is very important.

Questions about the HBCU Experience? Having difficulty completing your college application? Respectfully reach out to Marilynn!

Email: marilynndawson@hotmail.com
Social Network Contacts: Facebook – Marilynn Dawson
Instagram – mdawson1272

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28th Dec2013

Barbara Cook – Morgan State University – May 2014

by Staff

Elegant, Intelligent, and Empowered Nubian Queen Barbara Cook gives us insight into her HBCU Experience at Morgan State University! She speaks on her favorite professors and much, much more!

Barbara Cook - Morgan State University May 2014 1

Proud HBCU Student Barbara Cook of Morgan State University (Class of May 2014) | Image Credit: Barbara Cook

Why did you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

Growing up as a military brat I’ve attended various schools across the country. The majority of my academic career I attended schools that were majority white. In essence, I never felt comfortable at these schools and I felt as if the curriculum was not fulfilling in its teaching of black history and in making students of color feel validated.

Also, my upbringing in Birmingham, AL influenced my choice to attend Morgan. I wanted to reconnect with the rich history of my hometown and I knew that Morgan State had a rich legacy that I wanted to become apart of.

What city are you from? Who introduced you to the greatness of HBCUs?

I grew up in Birmingham, AL . When my mother went to college she attended Tuskegee University. Every year me and my siblings would go with her to homecoming events. It always was amazing to me to be surrounded by not only great food and loving play “uncles and aunties” who were my moms classmates but also great black doctors, lawyers, engineers, activists etc.

I learned early on that HBCUs were incubators of leadership and empowerment for black people. I knew that HBCUs not only encouraged scholarship but encouraged the building of true community. As the saying goes “it takes a village…” As I concluded my education at Morgan State I realize that I wouldn’t have made it this far without the love, care and discipline of my classmates, professors and Morgan family.

How did you decide to become a student at Morgan State University?

Scholarship

Feel free to elaborate…

I always say that I didn’t choose Morgan but Morgan chose me. I was accepted into 5 schools including Morgan. Originally, I was going to attend Roberts Wesleyan College in New York but when my family relocated to Maryland the summer of 2010 my father wanted me to stay close to home for my first year of school.

In a last minute scramble I got all of my information to Morgan and hoped and prayed that it wasn’t too late for me to actually get in. Needless to say today I am in my Senior year and I appreciate every moment of my time at Morgan State. I believe my education both in and out of the classroom has shaped me into a proud black woman who is ready to “grow the future and lead the world”.

Which professors are leaving the most impression upon your academic and personal life? What do they do that continues to mean so much to you to this day?

One professor that has had an impact on me is my world history professor Mr. Clarence Davis. He is a Morgan Alumni and he would tell us stories about the “old morgan” from sit-ins and protests organized by the students to where they used to party during homecoming.

He really gave me an appreciation for Morgan as an institution and also an appreciation for the sacrifices our elders have made.

What is your major? Why did you choose it?

My major is Sociology. I chose it because Ive always been interested in the social sciences and for me sociology is the perfect blend of psychology and social work. I absolutely love it!

How does your HBCU help you to transition into your careers workforce?

The best thing that I’ve done was to use my resources. I go at least 3 times per semester to the career center on campus to get updates on postings of jobs and internships. Ive also taken the time to create professional relationships and develop mentorships with my professors. I learned that eventually they will no longer be my professors but they will be my colleagues.

Where is the “yard” located?

We call is the “quad” its right in the center of the major academic buildings. An easy identifier would be that its right in from of the Fredrick Douglas statue.

Where are the historical places on campus? Are there any ghost stories involving buildings or spots on campus?

Ha! They say that this Alumni house that is behind our admissions building is haunted but I’m not sure I believe it.

What are the best restaurants on and near campus? Favorite dishes?

I say you aren’t a true Morganite unless you eat at Sunny’s! Its located in Northwood plaza and my favorite meal is a 3 piece honey wing with western fries and a half & half.

How many “firsts” have you had at college ? What were they? (e.g. first road trip, first job interview, first love, first “F or A”, etc.)

I’ve experienced many firsts during college. First love, my first house party and other things. But I would say that being at school was my first time really living on my own. At college it is your responsibility to do everything for yourself. Theres no one to do your laundry, cook your food or wake you up for classes. College life has help me to find greater independence.

What advice would you give high school students filling out college applications for the first time?

I would say get your application in as early as possible and if you can go away from home for college ,being on your own will help you to grow and prepare you for the real world. Its definitely a unique experience.

How are you positively active on your college campus? What about in high school?

I am a member of MSU S.O.U.L which is Morgan State’s gay-straight alliance. Our group looks to create a safe space for LGBTQIA students.

I also pledged Swing Phi Swing Social Fellowship Inc. in Spring of 2012. We are a community service based organization looking to empower black womanhood and support the movement of black people . We are sisters with interest never gone who promote higher intelligence and support women in need of growth.

If you could only speak two sentences to the youth coming after you what would you say?

Value yourself, your family, your community. In order for us as black people to move forward we must realize that if one is not free then we all aren’t free. “I am because we are , because we are therefore I am”.

More questions about Morgan State? Need help completing your college application? Reach out to Barbara!

Email: Bacoo1@morgan.edu
Social Network Contacts: Twitter@BagLadyBarbz
FacebookBarbara Michelle
IGelectricladybarbz

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27th Dec2013

Gabriel Smith – Tuskegee University ’14

by Staff

Enjoy an interview with collegiate phenom Gabriel Smith of Tuskegee University! He shares how he arrived at the halls of TU and all that he has experienced, learned, and gained in his HBCU Experience thus far.

Gabriel Smith - Tuskegee University 14 1

Gabriel Smith of Legendary Tuskegee University| Image Credit: Gabriel Smith

Where are you from? Who introduced you to HBCUs back in the day?

I’m from Mobile, Alabama. Both of my parents and most of my cousins are graduates of HBCUs.

Why did you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

I chose Tuskegee initially because my parents exposed me to Tuskegee at an early age. Tuskegee and other HBCUs were all I really knew.

How did you decide to become a student at Tuskegee University?

I chose Tuskegee in part because my parents both met and graduated from there. The rich history of Tuskegee also appealed to me quite a bit.

I grew up in a military family overseas so most of the people I interacted with along with my friends were mostly white and asian. I came to Tuskegee because my father used to tell me, “If you can deal with other black people, you can deal with anybody” in many ways he was right because of the amount of diversity we have within our own community.

Because of my experiences growing up in white dominated environments I was very good at operating in their world so Tuskegee allowed me to learn to operate within my own world with my own people.

What professors at Tuskegee University are leaving the most impression upon you as a person and student? What did they do that continues to mean so much to you to this day?

Gabriel Smith - Tuskegee University 14 4

The Esteemed Dr. Clyde Robertson of Tuskegee University | Image Credit: Tuskegee.edu

One of my earliest and strongest advisers, professors, advocates, and mentors is Dr. Clyde Robertson. He is an associate professor of History and also the product of a Howard and Clark Atlanta education.

From my earliest days at TU he was the first professor from the history department that I met when I was still trying to get to know people. From the first course I took with him which was a course called “Martin and Malcolm: An advanced study on the two vanguards of the American Civil Rights era” he was able to identify that I had potential that needed developing.

Gabriel Smith - Tuskegee University 14 2

Gabriel working on a project while at Tuskegee | Image Credit: Gabriel Smith

He pushed and challenged me intellectually and academically. He helped me obtain a position with the National Park Service as a summer intern. He and I have worked closely together on several Oral History research projects and have presented our research at various conferences in the area and nationally. From my time working with Dr. Robertson the most impressing thing I can say about him is that he’s driven by integrity and believes in bringing out the best in the students he takes an interest in.

He will always work to push you closer to your potential. He also is not afraid of being tough on me as well. On several occasions when my performance has slacked or my focus is lost he’ll invite me to his office for our as he calls them “Come to Jesus Meetings.” In essence he pulls me aside and reminds me why I’m in college, what is at stake, and how I’m better than I realize.

For a professor to care that much when they don’t necessarily have to is a powerful thing. He told me that he does what he does for me because he hopes that someone is doing the same for his own son (who is my same age) at Southern University.

What is the story of your “experience” to date at  Tuskegee University given its heralded status as a stellar and prestigious institution?

My Tuskegee experience is something that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Everything I’ve done, I would do it over the exact same way. I came to Tuskegee in the Fall of 2009 as a history major, unsure exactly of what I could accomplish at a school known mostly for it’s engineers and science majors.

While here I’ve conducted several Oral History Interview projects that have been funded by the University. I’ve presented my research on engaging HBCU students at the 2012 HBCU Library/Archives Alliance Conference in New Orleans (the trip itself was financed by the Conference and was my first ever trip to New Orleans). I’ve represented my University as a student researcher at the Image Permanence Institute at the University of Delaware along with several other HBCU students.

Gabriel Smith - Tuskegee University 14 1

Gabriel Smith proudly representing Tuskegee University as the 2012 HBCU Quiz Champion | Image Credit: Gabriel Smith

I’ve been a member and am now the Captain of my University’s Honda Campus All Star Challenge Team (Quizbowl), I won the nationally televised 2012 Ford Black College Quiz Show National Championship (on Facebook) along with the $5000 scholarship grand prize. For these two scholastic bowl accomplishments I’ve appeared in the USA Today and Washington Post Newspapers.

I have also been appointed to serve on the University wide Judicial Hearing Board and Academic Integrity Board as well. My experience is proof that anyone that is determined to make a difference can, if given the opportunity, and I strongly believe that Tuskegee and other HBCUs do just that.

How does your HBCU help you to transition into your careers workforce?

Well there are various career fairs, graduate school fairs, and education fairs. Also there is a career center on campus that does a decent job helping you prepare your resume and interview skills and stuff.

How does your HBCU prepare you for a diverse workplace?

Well Tuskegee prepares you to deal with anyone because despite being an HBCU we are pretty diverse. Our white student population has increased every year I’ve been in school. We have many students here studying from the carribean and Latin america. We also have students from various parts of Asia.

Where are the spots to go to if you wanted to cuddle with your boy or girlfriend?

Chapel, Engineering Building, it’s a big campus so pretty much anywhere except your dorm (officially)

What are the best restaurants on and near the campus? Which dishes do you enjoy the most?

Tiger Pause is a pretty good spot, they serve coffee and sandwiches and stuff. Cornbread Fred’s has some pretty good ribs. The World Famous Chicken Coop though is the place you’ll definitely want to try, it’s a soul food place that’s open 24/7.

What are the chants heard most often at the sporting events?

“Bitch Get…yo shit…and get up out of our house!”

“Your coaches are whack, your coach is so god damn whack”

“We love the band..we love the band..we love the God Damn Band!”

(We take football very seriously at Tuskegee and I think our student section is the best in Black College Football)

Who is your College crush?

I dated a little bit while I was in school, but didn’t want to let that distract me too much.

How did you overcome your nervousness about going to college?

The main thing for me was finding something to get involved in. In high school I did nearly everything: Band, ROTC, Football, Basketball, Church. So once I got to Tuskegee I got involved in a lot of things but realized I was spreding myself thin.

I was the Chaplain for the Alabama Club, I was in the NAACP, I was on the Honda Campus All Star Challenge Team (quizbowl), and many other things. I narrowed my focus down to the quizbowl team because it was the most fun for me. Once I got comfortable doing that, going to practices everyday, studying every night I was able to establish a routine that I use to this day and it’s helped me out tremendously.

What is your major? and Why did you choose it?

I chose History because Tuskegee didn’t offer broadcast journalism, or journalism, or communications. My thinking was I would do History for undergrad, teach for a few years and then go back to school for one of the fields I listed above. While in school I’ve been exposed to much more careers that I can go into with a history degree so I believe I made the right choice.

What to date has been your proudest moment @  Tuskegee University?

My proudest moment was the night I won the 2012 Ford Black College Quiz Show. I knew I was a decent quizbowl player since I’ve been watching jeopardy since I was eight but as far as competing for a national championship I had never done anything like that on my own. The show was hosted at Howard University so my coach and I along with all of the other competitors were flown there. We were put up in a very nice hotel in downtown D.C. despite all of this I was focused on the show because I knew that if I were to win, the prize money would go towards paying for school.

The $5000 would have paid off my money from the previous semester and the upcoming semester as well. Some of the competitors in the competition, I knew from other competitions so I knew that I would have to bring my A game. While competing, in each game I played I initially was getting my butt kicked but during the course of the game I would get more confident and pick up momentum and take the lead by the end of the game.

So for me the reason this was the proudest moment was because not only was I representing my family and my university I was doing it on a national stage. When it was announced at the end of the final round that I had won the championship I couldn’t beleive it. I was a national champion at something that I loved and something that I put countless hours and effort into, and it was on behalf of Tuskegee and my family.

What to date has been your saddest moment @  Tuskegee University?

I would probably have to say it was when I received news that a very close relative had died of cancer while I was away and I was unable to make the funeral.

What are you pledging? And why? And if not, why not?

I’m not pledging. I just feel that for me personally I think its not for me, at least on the undergraduate level.

How are you positively active on campus? (e.g. clubs, SGA, etc.)

Gabriel Smith accepting accolades in the Chapel at  Tuskegee University | Image Credit: Gabriel Smith

Gabriel Smith accepting accolades in the Chapel at Tuskegee University | Image Credit: Gabriel Smith

I’m the captain of my schools Honda Campus All Star Challenge Team which is growing wildly in popularity on campus. Before it was a small group of braniacs and people would stay away from tryouts for fear of being embarrassed.

I think as the captain I’ve helped to re-brand it as a competitive but a family environment which more and more people are taking an interest in. I also serve on the Judicial Board so when students are in danger of being expelled or suspended, I hear their cases and make a recommendation to the administration. I chose not to get involved with SGA officially but I have always tried to work with our leaders and voice my concerns and encouragement.

Where is the “yard” located?

Like with most HBCUs it’s our central location. It’s centered around several female dorms, an education building, and our newly renovated cafeteria/student union.

What and where are the historical places on campus?

Booker T Washington’s house, monument, and grave are located on campus along with George Washington Carver’s museum and grave. Most of our buildings are built from the bricks that were made by students during Tuskegee’s early days. So our entire campus is historic.

Are there any ghost stories involving buildings or spots on campus?

There are but i don’t really pay them any attention.

How many “firsts” have you had at college ? What are they? (e.g. first road trip, first job interview, first love, first “F or A”, etc.)

I’ve had many firsts at Tuskegee. First research presentation, first national championship with academic quizbowl, first time being the captain of a team, first love, first 4.0 gpa.

Describe a situation from your life where this proverb came to life or occurred “The person who grew up without correction will find his mouth slipping instead of his foot.”: “We’ll understand it better by and by”

This quote resonated with me when I looked back over a lot of the adversity I faced early on in my life and even while I was in college. We don’t understand things when they are happening but with some time and maturation we’re able to look back over things and realize that we wouldn’t be who we are without them.

What is your process when you are going through a hardship that you have never faced before?

I guess I would say I just remain calm and keep a level head and just do what I’m responsible for because that is the only thing I can control. I trust that things will work out and just continue to push forward.

What advice would you give high school students filling out college applications for the first time?

If you have an average gpa you’re in good company. I was never an exceptional student on paper but never let that stop me from being myself. I will be graduating from college in a few months which for a long time I thought wasn’t even remotely possible. Stay close to your family, trust your parents, trust yourself.

I recommend that you choose an HBCU because it gives you an experience like no other, it prepares you for the real world, and most importantly the people there actually care about your success and will invest themselves in you (if you prove that you’re worth it.)

College is an exciting, liberating, hard, and trying time in your life. You will have your good days, and bad days. Good semesters and bad semesters but the most important thing is to keep your eye on the goal at hand and not lose sight of why you came to college.

Questions about Tuskegee? Completing your college application? Respectfully contact Gabriel!

Social Networking Links: facebook.com/themanwiththegoldenhorn

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19th Dec2013

Tameka Johnnae’ Christmas – Xavier University of Louisiana ’14

by Staff

From being a first generation college student to being a leader on campus, Tameka Johnnae’ Christmas exemplifies the HBCU Experience. Come learn about where she is from and how she came to arrive and excel at the Great Halls of Xavier University of Louisiana!

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Tameka Johnnae Christmas, a proud student of Xavier University of Louisiana (c/o ’14) | Image Credit: Tameka Christmas

Where are you from? Who introduced you to HBCUs back in the day?

I am from Maringouin, LA, a small rural area about 45 minutes West of Baton Rouge. My mother and high school teachers introduced me to HBCUs back in the day.

Why did you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

I choose an HBCU over a pwi because of their commitment to ensuring African Americans excel in every aspect of their life despite their circumstances. They reminded me that we could become doctors and lawyers, and greatness was expected from us.

How did you decide to become a student at Xavier University of Louisiana ?

I decided to attend Xavier because of their friendly and positive environment, small population, and rich history and traditions.

What professors at Xavier University of Louisiana are leaving the most impression upon you as a person and student? What did they do that continues to mean so much to you to this day?

It’s hard for me to choose one. Majority of my professors have left an impression upon me as a person and student. What I love the most about my professors is their caring and kind spirit and their commitment to ensuring students learned the necessary knowledge and tools to move forward.

Their offices are always open for students to drop in to talk or assist academically.

What is the story of your “experience” to date at Xavier University of Louisiana given its heralded status as a stellar and prestigious institution?

It was different, a challenge, a struggle but yet it was still fun. I am a first generation college student so the experience was my own.

Nobody told me whether it was going to be hard or easy. I’ve had quite the experience during my time: academic, educational, and personal but I reminded myself that this experience wasn’t just for me.

It was for my family, friends, and the many students that believed they couldn’t because of whatever reason.

How does your HBCU help you to transition into your careers workforce?

Xavier prepares us academically and professionally. Although I haven’t graduated yet, I can say that I will be prepared based on the rigorous curriculum and workshops for professional enhancement.

How does your HBCU prepare you for a diverse workplace?

Your everyday interactions with students from across the world, new expectations, and new environments all contribute to diversity.

At Xavier, students are required to take courses from different disciplines and not just their major. This allows students to see others walk of life and social problems.

Students are able to step out of their own world views and sees others.

The most beneficial way Xavier prepares students for a diverse workforce is our commitment to promoting a just and humane society by fostering servant leaders that are interested and committed to reconnecting with a community in need through community service.

Students learn to accept others differences whether it be values or religions, enhancing interpersonal skills as well as allowing students to work together effectively.

What are the best restaurants on and near the campus? Which dishes do you enjoy the most?

The dishes I enjoy the most are Red Beans & Rice Mondays and Fried fish & gumbo Fridays.

What are the chants heard most often at the sporting events?

Beep! Beep! You better go start the bus!

How did you overcome your nervousness about going to college?

I don’t remember being nervous. I remember being anxious and excited about a new experience. I started Xavier the summer before my freshman year through a program named, “Biomedical Science Summer Program” for students interested in medicine and who had excelled academically in high school.

The time there was amazing and the people I met are awesome. I love them.

What is your major? and Why did you choose it?

My major is Chemistry premedical. I choose Chemistry because the classes allowed me to apply critical thinking skills to answer questions.

I like how this major incorporated so many other classes such as biology and math. I love all three.

What to date has been your proudest moment @ Xavier University of Louisiana?

My proudest moment at Xavier have been receiving the XU Girls Rock “Who Got Next” Award.

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XU Girls Rock! Support it!! | Image Credit: twitter.com

This reward reminded me of why I was committed to serving my Xavier community. The award exemplified a student who embodies Xavier’s mission, promote spirit, and continue to find ways to serve Xavier’s students. I am forever grateful to be a role model and leader to my fellow Xavierites.

How are you positively active on campus? (e.g. clubs, SGA, etc.)

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Red Cross Xavier helping out in Hattiesburg, MS | Image Credit: facebook.com

Currently, I serve as a resident assistant, project coordinator for Red Cross Club Xavier, and a member of the ACS Chemistry Club. In the past, I have served as a class officer, member of Xavier’s Royal Court, and mentor.

Where is the “yard” located?

Our yard is located right outside our University Center.

What and where are the historical places on campus?

The administration building located on the corner of Pine Street is a historical place on campus and a city landmark.

What is your process when you are going through a hardship that you have never faced before?

I like to meditate and talk to God. I ask myself questions like what could I have done differently or what is the next step to take from here. Addressing the issues allows me not to ponder on the issue, which cause stress. I pray to God, accept it, learn from it, and move on.

What advice would you give high school students filling out college applications for the first time?

Research. Research. Research. Don’t choose schools based on any decisions but your own. You don’t want to go around thinking you made the wrong decision.

Questions about completing your college application? Have other questions about XULA? Respectfully contact Tameka!

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04th Dec2013

Cierra Michelley – Fort Valley State University ’14

by Staff

Cierra Michelley of Fort Valley State University, (c/o ’14) shares her HBCU Experience, why she chose an HBCU over a pwi, the role family played in her decision, and much more.

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Cierra Michelley, Proud Student at Fort Valley State University c/o ’14 | Image Credit: Cierra Michelley

Why did you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

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Cierra Michelley with her parents | Image Credit: Cierra Michelley

My mom went to a HBCU and she wanted me to be Cierra not jus a number on a roll.

What city are you from? Who introduced you to the greatness of HBCUs?

Lithonia, Georgia. I currently reside in Decatur, Georgia. High school teachers and my mom always talked about HBCU’s.

How did you decide to become a student at Fort Valley State University? Feel free to elaborate…

Well…… My original plan was UVI because I’m a biology major i was going to do marine biology, BUT my dad didn’t want me that far away, long story short i did one application for 30+ HBCUs and just went with the ones I felt was best for my major.

Which professors are leaving the most impression upon your academic and personal life? What do they do that continues to mean so much to you to this day?

Dr Hardman, Dr Fields, Mrs Sibley, Dr Herd-Clark, they really care about our educational success, but they’ll give you tough love to prepare for the ‘real’ world.

What is the story of your “HBCU experience” at Fort Valley State University ?

Lol honestly, it reminds me of high school.

What is your major? Why did you choose it?

Biology I’ve always thought of being in the medical field, biology is step one to that.

How does your HBCU help you to transition into your careers workforce?

It prepares me because my class isn’t as large i can be more hands on and creates better opportunity to communicate with my teacher if needed.

How does your HBCU prepare you for a diverse workplace?

Good question. We have business classes that prepare us to be able to approach situations correctly when necessary.

Where is the “yard” located?

It’s basically a short name for campus.

So the “yard” is the campus, correct?

Yes

Where are the historical places on campus?

Every where lol but mainly on the ‘traditional’ side. We had upgrades on campus (we love your energy all these “lols” you seem like a really happy person)

Are there any ghost stories involving buildings or spots on campus?

Yes i am! Life is too short now n days. Yes Ohio hall i think a girl committed suicide I’m not really sure, not in to all the ‘extras’ i just want to graduate!

What are the best restaurants on and near campus? Favorite dishes?

I’ve been there since ’10 nothing is good to me anymore but we have quiznos chick-fila papa johns and a jazz cafe in our library

How many “firsts” have you had at college ? What were they? (e.g. first road trip, first job interview, first love, first “F or A”, etc.)

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Cierra Michelley and her family | Image Credit: Cierra Michelley

Omg my very first F i was scared to tell my parents, i felt i didn’t deserve it but……

What advice would you give high school students filling out college applications for the first time?

I would recommend a HBCU depending on the major, like i said i would rather be Cierra than a number

How are you positively active on your college campus? What about in high school?

I was a peer educator but i feel like studies come first. In high school i played softball n was on the swim team

If you could only speak two sentences to the youth coming after you what would you say?

Stay FOCUSED freshmen year is your foundation!

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Questions about the HBCU Experience? Need tips on completing your college application? Respectfully contact Cierra Michelley | Image Credit: Cierra Michelley

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