03rd Apr2016

Hannah Burnell – Jackson State University – 2016

by Staff

“My experience at JSU has been an interesting one. I’ve grown more and have gained a better understanding of what it means to be a Jacksonian woman.”

Hannah Burnell - Jackson State University - 2016 jsu

“If I’m not laughing, I’m not me.” |Image Credit: Hannah Burnell

Where are you from? Who introduced you to HBCUs?

I was born and raised in the central Mississippi area, more specifically the Ridgeland/Jackson areas. HBCUs are the entire reason I exist today. I have deep family HBCU history on both sides of my family evolving Jackson State University and Grambling State University.

Why did you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

I originally didn’t really choose one over the other. I sort of just found myself at Jackson State, and as a result ended up falling in love with the university and the HBCU experience.

Major? Why did you choose it?

I am a History major. I chose history because I genuinely love it. I figured if I was going to major in something, it would be something I love and not necessarily a “career move” major. I live and breathe history and being on a HBCU campus is like being in a living museum.

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

My experience at JSU has been an interesting one. I’ve grown more and have gained a better understanding of what it means to be a Jacksonian woman. Our institution is held to a very high level in relations to how students and alumni are to conduct themselves.

Hannah Burnell - Jackson State University - 2016 jsu

Hannah Servicing the Community as a (JSU) Tiger and a State Queen|Image Credit: Hannah Burnell

It’s also been a very fun experience. I’ve met amazing people and have had some pretty fun times with them. I could go on for days but of course the only way to truly understand the tiger experience is to come find out for yourself.

“First time” experiences at your HBCU?

A first time experience for my at JSU was really making friends. I had friends in high school but these were people that I had know from elementary or middle school or met through some one else.

Hannah Burnell - Jackson State University - 2016 jsu

“Tiger born, Tiger Bred, and when I die, I’ll be Tiger Dead”|Image Credit: Hannah Burnell

Once I got to college, I had to start over and reach out and make friends on my own. This was pretty difficult for me because I’m really a quiet, introverted person and sometimes reaching out is a hard thing for me to do. But I’ve grown from having to be on my own.

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

The two professors that have really impacted my experience are Dr. Hilliard Lackey and Dr. Bonnie Gardner. They have literally stood with me every step of the way starting from high school to now. There is nothing I can’t ask from either one of them that they won’t do or advise me on.

Questions about JSU? Respectfully ask Hannah!

IG/Twitter: @HannahBurnellW
FB: Hannah Burnell
Website: HannahBurnellw.wordpress.com
Email: Hanwms@aol.com

Off
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

Off
16th Dec2013

Joseph Beard – Jackson State University ’01

by Staff

Joseph Beard, an HBCU Alum of Jackson State University (Class of ’01) speaks on his HBCU Experience, lessons learned, fraternity pursuits, graduate school, and much, much more.

Joseph Beard - Jackson State University 2001 2

Joseph Beard, proud graduate of Jackson State University (Class of 2001) | Image Credit: Joseph Beard

Where are you from? How did you first hear about HBCUs?

St. Louis, MO. My father went to Jackson State, my mother to Spelman College. My maternal grandfather went to North Carolina A&T and my maternal grandmother went to Bennett.

What made you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

Family tradition, and I am a BandHead so I was going to march in one of the marching bands.

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

I originally picked Johnson C. Smith to be different from the rest of my family but our band got blow out by a high school and I started to weigh my decision. The finances and the distance contributed to my decision.

What professors at Jackson State University left the most impression upon you as a student and/or person? What did they do that continues to mean so much to you to this day?

Dr. Denoral Davis and he flunked me. I missed too many days in one of his classes and he flunked me. I tried to plead my case and he held to his guns. It was the way he did it, not in a bad way and I saw that he wanted me to do well but he could not give me anything. It made me want to make it right with him.

How did your HBCU prepare you for a diverse workplace?

It made me stick my chest out about who I am in any environment. The embedded idea of success in our world looks different than I do, and at Jackson State, I saw success that looks like me.

Dudes that looked and acted like me going to medical school, having 3.8 GPA’s…changed my life and changed my perception of having good grades, doing the right thing, and putting on nice clothes and looking nice.

Seeing these images is powerful and that is not the image that is flooded in our community. It’s easy for a young man to aspire to do other things than education because it’s what he sees.

When I saw this representation it made me not so shy about sitting in the front of the class, or actually reading the assignment for class and being cool for your grades and not for your foolishness.

You also learn that you have to have a 2.75 to be a part of anything, so you need to have good grades to do anything.

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

Well in connection to my previous answer it allows me to communicate with other people in my voice, my mannerisms, my true self. In computers and in the classroom your communication is important and I am not trying to be something I am not in order for someone else to understand me.

I am myself and I am professional, I am myself and I am intelligent.

I can speak about my school and even my history with resolution to people who are different, may not understand, or may be misinformed.

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

Well back at Jackson State if you didn’t have a car you could chill on the plaza or you could chill around the dorm room area. My last years there, they had co ed visitation so some people took advantage of that.

What were the best restaurants on and near campus? Which dishes did you enjoy the most?

Jacktown Burgers, Five Happiness (far away but great chinese food)

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

Fire it up J State, Rock the House, Get Ready, I’m so glad.

Who was your College crush?

One girl in the J Settes, and one girl who was a Delta.

How did you overcome your nervousness about going to college?

I never had any. I was raised for the college experience.

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

History, because I loved the stories and I was good with the dates of events.

What was your proudest moment @ Jackson State University?

Joseph Beard - Jackson State University 20011

Joseph Beard suited up playing for the “Sonic Boom” | Image Credit: Joseph Beard

Graduation, marching in the Sonic Boom

What was your saddest moment @ Jackson State University?

Not pledging in 1999 because of my academics. More because I have no one to blame but myself.

What did you pledge? And why? And if not, why not?

Did not have a 2.75 and wanted to pledge Omega. Did what I could but did not pull up my grades till my senior year. Then my focus was on getting out of there.

Had an opportunity the same semester I graduated and did not want to risk anything. Already accepted to graduate programs so I played my priorities, knowing I could do it later in a grad chapter.

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

Sonic Boom, Missouri Club.

Where was the “yard” located?

We called all of our campus the yard, so the answer to this question is the address for Jackson State.

What and where were the historical places on campus?

The plaza in 1970, the national guard opened fire on the campus and next to Alexander Hall is a memorial and the bullet holes are still there in the building.

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

I don’t think so.

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

I did have a first love.

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

The hunt is on..and you are the prey!

What situation in your life made you feel like you had arrived into woman or manhood?

My first job in my field

When and how did you discover your passion in life?

Out here when I moved to California and saw that young black kids do not have the HBCU experience around them so their college decision is not as well rounded as mine was back east and being around them.

At the same time I missed being around the bands and watched the videos on the internet to keep current.

I then started a podcast network called The Marching Podcast that is the ESPN of marching bands and its interactive and allows the people to call in and voice their views. My plan is to create scholarships to some of these kids out here on the west coast and send them to hbcu’s and help with the funding because of the distance.

Check us out Sundays at 8pm EST and Tuesdays at 9pm EST. The Marching Podcast http://themarchingpodcast.com

What sports and/or extra curricular activities did you do in High School? And why?

Track, Basketball, Band, community service. Track because my friends were into it and I won the state triple jump my senior year.

Band because I played trumpet because of the marching bands I saw.

Basketball because that was the popular sport in the 90’s.

Community service because I knew it was important.

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

Do it with someone close to you, family member, your parents.

How do you deal with racism if you encounter it?

Forgiveness, what man means for evil, God means for good. Learning our history somewhat calms the situation as well.

Whats your take on life (in the philosophical sense)?

It’s harder to do the things that are better for you. It’s easy to hurt yourself and others.

Questions about completing your college application? Have specific questions about Jackson State? Well respectfully contact Joseph!

Social Networking Links: Facebook, Twitter
Website(s) – Blog(s) – Etc.: The Marching Podcast
Company Info.: The Marching Podcast

Off
09th Dec2013

Jonathan Ellis – Fort Valley State University ’12

by Staff

Jonathan Ellis takes us on a journey about his unique HBCU Experience at Fort Valley State University, Class of 2012. Take heed to his wise words!

Jonathan Ellis - Fort Valley State University '12 2

Jonathan Ellis, a strong and proud graduate of Fort Valley State University ’12 | Image Credit: Jonathan Ellis

Where are you from? How did you first hear about HBCUs?

I’m from Atlanta GA specifically the Ashview heights community located near Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse, and Spelman College. I heard of HBCUs by applying for college and learning how they have historically been important in educating black people.

What made you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

I received a scholarship for FVSU and that sealed the deal for me.

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

The scholarship but then after being there for a while I met so many good friends and faculty I knew it was a good place.

What professors at Fort Valley State University left the most impression upon you as a student and/or person? What did they do that continues to mean so much to you to this day?

Jonathan Ellis - Fort Valley State University '12 3

Dr. Berlethia J. Pitts | Image Credit: fvsu.edu

Most of my professors have and I hope I don’t miss any names but Dr. Clarke, Lutz, Hatesveldt, Smith, Dubuya, Bumpass, Pitts, Wyce and everyone in the Social Sciences.

Everything they thought me helped me understand the world and prepare me for my future career in education. Their teaching styles were all diverse and allowed me to learn from different types of people.

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

My experience was mixed.

How did your HBCU prepare you for a diverse workplace?

It didn’t give me a sense of diversity but taught me black unity and it’s importance in a world of racism.

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

I’m not currently working right now but my HBCU aided me in preparing for teaching by providing me with diverse perspectives of how to communicate to students.

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

Haha no comment.

What were the best restaurants on and near campus? Which dishes did you enjoy the most?

Basically the Chinese place. Don’t remember the name. We also had a Chic Fila and Papa John’s on campus. I mostly enjoyed Pepperoni Pizza for Papa Johns. The cafe food was not very appetizing and that’s all I can say about that. But the omelets were great.

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

Didn’t really go to sporting events.

Who was your College crush?

She knows who she is. Intelligent young woman. I admire her academic achievements.

How did you overcome your nervousness about going to college?

I was actually never nervous. I’m rarely nervous about much. Learned to be calm in all situations at a young age.

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

History. I chose history after I realized it fit what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I had already taken classes with many of the professors before so it was a perfect fit.

What was your saddest moment @ Fort Valley State University ?

It was afterwards but a friend of mine died in a car accident not too long after I graduated.

What did you pledge? And why? And if not, why not?

No. Never had any interest.

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

Not as much as I should of been but my last years there I did join the History club and the Marketing club.

Where was the “yard” located?

Near the commons.

What and where were the historical places on campus?

Almost everywhere because the school is so historical.

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

Not that I’m aware of.

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

I did receive my first failing grade in college and I didn’t appreciate it. It was for a class I didn’t even need.

If you could speak to those family members that have risen but that live forever through you, what words would you speak?

I would say “I love and miss you. May your souls rest in peace”.

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

Be attentive to what’s going on the world; apathy is dangerous.

What situation in your life made you feel like you had arrived into woman or manhood?

Being by myself at school made me realize that I would have to become an individual.

When and how did you discover your passion in life?

I discovered my passion in high school by being in history class and really enjoying learning about it.

What sports and/or extra curricular activities did you do in High School? And why?

No sports but I was on the chess team.

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

Look for as many scholarships as possible. UNCF is a great resource as well as Google. Also ask your counselor for waivers on application fees.

How do you deal with racism if you encounter it?

I’d address it upfront and challenge it.

Whats your take on life (in the philosophical sense)?

Live life not in the pursuit of selfishness but help those around you.

Questions about college? Need help completing your application? Contact Jonathan!

Email Address: jonathanellis2003@yahoo.com
Tumblr: hamboi.tumblr.com/

Off
04th Sep2013

Christopher McCall – Tuskegee University ’14

by Staff

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”600px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama; Christopher McCall tells a great story about his ongoing HBCU Experience at Tuskegee University, all that he has done to be a positive force on campus and much, much more.[/dropshadowbox]

Christopher McCall Tuskegee University

Christopher proudly representing the legendary and world-renowned Tuskegee University | Image Credit: Christopher McCall

Why did you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

An HBCU was the first place to accept me.

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

I am from Montgomery, Alabama.

Ebony magazines, learning about them in history, and going to spring open house.

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

Felt Like Home

Feel free to elaborate…: When I went there during open house, the atmosphere was just like that of a family atmosphere.

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?

I can’t really say, because they all have left some type of impression on both my academic and personal life. They teach me about stuff that is essential in life.

What is the story of your “HBCU experience” at Tuskegee University?

I started school at Tuskegee University in the fall of 2008. I was a shy kid from Montgomery, Alabama. I met a lot of different people from all across the nation. I broke out of my shell a little bit during the 2008-2009 school year. I really broke out of my shell during the 2009-2010 school year. I gain close to 90 pounds my freshman year.

I lost a lot of that weight during the summer but I gained it back in my sophomore year. I have had a struggle with weight during my time in college. I joined the track team in the spring of 2010. I ran for the senator-at-large during the 2010-2011 school year and won. I held this position during the 2011-2012 school year.

I am also a member of Rave Revue Modeling Troupe and the Alabama Club. I had to sit out the 2012-2013 school year due to some financial issues but I am coming back to finish my degree. For the most part, I have loved my time at Tuskegee.

What is your major? Why did you choose it?

My major is history. I chose it because I love it. (Meet other History Majors)

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

It helps me by making sure I do things and turn them in on time.

How does your HBCU prepare you for a diverse workplace?

It prepares me by teaching me how to work with different kinds of people.

Where is the “yard” located?

The yard is located right next to the University Avenue.

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

The museum and the Chapel.

There are no ghost stories that I know of that involve these two buildings.

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

The best restaurants on campus are located in Margaret Murray Washington Hall. They just recently changed the names of the two restaurants, but their original names were WoW and Jazmine’s. Liked the tenders at WoW.

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 went to a nightclub for the first time. I also went to my first concert, my first forum, and modeled in my first fashion show. I also went to my first track meet.

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

Make sure it is the school you want to go to.

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

I am a member of the Track Team, the Alabama Club, and Rave Revue Modeling Troupe. I was also once a member of Air Force ROTC and Army ROTC and SGA.

In high school I was a part of the Junior ROTC program and a member of the Kitty Hawk Air Society.

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

Make sure you sign up for classes you know that you are going to attend.

Also, make sure you prepare for stuff in advance and not at the last minute.

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”600px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Questions about campus life at Tuskegee? Need help with your application? Contact Christopher! [/dropshadowbox]

Email: mccallchristopher@ymail.com
Facebook: Christopher McCall
Twitter: @Skegee_Gent1989
Tumblr: atuskegeegent.tumblr.com

Off
10th Aug2013

Breanna Thomas – Fisk University ’17

by Staff

High School Phenom, Fisk University Student, and Future owner of a Successful Law Firm, Breanna Thomas shares her journey from high school into the great halls of Fisk University!

Breanna Thomas - Fisk University 1

Breanna Thomas, the perfect balance of supreme intelligence, a heart of gold, and beauty! | Image Credit: Breanna Thomas

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Philadelphia, PA and I was raised in Wake Forest, North Carolina, fifteen minutes outside of Raleigh.

How would you describe your high school experience and environment?

Breanna Thomas - Fisk University 2

Breanna and Family posing at her high school graduation. Next stop Fisk University! | Image Credit: Breanna Thomas

My high school experience and environment shaped my character drastically. High school challenged me on all fronts, socially, mentally, physically, and emotionally. And it has made me bigger, better, faster, and stronger!

What extra curricular activities did you participate in?

I was President and Founder of my school’s Interact club, Community Service Chair of my school’s student government; I was in student government throughout high school as a representative, and I was Corresponding Secretary for an inter-scholastic program called “The HBWTF Student Ambassador Program”, a Senator and a Reporter in NC Youth Legislature, and an alumni of the Wake Forest Youth Leadership program.

I also attended many leadership conferences, including University of NC Chapel Hill’s competitive Catalyst Conference, where I was one of 90 selected from a pool of 350 North Carolina students.

There, I learned about social justice and discussed contemporary issues. I was a People to People Internat’l Student Ambassador. I attended the Nat’l Student Leadership Conference: Law & Advocacy I: The Trial conference in Washington, D.C. as well.

What was your GPA? ACT, SAT, etc. scores?

I graduated with a weighted 3.5 GPA. I scored 560 on SAT Writing, 550 on SAT Critical Reading, and 500 on SAT Math.

When did you send your application to the HBCU of your choice?

I sent my application to my choice HBCUs in December.

How did you first learn about HBCUs?

I first learned about HBCUs in the ninth grade, but I didn’t truly understand the concept of HBCUs until Spring Break of my Sophomore Year when I visited one–Tuskegee University–and understood the role that they played in history and in the success of African-Americans.

Were your guidance counselors knowledgeable about HBCUs? If not, where did you get all of your information from about the HBCUs you were thinking of attending?

My guidance counselors were very knowledgeable; they gave me as much information as they could and always supported me. I found it advantageous, however, to research all of my colleges and HBCUs on College Board.

What led you to choose an HBCU over a pwi (predominately “white” institution)?

I attended predominately white schools almost all of my life. At times, I was the only black student in my honors programs, the only black student in a few honors societies and clubs, and, at times, I felt “too white” for my black classmates and “too black” for my white classmates. I wanted to attend an HBCU to be amongst like-minded, black intellectuals.

Which HBCU did you decide to attend? And why?

Receiving scholarships from Fisk (Fisk’s financial aid is the bomb.com, by the way) prompted me to attend Fisk’s Scholar’s Weekend.

I met incredible people there: excellent faculty, kind, insightful current students, and intelligent, friendly prospective students. I sat in on classes and thoroughly enjoyed the lectures and discussions in them.

But what made me choose Fisk was the fact that it had exactly what I needed: an affordable education with a close-knit, friendly community and a great desire for academic excellence and service leadership.

What is your major? And why did you choose it?

I’m a history major, concentrating on American history with a minor in business. History was always my favorite subject because it’s interesting and challenging.

I admire how my history teachers seemed to always know everything! History majors think, read, write, and analyze complex texts and information, so being a history major will help me on the road to law school. With a minor in business, I’ll have some business saavy under my belt to aid me in successfully running a law firm.

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

I advise that high school students write their essays carefully. The best essays are honest and mundane. Mine was about drawing a picture. I put in my thoughts and my character, and it won me admission to Spelman, Howard University, and other colleges with scholarships!

What advice do you have for upcoming juniors and seniors in High School looking at colleges?

Pick a major that you’re truly curious about, not one that will land you a high-paying job. Take AP courses and tests to gain college credit. Examine the financial aid of the college. Plan.

If you have questions about completing your college application or need essay help, reach out to Breanna!

breannalkthomas[AT]hotmail.com

~ blogger.com/breannalkthomas

~ facebook.com/breannalkthomas

Off
08th Mar2013

Sharrieff R. De’Johnette – Virginia State University ’96

by Staff

Born in Queens,NY and Raised in Williamsburg,VA – current Hampton University Professor Sharrieff R. De’Johnette shares with us his HBCU experience while attending Virginia State University, how he came to choose the major that best suited him, professors that impacted his life, and much more. 

 

☥ -TOPICS COVERED— Interview Timeline

00:18 – Attending an HBCU in lieu of a pwi

01:22 – Leaving for college after years of High School

02:02 – Deciding to become a History major

02:39 – Great Professors at Virginia State that left an impact

03:51 – Joining groups on the VSU Campus and running for Freshman class president

04:27 – Joining the Alumni Chapter of ΚΑΨ

04:50 – Proudest Moment @ Virginia State

05:33 – HBCUS and the African – American Experience

☥ —- Production

Director/Interviewer: Nya A. Hendricks
View More of Nyas’ Work: http://vimeo.com/user6559879

☥ —-Thank Yous

Thank you to Professor De’Johnette for spending time with us to enlighten the world; Thank you to Hampton University for allowing us to use their beautiful Student Cafeteria and Campus to host this interview, Thank you to Nya Hendricks for her vision and genius behind the camera, and finally Thank you to all of you who support and attend or attended an HBCU!

Off
Pages:12»