Washington, DC- June 13, 2019 – The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Initiative) announced today the names of 44 students from 34 historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) selected as 2019 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars – the Initiative’s highest student recognition. Comprised of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, Competitiveness Scholars are recognized for successfully preparing to compete for top opportunities that improve long-term outcomes.
Saxton Nyle Keitt nominated and endorsed by Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President, and CEO of Benedict College which itself is an honorable mention. Johnathan Holifield, Executive Director of the Initiative, said “the Initiative’s watchword is competitiveness and these students are fine examples of the depth and diversity of competitive talent at our institutions. We are honored to recognize them.” Scholars were selected from among several highly distinguished HBCU students chosen based on their academic achievement, campus, and civic involvement and entrepreneurial ethos or “go-getter” spirit.
In the course of their one-year term, Competitiveness Scholars will learn and share proven and promising practices that support individual and institutional achievement, with the goal of strengthening prospects for career and life success. “We’re looking forward to working with and learning from with this new cohort of HBCU Competitiveness Scholars,” said Elyse Jones, the Initiative’s Coordinator for the Scholars Program. “We have lots of unique, fun and interactive opportunities planned for this year that will provide new opportunities for these representatives, exposing them to critical national conversations and powerful thought leaders.” “Over my career, I’ve learned a lot about leadership from HBCU students,” said Dr. Billy Hawkins, president of Talladega College and a member of the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs.
“Recognition programs such as the Competitiveness Scholars showcase the talent, leadership, and spirit of students at Talladega College and across the HBCU landscape. Congratulations to the 2019 cohort – we’re looking for great things from you.” “Academics, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and leadership are achieved through action, not position,” said Dr. Rodney Ellis, chancellor of Southern University at Shreveport and a member of the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs.
“Congratulations to the students from the Southern University System and other HBCUs for taking the necessary actions and leveraging their positions as students to achieve impact.” Competitiveness Scholars will assemble during the 2019 National HBCU Week Conference, September 8-11 at the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel – the theme of which is Enhancing HBCU Competitiveness: Student Achievement. Quality Partnerships. Institutional Performance.
They will participate in workshops designed to strengthen their leadership, wealth creation and management, and civic engagement and will be encouraged to seek out ongoing personal and professional development in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship. Competitiveness Scholars are recognized for the 2019-2020 academic school year.
Throughout this period, the Initiative will facilitate engagement activities, as well as provide information and resources that scholars can take advantage of or disseminate to fellow students. Scholars are encouraged to fully take advantage of the opportunities provided, engage with one another and showcase their individual and collective talents across the HBCU spectrum. Competitiveness Scholars will receive their recognition at the HBCU week conference during the Initiative’s Excellence in Innovation and Competitiveness Awards luncheon ceremony on September 9.