10 HBCU Fictional Moments of Real Thanks to Faculty and Staff

Many institutions are still in the throes of graduation season and the end of the academic year. Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up is dedicated to all of those who help graduates make it from new student orientation to commencement day. So here is a big thank you for all of the important moments as portrayed by our favorite fictitious HBCU, Hillman College (from The Cosby Show and A Different World):

1.) When they covered for you and simultaneously taught you humility

2.) When they helped you make sense of your life, pushed you out of your comfort zone, and helped you see you had more in common with people you thought were completely different from you

3.) When you made a pretty bad decision, but they gave you a second chance after their course assignment enlightened you and ultimately changed your approach to life

4.) When they wouldn’t give up on you, even if you had given up on yourself (sometimes they are creative about their support)

5.) When they reminded us that the best way to prevent rape, is to not rape

6.) When they saw your promise and potential through your poor decisions and did whatever was necessary to bring it to fruition

7.) When they embraced and even rewarded your creativity, however unconventional

8.) When they kept it all the way real with you

9.) When they helped you communicate your goals and dreams to your parents and loved ones

10.) When they inspired you to be brave and helped you realize you have a voice in this world and it needs to be heard

Congrats, Class of 2015! And thank you to all of the faculty, advisors, deans, RAs, administrators, and staff for all that you have done and continue to do to make students great people as well as great scholars.

Ten 2015 Minority Serving Institution Commencement Speakers

It is that time of year when graduates from all over the nation are donning regalia, walking across stages, shaking hands, receiving diplomas, and preparing to walk into their future. This is also the time where commencement speakers will share their words of wisdom with the graduating class, hoping to move and inspire them as they make the transition to the next phase of their lives. This Monday Morning MSI Line Up highlights some of the commencement speakers that will be taking or have already taken the stage at MSI graduations this commencement season. Congrats Class of 2015!!!

Denzel Washington1.) Dillard University – Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington first studied journalism at Fordham University but then discovered an interest in acting. He made his feature film debut in the comedy A Carbon Copy (1981) and was cast on the hit TV medical drama St. Elsewhere (1982-8). He went on to appear in several blockbuster movies, including Man on Fire, Malcom X, The Book of Eli and American Gangster, and won Oscars for his roles in Glory and Training Day. Here are excerpts from his commencement speech.

Sheryl Underwood2.) Benedict College – Sheryl Underwood

Comedian and actress who joined the popular CBS daytime show The Talk as a panelist in its second season. She hosts The Sheryl Underwood Show on Jamie Foxx’s Sirius Satellite Radio channel, The Foxxhole. She attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Masters Degrees in Media Management and Mass Communication from Governors State University. She made her comedy breakthrough in the 1989 Miller Lite Comedy Search. She is also a lifetime member of Zeta Phi Beta, Sorority, Inc. Underwood first served as president of the sorority’s Omicron Rho Zeta chapter, and was later named as the National Chair of Honorary Members, and later as the National Executive Board Chair. Underwood is also a member of the National Council of Negro Women and the NAACP and founded the African-American Female Comedian Association.

Michelle Obama3.) Tuskegee University – First Lady Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is a lawyer, Chicago city administrator and community outreach worker, as well as the wife of U.S. President Barack Obama and the 44th first lady. She attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985, and went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. Following law school, she worked at a Chicago law firm. As first lady, she has focused her attention on current social issues. Listen to First Lady Michelle Obama’s commencement speech here.

Eboo Patel4.) University of La Verne – Eboo Patel

Eboo Patel is the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith Youth Core is since its incorporation in 2002, Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) has worked on five continents and with over 200 college and university campuses, trained thousands in the principles of interfaith leadership, and reached millions through the media. IFYC has worked with partners including the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the White House, and the Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan. Eboo’s core belief is that religion is a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. He’s inspired to build this bridge by his faith as a Muslim, his Indian heritage, and his American citizenship. He has spoken about this vision at places like the TED conference, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, as well as college and university campuses across the country. He has written two books about interfaith cooperation, Acts of Faith and Sacred Ground.
Juan Martinez5.) Fresno Pacific University – Juan Martinez, Ph.D.

Juan Martínez is vice provost and professor of Hispanic studies and pastoral leadership. Since coming to Fuller in 2001, Dr. Martínez has also served as associate provost for diversity and international programs and as director of the Center for the Study of Hispanic Church and Community. Among other topics, his current research focuses on the history of Latino Protestantism, Latino Protestant identity, ministry in Latino Protestant churches, Latino and Latin American Anabaptists, and transnational mission among US Latinos.

Hugo Morales6.) California State University – Monterrey Bay- Hugo Morales
Mr. Morales is the Executive Director and co-founder of Radio Bilingüe (1976), the national Latino public radio network, and a pioneer and advocate for minority controlled public media. Mr. Morales is a Mixtec Indian from rural Oaxaca, Mexico. Radio Bilingüe has also conducted in-depth research for the Los Angeles area on the potential for a cross-generational bilingual media service as well as a cross-ethnic media platform. Among Mr. Morales’ recognitions have been a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He serves on several foundation boards including The San Francisco Foundation and Rosenberg Foundation. Mr. Morales earned a bachelors degree from Harvard College 1972 and a J.D. from Harvard College of Law 1975.

Morrisson England7.) University of Pacific – U.S. Judge Morrison England
Morrison C. England Jr. is the Chief Judge of the United States District Court of the Eastern District of California. Born in St. Louis, England was raised in Sacramento, where he graduated from McClatchy High School. He attended Sacramento City College before transferring to University of the Pacific on a football scholarship. England’s first appointment to the bench came from California Gov. Pete Wilson, who named him to the Sacramento Municipal Court in 1996. The following year, Wilson elevated the jurist to the Sacramento Superior Court. In 2002, England was nominated by Pres. George W. Bush to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
Nancy Pelosi8.) San Jose State University – Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

For 27 years, Nancy Pelosi has represented California’s 12th District in the House of Representatives. The 12th District includes most of the City of San Francisco Bayview, Chinatown, the Mission, North Beach, Presidio, SOMA, the Sunset and many of the diverse neighborhoods that make San Francisco a vibrant and prosperous community.
As the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 113th Congress, Pelosi is focused on jumpstarting the middle class by creating jobs here at home, expanding affordable access to education, and empowering America’s women and families. From 2007-2011, Pelosi served as Speaker of the House, the first woman to do so in American history. She first made history in November 2002 when House Democrats elected her the first woman to lead a major political party in Congress. Pelosi has led House Democrats for more than a decade and previously served as House Democratic Whip.

Mike Gabbard9.) University of Hawaii, West Oahu – Senator Mike Gabberd
Senator Mike Gabbard currently serves as chair of the committee on Energy and Environment. He is also a member of the committees on Health, Higher Education & the Arts, and Judiciary & Labor. Senator Gabbard represents Hawaii’s 20th Senatorial District and has served in the Hawaii State Senate since 2006. Gabbard served on the Honolulu City Council from 2003-2005.
David Wilson10.) Dine College – David R. Wilson

As Director of American Indian Affairs and Policy, based in Washington, D.C., Dr. Wilson manages multiple programs, services, and outreach related to American Indian and Native American programs and initiatives. In our nation’s capital, he works closely with federal agencies to collaborate, promote opportunities for the SACNAS membership, and to ensure policy makers hear the voice of our community. Wilson earned a PhD in molecular immunology from Arizona State University and spent time as a senior research scientist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 2010, he participated in the SACNAS Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), which had a profound impact on his life and career and prompted him to join SACNAS. Wilson continues to create opportunities and programs to diversify the STEM fields that will lead to a stronger and more economically viable nation.

Minority Serving Institutions with LGBT Initiatives

For many students, a college campus that is inviting, affirming, and supportive of students’ identities plays a crucial part in their success. Knowing this, many college campuses have begun to make strides to develop programs and enclaves of support for a variety of communities within their student body. One of these communities is the LGBT community. Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up features MSIs that have LGBT-focused programming or centers to support their LGBT students.

bowie state university1.) Bowie State University – Gender and Sexual Diversities Resource Center
The mission of the Gender and Sexual Diversities Resource Center at Bowie State University is to foster an environment that is open, safe, and inclusive for people of all sexualities and gender identities. The Center has resources for anyone who is interested in learning about LGBT people, issues, and concerns. The Resource Center works with faculty, staff, and students to increase awareness and affirmation of LGBTQIA individuals to reduce discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition, the center collaborates with faculty, staff, and students to develop programs to promote knowledge and awareness. The Resource Center collaborates with the Gay-Straight Alliance at BSU and other organizations on campus to develop programs, workshops, and activities to raise campus awareness about LGBT concerns. The Resource Center maintains a collection of LGBTQIA resource materials (books and pamphlets) for use by the University community.

Fayetteville State University2.) Fayetteville State University – SafeZone Office (SafeZone Ally Program)
The purpose of the Safezone Program at Fayetteville State University is to create an affirming and supportive campus climate through identifying and educating members of our campus community who are opened to and supportive of all individuals regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. A Safezone Ally at FSU is an informed campus partner who has committed time and energy through organized training to learn more about individuals that may identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning or may be unsure of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

NCAT3.) North Carolina A&T University – People Recognizing our Underlying Difference (P.R.O.U.D)
PROUD is a student organization that supports the diverse identities of lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, queer (LBGTQ), same gender loving people, and allies as individuals and as groups, especially students, faculty and staff of NC A&T, with the cultivation of safe, non-judgmental space, educational outreach, advocacy, and visibility of LBGTQ issues and information. Their goal is to provide a safe and understanding atmosphere for all students on campus.

Howard4.) Howard University – Coalition of Activist Students Celebrating the Acceptance of Diversity and Equality (CASCADE)
CASCADE is an acronym for the Coalition of Activist Students Celebrating the Acceptance of Diversity and Equality. It is the bisexual, lesbian, allied, and gay organization of students at Howard University and its mission is to celebrate, educate, and advocate for the diversity and equality of the LGBTA community. Cascade is responsible for educating the Howard University community about the history and the current status of the LGBT community and its allies. Cascade offers a safe space for our fellow gay, lesbian, bisexual, ally and transgender brothers and sisters, whilst celebrating the diversity within our community.

San Diego State5.) San Diego State University – LGBT Studies Major
San Diego State University is only the second college or university in North America to have a major in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Studies, beginning in January 2012. SDSU has also had a minor in LGBT Studies since fall 2009, and now has a Graduate-Level Certificate in LGBT Studies. LGBT Studies is an interdisciplinary program, not affiliated with any one department. Courses offered include LGBT literature, history of sexuality, media and sexuality, psychology of human sexual behavior, sexuality in modern society, valuing human diversity, lesbian lives and cultures, among many others. There are also over a dozen internships in LGBT organizations. Until now, students interested in learning about the LGBT community have had to rely on the grapevine to know which courses to take. San Diego has a large LGBT population so SDSU is a natural home for this program. Creating an environment where all students feel safe, included and inspired to learn is an important part of the San Diego State experience.

fiu6.) Florida International University – Multicultural LGBTQA Initiatives at FIU, Division of Student Affairs
Multicultural Programs and Services (MPAS) LGBTQA initiatives at Florida International University strives to reduce homophobia and heterosexism on both campuses through education, advocacy, and awareness. The program contributes to an open campus climate that is safe and accepting for all members of the University community regardless of sexual orientation. LGBT initiatives include LGBT 101 presentations, a program designed to educate students about and sensitize students to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender/sexual individuals.

UTEP7.) University of Texas El Paso – Rainbow Miner Initiative
The ultimate mission of the Rainbow Miner Initiative is to create an environment at UTEP that embraces individual difference, sustains inclusion, and cultivates a campus that is free from bias. Our vision and inspiration for this initiative is to ensure the UTEP campus is welcoming and inviting for all students, faculty, administration, and staff, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. They hope to fulfill these goals through advocacy, community building, and education. The Rainbow Miner symbolizes a safe space for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) community and their allies; an environment free of judgment, bias, and discrimination

University-of-California-Irvine8.) University of California Irvine – LGBT Resource Center
The LGBT Resource Center is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment for UCI’s diverse lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and ally communities. They raise awareness, increase visibility, and engage in advocacy regarding LGBTQQIA issues. In addition, they provide opportunities for leadership and personal development, serve as a resource for LGBTQQIA students, and create programs and services that work to eliminate heterosexism, homophobia, and gender identity oppression. They strive to develop an atmosphere of acceptance and wellbeing in which the campus community can support the academic mission of the university.

uic9.) University of Illinois Chicago – Gender and Sexuality Center
For 20 years, we have been providing UIC students, staff, faculty, and alumni and members of the Chicagoland area with dynamic programming and resources around gender identity sexual orientation and their intersections with other identities. The GSC provides education, outreach, research, and support for and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied people. They serve students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members throughout Chicago of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations through cultural events, scholarly lectures, public dialogues, and interactive trainings. They also connect students, faculty, and staff at UIC with resources, referrals, and opportunities.

uhouston10.) University of Houston
The mission of the UH LGBT Resource Center is to launch the next generation of healthy, proud, academically successful lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) citizens, leaders, and advocates. By providing support and a safe space for LGBTQ people on campus to access resources, ask questions, and make connections, we strive for them to develop a positive self-image and a sense of optimism about their future as a member of the LGBTQ community. Through visibility and education, we seek to create an environment of LGBTQ acceptance and inclusion for the entire campus community.

10 Minority Serving Institutions National Student Exchange Program Participants

Studying abroad can be an exciting, educational, empowering experience for a college student. Knowing this, the National Student Exchange (NSE) program offers inter-university exchange opportunities for students. The NSE is a unique, not-for-profit consortium of nearly 200 accredited, baccalaureate-granting colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Through NSE, these member institutions provide exchange opportunities for the multitude of undergraduate students for whom an overseas experience is not appropriate, comfortable or affordable. Established in 1968, NSE has provided exchange opportunities to more than 105,000 students. Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up highlights MSIs that participate in the NSE program.

alabama a&m u      1.) Alabama A&M University (HBCU)


utsa  2.) University of Texas at San Antonio (HSI)


u of guam      3.) University of Guam (AANAPISI)



vsu  4.) Virginia State University (HBCU)


Adams State University     5.) Adams State University (HSI)


bowie state university   6.) Bowie State University (HBCU)


university of arizona         7.) University of Arizona (HSI)


southern university       8.) Southern University (HBCU)


fiu   9.) Florida International University (HSI)


jackson state 10.) Jackson State University (HBCU)