5 Ways AANAPISIs Celebrated the Lunar New Year

by Jillian Cener

Happy Lunar New Year!  While you may know it as Chinese New Year, the celebration that just took place this past Saturday, January 28th, is more accurately referred to as Lunar New Year. It is a time of traditions, festivities, and celebrating the new year based on the lunar calendar. Check out how these 5 Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) celebrated Lunar New Year in today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up.

1) University of California at Irvine – Irvine, CA


UC Irvine will be hosting a variety of events on Monday, January 30th to celebrate the year of the rooster. Events include a street fair, parade, musical performances, and fireworks.

2) CUNY Hunter College – New York, NY


One of CUNY Hunter’s cultural partners, the Asia Society, hosted an event, “Moon Over Manhattan!” this past Saturday.  Perfect for the whole family, this festival included performances, arts and crafts, and demonstrations.

3) De Anza College – Cupertino, CA


De Anza College will be hosting the El Camino Youth Symphony’s seventh annual concert in celebration of the Lunar New Year. Attendees can enjoy both musical and dance performances on Saturday, February 4th.

 4) University of Hawaii at Manoa – Honolulu, HI


David Lassner, Interim Chancellor of UH Manoa, helped celebrate the beginning of the Lunar New Year on Friday, January 27th. He welcomed the Gee Yung Dragon & Lion Dance Association to a lawn on campus as they put on a traditional Lion Dance.

5) St. Catherine University – St. Paul, MN


St. Catherine University hosted the world premiere of “Keepsakes: A Chinese Love Story” this past weekend. Audiences were treated to a spectacle of Chinese dance, acrobatics, rituals, and art in celebration of the new year.

How did you celebrate the Lunar New Year?  Tell us in the comments below!

Mentoring at Minority Serving Institutions

by Tania Irwin

In 2017 and the years that follow, institutions must dedicate their efforts to the recruitment and retention of a more diverse student population. Mentoring is a retention strategy that uses institutional resources to establish connections between prospective, current, and alumni students. Through mentoring relationships, students receive support, learning experiences, and networking opportunities that better prepare them for life after college. In light of Mentoring Awareness Month, today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up highlights minority serving institutions with premier mentoring programs.

1) CUNY Hunter College (AANAPISI)—Manhattan, NY


At Hunter College, the mentoring program pairs Hunter alumni with students who are looking for educational advice, career guidance, and life lessons. Using real-world experiences and personal testimonies, Hunter graduates give students advice in areas ranging from the most efficient studying techniques and decision-making skills to interview preparation and professional development. Hunter alumni are fantastic role models dedicated to grooming future Hunter alumni. Show them how it’s done, Hunter!

For more information, please visit their website.

2) Roxbury Community College (PBI)—Roxbury Crossing, MA


The Mentoring for Success (MFS) program at Roxbury Community College strives to empower students to achieve academic success. The program mostly serves first-generation students in supporting their academic goals. MFS encourages students to reach their full academic and professional potential while exposing them to helpful resources and support. The program’s goal is that participating students develop professional tools and maintain excellent academic standing. Strive for excellence, Roxbury. We support you!

For more information, please visit their website.

3) Claflin University (HBCU)—Orangeburg, SC


Panthers at Work (PAW) is a mentoring program at Claflin committed to establishing relationships between current and alumni students. Through their participation, students will gain assistance and experience in areas like determining their major, finding internships, initiating their job search, and resume building. PAW gives current students a head start on life after college and alumni students a chance to give back to their alma mater. We see you, Claflin!

For more information, please visit their website.


4) California State University at Bakersfield (HSI)—Bakersfield, CA


In the International Students Mentoring Program at CSUB, students, faculty and staff work hard to ensure that international students find their space on campus. International students that participate in the program can expect to receive better information about campus and events; a sense of belonging, personal relationships with faculty and staff members; as well as less formal environment to ask questions and seek help. Moreover, students have the opportunity to build close-knit relationships with other students. Keep it up CSUB!

For more information, please visit their website.

5) University of North Carolina at Pembroke (NASNTI)—Pembroke, NC


The Transfer Transition Peer Mentor Program is dedicated to helping transfer students adapt to life at UNCP. Many of the peer mentors were once transfer students themselves and therefore well-versed about the needs of transfer students: as a result, mentors can share their knowledge about campus life and about student resources. This program is rare in that it ensures a smooth transition for transfer students and makes them feel right at home. Way to go, UNCP!

For more information, please visit their website.

Know of other mentoring programs at Minority Serving Institutions? Share them with us in the comments below!



Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. at 5 MSIs

by Carol Sandoval

These five Minority Serving Institutions have created days of celebration in honor of one of the most important activists in history: Martin Luther King, Jr. Through music performances, community service events, and award ceremonies, the spirit of service is visible among these campuses.

1) Tuskegee University (HBCU)—Tuskegee, AL

Faith Week at Tuskegee University is a week dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. This week includes days of worship, keynote speakers, a panel of community leaders, and a banquet. Faith Week encourages unity among the Tuskagee campus as the events are open to people of all faiths.

Read more about it here.

2) Spelman College (HBCU)—Atlanta, GA

For this special day of service, Spelman College will be assembling school supply kits for several elementary and middle schools in West Atlanta. This organized event will greatly impact and empower local communities.

Sign up to volunteer here.

3) Western New Mexico University (HSI)—Silver City, NM

Each year, Western New Mexico University honors an outstanding community member who exemplifies the character and values of Martin Luther King, Jr. The ceremony is then followed by music performances.

Read more about it here.

4) Claflin University (HBCU)—Orangeburg, SC


Claflin University also organizes a full week’s worth of events in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. The week of service is comprised of a blood drive, a clothes drive, and other community service events.

Read more about it here.

5) University of Maryland, College Park (AANAPISI)—College Park, MD


The University of Maryland at College Park is hosting the 26th Annual celebration on January 14, 2017. The event begins with opening prayers and concludes with African storytelling and tribal drumming.

RSVP for the festivities here.

Know of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations at other Minority Serving Institutions? Share them in the comments below!

7 Golden Globes 2017 Nominees who Attended MSIs

by Jillian Cener

Last night was the start of the Awards Show Season with the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards, hosted by Jimmy Fallon. From beautiful red carpet looks to funny introductions to memorable acceptance speeches, the Globes was certainly a night of celebration. Today’s Monday Morning MSI celebrates seven nominees from last night’s awards who attended Minority Serving Institutions.In fact, though none of the nominees took home the award, four of the nominees on this list were nominated in the same category.

(We acknowledge that, while the nominations were more diverse this year than in years past, the majority of MSI alumni on our list are white.)

1) Jessica Chastain: Sacramento City College (AANAPISI/HSI)—Sacramento, CA


Jessica Chastain attended Sacramento City College, where she was involved with the institution’s theater program and debate team. She was nominated in the category of “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” for her role in Miss Sloane, a movie about a powerful D.C. lobbyist who is determined to do all that it takes to win.

2) Annette Bening: San Diego Mesa College (HSI)—San Diego, CA


Annette Bening attended San Diego Mesa College for two years, where she was in the theater program. She was nominated in the category of “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy” for her role in 20th Century Women, a movie about three women exploring Southern California in the 1970s.

3) Lily Collins: University of Southern California (AANAPISI)—Los Angeles, CA


Lily Collins attended the University of Southern California. She was nominated in the category of “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy” for her role in Rules Don’t Apply, a love story set in the year 1958 in Hollywood.

4) Dustin O’Halloran: Santa Monica College (AANAPISI/HSI)—Santa Monica, CA


Dustin O’Halloran attended Santa Monica College. He was nominated in the category of “Best Original Score – Motion Picture” for his work alongside Hasuchka in Lion, a movie about a lost boy from Calcutta, India who seeks to find his family later on in his adult life.

5) Anthony Anderson: Howard University (HBCU)—Washington, DC


Anthony Anderson attended Howard University, graduating in 1993 with a degree in theater arts. He was nominated in the category of “Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy” for his role in Black-ish, a television series about a Black family living in a mostly white community.

6) Nick Nolte: Pasadena City College (AANAPISI/HSI)—Pasadena, CA & Phoenix College (HSI)—Phoenix, AZ


Nick Nolte attended both Pasadena City College and Phoenix College, two Minority Serving Institutions! Nominated in the same category as fellow MSI attendee Anthony Anderson, Nolte was nominated in the category of “Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy” for his role in Graves, a television series about a former president looking back on his time in office twenty years later.

7) Bryan Cranston: Los Angeles Valley College (HSI)—Los Angeles, CA


Bryan Cranston attended Los Angeles Valley College. He was nominated in the category of “Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television” for his role in All The Way, a television movie about President Lyndon Johnson’s first year in office.

Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners! Did you tune in last night? What was your favorite part of the Globes? Let us know in the comments below!


5 HBCUs with New Year’s Resolutions

by Tania Irwin

As 2016 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the year. With a rise in enrollment numbers and the inclusion of HBCUs and minority serving institutions in the Democratic Party platform, the future is bright for HBCUs. Like the rose that grew from concrete, HBCUs were built to stand in times of adversity and are doing just that. As 2017 draws near, we thought it best to highlight a handful of historically Black colleges and universities that are kicking down barriers for the New Year. The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions supports you!

1) Morgan State University (HBCU)—Baltimore, MD 


Morgan State University officials recently announced the launch of a $250 million capital campaign, designed to support the university’s strategic vision of student access, community revitalization and campus expansion. In the words of President David Wilson, “Next year, 2017, marks a historic milestone in Morgan’s history: the 150th anniversary of the University’s founding. It is a time for reflection on our past and to look forward to our future, a future we believe will be made brighter with the success of this fundraising effort.” Good luck, Bears!

Read the full story here.

2) North Carolina Central University (HBCU)—Durham, NC


North Carolina Central University received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Federal TRIO Programs office to establish a new Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) within the Division of Student Affairs. Expected to open this spring, the new center will provide “counseling and resource information on secondary school reentry and entry into alternative education programs for secondary school dropouts, along with guidance to qualified adults on the college admissions and financial aid processes.”

Read the full story here.

3) Clark Atlanta University (HBCU)—Atlanta, GA 


In 2009, only 2 percent of 5,000+ Ph.D.’s earned in material science were awarded to Black students. Consequently, Clark Atlanta University has been devoted to rectifying this deficit. Since the establishment of the Center for Functional Nanoscale Materials in 2006, CAU has produced 21 Black Ph.D.’s, accounting for the most Black Ph.D.’s in material science than that of any other HBCU or any higher education institution. These Ph.D. recipients go on to earn at least six-figure salaries working in some of the top research labs in the country. But it doesn’t stop there. Moving forward, one of the goals of the CFNM is to annually graduate 10 Black Ph.D. students by 2021. You can do it, CAU!

Read the full story here.

4) North Carolina Agricultural &Technological University (HBCU)—Greensboro, NC


In recent news, four NCAT students are the winners of Black Enterprise Magazine’s TechConneXt Summit BE SMART hack-a-thon. Angelica Willis, Brandon Long, Ashana Evans and Jean Beya are the masterminds behind ‘Let’s Go Black: Where Culture Meets Adventure One Road at a Time,’ a mobile app allowing users to geo-target Black-owned businesses along their travel routes, placing them at the center of STEM innovation. BY elevating Black business, this app can enhance the Black middle class and cultivate Black legislative power. Angelica Willis, a member of the winning team stated, “In the next 20 years, minorities will become the majority in the United States, and in order for tech companies to remain relevant, they will need to adapt to the diversity of their customers by diversifying their workforce.” That’s what we call Aggie Pride!

Read the full story here.

5) Wiley College (HBCU)—Marshall, TX 


Wiley College will receive $1 million over five years to implement its “Your Career Starts Now” program. ‘Your Career Starts Now’ is an initiative designed to implement programs that improve employment outcomes for graduates. The goals of the program include: strengthening Wiley’s career preparatory infrastructure, “increasing positive outcomes for students and their families and enhancing the College’s reputation for producing graduates who are ready to compete, lead, and achieve in the workforce.” With a new emphasis being placed on post-secondary degrees in the job market, we are excited to see Wiley take the labor force by storm.

Read the full story here.

Honorable Mention: United Negro College Fund

Because more than half of recent African American college graduates are underemployed and 12 percent are unemployed, UNCF announced that 24 colleges and universities will receive five-year grants totaling $35.3 million to implement programs to improve employment outcomes for their graduates. Made possible through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative is a program geared toward historically Black colleges and universities and predominantly Black institutions to enhance career readiness and increase employment opportunities for students.

Know of any other HBCUs with great plans for 2017? Share in the comments below!