5 STEM Partnerships at HBCUs

by Aisha Bowen

According to the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau, African Americans make up only 11% of the total STEM workforce in 2011. Interestingly, HBCUs are some of the most effective leaders in closing this gap in STEM representation. Many HBCUs are closing this gap by partnering with organizations and universities outside of their network. Thus, Today’s MSI Monday Morning Line-Up highlights 5 STEM partnerships at HBCUs that are providing enhanced opportunities for African American students.

1) Shaw University (HBCU)—Raleigh, NC



Shaw University has a unique partnership with North Carolina State University in the field of ecology. Shaw’s assistant professors of biology, Dr. Dunn and Dr. Eric Butler, have partnered with NCSU’s  world renown ecology professor, Dr. Robb Dunn. With the support of National Science Foundation funding, Shaw University ecology students have the opportunity to study at the Robb Dunn ecology lab.

2) Howard University (HBCU)—Washington, DC

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Howard University created a very innovative partnership with Google to advance diversity within the technology field. Together, Google and Howard University have created the “Howard West” residency program black computer science majors. Eligible juniors and seniors attend Howard West for three months at a time and are instructed by both senior Google engineers and Howard University faculty.

3) Tuskegee University (HBCU)—Tuskegee, AL



Tuskegee University recently established a partnership with Chevron Corporation (located in San Ramon, California), one of the world’s top integrated energy companies, to support multiple, scholarship, academic,  and co-curricular programs in Tuskegee’s College of Engineering. Chevron’s support will provide technological resources (computers, printers, etc), academic scholarships for mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering students, and financially support students in Tuskegee’s eight-week FASTREC summer program that offers intensive, pre-college study in mathematics, engineering and study skills. Click here to learn about this innovative partnership.

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



Morgan State University has partnered with the NASA Science Engineering Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEEMA) create opportunities for historically underserved K-12 youth in the areas of STEM. The Baltimore SEEMA program is hosted at Morgan State University and is open to all K-12 Maryland students. Baltimore SEMAA program provides hands-on/inquiry-based K-12 curriculum aligned with the National Math, Science, and Technology standards. Learn more about this ground breaking community based STEM partnership here.

5) Bennett College (HBCU)—Greensboro, NC


Bennett College is one of 8 HBCUs partnered with Indiana University for their IU-MSI STEM Initiative. This research and academic partnership between IU and multiple Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) “promotes and develops the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines” (indiana.edu). The  IU-MSI STEM Initiative is an academic and research partnership between Indiana University and multiple Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) that promotes and develops the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. Interestingly, the program was created in 2007 by Dr. Adam Herbert, the first African-American president of Indiana University. A few of Dr. Herbert’s goal with this initiative was to increase IU’s diversity, and “enhance HBCU STEM students’ capacities by leveraging IU’s resources” (indiana.edu). Bennett College’s partnership is specifically enhancing the experiences of women of color in STEM. Learn more about this initiative here.

Do you know HBCU STEM Partnerships? Share in the comments below!

6 Competitive Higher Education/Higher Education Administration Degrees at MSIs

by Kelly C. Lewis

Teachers are important to every community; they contribute to each aspect of society and their influence to touch all our lives is unprecedented. The role of a teacher doesn’t stop after the K-12 system. When student graduate out of secondary education, it is role of the student affairs employees, campus administrators, upper level administrations job to ensure students learning continues. A degree in higher education prepares students for the profession of becoming a faculty or staff member in a college or university. These programs generally equip students with the knowledge and skills in areas of college teaching, human development, campus environments, governance, and educational leadership. This week post features 6 Competitive Higher Education Programs from MSIs.

*the numbers do not coincide with competitive rankings

1) Florida International University (HSI)—Miami, FL


Florida International University offers two advanced degree options in the realm of higher education. Students can choose between a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration or a doctoral program in Higher Education. Both programs are designed to   prepare graduates to serve in a variety of roles at colleges and universities. The master’s program requires 36 credit hours. As an added bonus, the GRE is not a requirement for the M.S. in Higher Education Administration Program.

2) CUNY Bernard M Baruch College (AANAPISI)—Manhattan, NY


CUNY Bernard M Baruch College offers a Master of Science in Degree in Higher Education Administration program. This program is designed for individuals interested in careers as administrators, directors, managers, and experts of college campuses programs and services.  The MS in Education Higher Education Administration applicants are required to submit official GRE scores, but may request a waiver within the application. To qualify for the waiver is contingent up successful completion of a Master’s program or a strong undergraduate academic record. There is a 39-credit requirement, however 3 credits are internship based. Additionally, there is a part-time option.

3) Georgia Southern University (PBI)—Statesboro, GA


Georgia Southern University’s Master of Education in Higher Education Administration program will prepare you for any tertiary institution, rather than 2 or 4 years, public or private, comprehensive or proprietary.  This 36-credit program emphasizes human development, governance, finance, law, and research. Official GRE scores are required in the admission process. Georgia Southern University also offers a Doctor of Education in Educational leadership in P-12 and Higher Education.

4) Northeastern State University (NASNTI)—Tahlequah, OK


Northeastern State University Master of Science in Higher Education Leadership is designed to provide leaders with essential knowledge and skills to become leaders in college and university settings. Graduates of this program will have the opportunity to seek employment in tribal and global organizations.  Northern State University requires the GRE for admission. 16 hours of graduate course work and a master thesis/ capstone/research paper is required.

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


University of Maryland—College Park offers two higher education based programs. Students have the opportunity to choose between the masters in Higher Education or Student Affairs. Also, their International Education Policy program offers a focus of PK-Higher education. Although you select your concentration, students have the ability to take elective classes from all concentrations. This allows each student to have a unique degree tailored to their interest and future career goals. The GRE is a program specific requirement.

6) The University Of Southern California (AANAPISI)—Los Angeles, CA


The University of Southern California’s (USC) Higher education programs is consistently ranked in the top 10 by U.S.News & World Report. Applicants can choose between a Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy, Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration, or Masters in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs (PASA). PASA prepares graduates for various roles within a university and college setting. Students must complete 26 units of core classes, 9 elective units, 3 fieldwork units, and complete a seminar or thesis for 3 or 4 units. GRE scores are required. Additionally, USC waives the $90 application fee for students who meet certain eligibility criteria.

Do you know any other Competitive Higher Education Programs at MSIs? Share in the comments below!


4 Prestigious HBCU Choirs

by Kevin Lamár Peterman

Spirituals, anthems, and soul stirring melodies are amongst the cultural gifts African Americans have given to the world. The unique sound crossed the atlantic and arrived in North America along with an oppressed  group of people who despite their pain made the choice to sing in a strange land. These tones of sorrow and joy followed them from plantations to halls of academia. Music is at the heart of the Black College experience. There is nothing more angelic or sacred than the sound of an Historically Black College or University (HBCU) choir. For more than a century the descendants of enslaved Africans have provided the nation with a sense of hope, joy and liberator jubilation through their music. This weeks MSI Line Up highlights four collegiate ensmebles that continue the musical legacy of HBCUs.

1) The Fisk Jubilee Singers—Nashville, Tennessee


The Fisk Jubilee Singes were first assembled at Fisk University in 1871. George L. White, a Fisk University  administrator and professor of music, commissioned the ensemble in effort to raise funds for the university, which was in the midst of a financial crisis at the time of the choir’s founding. The choir’s first eighteen-month tour raised nearly $40,000 for the univeristy. This brought the institution international recognition and earned the choir  prominence in the music industry. The sound of Fisk becameThe Fisk Jubilee Singers were instrumental in making “Negro Spirituals” a mainstream genre of American music. Their classical style group has performed throughout the United States.

2) The Morehouse College Glee Club—Atlanta, Georgia


The  Morehouse College Glee Club was founded in 1911 on the campus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. The all-male vocal ensemble is comprised of freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors who desire to express their musical gifts through song. The choir is known for their riveting performances that bring audience to their feet. The Glee Club has performed at the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr., the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter and the 1996 Summer Olympics. The ensemble is currently under the direction of Dr. David Morrow.

3) The Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University—Washington, D.C.


The Howard Gospel Choir is the nation’s oldest collegiate gospel choir of it’s kind. The choir was founded in Washington, DC on the campus of Howard University in 1968. Each year, the choir travels throughout the United States and most recently has made appearances in Denmark, Italy, Montenego, Slovakia and Sweden. The Choir has sang at the Washington National Cathedral, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and the White House as the special guest of former presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. Notable alumni of the choir include music giants such as Richard Smallwood, Elbertina “Twinkie Clark, Angela Winbush, and Clifton Ross. In 2016, the choir most recent recording album, Glorious God was nominated for two Stellar Awards.

4) The Morgan State University Choir—Baltimore, MD


The Morgan State University Choir is one of the nation’s most prestigious musical ensembles. For decades the choir has mesmerized audiences with a diverse repertoire that includes classical music, gospel music, jazz and R&B. The choir has produced several audio recordings and traveled extensively throughout the United States, the Virgin Islands, the Canary Islands, Canada, Africa, Asia and Europe. Comprised of approximately 120 voices, the Morgan State University Choir is currently under the direction of Dr. Eric Conway.


6 Entrepreneurship Programs at MSIs

by Aisha Bowen

Some of the country’s most promising and innovative minds exist at colleges and universities across the country. Interestingly, some countries across the nation have come to this realization and created space for students to develop their entrepreneurial skills. Today’s MSI Monday Morning Line Up highlights 6 MSIs with dynamic entrepreneurship programming.

1) San Diego State University (AANAPISI)San Diego, CA

San Diego

San Diego State University’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is a leader in developing student’s entrepreneurial talent through hands on learning experiences. The Center’s  annual VentureStart competition allows teams of student entrepreneurs to develop a business model that exemplifies the students’ “ability to pivot in response to customer input and interaction” (lavincenter.sdsu.edu). In addition to a cash prize, the top three teams get the opportunity to network and receive mentorship from with the world’s top entrepreneurs, potential partners and even investors. Learn more about SDSU’s  Lavin Entrepreneurship Center here.

2) Rust College (HBCU)Holly Springs, MS


Rust College


Rust College is one of six HBCU’s in the delta region that recently received a grant to help expand entrepreneurship programming for students and residents of the local community. Funding partners, The Delta Regional Authority and Allen Entrepreneurial Institute, created this program to address the gap in entrepreneurship in local communities and advance the delta’s region’s “entrepreneurial ecosystem”. Partnered HBCUs received support services “to host a two-day technical assistance and rapid acceleration workshop that teaches both aspiring and advanced student entrepreneurs about skills and resources needed to launch and scale their businesses” (dra.gov). Learn more about specific entrepreneurial programs at Rust College here.

3) Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus (HSI)Roswell, NM

Roswell College Logo

Eastern New Mexico University, Roswell helps develop students’ entrepreneurial skills through a community partnership with the New Mexico Small Business Development Center (NM SBDC). The organization has an office on ENM Roswell’s campus and fosters community based development through “entrepreneurship education and business assistance activities” (roswell.enmu.edu). Learn more about the great work the New Mexico Small Business Development Center is doing to train up entrepreneurial community leaders here.

4) Florida International University (HSI)Miami, FL



Florida International University helps connect students with unique entrepreneurial opportunities through the entrepreneurship center–The Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center. Through education programs, business competitions,  network events, and much more, FIU connects aspiring student entrepreneurs with contacts and resources needed to start up new ideas. Interestingly, the Pino Entrepreneurship Center also invests in existing family firms and supports their growth for the sake of South Florida’s economic vitality. Learn more about the amazing work FIU and The Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center do to develop student entrepreneurs here.

5) East Central University (NASNTI)Ada, OK


East Central Universtiy

East Central University  supports students in entrepreneurial endeavors through both academic and practical means. The university’s school of business offers an entrepreneurship concentration that discusses topics such as “business plans, the value chain, revenue models, venture capital, technology, new venture growth, and harvesting the new venture” (ecok.edu). In addition to course work, the School of Business’s Wilburn L. Smith Center for Entrepreneurship offers business plan development support for aspiring student entrepreneurs and mentorship opportunities for students and experienced entrepreneurs in the community. Learn more about how the Wilburn L. Smith Center for Entrepreneurship is development student skills here.

6) Clayton State University (PBI)Morrow, GA


Clayton State University

Interestingly, Clayton State University’s entrepreneurial support programs exists through partnership with the University of Georgia. UGA established the UGA Small Business Development Center at Clayton State University to “provide economic development assistance for small businesses with no-cost consulting services and low cost educational programs” (clayton.edu). Experienced personnel offer support in the following areas: updating business plans, identifying sources of capital, setting up record keeping systems and analyzing financial records, conducting specialized research, creating marketing strategies, and much more. Learn more about the great work Clayton State University is doing to support aspiring entrepreneurs here.

6 African American Women Presidents at MSIs

by Kelly Lewis

2017 was a year filled of #BlackGirlMagic. Black Girl Magic is a term used to illustrate the collective awesomeness of black women. Throughout last year we watched the fierceness of Serena Williams and Simone Bliss dominate sports, Ava DuVernay shock the world of directing, and Senator Maxine Waters’ reclaim her time as a member of U.S. Congress. In the spirit of celebrating #BlackGirlMagic and Black women’s efforts, today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up highlights Black Female presidents serving at Minority Serving Institution.

1) Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis: Benedict College (HBCU)—Columbia, SC

070317_Roslyn_ArtisDr. Roslyn Clark Artis is a rising star among college presidents. She first made history by becoming the first president in of Florida Memorial University in 2014. Less than three years later, she is once again making history as the first woman President of Benedict College. Dr. Artis brings her law expertise and Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University to the higher education sector.

2) Brenda Thames: West Hills College Coalinga (HSI)— Coalinga, CA


Brenda Thames began her duties as West Hill College Coalinga’s President in February 2017. President Thames was trained by some of the nation’s top institutions and brings 20 years of experience in the higher education sectors. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Sociology and Social Welfare from University of California— Berkeley, a Master of Arts degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from USC. In addition to her credentials, she served as a Vice President of Instruction at Modesto Junior College, Completed the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management, and was an Aspen Presidential Fellow for Community College Excellence.

3) Dr. Aminta Hawkins Breaux: Bowie State University (HBCU)—Bowie, MD


Dr. Aminta Hawkins succeeds former president, Dr. Mickey L. Burnim, by becoming the first female president at Bowie State University. Prior to this presidency, President Breaux formerly served as Vice President for Advancement at Millersville University in Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Executive Management and the American Association for State Colleges and Universities Millennium Leadership Institute. President Breaux holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Temple University, a master’s degree in Psychological Services in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Temple University.

4) Dr. Ruth Simmons: Prairie View A&M University (HBCU)—Prairie View, Texas 


Dr. Ruth Simmons made history in 2001 by becoming the first African-American and first female president of an Ivy League Institution– Brown University. Dr. Simmons has served as a Dean, Vice Provost, Provost, and President of several universities and is currently the Interim President of Prairie View A&M University. Dr. Simmons is a graduate of Dillard university and Harvard’s Doctoral Roman Languages and Literature program.

5) Soraya M. Coley: California State Polytechnic University-Pomona (AANAPISI/HSI)—Pomona, California


Prior to becoming the sixth president of Cal Poly Pomona in January 2015, Dr. Soraya Coley has had more than 20 years of experience in higher education. Before her arrival to Cal Poly Pomona, President Coley served as Provost and Vice president for Academic Affairs and Interim Vice President for University Advancement for 7 years at a host of different universities. President Coley has also served as a Professor and Department Chair, College Dean, and Administrative Fellow. Coley earned a bachelor’s in sociology from Lincoln University before obtaining a master’s in social planning and social research from Bryn Mawr. She later acquired a Ph.D. in social planning and policy from Bryn Mawr. 

6) Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell: Spelman College (HBCU)—Atlanta, GA


Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell became the 10th president of Spelman College in 2015. Prior to arriving to this historical Liberal arts college for women of African descent, she ran the prestigious Tisch School of Arts at New York University (NYU) for over two decades. President Campbell has been appointed Vice Chair of the Committee on the Arts and Humanities under the Obama administrations, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and currently sits on the boards for many prominent foundations. Dr. Campbell received a bachelor’s of art degree from Swarthmore College, a master’s of art in art history, and Ph.D. in Humanities from Syracuse University.

Do you know any other Black women who serve as presidents at MSIs? Share in the comments below!