How 4 HBCUs are Celebrating Black History Month

by Larry McDaniel Jr.

Black History Month is upon us! It is such an exciting time of the year for many colleges and universities around the nation, but especially for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Given that HBCUs were primarily established to serve African American students, it is a time to further highlight the stories, achievements, experiences, faces, and triumphs of Black Americans. Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up looks at 4 HBCUs and the events that they are hosting for Black History Month.

1) Xavier University (HBCU)—New Orleans, LA


As a part of Xavier University’s Black History Month events, they hosted two guest speakers on February 16th: Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (a professor, writer, and TV personality) and Shaun King (civil rights advocate and writer for the New York Daily News). Both spoke on controversial social and political, including police brutality, President Trump’s Administration, and race relations.

2) Howard University (HBCU)—Washington, D.C.


On February 23rd between 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Howard University will be hosting its monthly Bison Market, a fair that allows students and members of the community to showcase music, food, art, and more. This month, the fair will be appropriately themed to celebrate Black History Month.

3) Spelman College (HBCU)—Atlanta, GA


This month, ESPN W will spotlight Spelman College for its Black History Month Celebration. They will feature a story on how they discontinued their sports program five years ago in favor of the development of a wellness program. ESPN will “explore the state of the college today and the impact that redirecting the funds from athletics to wellness has had on its students.”

4) Tuskegee University (HBCU)—Tuskegee, AL


Tuskegee University has a host of Black History Month lectures laid out for the entirety of February. Some of the most noteworthy ones are: “The Importance of African-American History in the Age of Trump” by Dr. Steven A. Reich, Professor of History, James Madison University, and “Booker T. Washington and the Black Belt” by Dr. Robert Zabawa, Research Professor, College of Agriculture. For the complete list of the events, visit their online 2017 Black History Month Celebration flier.

Know how other HBCUs or MSIs are celebrating Black History Month this year? Share in the comments below!


5 Grammy Nominees that Attended an MSI

by Carol Sandoval

Last night the 59th Annual Grammy Awards took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Did you know that several of the nominees are proud MSI alumni? Check out five of these artists below, who were nominated for categories ranging from country to jazz!

1) Shirley Caesar: Shaw University (HBCU)—Raleigh, NC

Known as the “First Lady of Gospel Music,” Shirley Caesar studied Business Administration at Shaw University. She was a nominee for both Best Gospel Performance/Song and Best Gospel Album.

2) Gregory Porter: San Diego State University (HSI)—San Diego, CA

Gregory Porter attended San Diego State University, where he was also a lineman on the football team. He was a nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

3) Herb Alpert: University of Southern California (AANAPISI)—Los Angeles, CA

Nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, Herb Alpert was a member of the USC Marching Band.

4) Carrie Underwood: Northeastern State University, (NASNTI)—Tahlequah, OK

Majoring in mass communication, country superstar Carrie Underwood graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern State University. She was a nominee for Best Country Solo Performance.

5) Michael Tilson Thomas: University of Southern California (AANAPISI)—Los Angeles, CA

Michael Tilson Thomas studied piano, composition, and conducting at USC. His style and expertise has paid off, as he was a nominee for Best Orchestral Performance.

What performance from last night’s Grammys was your favorite?  Let us know in the comments below!

10 NFL Players From HBCUs

by Aisha Bowen

Super Bowl Sunday brings of food, noise, and competition to households all across the country. Interestingly, there are many NFL players from MSIs whose talent has made Super Bowl Sunday the most anticipated American pro-football game of the year. In this spirit, today’s Monday Morning Line Up highlights 10 NFL players who hail from HBCUs.

1) Robert Mathis: Alabama A&M University (HBCU) — Huntsville, AL



Mathis is a 14-year veteran of the Indianapolis Colts. He hails from the great Alabama A&M University (Source).

2) Antoine Bethea: Howard University (HBCU)—Washington, D.C.



Bethea is a graduate from Howard University in Washington, D.C. He began his NFL career in 2006 with the Indianapolis Colts. Now in his 11th season, Bethea is a Strong Safety for the San Francisco 49ers (Source).

3) Ryan Davis: Bethune-Cookman University (HBCU)—Daytona Beach, FL




Davis is a 4-year NFL veteran and graduate of Bethune-Cookman University. He began his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and currently plays linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys (Source).

4) Kendal Langford: Hampton University (HBCU)—Hampton, VA




Langford is an 8-year veteran in the NFL world. A Hampton University graduate, Langford was first drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 2008. He currently plays Defensive End for the Indianapolis Colts (Source).

5) Isaiah Crowell: Alabama State University (HBCU)—Montgomery, AL



Crowell is currently in his 3rd season as Running Back for the Cleveland Browns. Brown attended Alabama State University (Source).

6) Chris Hubert: Fayetteville State University (HBCU)—Fayetteville, NC


Chris Hubert

Chris Hubert is a 2016 Rookie NFL player for the Arizona Cardinals. He recently graduated from Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, NC (Source).

7) Deji Olatoye: North Carolina A&T University (HBCU)—Greensboro, NCnc-at


Olatoye hails from North Carolina A&T University. He is currently in his 2nd year in the NFL as a Corner Back for the Atlanta Falcons. Good luck at the Super Bowl, Deji (Source).

8) Jalen Simmons: South Carolina State University (HBCU)—Orangeburg, SC



Jalen “Scoot” Simmons is one of the many 2016 Rookie players from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Simmons is a graduate of South Carolina State University and currently a Running Back for the Carolina Panthers (Source).

 9) William Hayes: Winston Salem State University (HBCU)—Winston-Salem, NC



Hayes is currently in his 9th NFL season playing Defensive End for the Los Angeles Rams. Hayes is a graduate of Winston Salem State University in Winston-Salem, NC (Source).

10) Ryan Smith: North Carolina Central University (HBCU)—Durham, NC



Ryan Smith is originally from Augsburg, Germany, but attended North Carolina Central University. He is currently a Rookie Corner Back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Source).

Know any other NFL players who graduated from Minority Serving Institutions? Tell us in the comments below!

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!