July 21, 2022

2 Hinds Utica Campus students named HBCU scholars

"The HBCU Scholars have dedicated themselves to their learning and exemplify the talent that our nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities have nurtured for generations," said U.S. Secretary of Education…
BY: Cathy Hayden

Two Hinds Community College students on the Utica Campus are among 86 nationally who were named in the ninth cohort for HBCU scholars.

The two Hinds students are Lauren-Kelli Gatlin of Jackson, formerly of Terry, and Elizabeth Moss of Waynesboro. They were selected by the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities for their accomplishments in academics, leadership, civic engagement and much more.

Both are actively involved at the Utica Campus, including in the STEM-UP Academy, the robotics team and as co-presidents of the Alpha Beta Xi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. The Hinds CC UC3T STEM-UP Initiative is sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation and is designed to increase the number of minority students who complete Associate Degrees on our Utica Campus and who are prepared to pursue a B.S. degree in STEM areas at four-year institutions. Introducing students to STEM research.

Gatlin said attending classes at an HBCU is important to her. “I wanted a college experience where I can be surrounded by people with similar backgrounds and cultural experiences,” she said. “I chose the Utica campus because of the hospitality that I was presented with on campus. Although it is a small campus, it was very welcoming for an incoming first-year student. I also knew that my educational experience would be better because of the smaller classes and the advantage of getting to know my teachers one on one.”

Moss said she wanted to be a part of the STEM-UP program. “The computer science/cybersecurity courses provided at this institute will prepare me for my next academic steps in life,” she said.

HBCU Scholars are invited to the 2022 HBCU Week National Annual Conference, on Sept. 20-23 in Washington, D.C. During the conference, they will participate in sessions designed to engage a spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation, and personal and professional development. Most importantly, scholars will have opportunities to engage with one another and showcase their individual and collective talent.

Currently enrolled at 56 of the nation’s HBCU’s, the scholars were selected from a competitive pool of over 350 students. Applications also required the signature of their HBCU president or designated HBCU faculty, adding a level of prestige to this application process.

“The HBCU Scholars have dedicated themselves to their learning and exemplify the talent that our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities have nurtured for generations,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The Biden-Harris administration is committed to supporting these leaders and I cannot wait to learn from them while they serve as ambassadors for the White House Initiative and their institutions.”

Over the course of an academic school year, HBCU Scholars will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative on HBCUs. They will be offered training and cross-university networking opportunities. Scholars will also have an opportunity to work on issues specifically related to the HBCU community and participate in national and regional events with professionals from a wide range of disciplines.

A key feature of the HBCU Scholar Program is a partnership with NASA to foster innovation and opportunity for the cohorts. This partnership with NASA makes the Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Innovation Tech Transfer Idea Competition (MITTIC), “Mini MITTIC” part of the HBCU Scholar Program. Through the Mini MITTIC program students will partner in developing ideas to commercialize technology derived from NASA intellectual property. Scholars will have the opportunity to present their IP ideas during the National HBCU Week Conference in September.

Program events are designed to enhance HBCU Scholars professional development and create post-graduation opportunities within non-profit, business, and federal agency partners to ensure that as a nation we remain globally competitive.