Erica Harris was among 83 students from the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) named a top achiever by The White House.

Harris, a sophomore studying physical education, was named earlier this semester to the 2015 HBCU All-Stars by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Erica Harris

Erica Harris

As part of the honor, Harris participated in this year’s White House HBCU Conference Sept. 21-22 in Washington, D.C.

“It’s been a pleasure to be an All-Star and I had a wonderful time,” Harris said. “We met with Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke to us about how we all need to come together as a whole.”

Harris, of Edwards, said the spirit of teamwork on the Utica Campus is what she’ll take away from her Hinds experience, as she plans to attend Alcorn State University next year.

“It’s been wonderful,” Harris said. “I’m happy I picked Hinds to come to school. The people help out a lot.”

“Erica displays scholarship, service and leadership on and off campus,” said Dr. Mitchell Shears, academic dean for the Utica Campus. “We are proud that she was able to elevate to the top tier of the over 450 applications that were submitted.

Chances to share ideas with other scholars and professionals is a shared objective between initiative leaders and individual HBCUs.

“It’s opportunities like this that validates our mission,” said Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson, vice president for the Utica and Vicksburg Warren campuses. “It is great to be able to provide students with an opportunity to be exposed to once-in-a-lifetime events and programs.”

HBCU All-Stars serve as ambassadors of the White House initiative by providing outreach and communication with fellow students on the value of education and the initiative’s role as a networking resource. Through social media and their relationships with community based organizations, the All-Stars will share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential.

In addition to attending the conference, Harris and other All-Stars will take part in various national events and web chats with professionals from a range of disciplines.

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