Sjohnna McCray, an adjunct instructor in the department of English at Savannah State University in Georgia, has been selected to receive the 2015 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. The award, established in 1975, honors a poet of “exceptional promise” who has not yet published a book of poetry.
As the winner of the Walt Whitman Award, McCray will have his collection of poems entitled Rapture published by Graywolf Press in 2016. He will also receive an all-expenses-paid six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy.
McCray is a native of Cincinnati and is a graduate of Ohio University. He earned a master’s degree at Teachers College of Columbia University and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Virginia.
(L to R) Ronald Allen, Keith Hawkins, and Jacob Tzegaegbe
In 1953 the Marshall Scholarships program was established by an act of the British Parliament. Funded by the British government, the program is a national gesture of thanks to the American people for aid received under the Marshall Plan, the U.S.-financed program that led to the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. The scholarships provide funds for up to two years of study at a British university, and include money for travel, living expenses, and books. Applicants must earn a degree at an American college or university with a minimum of a 3.7 grade point average. The Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission is authorized to award up to 40 scholarships each year. This year 34 scholarships were awarded. It appears from JBHE research, that three of the 34 winners are African Americans.
Ronald Allen is a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He will be commissioned into the Marine Corps in May. A native of Seattle, he plans to study for a master’s degree in public policy at King’s College in London.
Keith Hawkins is a senior at Ohio University in Athens. He is an astrophysics major in the university’s Honors Tutorial College. Last summer he spent time conducting research at Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii. He will pursue a Ph.D. in astronomy at Cambridge University. An avid bicyclist, he routinely bikes 50 to 60 miles each weekend.
Jacob Tzegaegbe is a 2011 graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in civil engineering. This May he will earn a master’s degree in civil engineering. His research focused on bus rapid transit systems in African cities. With his Marshall Scholarship, he will pursue a Ph.D. in planning studies at University College London.