Tag: University of Cambridge

Sonita Alleyne Elected 1st Black Master at a College of the University of Cambridge in England

Jesus College Master Soniat Alleyne (photo by Damian Paul Daniel via jesus.cam.ac.uk)

Sonita Alleyne was recently elected as master of Jesus College at the University of Cambridge in England, according to jbhe.com. The title of master is the equivalent of dean in the United States.

Alleyne will be the first woman and the first Black person to lead the college, which was established in 1496. She will also be the first Black master at either the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge.

For the 300 years from 1560 to 1860, Jesus College was primarily a training college for Church of England clergy. It experienced major growth in the last half of the nineteenth century due to growing demand for university education from the expanding Victorian professional and middle classes.

On the announcement of her election, Sonita Alleyne response is quoted from the Jesus College web page:

It is an honour to be elected to lead Jesus College and I’m looking forward to becoming part of such an energetic and innovative community. Having met many Fellows, students and staff in recent weeks, I was struck by the positive and forward-looking ethos shared across the College.

“In addition to the outstanding education, the cross-disciplinary work and evident passion for arts, culture and sport I have seen at Jesus is impressive. Supporting the work of the College to widen access and participation to all that it offers promises to be incredibly rewarding. I left Cambridge thirty years ago, but it never left me. I am delighted to be returning.

Alleyne was born in in Bridgetown, Barbados, but grew up in East London. She is the director and founder of the Yes Programme, an online careers information scheme which gives school pupils an insight into how classroom skills translate to real world careers.

Her current non-executive posts include chair of the British Board of Film Classification, director of the Cultural Capital Fund, governor of the Museum of London and member of the Skills for Londoners Business Partnership Members Group – advising the Mayor of London on improving skills provision to meet the capital’s needs.

Previous board roles include the National Employment Panel, BBC Trust, London Skills and Employment Board, chair of the Radio Sector Skills Council, non-executive director of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and member of the Court of Governors at the University of the Arts London.

Alleyne holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Cambridge.

Four African-American Students Win 2017 Marshall Scholarships

2017 African American Marshall Scholars (photos via jbhe.com)

via jbhe.com

In 1953 the Marshall Scholarship 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 three years of study at a British university, travel, living expenses, and a book allowance. Since the inception of the program, more than 1,900 Americans have studied in the United Kingdom as Marshall Scholars.

This year 43 Marshall Scholarships were given out. While the British government does not publicize the race or ethnicity of Marshall Scholars, it appears that there are four African Americans among the 43 Marshall Scholars. The four African American Marshall Scholars are in sharp contrast to the record of 10 African Americans who were among the 32 American students awarded Rhodes Scholarships this year. (See JBHE post.)

Josephine Cook is a senior neuroscience and psychology double-major at Queens College of the City University of New York. She plans to complete a Ph.D. at either Imperial College London or Brunel University, focusing on how dance therapy can be used to rehabilitate neurological disorders. Upon completing the degree and returning to the United States, she hopes to open a clinic dedicated to arts therapy and neurorehabilitation.

Kobi Felton is a senior at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where he is majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in Spanish. He will pursue a master’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge beginning in fall 2018 and then a master’s degree in nanomaterials at Imperial College London in the second year of his Marshall Scholarship.

Aasha Jackson is a 2015 graduate of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. While at Brown, Jackson served as senior editor for the Brown Human Rights Report, a student-run online publication, and co-founded the university’s chapter of She’s the First, a national nonprofit that supports girls who will be the first in their families to graduate from high school. She is now serving as a policy associate in the Office of Population and Reproductive Health at the United States Agency for International Development. Jackson plans to use her Marshall Scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in public policy at the University of Cambridge and a master’s degree in reproductive and sexual health research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Craig Stevens graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., this December with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. Currently, Stevens is an archaeological technician at AECOM, a civil engineering firm that employs archaeologists to assess construction sites prior to breaking ground. As a Marshall Scholar at University College London, he will study advanced techniques for analyzing ceramics and conducting mixed-methods research relevant to archaeological practice.

Source: https://www.jbhe.com/2017/12/four-african-americans-win-marshall-scholarships-2017/

NYU Professor and Novelist Zadie Smith to Receive Langston Hughes Medal for Writing

Zadie Smith (photo via lithub.com)

via jbhe.com

Zadie Smith, the acclaimed novelist who is a professor of creative writing at New York University, has been selected to received the Langston Hughes Medal from the City College of New York. The medal honors writers of poetry, drama, fiction, biographies, and critical essays from throughout the Black diaspora. Professor Smith will honored on November 16 at City College’s annual Langston Hughes Festival.

Previous winners of the Langston Hughes Medal include James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Walter Mosley, Gwendolyn Brooks, Octavia Butler, August Wilson, and Edwidge Danticat. Smith is the author of five novels including her latest work Swing Time (Penguin Books, 2016). She also published an essay collection Changing My Mind (Penguin Books, 2009) and writes frequently for the New Yorker magazine and the New York Review of Books.

A native of London, Professor Smith is a graduate of Kings College of the University of Cambridge. She joined the faculty at New York University in 2010.

Source: Zadie Smith of New York University to Receive the Langston Hughes Medal : The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

University Of Manchester Student Is Britain’s Top Black Graduate

A University of Manchester PhD student and budding entrepreneur has today been named as the most outstanding black student in Britain.

Edwin Broni-Mensah

Edwin Broni-Mensah, a 25-year old who created his first computer game at the age of seven and now runs his own company, was selected from a shortlist of 200 people.  Edwin, studying for an Applied Maths PhD as well as running his innovative refillable water bottle company GiveMeTap, topped the list by Future Leaders magazine, sponsored by Barclays Capital, Deloitte and the University of Cambridge.

The shortlist features 100 graduates in total, all who have balanced good academic grades with impressive achievements outside of their studies.  Edwin is a shining example of this, having set up a company which encourages local businesses to offer free refills of water to anyone carrying a distinctive GiveMeTap bottle.  The firm then sends 70% of its profits to help support water projects in African regions where it’s needed most.

Currently, Give Me Tap is supporting the All4One Namibia Water Project to provide clean water to 1,200 people in that Kalahari area of the southern African country.  The aim is to reduce the number of plastic bottles in landfill sites. Edwin has already managed to build up a network of over 43 restaurants and eateries as outlets in Manchester and, recently, Salford as well.  Edwin now plans to recruit more outlets across Greater Manchester and the rest of the country, and is also hoping to offer GiveMeTap’s services at the 2012 Olympics.

Born in Edmonton, North London, Edwin hopes after completing his PhD to work full-time on GiveMeTap.  He said he was delighted to receive such impressive recognition for his achievements.  Edwin added: “I am extremely delighted and feel very honoured at being recognised as one of the Future Leaders. I was overjoyed at being named number one for on such a prestigious list; and my parents were excited too.”

“What gives me the most pleasure is being in a position where I can meet and inspire young people to pursue their dreams as literally anything is possible, and the people in Future Leaders list prove that.”  “Looking forward, I would love the opportunity to speak with leading eateries chains so that I can expand GiveMeTap into every city across the UK, in order to fund our chosen water projects in Africa.”

Edwin was selected by a panel of judges after a rigorous process that included contacting every university in the country and formal interviews with all those on the shortlist.  Edwin’s first-class degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, which led to him being awarded a straight scholarship to study his PhD, impressed judges immensely, as did the fact that he managed to achieve all this while running his own bourgeoning business.

Martin Henery, entrepreneurship lecturer at Manchester Business School, said: “Edwin’s entrepreneurial spark was clear from the outset – it’s rare to work with someone who combines the ability to make things happen with such original thinking.  “Give MeTap is one of those concepts that nearly everyone can see the value of straight away, but it’s really tough to make happen. It needs true vision and tenacity to stick with it and see it through to the end goal.”

The 100 students will all be honoured on September 6th, at a prestigious reception at the House of Lords hosted by Lord Victor Adebowale.

via manchester.ac.uk