The board of trustees of Whittier College in California, has chosen Linda Oubré as the educational institution’s fifteenth president. When she takes office on July 1, Dr. Oubré will be the first African American and the first person of color to serve as president of Whittier College.
Whittier College, located east of Los Angeles, enrolls about 1,600 undergraduate students and approximately 450 graduate students, according to the latest statistics supplied to the U.S. Department of Education. African Americans make up 4 percent of the undergraduate student body. The college’s most famous graduate is Richard M. Nixon.
For the past six years, Dr. Oubré has served as dean of the College of Business at San Francisco State University. Earlier, Dr. Oubré was executive director of corporate relations and business development, and chief diversity officer for the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis.
Dr. Oubré holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.
Many college-bound high school seniors will have difficult decisions to make as summer approaches, but few can compare to the choice facing New Jersey teen Ifeoma White-Thorpe – she was accepted to all eight Ivy League colleges. White-Thorpe, 17, from Morris Hills High School in Rockaway, New Jersey, was accepted into Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, and the University of Pennsylvania. And that’s not all. White-Thorpe was accepted into Stanford University, too.
At first, she was solely focused on Harvard — the first school to officially give her the green light. But acceptance letters from other prestigious schools across the country soon flooded her mailbox, and now she’s back to square one. “I got into Harvard Early Action, so I was like I’ll just go there. And then I got into all the others and now I don’t know where I want to go,” White-Thorpe told CBS Philly on Tuesday.
The teenager already has quite an impressive list of accomplishments. She’s student government president, ranks high in her advanced placement courses and is a talented poet and writer. She recently won first place in the National Liberty Museum’s Selma Speech & Essay Contest.“Education is essential for change, and I aspire to be that change,” White-Thorpe said after winning a $5,000 prize in the national essay contest.
White-Thorpe says she wants to major in global healthy policy, and plans to look into what programs each school offers in her field. But that’s not the only factor that will help make her decision. It will likely come down to whichever university provides the best financial aid package, she said.
After the votes were tallied on Friday night, small town Floridian and College sophomore Makayla Reynolds was elected as the first black female class president in Penn’s history.
“I tried to sell myself as the outsider,” Reynolds said. “My background and where I come from and what I stand for is very underrepresented at Penn.”
Reynolds will be replacing the previous class president College sophomore Vadim Ordovsky-Tanaevsky. After having the experience of being a class president in high school, Reynolds decided to pursue the same position in college. “I don’t think that Vadim has done bad at all,” Reynolds said. “I think he’s done great. People just wanted a change.”
Many students have expressed concern that the class board has little impact on student lives. Reynolds speaks to this concern. “If you aren’t involved, it’s hard to see what the class board is doing,” she said. She hopes that she will be able to make a tangible difference.
Reynolds said that “the hardest part is getting people to be interested in voting.” Only about 800 of the over 2400 students in the sophomore class voted in the election.
Over the past weeks, Reynolds worked tirelessly to get her name out to other sophomores. She wanted to make an impression online as well as face-to-face with voters. Her Facebook and website served as a platform to inform the Class of 2018 about why she was a good candidate.
Reynolds said that a lot of her campaigning was talking one-on-one with friends and acquaintances she knows from activities she’s involved with on campus.
Outside of class board, Reynolds is part of MedLife Penn, a group that promotes health equity both locally and globally, and a public speaking advisor for communication within the curriculum.
Reynold’s favorite extracurricular is being a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters. This gives her a chance to make a difference in the community.
In her time as president, she hopes to inspire other students and have an impact. Reynolds wants to maintain Penn traditions, but also start new programs and initiatives within the student body.
One of the challenges of being president is the expectation to bring together a group of students with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Reynolds hopes to work with some of the many cultural groups at Penn to create events that appeal to students who identify with different cultural backgrounds.
Another goal is to bring greater awareness to mental health. Reynolds is passionate about making an impact. She hopes to make Penn a less stressful environment, but realizes that most mental health problems are deeper than that.
All eight Ivy League schools — Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, University of Pennsylvania — have offered Long Island, New York high school senior Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna places in their freshman class.
In addition to the Ivies, she was accepted by Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
“I am elated, but most importantly, I am thankful,” Augusta, 17, told school officials at Sewanhaka Central High School District.
Augusta’s older brother Johnson told NBC News that Augusta’s “initiative and perseverance,” as well as the family’s emphasis on learning, were responsible for his sister’s success. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as both their Nigerian-born parents are college-educated, and her father has a master’s and doctorate from the University of Indianapolis.
“Education is very paramount in our family,” said her brother, who also made his way to the Ivies. He is a freshman at Cornell University, studying biological engineering.
Tobias and Basillia Nna immigrated to the United States in 1994 and settled first in Indiana then New York City. They moved to Elmont in 2000. Their father has worked for various companies as a physical therapist. All four of their children were born in this country. “Augusta’s school days start from 7 in the morning until around 8 at night,” said Uwamanzu-Nna. “Not to mention all of the homework assignments, scholarship and other miscellaneous things she gets done.”
He said that while his sister was co-founder of her own tutoring service, she also works at another tutoring center on Saturdays.
“I am humbled by all of the college acceptance letters that I recently received,” Augusta says on her high school website. “I am reminded that I have a responsibility to be a role model for others and use my experiences to encourage and inspire others, especially young women.”
The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1904 as a highly selective group of 50 members within a larger organization called the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Over the years the two groups functioned separately with different memberships, budgets, and boards of directors. In 1993 the two groups finally agreed to form a single group of 250 members under the name of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Members are chosen from the fields of literature, music, and the fine arts. Members must be native or naturalized citizens of the United States. They are elected for life and pay no dues. New members are elected only upon the death of other members.
This year 12 new members were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. One of the 12 new members is John Edgar Wideman.
Wideman is the Asa Messer Professor and professor of Africana studies and literary arts at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Before joining the faculty at Brown, Professor Wideman was a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Professor Wideman grew up in Pittsburgh and then enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania where he was an all-Ivy League basketball player. His senior year at Penn, Wideman was named a Rhodes Scholar, the first African American to win the honor in over a half century.
CHICAGO — Kenwood Academy‘s valedictorian, Arianna Alexander, wants to go to college to learn about business. As it turns out, she has a number of options.
“It was a lot to take in. I received emails, letters. It was just like, ‘Come here, come here!’ They were bombarding me with all this information,” Arianna said.
Arianna hails from Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. She graduated with a 5.1 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
She was accepted to 26 universities, including six Ivy League schools. Her scholarship offers total more than $3 million. “I feel like it means I can afford college and I don’t have to worry about it. I feel like that’s an issue for a lot of people my age,” Arianna said.
Her father encouraged her, after another Kenwood student was offered more than $1 million in scholarships a few years ago. “I planted the seed in Arianna’s mind that you can do the same thing. So when the process got started and a million was achieved, let’s go for two. I said let’s go for three and she did it,” said Pierre Alexander, Arianna’s father.
Arianna is the baby of the family. She has three older siblings. “It was a big blessing, because I’ve already put three through college. Now I don’t have to worry too much about her,” Pierre said.
Arianna has also picked a school, thanks to Paul Brush, one of her teachers. She plans to attend University of Pennsylvania. “He said, ‘Do you know about the Wharton School of Business?’ I said, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about,'” Arianna said.
“As teachers, we have a big moment to play with the lives that we have in our classrooms,” Brush said.
Her family has also influenced her. Arianna recounted her dad’s words: “Work hard, pray on it, and don’t give up. No matter what happens, you did your best.”
“My wife and I have always stressed to her, if you do your best, you will be the best. So we try to make sure she upholds to that,” Pierre said.
“So as long as you work hard, I feel like there is always a way for you,” Arianna said.
After all, there is still more to achieve besides high school. “When she graduates from Penn, that will be a second goal. We expect bigger and better things for her,” he said.
Arianna said she wants to be an entrepreneur and plans to own four restaurants. She’s already working on the menus.
The African American and Diaspora Studies Program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, recently renamed its research arm the Callie House Research Center for the Study of Black Cultures and Politics. The center was founded in 2012 and sponsors lectures, conferences, working groups, professional development and academic seminars.
Callie House was born a slave in Rutherford County, Tennessee, in 1861. After she was freed, she worked as a seamstress and washerwoman in Nashville. She became interested in social justice and politics and led the first mass slave reparations movement in the United States. In 1898, she helped found the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association.
Three days ago, Good Black News shared an article about Washington D.C. wunderkind Avery Coffey, who was accepted to five Ivy League colleges. Today, 17-year-old New Yorker, violist and aspiring physician Kwasi Enin went one better – make that three better – and earned acceptance to all EIGHT Ivys!
According to usatoday.com, the acceptances began rolling in over the past few months, and by late last week when he opened an e-mail from Harvard, Enin found he’d been accepted to every one. School district officials provided scanned copies of acceptance letters from all eight on Monday. Yale confirmed that it was holding a spot for Enin.
The feat is extremely rare, say college counselors — few students even apply to all eight, because each seeks different qualities in their freshman class. Almost none are invited to attend them all. The Ivy League colleges are among the nation’s most elite.
“My heart skipped a beat when he told me he was applying to all eight,” says Nancy Winkler, a guidance counselor at William Floyd High School, where Enin attends class. In 29 years as a counselor, she says, she’s never seen anything like this. “It’s a big deal when we have students apply to one or two Ivies. To get into one or two is huge. It was extraordinary.”
For most of the eight schools, acceptance comes rarely, even among the USA’s top students. At the top end, Cornell University admitted only 14% of applicants. Harvard accepted just 5.9%.
WASHINGTON – This is the college acceptance season — frequently a nervous time for high school seniors. But D.C.’s Avery Coffey can relax. He applied to five Ivy League universities and all five accepted him.
Coffey attends Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, a D.C. public school with strict rules. None of the 439 students at Banneker is allowed to bring a cell phone into the building. They are also not allowed to go to their lockers during the school day. (That has spawned the peculiar tradition of piling up textbooks at the base of lockers, so kids can switch books between classes without violating the locker rule.)
The strict rules at Banneker have fostered a rather serious academic environment. Principal Anita Berger says year after year after year, 100 percent of Banneker graduates are accepted into post-secondary institutions. Among these brainy and motivated public school students is 17-year-old Coffey who, like a lot of kids, enjoys sports. What does he play?
He also enjoys academics, and he has a 4.3 high school report card average, adjusted for the demanding International Baccalaureate courses he takes. Coffey scored very high on standardized tests also. He calls himself a “determined” student.
Coffey applied to five Ivy League universities, and, amazingly, has been accepted at all of them: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Brown. And four of the five universities have already offered very generous financial aid packages. (Harvard is still formulating its offer.)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A new exhibit created by a University of Pennsylvania professor and host of a popular public television show examines how wartime propaganda has been used to motivate oppressed populations to risk their lives for homelands that considered them second-class citizens.
“Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster,” opens Sunday and continues until March 2 at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Lectures, film screenings and other programming will be rolled out over the course of the exhibit’s run.
The exhibit’s 33 posters, dating from the American Civil War to both World Wars and the African independence movements, are part of the personal collection of Tukufu Zuberi, Penn professor of sociology and African studies and a host of the Public Broadcasting Service series “History Detectives.”
Zuberi began his collection in 2005 and owns 48 posters in all. There are five he’s seeking to complete his collection, but he’s not divulging any specifics. “Oh, I don’t want to go there,” he said with a laugh. “If I say anything, then there’s going to be someone out there with more money and I won’t be able to buy anything again.”