Tag: University of Pittsburgh

Three African American Students, Lia Petrose, Anea B. Moore and Austin T. Hughes, Named 2019 Rhodes Scholars

2019 Rhodes Scholarship Recipients (l-r) Austin T. Hughes, Anea B. Moore and Lia Petrose (photos via jbhe.com)

via jbhe.com

Recently, the Rhodes Trust announced the 32 American winners of Rhodes Scholarships for graduate study at Oxford University in England. Being named a Rhodes Scholar is considered among the highest honors that can be won by a U.S. college student.

The scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, an industrialist who made a vast fortune in colonial Africa. According to the will of Rhodes, applicants must have “high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership, and physical vigor.”

This year, more than 2,500 students applied to be Rhodes Scholars. A total of 880 college students were endorsed by 281 colleges or universities for consideration for a Rhodes Scholarship. Some 221 applicants from 82 colleges and universities were named finalists. Then, two Rhodes Scholars were selected from each of 16 districts across the United States. Students may apply from either the district where they reside or the district where they attend college. The 32 American Rhodes Scholars will join students from 23 other jurisdictions around the world as Rhodes Scholars. The Rhodes Trust pays all tuition and fees for scholarship winners to study at Oxford. A stipend for living and travel expenses is also provided.

In 1907 Alain LeRoy Locke, later a major philosopher and literary figure of the Harlem Renaissance, was selected as a Rhodes Scholar to study at Oxford University. It is generally believed that at the time of the award the Rhodes committee did not know that Locke was Black until after he had been chosen. It would be more than 50 years later, in 1962, until another African American would be named a Rhodes Scholar.

Other African Americans who have won Rhodes Scholarships include Randall Kennedy of Harvard Law School, Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore, and Franklin D. Raines, former director of the Office of Management and Budget and former CEO of Fannie Mae. In 1978 Karen Stevenson of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the first African-American woman selected as a Rhodes Scholar.

A year ago, 10 African-Americans were among the 32 winners of Rhodes Scholarships for Americans. This was the most ever elected in a single U.S. Rhodes class. This year, there are three African Americans among the 32 Rhodes Scholars. This is a sharp reduction from a year ago. Yet, Blacks still make up 9.3 percent of all Rhodes Scholars selected this year in the United States.

Here are brief biographies of the three new African American Rhodes Scholars:

Austin T. Hughes from San Antonio, Texas, is a senior at the University of Iowa. He is triple majoring in creative writing, theatre arts, and Japanese language and literature. He is a cellist and a cross-country runner at the university. Hughes served as co-president of The English Society at the University of Iowa. In that role, he showcased student literature to the campus community and beyond. He has won numerous awards for his poetry and creative writing. At Oxford, Hughes will pursue a master’s degree in Japanese studies. Continue reading “Three African American Students, Lia Petrose, Anea B. Moore and Austin T. Hughes, Named 2019 Rhodes Scholars”

Dr. Adrienne Washington Becomes 1st African American to Earn a Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Adrienne Washington (photo via jbhe.com)
Dr. Adrienne Washington (photo via jbhe.com)

article via jbhe.com

On May 1, Adrienne Washington of Morgantown, West Virginia, became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in linguistics from the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. For her thesis, Dr. Washington researched the study and redevelopment of Yoruba language practices in the city of Salvador da Bahia in modern-day northeastern Brazil.

Dr. Washington is a graduate of Hampton University in Virginia. She received a master’s degree in linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Washington told JBHE, “My plan is to continue developing my research on Yoruba language practices in northeastern Brazil as well as explore other interdisciplinary topics in sociolinguistics. Currently, I am focused on writing manuscripts and applying for jobs in academia, where I see myself best contributing to society.”

African-American Finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Awards

National Critics Circle Book Nominees
On top (l to r): National Book Critics Circle Finalists Elizabeth Alexander, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ross Gay; On bottom: Terrance Hayes and Margo Jefferson (photos via jbhe.com)

Finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Awards have been announced. Awards are given out in six categories: autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Five finalists are chosen in each category. The winners will be announced on March 17 at a ceremony at the New School in New York City.

Several of the finalists are African Americans who have ties to the academic world:

elizabeth-alexanderElizabeth Alexander is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. Professor Alexander has been a member of the faculty at Yale since 2000. She previously taught at the University of Chicago. Professor Alexander is the author of six collections of poetry. She is being honored in the autobiography category for her book The Light of the World (Grand Central Publishing, 2015). Professor Alexander is a graduate of Yale University. She earned a master’s degree at Boston University and a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.

coatesTa-Nehisi Coates is a finalist in the criticism category for his book Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau, 2015). The book is a memoir of his life as a Black man in America. The book earlier won the National Book Award. Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine. Coates has served as a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Management. Coates attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. In 2015, he was named a MacArthur Fellow.

RossRoss Gay teaches in the creative writing program at Indiana University and for the low-residency master of fine arts degree program in poetry at Drew University in New Jersey. He is a finalist in the poetry category for his collection Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015). Dr. Gay is a native of Youngstown, Ohio. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Dr. Gay earned a master of fine arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, and a Ph.D. in American literature from Temple University in Philadelphia.

HayesTerrance Hayes was nominated in the poetry category for his collection How to Be Drawn (Penguin Books, 2015). Professor Hayes joined the English department faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. He previously taught at Xavier University of Louisiana and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. A graduate of Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina, Professor Hayes earned a master of fine arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2014, he was named a MacArthur Fellow.

Margo Jefferson is a professor of writing in the School of HS_Jefferson_Margothe Arts at Columbia University and a professor at the Eugene Lang College of The New School for Liberal Arts in New York. She is nominated in the autobiography category for Negroland (Pantheon, 2015). She won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism while writing for The New York Times. Professor Jefferson is a graduate of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and holds a master’s degree from Columbia University.

article via jbhe.com

University of Pittsburgh Acquires Archives of Jazz Pianist Erroll Garner

Garner
Jazz Legend Erroll Garner (photo via jbhe.com)

The University of Pittsburgh announced that it has acquired the professional archives of jazz pianist Erroll Garner.

Garner was born in Pittsburgh in 1921. He began playing piano at age 3 and by the age of seven was performing on the radio. In 1944, Garner moved to New York City where he became a leading performer and composer. He wrote the score for several films and Broadway plays. His ballad “Misty” became a major hit of Johnny Mathis was the featured in the 1971 Clint Eastwood film Play Misty for Me.

To see video of his signature song, click below:

 

The archives were assembled by Garner’s long-time agent and manager, the late Martha Glaser and were donated to the university by Glaser’s estate. Included in the collection are correspondence, performance and recording contracts, sheet music, awards, audio and video recordings, photographs, and memorabilia.

Erroll Garner died in 1977 at the age of 55.

original article via jbhe.com; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson 

New Study: Black Students Who Are Taught Racial Pride Do Better In School

Remember how good you felt when Black History Month rolled around and you finally got to learn and talk about significant African American historical figures in school? Well, according to new research published in the Journal of Child Development, affirming a black child’s desire to learn about their race does more than just give them a personal boost, it helps them academically as well.

The study, conducted by Ming-Te Wang and James P. Huguley of the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University respectively, found that “racial socialization”—teaching kids about their culture and involving them in activities that promote racial pride and connection—helps to offset the discrimination and racial prejudices children face by the outside world.

Continue reading “New Study: Black Students Who Are Taught Racial Pride Do Better In School”