Brown, Lanier Chosen for 2023 HBCU White House Initiative

By Jackie Torok / 07/24/2023 College of Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, College of Health and Human Sciences, Psychology

Kaiyah Brown and Victoria Lanier have been named N.C. A&T's 2023 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars.

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (July 24, 2023) – The White House Initiative (WHI) on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) has selected North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University students Kaiyah Brown and Victoria Lanier as 2023 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars.

Brown and Lanier – who will serve as ambassadors for both WHI and N.C. A&T – are among 101 students who were chosen from 70 HBCUs nationwide to receive the initiative’s highest honor based on academic achievements, campus leadership, civic engagement and entrepreneurial spirit. They raise A&T’s total number of participants in this program to 11 since it began in 2014.

Brown, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is a junior pursuing a B.S. in psychology from the John R. and Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences. She has earned recognition on the Chancellor’s List with a 3.82 GPA and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society. Additionally, she serves as parliamentarian of A&T’s Psychology Club and has been a member of the Psychology Research Club, Minor Association of Pre-Medical Students, Leadership and Civic Engagement, National Council of Negro Women, and Association of Black Psychologists, among others. She has accumulated 70 hours of community service by participating in blood, book and food drives, as well as beautification and cleanup efforts.

“As an aspiring psychologist who desires to make an impact in the African American mental health community, the program will provide skills and experiences that I can leverage to increase my professionalism and in my role as an effective therapist thriving in the mental health industry,” she said.

Lanier, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, is a senior pursuing a B.S. in industrial and systems engineering, with a minor in supply chain management, from the College of Engineering (COE). She is a data analytics intern at Collins Aerospace, previously interned with Lockheed Martin Space and TE Connectivity, and is a 2020 National Science Foundation Revolutionizing Engineering Departments Design Fellow.

“I knew in the fourth grade after competing in a science competition that I wanted to become an engineer, and my persistence to compete until I won instilled in me the desire to never give up on what I wanted,” she said. “Now, I want to show other women that you can be anything you want to be in STEM.”

Lanier has served as treasurer of Aggie Toastmasters since August 2022 and as a Girl Scout troop leader since September 2021, and created The Blueprint Movement podcast in December 2021. She also served on COE’s E-Week Committee, as COE’s Student Government Association senator and as parliamentarian for A&T’s National Society of Black Engineers.

As 2023 HBCU Scholars, Brown and Lanier will be invited to monthly master classes hosted by the initiative and its various partners representing a wide range of disciplines. They will have the opportunity to network with fellow scholars, federal agencies and private partners to showcase individual and collective talent across the HBCU community.

They also will be invited to attend 2023 Annual National HBCU Week Conference workshops designed to help them learn and adopt promising practices in areas such as leadership, professional development, HBCU excellence and workforce development. The conference, “Raising the Bar: Forging Excellence through Innovation and Leadership,” is scheduled for Sept. 24-28 in Arlington, Virginia, and will feature a mini Minority University Research and Education Project Innovation and Tech Transfer Idea Competition showcase – related to a partnership with NASA – along with more than 32 conference sessions and the HBCU Week Career and Recruitment Fair. Airfare, ground transportation, lodging and meals are covered for 2023 HBCU Scholars.

Scholars are expected to carefully assess their personal and career aspirations, as well as the needs of their institutions and communities, to help determine the best ways the initiative and its partners might provide support.

Eligible candidates are encouraged to review the web pages for the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through HBCUs through the end of the calendar year in advance of the next application cycle.

Institutional nomination or endorsement is required before students can apply for the WHI HBCU Scholar Recognition Program, which also has been known as the White House Competitiveness Scholars Program for HBCU Students. Students, faculty and staff may contact Alsace-Lorraine Gallop, A&T’s national scholarships and fellowships coordinator with NCAT Extraordinary Opportunities, at acgallop@ncat.edu for details.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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