Niyah Brooks and Paul McGhee

White House Initiative on HBCUs Announces Third Class of All-Stars

Two North Carolina A&T State University students have been included in the 2016-17 class of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) All-Stars.

Senior public relations major Niyah Brooks and third year mechanical engineering doctoral candidate Paul McGhee are among 73 students from across 63 HBCUs named to the 2016 HBCU All-Stars, which includes undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

“Being nominated for the 2016-17 White House HBCU All-Stars for North Carolina A&T State University was one of the most honorable and exciting opportunities I've ever received,” said McGhee. “I’m an active leader, scholar and supporter of the community, university and the rest of the world, striving to bring out the best in everyone that I have the honor to cross paths with.”

HBCU All-Stars are recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement.

Throughout the next year Brooks and McGhee will serve as ambassadors by providing outreach opportunities and communicating with other students about the value of both education and the White House Initiative as a networking source.

"Now that I have been appointed as [an] HBCU All-Star, I will be tasked with serving as a liaison between N.C. A&T and the White House,” said Brooks. “I will spread awareness of initiatives that are important to me. I really want to focus on the "It's On Us" initiative, which aims to reduce sexual assault on college campuses. I also want to promote the importance of voting to my peers."

Using social media, relationships with community-based organizations, and sessions with industry professionals, Brooks, McGhee and all other HBCU All-Star ambassadors will share proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential. They will also participate in the White House HBCU Week Conference, national and regional events, and webinars with Initiative staff and other professionals on a range of disciplines that support a spirit of engagement and personal and professional development.

“During the course of one academic school year, the 73 All-Stars will distinguish themselves as exemplars of the talent that HBCUs cultivate and as noble ambassadors of their respective institutions,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “The Initiative is looking forward to working with this third class of All-Stars and is confident this opportunity will allow the Initiative to meaningfully connect with HBCU students and advance academic excellence at their schools.”

“Our goal is to provide a unique opportunity for these talented students that exposes them to critical national conversations and thought leaders. No doubt they will make their mark and represent their campuses well,” said Deputy Under Secretary of Education and Acting Executive Director White House Initiative on HBCUs Kim Hunter Reed.

The All-Stars were selected from over 300 students from 24 states, the District of Columbia, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Virgin Islands.