75 students of 62 HBCUs named All-Stars

The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU), announced its first class of HBCU All-Stars, recognizing 75 undergraduate, graduate and professional students for their accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement on Feb. 10.

Currently enrolled at 62 HBCUs, the All-Stars were selected from 445 students who submitted completed applications that included a transcript, resume, essay and recommendation. The HBCU All-Stars will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative by providing outreach and communication with their fellow students about the value of education and the Initiative as a networking resource.

“Engaging with the next generation of leaders who will graduate from HBCUs and go on to make meaningful contributions to society is crucial to the success of our community, our country and our global competitiveness,” said George Cooper, executive director of the WHIHBCUs. “It is a privilege to announce these 75 students who have demonstrated a commitment to both their own academic achievement and making a difference in their communities, and we look forward to working with them as partners in advancing President Obama’s college completion goal.”

Over the course of the next year (through social media and their relationships with community-based organizations) the All-Stars will share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential. In addition, the 45 female and 30 male All-Stars will participate in regional events and web chats with Ivory Toldson, deputy director of the WHIHBCUs, other Initiative staff and professionals from a wide range of disciplines.

They will also have opportunities to engage with other scholars to showcase individual and collective talent across the HBCU community

The All-Stars are from the following states across the country, including: Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and the Virgin Islands.

Listed below are the six 2014 HBCU All-Stars selected from Tennessee, the schools they attend, and the cities they are from: Nashville — Ciera Carter attends Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn.; Jackson — Stephanie Phillips attends Lane College, Jackson, Tenn.; Memphis — Gilbert Carter attends LeMoyne-Owen College, Memphis, Tenn.; Nashville — Ciera Scales attends Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn.; Nashville — Jeremiah Cooper attends Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tenn.; and Jackson — Aneesa Sood attends Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.

TSU student selected to serve as 2014 HBCU All-Star

Jeremiah T. Cooper, a junior ‘computer science’ major from Nashville (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations).

Jeremiah T. Cooper, a junior ‘computer science’ major from Nashville (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations).

A Tennessee State University student has been named a 2014 HBCU All-Star by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, for his accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement.

Jeremiah T. Cooper, a junior ‘computer science’ major from Nashville, will serve as an ambassador for the White House Initiative by providing outreach and communication with his fellow students about the value of education and the Initiative as a networking resource.

Cooper was among 75 All-Stars selected from 445 undergraduates, graduate and professional students who submitted completed applications including transcripts, resume, essay and recommendations. The students represent 64 HBCUs from across the nation.

Cooper, a very active and community-oriented student, is on full academic scholarship at TSU with a 3.74 GPA. He is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and a former historian and e-board member of Collegiate 100, where he mentors young people. He is a youth leader and advocate with the Mt. Nebo Church Youth Council, where among other activities, he monitors and mentors children ages 3-14.

“I feel very blessed and humbled to be selected for this very prestigious recognition,” Cooper said about his selection as an HBCU all-star, adding that a cousin and his parents encouraged him to apply. “I was ecstatic to hear the news. When I applied I was confident of my ability but I wasn’t sure I would be selected. I am thankful that I did.”

In a letter congratulating Cooper for his selection, the White House noted his outstanding credentials.

“Your superb achievements in academics, leadership and civic engagement have once again set you apart from other applicants. The White House Initiatives on Historically Black Colleges and Universities is delighted that you will represent your school and the initiative as an all-star student who will graduate as a leader from one of the nation’s finest HBCUs,” the letter stated.

Cooper’s Computer Science Dept. head and advisor, did not mince words when he heard about his student’s selection as an HBCU all-star.
“Jeremiah is an exceptional student with a strong academic background who is actively involved in NASA-funded research activities in our department,” said Dr. Ali Sekmen.”

He described Cooper as a team player and a mentor who is involved in projects that require not only technical but also “very critical soft skills” such as working in teams and effective communication.

“Jeremiah sometimes assists our faculty in teaching some of our computer programming classes, while also serving as mentor to some of our freshmen. He is an active member of our Game Programming Group,” Sekmen said.