The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program

The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is a partnership between of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the eighteen 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities. The program awards scholarships to students attending one of the 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, or related academic disciplines. The eighteen 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities are as follows:

  • Alabama A&M University
  • Alcorn State University, Mississippi
  • Delaware State University
  • Florida A&M University
  • Fort Valley State University, Georgia
  • Kentucky State University
  • Langston University, Oklahoma
  • Lincoln University, Missouri
  • North Carolina A&T State University
  • Prairie View A&M University, Texas
  • South Carolina State University
  • Southern University, Louisiana
  • Tennessee State University
  • Tuskegee University, Alabama
  • University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • Virginia State University
  • West Virginia State University

The purpose of the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is to:

  • strengthen the long-term partnership between USDA and the 1890 Land-Grant Universities;
  • increase the number of students studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences or other related disciplines; and

The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program offers scholarships to U.S. citizens that are seeking a bachelor’s degree at one of the eighteen 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions in any field of study in agriculture, food, natural resource sciences or other related disciplines. National Scholars are required to study in the following or related disciplines.

  • Agriculture
  • Agricultural Business/Management
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Agricultural Engineering/Mechanics
  • Agricultural Production and Technology
  • Agronomy or Crop Science
  • Animal Sciences
  • Botany
  • Food Sciences/Technology
  • Forestry and Related Sciences
  • Home Economics/Nutrition
  • Horticulture
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Soil Conservation/Soil Science
  • Farm and Range Management
  • Other related disciplines, (e.g. non-medical biological sciences, pre-veterinary medicine, computer science)

The Award
Scholarships are awarded annually and must be used at one of the eighteen 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions. Each award provides annual tuition, employment, employee benefits, and use of a laptop computer, printer and software while on scholarship, fees, books, room and board for each of the academic years the scholarship is awarded. Each annual scholarship renewal is contingent upon satisfactory performance and normal progress toward the bachelor’s degree.

General Eligibility
To be eligible for the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Be interested in attending one of the eighteen 1890 Land-Grant Universities
  • Intend to study agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, or other related academic disciplines
  • Demonstrate leadership and community service
  • Submit an official transcript with the school seal and an authorized official’s signature
  • Submit a signed application (original signature only)

Who Should Apply
The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is available to high school seniors entering their freshman year of college and rising college sophomores and juniors.


Application Requirements
High School Seniors College Students
  • Be a graduating high school senior
  • Expect to hold a high school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED) Certificate
  • Have a combined verbal/mat/written score of 1,500 or more on the SAT (note: 1,000 or more combined for those universities that only accept verbal/math score) or a composite score of 21 or more on the ACT


  • Submit a current resume
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Submit a 500-800 word essay describing (1) your interest in USDA, (2) how you envision the scholarship will impact you and your future as a public servant, and (3) your experience and perceptions about agriculture, food, and natural resource sciences

All application materials must be postmarked no later than June 14, 2013 and sent to the University selected by the applicant to attend. (University addresses are included in the actual application packet.)


For any questions regarding the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program, please contact:

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration
Office of Advocacy and Outreach
USDA/1890 Programs
1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Stop 0170
Washington, DC 20250
Telephone Number: (202) 205-4307
Fax Number: (202) 720-7136

A World Without Silos: Commencement remarks of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at Morgan State University

Thank you, Bears, for that welcome! I am so glad to join you here because today we get to do something which should happen more often in education. Today, we get to celebrate success.

It’s been a year of many triumphs for Morgan’s students. For the second year in a row, Morgan State’s team won the HBCU Honda academic quiz challenge, besting teams from 48 HBCUs. The brilliant captain of the Honda All Stars, Craig Cornish, is heading to Princeton on a full-ride to get a Ph.D in History.

The acrobatic, gravity-defying Cheer Bears won the MEAC cheer title for the third year row—and even managed to come in third nationally.

Senior Christian Kameni became the 131st MSU student or faculty member to become a Fullbright Scholar. That cements MSU’s leadership as the university that has produced more Fullbright Scholars than any HBCU in the nation.

And Professor Yacob Astatke, an MSU alum, became the first African-American and the first faculty member from an HBCU to win the National Outstanding Teacher Medal from the America Society for Engineering.

Those are just a few of the headline-grabbing triumphs of the past year. But to every one of the more than 1,200 graduates who are earning their baccalaureate, masters, or Ph.D degree today, congratulations on your triumph and personal journey to reach this day.

No one is born with a college degree in their hand. You have to earn it, and you have to work for it. Now that you have it, it can never, ever be taken away from you.

So congratulations go to each and every one of you on this moment of passage and accomplishment. You have reached this day because of your resilience, tenacity, and talent. You have reached this day by overcoming challenges and adversity.

It’s doubly impressive when young people are the first in their family to earn a college degree.

Can every graduate who is the first in their family to get a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree, please put your hand up? And please, keep your hands up.

Now, could every graduate who either worked while they earned a degree, or came back to MSU to complete their degree after taking a break from their education—could you also put up your hands?

I see a lot of students’ hands in the air. Please give them all a round of applause.

The parents and relatives, partners, spouses, children and friends of the graduates were among the few who didn’t have their hands up a moment ago. But it is so important to recognize their contribution.

As much as anyone, the friends, the family members—your support system—helped our graduates realize the American Dream. They have helped you demonstrate that, in America, education is still the great equalizer for so many people.

I was thrilled to hear that a mother and her daughter are both earning their bachelors’ degrees today.

Ms. Beulah Lewis is getting a BA in Child Care and Consumer Science, and her daughter, Tiye, will be getting her degree in physical therapy. Because they will receive their degrees with their fellow majors, mom will still have the treat of seeing her daughter receive her degree—and vice-versa. When families learn together, good things can happen!

So, to all our graduates, know that your family and the MSU family—faculty, counselors, coaches, and support staff—are immensely proud of you today.

Like the Lewis mother-daughter team, all of you reached this day, not alone, but together. We may fall by ourselves, but we always rise together.

I would urge our graduates to sometime today, please turn to your parents, your relatives, your spouse, your favorite professor, coach, or friend who supported you.

Take their hands. Thank them for encouraging you to realize your dreams. Thank them for helping you reach for a life that will positively impact your family forever—not just today and tomorrow, but literally for generations to come.

Now, if commencements are a time of celebration, they are also a time to take stock of the future. It is a time to ask, what is the next stage of my journey? And now that I have my degree, what do I want to do with my life?

As I thought about how to answer those questions today, I had some humbling recollections of my own graduation.

Two things stand out. To be honest, I can’t remember a word of what our distinguished commencement speaker said … But more important, looking back I realize I really had very little idea of the twists and turns my life would take.

In the midst of that uncertainty, I did learn two valuable lessons in thinking about the future from my teachers, my family, and my mentors.

First, I learned the importance of following your passion—and that your ability to adapt and be creative, to skillfully manage the inevitable uncertainty that would come—would in large measure determine one’s success in a knowledge-based, global economy.

After college, I went on to fail many times, sometimes in small ways, sometimes spectacularly. But I discovered in the process that failure can be a great teacher if you use it to grow and learn—and not as an excuse to fail again, to feel sorry for yourself, or to quit trying.

As President Obama says, you have to persevere in life. You need mental toughness, you need grit, you need determination.

The President says, and I quote, that “whether you start a business, or run for office, or devote yourself to alleviating poverty or hunger, nothing worth doing happens overnight … We remember Michael Jordan’s six championships; we don’t remember his nearly 15,000 missed shots … if you are living your life to the fullest, you will fail, you will stumble … [But that’s no reason] to grow cynical if there are twists and turns on your journey.”

Read the full text here:

CBCF Emerging Leaders Internship Program


The goal of the Emerging Leaders Internship Program sponsored by Walmart is to create a corps of trained, young leaders with the skills, outlook and contacts necessary to generate and sustain positive change in Washington, D.C., and their local communities. Alumni will return to their communities knowing what it takes to pass legislation, form public policy and create coalitions. In short, they will leave the program better informed about how politics works and more aware of how they can influence the public policy-making process.

Program Description

The Emerging Leaders Internship Program sponsored by Walmart is a semester-long paid internship for college students. Interns work four days on Capitol Hill, in federal agencies and at non-profit organizations. Past interns have served in various capacities at the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and on House and Senate committees. On Friday afternoons, interns attend educational seminars that focus on domestic and international issues, participate in leadership-training sessions and visit cultural and historical sites in the Washington, D.C., area. Each cohort must complete a team community service project in the surrounding community. CBCF provides housing and a stipend. This program is offered during the fall and spring semesters.


  • Interns will receive a $4,000 stipend
  • Housing at a local university (all expenses covered)
  • Interns may be eligible to receive academic credit at their college or university for participating in the program


  • U.S. citizen or permit to work in the U.S.
  • Currently or recently (within the past 12 months) enrolled in college full-time when applying for program
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Be at least a college sophomore by the internship start date
  • Demonstrated interest in public service, governance, and policy-making process

Selection Process

Emerging Leader Interns are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Solid scholastic achievement
  • Strong writing skills
  • Community service contributions
  • Evidence of leadership skills
  • Quality of paper application and, in some instances, interview performance

Application Materials

The completed online application must be submitted by midnight on June 14, 2013. The additional required materials must postmarked no later than the deadline date. The following items will be requested through the online application:

  1. A completed online application form
  2. Answer the required short essay(s) given on the application
  3. One (1) page resume listing extracurricular activities, honors, employment, community service and special skills
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation. We suggest at least one letter of recommendation be written by a dean, department chair, academic advisor, or employer. Letters must be on official letterhead, state the recommender’s title, and provide contact information. Letters of recommendation must be submitted by the deadline for your application to be considered complete. Please follow the instructions found in the application. Hard copy letters sent to the organization as well as e-mailed recommendation letters sent to the internship e-mail address will not be accepted.
  5. A recent photograph suitable for publication; i.e: a cap and gown picture or other professional quality and professionally dressed photograph.

Additional Required Materials

All the above documents should be submitted through the online application. The following document is to be mailed to the organization. This document must be postmarked no later than the deadline date:

  1. Official sealed transcripts from all institutions attended

Official transcripts should be mailed to the following address:

Emerging Leaders Internship Program
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.
1720 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036

The selection is highly competitive. Applications are submitted to CBCF and reviewed by a CBCF selection committee. Finalists are selected and notified by CBCF.

Additional Information

For more information, please call (202) 263-2800 or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and type “Emerging Leaders Internship Program” in the subject line. You can also visit our FAQ page.

PHMSA Launches First Pipeline Research Program for Colleges and Universities

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has announced an academic research program that will offer a total of $500,000 to non-profit institutions of higher learning as part of the agency’s pipeline research and development program. Through PHMSA’s Competitive Academic Agreement Program (CAAP), it will provide up to $100,000 to five colleges or universities to research innovations and technologies that will improve pipeline safety. The goal of CAAP is to introduce graduate and PhD research students to subject matter common to pipeline safety challenges and to demonstrate how their engineering or technical disciplines would contribute to the pipeline safety field. CAAP is modeled after programs at other federal agencies and non-profit organizations that aimed to increase the pool of applicants in technical disciplines that have experienced low recruitment activity.

 To Apply:

1. Register or logon to . New users should go to, or go to the main page at and click on “Get Registered.” Please note that new user registration approval may take up to two weeks.

2. To locate the full announcement and application, search by CFDA number, 20.724, or by Funding Opportunity number DTPH56-13-SN-000002.

3. Read the full announcement, then download and complete the application.

 PHMSA will award the agreements during the fourth quarter of calendar year 2013.

 If you have questions about CAAP, contact Jackie Naranjo at or (202) 366-4429. Warren Osterberg is the secondary contact for CAAP-related questions, and can be reached at or (202) 366-6942. If you have technical questions about, please call (800) 518-4726 or send an email

PHMSA conducts and supports research to support regulatory and enforcement activities and to provide the technical and analytical foundation necessary for planning, evaluating, and implementing the pipeline safety program. Recent R&D projects include leak detection; detection of mechanical damage; damage prevention; improved pipeline system controls, monitoring, and operations; and improvements in pipeline materials. To learn more, visit the research and development section of the PHMSA website,

 The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration develops and enforces regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. Please visit for more information.


Grant Opportunity: Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges

NEH invites proposals for projects that advance the role of the humanities at a community college through curriculum and faculty development on the theme of Bridging Cultures.

NEH expects to award seven to nine grants of up to $120,000 each.

NEH Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges projects create opportunities for community college faculty members to study together while improving their capacity to teach the humanities; enhance or develop areas of need in an institution’s humanities programs; and give community college faculty access to humanities resources through partnerships with other educational or cultural institutions.

Funded projects will

  • draw on sound humanities scholarship related to the theme of Bridging Cultures,
  • engage participating faculty in shared readings of important humanities texts,
  • involve humanities scholars with appropriate expertise,
  • result in improvements in the quality of humanities instruction at a community college or community college system, and
  • disseminate widely the results of their work.

Projects must involve a partnership in the planning and implementation of the project between a community college or system and another educational or cultural institution, such as a college or university, museum, research library, or professional association.


Bridging Cultures is an agency-wide initiative that encourages exploration of the ways in which cultures from around the globe, as well as the myriad subcultures within America’s borders, have influenced American society. With the aim of revitalizing intellectual and civic life through the humanities, NEH welcomes proposals that enhance understanding of diverse countries, peoples, and cultural and intellectual traditions worldwide. Applications might also investigate how Americans have approached and attempted to surmount seemingly unbridgeable cultural divides, or examine the ideals of civility and civic discourse that have informed this quest. In connection with a focus on civic discourse, projects might explore the role of women in America’s civic life as well as the civic role of women in other cultures and regions of the world.

We strongly encourage interested applicants to contact us at (202) 606-8380 or to consult with a program officer about their proposals.

 Guidelines are available at  
The deadline is August 27, 2013.

Live Webcasts of Professional Development and Training Courses offered through the AERA Virtual Research Learning Center

The American Educational Research Association announces the AERA Virtual Research Learning Center (VRLC) live webcasts of Professional Development and Training Courses offered during the 2013 Annual Meeting. We are seeking your assistance in sharing this information with colleagues and potential participants. Thank you for your assistance. See the announcement below for further details:

Live Webcasts of Professional Development and Training Courses offered through the

AERA Virtual Research Learning Center


AERA is offering live webcasts of select professional development and training courses as well as in the traditional face-to-face format. Course participants from anywhere in the world with an internet connection can have full access to these select professional development and training courses. Within the virtual environment course participants will see the course live, participate in course discussions, and interact with the instructors and other participants. The courses that will be real-time streamed at the 2013 AERA Annual Meeting include:

PDC13: Introduction to the Measures of Effective Teaching Longitudinal Database
Sunday, April 28th; 8:00 am – 12:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time)

PDC20: International Education Research Made Easier: How to Use Several Free Online Data Tools
Monday, April 29th; 8:00 am – 12:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time)

PDC22: How to Get Published: Guidance from Emerging and Senior Scholars
Monday, April 29th; 8:00 am – 12:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time)

PDC24: Using the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth for Education Research
Tuesday, April 30th; 8:00 am – 12:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time)

PDC27: How to Analyze Large-Scale Assessments Data from Matrix Booklet Sampling Design: Focus on Psychometrics behind and Hands-on Analysis Using Actual Sample Data
Tuesday, April 30th; 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time)

For complete course descriptions, courses fees, and registration information visit The recorded webcasts of these courses will be available on-demand through the Virtual Research Learning Center online library following the Annual Meeting.

Webinar for college seniors, young workers to address managing student loans, saving for a secure financial future

An April 30 webinar will provide tips and tools to help college seniors and young workers learn to budget for today’s needs and tomorrow’s goals. “Start Early to Take Charge of Your Financial Future” will be held from 3-4 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 30. Participants will receive practical guidance and resources to assist with budgeting, managing debt from student loans and credit cards, saving and investing for short and long-term goals, making the most of employer-sponsored retirement and health benefits, and other aspects of personal finance management.

“For those just starting their careers, there are a lot of demands on their income and retirement seems far away,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security Phyllis C. Borzi. “However, by starting early and taking advantage of employer-sponsored benefits, young workers can take charge of their finances and begin to build retirement savings at a time in their lives when it will have the greatest impact.”

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration will co-host the webinar with the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards as part of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission’s Starting Early Campaign.

Members of the public can register at

U.S Senator Hagan Hosts North Carolina HBCU Chancellors and Presidents Summit

U.S. Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr today hosted a summit with chancellors and presidents from North Carolina’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to discuss ways to strengthen HBCUs. The Senators sought input on important education and workforce development issues facing Congress and welcomed the chance to listen to North Carolina HBCUs’ chancellors and presidents.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to hear directly from chancellors and presidents from North Carolina’s HBCUs so we can continue taking steps to make these outstanding colleges and universities even stronger,” Hagan said. “The feedback and suggestions I received today will be invaluable in assuring that our HBCUs can continue to offer the very best education possible for students in North Carolina.”

Learn more here:

SBA Signs Strategic Alliance Memorandums With HBCUs

The U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Administrator Cassius Butts recently signed Strategic Alliance Memorandums (SAMs) with Alcorn State University, Mississippi Valley State University and Rust College.  Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, Alcorn State University President, Dr. Alfred Rankins, Jr., Acting President of Mississippi Valley State University, and Dr. David L. Beckley, President of Rust College, each signed the agreement on behalf of their respective institutions.  

 Regional Administrator Butts stated, “of the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in this country, 59 are located in SBA Region IV (comprised of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.) I’ve always believed that these institutions and their faculty serve as the foundation for strong and thriving communities. This partnership will foster entrepreneurship amongst the young population, especially in minority communities.”

“SBA is excited about this opportunity to expand its outreach and relationship with these three HBCUs in Mississippi”, says Janita R. Stewart, SBA District Director in Mississippi. This new initiative with HBCUs will expand on that connection by providing further opportunities for SBA, Alcorn, Valley, and Rust to collaborate by ensuring that students get vital information on starting a business and the surrounding communities at large, may also benefit from these relationships.”  SBA Mississippi has previously worked with these institutions in other capacities.  In addition, through the Mississippi Network of Small Business Development Centers, SBA enjoys a long-term and on-going relationship with Jackson State University, a HBCU, which receives funding from SBA to provide counseling, training, management and technical assistance to small businesses and start-up entrepreneurs in Attala, Holmes, Hinds (city of Jackson), Madison and Yazoo counties.

Alcorn State University (ASU) is a Historically Black University that has been committed to academic excellence for over 140 years. Alcorn is a premier comprehensive land-grant university that develops diverse students into globally competitive leaders, and applies scientific research through collaborative partnerships that benefit the surrounding communities, state, nation, and world. Alcorn was founded in 1871 and is the oldest public historically black land-grant institution in the United States and the second oldest state supported institution of higher learning in Mississippi. Alcorn State University offers graduate and undergraduate programs in agriculture, business, robotic engineering, science and mathematics, criminal justice, industrial technology, education, nursing, and information technology. Academic programs at Alcorn State University are designed to challenge the mind, build intellectual integrity and create leaders of tomorrow. 

Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) is a Historically Black University founded in 1950. Mississippi Valley State University provides comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts and sciences, and professional studies. The University is driven by its commitment to excellence in teaching, learning, service, and research–a commitment resulting in a learner-centered environment that prepares critical thinkers, exceptional communicators, and service-oriented, engaged, and productive citizens. MVSU is fundamentally committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating extraordinary educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond.

Rust College is a Historically Black, coeducational, senior liberal arts college founded in 1866 by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The College is related to the United Methodist Church, and dedicated to serving students with a variety of academic preparations, through instruction in the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural science, business, technology, and education. The College recognizes the threefold functions of education as being teaching, research, and community service.  Rust offers a well-rounded program designed to acquaint students with cultural, moral, and spiritual values, both in theory and in practice.

For additional information contact the SBA Mississippi District Office at (601) 965-4378.

NSF Launches $10,000 BREAD Ideas Challenge

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today launched the BREAD Ideas Challenge, a prize competition for the Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development (BREAD) program.

The BREAD Ideas Challenge is an opportunity for researchers in the agricultural sciences to identify, in 100 words or fewer, what they believe are today’s most pressing issues facing smallholder farmers in the developing world. Up to 25 winners will receive $10,000 USD each and their ideas will be showcased on the BREAD Ideas Challenge website to draw international attention to these important challenges.

Ideas are now being accepted at the BREAD Ideas Challenge website from applicants in the United States and around the world.

The deadline for entrant registration and entry submission is 5:00 pm EDT (UTC/GMT-4 hours), April 30, 2013.

Learn more here.