A Time for Reflecting on What We are Most Thankful for

By: Kim Hunter Reed, Ph.D, Deputy Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education and Acting Executive Director, White House Initiative on HBCUs

During this season of giving thanks, I reflect on my gratitude list – a wonderful family, good health, great friends and new adventures.  Also, I count the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on my list. Over generations and still today, these institutions open the doors of opportunity to so many.

I am grateful for the chance to work with our nation’s HBCUs – urban and rural, two and four year, research campuses and teaching focused institutions – that educate more than 300,000 students annually. True to their mission, they focus on building diverse leaders equipped and committed to improving our nation. Our HBCU graduates continue to make their mark across multiple fields including as innovators, educators, doctors, civil rights champions and true advocates for children.

In this year, I have witnessed HBCUs answering our nation’s call. As President Obama challenged institutions across the country to produce a million more STEM graduates, HBCU leaders joined with industry leaders at Tuskegee University to talk through recruitment, retention and work placement for STEM students – taking on the challenges and taking through the most promising solutions.

When the U.S. Department of Education issued a call for innovative education practices focused on student success among low income students, campuses like Spelman College and Delaware State University were selected through a competitive process to advance this important work. And when we sought partners to implement our Pell grant experiments in high school dual enrollment and prison education, again, HBCUs like Jackson State, Benedict College, Wiley College, Langston University, and Shorter College were among the campuses that raised their hand to serve students and measure success.

Our HBCUs have been a vital component of America’s social fabric for over 150 years. They have had a glorious past, but it is up to us to ensure that they have a glorious future.

To support that vision, the White House Initiative on HBCUs is working to build the capacity of these institutions. We are expanding access to best and promising practices to lift student success. We are working directly with campuses and federal partners to promote their research capacity to engage in competitive federal contracts and we have reached out to federal and business partners to build pathways to employment through internship opportunities for our talented HBCU students, including emerging opportunities with the technology and entertainment industries.

We are also in our third year of our HBCU All-Star program, which opens additional doors of opportunity to students who have been recognized for their academic, leadership and service commitment, giving them the ability to advocate for education and completion.

That HBCU Pride was on full display last month when campus leaders, our HBCU All-Stars and federal and business partners gathered for the National HBCU Week conference. During our time together, we explored challenging issues like race, law enforcement and education justice; discussed access, affordability and completion; talked about student mobilization through a dynamic student and celebrity panel; and planned for deeper service and international student engagement.

Talent development in this country is foundational for our democracy and transformative for our students. So in this season for giving thanks, I am grateful our HBCUs are educating, serving and answering our nation’s call as bellwethers for change developing new leaders.

President Obama Announces Intent to Appoint New Members of his Advisory Board on HBCUs

WASHINGTON, DC – On May 25, 2016, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities :

  • Phyliss Craig-Taylor – Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Marian Wright Edelman – Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Lillian Lowery – Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Phyliss Craig-Taylor, Appointee for Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Phyliss Craig-Taylor is Dean of North Carolina Central  School of Law.  Prior to this, she served as an associate dean of academics at North Carolina Central School of Law. Ms. Craig-Taylor served as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee, the University of Florida, North Carolina Central University, as well as a visiting scholar at the University of Warsaw Center for American Law.  She became a member of the Coalition for Racial and Ethnic Justice for the American Bar Association in 2015 and she was appointed by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court to serve on the North Carolina Commission for the Administration of Law and Justice. Ms. Craig-Taylor is a past Vice President of the North Carolina Bar Association and a past member of  both the Council for the American Bar Association Section of Litigation and the Ethics Advisory Committee of the North Carolina State Bar.  Before entering academia, she spent several years in private practice and served as a law clerk to the Alabama Supreme Court.  Ms. Craig- Taylor received a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Alabama and an L.L.M. from Columbia University.

Marian Wright Edelman, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), a position she has held since co-founding CDF in 1973.  From 1971 to 1973, she served as Director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University.  From 1968 to 1973, Ms. Edelman worked as a Field Foundation Fellow and Founder of the Washington Research Project of the Southern Center for Public Policy.  In 1968, Ms. Edelman was a Congressional and Federal Agency Liaison for the Poor People’s Campaign.  From 1964 to 1968, Ms. Edelman served as the Director of the Jackson, Mississippi chapter of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  Earlier in her career, she served as a Staff Attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in New York.  Ms. Edelman received a B.A. from Spelman College and an LL.B. from Yale Law School.

Dr. Lillian Lowery, Appointee for Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Dr. Lillian Lowery is President and CEO of FutureReady Columbus, a position she has held since September 2015.  Dr. Lowery served as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans from 2014 to 2015.  From 2012 to 2015, she served as Superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education.  From 2009 to 2012, Dr. Lowery was Secretary of Education for the State of Delaware and from 2006 and 2009, she was Superintendent of the Christina School District in New Castle County, Delaware.  Dr. Lowery was the Assistant Superintendent of Cluster VII for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia from 2004 to 2006.  She also served for two years as an Area Administrator for Fort Wayne Community Schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Dr. Lowery began her career as a middle school teacher in the North Carolina Public Schools, where she worked from 1978 to 1984.  Dr. Lowery has held leadership positions on the Board of Directors of Boys and Girls Club of America and Stop Child Abuse and Neglect. Dr. Lowery received a B.A. from North Carolina Central University, an M.A. from The University of North Carolina, and an Ed.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

President Obama Announces Intent to Appoint New Members of his Advisory Board on HBCUs

WASHINGTON, DC – On May 5, 2016, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities :

  • Wayne A. I. Frederick – Member
  • Janice Bryant Howroyd – Member

Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, Appointee for Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick is the President of Howard University, a position he has held since 2014.  Prior to becoming the President, Dr. Frederick held several leadership positions at Howard University, including Interim President, Associate Dean in the College of Medicine, Division Chief in the Department of Surgery, Director of the Cancer Center, and Deputy Provost for Health Sciences.  Before joining the administration at Howard University, Dr. Frederick served as the Associate Director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Director of Surgical Oncology, and as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Connecticut Health Center.  Dr. Frederick received a B.S., M.B.A. and M.D. from Howard University.

Janice Bryant Howroyd, Appointee for Member, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Janice Bryant Howroyd is the CEO of ACT-1 Group, an employment and management company that offers a range of services from employee background checks to executive travel management.  She founded the organization in 1978.  Ms. Bryant Howroyd is an Ambassador of the Department of Energy’s Minorities in Energy Initiative, a Board Member of the Department of Labor’s Workforce Initiative Board, and a Member of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services and Finance Industries of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce.  She has also served on the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Board of Directors for North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

DOE-NE Releases FOA for Radiochemistry Traineeships

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy has released an FOA that will establish DOE-sponsored Institution of High Education (IHE)-led traineeships as a mechanism for graduate-level training critical to DOE mission-driven workforce needs. This will be accomplished through a focused academic graduate program that delivers unique, innovative curriculum, coupled with a rigorous thesis or dissertation research requirement in the area of radiochemistry. The total Government funding available for any single award under this FOA shall not exceed $3 million over five (5) years, subject to availability of funds.

Applications are due March 28, 2016.

DOE Traineeship in Nuclear Radiochemistry (DE-FOA-0001369)

A copy of the application package can be found here.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) Letter of Intent Due July 26, 2016

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP)


The National Science Foundation’s updated Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) solicitation was released on Friday, February 12, 2016.   HBCU-UP is committed to enhancing the quality of undergraduate STEM education and research at HBCUs as a means to broaden participation in the nation’s STEM workforce. To this end, HBCU-UP provides awards to develop, implement, and study evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. Support is available for Targeted Infusion Projects, Broadening Participation Research Projects, Research Initiation Awards, Implementation Projects, Achieving Competitive Excellence Implementation Projects, and Broadening Participation Research Centers; as well as other funding opportunities.


Below is a link to the solicitation.


Available Formats: HTML: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16538/nsf16538.htm?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click Document Number: nsf16538



Announcing the Computer Science for All Initiative

Last year, President Obama became the first President to write a line of code, and today, in his Weekly Address, the President announced his plan to give all students across the country the chance to learn computer science (CS) in school.

By some estimates, just one quarter of all the K-12 schools in the United States offer CS with programming and coding, and only 28 states allow CS courses to count towards high-school graduation. The President’s Computer Science for All Initiative builds on these efforts by providing $4 billion in funding for states and $100 million directly for districts in his upcoming budget; investing more than $135 million beginning this year by the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service to support and train CS teachers; and calling on even more Governors, Mayors, education leaders, CEOs, philanthropists, creative media and technology professionals, and others to get involved in the efforts.


We know there are leaders across the country who are bringing computer science opportunities to their communities and we want to hear from you about the work that you are doing. If you want to help expand CS in your community, you can submit your commitment here. You can also participate by using the hashtag #CSforAll and sharing your stories:

Post photos of you, your class, your family, your workplace, or your community learning to code.

  • If you are a teacher or other leader who has solutions for learning that are already working tell us about those innovations so others can adopt them and build on your success.
  • If you are a professional coder or techie already in fields that rely on computer science, share how you got into this work and thank those people who helped you get where you are today!
  • Share your stories about Computer Science Heroes past and present so that the next generation can see the range of things computer science is a part of.

To learn more about today’s announcements from the Federal Government, private sector, and non-profit organizations, click here or check out the attached fact sheet!

Fae M. Jencks

Senior Policy Advisor for Public Engagement

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

@whitehouseostp | #CSforAll


Funding Opportunity Announcement — College Sexual Assault Policy and Prevention Initiative

The Office on Women’s Health announces the College Sexual Assault Policy and Prevention Initiative (Funding Opportunity Number – WH-AST-16-001), awarding up to 10 cooperative agreements totaling $2 million for a 3-year period.  Applications should focus on implementing policies and practices at post-secondary schools (colleges, universities, technical schools, community college, and trade schools) to prevent sexual assault on their campuses. Those awarded will partner with organizations and post-secondary schools to provide technical assistance and support to influence and implement policies and prevention strategies based on the recommendations from the White House Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault – Not Alone and It’s On Us Campaigns.  For more information, please visit http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=WH-AST-16-001.

DOE-EM Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program Internships

The MSIPP Internships is a new program to promote the education and development of the next generation workforce in critical science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) for full time students currently enrolled at an accredited Minority Serving Institution (MSI). These programs assist current missions of the DOE efforts in environmental management. The MSIPP Internships is designed to provide an enhanced training environment for the next generation scientists and engineers by exposing them to research challenges unique to our mission.

The website link is http://srnl.doe.gov/msipp/internships.htm Students can find information on how to apply, as well as contact information on this site.  The deadline for applications is February 28.