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Morgan State University Students Selected as Ambassadors for White House Initiative Supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities

by Morgan State U
July 11, 2022

2022 HBCU Scholar Recognition Program Strengthens Pipeline of Talented Students, Creating Post Graduate Opportunities


BALTIMORE — Morgan State University announces two students from Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. School of Engineering (SOE) will represent the University in the ninth cohort of 2022 HBCU Scholars, serving as ambassadors for the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities. A key priority for President Biden’s Administration, the White House Initiative is focused on breaking down barriers and expanding pathways for HBCUs to access federal funding and programs, particularly in areas of research and development, innovation, financial, and other support to students.  The program is designed to enhance leadership and professional development skills and provide an opportunity for students and policy makers to collaborate.

To participate in the program, students were endorsed by the University’s leadership and selected from a competitive pool of over 350 students enrolled at 56 HBCUs.

Dean Oscar Barton“As Dean of the Mitchell School of Engineering, I am extremely excited for the selections of Oladayo Akinpelu and Abia-Godwin Eke as White House HBCU Scholars,” said Oscar Barton, Jr., Ph.D, PE, dean of the School of Engineering at Morgan. “These newly recognized scholars are exemplars of attributes that represent Morgan State University – those that build knowledge through curiosity and that reach goals by leveraging risk. We need more of these types of programs because of the positive impact they have on our community.”

As part of the program, the students will participate in leadership and professional development workshops, network with professionals from a wide range of disciplines, share promising and proven practices with key stakeholders that support opportunities for all young people, and work on issues specifically related to the HBCU community.

“I am honored to have been selected for this award. As a future professional transportation engineer, this is an opportunity for me to expand my network and build new alliances,” said Oladayo Akinpelu, a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering student at Morgan. “Being a part of this cohort will provide me with resources that will be useful for my continued growth and empower me to give back to my community. Additionally, this is an opportunity to work collaboratively with influential policy makers to address issues impacting HBCUs.”

Oladayo Akinpelu Goodwin EkeHBCU Scholars will also be invited to the 2022 HBCU Week National Annual Conference, held September 20-23 in Washington, D.C. During the conference, they will participate in sessions designed to engage a spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation, and workforce development. Most importantly, scholars will have opportunities to engage with one another and showcase their individual and collective talent.

About HBCU Scholar Program
The White House Initiative on Education Equity, Excellence and Economic Development through Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Initiative) HBCU Scholar Recognition Program is designed to identify current HBCU students for their dedication to academics, leadership, and civic engagement. The Initiative will select no more than 2 students from each HBCU.

About Morgan
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit

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Media Contacts:
Larry Jones or Dell Jackson, University Relations