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Press Release  
Release Date: Saturday, March 22, 2014 8:54 PM
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Media Contact:
Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist

Howard Leads White House HBCU ‘All-Stars’


Washington, DC (February 12, 2014) – The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities today announced its first class of HBCU All-Stars, recognizing three Howard University students for their accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement.  The students include Tyrone Hankerson, Jocelyn Cole, and Vivian Nweze.  

Hankerson is a junior communications and culture major; Nwenze is a senior majoring in radio, television and film and Cole is a doctoral student in History. A total of 75 students were selected from 62 two-year and four-year HBCU campuses from a pool of more than 400 applicants. Howard received the highest number of honorees from a single institution.

“Our continued success and national recognition is a direct measure of our outstanding caliber of students,” said Constance Ellison, vice president for Student Affairs. “Our students are engaged in groundbreaking research, community service, civic engagement and our graduates continue to make a significant difference on the global stage.”

The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities works to promote HBCU excellence, innovation, and sustainability. In 2014, the Initiative will recognize current HBCU students for their dedication to academics, leadership and civic engagement.

“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 White House Initiative on HBCUs. “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, 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.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.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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