Honors & Awards

Legal Scholar Michelle Alexander Selected to Receive a $250,000 Heinz Award

Legal Scholar Michelle Alexander Selected to Receive a $250,000 Heinz Award

Michelle Alexander is a visiting professor at the Union Theological Seminary and a senior fellow at the Ford Foundation. Earlier, she taught at Ohio State University and Stanford Law School. Professor alexander is being honored for her research on racial disparities in incarceration rates.

Natasha Trethewey Awarded the 2016 Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement

Natasha Trethewey Awarded the 2016 Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement

Natasha Trethewey is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing and the director of the creative writing program at Emory University. She is the former poet laureate of the United States.

Two African American Women Scholars Honored With Prestigious Awards

Two African American Women Scholars Honored With Prestigious Awards

Adrienne R. Carter-Sowell of Texas A&M University was honored by the American Psychological Association and Saundra Yancy McGuire of Louisiana State University was selected to receive an award from the American Chemical Society.

Nnedi Okorafor Wins Two of Science Fiction's Most Prestigious Awards

Nnedi Okorafor Wins Two of Science Fiction’s Most Prestigious Awards

Nnedi Okorafor, an associate professor of English at the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York System, is only the fourth author in the past two decades who has won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for the same novella. The awards are among the highest honors given to science fiction authors.

University of Iowa Names Its New Residence Hall for Alumna Elizabeth Catlett

University of Iowa Names Its New Residence Hall for Alumna Elizabeth Catlett

The University of Iowa is naming its newest residence hall in honor of Elizabeth Catlett, the celebrated artist and the first African American woman to earn a master of fine arts degree at the university.

T. Geronimo Johnson to Receive the 2016 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing

T. Geronimo Johnson to Receive the 2016 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing

T. Geronimo Johnson, who teaches creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley, is being honored for his 2015 novel Welcome to Braggsville. The novel tells the story of four Berkeley students who stage a protest at a Civil War reenactment event in Georgia.

The Higher Education of the Three Black Scholars Who Won Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards

The Higher Education of the Three Black Scholars Who Won Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards

The Rona Jaffe Foundation has announced six winners of its annual Writing Awards. The literary awards are only given to women who are in the early stages of their writing careers. Three of the six winners are African Americans with impressive higher education credentials.

Prestigious Honors for Two African American Professors

Prestigious Honors for Two African American Professors

The honorees are Wayne J. Dawkins, professor of professional practice in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University in Virginia, and Gibor Basri, professor of astronomy emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.

Richmond Honors Virginia Union University Students Who Protested Jim Crow

Richmond Honors Virginia Union University Students Who Protested Jim Crow

On February 22, 1960, 34 students from Virginia Union University were arrested for staging a sit-in at a segregated lunchcounter of a downtown department store. The city has now honored this group with a historical marker.

Fayetteville State University Professor Wins a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award

Fayetteville State University Professor Wins a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award

Carole Boston Weatherford, a professor of English at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, is being honored for authoring one of the year’s best books for children or young adults. Her book is on civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer.

Texas Southern University Team Wins International Entrepreneur Competition

Texas Southern University Team Wins International Entrepreneur Competition

The Texas Southern University team showcased their RadBlok device, an electromagnetic chip that improves cellphone reception, increases cellphone battery life, and protects the user from unwanted radiation.

Alicia Henry of Fisk University Wins the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art

Alicia Henry of Fisk University Wins the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art

In announcing the award the society stated that “Henry’s work specializes in painting, textile and mixed-media installation work that explores social relationships through depictions of the human figure shown in isolation and interacting with one another.”

Honors and Awards for a Trio of African Americans With Ties to Higher Education

Honors and Awards for a Trio of African Americans With Ties to Higher Education

Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland is honoring alumna and congressional representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones. LaDonna Christian of Simmons College in Boston was named Nurse Educator of the Year and the late Professor Clement Alexander Price is being remembered by Rutgers University-Newark.

California State University, Fullerton Scholar Wins Poetry Award

California State University, Fullerton Scholar Wins Poetry Award

Natalie Graham, assistant professor of African American studies at California State University, Fullerton, has been selected as the winner of the 2016 Cave Canem Poetry Prize from the Brooklyn, New York-based Cave Canem Foundation.

Two African American Scholars Honored With Prestigious Awards

Two African American Scholars Honored With Prestigious Awards

Rickey Laurentiis was selected as the winner of the 2016 Levis Reading Prize presented by Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and Bridgette Peteet, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Cincinnati, was honored by the American Psychological Foundation.

Professor Glenn Loury Honored by the American Economic Association

Professor Glenn Loury Honored by the American Economic Association

Glenn C. Loury, the Merton P. Stolz Professor of the social sciences and professor of economics at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, was named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association.

Two Black Scholars Honored With Prestigious Awards

Two Black Scholars Honored With Prestigious Awards

Venita Blackburn, an instructor at Arizona State University, is the winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Short Fiction and C. Shawn McGuffey, an associate professor of sociology at Boston College, was honored by the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Angela Flournoy to Receive the 2016 Cabell First Novelist Award

Angela Flournoy to Receive the 2016 Cabell First Novelist Award

The Cabell First Novelist Award is presented by Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa, The New School, and Columbia University.

Dining Hall at Yale's Calhoun Residential College Named for an African American

Dining Hall at Yale’s Calhoun Residential College Named for an African American

The dining hall at Calhoun Residential College will be renamed to honor Roosevelt L. Thompson. A resident of Calhoun college, Thompson was killed in an automobile accident during his senior year at Yale, after he had been selected as a Rhodes Scholar.

Tennessee State University Scholar Wins Book Award

Tennessee State University Scholar Wins Book Award

Harriett Kimbro-Hamilton, an associate professor of human performance and science at Tennessee State University in Nashville, was awarded for writing a book on her father who was a six-time all-star in the Negro Baseball League.

Attica Locke to Receive the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

Attica Locke to Receive the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

The Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction is presented by the University of Alabama Law School and the ABA Journal. Locke is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Four Black Scholars Honored With Notable Awards

Four Black Scholars Honored With Notable Awards

The honorees are Kingsley Odigie a postdoctoral researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey, Keisha N. Blain of the University of Iowa, Maurice Williams of Hampton University in Virginia, and Robert L. Belle Jr., a long-time educator who was recognized by Rowan University in New Jersey.

Award Named After Black Scholar at Texas A&M University

Award Named After Black Scholar at Texas A&M University

The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education has created an award to honor Christine A. Stanley, the vice president and associate provost for diversity and professor of higher education administration in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University.

New Yale Award Program for High School Students Honors Ebenezer Bassett

New Yale Award Program for High School Students Honors Ebenezer Bassett

Ebenezer Bassett was the first African American student to enroll at the Connecticut Normal School, which is now Central Connecticut State University. He taught at what is now Cheyney University and later became the first African American to serve as a diplomat for the United States.

City of Philadelphia to Honor Slain Educator and Civil Rights Activist, Octavius Catto

City of Philadelphia to Honor Slain Educator and Civil Rights Activist, Octavius Catto

Catto graduated as the valedictorian of the Institute for Colored Youth, which today is Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. He later taught English literature, mathematics and classical languages at the institution. He was murdered in 1871 while trying to defend African Americans’ right to vote.

Two African American Women Professors Honored With Major Awards

Two African American Women Professors Honored With Major Awards

The honorees are Estella Atekwana, Regents Professor and director of the Boone Pickens School of Geology at Oklahoma State University, and Nikki Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech.

Endowed Scholarship Fund at Jackson State Honors Former Political Science Professor

Endowed Scholarship Fund at Jackson State Honors Former Political Science Professor

Jackson State University in Mississippi has created an endowed scholarship fund in honor of Charles Holmes, the former professor and chair of the department of political science in the College of Liberal Arts.

MIT Debuts Excellence Through Adversity Award to Honor Robbin Chapman of Wellesley College

MIT Debuts Excellence Through Adversity Award to Honor Robbin Chapman of Wellesley College

Robbin Chapman is the former manager of diversity recruiting at the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT and also served as the inaugural assistant associate provost for faculty equity at the university. She joined the administration of Wellesley College in suburban Boston in 2011.

Honors or Awards for Three African American Women at Major Universities

Honors or Awards for Three African American Women at Major Universities

The honorees are Charlotte Baker of Florida A&M University, Shirley T. Frye of North Carolina A&T State University, and Karen Bankston of the College of Nursing at the University of Cincinnati.

Tufts University Names Residence Hall After Its First Black Tenure-Track Faculty Member

Tufts University Names Residence Hall After Its First Black Tenure-Track Faculty Member

Bernard W. Harleston was hired as an assistant professor of psychology at Tufts University in 1965. He later held an endowed chair in psychology and served as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the university. In 1981, Dr. Harleston was named president of City College of New York.

Harvard University Honors Its First African American Graduate

Harvard University Honors Its First African American Graduate

Harvard University recently unveiled a portrait of Richard Theodore Greener that will hang in Annenberg Hall along with other luminaries of Harvard’s past. Prior to 2005, only two of the university’s approximately 750 portraits were of people of color.

Yale University Names a Residential College in Honor of Pauli Murray

Yale University Names a Residential College in Honor of Pauli Murray

Yale is keeping the name of slavery proponent John Calhoun for one of its residential colleges but a new college will be named for Pauli Murray, the civil rights pioneer who earned a doctorate at Yale Law School in 1965.

Third Sister From Same Family Named Valedictorian at Dillard University

Third Sister From Same Family Named Valedictorian at Dillard University

Stephanie Akpapuna from Lagos, Nigeria, is the third member of her family to be named valedictorian at Dillard University in New Orleans. She will continue her education in the master of fine arts degree program in stage and production management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Professor Anita Hill to Be Honored With the $10,000 Spendlove Prize

Professor Anita Hill to Be Honored With the $10,000 Spendlove Prize

Professor Hill will be honored on October 24 by the University of California, Merced, 25 years after she testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, alleging sexual harassment by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

Old Dominion University Honors Its First African American Rector

Old Dominion University Honors Its First African American Rector

The board of visitors of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, has voted to name the university’s new residence hall after Hugo A. Owens, who led the university’s board of visitors from 1992 to 1993.

Choreographer Bill T. Jones to Receive the International Humanities Medal

Choreographer Bill T. Jones to Receive the International Humanities Medal

The award, administered by Washington University in St. Louis, recognizes the lifetime work of a noted scholar, writer, or artist who has made a significant and sustained contribution to the world of letters or arts. The award comes with a $25,000 prize.