Four Black Scholars Honored With Prestigious Awards

Wanda Spurlock, professor in the School of Nursing and Allied Health at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Black Nurses Association. The association, founded in 1972, represents 150,000 members with 92 chartered chapters in 35 states.

Dr. Spurlock is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond and holds master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing.

Carmen Robinson, director of undergraduate education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Bonita C. Jacobs Transfer Champion Rising Star Award from the National Institution for the Study of Transfer Students. She will be honored in February in Atlanta at the organization’s national conference.

Dr. Robinson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Arkansas. She earned a second master’s degree from the University of Memphis and an educational doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Alex Acholonu, a professor of biology at Alcorn State University in Mississippi, received the Imo Diaspora Award for Professional Excellence from the state of Imo in the African nation of Nigeria.

Professor Acholonu joined the faculty at Alcorn State University in 1991. He holds a Ph.D. in parasitology.

Joy Buolamwini, a graduate student in media arts and sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received the Grand Prize in the Search for Hidden Figures Competition. Her work on biases in computer algorithms was chosen as worthy of recognition from more than 7,300 entries. She will receive a $50,000 scholarship.

Before coming to MIT, Buolamwini earned a bachelor’s degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in learning and technology as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford in England.


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