Milestones

Wanda Brown Takes Over as President of the American Library Association

Wanda Brown Takes Over as President of the American Library Association

Brown, the director of library services at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, is the first president of the American Library Association who is currently a librarian at a historically Black university. She is the sixth African American to hold the presidency of the ALA.

LaToya Webb is the First Black Woman Invited to the U.S. Army Band Conductors Workshop

LaToya Webb is the First Black Woman Invited to the U.S. Army Band Conductors Workshop

LaToya Webb, a graduate teaching assistant in the department of music in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University in Alabama, has been selected to attend the U.S. Army Band Conductors Workshop this summer. Her selection makes her the first African American woman to be chosen for this prestigious event.

Kenesha Starling is the First African American Editor-in-Chief of the South Texas Law Review

Kenesha Starling is the First African American Editor-in-Chief of the South Texas Law Review

Starling, the first Black editor-in-chief in of the law review in the 96-year history of the law school, is currently completing her final year of law school at South Texas. During her time in law school, she has had to balance a full-time job at a federal agency, her educational pursuits, and motherhood.

The First African American President of Everett Community College in Washington State

The First African American President of Everett Community College in Washington State

Dr. Willis has been serving as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, New York. Earlier in her career, Dr. Willis was an assistant professor of history, faculty senate president, department chair, and dean of academic studies at Lee College in Baytown, Texas.

The First African American Student Body President in the 318-Year History of Yale University

The First African American Student Body President in the 318-Year History of Yale University

Recently Kahlil Greene was elected president of the Yale College Council. Greene is a rising junior and an economics major. He spent the summer of 2018 at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

A Milestone Achievement for Marsha Jean-Charles at Cornell University

A Milestone Achievement for Marsha Jean-Charles at Cornell University

In 2013, Cornell University initiated a doctoral degree program in Africana studies. Last month, Marsha Jean-Charles was the first person to earn a Ph.D. in the field at the university.

Liselle Joseph's Milestone Achievement at Virginia Tech

Liselle Joseph’s Milestone Achievement at Virginia Tech

Liselle Joseph was awarded a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. She is the first woman from an Eastern Caribbean nation to earn a Ph.D. in the field.

The First Black Master of a College at the University of Cambridge in England

The First Black Master of a College at the University of Cambridge in England

Sonita Alleyne was recently appointed as master of Jesus College at the University of Cambridge in England. The title of master is the equivalent of dean in the United States. Alleyne will be the first woman and the first Black person to lead the college, which was established in 1496.

The First Black Woman to Earn a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Michigan

The First Black Woman to Earn a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Michigan

With a background in chemistry, Dr. Sivels had not taken basic physic courses in high school or as an undergraduate at MIT. As a result, she he was not as well prepared for a graduate level program in nuclear engineering in comparison to her peers.

Olivette Otele Becomes First Black Woman History Professor in the United Kingdom

Olivette Otele Becomes First Black Woman History Professor in the United Kingdom

Olivette Otele has become the first Black woman history professor in the United Kingdom. She has been named a professor of history at Bath Spa University where she will lead history courses at the university’s Newton Park on Duchy of Cornwall campus.

The First Woman of Color to Serve as Dean of the St. Thomas University School of Law

The First Woman of Color to Serve as Dean of the St. Thomas University School of Law

Tamara F. Lawson has been named dean of St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens, Florida. Professor Lawson, who had been serving as interim dean since June 2018, earlier was associate dean for academic affairs from 2017 to June 2018.

The First Woman to Earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science at North Carolina A&T State University

The First Woman to Earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science at North Carolina A&T State University

Dr. Siobahn Day’s research focused on how to determine originating sources of statements made on social media outlets. The research aimed to determine the sources of fake news that have become rampant on social media platforms.

The First Black Woman Inducted Into the National Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame

The First Black Woman Inducted Into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame

Rene Revis Shingles, a professor in the School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences at Central Michigan University, was elected into the Hall of Fame of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. She is the first African American woman to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The First African American Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy

The First African American Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy

Darryl A. Williams is the 60th superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He is the first African American to serve in this role in the 216-year history of the academy.

Ernest J. Grant Will Be the First Man to Lead the American Nurses Association

Ernest J. Grant Will Be the First Man to Lead the American Nurses Association

Dr. Grant is an internationally recognized burn care and fire safety expert and oversees the nationally acclaimed North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill. He also teaches at the university’s School of Nursing.

The First Black Woman to Lead the American Medical Association

The First Black Woman to Lead the American Medical Association

Patrice Harris, a practicing psychiatrist and an adjunct assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University in Atlanta, was chosen as president-elect of the American Medical Association. In June 2019, she will become the first Black woman to lead the organization.

11-Year-Old Child Prodigy Receives Full Tuition Scholarship to Southern University

11-Year-Old Child Prodigy Receives Full Tuition Scholarship to Southern University

Since the age of 8, Elijah Precciely has taken classes at the university. Due to his previously college credits, he will start at Southern University as a sophomore. He has authored a book, hosts a radio show, and has submitted five U.S. patents.

Darrell Cain Appointed President of Pierce College-Puyallup in Washington State

Darrell Cain Appointed President of Pierce College-Puyallup in Washington State

Dr. Cain has been serving as vice chancellor for student affairs for Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis. When he takes office, Dr. Cain will be the first African American to serve as permanent president of the Puyallup campus.

Morgan State University Signs Its First-Ever Technology Transfer License Agreement

Morgan State University Signs Its First-Ever Technology Transfer License Agreement

The technology, which was developed by the research staff in the Center for Advanced Energy Systems and Environmental Control Technologies in the School of Engineering at Morgan State, is an ultra-clean mobile combustor for waste biomass and poultry litter disposal.

Miles K. Davis Will Be the First African American President of Linfield College in Oregon

Miles K. Davis Will Be the First African American President of Linfield College in Oregon

Currently, Dr. Davis is dean of the Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. He joined the faculty there is 2001 and was named dean of the business school in 2012. He will become president of Linfield College on July 1.

Former Portland State University Official Named to the Oregon Supreme Court

Former Portland State University Official Named to the Oregon Supreme Court

Adrienne C. Nelson has been appointed by Governor Kate Brown to a seat on the Oregon Supreme Court. She is the first African American to serve on an appellate court in the state of Oregon.

A Record Number of Doctoral Degree Awards at Grambling State University

A Record Number of Doctoral Degree Awards at Grambling State University

Last month seven students were awarded doctorates in developmental education at Grambling State University in Louisiana. This is the largest number of doctoral degrees awarded in university history. One of the seven students is a grandfather who has been serving as a lecturer in the College of Business at Grambling.

Winston-Salem State Graduate Is the First to Take Advantage of a Guaranteed Admission Program

Winston-Salem State Graduate Is the First to Take Advantage of a Guaranteed Admission Program

Alexis McCrea, who graduated from Winston-Salem State University last spring, is the first student to take advantage of the university’s Early Assurance Program that guarantees admission for university graduates to the doctor of physical therapy program if they have met specific requirements.

Kentucky State University Awards its First Doctoral Degrees

Kentucky State University Awards its First Doctoral Degrees

Kentucky State University, the historically Black educational institution in Frankfort, recently conferred its first doctoral degrees in the 131-year history of the educational institution. Six students were awarded the doctor of nursing practice degree at the university’s fall commencement.

Morgan State University Set to Award its First Ph.D. in Mathematics

Morgan State University Set to Award its First Ph.D. in Mathematics

Next month, Candice Marshall is set to become the first person to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics at historically Black Morgan State University in Baltimore. A native of St. Lucia in the Caribbean, Marshall’s research involves advanced matrix algebra and Riordan matrices.

The First African American Woman Athletic Director at a Power 5 Conference University

The First African American Woman Athletic Director at a Power 5 Conference University

The University of Virginia has named Carla Williams as director of athletics. She is the first African American woman to be named an athletics director at a Power 5 conference that make up the nation’s leading football programs.

Clemson University's First African American Dean Has Retired

Clemson University’s First African American Dean Has Retired

Frankie O. Felder, senior associate dean at the Clemson University’s graduate school, retired on August 15. Dr. Felder had served as a dean at the graduate school since 1987. She was the first African American dean at Clemson.

The First African American Woman to Lead the Corps of Cadets at West Point

The First African American Woman to Lead the Corps of Cadets at West Point

Simone Askew of Fairfax, Virginia, was named First Captain of the Corps of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for the 2017-18 academic year. She is the first African American woman to hold this position since the academy’s founding in 1802.

The First African American President of Eureka College in Illinois

The First African American President of Eureka College in Illinois

Jamel Santa Cruze Wright has been serving as interim president of the college since July 2016. Dr. Wright first came to Eureka College in 2014 as chief diversity officer and vice president for strategic and diversity initiatives.

Tonjua Williams Will Be the First African American President of St. Petersburg College

Tonjua Williams Will Be the First African American President of St. Petersburg College

Dr. Williams has been on the staff at the college for 30 years. Since 2013, she has served as senior vice president of student services. She holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Barry University in Miami.

Alabama State University Awards Its First Master of Social Work Degrees

Alabama State University Awards Its First Master of Social Work Degrees

Seven students, all of whom previously had earned bachelor’s degrees in social work at Alabama State University, were recently awarded the university’s first master of social work degrees.

A Milestone Commencement at North Carolina Central University

A Milestone Commencement at North Carolina Central University

The University awarded 725 undergraduate degrees and 490 graduate degrees at commencement ceremonies earlier this month, the largest total in the university’s history. It also awarded its first Ph.D.s in over a half century.

Black Teenager in New Jersey Accepted Into All Eight Ivy League Schools

Black Teenager in New Jersey Accepted Into All Eight Ivy League Schools

Ifeoma White-Thorpe had a perfect grade point average during her high school years. She also was student body president.

The First Black Editor-in-Chief of the Emory Law Journal

The First Black Editor-in-Chief of the Emory Law Journal

Janiel Myers is a native of Jamaica but has become a U.S. citizen. She is scheduled to earn her law degree in 2018 and is the chair of academic and professionalism success for the Emory Black Law Student Association.

The First African American Editor-in-Chief of the South Carolina Law Review

The First African American Editor-in-Chief of the South Carolina Law Review

Chelsea Evans, a second-year student at the University of South Carolina School of Law, is the first African American to be elected editor-in-chief in the 69-year history of the legal publication.

The First Black Woman to Lead the Harvard Law Review

The First Black Woman to Lead the Harvard Law Review

The first edition of the Harvard Law Review was published in 1887. It has the largest circulation of any law journal in the world. Now, for the first time in 131 years, a Black woman will serve as president of the law review.