White House Honors 11 Champions of Change from HBCUs

Dr. Tommie Stewart is the dean of the college of visual and performing arts at Alabama State University.Dr. Tommie Stewart is the dean of the college of visual and performing arts at Alabama State University.The White House honored 11 HBCU leaders at a reception Tuesday. All were named Champions of Change for their work in cultivating positive learning environments and promoting post-graduation success for students on HBCU campuses.

The White House periodically honors those individuals it designates as Champions of Change in a given field, such as climate education and literacy, or the workplace. The honoring of leaders of historically Black colleges and universities coincides with the end of Black History Month. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the selection of the honorees underscores the current administration’s emphasis on the STEM fields.

Of the 11 honorees, seven are in STEM. Dr. A. Deloris Alexander is director of Tuskegee University’s Ph.D. Integrative Biosciences program; Dr. Abayomi Ajayi-Majebi is a professor of manufacturing engineering at Central State University; Dr. Goins is a professor of biology at North Carolina A&T State University; and Dr. Herbert W. Thompson is a professor of biology at Bethune-Cookman University. Dr. J.K. Haynes is the dean of science and mathematics at Morehouse College; Dr. Robert A. Johnson is chair of the mathematics and computer science department at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and Dr. Frank A. James is a professor of mathematics at Philander Smith College.

The final four were administrators. Dr. Tanya V. Rush is the associate vice president for student affairs at Morgan State University; Dr. R. Rennae Elliott is chair of the communications department at Oakwood University; Dr. Freddie T. Vaughns is the assistant vice president of academic affairs at Bowie State University; and Dr. Tommie Stewart is dean of the college of visual and performing arts at Alabama State University.