NEW ORLEANS – The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities recently named their 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars – the Initiative’s highest student recognition. Chevel Powell, ‘19, is among the 63 students selected from 54 HBCUs. Later this month, the Powell and other high achievers will assemble in the nation’s capital. She is only one of two scholars selected from New Orleans and the fifth Dillard student selected since 2014.
The Competitiveness Scholars are comprised of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, who are recognized for successfully preparing to compete for top opportunities that improve long-term outcomes. Each were nominated and endorsed by their institution’s president, which itself is an honorable mention. They were selected from among several highly distinguished HBCU students based on their academic achievement, campus and civic involvement and entrepreneurial ethos or “go-getter” spirit.
“Chevel, while quiet and reserved, has had a stellar career at Dillard,” said Walter M. Kimbrough Ph.D.. “From serving as a resident assistant to being a member of our nationally ranked mock trial team, she has been consistently excellent.”
In the course of their year long term, Competitiveness Scholars will learn and share proven and promising practices that support individual and HBCU competitiveness, with the goal of strengthening prospects for career and life success.
“I felt honored to be selected by Dr. [Walter]. Kimbrough,” said Powell, a political science major from Westmoreland, Jamaica. “I was pleasantly surprised and humbled by his endorsement.”
Competitiveness Scholars will assemble September 16-18, at the 2018 National HBCU Week Conference held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, in Washington, D.C. The theme of the national convening is HBCU Competitiveness: Aligning Institutional Missions with America’s Priorities, and the students will participate in workshops designed to improve leadership, encourage ongoing personal and professional development and discover areas of innovation and entrepreneurship. As the embodiment of unique competitive advantages HBCUs provide students, Competitiveness Scholars are afforded opportunities to highlight their exceptional contributions to institutions, ignite new passions and explore ideas critical to lifelong growth and development.
Powell describes herself as someone who prides themselves on academics. Competitiveness Scholars are recognized for the 2018-2019 academic school year. Throughout this period, the Initiative will provide outreach and engagement activities, as well as information and resources that can be disseminated to fellow students. They are expected to take full advantage of the opportunities provided, engage with one another and showcase individual and collective talents across the HBCU spectrum.
Competitiveness Scholars will receive their recognition during the conference on the evening of September 17, at the Initiative’s Excellence in Innovation and Competitiveness Awards. “I hope that this experience will enhance my leadership skills and allow me to make connections that will not only be personally beneficial but beneficial for Dillard as well,” Powell said.