Claflin's Kingsley Uche Named White House Initiative HBCU All-Star

Aug 24, 2016

Kingsley Uche HeadshotKingsley Uche, a senior biology major at Claflin University, has been named a 2016 HBCU All-Star by the White House Initiative on Historically Black College and Universities (WHIHBCUs).  A HBCU All-Star is selected based on academic accomplishment, leadership and civic engagement.

“This is a tremendous opportunity that will help me to improve my leadership skills and network with students and top professors from other HBCUs across the country,” said Uche, a native of Nigeria.  “I am also extremely proud that I will be representing Claflin University as an HBCU All-Star.”

The 2016 All-Stars were selected from over 300 applicants from 24 states, the District of Columbia, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Virgin Islands. Over the next year, the students will serve as ambassadors by providing outreach opportunities and communicating with other students about the value of both education and the Initiative as a networking source. They will also participate in the White House HBCU Week Conference, national and regional events, and webinars with Initiative staff and other professionals on a range of disciplines that support a spirit of engagement and personal and professional development.

Uche plans to implement a service project that will benefit the campus community.  He plans to start a campus mentoring program that will offer Claflin students hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) experiences that will include site visits to local hospitals and teach students how to apply for scholarships and internships.

 “I want to help students understand the importance of prioritizing their time so that they will not only be successful in academics but also increase their participation in community service activities,” said Uche.

Uche’s own community service involvement includes volunteering with the Orangeburg Boys and Girls Club and serving as a tutor in biology, chemistry and kinetics.  He conducted research during internships at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and the Yale University School of Medicine. Uche is enrolled in the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College and he is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, International Students Association and the American Chemistry Society. Uche is a UNCF (United Negro College Fund) scholarship recipient and he is listed in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

“I want to be a role model for other students at Claflin and inspire them to also achieve their goals,” said Uche. “I am a first generation college student.  When I think about where I came from I have to give my best to make my family proud,” he added. I owe so much to my experiences at Claflin which have transformed and taught me to think like a leader – not a student.”

This is the third class of All-Stars, according to John B. King Jr., U.S Secretary of Education.  Claflin students previously selected as HBCU All-Stars were Kimesha Cooper and Kareem Heslop in 2015 and Jessica Mong in 2014. 

“During the course of one academic school year, the All-Stars will distinguish themselves as exemplars of the talent that HBCUs cultivate and as noble ambassadors of their respective institutions," said King.. "We are confident this opportunity will allow the White House Initiative to meaningfully connect with HBCU students and advance academic excellence at their schools."

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