Forty-two students from the University of Arkansas School of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Humanities at Pine Bluff are honored to call themselves “1890 UAPB Fellows,” according to Tomekia White, program coordinator. of UAPB 1890 scholarships.
These are the UAPB students who were chosen to receive scholarships funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, as authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. .
“The 1890 scholarship program offers scholarships to undergraduates from 19 historically black universities across the country – the 1890s,” White said. “Of the 42 students, 14 are returning fellows and 28 are new to the program. These students will all be pursuing degrees in food and agricultural science and related fields at SAFHS.”
This was UAPB’s second academic year to receive scholarship funds. The scholarships were awarded in amounts of $ 4,000, $ 6,000, $ 8,000 and $ 20,000 per year, based on GPA and ACT requirements.
“The scholarships have provided many students with the opportunity to receive an education without having to worry about student debt upon graduation,” White said. “We are not only trying to recruit new students, but also to retain these students by making sure they have everything they need to be successful.”
White said there have been recent orientation sessions for new students to acclimatize to the program and to introduce them to the resources available on the UAPB campus. For example, they learned to take advantage of the Student Success Center, which offers tutoring, math and writing assistance services.
“Our students have a lot of problems as freshmen that they don’t know how to start solving,” she said. “This year, I wanted to make a difference and prevent some of these problems by identifying the people put in place to help them.”
The students also heard from professors and representatives of their university departments and associated clubs. Participating clubs included Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Allied Sciences, American Fisheries Society, US Aquaculture Society, Office of International Programs and Studies and Career Services.
As she continues to develop the scholarship program, White said she is teaming up with Nina Lyon-Bennett, Ph.D, Associate Dean of Academics at SAFHS, on a mentorship program for scholars. 1890 scholarship holders.
“Each scholar will be assigned mentors whose interests are closely related,” she said. “I will work with assigned mentors to provide advice and supervision on academic and professional activities of academics. My duties include providing networking advice, doing internships, attending conferences and seminars. other professional development activities as students move towards careers in food, agriculture, natural resources and the humanities.
One of the new scholars is White’s daughter Morgan White. A freshman majoring in regulatory science, White said she applied for the program thanks to encouragement from her mother. She chose her specialty because of her interest in regulating policies and assessing the quality and performance of different products.
“I look forward to forming long term relationships with people in my field of work and gaining knowledge that I can take with me as I progress through my major,” she said. .
Allison Jackson, a sophomore agricultural major and returning scholar in 1890, said she hoped her studies at UAPB would give her a deep understanding of the business side of agriculture, as well. than USDA, where she would like to be employed.
“I found out about the program through a family friend and she introduced me to Dr White,” she said. “After Dr. White explained everything to me, I knew then that majoring in Agricultural Business would be right for me. Classes.”
Isaiah Young, a second-year major in plant science and agronomy, said he has received a lot of support in the scholarship program from Edlun Marshall, who works for the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success. at UAPB. Denetra Williams, originally from her hometown of Marvell, initially spoke to Young about the stock market and also helped him choose his specialty. Young said agronomy would suit him well, as he grew up around farming and appreciates the financial and job security of the field.
If it hadn’t been for the 1890 scholarship, Young believes he wouldn’t be enrolled in college yet.
“I really benefited from this program,” he said. “It gave me the opportunity to experience university life … My education here opened my mind a lot. My high school was not always the best when it comes to teaching, but this school has me. given the ability to learn. I am very grateful. “
Coordinating the program, White said she found the ability to provide funding opportunities for students whose families may not have the means to send them to an incredibly meaningful college. She also appreciates the trust she has gained with each researcher.
“They trust me enough to go above and beyond the call of duty for them, and there hasn’t been a single problem that I couldn’t help them solve,” she said. “My ability to lead the way to success by holding their hand as we embark on this journey together is invaluable. Some students call me “Momma White” because I constantly stick with them to ensure their academic success, and they know it’s all over. of love. I will do the same for our new scholars.
For more information on the 1890 scholarship program, contact Tomekia White at (870) 575-8139 or [email protected]
Will Hehemann is a writer / editor at the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Humanity at UAPB.