Philander Smith College is pleased to announce the selection of Jason Muka, a junior pre-med student seeking a dual bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry, as a 2022 White House HBCU Scholar.
Originally born in Arkansas but raised in South Africa, Muka will participate as part of the ninth cohort of scholars selected for this prestigious honor by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The program recognizes 86 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students for their accomplishments in academics, leadership, civic engagement and much more.
"The HBCU Scholars have dedicated themselves to their learning and exemplify the talent that our nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities have nurtured for generations," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "The Biden-Harris administration is committed to supporting these leaders and I cannot wait to learn from them while they serve as ambassadors for the White House Initiative and their institutions."
Over the course of the 2022-2023 academic year, HBCU Scholars will serve as ambassadors of the Initiative and their respective institutions. They will also participate in national and regional events, as well as be invited to the HBCU Week National Annual Conference which will take place September 20-23, 2022.
“I am overjoyed that Mr. Muka has been selected to serve as a 2022 White House HBCU Scholar,” said Philander Smith President Roderick L. Smothers, Sr. “As a student intern in my office since September 2020, I have observed first-hand his impeccable personal initiative and drive for excellence. I know that he will be an exemplary HBCU Scholar, as well as a stellar representative of Philander Smith College.”
Muka was chosen from a pool of over 350 students who submitted applications that included a transcript, resume, essay, and letter of recommendation. Applications also required the signature of their university president, adding a level of prestige to the application process.
Remarking upon his selection, Muka said, “I’m incredibly humbled and appreciative of this opportunity. It’s really inspiring to have Dr. Smothers nominate me for such a prestigious award. I’m really grateful to be of service to my community while also being recognized for that service and academic leadership.”