Little Rock, Ark. (August 3, 2021) – Philander Smith College is pleased to announce that J’Nya Thompson, a junior criminal justice major from Dallas, Texas, is a 2021 White House HBCU Scholar. Thompson will participate as part of the eighth 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 announced today all have demonstrated remarkable dedication 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 students who hold this honor are committed to creating a more just and equitable society through their civic engagement. They are leaders and change-makers in their communities, and I cannot wait to learn from them as they serve as ambassadors both for the White House Initiative and their institutions of higher education.
Over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year, HBCU Scholars will serve as ambassadors of the Initiative and their respective institutions. This cohort of HBCU Scholars 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 7-10, 2021.
“I am beyond delighted that J’Nya has been selected to serve as a 2021 White House HBCU Scholar,” said Philander Smith President Roderick L. Smothers, Sr. “She truly embodies the essence of a ‘Philander Woman’ and exhibits excellence and tenacity in and out of the classroom. I know that she will represent both the Initiative and Philander Smith College with the utmost distinction.”
“I am so ecstatic and proud that the White House and the United States Department of Education have selected me to represent my institution, Philander Smith College, as a 2021 White House HBCU Scholar. This opportunity doesn’t go without praise to God for continuously ordering my steps! I would also like to send a special thank you to my college president and faculty for nominating me for this honor,” Thompson said.
Thompson was chosen from a pool of over 200 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 this process.