Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

On the Front Lines

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

On the Front Lines

Article excerpt

Black Issues has selected the following faculty, administrators, and advocates as exemplary of true dedication to access and equity in higher education. They, and hundreds of others like them, are working tirelessly on their campuses, in boardrooms, and in the courts to better the lives of students of color and to force open the doors of opportunity.

1) P. Eric Abercrumbie, director of ethnic programs and services, and the African American Culture and Research Center, University of Cincinnati

Abercrumbie is a powerful advocate and voice for Blacks in higher education on predominately White campuses. As the president of the John D. O'Bryant National Think Tank, Abercrumbie also has worked on behalf of the Black community and Black men in Cincinnati.

2) Howard G. Adams, executive director, National Institute for Mentoring

For 17 years, as executive director of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science Inc., Adams developed strategies and programs to increase the participation of minorities and women in engineering/science and technical careers. For him the key to that success has been actively mentoring these students in one-on-one relationships.

3) Myrna Adams, vice president, Office of Institutional Equity, Duke University

Adams has worked for access and equity at four other higher education institutions, including SUNY-Stony Brook where she administered a fellowship program for graduate students designed to increase the number of minority doctoral students. She also led OpenMind, The Association for the Achievement of Cultural Diversity in Higher Education.

4) Janell M. Byrd, staff lawyer, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Byrd's trenches have been the courts where she has worked against two critical assaults on access and equity in higher education: Podbresky v. Kirwan (a case challenging a minority scholarship at the University of Maryland) and Hopwood v. Texas (a case challenging the use of affirmative action in admissions at the University of Texas Law School).

5) Alvin O. Chambliss, law professor, Thurgood Marshafi School of Law, Texas Southern University

As the lead attorney in Fordice v. Ayers and in a recent lawsuit against the state of Mississippi, Chambliss has been a steadfast champion of equity in higher education, battling against segregated public university systems, widening disparities between traditionally White institutions and historically Black colleges and universities.

6) Isaac M. "Ike" Colbert, dean for graduate students, Massachusetts Institute for Technology

As MIT's academic dean, Colbert has worked tirelessly to increase the number of minorities and women pursuing graduate degrees in the sciences and administers a 10-week program to give undergraduates at historically Black institutions a chance to acquire research experience.

7) Caroll Hardy, director, National Student Leadership Development Conference

Hardy has dedicated her entire higher education career to providing equal access to at-risk minorities, from founding the Upward Bound program at Mary Baldwin College, to becoming associate dean of multicultural affairs at The College of William and Mary, to her current "dream job" of preparing the next generation of Black leaders.

8) Gilbert Odhiambo Ogonji, professor of biology, Coppin State University

Ogonji has dedicated his life to interesting K-12 students in the biological sciences. …

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