HL 044: Allow Me to Reintroduce You to HBCUs

March 20, 2017

After HBCU presidents met with members of Donald Trump’s administration, Dr. Walter Kimbrough recognized an opportunity. He wrote about the opportunity in the op-ed “Thanks to Donald Trump, HBCUs are on America’s radar again.” In part, Dr. Kimbrough wrote, “Whether you support the president or not, or believe he'll deliver for HBCUs or not, he unquestionably brought our institutions front and center to the nation's consciousness.” Despite the anti-climactic Trump photo op that drew much national attention, Dr. Kimbrough recognizes a door that has been opened for HBCUs.

Dr. Kimbrough joined the HBCU Lifestyle Podcast to discuss his op-ed and the need for HBCU presidents to strike while the iron is hot. He dishes on what really led to the infamous group photo with Trump as well as opportunities of which the public may not be aware. Most importantly, Dr. Kimbrough discusses the need for HBCU presidents to take advantage of the attention that Trump may have unwittingly brought to HBCUs.

About Walter Kimbrough, Ph.D.

The 7th president of Dillard University is a native of Atlanta who has enjoyed a fulfilling career in student affairs. He earned degrees from the University of Georgia, Miami University (Ohio), and a doctorate in higher education from Georgia State University. Before his first assignment as a college president—the 12th president of Philander Smith—Dr. Kimbrough gained attention in student affairs at Emory University, Georgia State University, Old Dominion University, and Albany State University.

Dr. Kimbrough, most popularly known by his alias “The Hip Hop Prez,” is one of the most recognized higher education leaders in America. He has been included in Ebony’s Power 100 and on NBC News/Grio.com’s 100 African Americans Making History Today lists. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. where he served as a regional assistant vice president. Dr. Kimbrough is probably best known for his groundbreaking research on Black Greeks as well as his book “Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs, and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities”.


HL 043: Deon Rhode’s Quest to See Every HBCU in the Nation

February 27, 2017

Deon’s HBCU Rhode Show

It started with a visit to Howard and has resulted in a transfer to Claflin University. In November 2016, HBCU Lifestyle caught up with Deon Rhode after he decided to begin a tour to visit every HBCU in America. All of this, after he visited Howard University aka “The Mecca” to see the Greek plot of the Kappa Kappa Psi band fraternity of which he is a member.
We invited Deon to follow up with us on the HBCU Lifestyle Podcast to talk about his first few visits and future visits to HBCUs. He shares accounts of meeting colorful HBCU staff and alumni, being regaled with campus history, and even entertaining encounters with campus security. Most importantly, Deon talks about debunking HBCU myths and his hopes for the future of HBCUs.

About Deon Rhode

A native of Washington, D.C., Deon went to high school in Saluda, SC. He later attended Charleston Southern University where he joined the band as a drummer and then joined Kappa Kappa Psi. Deon left the university to help support his family. After a couple of twists and turns, Deon resumed his college career by enrolling in Claflin where he expects to get his bachelor’s in psychology by the end of 2017.



HL 042: How to Pay For College in Advance and Become a Marketing Professional

January 24, 2017

Shayla Price has always loved writing and now it is her career. Before she dove into the lucrative waters of business-to-business (B2B) content marketing, however, Shayla grabbed national attention for paying for her college education before she even started taking classes. As a senior at Thibodaux High School in Louisiana, the two-time alumna of Southern University earned over $100,000 in scholarships. Not only did she pay her undergraduate tuition and fees in full but she earned more scholarship money to pay for her J.D. from Southern. That is how she became affectionately known as “The Scholarship Queen” among other monikers. 

Her path to becoming a B2B content marketer was paved by blogging while in college. While her friends enjoyed college life the way most students do, Shayla invested hours into her side hustle as a blogger for a college website. She joined the HBCU Lifestyle Podcast to talk about her path and how much of a difference great writing can make in one’s career.

The Southernite’s work can be seen in many places on the web. Shayla has written for a myriad of web sites including Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, Search Engine Journal, Shopify Plus, Marketing Insider Group, and LinkedIn.

Connect with Shayla Price

You can connect with Shayla on Twitter or LinkedIn.


HL 041: The 1st Female Percussionist to Earn a BA in Music at Albany State

December 18, 2016

From a young age, Jazz Kelley dreamed of becoming a professional musician. Her passion for music led her to Albany State University, where she became the first female percussionist to earn a music degree at her school. After years of intensive training, Kelley is committed to teaching the next generation of music students.

Attending Albany State University

When Kelley was in high school, she learned about Albany State University from a family friend. After taking a campus tour in 2010, Kelley knew that she wanted to go to ASU.

“I went there, and I remember going into the city. When we pulled up to the school, I saw the palm trees. Then I was like, that’s it, I’m sold, I’m coming. There’s no other school that I want to go to.”

After high school, Kelley moved to Albany where she enrolled in college as a music major. Kelley was a bass drummer in the ASU Marching Band, and when the band played at the 2016 Tournament of Roses Kelley got her first taste of life as a professional musician.

“That scenery when you’re marching down that street is so beautiful. We got to a point where you could see the mountains in the background, and the sun was just starting to come up, because it was really cold. It was clear skies, the sun was out, all these people are on each side. I mean thousands of people, and they’re just cheering you on.”

When Kelley wasn’t playing the bass drum, she was studying music theory and learning different instruments. After years of intensive study, Kelley became the first female percussionist to graduate from ASU with a bachelor’s degree in music.

Connect with Jazz Kelley

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jazz_bean
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jazz_bean/


HL 040: Dillard President Walter Kimbrough on Surging HBCU Enrollments

October 27, 2016

In September, The Washington Post published a letter from Dr. Walter Kimbrough as part of their article "Enrollments surge at historically black colleges amid rise in racial tensions". In part, Dr. Kimbrough wrote

As we see young black people chant 'Black Lives Matter' in the streets, their actions clearly indicate that black colleges matter as well.

Dr. Kimbrough joined the HBCU Lifestyle Podcast for episode 40 to discuss his letter. The president of Dillard talked about the letter and how the current social climate affects black students.

About Walter Kimbrough, Ph.D.

A native of Atlanta, Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough was his high school salutatorian and student body president in 1985, and went on to earn degrees from the University of Georgia, Miami University in Ohio, and a doctorate in higher education from Georgia State University. He has enjoyed a fulfilling career in student affairs, serving at Emory University, Georgia State University, Old Dominion University, and finally Albany State University in 2000 where he became the Vice President for Student Affairs at the age of 32. In October of 2004, at the age of 37, he was named the 12th president of Philander Smith College. In 2012, he became the 7th president of Dillard University.

Dr. Kimbrough has been recognized for his research and writings on HBCUs and African American men in college. He has also been noted for his active use of social media to engage students in articles by The Chronicle of Higher Education, CASE Currents, and Arkansas Life. Dr. Kimbrough was cited in 2010 by BachelorsDegree.com as one of 25 college presidents to follow on Twitter (@HipHopPrez).

A 1986 initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at the University of Georgia, Dr. Kimbrough was the fraternity's College Brother of the Year for the Southern Region and served as the region's assistant vice president. Dr. Kimbrough is the author of "Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities" and has forged a national reputation as an expert on fraternities and sororities with expertise in historically African American, Latino, and Asian Greek-lettered organizations.

Dr. Kimbrough was named the 1994 New Professional of the Year by the Association of Fraternity Advisors and he was selected as a 2001 Nissan-ETS HBCU Fellow. In 2009, he was named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education one of 25 To Watch. In 2010, Dr. Kimbrough made the coveted Ebony "Power 100" list, joining the likes of President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Jay-Z, Richard Parsons, Tyler Perry, Debra Lee, and Tom Joyner. In February of 2013, he was named one of the 100 African Americans making history today by NBC News/The Griot.

Dr. Kimbrough's blog:  http://hiphopprez.blogspot.com


HL 039: Thurgood Marshall College Fund Partners with Apple

September 22, 2016

The HBCU Lifestyle Podcast was pleased to welcome the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for episode 39. TMCF’s president and CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., came bearing great news about their partnership with Apple. The two organizations have joined to form the Apple HBCU Scholars Program. HBCU students with a minimum  GPA of 3.25 who will be graduating between December 2017 and May 2018 are eligible for the program.

Apple HBCU Scholars will participate in a 12-week internship in Cupertino, California and receive scholarship funding as part of this groundbreaking program. Up to $25,000 based on individual financial needs will be applied to each scholar’s final year of study. Also, each scholar will have an Apple mentor throughout their experience, receive an opportunity to develop key skills, enhance their resumes, and help launch their careers through the hands-on experience gained at one of the top tech companies in the world.

Apple HBCU Scholars Program Criteria

To be eligible, students must be:

  • Enrolled full-time at a four-year accredited HBCU or PBI (Predominately Black Institution),
  • Currently in the second-to-last year of study, graduating in Fall 2017 or Spring of 2018 (e.g., juniors or seniors pursuing a fifth year of study), and
  • Prior internship experience is preferred.

This highly competitive program targets STEM students but opportunities exist for students of all disciplines. The selection process aims to assess critical people skills, along with technical ability, that lends to the success of the Apple HBCU Scholars Program.

The deadline for applications is October 16, 2016, 11:59 p.m. EST.



HL 038: Founder Evangeline Mitchell Discusses The National HBCU Pre-Law Summit

September 12, 2016

Aspiring lawyers will have the opportunity to network with pre-law peers, law students, law school administrators, and seasoned lawyers at the National HBCU Pre-Law Summit September 23 and 24 in Atlanta. Founder and executive director of the summit, Evangeline Mitchell, joined the HBCU Lifestyle Podcast to discuss the event which is in its third year. The National HBCU Pre-Law Summit, which is free of charge, is the only major national conference of its kind geared specifically to aspiring black lawyers who are students and alumni of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).  It addresses the unique issues, concerns and challenges that this special group of law school aspirants face.

About today's guest

Evangeline Mitchell, Esq. graduated magna cum laude from Prairie View A&M and went on to earn her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law where she was a member of the Iowa Law Review. There, she also studied international and comparative law abroad with the University of Iowa Bordeaux Summer Program and participated in the London Law Consortium Semester Study Abroad Program as well as their British Legal Externship Program. Additionally, she earned her M.Ed. With a concentration in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University. Evangeline worked for the Harvard University National Campus Diversity Project and the Harvard Medical School Office of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs.

Seeing a great need, Evangeline created the “Black Pre-Law” brand of accessible educational resources, events, and initiatives geared to empowering black pre-law students to become competitive law school applicants and students. Those resources include written and/or edited and published books including The African American Pre-Law School Advice Guide, Profiles & Essays of Successful African American Law School Applicants, The African American Law School Survival Guide, and Conquering the Bar Exam. All of her books are provided free of charge or at nominal cost.  She is currently working on two compilation books including Lessons from 100 Black Lawyers and African Americans and the Law School Experience.  Also, Evangeline founded the award-winning National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair (Houston, Texas and New York, New York), the National Diversity Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair (Washington, DC), the National Hispanic Pre-Law Conference, the Joint National Black and Hispanic Pre-Law Conference, the National Black Pre-Law Network, HBCUPreLaw.org, among other initiatives.  She is currently the founder and executive director of National Pre-Law Diversity Initiatives, Inc., a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable and educational organization focused on connecting diverse aspiring lawyers to game-changing information, resources and networking opportunities to help them become more excellent, competitive and strategic law school applicants, law students and lawyers - as well as conscientious leaders and community servants. Further, a budding filmmaker and producer, her video and film media projects in the works include the documentary series “African Americans and the Law School Experience” and The Black Lawyers Legacy Project.

For her groundbreaking pipeline efforts in working to provide greater access to legal education, Evangeline received the National Black MBA Association Houston Chapter’s Leadership Empowerment Award in Law. She also received two Congressional recognitions from Sheila Jackson Lee, numerous Congressional letters of support/commendations, the National Black Law Students Association’s Sadie T.M. Alexander Award, the Houston Lawyers Association’s Roberson L. King Excellence in Education Award, and the National Bar Association's Nation's Best Advocates 40 Under 40 Award. Lastly, Evangeline was also recognized twice in Who’s Who in Black Houston and received the d-mars.com Business Journal’s Top 50 Black Attorneys of Houston “Trail Blazer” Award.  Evangeline's work in trying to provide opportunity to underrepresented minorities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds is her calling, life's work, passion and a sacrificial labor of love - and no one else in the country is doing it in the way she is - at the grassroots level, with a servant leader spirit and high standard of excellence, and at no cost to those she is serving.  She sees it as a social responsibility and undying desire to see others in our community succeed - which she believes the HBCU experience encourages.


HL 037: Transitioning from High School to College with Dr. Vera Triplett

August 21, 2016

It’s that time of year — back to school! For incoming college freshmen, however, this is a completely new chapter. Episode 37 of the HBCU Lifestyle Podcast focuses on that special group of students who have chosen HBCUs as their landing spots for higher education. To give us some perspective on how students and parents — especially those from under-resourced communities — deal with this major step, the HBCU Lifestyle Podcast invited an education leader to be our guest.

About today’s guest

Dr. Vera Triplett is the founder and CEO of Noble Minds Institute for Whole Child Learning. Having begun her career as a middle and high school English teacher, she is a former Deputy Superintendent of the Louisiana Recovery School District and had also served as the COO and CEO of a New Orleans charter school management organization. Dr. Triplett has worked at a cross section of education, mental health, and juvenile justice for over 20 years. She serves on numerous boards including the Greater New Orleans Foundation Board, the Parkway Partners Board, the Junior Achievement Board, the International High School Board, and the Operation Spark Board where she serves as chair. Dr. Triplett also serves as a mentor for the Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation.

Dr. Triplett earned her undergraduate degree in English Education from Southern University at New Orleans. She later earned her master’s degree in School/Community Counseling and Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of New Orleans.

Connect with Dr. Vera Triplett on Twitter.

Thank you for listening

  • Subscribe: Get the latest episodes of the podcast on iTunes or via our RSS feed from Podbean.com. If you enjoyed this episode, go on iTunes and give us a positive rating and review. It helps this show greatly.
  • Comment: Do you have feedback on this episode or the show in general? Leave us a note at the bottom of the page.
  • Share: If you think this episode is worth sharing, please use the social media buttons on the page to post to Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Episode Sponsor

  • This podcast is brought to you by the Podbean Podcast App. The Podbean Podcast App is the best app for mobile podcast publishing. You can record and publish podcasts right from your phone…great for educational purposes and sharing your message on-the-go. Get the Podbean Podcast App now on the App Store or Google Play, it’s free.

HL 036: Point and Drive - Brandi Mitchell Brings HBCU Band Documentary to Life

August 14, 2016

The HBCU Lifestyle Podcast was pleased to feature a conversation about the documentary Point and Drive. Based on the rise of the Florida A&M University “Marching 100,” the movie features the renowned band’s alumni plus alumni of other HBCU band programs. Most importantly, the documentary focuses on how FAMU’s band and others turned talented college students into leaders while influencing college marching band programs across the country.

In addition to live performances and rare footage of the “Marching 100,” the film features entertaining interviews. “Point and Drive” features notable figures such as Grammy Award winning artists Scotty Barnhart, Wycliffe Gordon, Vincent Gardner as well as neo-soul artist Dwele.

The documentary’s energetic creator and director Brandi Mitchell joins the HBCU Lifestyle Podcast to talk about the road to making “Point and Drive” a reality. The former member of FAMU’s “Marching 100” talks about her experience under the legendary Dr. William P. Foster. She also shares what it was like creating the film and its rave reviews from viewers.

For upcoming screenings visit the Koris Publishing Eventbrite page.

About today’s guest

Brandi Mitchell is the owner of Koris Publishing, a multi-faceted publishing and media company which helps to monetize the messages, intellectual property, and personas of great brands to its audience through producing high caliber products in print, television, film, and digital media. She has the privilege of working with talents such as Steve Harvey, Anthony Mackie, Ruby Dee, Eric Benet, Chrisette Michelle Hector Elizondo, and Eminem; as well as TV Networks including TLC, BET, MTV, TBS, and TV ONE.

Thank you for listening

  • Subscribe: Get the latest episodes of the podcast on iTunes or via our RSS feed from Podbean.com. If you enjoyed this episode, go to iTunes and give us a positive rating and review. It helps this show greatly.
  • Comment: Do you have feedback on this episode or the show in general? Leave us a note at the bottom of the page.
  • Share: If you think this episode is worth sharing, please use the social media buttons on the page to post to Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Episode Sponsor

  • This podcast is brought to you by the Podbean Podcast App. The Podbean Podcast App is the best app for mobile podcast publishing. You can record and publish podcasts right from your phone…great for educational purposes and sharing your message on-the-go. Get the Podbean Podcast App now on the App Store or Google Play, it’s free.

HL 035: Legendary Visual Artist Synthia Saint James

July 25, 2016
Renowned visual artist Synthia Saint James poses holding a brush with paint in front of her iconic paintings.

Visual artist, author, educator, and keynote speaker Synthia Saint James, D.H.L.

If her name does not ring a bell, her work will. Do you remember the first Kwanzaa stamp or the book cover for “Waiting to Exhale”? Yes, the HBCU Lifestyle Podcast was happy to welcome that Synthia Saint James to join us for Episode 35. The visual artist whose work has been described as ebullient, bold and joyful, joined us to chat about her craft and career. Her new Kwanzaa stamp will be issued in October 2016.

Dr. Saint James, who received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from St. Augustine’s University, is an award-winning and widely respected visual artist. Synthia Saint James’ career began in New York City in 1969 when she sold a painting to a co-worker. That sale eventually led to artwork that has been displayed by the U.S. Postal Service, the Center for Disease Control, Essence Communications, the National Chapter of 100 Black Men, the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters, Maybelline, Coca Cola USA, Barnes and Noble, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the House of Seagram.

Awards and Recognition

Her work has been commissioned for several public displays. Dr. Saints James’ vibrant colors can be seen at the LA/Ontario International Airport, the West Tampa Library, the Los Angeles non-profit organization WORKS, and the Capitol Area East End Complex in Sacramento to name a few places. Her work has also been included in international group exhibitions in France, Sweden, Canada, Poland, and South Korea. Dr. Saint James’ art is displayed in embassies in Venezuela, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and the Republic of the Congo.

Some of her most noted collectors include have included Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., Alice Walker, Glynn Turman, Brenda Russell, Jenifer Lewis, Charles Fuller, Regina Taylor, Randy Crawford, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Coca USA, Spelman College, and Essence Communications.

Naturally, Dr. Saint James has been highly recognized for her work. She earned an induction into the National Association of Women Business Owners, a 2010 Trumpet Award, an award for Woman of the Year for the 26th Senatorial District (Calif.), an AT&T Entrepreneur of the Year award, and a 2012 NAACP Image Award nomination in addition to a distinguished list of other honors and recognition.

Synthia’s Work Beyond Visual Art

Synthia Saint James work is not limited to visual art, however. She is also a speaker, author, actor, and educator. She lights up when speaking of the nearly 20 children’s books she has written and illustrated. Dr. Saint James is a fixture at colleges and universities across the country including several HBCUs. She has visited the campuses of Kentucky State, Voorhees, Morgan State, Tennessee State, Fisk, Bennett, Rust, Spelman, Dillard, Langston, and Winston-Salem State. She has been an artist in residence at Albany State, Alabama State, Cheyney, the District of Columbia, Harris-Stowe State, and of course St. Augustine’s where the Synthia Saint James Fine Art Institute was established.

To learn more about Dr. Saint James’ distinguished career and to view her work, visit www.synthiasaintjames.com.