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These Schools Named ‘Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders’ by U.S. State Department

These Schools Named 'Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders' by U.S. State Department

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) named 19 institutions of higher education as Fulbright Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Institutional Leaders for 2023.

Over the last 76 years, the Fulbright Program has given more than 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research in the United States or in one of over 160 partner countries worldwide. Fulbright students and scholars are from or hosted by more than 800 colleges and universities across the United States, and thousands more campuses in over 160 countries.


The HBCU Institutional Leader status recognizes engagement across the Fulbright Program, including the hosting Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants at HBCUs, Scholars-in-Residence, and other Fulbright Students or Scholars as well as having U.S. students, faculty and staff receive Fulbrights to study, teach or conduct research abroad.

The 19 Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders for 2023 include:

  • Alcorn State University  – Mississippi
  • Bennett College – North Carolina
  • Bluefield State University – West Virginia
  • Central State University – Ohio
  • Delaware State University – Delaware
  • Fayetteville State University – North Carolina
  • Florida A&M University – Florida
  • Howard University – Washington, D.C.
  • Jackson State University – Mississippi
  • Jarvis Christian University – Texas
  • The LeMoyne-Owen College – Tennessee
  • Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania
  • Mississippi Valley State University – Mississippi
  • Morgan State University – Maryland
  • North Carolina Central University – North Carolina
  • Spelman College – Georgia
  • Texas Southern University – Texas
  • Tuskegee University – Alabama
  • Virginia State University – Virginia

 

ECA established the Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders Initiative to recognize and commend the strong partnership between the Fulbright Program and HBCUs and to encourage all HBCUs to increase their engagement with Fulbright to help their students, faculty and staff to study, teach or conduct research abroad and access valuable international experiences and perspectives.

Fulbright visiting students and scholars contribute to HBCUs’ international networks and create long-term collaborations. Faculty members who have Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards return from their grant experiences and enrich their HBCU’s campus culture, students and curriculum, and the Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides recent alumni and graduate students with opportunities to gain valuable international perspectives and experiences.

“We are dedicated to ensuring that our faculty and students can pursue international collaboration and enrichment experiences which they bring back to campus for the benefit of our whole community,” Fayetteville State University Chancellor Darrell T. Allison, J.D. stated about his HBCU which was named as a Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader this year. “This is yet another layer of academic excellence that helps prepare our students for global citizenship, and we are thrilled to contribute to global conversations this way.”

Learn more about the Fulbright Program at https://fulbrightprogram.org, including information about applying as well as Fulbright’s efforts to further DEIA within the program.

 

#HBCUs #EducationExcellence #FulbrightLeaders #GlobalEngagement #CulturalExchange #InternationalEducation #AcademicRecognition #DiversityInEducation #HigherEdAchievements

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HBCUs’ Impact on Diversity in Healthcare Workers

HBCUs’ Impact on Diversity in Healthcare Workers

As a hopeful sign of change, recent trends show that Black students are enrolling in medical school at a record rates, with enrollment rising 21.0% from the 2020-21 school year. The fall 2021 freshman class marks the largest and most diverse first-year medical school class than ever before (AAMC).  

HBCUs have long played a significant role in diversifying the healthcare workforce. Here are few facts about how HBCUs have impacted healthcare worker diversity since their inception.

The HBCU Medical School Effect

“The HBCU Medical School Effect,” coined by several researchers, explains how these institutions have helped increase the rate of Black board members, staff, faculty, and students at medical schools. For example, a study reported that despite HBCUs representing 3% of degree-granting institutions, they represented 17% of schools with the most African American medical students in 2013. Xavier University and Howard University students accounted for 92% of African American medical school graduates that same year (HBCUs and the Production of Doctors). Additionally, HBCUs have produced 70% of all African-American physicians and doctors.

An HBCU previously produced more African American medical school applicants than two PWIs combined.

HBCUs’ impact on America’s diverse workforce can be traced through the successful applicant rates of African American medical students. For example, in 2000, Xavier University’s School of Medicine as an individual HBCU attained more successful African American medical school applicants than two PWIs combined. According to the HBCU Alumnicle, Xavier University gain an applicant pool of 94 students, which was more than Johns Hopkins (20), Harvard (37), and the University of Maryland (24) combined.

In conclusion, the remarkable impact of HBCUs on diversifying the healthcare workforce is undeniable. These institutions have consistently played a pivotal role in shaping a more inclusive medical education landscape. As we celebrate the rising enrollment rates and the growing diversity within medical schools, it’s evident that HBCUs have paved the way for change.

At FocusQuest, we take pride in recognizing and promoting the invaluable contributions of HBCUs to various fields, including healthcare. Through our platform, we strive to empower individuals with information about the exceptional educational opportunities these institutions offer. Together, we can continue to foster positive change, amplify diverse voices, and ensure a brighter future for healthcare professionals of all backgrounds.

 

#HBCUs #Healthcare #HealthcareDiversity #Empowerment #Inclusivity #EducationOpportunities #FocusQuest #BrighterFuture

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What Does the Tech Industry Value?

What Does the Tech Industry Value?

Six experts weigh in on the ethos driving AI development today — and the challenges we’ll face tomorrow.

Most people try to do the right thing most of the time. But “right” is relative, of course. This has been especially evident in the recent generative AI boom, hailed by some as potentially world saving and decried by others as quite literally apocalyptic.

As the global tech industry rapidly expands the frontiers of these new technologies, we pondered several questions: What values guide tech leaders’ decisions? What ideologies, cultural expectations, and mindsets inform their priorities? And what risks do these ethical frameworks carry with respect to how AI will be developed?

We asked six experts on the history of the tech industry and the ethics of AI to weigh in on these questions. Their responses shed light on the culture and mentality driving decision-making in the tech world — and what the ethos of today’s leaders can tell us about the opportunities and threats we will all face tomorrow.

We have an opportunity to stop the normalization of data plundering and shift the trajectory of AI development away from these exploitative practices. We have the power to say no, and we have the ingenuity to build better alternatives. Data is only destiny if we fail to intervene.

 

#TechIndustryValues #AIdevelopment #TechEthics #AIChallenges #TechLeaders #AIBoom #OpportunitiesAndThreats #TechWorld #EthicalAI #FutureTech

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Top 25 Best HBCUs In the US (2024)

Top 25 Best HBCUs In the US (2024)

Historically Black colleges and universities, also known as HBCUs, are schools that were originally established to serve the African American community before the Civil Rights Movement. They are still incredibly important for the African American community today as they are beacons of the ongoing fight for equality and progress.

Currently, there are 102 HBCUs in the United States. We’ve highlighted the top 25 below. The schools continue in the spirit of their original missions, providing academic opportunities for ethnic minorities and underrepresented communities.

 

Top 25 Best HBCUs | 2024

A historically Black, women’s college – the second oldest in the United States –, Spelman College is part of the Atlanta University Center academic consortium. 96% of students attending receive institutional grant aid ($7,376 on average) and 91% will stay on after their first year. With an 11:1 student to faculty ratio, Psychology and Biology are the two most popular majors.

  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Student Enrollment: 2,417

“Veritas et Utilitas,” or “Excellence in Truth and Service,” is the motto of Howard University. The university boasts an impressive 91% first year retention rate. Offering undergraduate, graduate, professional, and joint degree programs which span over 120 areas of study, the university’s most popular major is Biology, followed by Political Science and Government, Public Relations Advertising and Applied Communication, and Psychology.

  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Student Enrollment: 12,065

Also known as Florida A&M or FAMU, the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is the only public historically black university in the state. FAMU accepts only 35.7% of students, 37.1% of which will go on to attend in the fall. With an 89% first years retention rate, many students choose to major in Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences.

  • Location: Tallahassee, FL
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 9,000

Morehouse College is a historically Black men’s college that was founded in 1867. Famous alumni that have attended the college include Martin Luther King Jr, Samuel L. Jackson, and Donn Clendenon. Their motto is Et Facta Est Lux which is Latin for “And there was light.” The college has a 12:1 student to faculty ratio and an 86% first year retention rate.

  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Student Enrollment: 2,554

Tuskegee University, or TU, is a private historically black university located on a 5,200 acre campus that has been named the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. Known as the Golden Tigers, student athletes wear crimson and old gold and are part of the NCAA Division II. Students enjoy a 9:1 student to faculty and the school has a strong 80% first year retention rate.

  • Location: Tuskegee, AL
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Student Enrollment: 2,654

A public historically Black research university, the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, sometimes simply called A&T, was established in 1891. It is the largest HBCU in the United States and offers over 50 undergraduate degrees. The most popular majors include Liberal Arts and Sciences, Psychology, and Sport and Fitness Administration.

  • Location: Greensboro, NC
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 13,322

Founded as the Slater Industrial Academy in 1892, Winston-Salem State University, WSSU, is a part of the University of North Carolina system. The school’s motto is, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve” and the most popular major by far is Registered Nursing. Athletes are known as the Rams and the school newspaper is called The News Argus.

  • Location: Winston-Salem, NC
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 5,226

Founded in 1871, Alcorn State University is the nation’s oldest, historically Black, land-grant university and the second oldest public university in Mississippi. Alcorn has earned nationwide recognition not only for being affordable, but also for its excellence in nursing, music, STEM, education, agriculture, and the liberal arts, and it has a 75% first year retention rate.

  • Location: Lorman, MS
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 3,074

Delaware State University, often abbreviated to DSU, is a fairly selective school with an acceptance rate of about 59%. The three most popular majors at DSU are Mass Communication/Media Studies, Psychology, and Criminology. The DSU Hornets compete in NCAA Division I athletics and wear red and Columbia blue.

  • Location: Dover, DE
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 5,200

Located on the banks of the Hampton River, Hampton University is an HBCU that dates back to 1861. It was founded on a former plantation and was designed to educate former slaves. The school’s motto is “The Standard of Excellence, An Education for Life.” With a 13:1 student to faculty ratio, the university also has an 81% first year retention rate.

  • Location: Hampton, VA
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Student Enrollment: 3,317

Although Dillard University was founded in 1930, its history goes further back. It incorporated institutions that date back to 1868, Straight University and Union Normal School. Dillard University is fairly selective, accepting only 55% of students, and offers almost all students financial assistance to attend.

  • Location: New Orleans, LA
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Student Enrollment: 1,202

Originally known as the National Religious Training School for Chautauqua for the Colored Race, North Carolina Central University dates back to 1909. NCCU has a 15:1 student to faculty ratio, a 74% first year retention rate, and accepts 76.1% of applicants. Criminal Justice/Safety Studies and Business Administration and Management are the two most popular majors.

  • Location: Durham, NC
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 7,953

Fisk University’s 40 acre campus is named on the National Register of Historic Places and the school itself dates back to 1866. The school accepts only 61% of applicants, 11.2% of which will attend the following fall. Less than 25% of students attending are from Tennessee – a majority of other students come from Georgia, Illinois, and Texas.

  • Location: Nashville, TN
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Student Enrollment: 942

Xavier University of Louisiana is the only Catholic HBCU. Accepting 95.3% of students, XULA has a student to faculty ratio of 13:1 and a 69% first year retention rate. Biology is the most popular major, followed by Psychology, Public Health, and Chemistry. 126 student athletes wear gold and white and participate in the Red River Athletic Conference.

  • Location: New Orleans, LA
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Student Enrollment: 3,604

Originally known as Claflin College and founded in 1869, Claflin University is the oldest HBCU in the state. The school accepts only 62.8% of students, has a 13:1 student to faculty ratio, and a 71% first year retention rate. Athletes are known as the Panthers and Lady Panthers, and, wearing orange and maroon, participate in baseball, softball, and track and field.

  • Location: Orangeburg, SC
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Student Enrollment: 1,866

One of the largest HBCUs in the United States, Jackson State University dates back to 1877. Their motto is “Challenging Minds, Changing Lives” and famous alumni have included Robert Brazile, Rod Paige, Walter Payton, and Cassandra Wilson. Biology is the most commonly chosen major followed by Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Work.

  • Location: Jackson, MS
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 7,080

Founded in 1882 as the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute, Virginia State University is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Accepting 96% of students, VSU also has a 13:1 student to faculty ratio and a 76% first year retention rate. Athletes are known as the Trojans and wear orange and blue.

  • Location: Petersburg, VA
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 4,300

Elizabeth City State University is a member-school of the University of North Carolina System and its motto doubles as a great life lesson — “To Live is to Learn.” The college offers 68% of students institutional grants, athletic scholarships, and resources to help them better afford tuition. Common majors on campus include Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Business Administration and Management, and Criminal Justice/Safety Studies.

  • Location: Elizabeth City, NC
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 2,054

The largest HBCU in Maryland, Morgan State University got its start as the Centenary Biblical Institute, a seminary. It would be named Morgan College in 1890 and become a university in 1975. “Where History Meets the Future” is the motto of this liberal-arts school. Popular majors include Liberal Arts and Sciences, Business Administration and Management, and Psychology.

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 8,469

Lincoln University was America’s first degree-granting HBCU. The school receives about 3,500 applications a year and accepts 80% of them. 73% will stay on after their first year at the school. Famous alumni have included US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, poet Langston Hughes, and former US ambassador to Botswana, Horace Dawson.

  • Location: Lincoln University, PA
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 1,916

The most popular majors at Prairie View A&M University are Registered Nursing, Criminal Justice/Safety Studies, and Health and Physical Education/Fitness. Part of the NCAA Division I-FCS, student athletes are known as the Panthers and Lady Panthers, wear purple and gold, and participate in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

  • Location: Prairie View, TX
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 9,400

The first HBCU in the southern United States, Clark Atlanta University was founded in 1865. The school accepts 58.2% of students, has a 70% first year retention rate, and an 18:1 student to faculty ratio. Popular majors among students include Business Administration and Management, Radio, Television, and Digital Communication, and Biology.

  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Student Enrollment: 4,055

Bowie State University is the oldest HBCU in the state having been founded in 1865. Student athletes are known as the Bulldogs and are cheered on by Butch the Bulldog, their mascot. With over 20 undergraduate majors available, Business Administration and Management is the most commonly chosen.

  • Location: Bowie, MD
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 6,308

Fayetteville State University is part of the University of North Carolina system. The school’s motto is Res Non Verba, which is Latin for “Deeds not Words.” Just over 4,000 students apply each year, with 82% receiving acceptance letters. 19% of these students will go on to attend the following fall.

  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 6,748

Bluefield State University was founded in 1895 and just became a university in 2022 with the introduction of their Master of Business Administration program. The university accepts 97% of undergraduates who apply and has no undergraduate application fee. Elementary Education and Teaching and General Studies are the most common majors.

  • Location: Bluefield, WV
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Student Enrollment: 1,358

Colleges are ranked based on a combination of factors, including graduation rates, campus diversity, endowment per student, and other data as reported via the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the most recently-available enrollment year. Some colleges may have been excluded from rankings based on certain criteria, including specialization and classification. HBCU stands for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The classification is made by the US Department of Education and HBCUs is included in the IPEDS data. Learn about our full methodology. Learn about our full methodology.

 

#HBCUs #Education #Equality #Top25HBCUs #Ranking #AcademicOpportunities #UnderrepresentedCommunities

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HBCUs are making great progress towards net-zero emissions and promoting diversity in clean energy

HBCUs are making great progress towards net-zero emissions and promoting diversity in clean energy

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are at the forefront of progress in achieving net-zero emissions and promoting diversity in clean energy. The Department of Energy’s Office of Policy reported over 7.8 million energy jobs in the US in 2021. Recognizing the need to support HBCUs in clean energy research, Dominion Energy pledged $25 million, while the Department of Energy (DOE) funded HBCUs for biofuel and solar-plus-storage projects (Photo contributor: Scharfsinn, Shutterstock.com).

To promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in energy research, teams have received awards, and the DOE plans to invest in solar and nuclear energy, energy storage, carbon capture, and efficient use of minerals through funding opportunities.

In a significant development, Howard University became the first HBCU to join the governing alliance board of directors for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in May 2023. This collaboration creates opportunities for underrepresented students to pursue careers in renewable energy.

The DOE also announced the HBCU Clean Energy Education Prize worth $7.75 million. This initiative encourages HBCU institutions to develop programs that increase K-12 and community college students’ participation in STEM fields related to clean energy.

The goal is to expand clean energy education for younger generations and establish partnerships that lead to clean energy career opportunities. Over 100 HBCU institutions across the US are eligible to compete in one or both prize tracks.

The DOE has formed partnerships with more than 100 HBCUs and minority-serving institutions to address racial disparities in energy systems and research. Their efforts have earned recognition from 15 ABET-accredited HBCU engineering schools as one of the top 5 government agencies supporting HBCUs in 2023.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has established the Center for Electrochemical Dynamics and Reactions on Surfaces (CEDARS) to focus on clean energy initiatives. CEDARS will explore technologies such as hydrogen and oxygen separation from water to create clean hydrogen for energy use.

CEDARS, funded by a four-year $10.35 million DOE grant, represents an interdisciplinary effort. It is the only HBCU among the 43 universities and national laboratories to receive over $400 million in Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) funding.

With the university’s $23 million Steps4Growth clean energy workforce training award and the recent grant, the center aims to create a net-zero emissions economy and promote diversity in clean energy.

The burning of fossil fuels has resulted in rising global temperatures, leading to climate change risks and extreme weather events. The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) has been actively engaged in community-focused efforts over the past two years.

DSCEJ empowers communities historically impacted by environmental racism and promotes community-led solutions to address the climate crisis while prioritizing ecological justice. Through philanthropic funding and engagements with federal, state, and local lawmakers, DSCEJ has made significant progress.

Dr. Beverly Wright, the executive director and founder of DSCEJ, was appointed to the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council by the Biden Administration in 2021. In this role, she provided recommendations on addressing environmental injustice to the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council (IAC) and the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). This appointment provided a platform to ensure that environmental justice communities’ priorities were addressed in Washington.

The Biden Administration’s commitment to environmental justice began with the announcement of Justice40, ensuring that historically disadvantaged communities receive 40% of federal investments in clean energy solutions.

DSCEJ actively engaged with the administration, including organizing a “toxic tour” throughout Cancer Alley, drawing attention to the devastating effects of living near highly polluting industries. EPA Administrator Michael Regan participated in the immersive tour, and the EPA issued enforcement actions to address air pollution, unsafe drinking water, and other issues.

In September 2022, the EPA announced the establishment of the Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights. This office aims to advance environmental justice by enforcing civil rights laws in overburdened communities and providing new grants and technical assistance.

HBCUs are playing a crucial role in driving progress towards net-zero emissions and advocating for diversity in clean energy. With continued support and collaboration, these institutions are paving the way for a more sustainable and equitable future.

 

#HBCUs #CleanEnergy #NetZeroEmissions #DiversityInEnergy #EnvironmentalJustice #RenewableEnergy #STEMEducation #ClimateAction #SustainableFuture #EnergyResearch #EquityInEnergy #CleanEnergyInitiatives #CommunityEmpowerment #EnvironmentalEquity #ClimateJustice #HBCUPride #CleanEnergyLeadership

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Lynn Thompson Inducted into NACDA Hall of Fame

Lynn Thompson Inducted into NACDA Hall of Fame

We are thrilled to announce that Lynn Thompson, former Director of Athletics at B-CU, has been honored as a Hall of Famer by the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA). This prestigious recognition solidifies his remarkable administrative career and establishes him as the only HBCU AD in the NACDA Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony took place at the 58th NACDA convention held at the Orlando World Center Marriott, where Thompson was celebrated among his peers. NACDA, the leading authority in athletics director collaboration worldwide, consists of 22,000 college athletics administrators representing more than 2,200 institutions throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Thompson follows in the footsteps of three legendary figures who were previously honored by NACDA: Nelson Townsend, Walter Reed, and Dennis Thomas. These trailblazers have left an indelible mark on HBCU athletics and the broader sports community.

A Daytona Beach native and former B-CU athlete, Thompson became the youngest athletics director in B-CU history at the age of 31. He dedicated 30 years of his career to B-CU Athletics, ultimately rising to the position of Vice President of Athletics. Thompson’s leadership and vision transformed the program, securing an impressive 71 championships, including 54 in the MEAC.

Surrounded by his family and esteemed colleagues, including Sandra Booker and Michael Stambaugh, Thompson expressed his gratitude for the support he received throughout his journey. He humbly acknowledged the giants who had paved the way for him and emphasized the significance of representing Bethune-Cookman University, the MEAC, and all historically black colleges and universities.

Thompson’s co-workers, Sandra Booker and Cesley Tafoya, shared their joy in celebrating this momentous achievement. They praised Thompson’s vision, leadership, and unwavering commitment to the B-CU community, highlighting the family atmosphere that permeated the university.

The significance of Thompson’s impact was further underscored by the presence of supporters from arch-rival FAMU. Joe Bullard, the voice of the FAMU Marching “100,” and Marvin Green, former FAMU Associate Athletics Director, made the trip to Orlando to honor Thompson’s accomplishments. Their presence spoke volumes about the respect and admiration Thompson has earned throughout his career.

Since his departure from B-CU, Thompson has continued to contribute to the world of sports as a consultant for the MEAC. Additionally, he has reignited his passion for writing, with his works receiving critical acclaim and gaining attention in various cities. While his focus has shifted, Thompson’s dedication to excellence remains unwavering.

Thompson’s induction into the NACDA Hall of Fame serves as a testament to his unparalleled achievements and his enduring legacy in HBCU athletics. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Lynn Thompson on this well-deserved honor.

 

#HBCU #HallOfFame #NACDA #Athletics #Achievements #Leadership #ProudMoment #Legacy #Excellence #Gratitude #SportsCommunity #BCCU #MEAC

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AI Can Be Biased: Ensuring Equitable AI for All

AI Can Be Biased : Ensuring Equitable AI for All

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to shape a more equitable future for everyone, but there is a significant flaw that deserves our attention. Many AI tools inadvertently perpetuate or even amplify the biases of their mostly white male creators. This leads to the repetition of mistakes and judgments, allowing racism and discrimination to persist in our society. It is crucial that we address these algorithmic biases and work towards creating AI systems that work for everyone.

Examples of Harmful AI Bias
There are sobering examples that highlight the harm caused by biased AI systems. For instance, facial recognition algorithms used worldwide failed to detect Black faces, forcing individuals like Joy Buolamwini to wear a white mask to be recognized by the technology. Similarly, Twitter’s image-cropping tool consistently favored white faces, and AI robots trained on vast image datasets perpetuated stereotypes by identifying women as “homemakers” and people of color as “criminals” or “janitors.”

Real-world Implications
These algorithmic biases have serious implications for people of color. Algorithms are now utilized in determining credit scores, evaluating job candidates, making college admissions decisions, predicting crime rates, influencing court bail and sentencing, and even guiding medical treatments. If these algorithms have learned racism along the way, they will perpetuate it, further exacerbating existing inequalities.

Addressing the Problem
It is important to recognize that Artificial Intelligence itself is not designed to be racist; it learns from the data and patterns it is exposed to. The key lies in the training process. Too often, algorithms are trained on incomplete or biased data, leading to unintentionally racist outcomes. To overcome this, we must diversify both the researchers creating AI systems and the datasets used for training. By including a broader range of perspectives and experiences, we can help AI systems learn better habits and produce more equitable results.

Creating Equitable AI Systems
Joy Buolamwini, after experiencing the biases of AI, founded the Algorithmic Justice League, advocating for diversity among AI coders and the use of inclusive training sets. Seattle tech entrepreneur Luis Salazar launched AI for Social Progress (AI4SP.org) to promote the adoption of diverse training sets that mitigate bias in AI technologies. These initiatives highlight the importance of addressing bias in AI systems and working towards more inclusive and equitable outcomes.

Call to Action
Business leaders and philanthropists have a crucial role to play in supporting efforts to mitigate bias and evaluating the outcomes generated by AI systems for gender and racial bias. AI is reshaping our lives, and if we approach it with a commitment to equity, the future holds remarkable possibilities. It is imperative that we take concrete steps to eliminate systemic bias and racism from AI platforms before it’s too late. Together, let’s work towards making AI the dawn of an exciting new era for everyone, leaving behind the mistakes of the past.

 

Hashtags: #AI #Diversity #AIforEquity #AlgorithmicJustice #DiversityInTech #InclusiveAI

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Exploring the Metaverse: Unlocking New Possibilities in Education

Exploring the Metaverse: Unlocking New Possibilities in Education

The digital realm is rapidly evolving, and one concept that has been making waves is the metaverse. This immersive virtual environment holds immense potential, particularly in the realm of education. In this article, we will delve into the metaverse and its impact on education, highlighting the opportunities it presents for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Get ready to embark on a journey that explores the future of learning!

What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse is a virtual universe that combines elements of the physical and digital worlds. It is a dynamic and immersive environment where users can interact with each other and digital objects in real time. In the metaverse, individuals can explore, create, and engage in various activities, blurring the boundaries between reality and virtuality. It encompasses virtual reality, augmented reality, and other technologies that enable users to have rich and interactive experiences. The metaverse has the potential to revolutionize industries such as gaming, entertainment, social networking, and education, offering endless possibilities for collaboration, learning, and innovation.

The Metaverse and Education
In the realm of education, the metaverse holds transformative potential. It enables students to transcend physical limitations, providing access to a vast array of resources and experiences. Imagine studying marine biology by diving into virtual oceans or practicing architectural design in a virtual cityscape. The metaverse opens up endless possibilities for immersive, interactive, and engaging learning experiences.

The Power of the Metaverse in Education

  • Statistic: According to recent studies, over 70% of educational institutions have implemented or are planning to implement metaverse technologies in their curricula.
  • Engagement: Students engaged in metaverse-based learning show increased levels of motivation and active participation, leading to improved academic performance.
  • Access to Experts: The metaverse allows students to connect with experts and industry professionals from around the world, fostering mentorship and expanding their networks.
  • Real-world Simulations: By engaging in virtual simulations, students can gain practical skills and hands-on experience, preparing them for real-world challenges.
  • Inclusive Learning: The metaverse provides equal opportunities for learners of all backgrounds, breaking down barriers to access and promoting inclusivity in education.

 

FQ Metaversity: Bridging the Gap
At FocusQuest, we understand the importance of embracing cutting-edge technologies for educational advancement. That’s why we proudly introduce the FQ Metaversity, a dedicated section on our platform offering a curated selection of online programs and certificates. With FQ Metaversity, students from HBCUs can access high-quality education, network with industry professionals, and enhance their skills in a virtual learning environment.

As the metaverse continues to evolve, it presents exciting opportunities for the future of education. With the FQ Metaversity, we are committed to empowering students from HBCUs to thrive in this digital landscape. Join us on this educational revolution and unlock a world of knowledge and possibilities. Visit our FQ Metaversity page to explore our programs and embark on your journey towards success in the metaverse!

 

Hashtags: #MetaverseEducation #FutureOfLearning #FQMetaversity #OnlineEducation #HBCUStudents #HBCU

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How Companies Can Effectively Recruit from HBCUs

How Companies Can Effectively Recruit from HBCUs

The number of job openings increased to 10.7 million in September of last year, up more than four percent from the month before, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since January 2021, job openings have been steeply climbing. Companies not recruiting at HBCUs may be missing out on promising future employees.

Companies like Gilead Sciences, Novartis, Google, Microsoft and more have created recruiting pipelines with HBCUs over the past few years.

Biopharmaceutical giant Gilead is working to build specific, personal relationships with HBCUs to facilitate recruitment. The company uses employees as liaisons to build relationships with officials at the nine HBCUs it recruits from. These liaisons are sometimes alumni of the school who now work for Gilead. The HBCU officials can then recommend their star students for internships and fellowships.

For Microsoft, the big tech giant has enticed Morehouse students to panels of alumni talking about entry-level positions at the company and careers in tech with the quintessential college bait — free Chick-Fil-A and the chance to win an Xbox.

“[University recruiting] is about finding the best talent right out of the gate and kickstarting lifelong careers,” Portia Kibble Smith, head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Karat. “It also creates an opportunity to source candidates from more diverse talent pools.  There are many diamonds in the rough.” 

Karat conducts first-round interviews for tech companies and has worked with HBCU students. In October, Karat signed on as a corporate partner for the new Morehouse Center for Broadening Participation in Computing. The company is providing 1,000 mock technical interviews for the center.

 

Here are some advices from Kibble Smith on how companies can effectively recruit from HBCUs:

What advice would you give to companies who want to hire more from HBCUs but don’t know how?

Identifying a list of HBCUs to target, even if they are not the most well-known or popular, is an important first step. Look at your employee base who are from HBCUs to help build that list.  Start small if needed to avoid a saturated recruiting market and build relationships with the institutions and student leaders.

Getting to really understand and know the students and professors/leadership at these colleges, because each is different, will help to also build a successful recruiting strategy.

Why should companies try to recruit from universities?

Companies that get an early start on university recruitment will have their choice of some of the best candidates.

That said, even in the current job market, we’re still seeing strong university recruiting and early career hiring demand, and the tail for peak university recruiting season now often extends well beyond the start of the new year for full-time and intern hiring. 

Why should companies look to recruit a diverse pool of candidates?

There is a huge need for more diverse hiring, especially in the tech industry when only five percent of software engineers are Black. Building diverse software development teams is both a priority and a challenge for many companies.

Compared to industry averages, the population of candidates during university recruiting season is far more diverse. Over the past three years, companies saw an average of 113 percent more applicants who were female or non-binary and 67 percent more applicants who were members of an underrepresented minority group during university recruiting season.

If a company wants to be successful, they will need a diverse group of employees who will have diverse backgrounds and ideas to share as they build products and services for today’s market. It’s a great business decision!

What can companies do to recruit and hire more Black and brown students?

The opportunity for candidates to redo interviews is huge for candidates who have had limited exposure to technical interviews.

Research shows that more than half of HBCU computer science students had never had a practice interview before entering the job market, which puts them at a disadvantage. Offering interview redo opportunities is a good way to level the playing field by giving candidates the interviewing experience they need to put their best foot forward. Our data shows that redos not only create a more inclusive hiring process, but they also improve hiring efficiency for companies.

Also having diverse recruiters can help.  Having someone who can relate to the students is always key and it shows the candidates that your company has a commitment to diversity.  If you’re not showing that commitment, then it will be difficult to attract the talent. 

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Pentagon announces Howard University as the first HBCU to lead university-affiliated research center

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The Pentagon has chosen Howard University to lead a university-affiliated research center, its first partnership with a historically Black college or university, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced this week.

“To sharpen America’s technological edge and to strengthen America’s outstanding military, the department is committed to investing even more in HBCUs and minority-serving institutions,” Austin, the first Black secretary of defense, said Monday.

Howard will receive $12 million per year for five years in funding, according to a news release. This is the first university partnership primarily sponsored by the Air Force, and this is the first time the department accepted submissions from universities to become an affiliated research center, according to Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick.

The new consortium will focus on tactical autonomy, an Air Force program that aims to develop technologies that require minimal human supervision, according to the branch’s website. The center looks to take advantage of Howard’s science, technology, engineering and math programs.

Austin described the technology as “central to US security in our changing world” and said the military needs the creativity and ideas of students in these programs to continue advancing the advantages American soldiers have on the battlefield.

“Responsibly used autonomous systems make our military faster, smarter, and stronger,” he added. “Howard’s new research center will protect our most precious asset—and that most precious asset is our men and women in uniform.”

The university will also focus on diversifying the pool of scientists and engineers that work with the Defense Department, according to the news release, and it will lead eight other HBCUs, including Hampton and Tuskegee universities, in the research effort.

Frederick told that this is “an enormous opportunity” for faculty and students to “work on cutting edge research in a technology space that is ever evolving.”

“It’s going to put us in a unique space to develop techniques and capabilities and skillsets that we otherwise wouldn’t,” Frederick said, adding that this partnership will allow the university to expand to other areas of research in the future.

The program “really emphasizes that for the country to be successful and for the country to compete, to continue to be competitive in terms of research, etc., that you have to diversify what that work force looks like in the arena of research,” Frederick said.

The Pentagon currently has partnerships with 14 other universities across the country, including Georgia Institute of Technology, University of South California and the University of Maryland.

 

From Focus Quest we believe that this announcement of Howard University as the first HBCU to lead a research center affiliated with the university is a significant development that has numerous advantages. This decision will create more opportunities for African American students and researchers to excel in fields that have traditionally been dominated by white scholars. Additionally, it will provide the Pentagon with a more diverse pool of talent and ideas, leading to better solutions and innovations. The research center will also serve as a model for other institutions to follow, promoting the importance of diversity and inclusion in academic and research settings. Overall, this news represents a major step forward in promoting equity and excellence in research and education.

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