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Two from WSSU named White House Initiative Scholars

Two Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) students have been named 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars through the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Ijem Ozodigwe, a sophomore biology major from Concord, and Chelsea Powell, a senior social work major from Newton, are among the 63 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars representing 54 HBCUs nationwide. They received recognition at the Initiative’s Excellence in Innovation and Competitiveness Awards on Sept. 17, during the 2018 National HBCU Week Conference in Washington, D.C.

Competitiveness Scholars are nominated and endorsed for the award by their institution and selected based on their academic achievement, campus and civic involvement and entrepreneurial ethos or “go-getter” spirit.

Photo of Ijem Ozodigwe
Ijem Ozodigwe

Over the one-year term commitment, Competitiveness Scholars will learn and share proven and promising practices that support individual and HBCU competitiveness, with the goal of strengthening prospects for career and life success. 

Ozodigwe, a graduate of Jay M. Robinson High School, is involved in the African Student Union, the Professional Health Careers Club (PHCC), and the Simon Green Atkins Scholar Society. Her ultimate goal is to become a radiologist.

“I liked meeting other students and developing those bonds and connections,” she said. “We all have experienced similar things and are driven to make HBCUs as a whole better. My career goal is to be a leader in my field of choice, and this conference has given me the tools that help me reach my goal.”

Powell, a graduate of Newton-Conover Health Science High School, is involved in several student organizations, including the Social Work Club, Queen In You, and Black Women for Change. After graduating from WSSU, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work.

“It was a great opportunity to meet and network with other students, and presidents, and chancellors from different HBCUs,” she said. “I am delighted to be chosen to represent Winston-Salem State University at the White House Initiative on HBCUs.” 

About Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.

Photo of Chelsea Powell
Chelsea Powell

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