ASU Students among 2022 HBCU Scholars Selected by White House Initiative

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By ASU News Service

Two Alabama State University students are among the latest cohort selected as HBCU Scholars by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Andrea Holloway is a graduate student in her second year of the Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) program and Ayana Emmanuel is a senior with a double major in Rehabilitation Services and Accounting.

“Both Andrea and Ayana are exceptional students who are well deserving of this honor,” said Dr. Charlene Portee, Dean of the College of Health Sciences. “Andrea serves as vice president of her class and is very active within the profession. Ayana has also served in several capacities in support of University initiatives. We’re expecting great things from these students when they complete their degrees.”

Holloway said she is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the HBCU Scholars program.

“I am so excited to have this opportunity,” Holloway said. “I come from a very small town in Georgia and not many of us get to have this kind of accomplishment. I think this (selection as a scholar) shows that small-town people can do big things. So, I will not only be representing ASU, I will also be representing my hometown. I am so blessed to be here at ASU. ASU is helping to change the narrative and give minorities representation to show that we can do all of the things that they say we can’t do. I am so glad that God saw fit to have me at ASU now. I’m very appreciative of the people that I’ve met who ​​I ​​hope​ will​still be in my life after I leave.”

Emmanuel has also been quite busy as a student. She not only has excelled academically, but she is also a star player on the Lady Hornets basketball team.

“It (selection as a scholar) actually means a lot to me because I get the chance to represent the school,” said Emmanuel. “There are a lot of people who look up to me in the student body and this recognition will help me lead by example. I also feel that I will be putting Alabama State on the map so to speak so that we’re recognized for what we’re doing as well. Being an athlete, the captain of the basketball team, and involved in other activities, I work hard every day and this is like a reward for that hard work. It’s just an honor.”

Both Holloway and Emmanuel say that they plan to “be of service to others” after graduating.

“I always try to volunteer when I can. When I finish, I want to do more outreach into the communities, especially in my hometown. I hope to make a difference in everything that I do, especially now that I’m in this program. I hope to help with the future of the ​U​niversity as well,” Holloway said.

“I originally ​​planned to be a physical therapist, but now I want to be a rehabilitation counselor. I’ve been looking into working with the disabled, in particular those who are deaf or blind. I actually volunteered at a center before I started college and that’s how I got into the health sciences program,” said Emmanuel.

“Being at ASU has transformed my life and made me a better person. The teachers here especially wanted me to succeed. And the campus environment and the city of Montgomery have both been very welcoming. I have been transformed into the woman I am today because of ASU,” Emmanuel added.

President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., who was recently appointed to President Biden’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs, said the HBCU Scholars program is an important national initiative.

“The nation’s HBCUs have produced quality graduates for more than a century. Scholars such as Ms. Holloway and Ms. Emmanuel are shining examples of the caliber of students who attend ASU and other HBCUs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These two Hornets and the other members of the 2022 HBCU Scholars cohort will benefit greatly from the exposure and engagement opportunities that are a part of the program,” Ross said.

For more information on the White House Initiative on HBCUs and the selection of the 2022 HBCU scholars, please follow this link: