N.C. A&T Announces Fifth Cheatham-White Scholars Cohort


EAST GREENSBORO, NC (September 22, 2022) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has announced its newest cohort of Cheatham White Scholars, representing some of the highest-achieving students among members of the Class of 2026.

The 20 academically gifted freshmen have an average overall average of 4.45 and are on average in the top 5 to 10 percent of their high school seniors. Fifteen are from North Carolina, the others from Maryland, Minnesota and Virginia. They represent six of the university’s academic colleges: the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics, the College of Engineering, the John R. and the Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences and College of Science and Technology.

“Cheatham-White Scholars are distinguished by their skills and their work, whether in the classroom or in the community,” said Margaret I. Kanipes, Ph.D., NC A&T Honors Program Director. “As Aggies, they will be challenged, enlightened and prepared for continued success in all their endeavors as future leaders and innovators.”

“Our fifth cohort of Cheatham-White Scholars represents an ongoing commitment to academic excellence,” said Interim Provost Tonya Smith-Jackson, Ph.D., Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “We are confident that these students will hone their skills and develop their talents to achieve any goal they set for now and in the future.”

Established in 2018, the Cheatham White Scholarship is named for Henry P. Cheatham and George H. White, two African Americans who represented North Carolina in the United States Congress at the turn of the 20th century. From difficult beginnings – Cheatham was born enslaved and White, the son of a mother who historians say was also likely an enslaved person – both worked hard to earn a university education before pursuing careers in teaching, in law and eventually in the civil service started public service.

The scholarship is a fully funded four-year award that covers the cost of tuition, tuition, housing, meals, textbooks, a laptop, supplies, travel and personal expenses. It also offers four summers of fully funded enrichment and networking opportunities that may include international travel and study. It is a truly complete award designed to recognize academic achievement and potential at the highest level.

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Below are this year’s scholarship recipients in alphabetical order:

  • Brandon Artis, son of Michael and Pamela Artis, is from Chester, Virginia and is a graduate of Lloyd C. Bird High School. He studies biology with a minor in animal sciences. After graduating in biology, he wants to study medicine to become an emergency medicine physician.
  • Destiny Baines, daughter of Correy and Lakisha Baines, is from Whitsett, North Carolina and a graduate of Dudley High School. She is studying bioengineering to earn a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and become a Licensed Pharmacist in North Carolina. She wants to return to her community and open a pharmacy in a disadvantaged neighborhood.
  • Iyona Barnes, daughter of Dwight Hinnant and Keshia Lilly, is a Baltimore native and a graduate of Baltimore City College. She is studying Nursing with a minor in Psychology. Her ultimate career goal is to become a Travel Nurse Anesthesiologist to help African American teenagers who may have less access to quality healthcare.
  • Nahdia Benson, daughter of Derrick Benson and La Donna Bonneville, is from Raleigh, North Carolina and a graduate of Thales Academy. She is studying mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science. After graduating, she is aiming for a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a focus on robotics. Her career goal is to become a robotics engineer, either in automation or defense.
  • Kari Brown, daughter of Jay and Christina Brown, is from Clayton, North Carolina and a graduate of Cleveland High School. She is studying architectural engineering and would like to work in an architectural office alongside her master’s degree in architecture. Her goal is to become a licensed architect and one day to open her own architectural practice, which will serve as a role model and advocate for minorities in architecture.
  • Joshua Clark, son of Raymond Clark and Cheryl Cobb, is from Knightdale, North Carolina and is a graduate of Enloe High School and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. He is studying Agricultural and Environmental Systems with a minor in Bioengineering. His professional goal is to use botany to improve people’s lives through agriculture, pharmacology, sustainability or any other field, but preferably through his own small business.
  • Bruce Davis III, son of Bruce and Tiana Davis, is a Raleigh native and a graduate of Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy. He studies civil engineering with a minor in landscape architecture. His career goal is to start his own landscape architecture practice, using sustainable engineering and architecture practices to collaborate on projects locally and across the country.
  • Myla Fowlkes, daughter of Christopher and Melissa Fowlkes, is from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota and is a graduate of Park Center International Baccalaureate World School. She is studying bioengineering and plans to become an intellectual property attorney. This career is extremely important to her because she can help patent life-saving devices and protect the property of creators and inventors around the world.
  • Warren Glover II, son of Warren and Keya Glover, is from Clemmons, North Carolina and a graduate of Simon G. Atkins High School. He is studying mechanical engineering with a focus on aerospace. After graduation, he plans to enter the workforce as an aerospace engineer at NASA, where he can contribute to space exploration.
  • Taylor Harding, daughter of Anthony and Abenah Harding, is a native of Morrisville, North Carolina and a graduate of Research Triangle High School. She is studying Liberal Studies with a pre-legal focus. Her goal is to own a medical law firm focused on protection and justice for minorities and other marginalized groups who are discriminated against in healthcare.
  • Kyle Hilliard, son of Kevin and Katrina Hilliard, is from Greensboro, North Carolina and is a graduate of STEM Early College at NC A&T. He is studying Industrial and Systems Engineering with a minor in Psychology. After completing his bachelor’s degree, he plans to attend graduate school.
  • Myla Hudson, daughter of Mark and KaTrina Hudson, is from Charlotte, North Carolina and a graduate of Mallard Creek High School. She studies biology with a minor in psychology. Her ultimate career goal is to work with organizations like the US Peace Corps as an international traveling doctor specializing in pediatric or oncology care.
  • Jarrod Mason, son of Andre and Michele Mason, is from Cornelius, North Carolina and is a graduate of Merancas Middle College at Central Piedmont Community College. He is studying computer science with a minor in finance. After graduating from college, he plans a career in cybersecurity as a cybersecurity analyst, specifically in banking to combine his interests in computer science and finance.
  • Richard Obi, son of Martin and Chinyere Obi, is a Baltimore native and a graduate of Chesapeake High School STEM Academy. He is studying nursing with a minor in business administration. His career goal is to work as a pediatric nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital. After a few years as a nurse, he would like to continue his education as a nurse.
  • Samia Powell, daughter of Sammy Powell and Natasha Hannah, is from Durham, North Carolina and a graduate of Hillside New Tech High School. She is studying business informatics with a minor in finance. Her career goal is to work in a STEM related job, specifically in business analysis, with plans to start a clothing and embroidery business as well as a faith-based business focused on serving others and spreading the word of God.
  • Nayla Seda, daughter of Jonas Welder and Yvonda Seda, is from Garner, North Carolina and a graduate of Sanderson High School. She is studying civil engineering with a minor in journalism. After graduating from high school, she aspires to a career in construction and real estate management.
  • Jessica Solomon, daughter of Dr. Darley and Dana Solomon, is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina and graduated from Atkins Academic and Technology High School. She studies biology and plans a career in research, where she can discover innovative solutions for medical questions and topics.
  • Joshua Speller, son of Travis and Nashima Speller, is a native of Charlotte and a graduate of Josephine Dobbs Clement Early College High School. He studies biology with a minor in bioengineering. After graduating, he wants to study medicine. His goal is to become a cardiologist.
  • Joshua Wilkins, son of Reginald and Natisha Wilkins, is a native of Charlotte and a graduate of Cato Middle College High School. He is studying bioengineering with a minor in business administration. His career goal is to become a biomedical engineer. He wants to focus more on developing prostheses and tools like pacemakers to save lives.
  • Erin Yarrell, daughter of Eric and Joan Yarrell, is from Alexandria, Virginia and a graduate of Hayfield Secondary School. She is majoring in Bioengineering with minors in African American History and Spanish. Her ultimate goal is to earn a master’s degree in public health with a focus on minority differences and then enter medical school. Your ultimate goal is to become either a reconstructive plastic surgeon or an obstetrician-gynecologist.
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