UDC Joins HBCU Fellowship Launched by Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies

UDC Joins HBCU Fellowship Launched by Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies

April 26, 2017


Contact:  John Gordon, Jr., Director of Communications

202.274.5998 (office) or 202.701.8805 (cell) or john.gordon@udc.edu

UDC Joins HBCU Fellowship Launched by Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies

Designed to Connect Fortune 500 Companies with High-Performing Students

UDC is Among Top Ten Historically Black Colleges and Universities Joining Program; Johnson & Johnson is Corporate Launch Partner

Washington, DC — The University of the District of Columbia joins the Columbia University School of Professional Studies in announcing today’s launch of its HBCU Fellowship, which aims to bridge the gap between academically exceptional HBCU graduates and Fortune 500 companies that seek to employ them. Through the fellowship, high-performing students from UDC and a network of historically black colleges and universities will be matched with sponsor companies to receive full scholarships to Columbia’s professional master’s degree programs. Additionally, the program will offer paid summer internships, mentoring, and career counseling.

“CEOs and senior executives consistently lament that maintaining a diverse workforce is an increasingly insurmountable challenge,” said Jason Wingard, Ph.D., Dean of Columbia’s School of Professional Studies. “The HBCU Fellowship identifies and develops a diverse talent pool, creates a direct pipeline of market-ready students for our corporate partners, and establishes a foundation for a successful career trajectory for Fellows.”

In 2017, the HBCU Fellowship will award 20 scholarships to students from UDC and other top HBCUs: Delaware State University, Florida Agricultural Mechanical University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Tuskegee University, Winston-Salem State University, and Xavier University of Louisiana. Students will have the opportunity to pursue a Columbia master’s degree in Applied Analytics, Bioethics, Construction Administration, Enterprise Risk Management, Nonprofit Management, or Strategic Communication.

Research* demonstrates that diversity spurs innovation and financial performance. In fact, diverse firms are 35% more likely to yield financial returns above their national industry median, 45% more likely to report market share growth, and 70% more likely to report that their firm captured a new market.

“Columbia’s HBCU Fellowship presents a unique and important opportunity to close the employment gap between our students and top employers,” said Ronald Mason, Jr., J.D., president of the University of the District of Columbia. “This support for our students as they pursue their educational and career goals, and seek to make the strongest possible professional impact, means all the more to me because it comes from my alma mater.”

Corporate partner Johnson & Johnson will be offering internships to HBCU fellows.

“We’re so thrilled to participate in this innovative program,” said Georgia Papathomas, Ph.D., Vice President and Group Chief Information Officer, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.  “Diversity is a key pillar for Johnson & Johnson, and Columbia’s HBCU Fellowship creates much-needed educational access for minority students, and builds direct connections with companies like ours. We look forward to supporting the success of these very deserving students.”

*Source: Harvard Business Review, How Diversity Drives Innovation