Author Archives: Tisha Arnold

Grambling State panel discusses U.S. Constitution during convocation event

Grambling, La. – September 30, 2022 – Grambling State University’s (GSU) Office of Continuing Education and Service-Learning along with GSU’s Earl Lester Cole Honors College held a Constitution Day Discussion Tuesday at T.H. Harris Auditorium.

The theme of the program was “I Am An American: A Conversation About The U.S. Constitution.” Dr. Quentin Holmes, Dr. Penya Moses, and Dr. Kevin Washington served as panelists answering questions presented by GSU Mass Communication major Gene Wilson, III, Criminal Justice major Bria Johnson, and Sociology major Taye Abraham.

At the start of their discussion, the panelists were asked to give their perspectives on the Constitution and what it means to them.

“The Constitution sets forward the foundation for our rules of law,” Hol

mes, former police chief for Monroe, Louisiana, and former assistant professor in GSU’s Public Administration Department where he currently teaches both criminal justice and public administration courses, said as he opened the discussion. “While it’s not a perfect document, the Constitution has been a very good document and the longest-lasting Constitution of any country in the world. So when I think about the Constitution and how it dictates what we do, it helps maintain law and order within our country. It’s not always perfect — that law and order — but it does give us a foundation.”

Washington, currently an associate professor in the Sociology and Psychology Department at GSU, challenged the Constitution in his opening.



“From its beginning, who are considered its people, who are the ‘We’ being talked about?,” Washington asked. “You can clearly see in the Declaration of Independence that those who owned land were the ones who were human and that they had rights and the ones who did not own land didn’t.”

Holmes got more to that point when asked what he felt was the purpose of the U.S. Constitution.

“The purpose of the Constitution is to make sure everyone is treated on a level field,” Holmes said. “But we do know that when the Constitution was crafted and written, it didn’t consider minorities, and in specific, Blacks, on that same level playing field. When it was written it wasn’t written for us, it wasn’t written for African Americans. It was written for the whites of the day and then of course later amended and that’s what brought us into the fold of being treated equally.

“So for me, the foundation of the Constitution, the root of it, is to make sure we’re all afforded the same equal rights. It’s fairly interpretive as far as what the Supreme Court down to local courts have to interpret it with the Supreme Court being the final arbiter of it. That’s the foundation of it. Amendments try to make it better, but equality is what I believe the foundation of the Constitution works toward.”

Moses, chief operating officer at GSU, said she believes the purpose of the Constitution has evolved over time.

“When you look to the Constitution as to what its purpose is now as opposed to the basis behind how it was drafted, today it’s about due process, it’s about equality, it’s about having a foundation where we all have the rights and privileges that we can truly today benefit from – not being discriminated against.

“There are so many privileges and rights that we have now that 200 years ago, we as a people did not have. So when you look to the Constitution now, and its purpose, it’s evolved over time and I believe that as a panel today we’re going to discuss some issues that will help explain the constitution in a deeper way so that will you take the rights you have now more seriously, because your ancestors lived, fought, and died in some instances for you to have the rights you have now.”

Moses then told the GSU students in attendance that while they have the right to vote, 200 years ago their ancestors didn’t. She pointed out that freedom of speech has improved in their favor as opposed to what their ancestors faced, adding that now they have the right to remain silent because what they say may be used against them in a court of law, just as they have the right to the assistance of legal counsel.

“As you learn about the Constitution you will learn the benefits your ancestors basically provided to you that you can’t take for granted,” Moses said.

During his concluding remarks, Holmes urged GSU students to take advantage of the rights the Constitution and its Amendments provide to them.

“If you don’t vote, you shouldn’t complain,” Holmes said. “”And when I’m talking about voting, I’m not talking about voting in only presidential elections. The most important laws get done at the local level or even university level.

“A lot of students will complain about what happens here on campus. Yet they didn’t take time to vote to be represented the way they wanted to be. They just complain about everything. … I encourage you to exercise your power to vote because people died for us to get that right. It doesn’t matter how big or small an election is, you should vote, because then you can complain if your representative isn’t doing what’s right or what’s fair. Then you have a solid moral reason to complain with good conscience.”

Moses concluded by reminding the onlooking students that they have a purpose.

“Don’t miss the opportunity to fulfill your purpose and destiny as you move forward,” Moses said. “What you heard today — what is the Constitution and why is it important?

“When you learn about the Constitution and African Americans — only five African American United States senators in all of history, that’s important. Don’t miss your moment to fulfill your purpose.”

Washington ended the program by telling the students that the Constitution reminded him that everyone in the auditorium has the capacity to establish for themselves what they stand for, how they will stand and to recognize the shoulders of those before them they stand upon.

“We must recognize that when we talk about the Constitution, we talk about a proclamation of humanity,” Washington said. “We must recognize that there is clearly a continuation from the legacy of greatness. When we talk about voting, we have to be clear we’re talking not only about the right to vote, but for what?”

“In our community, we have to stop being a cheap date to politicians who show up to our churches and come out and bait us,” Washington continued. “They treat us well and as soon as they get what they want from us, we don’t see them again until the next election. We have to stop that behavior and determine for ourselves what is our true agenda?”

Four Grambling State students chosen for Moguls in the Making competition

Pictured (l-r) are GSU “Moguls in the Making” team members Brendan Nzoma, Katrice McMullen, Alesia Jackson and Darielle Clark.

Grambling, LA. – September 15, 2022 – A team of four Grambling State University students recently arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina, on an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the “Moguls in the Making” competition presented by The Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s (TMCF) Innovation and Entrepreneur (I&E) program, Ally Financial and the Sean Anderson Foundation.

TMCF and Ally Financial selected 15 HBCUs to participate in the “Moguls in the Making” competition to find the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds.

GSU students include education major Katrice McMullen, Brendan Nzoma, a CIS major minoring in Data Analytics), history major Darielle Clark, and CIS major Alesia Jackson (CIS).

The competing teams will be tasked with developing solutions to economic problems facing various industries and then pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges composed of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders.

The selection of teams started with interested students submitting applications and then participating in virtual interviews explaining why they were interested in the competition and entrepreneurship.

“We also had to present a platform on why we thought Grambling students would be a good fit and actually benefit from being in the program,” said McMullen, the lead student for GSU’s team.

Applicants also had to record videos doing a short speech about themselves and then were chosen from there.

“It’s crazy because none of us really knew each other well before we got into this program,” McMullen said. “I am not a business major or anything like that, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to be in that kind of environment. But I saw the opportunity and read up on it and thought it would be cool to work to come up with plans for the betterment of another community. That’s how we really got into it.”

The teams know they will be working on project development for the city of Charlotte and creating things that will help the city draw different people and industries to the area.

“We’ll be working on some ideas the city can use to help the community and help the city move forward,” McMullen said.

McCullen admitted she was surprised when she found out she had been selected for the competition.

“I found out at the end of June or July, and I was shocked,” McMullen said. “That’s not saying that I didn’t think I couldn’t do it, but I knew there were very many talented and qualified applicants. I was shocked and excited that I was given the opportunity to show not only what I know but the things that I can accomplish with other people that have like mindsets.”

While they didn’t know each other well, some of GSU’s team members were at least acquainted before being teamed for the competition.

“I actually used to hang with Darielle at the bookstore Back to the Basics over in the village,” McMullen said. “We’d both go to ‘Freestyle Fridays’ there and sing, read poetry, showcase artists, and that kind of thing. I didn’t really know Brendan but we found out we were both Greek organization members, so that was a connection that we didn’t know we had.”

Nzoma also had a previous connection with Clark because they’re both from Detroit.

“We were both part of the Midnight Golf program,” Nzoma said.

Midnight Golf is a Michigan-based program dedicated to equipping determined young adults through life skills training, proactive coaching, long-term mentoring and the discipline of golf in order to succeed in college, in their careers and beyond.

“Darielle is a year younger than me, but I first met her through that Midnight Golf program up in Michigan, and I think all four of us will be good and successful teammates working together,” Nzoma said.

McMullen intends to take what she’s learned at GSU and help her team qualify for winnings.

“The slogan ‘Everybody is Somebody’ at GSU is true with this in that we’re being given an opportunity to show our skills and give back,” McMullen said. “I feel like I can do things in my community to give back and help those around me. So GSU has taught me how to be somebody as far as going out and doing whatever I put my mind to.”

When the students arrive in Charlotte, they’ll first attend workshops before the actual competition is held on Saturday and Sunday.

“Then we’ll find out who the winners are on Sunday and we’re hoping to at least place in the top three,” McMullen said.

Nzoma said he’s also looking forward to competing for the prize money while proving himself along the way.

“I think we have a good group,” Nzoma said. “I think I’m a good leader with good networking skills and understanding, and I think that will be very beneficial to our project. I’m looking forward to doing everything I can to help our team go to Charlotte, succeed, and earn that prize money. It’s a great opportunity we need to take advantage of. I’m looking forward to going up there and showing what we can do.”

69th Miss Grambling State looks to expand platform of Service, Leadership, Legacy

Fifth-generation Gramblinite plans to become first medical doctor in her family

Kelli Copes will be crowned the 69th Miss Grambling State University in a Coronation ceremony Thursday, September 15, 2022, in T.H. Harris Auditorium on GSU’s campus. (GSU Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing/CarltonHamlin).

Grambling, LA – September 12, 2022 – Kelli Copes will be crowned as the 69th Miss Grambling State University in a 7 p.m. coronation ceremony on Thursday in T.H. Harris Auditorium, and the junior biology pre-med major said the event will be a continuation of lifelong dreams that have always been focused around “The G.”

“My parents both graduated from GSU and I never considered going anywhere else,” Copes said. “My dad (Dr. Joe Copes) was a geography professor and Title III director here until his retirement in 2007. And my mom (Carmen Copes) worked in IT. My sister graduated from here with the second-highest GPA in 2007. My uncle [also] works and graduated from here. It was always going to be the ‘G’ for me when I was growing up. I’ve never seen myself anywhere else. I knew Grambling would present me with the opportunities I needed, so I went with Grambling. There was never any question about going anywhere else.”

Copes isn’t the first member of her family to run for Miss GSU — her older sister also ran for the title.

“She was unsuccessful, so it was a little bit more personal for me to make sure I brought it home,” Copes said of earning the title.

Copes said her platform to become Miss GSU consisted of three parts — “The Lady, The Leader, and The Legacy.”

“The Legacy portion of my campaign has been geared toward what I’ve done since becoming a student at GSU and the fact I am a legacy from here,” Copes said. “The Lady part is just about me continuing to serve the Grambling community with grace, as I’ve done since beginning my journey here at Grambling.”

“Being a leader, every Grambling student’s journey is one they’ll remember forever, and over the last three years I’ve tried to be well-rounded and involved,” Copes continued. “I’ve hosted voter registration drives and blood pressure checks, and I’ve hosted ‘Buzz Talks’ to help my fellow students. I plan on continuing and building on all of that as Miss Grambling State.”

Copes said she hopes to help pull university administration and students together in her role as Miss GSU.

“There seems to be a disconnect at times and I’d like to help with that as well as increase student engagement,” Copes said. “Since COVID, the level of student involvement at GSU has significantly dropped, so I’d like to boost those numbers back up. I’d like to start monthly ‘Queen’s Corner’ sessions to keep students actively involved. I like it to be a video podcast – something fellow students will like watching.”

Copes has another goal she said she’d like to work on and try to make happen.

“As a product of GSU Nursery School, I’d like to push for the reopening of the school for children of faculty, students, and staff,” Copes said.

She said the “Legacy” part of her platform is simply upholding the family tradition.

“I wanted to show that by attending Grambling State University and to help my fellow students realize that what they do here will leave a lasting impact. I’ve been creating my legacy since putting my foot on the university’s rich soil as a GSU student and I won’t stop. My charge to my fellow students is for them to consider how they will leave their legacy and to make it a great one for both themselves and GSU.”

Copes’ 3.96 GPA in Pre-Med has her on track toward realizing her career goal of becoming a doctor.

“I would be the first doctor in my family,” Copes said. “That’s another longtime goal I’m going to make happen.”

Copes said she’s experienced many special moments in her time as a GSU student but that at least one stands out a little more than others.

“Serving as a student representative for the University Master Planning committee, I’ve expressed my concerns about the lab facilities in the STEM building here — old Carver Hall,” Copes said. “And seeing those get upgraded made me feel good, even if there were plans to do that before I became part of the planning committee. “

“I’ve always wanted to help my fellow students and seeing that happen made me feel I had been able to do that in some small way. And that’s what I intend to keep on doing as Miss Grambling. Knowing I’m helping someone is always a special moment for me.”

Northeast Delta HSA to unveil mural at Grambling State with Black Creatives Circle

Monroe, LA – Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (NEDHSA) is set to unveil a public art mural on the campus of Grambling State University on Thursday, September 1, 2022, at 1 PM at the Grambling High Building, 278 Central Ave, Grambling, LA 71245. The latest public art mural continues NEDHSA’s partnership with the Black Creatives Circle of North Louisiana (BCCNL).

The agency began working on using various art forms as one of its integrated health care, evidence-based prevention, communications, and treatment strategies to help serve persons with mental health, addictive disorders, and developmental disabilities.

The mural on the Grambling State University campus is the second commissioned public art completed through the BCCNL partnership. It was strategically placed on the campus in the Grambling High Building to help the students overcome the traumatic experiences they have had in their lives on campus or away from campus.

NEDHSA Executive Director Dr. Monteic A. Sizer said, “while the murals we’re commissioning are generating much-needed regional economic development, diversity, and job creation, they are also helping our region’s vulnerable populations get the help they need.”

“We believe there is medicine in creative expression, and the arts can help a person come alive in ways traditional treatment options can’t,” Dr. Sizer said. “We intend to help create an environment where dreams are realized, families are strong, bodies are healthy, community institutions are thriving, and spirits are renewed.”

According to the Americans for the Arts, 69 percent of the United States population believe the Arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences,” 73 percent feel the Arts give them “pure pleasure to experience and participate in,” and 81 percent say the Arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”

Grambling State University President Rick Gallot said he is “inspired by the partnership between the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Black Creatives Circle of North Louisiana, and Northeast Delta Human Services Authority.”

“The importance of supporting the whole student cannot be overstated,” Gallot said. “I am thankful for their collective vision of finding ways to keep mental health at the forefront of daily conversation.”

Grambling State University Chairperson of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Rodrecas Davis, MFA, said after COVID-19, he and other faculty had many students dealing with issues and “needed a place where they could unburden themselves.”

“The physical space is representative of the focus to provide an avenue for students to discuss self-care with their peers and address the importance of attending to one’s mental health,” Davis said. “My hope is that this space will facilitate those conversations.”

BCCNL’s President Vitus Shell said murals are “direct and great ways to express a community’s concerns and needs, envisioning a new future and safer space for the people.”

“Kids and the rest of the community can see themselves in a new light,” Shell said. “Murals can enforce themes for the people and show that someone cares about their quality of life.”

Shell said BCCNL looks like the city’s majority, and “we use our voices and talent to speak up for the unheard.”

“Artists are the visionaries of our neighborhoods, so with NEDHSA, this partnership is perfect,” Shell said. “The history and mission of NEDHSA align with our goals of empowering creatives to create change in any way imaginable.”

The mural reveal is open to the public. To reserve a spot at the reveal, visit

For more information, contact Public Information Director DeRon Talley by emailing Deron.Talley@La.Gov.

World Famed Tiger Marching Band debuts 2022 season at Pepsi Battle of the Bands event

Houston, TX – August 29, 2022 – The Grambling State University World Famed Tiger Marching Band got an early start to the fall marching band season as one of eight bands from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to compete in the 2022 Pepsi National Battle of the Bands event that was held Saturday at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Other competing marching bands included Alabama A&M University, Alcorn State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Kentucky State University, North Carolina A&T University, Prairie View A&M University, and Southern University.

“I think the kids did well even if they say I’m never satisfied,” said Dr. Nikole Roebuck, Director of Bands and Chair of the Department of Music. “And I’m not, so I’ll continue to push and get them to keep making progress week after week. I don’t want them to get complacent, so we’ll continue to work hard so that we keep on elevating our performances throughout the season.”

“I think the fact that it was our first performance of the year and our first performance in the National Battle of Bands made it even more special than many performances,” Roebuck said. “This was the first time we’ve gone up against seven additional HBCU bands, so it was very exciting. There was a lot of energy in the stadium and the kids fell in line and did what they were supposed to do.”

Roebuck said the early competitive event will also help make the Tiger Marching Band better in the long run.

“I think that kind of event is good for all bands in general. That’s your opponent across the field, so you’re doing everything you can to make sure you come out on top, every week. This was a great way to start marching band season,” Roebuck said. “Every time the World Famed Tiger Marching Band performs, it’s special. We try to make each performance one people will remember and talk about forever. So, we’re going to go out there and show people what ‘The World Famed’ is all about.”

GRAMMY-nominated rap group Migos headlined the event with a performance following the final band performance of the show. Migos is a multi-platinum hip-hop group founded in Atlanta as a trio featuring Quavo, Offset and Takeoff. The iconic hip hop trio amassed more than 3.3 billion streams of their hit songs on Spotify, including “Stir Fry,” “Walk It Talk It” and “Bad and Boujee.”

The event also included a conference for entrepreneurs. National and local bank leaders showed up in Houston’s 5th Ward community to conduct a workshop with established and aspiring business owners. Food distribution to the homeless community also took place on Saturday morning.

100% of Grambling State 2022 nursing graduates pass NCLEX on first attempt

Grambling, La. – August 15, 2022 – The Grambling State University (GSU) College of Professional Studies is celebrating after all 16 of its 2022 School of Nursing graduates passed the NCLEX exam as first-time test takers. A National Council of State Board of Nursing exam used to test the competency of nursing school graduates in the U.S. and Canada, a passing grade is required to become a registered nurse.
The 100% pass rate for first-time test takers is a first in the history of the School of Nursing at GSU.

“The Louisiana Board of Nursing requires an 80% NCLEX-RN passage rate for first-time testers for full state approval,” said Dr. Meg Brown, associate dean of the GSU’s School of Nursing. “The current BSN program enrolled its first cohort in 2018. This is the second cohort to graduate. The first cohort was less than 80%.”

Brown said the higher passing rate was due to the work nursing faculty put in with students to make it happen.

“Strategies were put into place to improve the NCLEX-RN passage rate,” Brown said. “It appears that they worked with students passing at 100% for first-time testers. The full state approval allows the nursing students to be eligible for scholarships earmarked for nursing schools with full state approval.”

Brown continued that the impact of full state approval and the 100% passing rate will increase inquiries and applicants to the BSN program. Accredited by the (CCNE), the twelve-month curriculum format offers programs in pre-nursing, BSN, RN to BSN, and MSN. To learn more about the program, visit

Grambling State names Jay J. Ellis Chief Information Officer

Jay J. Ellis


Grambling, La. – August 15, 2022 – University officials announced today that Jay J. Ellis, CISM has been named Chief Information Officer at Grambling State University (GSU). Having served recently as the Director of Infrastructure Services for Prairie View A&M University, Ellis brings over 20 years of experience in Information Technology with expertise in information security governance, program development management, incident management, risk management, and joint IT support consulting services for private sector companies for the United States military throughout the Middle East. Ellis has been recognized as a Change Agent and Innovative-Centric Strategist with expansive knowledge of emerging technologies proven to improve operations.

“We welcome Mr. Ellis as Chief Information Officer to the GSU family,” said President Rick Gallot, Jr. “Mr. Ellis has higher education technology experience along with developing innovative divergent strategies to address complex projects, business scenarios, challenges, and opportunities that will prove beneficial for GSU’s digital future.”

Previously, Ellis was appointed to the Lonestar Education and Research Network Technical Advisory Group (LEARN), a non-profit organization of 43 organizations of public and private institutions that connects its members and affiliated organizations to statewide resources.

“As CIO, his scope of responsibility will include strengthening Grambling State’s network infrastructure with management oversight of the information technology for the entire institution,” said Dr. Penya M. Moses, Chief Operating Officer.

As the leader of the development of the IT blueprint, Ellis will work to reduce manual processes and mitigate risk by strengthening internal controls, expanding technology capabilities, building and managing a portfolio of technology projects, and allocating the resources for successful implementation.

“I am excited to be a part of GramFam and I believe that my experience in incorporating system designs, integrations, and operations with Cybersecurity best practices will further enhance the future of Grambling State University for the benefit of the faculty, students, and staff technology experience,” said Ellis.

Ellis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix and holds certifications recognized by VMware, Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA, Amazon Web Services, and ISACA, as a certified information security manager.

McMahon joins GSU as Director of Safety and Risk Management


Grambling State University has added 29 years of experience in public health, environmental and occupational health sciences, safety training, team building, hazard analysis, compliance, and risk reduction with the hiring of Dr. John F. McMahon as the new Director of Safety and Risk Management. McMahon’s hiring was effective as of Aug. 1.

He worked for over 20 years at two mayoral agencies for the city of New York and spent the last three years as the Director of Risk Management for the nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center which operates nine primary care clinics.

At GSU, McMahon is charged with the responsibility of identifying, evaluating, and analyzing risks inherent to the operations of the university.

“Dr. McMahon is uniquely qualified for this position,” said Dr. Penya M. Moses, GSU’s Chief Operating Officer. “His technical expertise, years of experience, and collaborative instincts have garnered the respect of everyone he has worked with, both inside and outside the university. We welcome his experience to Grambling State University in directing the university’s risk, environmental health, and safety operations in an effort to take on the full range of important risk management issues facing GSU.”

Dr. McMahon has participated in SACS, ABET, Sedgwick, HRSA, Federal Tort, and Energy audits; and served on the Louisiana State Committee for Institutional Advancement, Rapid Response Grants, and energy-efficient campus upgrades of lighting and HVAC controllers.

He holds a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from Louisiana Tech University; a Master’s of Science degree in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences from Hunter College, City University of New York; a Master’s of Arts Education in Secondary Science from Louisiana Tech; a Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech and a Bachelor’s of Science in Medical Sociology with a minor in Biology from City College of New York.

“It’s an honor to be part of the Gram Fam,” McMahon said. “I know I’m in great company to build on the mission and vision of Grambling State University with teamwork, inclusion, and best practices in campus safety.”

Dr. Edwin Litolff named VP for Finance at Grambling State


GRAMBLING, La. – June 24, 2022 – Dr. Edwin Litolff has been named Vice President of Finance at Grambling State University. Having served recently as Associate Vice President of Operations at Southeastern Louisiana University, Litolff brings years of experience in the University of Louisiana System and higher education in Louisiana to the role.

“Dr. Edwin Litolff is well-qualified to be our Vice President of Finance,” said Grambling State University President Richard J. Gallot, Jr. “I have no doubt that Dr. Litolff’s experience will advance GSU forward and provide continued financial stability to the University.”

Litolff was formerly named by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System as interim President of the University of Louisiana Monroe. Litolff previously served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the University of Louisiana System. Dr. Litolff has a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; a Master of Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management, both from Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana.

“It is truly a privilege for me to have this opportunity to continue my service at GSU and I look forward to contributing in a substantial impactful way.” Dr. Litolff said. “I look forward to President Gallot’s leadership while working with university executives, faculty, students, and staff as we strive together for excellence. I am aware of and admire the critical role that Historically Black Colleges and Universities play in the personal and educational development of students in the state, region, and nation. While working at the University of Louisiana System, I have seen the financial challenges facing all the institutions in the state.”

About Grambling State University
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university that was founded in 1901. The institution has been accredited by SACSCOC, 13 associations, and in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. Offering 46 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the 590-acre campus is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life that enables our scholars to grow and learn in a positive environment. For more information, visit

AT&T Foundation Awards $25,000 Grant to Grambling University Foundation to benefit STEM majors

GRAMBLING, La.– June 22, 2022 — AT&T has continued its investment in Grambling State University (GSU) with a $25,000 contribution to the Grambling University Foundation Inc., for scholarships in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The funds will be awarded to 25 students for one year, with priority consideration given to merit students with a financial need.

The minimum grade point average to qualify as an AT&T scholar and maintain a scholarship is 3.0. Scholars will be selected based on their application, essay, faculty recommendation, involvement in STEM-related extracurricular activities, and unmet financial need.

“Donations like this that AT&T has made toward STEM scholarships, reducing the financial burdens some of our students would have to face and making it affordable to attend Grambling — that kind of gift tells our students that success is imminent,” said Melanie E. Jones, Vice President for Advancement, Research, and Economic Development at GSU. “We are proud of our partnership with AT&T because they realize that we are a strong brand with high-quality academic programs and we’re producing graduates who are becoming true game-changers in their fields and careers.”

According to The 74, a nonprofit news website focusing on education issues in the United States, STEM occupations are projected to increase twice as fast as all other jobs through 2029, and while the number of college graduates with degrees in STEM-related fields is seeing comparable growth, inequitable access to education in these fields is creating barriers to entering the workforce for people of color and women.

A close look at the data on who works in STEM reveals that Black and Hispanic professionals are underrepresented compared with their white and Asian peers, and women fill only a quarter of STEM jobs, largely due to labor shortage issues.

“AT&T is proud to support Grambling State University’s STEM program by providing these funds to support student scholarships in these high-demand fields,” said David Aubrey, Assistant Vice President and State Director of External Affairs at AT&T. “Since 2014, AT&T and its Foundation have provided more than $250,000 to GSU for support of its academic and athletic programs.”

Students interested in applying for the scholarships should contact the Office of Financial Aid.

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities, and improving lives. We have a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs. Our AT&T Aspire initiative uses innovation in education to drive student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $550 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships, and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.

About Grambling State University
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university that was founded in 1901. The institution has been accredited by SACSCOC, 13 associations, and in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. Offering 46 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the 590-acre campus is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life that enables our scholars to grow and learn in a positive environment. For more information, visit