Meet the Youngest Black Engineer in America

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Brittney Exline is special, very special. She’s the Michael Jordan of intellectuals, and getting the attention that she deserves.  Brittney has been named, according to and other sources, to be the young black engineer in the entire United States.   At 19 years old, the University of Pennsylvania grad has achieved more than most will achieve in their lifetime.

In addition to being an extraordinary engineer, Brittney also speaks five languages.  She graduated with minors in five different fields, including Math, Psychology and Classical Studies.  She has worked on Wall Street and also participated in numerous beauty pageants.  [Continue reading the article in its entirety at Naturally Moi.]


Representation in STEM: Black Women Making Their Mark in Space and Science

Today, there is an increased push for the American education system to improve their STEM programs as well as to get students to show interest in the fields. It is important to bring attention to some of the African-American females that have, and are still, paving the road for future scientists, astronauts or any STEM degree holders.

These women are just some of the many examples of African-American contributions to science. (Descriptions pertain to the women in the order they appear on the photoset, from up down, left right)

Mercedes Richards PH.D is a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University. Originally from Jamaica, Dr. Richards received her Doctoral degree at the University of Toronto. In 2010 Dr. Richards received the Fulbright Award to conduct research at the Astronomical Institute in Slovakia. research focus is on binary stars; twin stars formed at the same time.

Willie Hobbs Moore PH.D is the first African-American woman to earn a PH.D in physics in 1972. She received it at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Her thesis research involved important problems in vibrational analysis of macro molecules.

Beth Brown PH.D (1969-2008) was an Astrophysicist in the Sciences and Exploration Directorate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Born in Roanoke, VA, she grew up watching Star Trek and Star Wars and was fascinated with space. In 1998, Dr. Brown becoming the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in Astronomy from the University of Michigan.

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein PH.D is currently a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at the Observational Lab in Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland. Originally from Los Angeles California Dr. Prescod-Weinstein specializes in theoretical cosmology.

Dara Norman PH.D is a professor at the University of Washington. Dr. Norman grew up in the south side of Chicago Illinois. She went to MIT as an Undergraduate and worked at NASA Goddard in Maryland. Dr. Norman currently specializes in gravitational lensing, large scale structure and quasars (quasi-stellar objects). This year she was honored with the University’s Timeless Award for her contributions and accomplishments to astronomy. In 2009 she was invited to the Star Party at the White House.

Jeanette J. Epps PH.D from Syracuse NY is a NASA astronaut. She received her PH.D in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Marylan in 2000. Dr. Epps was selected in 2009 to be one of the 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. She recently graduated from Astronaut Candidate Training.

Shirley Ann Jackson PH.D is the second African-American woman to earn a PH.D in physics and the first from MIT. In 2009 Dr. Jackson was appointed to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. She is currently the President of the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute.

U.S. Son of Mexican Immigrants Accepted Into All 8 Ivy League Schools

U.S. Son of Mexican Immigrants Accepted Into All 8 Ivy League Schools

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In this May 28, 2015 photo, Fernando Rojas, a senior at Fullerton High School, stands with his parents, Raul Rojas and Maria in Fullerton, Calif. (PHOTO CREDIT: Rose Palmisano/The Orange County Register via AP) It would have been a success story if Fullerton High School senior Fernando Rojas, the son of Mexican immigrants whose schooling stopped in the eighth grade, was accepted to college. But…

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has the poorest understanding of climate science of all the 2016 presidential candidates, according to a report card prepared for the Associated Press by eight climate and biological scientists.
On a scale from zero to 100, the scientists gave Cruz a six.
“This individual understands less about science (and climate change) than the average kindergartner,” Michael Mann, a meteorology professor at Pennsylvania State University, wrote about Cruz’s comments, according to the AP. “That sort of ignorance would be dangerous in a doorman, let alone a president.”

I just saw that Duke University has a campaign just like my school’s! Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania launched the “Don’t Say” Initiative this past week and I fell in love with my school even more because of it. Go D2 Athletics!

Anxious to return to the Nice list, Penn State selects Santa Claus as its next president

As the ramifications of the Sandusky football scandal continue to play out, The Pennsylvania State University is putting its faith in an iconic figure to lead it on the long, difficult march back to respectability. At a news conference Monday morning in State College, Pa., Penn State will formally introduce its 18th president—Kris Kringle, a.k.a. Santa Claus.

“Some may see this as a surprising choice, but St. Nick is exactly what we need right now,” says Penn State Board of Trustees Chairman Steve Garban. “As we continue to deal with all that has transpired, we need to accelerate the healing process. Santa is the embodiment of hope and joy and goodwill. I can think of no one better in this role. His reputation is impeccable. And his qualifications are impressive.”

While no one knows Santa’s exact age, he’s believed to be hundreds of years old. And he hasn’t spent all that time merely overseeing his Workshop. Santa possesses a keen, inquisitive mind combined with a voracious appetite for reading and learning. Over the centuries, he has earned advanced degrees in dozens of disciplines. Among them are doctorates in child and family studies, international relations, logistics, marketing, organizational management and psychology.

And he’s no stranger to the administrative side of academia. Santa is the longtime chancellor of the University of the North Pole (from which he will take a leave of absence to assume the Penn State position). He is also president emeritus of Kringle College (which he founded) and is a distinguished visiting professor at Northern Lights University, the Upper Siberia Institute and the Community College of the Arctic Circle.

Equally important, given concerns about academic-athletic balance at Penn State, is Santa’s experience in overseeing big-time athletic programs. He has been commissioner of the annual Reindeer Games for many years and serves on the advisory boards of the Iditarod, the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics and the Canadian Curling Association. He also holds season tickets to the NHL’s Calgary Flames.

“I and others believe collegiate athletics will benefit from his sugar plum savvy,” says NCAA President Mark Emmert. “We feel he would be an insightful voice, and we hope he will consider an invitation to join our Executive Committee.”

Santa won’t assume office until mid-January, enabling him to complete his Christmas obligations and post-holiday production changeover. He will take over from Penn State’s acting president, Rodney Erickson, who has guided the university since Nov. 9, when the previous president, Graham Spanier, was fired. Erickson will move to a senior leadership position.

Once Santa arrives at State College after the New Year, he will spend most of his time on campus or traveling the world to meet with alumni, current and prospective donors, and world leaders.

“This is the first instance that Kris has accepted this type of very visible responsibility outside the Arctic Circle,” says Ernie Elf, Santa’s chief of staff. “He is usually not so readily available, but given the special circumstances at Penn State he believes it’s important to be out in public more, walking the campus, meeting the students and trying to grow the Nice list.”

During his typical crunch time, December, Santa will work exclusively out of his North Pole office, for obvious reasons. “It’s a very minor accommodation,” says Penn State’s Garban. “In no way do we want to affect Santa’s life’s work bringing joy to children and adults across the globe. And, frankly, the timing couldn’t be better—when he most needs to be at the Workshop, our fall semester is winding down as students take their finals and get ready for Santa to visit their homes.”

Initially, Mrs. Claus will be joining Santa in State College as he gets acclimated, according to Ernie Elf. Later, she will split her time between the campus and their home at the North Pole, directly overseeing the family business.

Santa’s reindeer will accompany the couple to Penn State and, as customary, will stay with Santa year round. “Over the winter, I understand they enjoy being outside most of the time,” Garban says. “From spring through mid fall, they’ll spend more of their time indoors in specially constructed, climate-controlled lodgings. They’re not accustomed to especially warm weather.”

In addition to being loyal companions, the reindeer are Santa’s principle means of transportation. And that’s not going to change. “Where Santa goes, Rudolph et al go,” Ernie Elf says. “He has no pretenses. He likes to drive himself.“

Santa Claus: If ever a place needed his magic, it’s Penn State.
BEST OF 2015 FICTION/NON-FICTION UNDER THE UDALA TREES A brilliant, well-written coming of age story of a young lady, Ijeoma, as she navigates the genesis of her sexuality, religion, and identity …



A brilliant, well-written coming of age story of a young lady, Ijeoma, as she navigates the genesis of her sexuality, religion, and identity in the face of a struggle much scarier than the actual civil war she lives through, a war against herself and society.


Chinelo Okparanta was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. A University of Iowa Provost’s Postgraduate Visiting Writer in Fiction as well as a Colgate University Olive B. O’Connor Fellow in Fiction, Okparanta received her BS from Pennsylvania State University, her MA from Rutgers University, and her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was one of Granta’s six New Voices for 2012 and is a Lambda Award winner for Lesbian Fiction, an O. Henry Short Story Prize winner, a finalist for the Rolex Mentors and Proteges Arts Initiative, a finalist for the Etisalat Prize for Literature, and a finalist for the Caine Prize, among others. Her stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. (Amazon)


A highly introspective collection of carefully selected words, fashioned to be taken as an elixir, its effect, a daily reminder for the everyday (African) woman to love herself back to life in a most magical way.


Ijeoma Umebinyuo was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. She is the author of Questions for Ada, her first published collection of prose poems and poems. Her writings have been translated to Portuguese, Turkish, Spanish, Russian and French.

With the same consummate skill in which she’s mastered writing, Ijeoma Umebinyuo has conquered social media platforms across the web with an ease that’s humbling! Fans hang on to her every word, re-tweeting and re-posting them wherever they go. Her social media presence is everywhere–it’s rare to find a platform that’s not sharing her heartfelt poetry or scintillating prose with followers. Her words cut across class and exposes the truth in its rawest form.

Ijeoma Umebinyuo has emerged here to stay, speak and write. (Amazon)


In this short and brilliantly written essay, Adichie confronts the issue of gender inequality, highlighting the importance of contemplating life with a feminist point of view, as she builds a poignant argument using instances from her personal experiences.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who grew up in Nigeria, was shortlisted for the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing. Her work has been selected by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the BBC Short Story Awards and has appeared in various literary publications, including Zoetrope and The Iowa Review. (Amazon)

The Pennsylvania State University.

Beaver stadium and the rest of Penn State is truly beautiful. I recently visited the university to see my best friend who is a freshmen. Up until that point, the only views I had on Penn State were based of opinions and the occasional exciting story that my friend expressed to me. I don’t believe it took me more then five minutes to realize I was in love with this establishment. The atmosphere is unworldly, so much positive energy and a sense of family that one almost feels over whelmed. You really do catch the drift fairly quickly that this university as everything in the world to offer you, something I do not see at my school. I cannot say I envy the student body of Penn State for attending such a remarkable school for anyone with a strong will and sense of direction in an outstanding career field could quite possibly go here. Maybe one day I’ll see myself walking those very academic buildings and dorms but for now I must work my way there and I can proudly say it is worth the wait.