The 2017 White House HBCU All-Star Yosha K. Lain (center) and her Academic Adviser/Mentor Dr. Zhu H. Ning (left) are congratulated by SU System President Dr. Ray Belton for the award.
Baton Rouge, La. (August 25, 2017) - Ms. Yosha K. Lain, an Urban Forestry senior at Southern University has been selected as the 2017 White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities All-Star Student Ambassador. According to Elyse Jones, the Operations & Program Analyst and the HBCU All-Star Program Manager of the U.S. Department of Education’s White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Ms. Lain’s superb achievements in academics, leadership, and civic engagement have set her apart from other applicants. The White House Initiative on HBCU is delighted that Ms. Lain will represent the Initiative as an ambassador who will go on to graduate as a leader from one of the nation’s finest HBCUs.
The purpose of this program is to recognize outstanding student leaders and empower them to be advocates for academic success and excellence. As an HBCU All-Star, Ms. Lain will be required to leverage the social media presence and community-based organization relationships to promote the value of education, have her work featured on the Initiative’s website, be invited to participate in regional events, network with other scholars to showcase her talent across the HBCU community, network with stakeholders from the public and private sectors, and join quarterly web chats with senior officials and other professionals.
The 23-year old All-Star honoree is a native of Winnsboro in Franklin Parish, Louisiana, where she graduated from Franklin Parish High School in 2012. She later earned an associate degree in Process Technology from Louisiana Delta Community College in Monroe with Summa Cum Laude.
“Before coming to SU, I attended and visited other colleges and universities, but no other colleges have prepared and educated me more than my HBCU. The experiences and knowledge that I have encountered at Southern University and A&M College are incomparable. As an HBCU All-Star, I would like to promote the advantages of an HBCU education, the importance of leadership, and the values of community service,” Ms. Lain expressed. She also acknowledged, “A great education comes from great teachers, administrators, advisors, and others that are willing to put forth extra assistance to ensure that students gain the proper attention and knowledge to thrive in their academics, community, and future.”
At Southern University, Ms. Lain has earned two research stipends from an urban forestry undergraduate research scholar program funded by Dr. Zhu Ning’s projects. She also earned The Luther and Mary Ida Vandross Scholarship, the Women Caucus Scholarship, and the Blessed to Be Blessed Scholarship.
“Majoring in Urban Forestry allows me to service a multitude of people and care for the environment. Many people are unaware of the values of a healthy environment,” said Lain.
Yosha has served as Student Government Association Legislator, Minorities in Agricultural, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Southern University Student Chapter President and Treasurer, and Southern University Urban Forestry Club Treasurer.
“I am honored to continuously be recognized on the Dean’s List and acknowledged as the student with the highest GPA in my Department of Urban Forestry & Natural Resources. I am currently a member of Collegiate 100 Black Women, MANRRS Chapter, Democratic Society, Urban Forestry Club, and the Honors Society,” Yosha said.
“Ms. Lain treasures a great education, has the highest GPA, and ranks number one among the undergraduate student body in the Department of Urban Forestry and Natural Resources at Southern University. “Her academic standing has earned her multiple scholarships and honors,” said Zhu H. Ning, Professor of Urban Forestry, who nominated Lain and helped her to prepare the application packet. Dr. Ning added, “Ms. Lain’s leadership is equally stellar. She serves as the officer of the Urban Forestry Club, organizes student activities, and conducts community service projects. As her academic advisor and the White House HBCU All-Star Campus Based Mentor, I am committed to continue mentoring her in the years to come. I am proud of her achievements and will guide her toward a distinguished and bright future.”
Yosha, who will graduate in fall 2017 with a B.S. degree in Urban Forestry & Natural Resources and a minor in Plant and Soil Science, plans to go to graduate school and continue to explore the divergent areas of agriculture.
This is the fourth consecutive year a student from SU has been selected as an HBCU All-Star. In 2014, Robert Chambers was honored with the same award. He has earned a doctoral degree in Urban Forestry and is employed by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. Sally Ross, received the award in 2015, and graduated with a B.S. degree in Urban Forestry as the College Marshal. After gaining research experience at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, she is pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The 2016 HBCU All-Star at Southern University was Kalaia Tripeaux. She plans to graduate in May 2018, thereafter, enrolling in graduate school. In the meantime, Kalaia is continuing with her campus recycling effort while maintaining the USDA funded Educational Forest/Jaguar Nature Trail, which affords students the choice of enjoying the outdoors.