In August, Spelman rolled out the blue carpet for members of the Class of 2019, welcoming nearly 600 students and their families for New Student Orientation. During NSO, students bonded through several activities that included team-building exercises, convocation, first-year student induction and more. Be sure to check out the NSO photo gallery below.

Professor Krishna Foster at Cal State L.A. Bioscience lab. Photo by J. Emilio Flores/Cal State L.A.

Chemistry professor Krishna Foster, Ph.D., C’92, has been recognized among “100 Inspiring Women in STEM” by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for encouraging and inspiring young women to pursue careers in science. An advocate for women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Dr. Foster serves as associate director for the Minority Opportunities in Research Programs at California State University, Los Angeles.  She and other award recipients are featured in the September issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity.


Lieutenant La’Shanda Holmes, C’2007, the U.S. Coast Guard’s first African-American female helicopter pilot, has been appointed to the 2015-2016 class of White House Fellows by the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. After growing up in the foster care system, Holmes put herself through college, became a pilot, and amassed over 1,500 flight hours conducting search and rescue, counter drug and law enforcement missions. The Bonner Scholar was previously stationed at Air Station Atlantic City as an aircraft commander and managed over 6,800 flight hours for the Coast Guard’s largest MH-65 helicopter unit. She deployed five times to Washington, D.C., as a Rotary Wing Air Intercept pilot, where she supervised an 18-member team and sustained two strip alert aircraft to defend the president and the nation’s capital in support of Operation Noble Eagle.




Spelman College 134th-Founders Day



Amidst a sea of black gowns that will fill the Georgia International Convention Center during the Spelman College 2015 Commencement ceremony on May 17, attendees will see a large swath of powder blue tassels hanging proudly from the mortar boards of some of this year’s graduates. The tassels symbolize their participation in the Senior Legacy Giving Campaign, an initiative to create awareness within the senior class about the importance of giving back to Spelman.

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With a name that means “a beautiful tree with strong roots,” Banah Ghadbian, C’2015, stands as a proud warrior for social justice whose impact is felt throughout the Spelman College community. A scholar-activist since arriving at Spelman, Ghadbian has brought awareness of global women’s rights, the crises in Syria and Palestine, as well as sexual violence on college campuses. Her passion also shows up around educating individuals about issues of racism and other injustices.

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Research Day 2014.2

rise_researchday_winners2When Lindsay Stanford, C’2015, began her academic journey at Spelman College, she knew she wanted to leave an indelible mark upon the world by conducting ground-breaking research that would impact the lives of future generations. As one of 200 students who presented during Spelman’s 2015 Research Day, the biology major is moving closer to her goals and enjoying the rewards bestowed upon those who demonstrate scholarship and research excellence.

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President’s Safety Net

CourtneyMack-GleeClubThe President’s Safety Net Fund, Starfish Initiative Scholarship has literally transformed dreams into a reality for hundreds of Spelman College students. Created in the spring of 2008 to assist students who were negatively affected by the economic downturn, the Starfish Initiative has continued to help students who otherwise would not be able to complete their Spelman education.


As a result of this initiative, Courtnie Mack, C’2015, will be able to graduate with her class on May 17. Mack said that support from the President’s Safety Net Fund and other financial assistance she has received from Spelman throughout her time at the College has afforded her experiences that shewould not have had at any other institution. Read more…


As the campaigns for the next president of the United States begin to coalesce, veteran political strategist Donna Brazile will deliver the keynote address at Spelman’s 128th Commencement. The founder and managing director of Washington, D.C.-based Brazile & Associates LLC, and the first African American to run a presidential campaign, will also receive an honorary degree during the graduation ceremony Sunday, May 17, 2015, at 3 p.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center.

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Since 2004, Travis Tatum, Ed.D., has been immersed within the Spelman College community. In the last few weeks he’s been attending numerous celebrations of his wife, Spelman President Beverly Daniel Tatum, who will be retiring in the summer of 2015. As her tenure ends, Dr. Travis Tatum is reflecting on the more than a decade he has spent on campus.

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2015 All Stars-Hill and Havard

Although they’re not hounded by paparazzi or deluged with requests for autographs, Antonia Hill, C’2017, and Mya Havard, C’2016, are “stars” nonetheless. Selected as 2015 HBCU All-Stars by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hill and Havard are among 83 undergraduate, graduate and professional students from 70 schools across the country recognized for their accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement. As part of the All-Stars program, the students recently convened in Washington, D.C., for the White House HBCU Week Conference.

Havard, a mathematics and computer science double major, said being an HBCU All-Star allows her to be an ambassador for Spelman and advocate for HBCUs.

“It has also given me the platform to inform my peers about the importance of supporting local and minority owned businesses, which is something I am very passionate about,” she said.

The HBCU All-Stars program has also given Havard access to individuals and organizations in the business community such as the Small Business Administration. She would eventually like to partner with the SBA and others to generate support for college-age entrepreneurs. Her career goal is to launch a technology company.

“This appointment has not only strengthened my professional network, it has also deepened my desire to advocate for the education of African Americans,” said Hill, a political science major who aspires to become an attorney for the Department of Education. “Representing the White House Initiative on HBCUs and serving as a liaison for Spelman College has exposed me to the many issues facing HBCUs and the Black community, while also providing me with the tools to help create solutions.”

Over the course of the next year, the HBCU All-Stars will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative on HBCUs by providing outreach and communication with their fellow students about the value of education and the role of the initiative as a networking resource.  Through social media and their relationships with community-based organizations, the All-Stars will share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential.

Jerry Volcy, Ph.D., computer science lecturer and adviser to Havard, said being named an ambassador affords a special opportunity to raise the visibility of HBCUs.

“Mya and Antonia’s selection to the White House HBCU All-Stars Program is a huge honor for two of our brightest students and for Spelman. As the College’s student ambassadors to the White House, the All-Stars are potentially a powerful conduit through which issues and concerns at the college level remain on the radar at the federal decision-making level. I am so proud of these students.”



On Wednesday, Sept. 30, Elizabeth Sengoba, C’2017, participated in the White House Citizen Science Forum. During the forum, Sengoba gave a two-minute lightening talk about Innocase, a “health-on-the-go” mobile app developed by a team of Spelman students including Ropafadzo Denga, C’2017; Elizabeth Fohsta-Lynch, C’2017; Saleigh Derico, C’2018; and Brianna Fugate, C’2018. Innocase is a real-time, interactive case that snaps onto any smart phone device and is activated by touch.

An international showcase of excellent work from diverse sectors, the forum will bring together citizen-science professionals, researchers and stakeholders from local, state, tribal and federal government, as well as representatives of the academic, non-profit and private sectors to celebrate the contributions of crowdsourcing and citizen science.