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Honors College Alumni Profile

Evingerlean D. Blakney

Evingerlean D. Blakney, Class of 2009

Class of 2009 (Magna Cum Laude)
Undergraduate Major: 
Mass Communications with a concentration in Journalism

Involvement at Shaw:

  • Presidential Scholar
  • Freshman and Senior Class President
  • VP, Honors Scholars Association
  • Herman House Scholarship Recipient
  • BECA Scholarship Recipient
  • NC State University-Community Brotherhood Dinner Recognition
  • Member, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc
  • President of the Shaw Man/Shaw Woman Society
  • University Ambassador, Office of Admissions
  • VP for Internal Relations, Student Government Association
  • Founder of One Mic One Mind Poetry Club
  • Selected as the outstanding student in her major in her senior year
  • First nationally to be a BET College Marketing Representative for BET and Shaw University
  • Executive Leadership Internship with Executive Vice President of Shaw University
  • Internship with Family Dollar Corporate in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Employed three years at the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Graduate Study:

  • M.Ed., Student Affairs administration, The University of Southern Mississippi, 2011
  • PhD, Higher Education Administration, The University of Southern Mississippi, anticipated graduation 2015

Work Experience:

Associate Hall and Community Development Director at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus, MS

  • Graduate Assistant for Minority Student Development for the Office of the Dean of Students, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Graduate Assistant for the Student Academic Enhancement Program for the Department of Athletics, The University of Southern Mississippi
  • Graduate Assistant for the Academic Council, The University of Southern Mississippi


  • She received her first grant from the Committee on Services and Resources for Women to do a study on female students in higher education and suicide ideation
  • Initiated into Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, Inc
  • Invited to Gamma Beta Phi Society, a national collegiate honor and service organization.
  • Received the Outstanding Civilian of the Year Award
  • Received the Joseph S. Paul Student Affairs Administration Award
  • Received the Rising Star Award for The University of Southern Mississippi
  • Ambassador for the Department of Educational Studies and Research
  • Founding member of the Southern Miss Educational Law Association

Important to Know:

She is the first in her family to graduate from college, and the first to attend graduate school. 

Personal Motto:

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived- this is to have succeeded.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

About the Honors College:

At the age of 25 I am working on my third degree (PhD in Higher Education Administration) and I have yet to pay a dime for my education. So, what did the Shaw University Honors College do for me? Well, I blame the Honors College for helping me become who I am today. As a first-generation college student from a low-socioeconomic background who first arrived alone by train with nothing but a prayer and a dream, the Honors College invested in me all that it had to give. I was never allowed to sit around and feel sorry for myself. I was taught to be bold, strong, and confident. I was embraced as a teenager and groomed to be a beautiful and well-rounded young woman. I was mentored, loved, and cared for every day. Most important, I learned one thing that has carried me thus far: Don’t sit around and wait for things to happen because YOU have to make things happen. So, again, what did the Shaw University Honors College do for me? It gave me tools for life and…

To this day the Shaw University Honors College is STILL doing for me.

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