West Virginia State University student selected as White House HBCU Fellow


INSTITUTE, WV (LOOTPRESS) – A West Virginia State University (WVSU) student has been selected as a 2022 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Scholar by the White House Initiative on Promoting Equity, excellence and economic opportunity in education through HBCUs.

Cedric Caschetta, who is a criminology junior with a major in forensic investigations at WVSU in Lowell, Indiana, was selected from among 85 other undergraduate, graduate or professional students. The honor recognizes students for their achievements in academics, leadership, civic engagement, etc. Collectively, Scholars are enrolled at 56 HBCUs and were selected from a competitive pool of over 350 students.

“It’s not just me who got this honor, it’s West Virginia State,” Caschetta said. “It’s everyone on our side. I’m excited to help in any way I can to not only showcase the state, but Indiana, my home state.

Throughout the academic year, HBCU Fellows will serve as ambassadors for the White House HBCU Initiative. They will be offered training and inter-university networking opportunities and will have the opportunity to work on issues specifically related to the HBCU community and participate in national and regional events with professionals from a wide range of disciplines.

Another feature of the HBCU Scholar program is a partnership with NASA to foster innovation and opportunities for cohorts. The partnership makes the Minority Universities Research and Education Project Innovation Technology Transfer Ideas Competition part of the HBCU Fellowship Program. In September, researchers will have the opportunity to present their ideas on intellectual property at the HBCU Weekly National Conference in Washington, D.C.

Caschetta said that in 2020 he participated in a few protests in Indiana and created an organization called “Change for Real” which focuses on inclusion and diversity.

“Honestly, all we were trying to do in 2020 was try to change the idea of ​​people asking the ‘why this and that’ questions,” he said. “George Floyd’s death opened a lot of eyes for people and it was a moment, me being one of five African Americans in my high school graduating class, where this could be a monumental moment to ask questions for real.”

Caschetta, who previously lived in Washington, D.C., said he had the opportunity to participate in the August 2020 March on Washington on the 57eanniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He also attended the US presidential inauguration of Joe Biden.

“Not many people at 22 can say they’ve been to an inauguration,” he said. “I try to do things a little differently than other people in my class/class because these tough questions started early in my life so why not keep helping people.”

Caschetta, who also plays football for the Yellow Jackets, said he hopes to become a civil lawyer in the future.

The White House said program events are designed to enhance HBCU Scholars with professional development and create post-graduation opportunities within nonprofit, commercial, and federal partners to ensure that as a nation, we remain globally competitive.


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