Seven University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff students attended the Thurgood Marshall College Fund annual Leadership Institute at Washington, D.C. recently.


The institute is a national program that aims to develop the students’ leadership skills, create a community of like-minded scholars, provide companies and government agencies access to overlooked diverse talent, and help students make connections that lead to successful careers after graduation, according to a news release.


UAPB participants were: Amera Allison, a junior majoring in accounting from Detroit, Michigan; Sydney Douglas, a junior majoring in industrial technology management and applied engineering from Chicago; Shakema Haynes-Dowdy, a senior majoring in industrial technology management and applied engineering from Pine Bluff; Brea Ford, a senior majoring in business administration – marketing from Detroit; Teryn Riles, a junior majoring in regulatory science – environmental biology from Pine Bluff; Ashley Tasher, a senior majoring in business administration – marketing from Brooklyn, New Yor; and Nyla Riley, a sophomore majoring fisheries biology from Pine Bluff.


Riley was selected as a TMCF Student Ambassador at UAPB. She will create innovative ways to introduce fellow students to the opportunities TMCF has to offer and she will receive a $750 stipend per semester.


The four-day conference included career development and leadership workshops, networking events and a private recruitment fair.


More than 60 Fortune 500 companies, federal government agencies and graduate program representatives offered full-time positions, summer internships and continuing education opportunities to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBI) students there.


The leadership institute included the presidents, chancellors and faculty from TMCF’s 47 member-schools, as well as scholars from the Vivian Burey Marshall STEM Pilot Initiative, a TMCF pipeline initiative to HBCUs.


The event concluded with all participants attending TMCF’s 30th anniversary Awards Gala Oct. 23. Special guests included Vivica Fox, actor and producer; Jussie Smollett, actor (appearing on Empire) and recording artist; Deshauna Barber, Miss USA 2016; Bob Lanier, NBA Cares Ambassador; Kevin Frazier, co-host of Entertainment Tonight; and Gizelle Bryant, TV personality.


The students were accompanied by Yulanda Riley, education counselor from the UAPB Office of Career Services.


Students interested in information about TMCF should contact Career Services at 870-575-8461 or come by Caldwell Hall, Suite 202.