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APSU "Achievers and Scholars" attend Knoxville conference

Achievers and Scholars members with Angela Rye.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Within Austin Peay State University’s Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center, a select group of African-American undergraduate students participate in a mentoring program called the Achievers and Scholars Initiative. The purpose of this program is to ensure the academic and personal success of African-American males, while increasing the University’s retention and graduation rates for this student population.

Earlier this month, 17 members of this program, accompanied by a graduate student and four mentors, went to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, for the 13th Annual Black Issues Conference. The theme of this year’s conference was, “A Dream Affirmed: From the Past to The Present.” Angela Rye, an on-air commentator for media outlets such as CNN, BET, MSNBC, and TV One, served as the keynote speaker for the conference.

“The annual Black Issues Conference at University of Tennessee at Knoxville is always one of my favorite events of the year because it gives students an opportunity to engage in topics that relate to the black community,” Marcelius L. Braxton, director of the APSU Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center, said. “This conference is great because it allows the students to take part in discussion and activity-based workshops while networking with future friends and colleagues. Most of all, this conference makes students really think about how they can improve themselves and their community. It’s inspiring to see students who leave the conference committed to creating positive change.”

At the conference, attendees had the option to attend a number of sessions, including one by three members of the APSU community. Students Danquawn James and Mark Thaxton, along with Dr. Ashlee Spearman, director of the APSU Quality Enhancement Plan, presented, “Reclaiming My Time: A Strategic Approach to Maximizing Your Time in Higher Education Through Experiential Learning.”

The APSU students attending the conference included:

Darrion Wiley-Hunt

Samuel Sprewer

Emmanuel Williams

Deiontae' Trotter

Montravious Maclin

Kameron Stott

Donya Tennail

Courtney Covington

Mark Thaxton

Nicholas Gunter

Jatavious Dotson

Malik Smith

Jordan Jacox

Damarcus Graves

Jaylon Long

Jeffrey Henderson

Danquawn James

For more information on the Achievers and Scholars Initiative, or on the conference, visit the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center’s website, www.apsu.edu/aacc/, or contact the center at aacc@apsu.edu.