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New Magazine Focuses on Research at HBCUs

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by Gia Savage


Developed with the stories of the HBCU community in mind, a new magazine will share the innovative and inspiring work of scientists at historically Black colleges and universities across the nation.

Celebrating the launch at the Newseum in the nation’s capital during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference, HBCU Research magazine made its debut.

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Sandra Long, said that readers can expect to see a salute to the research history that’s done at HBCUs by African American scholars.

According to Long, HBCU Research was created to help “tell the stories of research in HBCUs. All those great scientists, the ones that were past, and the ones that are present,” she said, “And to connect these three communities: HBCU academia, government and then industry.”

The nearly-90 page inaugural issue covers an array of research stories, but also pays homage to the highly esteemed African American researcher, George Washington Carver, who is widely credited for his discovery of the multiple uses of peanuts.

“George Washington Carver—what a lot of people don’t know is, for a lack of better word—he was a beast of a researcher,” said Long. “I mean, 300 discoveries, all of these inventions. No one can really compare to him in the sheer amount of research that he’s done. So, we want to give him that nod.”

Carver is also recognized in CARVER NEXT, a special section in the publication that shows support for new students and researcher in STEM. The section highlights students and the stories behind the innovative work that’s taking place at HBCUs and MSIs.

Howard West, a student program created through collaborative efforts between Howard University,Google, and Black Girls Code, a non-profit technology-based program founded by electrical engineer Kimberly Bryant, are featured in the magazine’s first issue.

“You will hear about stories that are past and present. One of the things that we’re most proud about is CARVER NEXT,” said Long. “So, if Carver has done all this great research, then who is next on deck? Who is the next great researcher or scientist that’s out there, that’s undiscovered? We want to find those stories.”

In addition to celebrating the work of African Americans in STEM, the magazine is also meant to educate supporters and readers on the research that is not receiving the attention it deserves.

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) said that having a magazine that is representative of what is actually happening in STEM will educate the masses.

“I would say that if you ask the average African American in this country about research in the institutions, they probably could not name too much,” said Johnson. “Mainly, because it has not been reported well. I think that’s extremely important. Some of the greatest researchers in the country are African American, and many of them have been or are at historically Black institutions.”

Ronald Mason Jr., president of University of the District of Columbia agrees.

“The fact that there is a publication interested in talking about research at historically Black universities is a positive thing,” he said. “I would hope that they find a way to tell the entire story, not only what quality research is going on at HBCUs, but also the need for the investment that’s required for us to be able to fully participate in the research process in the United States. That’s important because different people see different things from different perspectives. The work that HBCUs do is a perspective that needs to be fully at the table from a research perspective in this country.”

HBCU Research retails for $9.99/month and is available in HBCU Bookstores and online, as well as at Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Magzter.